Oh! Language, how blessed art thou. In all your astounding infinitude I wonder where it is we mortals find the patience to take our gist of things and express them digitally. Behind one snippet of conversation lies a palimpsest of perspective we all share, distracting and unifying us all at the same time. In an ambiguous sea of words and rules we all seek a familiar frequency, like searching for music on the radio with one of those old dial scale receivers in some nowhere. All the while the old Zen saying persists, tugging at our backside like a child stuck in “Why?” mode: “The instant you speak about a thing, you miss the mark.”
Young girl in Laundromat: …Yeah, I know! And then he said that he never cheats on his wife and I was all like ‘oh, really!? Then what was your penis doing in my mouth last night!?
Co-worker in office: I think from now on, I’m going to speak in the third person about myself, and I’ll call myself “Angry Chinese clam.” Angry Chinese clam is most displeased with your actions.
Man on Cell Phone: I tried to call you yesterday, but you weren’t home. Where were you? What? Colonoscopy? Did he at least buy you flowers and talk dirty to you? Sorry, yeah, that was out of line. I’ll cut the crap now. Oh, ha, ha, ha, I just made an unintended pun. No…no, sorry…Hello? Hello?
How apt we must be with metaphor and compositionality to turn word salad into a gushing hydrant of ideas. Along the way of words we uncover new metaphors, as though they had been buried by the settled dust of some “Big Bang.” Like songs they float in the air waiting to be lassoed by some inquiring mind that wandered to the further reaches of the continent of human thought, only to find that, after all, it is no island. Let’s just hope the water isn’t too contaminated.
Upset three-year-old: I wanna see the balloons go up in the sky!
Father: We'll see it all on tv in the morning and guess who will be at the end of the parade. He's a very very special guest.
Upset three-year-old (now sobbing): Barack Obama.
In the sky! It’s no bird, plane or Superman. It’s T-e-r-r-o-r. Hovering around the periphery of our attention spans, the shade of evil is never too far from our thoughts. And who could blame us? Looking out for our safety, officials from all walks of ‘official life’ warn us of the imminent 9/11 2, seriously delegitimizing the secular nut jobs denying that Bush ever had late night chats with God himself, herself, or itself. How could officialdom know of terrorist attacks coming soon to a town near you were it not for their super powers? Clearly they’ve got the facts—fair and balanced—from the Creator of Facts his Mother-Fucking-Self. Needed now is a global movement acknowledging the savoir faire of God’s kings. First things first: Meteorology is the methodology of the past. It’s time we do away with rainy weather, sunny weather, Fahrenheit and acid rain (or did we already get rid of that?). The givers of terms and conditions have spoken: From now on days are to be coded in terms of red, yellow and orange. (It’s rare we hear of the longed after ‘blue’ code. I imagine this has something to do with the sky.) When we mesh this system with scientific understanding of mood swings, the direness pops out at us like forms in stereograms. It could be any day now that The Terrorist wakes up on the wrong side of the bed! Most beds have only two sides. You do the math. ‘A’ train, New York City Subway:
Younger black man with suitcase: I just want you all to know that I am getting on the train with a suspicious package.
Older black man, not looking up from his newspaper: Nigga, that is the stupidest thing you could have said.
Midded-Aged woman (walking by): You don’t have a bomb or explosive in the case, do you?
Scenester: Nope…I’m just carrying my guitar.
How soon it is we all forget that the wisdom of the ancients is apparently no match for the wisdom of four year olds. Central Park, NYC:
Little girl: Christmas is next!
Mother: No, first is Halloween, then Thanksgiving, and then Christmas.
Little girl: And then we die!
From within this myriad of possible sentences the horizon can seem far or it can seem near, depending, of course, on the sentence you’ve chosen. We all have ways with words and if you pay in enough mind they’ll show you the walls of the cave you inhabit, and even a few ways out of it. The population isn’t some holistic figure trapped inside the same cave, but rather a collection of individuals in adjacent caves, with a handy morse code to aid us along the way. Financial District, NYC:
Tourist in car driving through crosswalk: I don’t care if you run the world! I’ll run you bitches over anyway!
Punk kid (while flipping off bus full of tourists): Hey tourists! Fuck You!