Stu

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

and

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.

The Grand Salami

Took a bite out of the grand salami as rent came due for the first time since the accident of seven or twenty lifetimes–it didn’t have the forgiving click I’d once known it to have, nor the pallid complexion to which I’d become accustomed. Kept taking bites, not knowing what to expect (consistently finding myself disappointed with the mediocrity).

Memory coats your experiences with an obscuring lacquer, tossing them into a vortex where they’re perfectly preserved as imperfect accounts. Rarely are they ever challenged in your own mind, they prefer to kick around the temporal realm and surface as nostalgia from time to time.

Before I’d been rudely jolted back into reality by a new salami experience, I was content to reminisce on the superb quality of the last one. But was it really that special? That hallowed bite came on the same day as my nephew’s graduation from that college prep they’re all raving about these days, so perhaps I allowed myself to override the underwhelming sausage experience with fondness for another scenario that happened at roughly the same time. Whatever the case, I’m going to lay off the cured meats for a while.

LXXXIX

As a somewhat absent-minded explorer of the written word, I developed a taste for writing down ideas in small notebooks that typically resided in my back pocket. I’d filled up several of these, left the rest of them mostly unfilled. I tended to review them all from time to time, never quite sure how to utilize those bits and pieces.

One day I decided to put all these tiny books in a tote bag and carry them around with me, thinking–perhaps foolishly–that traveling with all of them in tow would reveal some sort of grand scheme, and perhaps being in the world would lead to a breakthrough observation that could somehow link up with a scrap of material I’d already scrawled. I thought, somewhat romantically, that my quest for written enlightenment in the form of rifling through broken-in notebooks would draw the attention of a fellow traveler who would strike up a conversation about their passion, a conversation leading to a lifelong friendship, etc. etc.

Then, four days into my routine of meandering with all my potential nuggets, I got distracted on the bus and nearly missed my stop, running from my seat in the back to squeeze out the rear door. Thirty seconds after walking down a side street, I realized my bag was still on the bus. All those ideas that I should have capitalized on… too late for that, for those what-ifs. Honestly, I should have been more upset than I was, but I’ve always been more of a passive individual, especially since having mood stabilizers prescribed to me.

Now, stripped of my safety blanket, I had to start scrambling and starting my collection of creative fragments all over again, going strictly by what I could remember offhand. I thought doing this could serve as a litmus test, to weed out the inconsequential and narrow down the essential.

My favorite ideas were always fabricated scenarios that had nothing to do with my life, likely never to happen in this reality of ours due to some impossibility (a lot of the time involving animals or inanimate objects). I started recovering my potential next-great-American-novels with a simple list, and since I have your attention, here’s the tip of that iceberg for your entertainment, in no particular order:

A gorilla named Esperanto who can use sign language, but only in Spanish.

Three bank robbers who decide to split the money from their last heist to fund their distinct hobbies: spelunking, international espionage and latex glove manufacturing.

A musician who adopts a baby and forms a metal band after the child responds positively to that particular genre of music.

An extraterrestrial–or extrasensory–being who makes its thoughts available to only those whose minds operate on a certain wavelength, for the purpose of slowly assimilating alien thought into human culture.

A frisbee that hasn’t been used for twelve years, lying undisturbed in a storage unit and reflecting on its life while other objects in the unit share similar stories of neglect.

The list goes on and on, and I shocked myself at how well I could recall these (seemingly) trivial tidbits that could eventually lead to major motion pictures down the road. I’m still too lazy to develop any of them, but at least I have them back in my first of what I’m sure will be plenty more tiny notebooks.