Gesundheit!

Approaching the dream busker, owl-eyed thanks to the John Lennon shades perched on hooked beak, he opened his clammy, beard-rimmed mouth. Pearly in their moist chamber hedged by unruly strands, delicate considering their owner’s standards, incisively enameling the issue in regards, debriding breath: ‘Instant zen, to go. I would get some cartoons in my head.’

Sugar-tongued with enough grape parfait to last a year, having dubbed himself the reigning charolastro and the logical successor to the moniker moonbeam mayor, he spent the next month prowling the docks, paying careful, time-invested attention towards rectifying minor civil issues ranging from the unwanted attachment of an obstinate plastic sack to an irate twig (he gave the lone breath of an errant zephyr the sack’s company and smiled indulgently at the twig’s wooden wave of appreciation) to domestic disputes between two competing brands of colas he found crushing caps. On that occasion, he delivered a tinny monologue with a such a crackling conclusion that he, satisfied that the colas’ argument had fizzled flat, sat beside a bar-breath derelict of the street and negotiated taxation, in the name of moonlighting municipal authority, expecting a rousing succession of success. Although he made a splash, the tense and jarring deliberation did not end well for himself; he withdrew his tariff and settled for licking cheap wine from his cheek.  

One day, he stood watching the wharf from coming sun up to sun down going and found a profound truth steeped in the stippled scene: God was a pointillist. As the sun rucked in its rays of light to tuck itself under the blanket of stars, he found with his eyes a rose recalcitrantly rising through a section of cracked pavement.  During the day the place was a crush of commerce, of crashing boot-strapped feet and yawing rubber wheels, of falling steel, tumbling plastic, sliding lumber, buzzing machinery.

‘Bodaciously tenacious…’ It was a small bloom, and it he smelled, bending over, his smiling earthworm lips squirmurmuring fondly between fertile russet cheeks. ‘Ewige Blumenkraft!’

From behind, in the shadows, slurring past the flash of winedark flask: ‘Gesundheit!’

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Bicycle Diaries

The trail is hedged by oak boughs of many varieties. I careen down this lash of asphalt through the small, false backyard wilderness of the suburb. My spine tingles as my rear wheel rattles alarmingly and a grin scimitars my face as the prospect of being a red stain on stone manifests itself exhilaratingly. A couple of bearings are missing, but what the hey! it keeps my mind off my mind. haha what a pun!

A pair of signs loom as I approach. One lies on its side. Bold black paint on bright, rusted orange proclaims a detour. I don’t listen and follow the path until it gradually curves into disrepair. It leads to a forty meter corridor which span a ribcage of municipal architecture. The bike path that traverses its cool shade is abandoned to progress; instead of the usual asphalt, it is a bone-rattling expanse of stone salved with concrete that resemble the organic, organized chaos of a wasp’s nest. Sitting on a comfortable lump of concrete I imagine to be cooling magma, I am ironically and utterly alone. Forgotten sodium lamps glitter newly where the sunlight sneaks in the gap between constructs. The ground rumbles from above: the freeway is lusty today. It’s a Saturday after all. I get up and walk to the median and urinate feely on the stones, all the while chuckling to myself, for reasons difficult to fathom.

At the base of the Locust tree is the mangled remains of a squirrel. It looks almost mummified. I wonder why it clutches a broken D.A.R.E. ruler in its jaw and paws. A Budweiser lies in pieces around its stiff person.

I sit on this flat sheet of decayed concrete studded with large lumps of gravel, the detritus of the massive construction projects that never seem to finish. The City claims it is soil erosion prevention, but the excess leads me to believe that creek beds are just convenient places to put the waste products of new roads. But nature adapts beautifully to progress and renders urban decay with a multitude of crawling, scrabbling, slithering homes. I frighten a snake and it slips with sinuous panic into the sparkling current, a ribbon of chaotic motion with a definite vector, to peer from a patch of algae. Oh, how it waits, immobile in the bright rushing!

The water’s always appealed to me. Never staying in one place is something I think about often these days. The least I can do now is run in place while the scenery moves me. A battery of birds frolic on bobbing branches.

I am happy, at least for the moment.