Jul 19, 2023, 05:55AM

Frozen Intermezzo

This is what happens when you can’t tell the difference between truth and reality.

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The foolish moonlight, rising higher, just above a white neon cross. In the near darkness, shining on, off, on, and off, blinks Jesus Saves, flashing below the silhouetted church steeple. Pressed against the night’s backdrop skies, brighter than the firefly’s blink. In some pastoral field, a lone mule gallops away from the horizon line. A cutout shadow puppet of possibilities. This is what happens when you can’t tell the difference between truth and reality. Beauty speaks in a sign language louder than words. The separation of the church from the state and humanity from nature. You from me. Me from myself. The headlights glared for a quick glance at a sinister-looking thing on the roadside. Did you just see that?

If there's a hole in the bottom of the ocean, then there's another hole in outer space. Shit. There are too many holes here for one asshole. You'll say, Hell no, there are seven holes in my head. Ears, nostrils, eyes, mouth gaping. There's a hole in my story. There’s a hole in my shoe. A hole in my damned soul with tiny regrets to inform you of the situation. It can never fill the void in your lonely, hungry heart. Hunting with the hunted is no fun. Running with the haunted ain’t no fun, either. With due respect to the fallen angels, the ocean has no friends. Admired from the shoreline, gazing out beyond the sea. I’m somewhere beyond the shore, watching the ships as they go sailing.

Too much thinking is bad for you. When the whiz kid comes up empty, the golden boy’s tarnished. The daydreams pile up. There are no bad ideas. There are only rotten ones. Big Daddy is a mama’s boy. He gets razzed by the bullies. Drinking oceans of sorrow away. The tide washes away all troubles, only to return another day. Crybaby crocodile tears stream down the small faces of rosy-cheeked children. Laughing inside the flesh house of horrors. Your favorite part of the movie. There is no intermission. Only the first act, beginning in the middle of a finale to the big showstopper. A smattering of applause, some whistles, and cheers for all those in attendance.

A button pushing keyboard surfing tap click away from delete, archive, junk, spam, or trash. Mark it with a star and hashtag your ass. For what should it profit a schmo to gain the riches of the world and lose his soul? Or worse, lose his mind. The life you’re living isn’t worth the trouble. To have no sense, nonsense, or senselessly count pennies on a rickety horse. Chasing windmills across time in another town. From the city to the suburbs, these burghs all look the same. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear it’s a place where the dead roads rise to meet their makers. The kind of place where kings and queens mingle with common criminals and dirt-poor people.  The riffraff of the great society.

Silver and gold are worthless here in the boonies. There’s nothing to buy there, and much less to say. You got all spiffy for your grand entrance. Using fancy French names. That’s how we distinguish ourselves from the rest. A cut above the crowd. You got all new parts. A dye job, some nip and tuck. A new ticker and replacement kidney, tinted contact lenses, new chompers, liposuction, butt implants, a golden spray tan, and a lifetime membership to the gym. Is there anything you can’t do? People look to you for guidance. A way out of the muck. Some signs of life and love were our only weaknesses. Wanting more, enjoying less, being happy with what you have, but also wanting less pain. Therefore, wanting an easy out to get into the game.

You, too, can be a success in the fictional story or a sucker for a smile. The ersatz champion has won the last two games of solitaire. And you with your new fake face, compliments of Dr. Cutup. A real joker in the bathroom. Fake blood and assorted body parts. It cost a small fortune for that phony gag nose. And as for the good doctor? He got out of town quickly, smoking on a fish. I'm left here all alone, just me and my rugged good looks.


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