Other Hallucinogens

I’m sending this blog into semi-retirement (except for the occasional self-indulgent entry). It was started with a respectful tip of the hat to my imaginative grandfather. Now it’s time for a different approach, a reboot of sorts.

New location: zephyr98.com


Displaced by condo construction and with no where else to go, your otter has joined the growing community of displaced life who wander our countrysides and streets. Keep watch–it might show up late in the afternoon as a busker going by Otr who plays jigs on a penny whistle, his sign reading How I Play for My Food, If It Pleases (with the word Fish scratched out next to Food.) Or a sleek-haired homeless maiden slipping through crowds and asking for change, but never slowing for an answer. Or a grizzled old being slumped against a stoop, signs of life the cherry ash on his cigarette and one eye barely open. Or it’ll be the oddly familiar lithe businessman in the silk suit who insists that you step ahead of him in line at the tea shop. Otters are masters of industry and have succeeded brilliantly in the human world where they can adjust to a diurnal day and resist grooming themselves in public. (If you’ve ever visited a zoo with otters happily lazing in a pond and grooming their genitals to the titters of children and the sudden fleeing of adult spectators, you’ll know what I mean.) More than one have been President.

Last weekend I dug up our small surburban front yard in favor of a garden. I laid the old sod alongside the creek that borders our lot, covering up the unholy f-ing morning glory with thick turf woven with forget-me-nots–the latter a beautiful infestation that I hope will resist and repress the almost unkillable morning glory that creeps up the bank and into my yard every summer, and chokes the native plants (which I did not cover) along the creek .

(On a positive note, the morning glory makes a nice green canopy for the creek frogs, but then they keep us awake in the summers with their all night clubbing, so I’ll also be happy if they relocate downstream into the culvert).  

It’s a south facing yard/garden that we expect to be pretty productive in a couple of months. As long as we can keep the cats and squirrels out till the plants take over. Then it’ll be time for winter planting–something we never had to consider when it was just grass. Still, worth the initial and ongoing effort. With careful use of mulch (organic and artificial) we can keep the water usage down, and make sure the fresh vegetables and herbs cost far less that what we’d pay at the farmer’s market (as much as we love to go there) and grocers.

In a revenge fantasy of publishers, a hurricane force wind tears through the Internet community, while the community documents its own demise with videocasts and images–and posts of 140 words or less–of users hanging on desperately by their earbuds and mice (those few left with corded mice) as their playground is shredded and blown away like cheap paper, until the landscape is pristine again, and then–and then millions of books begin to drift from the sky like snow or skittles–really really heavy snow or skittles. And children laugh and the old folks weep and moms and dads rediscover love. And there are picnics and ball games for fun in the park, and people smile and shake hands in the street, and no one goes hungry again. And Garrison Keillor becomes President, even though he doesn’t want the job. But someone will have to deal with the few Morlocks who survived the storm in their caves deep deep underground.

Earth Hour Website

People, turn your lights off for an hour on March 28, 8:30 PM, local time. Light a candle or two. Get to know your neighbors. Have a party (I know at least one person doing this.) Make carbon reduction a celebration, make it a holiday. Get your congresspeople in the game. Better yet, write to your greeting card publishers and retailers. Don’t make it a back patting session or a lesson in political correctness. Make it about survival, and community, and have a little fun.

Learn what other people are doing and see the nifty video

Yeah, it’s a tiny thing. No, the act won’t save us. We can’t even say it’ll give us another hour. But then we’ll do it again.

Downtown, vines of white light are creeping cheerfully up our trees, chasing off the rust and golden leaves in stop action animation: one day they’re six feet up the trunk and twisting into the lower branches, the next, as you’re waiting for the commuter train, you notice they’ve crept up another foot, atropical artificial vines cheerfully thriving in crispening weather. You whistle goodbye willingly to the leaves, who had their time. You’re ready for twinkling trees and hot cocoa. You, and the homeless guy asking for change.

A tangle of lights (or luminous eyes) blink ferociously in an eloquently coded rail against illiteracy. You blink back. Ferociously. The lights snarl. You snarl. You know they’re wrong, or not right, you know this in your gut. You try to make your case to friends, not for the defense, but for clarity. Your small, limited supply of words fall golden on the ground and, in the rain, turn to cornflakes. Your tree stripped to a bare trunk and twigs, you thrash about trying to expose the major flaws, the short circuits, the damage done. Your lack of literacy confounds your purpose. You and the other writer, two howler monkeys chasing each other around a denuded festival tree, each with beautiful fur, tangled in the lights. The homeless guy finds leftover kettlecorn in a bin and settles down to watch.

How many of you wear earbuds when you commute, please raise your hand?

Ma’am, there in the back–would you like an earbud? You must feel very lonely.

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