Sunday, October 26, 2014

Brackish Backwaters of my Youth

I left the house in darkness. The stars are assuming their winter clarity, twinkling less in the still dryness of the colder air. Having spent several decades in Florida, too many really, I greatly prefer the cold clarity to the muggy humid twinkling of the wet Atlantic and Gulf winds. Though there are things I do miss about the state. 

I like that Rhys will grow up fascinated with alligators at a great distance. I got the other education. No lake or creek was too small to wonder if one lurked therein, especially during mating season when the males can wander and become more aggressive, just when they come out of their form of hibernation. I can't remember if it is a real hibernation or not. I don't think so. I believe it's just a slowing of the metabolic process, as cold-blooded creatures can.

I've encountered a few, fearsome creatures. 

Equally, few lakes or creeks were uninviting enough for a young, curious boy. Florida is a fascinating fresh water swamp, comprised of springs that feed the St. Johns River, mapped by floating Budweiser cans. Science suggests that I'm going to miss it more and more. They're moving the state capital to Atlanta.

There really is no apostrophe in St. Johns. This is the pedigree and ancestry of the place. Saint Johns, unknown to the history of the English language. It was named by the Spaniards, the Catholics I guess. So, there is that. 

Little matter, apostrophes very rarely clarify meaning. They are a tool of grammatical snobbery. It is only funny in that it is wrong, and humor is both useful and necessary. 

I have lived in three of the four most notorious states in the union now: Florida, New York, and California. In that order.

I've decided that I'm moving to Texas. I want to complete my tour of infamous disasters. I've never lived anywhere less than a decade though, so I have a few years to go.


Or, after Sonoma, Austin might seem too metropolitan. Perhaps Marfa would be more my speed by then. 53 is the new 35. Austin would be my first capital city, where I could pursue my various political aspirations. 

In Marfa, I would spiral into the art world. The photograph above is among my first sellable works. It's a collaborative piece with my son. It's called "The Big Dipper at Orion's Belt (Watch out for Scorpios... Oooh, don't go behind that door, girl...." We haven't decided if we're going to stick with the subtitle or not yet. Too much context can so burden a work.

Serious offers can be addressed to my agent. It's not quite done yet. We were going to add some crayon coloring to reference what you see below. Not an imitation, merely an influence on the final inspiration. My work is never complete, only unpurchased.

I am wary of any place where people go to become weird, or where they use the idea of weirdness as a promotional device for tourism, like Austin. It starts to feel a little Tim Burton-y when a place uses weirdness as the thematic branch of the Chamber of Commerce. 

"For the sake of weirdness" is strictly suburban.

Speaking of, I said I wanted a secret life a few months back. Well, I got one. It won't stay secret for very long. That is the danger of producing a confessional site where I am expected to produce new material daily. The cost is that nothing remains hidden, excepting how I happen to feel.

The upside is that when pictures of me doing something hideously wicked and shameful make their way online I can just shrug. I've already admitted dishonor in the meaningless ways. What harm can possibly come to me.... what more can a reader want? 

I've given you alligators to peer at safely.

If you have enough friends on Facebook, the way I do, then every day is a birthday party. If you happen to like parties, then you win! I'll spend the whole day on people's pages chatting with all of their other friends, the ones that I don't know. 

I'll eat cake all day long.

Well, I was going to list all of the things that I adore about middle-aged women this morning, to counter-balance yesterday's satire, but I've run out of time. How long do women stay middle-aged? Certainly I'll be able to catalog my many loves someday soon, before time itself escapes me.

Let's start with just this one: their sense of humor ranks very high in the qualities I most esteem. 

After that, everything else is just gravy.