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Location: marengo, il, United States

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Where is My Coffee?

I do not deserve this keyboard. My wife works hard, and she picked the item out all by herself. She also paid for it with her own cash. Yet I pretty much own it. I certainly do not deserve her; she discovered me. She found me sitting all by myself on a beach, playing contentedly in the sand, like a child, and this occurred well over twenty summers ago (I even have a photograph to prove this claim). And she, being the naively honest person that she is, truly does not deserve to be burdened with the likes of me, for I am a born thief and a fool.

Yes, I steal. I have stolen before. I stole a few insignificant things when I was very young, and when caught, tried to lie my way out to escape the stern looks on faces that still haunt me in my later years. As an adult, I learned to steal less-noticeable things. I continually got caught. Now I try to limit myself to the taking of ideas. I might talk more about the art of lying in a while; for I have also learned to be cagey.

I shall now attempt an explanation before someone inquires of my health. In the short time it has taken to type the previous two paragraphs, I have experienced a hot flash. Somewhere in the middle of the first paragraph my feet became uncomfortably chilled, so I reached for an old flannel shirt I keep handy. Toward the end of the second paragraph my back and forehead broke out together in sweat, so I promptly removed the shirt. My frayed friend never complains. I try not to, but fail more often than I like to admit.

I am a sick, sick man. I know this to be a fact, and for this I do not need photographs. I love mayhem. I love hearing about mayhem. I love watching mayhem. I sure love listening to mayhem, as well. Ever heard of Spike Jones? He had a band back in the 1940s. There is some of what I call the most-awful mayhem.

I have no conscious when it comes to seeing others suffer. No, I get excited and lean in closer if I am sitting down, or else run to where the crowd stands gaping, and then wedge myself in among them until I can gape myself silly. Nothing like a good gawk to fuel my fires. That incident might last me for decades and provide unlimited opportunities to retell the ordeal to another sick person. Trust me when I say that there are lots of others like me.

This, my second cup of coffee, makes me think of the gallons of tears shed by innocent people who strive to eke out a living harvesting , packing, selling and shipping coffee beans. It tastes less than perfect, so I want to lash someone. Who is to blame for this particular pathetic brew? I want to see heads roll.

(Hello again, shirt)

Children historically disobey their parents. I cannot prove this assertion right away. I think I might be able to do so, if pressured long enough. For the now, I am totally satisfied with not only the look but the tone of that statement, so let us move on. They really, really do. My parents loved to go camping. On each trip, we three children were reminded to leave our campsite in better shape than we found it. Sound advice. Who likes arriving at a campsite where uneducated ingrates left an unsightly mess behind? How rude! How human! How about staying home next time, buddy? Or how about picking up your beer cans or orange peels or those…whoa! Those are disgusting!

(Goodbye again, shirt)

Well, mom. Dad. Look at the mess I am leaving behind me now. I am so sorry. Yes, I regret it, yet I can not do much about it. There is no way I am cleaning up that. It is one unsightly mess, too. Just look at it. Almost makes me proud to think that I accomplished something this huge.

I have somehow managed to populate my very own part of the planet with six additional males of my species. I do not recall planning a one of those events, so I must be a natural genius. Nonetheless. They each look like me, somewhat. They all walk fine. Each one talks fairly well. Three have unfamiliar accents. None are missing any major parts. They all seem to understand the same language that I speak, and all have decent appetites. Three have since married, and have found similar ways to mess up their own areas by producing more sons and a few daughters. They did not stop there, no. But that is a subject they must speak to on their own time. Right now, this is my mess.

I could complain until the cows come home. Right away, that reminds me that I do now have cows, and at the current price of cold milk, I regret that fact. We drink up to almost two barrels a day. Lifting a gallon of milk feels that heavy to me. But I cannot stop the consumption here. It is out of my control. Do not suggest a shotgun; do not give me ideas.

People think owning cows would be pleasant. They are wrong. Forget that insane plan. You have no idea. Think flies. Picture flies so thick they coat a screen door with their masses. Spray the lot and kill them, and while they lay dying, more happily take their place in a heartbeat. All of this is due to cows, my friend. Cows crap everywhere, and then flies lay eggs there. No, if you want cows, get chickens. The chickens will keep down the fly population by devouring the little baby flies. We called them maggots in Texas.

Did that word bother you? Were you eating just now? I should have warned you, but I am busy fighting these damn sweats, plus my gut is growling and making me more uncomfortable than usual. Maybe I better apologize. I wonder, would that change things? Maybe I should go and apologize to some others for the messes I have made in this lifetime. I tried doing that once, but it seemed to irritate me more, seeing how happy people became to hear just how sorry I was. Life is so confusing.

I used to give a damn. What does that even mean, I have to stop and ask? And I am not real sure I know the answer. I think I gave a damn about me more than anything. I don’t mean that to sound heartless; just honest. I never thought too much about the environment. There was plenty of evidence showing we had plenty. I never worried about baby seals. I never went there to beat on them, either. I used to hear (who didn’t?) about starving Chinese kids. Then I saw pictures on TV of Chinese hoards. Well, thousands, maybe. I know, I know. TV can trick the eye. But it helped me stop worrying when I threw out scraps of food.

What do I know, really? Not much. But I do know that I don’t deserve this keyboard, and that is the truth.

4 Comments:

Blogger Gone Away said...

A new keyboard is a joy forever. Well, until you need a new one again...

Good to see you back, Way - you have been much missed.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Ned said...

I guess it's a basic premise of Christianity that God loves us so much He doesn't give us what we deserve but something much better. I guess that love always gives us more than we deserve but exactly what we need.

The world is a strange place, both beautiful and brutal, allowing us our moments of great philanthropy and our moments of great selfishness. I guess that is just being human.

I can prove the assertion that children are born to disobey (at least mine were) and I have heard of Spike Jones (and most of the bands of the 40s, I can prove that too).

It's a gift, Way. You write truth that we each know but often hide from, you touch the "real" in all of us, you help us see ourselves. It's a gift and you were blessed with it abundantly. It's a gift to be "everyman".

5:35 PM  
Blogger Harry said...

Nice to be back. My back itches now. I might just...

Thanks everso.

5:41 PM  
Anonymous Sweetpea said...

Now Harry......you planned Chris......and Brian.......I just helped out a little....lol

8:11 PM  

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