For months I wore a neck brace to counteract the spine-related pain that shoots through my neck and shoulders, along with a color-coordinated wrist band for an arthritic wrist. But when the abdominal hernia got big enough (the size of a large orange) to make bowel strangulation a possibility, I dropped the neck brace for a midriff truss, because damn if I didn’t look like a modern-day mummy, wearing all of it. All I need now is for my knee to go out again, and I’ll be ready for a total body wrap, which, someone pointed out to me, is called a shroud.
But, by God, I count my lucky stars, even though they’ve drifted to the edge of the universe and are moving away at breath-taking speed–I can still move around. I swing my squeegee with panache on wind-sunny days, and I take it to the limit on the dance floor.
I recently found out that the operation I had a few years ago is considered by the medical profession to be the the second-most intrusive operation on the books, both physically and psychologically, which helps explain those months of feeling out of my body, which, when I talked about it caused people to tell me to get off my pity pot; then, when I finally shut up, other less aggressive people who have counselors who tell them they still have an off-chance at happiness began whispering in my ear that I was in denial. It’s hard to please everyone.
This is not a Shard. This is a ramble. This is as close as I’ll ever get to sitting around a table in a fast-food restaurant with a bunch of bitter old men talking ailments. I”m not talking ailments. I’m taking right-to-know. Need to know. I’m talking the no-no, so un-talked about no one knows it’s there. I’m talking lives lived in quiet desperation, dressed in drag as the American Dream, a euphemism for soul cancer. This is tied to that and that is tied to the other thing and it’s all tied to a sack of stones tied to your ankle as you pretend to be dog-paddling around your back-yard pool that you’ve come to think of as your birth right, when in reality you’re far out in shark-infested waters.
Did you catch it? That glimmer of insight into how we’ve come to think and perceive? We’re afraid of sharks, but it’s not the sharks we have to worry about, it’s the depth of the water, how far we are from shore, and that sack of stones. We’re propaganda trophies on the mantle, just under the wall-mounted marlin.
You have to be able to tell the shark from the water to be able to write about what’s happening, and once you start doing that, it’s not the force that creates consumers that shouts you down, it’s the consumers themselves, obliviously programmed to do Moloch’s bidding. In a world of quiet desperation, there’s a lot of noise.
You were probably scared out of your wits if you saw any of the Body Snatcher movies where aliens turn people’s essence to sand and then inhabit the shell of their bodies. Everything looks the same on the outside, but on the inside… It ties in with Drone Zombies.
You probably don’t know what a Drone Zombie is, because you probably didn’t read the book, because by the time the book was written, body snatchers had taken over most everything and turned most everyone into Drone Zombies–trying to get Drone Zombies to read a book about how they became Drone Zombies is like trying to teach a goldfish to do dog tricks.
If you’re not a Drone Zombie, read the book. It’s called Tire Grabbers, an innocuous title to ward off capture. It’s being passed around hand-to-hand by a handful of primarily young human beings who are still on the loose. Occasionally I get letters or e-mails from these humans, and now and then a late-night phone call.
“What can we do?” they ask.
“Untie the sack,” I tell them. “Learn to breathe underwater. Befriend sharks.”
Usually after I give this advice there’s a silence, and sometimes weeping.