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.
I took a day to spell my name,
Begot four kids and cooked a goose,
Remarked upon the crooked ways
Of law-enforcement officers,
Caught a stray cat, made it tame,
Released it into calmer seas,
Observed its boldest swimming stroke
Until after about an hour
It lost its life and floated out
To open water, past the boats;
Became a snack for orca young.
I started feeling rather bad,
But after all, I saved that cat!
Perhaps the water didn’t work
For its land-dwelling tendencies
Requiring motion-ceasing rest
A back float just can’t satisfy.
The tide went out, and so the cat
Kept drifting to the deep abyss
Until a mighty albatross
Came gliding by on limber wings
And signaled to its family
That maybe furry mammals can
Adapt to open ocean climes.
But after a few seconds’ look,
The sea bird found it was deceived
And called off all its flighted kin.
It beat its wings and gained some height,
Resumed its path across the sky,
Alone—alone as usual—
And traveling to unknown space.
I managed to observe all this
A hundred miles away on land
With super strong binoculars.
I started to convince myself
That maybe I had sinned against
The animal kingdom that day,
A realm of which I am a part.
But I reminded myself then
That my value on this earth
Is not that of those lesser drones
And packed up my binoculars,
Chucked them off the roof
With all my worldly strength
And laughed a hearty laugh.
Am I a lesser specimen than you, o intimidating scoundrels of hostage-holding expertise? Am I to go down as a pawn in the pyramid scheme you’ve perpetrated since the beginning of human literacy? Just put me out of my misery!
I really wish I could use my arms.
Where did our sense of longing go off to, anyway? I could have sworn there was more to this bridge than the water below and the people on top, but I can’t seem to find any examples of anything other than structural soundness.
Come on, I’m tired. Do you have any idea how much energy I expend just from trying to suppress panic attacks on a regular basis?
It’s somewhat unnerving to think that a troll could come up and overtake any and all of us for the sole purpose of being scary. We wouldn’t learn anything new, we wouldn’t even make any friends in the process. We would just be scared into abandoning our cups of coffee and kicking our way through the hospital doors in a fit of hysteria, unable to be calmed by anybody, save our biological parents–possibly aunts and uncles.
Do you even have aunts and uncles, my most highly-exalted overlords? Or did evolution do away with the necessity for tribalism?
Peace in a toboggan tobacco chewer is all I want to ask for these days, but I can’t quite come to negotiate in the right manner anymore. I don’t know if I’m getting rusty or if I’m just tired right now, but I’m definitely sick of not knowing how to proceed. After all that worrying, don’t you think we could afford a little sit-down in the park, feeding the ducks that waddle by?
I miss being able to do those things. Do you guys ever feed the ducks?
I really wish I could use my arms.