Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cotton Candy/ Cobweb Mélange

Once, on the phone, a guy described it as an Elephant Burying Ground which of course could have been almost justly misinterpreted to mean a place where old people go to expire and have parasitic estate dealers rummage through their hoard. But being the kind that he was I understood it immediately as a creepy place that one mishaps upon through unruly circumstance only to discover ghastly mementos kept from our knowledge by beings with a sounder grasp of the general futility and suffering of it all.

Sometimes it seems like the only rule around here is unrelenting exception. You’ll be soothed upon spotting a well jacketed business man in a café only to reveal his coat pocket adorned with greasy screwdrivers and half smoked cigars. Or a sundressed blonde will smile down at you when asked driving directions to reveal nostrils bulging like a basket of avocados with antiquated mucous. It doesn’t end when you notice that the slender, lisping shopkeeper is sporting a seven pound bronze Skoal belt buckle: It doesn’t end when the one Mercedes in town turns out to have a rotting garbage smell to it when you walk by on a hot day: And it doesn’t end when you see the father who lives down the street riding his eight year old’s bicycle with a paper bagged pint in his hand. The guarded responses these people offer when greeted are not indifference, they’re suspicion coupled with a snap analysis of their own firearm’s load.

You can catch glimpses of how it all came to be, too. As you’re driving by sometimes there will be an empty lot or a field and you’ll realize what used to be here: nothing. Scrubland. Palm trees and the kind of hard grass that would saw off a toe through flip-flops. It’s all just backstage behind the tourist catalogue shoot where skill and effort is applied with cakes of makeup to dress up the fetid appendage oozing on the inner thigh of the country. And these are the people who sprung from it. Or worse, came to it. Like me.

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