- No, Sheila, it’s not that. I want to know for a couple a reasons.
- More than a couple.
- No doubt, no doubt. I just need to know if I am the only one in this experience. Think of it as an alignment thing. If I’m out here standing on a rock by myself, having this experience, okay. I’m not worried about me, per se, but it’d be helpful if I could understand how I got standing on this rock by myself. I’m in my sixties. The mind can go, you know. I’d like to try to keep mine in the front yard. If I’m not standing alone on the rock, or you’re in sight of it, how do you explain this?
- We’re friends, close friends. What kind of rock is it? Is it a nice rock?
Marty knew it made no sense and couldn’t possibly be true. That it felt true was besides the point, (almost). Because oh man, were he to believe it, live it, and be wrong? That shit would knock him down. Like most, Marty was tired of getting up one way or another in life. I’ve donated enough to that cause. This is precisely what Marty thought when he realized some bizarre shit was going. Had to be. He’d fallen in love with Sheila and that couldn’t possibly be right. He’d known her for more than a decade for fuck’s sake. It wasn’t like her beauty — admittedly the kind known to buckle knees when first observed by even the most casual observer — was anything new to him. His rational side, what was left of it, understood this. But, there was a problem. You don’t know somebody for more than a decade for shit’s sake and suddenly, badabing-badaboom, you’re in love. It doesn’t work like that, or so he’d always thought, until now that is. Somehow and in some way she’d become an anomaly. What the fuck’s up with that? Had he missed something all these years? Did some part of his mind simply leave the area when he wasn’t looking, knocking his understanding of reality out of alignment? They need body shops for the mind, he thought, not for the first time.
And if all this wasn’t enough to make his head spin, a new Sheila reality was on the scene. She made his knees weak.
I am waiting for someone to write a piece about the researchers and scientists and scholars out of Oxford University and Harvard, I believe, who published a study in Princeton, New Jersey’s J. Yailbyrd Press, on January 13, Friday the 13th, 2017, confirming that while Darwin’s theory of evolution was right in the main, we are in fact descendants of an animal species, Darwin got the species wrong. We do not share a common ancestor with the great apes as previously thought, not even close. The study, with its reams of supporting empirical data, revealed share a common ancestor with the lemmings. Lemmings are stocky little rodents common to the Arctic tundra with a reputation for following those they were dopey enough to think leaders off of cliffs.
The authors of the study, Charles Darwin’s One Wrong Turn, say the mistake should not be seen as a mark against the great man. After all, they rightly point out, he did pave the way for everyone else.
The study involved 1,478 respondents: 739 male, 739 female, ages 18 to 21. Researchers said only males standing five-foot eight and females standing five-foot six were included in the study. Scientists said any ratio that might possibly apply to the very notion of a height difference, combined with a tripling of ambidextrous molecules in the red blood cells believed to exist in the bloodstreams of every respondent, made the implementation of height restrictions critically important to the studies success, to the tenth power. The equation’s final outcome, as it were.
Experts acknowledge these are perilous findings from a sociological perspective. But, on the other hand, the nation’s mental health system is rejoicing. Mental health professionals from around the country say the study has answered a lot of questions and solved a lot of mysteries. As a result, their work is both a lot easier, and, clinically, a lot more necessary.
Those chilled or are they warm last moments. Last moments sought after so many final straws untended. You’ve seen too many make that choice, infinite silence, the eternal blank, or so you’ve come to believe. Correct or not, you’ll never know until the switch is flipped.
This perpetual process of getting up again and again and again. The words stay down would be a hug were they in your nature. This day in the supermarket, you inside the glass shell, watching faces smiling, a middle-age woman and young man happy to unexpectedly see each other hug and laugh. You turn your cart quickly into an aisle, trembling, fighting back tears, in your glass shell. Invisible.
Has it finally happened? Are you, after all these years finally (Could it be, thankfully? Survival is exhausting) collapsing into pieces, dust to dust?
And then, out of the corner of your eye, a sign in produce reading, Ripe Ass Avocados. You look at the sign. Ripe Hass Avocados, not Ripe Ass Avocados. You begin to laugh. You are smiling and laughing. You share the misread story with a few customers in the checkout line. People, cashier and bagger, laughing.
Back home, putting away the groceries, better now, you pause. Think. Saved by a sign. This time.
Final straws. They’re everywhere.