Monday, October 29, 2012

What The Owl Said

Lately everything chafes. I gave a guy the finger after he cut in front of me on the freeway, after I had to jam the brakes, after a bag of groceries fell off the back seat and unloaded on the floor. But really it was without any steam. My heart wasn't in it, I didn't get filled with rage and self righteousness, slam my hand on the steering wheel and contort my face; it was more like a flag being lifted up a pole on a windless day. Ehn. This is what you do. This is what I do evidently.

Like I said, everything chafes. Lately everything feels mildly annoying. I try to look up but I can't. I write these words and then I think of leaving a comment: you're a moron and a jackass and no one cares; you're old and ugly and stupid, one half monkey, the other half mule. (This is how you're supposed to talk in the comment section).  There are always at least two people in my head, often many more, but usually it's one guy who functions and then the other guy who hits him in the head with a mallet. But then there's the guy who watches this on the conveyor belt along with a few buddies, drinking beer and making rude comments, throwing things. (When I say guy I don't mean guy, I mean a weird sort of Gollum creature). If there is a problem (and just about every day there's something that could fall into that category), the whole janky system gets jammed. All the guys sit back and wait. If they wait long enough, sometimes something unusual happens. Something unexpected.

Anyway. Yesterday I went to a party with some babies. The room was set up with all the sofas and chairs pushed back in a circle  with the babies sitting in the middle. All the parents of the babies were busy eating and talking to each other. They're around these damn babies all day long. They are relieved to stick them on the floor and have a moment's peace. I was on the edge of a couch with Harry, and we were  having a staring contest with one of them.

One thing for sure, babies know how to stare. They are masters at it. There are two schools of thought on this: one that they are soulful and all knowing, the other that they are dumb as a bag of rocks. Just a tiny, little empty head. Whichever side of the fence you are on though, you can't deny it's a little freaky. It makes you a little self-conscious. Har and I leaned one way and the little guy's eyes followed us. We leaned the other way and his eyes followed that way. Up, the same; down, again. None of us cracked a smile and I'm pretty sure we all could have kept going for an hour.

A friend texted me yesterday that I should write about love. What the hell do I know about it? It's the the best thing in the world and the worst thing in the world. That's all I can say. I've only been in love once and that was a long time ago. And even then I don't think I could have explained it. I was thinking about this after the baby party, while jogging  . Best thing. Worst thing. Best thing. Worst thing. Hush. Breathe. Stupid. Sweet. Baby. Protect. Pain. Joy. Love. Hope. Pretty soon all the words just blended together into my breathing. It was silent in my head and in the woods. Such a relief.

As I turned the bend to where the woods started to open, I heard the owl. Just one word. You know what it is. But it sounded clear. It sounded fantastic. It was LOUD as hell. Up ahead a few people had stopped  and were looking up trying to find him. Our voices were quiet, shy, not unfriendly. "Did you hear? He was here yesterday. He's huge." The sky was light where it met the top of the hill but the rest of it was getting dark. I stopped too and we all scanned the trees, trying to find him, trying to have a glimpse, looking up.

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