Monday, December 04, 2006
No Hell So Awful As A Self-Inflicted One
Downstairs in my kitchen I have a fake snake in a fake crystal punch bowl full of water. The punch bowl, recently washed, had held a vat of champagne punch, a deceptive concoction that tastes like heaven itself. Most punch falls under the nasty concoction category -- the kind of gross ice-cream laden crap that gets trotted out for weddings and whatnot, that nobody wants to drink until that one wily relative spikes it with so much alcohol that taste is beside the pont. Not so with this ambrosia -- you drink and drink and never think anything is happening, so much so that the hangover is demonic. Alas, no hell so awful as a self-inflicted one! My snake's directions tell me that if I set it in water for 96 hours, it will grow to 600 times its size. Mr. Fake Snake has the markings of a coral snake, a beautiful and deadly creature. Coral snakes don't have a rattle to scare you; they don't smell like rotting flesh to warn you. Mr. Fake Snake is even worse -- there's not any movement except for its slow water absorbtion. Like a corpse, he will move when you don't expect it.
I once read years ago that you're young when you expect surprises to be good ones, old when you expect them to be bad. Sad to say, I transitioned into old, there was some turning that I can't pinpoint, some moment when I became full of dread rather than hope. I trace the seed of this feeling back to my deep hatred of new year's eve. By the time December rolls around, I feel comfortable in the old year, I have reconciled my mind to it. I do not want a new year! I do not want to write a different date on checks, do not want to leave what I have grown to love or at least just be friends with to use the expression that men all over the world despise -- Let's just be friends, or I value our friendship too much to ruin it with a romance. But so it goes. The year and the surprises keep coming, whether I like it or not. Even though I greet them with a face that resembles the famous picture of J.D. Salinger (his I just want to be left alone shot after Franny and Zooey fame), I have to say that many of them are good. If not, I have a snake downstairs to ward off any harm. He lives in a punch bowl, and he grows every day, so much so that there won't be room for anything else, and I will take him out and see what uses I can find for him. People are always telling me I need a pet.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"Do you know what I was smiling at? You wrote down that you were a writer by profession. It sounded to me like the loveliest euphemism I had ever heard. When was writing ever your profession? It's never been anything but your religion." J.D. Salinger
Drinking music suggestion: The Best of Leadbelly
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Monday to all! If you missed yesterday's post, check out my dear friend Hank's YouTube appearance under this section on Sunday.