The Melting Poles, Bad Metaphors, and Love

The sun is too hot today.

I don’t dare step out on the concrete for fear my cheap rubber shoes might melt.

At noon I was woken up by church bells, first time I’ve heard them in three years. The church is three blocks down and I pictured the parishoners filling into their seats in their starched-suits and conservative dresses. I thought of a boy in the back nervously staring at his hands folded in his lap.

It was this thought that propelled me out of the bed like I was fleeing fire ants. The sky was a cracked egg spilling in through the windows and I dressed in shorts and bravado ready to take it on.

Alas, a giant alas, once I opened the door to the porch the blast of valley air singed the hair on my face and I retreated expeditiously to the comfort of my air conditioned micro-environment.

(The writer in me wonders how he can think in conditions like this? a day so scorching it was made for lizards alone? what story could possibly live at the bottom of such a geothermal vent?)

Before I fell asleep last night, I was lying awake thinking about the North Pole. I was thinking about the ice; how if it melts the world’s great cities will drown. It dawned on me: an Oprah ‘aha!’ moment. Why not build pipes and aquaducts all the way south to the parts of America that will need it? even further if need be? If the Southwest is going to have a drought why not tap the runoff from the north? is it really that hard?

We could drink our way out of this catastrophe, continue to water our crops, power our waterslides, and proceed to divot up golf courses with errant swings. Most importantly, it will buy us some time.

I saved the world and I was barely tired. Can’t do much for the polar bears though.

The clock was fluttering like flirtatious eyelids.

“You can’t be no poet,” the poet mumbled, “if you ain’t a drunk.”

Shut up, John. Shut up.”

If my life was an extended metaphor it would be the sea.

As soon as the keys are pushed I cringe. Did I really just think that? much less write that?

That’s the kind of crap you can’t take back when your name is in print and lights. Amatuerism that will come back to bite you in the butt like the dog in those old Coppertone ads.

I grinded some coffee beans in my Magic Bullet and brewed a pot of fresh coffee to help me adjust to the day. The sound of the water gurggling through the filter got me thinking about the Industrial Revolution and Love.

Love with a capital L.

As evolution dictates, the wider spread of the gene pool allows for successful adaptation and advancement. The societies that had more liberal marriage patterns moved into First World status quicker than those that clung to the old way. In some places of the world arranged marriages still go down. Places that are struggling to keep up. Think of the lack of romantic love in the Middle East and think of their problems coping with the 21st Century.

If I was a lady I’d rather be repressed by a bikini than a burka, especially in the summer.

On a purely Darwinian level, when arranged marriages decreased and individuals began procreating with a wider diversity of DNA carriers, the descending generations evolved socially, perhaps in time, genetically too.

In addition, on a cultural level, finding your own spouse sets the stage for self-determination and free will, key components of capitalism and modernity. The drive to mate was now a wild free-for-all, where before even a poor family could probably hook up with another poor family to hitch their kids, not to be cruel but it’s the truth, now there’s no guarentee — it’s sink or swim.

A few centuries later, think of the billions and billions of dollars the beauty industry and dating services make every year. On a more obtuse level, the bars, the clothing industries, fitness clubs, advertising…

Yeah, sex sells, because we all want love. And capitalism has pimped that.

Our entire world economy runs on trivial, needless consumption – this blog definitely included – gadgets and distractions to fill us up and define us. Plummage of sorts. The car you drive. The house you own. At some point that urge is sparked around puberty. Tweens are the worst sort of consumers. They also fall in love at the drop of a hat. I was a hopeless romantic at that pimply age, still am, though only one woman holds my fancy now. When I was in middle school, though, I blushed at every toss of hair and glimpse of bare neck and every year I needed new shoes, a new backpack, and new shirts or I felt woefully ill-equipt to survive.

Now my wife loves me clean shaven or not and I’m okay with shopping at Target.

I love my car. I love my jeans. I love this band.

Love really does make the world run.

(I’m still staring into the vent like it’s some sort of crucible, trying to spot something meaningful inside it. But it’s difficult this close to it. Life is a story told in the present. The moon rises scimitar-shaped. The city lights leave a fine layer of dust upon the mauve sky as if we humans were searching for fingerprints in the heavens. I guess that right there is some sort of story: the story of our times.)

I’m grateful to have found love, and like George Bailey I want to lasso the moon for her.

I want to give her the world.

Now that it is night, I walk downstairs and turn off the AC. I ask my wife what she wants for dinner. She replies, “Indian.”

That’s all right with me.

I get out the Brita, pour myself a glass of filtered water, drop in an ice cube and watch it bob up and down until it settles to the surface. I wonder what the melted ice caps will taste like?

Probably salty.


One thought on “The Melting Poles, Bad Metaphors, and Love

  1. Real nice Woolsey but I think your Dangerously close to becomming a softey. I know it’s not usally your style but how bout some of your famous drunken angst!

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