please stop tickling me

In which we laugh and laugh and laugh. And love. And drink.

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Location: Portland, Oregon

Otium cum Dignitatae

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Cows, Coming Home

The deer is running down the middle of Grand Ave., and I'm wondering whether or not I might be dreaming this. The Man From Sparkle City is babbling at me, and busily trying to invite himself (his favorite phrase is, "Need an extra?") to a kickball game that he has not been invited to. I stop him and say, "Turn around. Look at that."
"Turn around."
Now that I have confirmation from another party that I am not hallucinating, I walk outside and try to determine where the deer has gone, now that it has left this very busy street. The man from the furniture store next door is on the phone to the cops: renegade deer. Deer are common enough up in the hills and such, but down here in the scenic, historic Eastside Liquor Ditch, they aren't seen at all, ever. To have made it this far, the deer either has traversed at least two hundred thickly populated city blocks or has crossed downtown, and then used one of our many bridges.
Dude was hauling ass, too, as you can imagine. This is part of a disturbing pattern I think I see emerging: nature is going nuts. I was harassed for several blocks by a crow the other morning. He started following me and mocking me with that eldritch laughter, then swooping lower over my head than any bird ever has. I turned the corner, and he did it again; perch on a power line above my head, caw at me several times, swoop over me, fly to the next power line, resume. I turn as many as four corners to escape him, but he has air power, and it doesn't really matter to him which street I'm on. My skin is crawling.
I make it over to the Troika, and am greeted by il Bruce and The Moon Maiden. They notice that I am ashen, and ask what's up. I tell them, and say, "Crows are harbingers of death, aren't they?"
They rush to assure me that, yes, yes they certainly are. "Thanks guys," I say.
What's happening in this country is terrible, I think, though I am often of that opinion. I felt this way long before the deeply disturbing (and accelerating) events of the last five years. When everything started heading into the shitter, circa 2001 or so, I and several others I know started to notice that the genuinely schizophrenic ones seemed to be acting even crazier, walking into traffic more often and such. It's like there's a transmitter in their heads that is saying, 'It's okay; everyone else has lost it, too.'
Now the animals are doing it. I wonder how long before it's the plants and inanimate objects. I consciously decided last summer that I was going to take off a year and take on only limited responsibility. I was just too damn tired and too damn sad, and I decided to really work on other people for a while, and perhaps, by proxy, myself. Naturally, when you have a bit more time on your hands, you have more time to screw everything up, and there's been some odd cascade failure lately, leaving me to feel more like an extended road trip, and being a stranger.
Bitchslap had a good one yesterday. We were talking about the stagnant little puddle our group of friends has become, and he said, "I think maybe everyone needs that sort of 'meeting the wizard' moment."
I looked at him.
"You know: and you finally get some courage, and you finally get some direction..."
Oh yes, The Wizard of Oz: America's true creation myth. In which the rural populations migrate to a mystical, shining city to receive their final reward, after traversing many obstacles (and hopefully not being coopted into the Lollypop Guild). Most adults I've met have that whole 'Surrender Dorothy' skywriting scene as the first example of being terrified by popular entertainment in their lives. Judy Garland's next movie, 'Meet Me In St. Louis', is even more in the line of classical mythology: the good old days, the Golden Age. Everything was better back in olden times.
One of my least favorite phrases is 'olden times', by the way, and I often ask people to tell me what it is they're talking about when they use it. They never have an answer. Kind of like when they say, "The Native Americans believe..."
I wonder now where that deer went. I wonder even more, as I am told that all things come in threes, what the next disturbing thing involving an animal that I witness will be. The cattle crowding my front door, having finally come home at last?



Blogger Gringa Alta Prima said...

My guess is a moose.

And we all need direction.

10:43 AM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Oh gee, don't know where you get That.

2:23 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Oh gee, don't know where you get That.

2:23 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

Christ, how the hell do you edit comments?

2:26 PM  
Blogger carrier said...

I don't want to trivialize your encounter with the crow Rich, but I have been assualted on numerous occasions by those pesky birds while delivering the mail. Usually they react to a perceived threat to their nest. Being curious creatures they are also attracted by shiny objects such as buttons or coins. And yeah, some people believe that their presence is an omen. As you probably know a group of crows is known as a 'murder.'
But what I really wanted to ask was if you really believe that the last five years are somehow worse than other periods in modern history. 1936 to 1941 for example. You may feel things are bad for us now, but that is just one side of the coin. There are those that feel that we as a nation are at the top of our game. In their opinion the rest of the world just doesn't understand the responsibilites we feel are our burden as the worlds only superpower.
I know things seem to be going crazy at the moment, but I think things have always been crazy and maybe it just wasn't always so obvious.
I also believe that the pendulum will swing again and the majority will realize the clowns at the top were only working to further their own agenda.

4:15 PM  
Blogger baby bulldog said...

yes, i've become stagnant too i admit, and all i can offer are my sincerest apologies and promises that one day i will try to bring bright eyes and new revelations to the Dropping Table. as far as animals go, watch your windows, your next encounter may just be a jumble of vengeful squirrels assaulting you at whiskey hour

9:35 PM  
Blogger rich bachelor said...

I'm with ya', Carrier. Another one of my least favorite phrases is "These days..." followed by eyerolling or snorts of disgust. Most of history has been chaos and misery for most people, and the only thing that is different about the last five years is that I was here for them.
I do worry, however, that the toys that the nuts up top are playing with these days are the sort that bring about the most awful of endgames, but people said that about the crossbow, too.
'Vengeful squirrels at whiskey hour', hee hee.

3:38 PM  

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