Notes From the Ant Empire: Studying Dinosaur Bones

In the future humans may lose their voice box and communicate strictly through text. Our mouths will be little chat screens. We’ll kiss by pointing our browsers at each other. The world is becoming smaller, they say, but I still feel like an ant climbing around an Escalade… the world being large and elegant, me being tiny and out of place — but able to lift ten times my weight.

This girl asked me if a lime was a baby lemon and I honestly couldn’t answer. I realized I didn’t know for sure, I didn’t think it was, but was I positive? No. And that made me feel pretty foolish. But foolishly I shrugged it off and continued trying to plant kisses on the nape of her neck like a gardener.

The sun is full, warming a beautiful clear day. The moon is full tonight, full of romantic isolation. I’m at the coffee shop watching the cars on Beverly fly by.  I don’t see drivers but hopes, dreams, and fears wrapped up in skulls, flesh, and tennis shoes. Or high heels in some cases. How can women drive in high heels? It seems more dangerous than drivers texting while eating French fries stoned. But who am I to say? I’ve never worn high heels.

If I were a film director I would wear a beret. If I were a French artist I would wear an ascot. If I were a thug I would wear my pants below my ass.  If I were dead I would wear a frown.

My friend likes to take pictures of the food he eats. He puts them on Facebook and people comment. They write things like, ‘Yum’.  Or, ‘save me some’. It’s rather strange, but who am I to say? I take pictures of strangers with dogs in sweaters, weeds slipping through cracks in the sidewalk, and elevators. There is a really great elevator in an office building on Wilshire by the museum. The elevator should be IN the museum.

It’s so easy to fall in love, yet so hard to get up afterwards.

A girl across from me smiles after catching my distracted gaze. Does she know I’m writing about this moment? This shared experience of ours, strangers colliding for just a second, then parting, like confetti in the bag before it’s let loose over the ticker tape parade. Does she know I study people from afar, like paleontologists pouring over dinosaur bones?

Now a woman is running down the street waving a sweater in the air and another woman is turning around with a surprised-and-then-thankful expression on her face. Simple acts of humanity warm my heart, like the girl with a colorful leaf in her hand and the man with the French bulldog on a leash. One could be a bitch and the other a total asshole, but in this Californian glow everybody is perfect.

My posture is poor; it’s from artofstarving. I need to learn how to sit up when I write. I’m just learning now how to stand up when I walk and not drag my knuckles and grunt.  My maturing is a slow process. I’m 34 and a long way from heaven.

Sparkly phones are a deal-breaker. Trench coats are creepy.

I give my playlists weird names: This Is How I Feel, Plaid Dress, Loving the Cringe. Things like that. I like Cowpunk and Brazilian Samba and Sad music.  I do depressing things like listen to Elliot Smith when it’s raining after reading Ezra Pound, but I’m the happiest person I know. It’s strange how that is.

I wish I could wear fedoras but I have a giant head and a long, skinny neck, so they make me look even odder. I’m building a fetish for fashion and accessories. I go shopping to relieve the boredom of mundane monotony. I have a gigantic closet to store away the banal ennui of my life.

If God his or herself gave you a key to all the churches in the world would you go?  If all the altars were made of candy would you take a piece home?

There is only so far you can travel before you realize you bring home everywhere you go.  I watched America’s Funniest Home Videos eating a burger in London. I was in Australia chasing a Kangaroo listening to Kid Cudi. Ipods, Smart Phones, and Kindles allow us to remove ourselves from any authentic experience. You didn’t have a good night without a picture on Facebook to prove it. There is no more Now. It’s now and preserve it for later. Now but somewhere else. My friend won’t go anywhere without reading Yelp first.  I dated a girl who took 50 pictures of herself a night, probably more. Everywhere we went it was like she was on a permanent photo shoot.

I can’t be sure but it must be funny hat day at the synagogue – no, that’s not a yarmulke joke – I’ve seen multiple men wearing clown wigs, or brightly colored ‘dreadlock’ headpieces. At first I thought it was just one isolated cut-up but now that the fifth person passed wearing something ridiculous on their dome I can safely conclude there is a theme going on.

It’s getting dark, the sun is on a flight to Australia. The moon is on the way to its velvet throne. Night or day, the world is beautiful and elegant, like a princess’s tiara. Like a Shakespearean sonnet.

I want to dance with you under this disco ball moon. Let’s get down to getting down! I want to write poetry in the air with my flashlight, highlight the heavens with my words. Let’s free our souls and watch them fly away like birds lighting for the skies.

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2 thoughts on “Notes From the Ant Empire: Studying Dinosaur Bones

  1. goodness, aos, that’s a beautiful story. Would I take the candy from those churches home? might want to, its tempting, but i’d be afraid to. sort of like the in Coraline animation movie. where things r never what they seem or were b4. the imagery is transportative or transcendental or something like that. very beautiful. like poetry written in the sky with a flashlight….

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