27 Powers

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Last night I was sad. I felt it coming on early in the day, that sad, sad feeling that everything is wrong, that any other perspective is nothing but an illusion, that I am defective—that I have an internal defect that makes me this way, makes me sad and wrong eternally.

I fought back.

"I'm sad because I'm sad," I said, "and it doesn't mean anything. Tomorrow may be different. Five minutes from now may be different."

Today IS different. Not happy, not sad, though I've had moments of each. But yesterday—all that—I know it was about Life of Pi, about the hyena killing the zebra by tearing open its belly and eating its guts from the inside. I know it was about the hyena beheading Orange Juice, the orangutan that was rescued as an infant and raised together with Pi like a sibling. I know it was about Pi stranded on that 26-foot lifeboat, terrorized by the hyena and the tiger, and about feeling sorry for them, for Pi and especially for the animals, who didn't ask to be put on the ship, who weren't willingly moving to their new zoo homes when the ship sank.

I know its just a story. Its all just a story--you, me, the whole thing.

Yesterday I was sad. Really, really sad. The kind of sad that wants to transform itself into despair. "I'm sad because I'm sad," I said. "And it doesn't mean anything."

I fought back.

Friday, November 04, 2005


See what you do.
Take the blue from that painting over there and wrap it in something—words, phyllo dough.
Bake with color.
Take a play day.
Reel in a golden fish, melt it down and cast another shape.
Hike up Mt. Kilmanjaro—first you will have to find the trail in the foothills.
Milk a goat.
Milk a sheep.
Feel the warm teats, the warm liquid, the wool warmed by sun.
Hear the bleating.
Sew up your lips.
Sew them together to keep the drivel inside, to avoid saying something you'll regret.
See what you do with a little self-direction.
So much time at the beck and call of others.
See what you do.
Make some spaghetti with codfish balls in a sorrel sauce.
Make chocolate spaghettini with currants and a caramel glaze.
Think about whether there's actually anything out there to pray to.
Feel silly for praying.
Pay the bills on time with online bill pay, free from the credit union.
It's great.
Try some other limited time offer.
Whatever you do, don't think of Alicia.
You don't need her approval.
Think of desert sands shifting, the scent of heat that looms in the air, the motorized drone of a passing Winnebago.
Think about how you are great and perfect.
Eat a maraschino cherry.
Think "yuk".
Remember Villa Italian on Sepulveda. Or was it Overland Ave?
Wish you could go there for a square slice of pizza.
Remember how your family always called it Villa Italia, dropping off the final n.
Remember the two large fans in the wall that looked like some kind of World War II submarine turbines.
Really see those big metal blades and the dust strands that decorated their cylindrical mounts.
Remember how you loved them best, how you thought they could save your soul, like those fans were your own personal Jesus made of steel.
Think about how weird that is, and also how normal.
Multiply that type of thinking times all the people in the world, because people do think that way.
There's a lot of bizarre imagery looming in the psychic space of our species, all wrapped up together: tangled gods in the shape of boats, mechanical pencils, suede shoes, an alligator handbag.
See that tree? That peach tree over there?
The fruit is ripe.
Go ahead, pluck one.
Eat it.