I grew a beard last month. It’s not that I’m getting primitive on the road with grooming. It was more that I missed my garden back in Portland. I took pictures for FB but when I reviewed the selfie series, I got all Rorschach & all I could was a shaggy vagina with teeth. I mean lots of dudes sport facial wiggage but it's different when it's me looking at me. Slowly, I am getting used to it and my hairy visage which was once some kind of transeorovaginal inversion is now back to being rugged in a librarian sort of sexy. The man in the mirror most sacred to me, my face, is now obscured by wool meant to keep the moist bits fragrant. But I do feel more part of the Vagina Revolution that I feel America is entering into. I mean what Eve Ensler started, let me, in my chin topiary, carry on. Come on fellas free your face!
When I think of Caitlyn Jenner, I should think of some sort of revolution but really I just see a chance to get photo shopped by Annie Leibowitz in a second hand Madonna onesie. However ham fisted and self-interested the whole Pageant of Me is, maybe society is moving closer to gender free pronouns. Perceptions are as powerful as they are stupid, but slowly they can be conditioned to not hate.
I also learned this month that you can dry out a cell phone that has been submerged incidentally in a lake. I say incidentally because the submersion occurred in part because of a migraine headache. I get migraines. When I was a kid I called them "Fast & Louds”, whereby everything I perceived was, to me, faster and louder. This of course can’t possibly be true except that if you feel it, it feels true. Years later I discovered I have Lewis Carrol syndromewhich is a pretty cool syndrome to have have in these heady Days of Syndromes. These "Fast & Louds" faded in my early teens and never returned. If it wasn't for my sister getting them too, I would have tried to forget them in the same way I’d try to forget getting an erection for an boy in pre-algebra. But Louis Carrol Syndrome (later renamed Alice in Wonderland Syndrome) is kinda cool - something you can impress people with during an after dinner latte.
“No really, I have a Lewis Carrol Syndrome! Google it, Nigel! More fun than that whistling tune you emit thru the hole in the back your throat!”
Later I developed cluster headaches. They suck more and can last for days. When I got one this past month, I thought it’d be a good time to treat with an evidence based protocol of psyobicillin ergots. Now that I’m relegated as a taker on Obamacare, Imitrex is a tad spendy and my doctor was away at a junket in Iceland.
To help dissipate the attack of pain & suffering which was, after all, just in my head, Jess & I went for a walk after a salubrious cup of tea. The light of late spring was perfect, joy was everywhere, I felt one with the universe. Sparkle city, kids. All the shades of green that makes life return again each year despite the outrageous odds. Eventually, Jess and I went along separate paths which is the point in some movies when the dude with the hockey mask shows up but it's not that kind of movie.
Instead, I eventually discovered a miniature blue canoe that must have been built in the 1970’s. I assumed that because of the faded green Mountain Dew sticker on the side. Everything was making perfect sense and was happening to me for a reason. I felt like a child again, finding a secret canoe at Camp Whitciewatootie. I mean how many times can you say, that on a perfect spring day (full of oneness & sparkles), you are walking by the lake, just itching to scoot out upon it’s virgin glass surface, when - Boom! There’s a canoe. Someone wanted me to find this canoe! The Universe had read my deepest thoughts and at that moment, (more deeply than I even knew in my convalescent joy), I wanted a canoe to be made flesh from the spirit of my mental storage garage. From the twinky blips of a serontonergic overload to a real blue plastic canoe for a kid of my size when I was like nine. Sort of the way a noctural emmission is the evidence that you got busy with the hottest girl in class. Don’t wake me!
Finding a canoe might lead you to think, well, perhaps it’s not my canoe, or perhaps there is a reason someone buried it beneath the pine boughs in the forest and - Why is it again you are traipsing through the forest anyway? Oh right, you have a Syndrome...
But really dear reader as you sit in judgement, I was in a non-tradition cortical state, let’s call that state Rhode Island. And in Rhode Island, there is way too many biogenic amines outside of there standard zip code. Like say, that dude from the Wheeties box getting all Vogue for her new talk show. Did I will that canoe into being? Is that a dagger I see before me?
Perceptions start to loosen in Rhode Island, creating pain without trauma, making loud the whisk of corduroy pants and revealing the sparkles in afternoon sunshine. While almost everyone lives in another state, let’s say California, sitting at their desk waiting for their money, I gamboled in Rhode Island that day manifesting buried canoes. And while I was perfectly happy to dwell in the smallest state with the biggest name (Rhode Island and Providence Plantation, bitches), there were certain laws laid out by Archimedes that just did not seem like they were very important to me or the residents of my fair (albeit, non-traditional) state. And if you’re wondering if I got to Rhode Island from the disease or the cure: I wasn’t. I had just discovered a miniature canoe and I was by the lake. Jehovah had willed it. Now you’re just being jealous.
Into the craft I leapt, or rather, I wedged. Remember, it’s a small blue canoe from a long decayed summer camp. I am not actually 9 years old. Not having a paddle seemed of no consequence to me since I wasn’t up the creek or anything. I was in a lake, it was sunny and I was in Rhode Island, which because of it’s small size, is exempt from the Laws of stupid Archimedes. Maybe you can’t understand my joy, but just think about your dog when he finds the half decomposed carcass of a Canada goose lying next to a lovely lake, and like a kid a Christmas, buries himself snozzle to shoulder in the redolent miracle from Allah.
I found a heavy tree branch to serve as a paddle which worked well to satiate my need to participate with a paddling motion while in a canoe. You see, while a tree branch is utterly useless for moving the watercraft in any intentional direction, one can spend hours learning how to master the proper paddle motion and a paddling motion was what I most wished to experience in my Lake Event. I aimed for the next corner of the pond and would find Jessica who would certainly still be waiting there even tho I had wandered off without a word a couple hours back.
That never happened. After several minutes of valiantly displaying an intent at Paddle Mastery of the Q Stroke, the craft abruptly sank under what appears to have been my massive adult body weight rather than my intentional 9 year old self. When ships sink in the movies, it seems like hours go by, you know like in Titanic. Not in Rhode Island. I was floating and stroking the Q and really being a Part of the Universe, and then - Floosh! I sank like a turd in a power-flush toilet.
As I waded thru the four foot deep water my feet plunge thru foul black mud that never quite supported my man weight. I lost a flip flop - it never surfaced. I heaved the swamped canoe, now my enemy, back to shore. At this point, I was ready to leave Rhode Island but there was a new problem.
I heard other people coming. I think they were German tourists. In Rhode Island?! (Man, you can be bush whacking thru the jungles of Rangoon only to find a clutch of German tourist pointing at their Let's Go guides.)
Their imminent arrival to my beach head called for quick thinking. The cell phone is an invaluable tool for folks living on the road and it proved no less worthy in this case. I pulled the device from my soaked shorts and began a fake conversation with my “wealth management officer" as the Germans approached in their assertive little walking outfits and plucky pace.
“No, Bob’s I would hold on to those equities until the market settles. I don’t want to get caught in some stampede at the door. Let’s assume for once that Wall Street is wrong. Ha! Yeah man, it’s like, too easy!”
The ploy worked, the Euro’s marched by, and barely glanced at the grown man dripping wet with the swamped blue canoe built for a 9 year old. I had ditched my other flip flop at the last second so I wouldn’t be wearing just one shoe.
Perceptions are very important people, Vanity Fair has taught me well.