Levity slices through to the heart of an artichoke much more effectively than any knife.
That’s at least what my uncle Gilfroy told me one time over whiskey sours. I couldn’t partake with him, seeing as I was just a wee lad at the time, but he certainly enjoyed at least a handful of those particular beverages that afternoon. I couldn’t be sure if he was yanking my chain or just drunk enough to start seeing metaphors as literal occurrences. He had a funny way of abandoning our family’s sensibilities from time to time (usually with the aid of drink), and we still haven’t pieced together whether or not we should have ever been taking him seriously.
I for one enjoyed his antics, all the way up until his disappearance.
Now, the grey-hairs in my family clan have all unequivocally declared that he died at sea promptly after concocting a hair-brained scheme to sail around the world. I think they were just coming up with a convenient excuse to bookend his misunderstood life and wrap it up neatly with a cute little (morbid) bow. Personally, I have a sneaking suspicion that he’s alive and well, coming up with different vegetable-related remarks every time he meets a new person he likes.
Stu has an irreverent tone to him today. Was it the pineapple liqueur we plied him with before the road trip to Tijuana? I guess it could have started there, but the tequila probably sealed the deal. Whatever the cause, this man certainly doesn’t know the meaning of off-switch. He’s off, don’t get me wrong there. I suppose the main discrepancy lies in his knowledge of what it means to be “on.” He has his own notions, which all point toward an absence of critical thought and an inherent acceptance of the status quo, which definitely do not endear him to the youths of today. And after all, who pulls the strings around here? There are two answers:
The financial benefactor who supplies the dollars and necessitates prudence through their old-world viewpoint that relies on fear-based tactics
The youthful tastemaker who takes it upon him/herself to challenge whatever position may have formed over the past quarter-century and invent a hybrid form of expression that (over the subsequent quarter-century) pervades all social conventions and leads to the same cycle of adherence as with what had been previously-established–ironic, yes? This process will be repeated ad infinitum until either (A) the species evolves and outgrows such petty matters, or (B) we all die horrific, gruesome deaths at our own hands.
No matter what transpires, it’s important to remember that, to our tragic figure Stu, everything is relative, and there’s no point in making any more friends if it’ll just lead to pointless poisonings.
I leapt through a series of otherwise meaningless hoops (bald, scorpion, mating ritual-oriented, etc.) before I could contextualize what the hell my actions even meant to me and to those within my immediate surroundings. And do you know what I discovered? You’ll be surprised to learn that absolutely nothing could have been derived from those actions aside from pain and rather tedious boredom! No matter how many labels I ascribed to my life, I still longed for the time where everything was laid out before me in ribbons, streaking across the sky and peppering my vision like pigeons flying above the public library (only pooping periodically, and never on the periodicals), laying my track before me. I had once been content to wander and follow the striped ground, but then the stripes grew apart and I could no longer passively traipse through my existence. It had become clear that I needed to select a distinct path, and I splintered my psyche into several different chords (audibly restless, confused and frustrated). My body grew apart from my mind and I lost that once common-sense connection that allowed me to exist in the same space as others of my species.
And now I wait for my paths to converge once more, so I may mend my fragmented soul and take part in that wholesale charade that most humans call real life.