Notes From The Ant Empire: Undulating Ground

Wednesday is my bowling league night. 26 teams from the Entertainment industry in funny shoes, drinking Bud Lites in the shape of bowling pins, throwing 10-14 pound balls down greased parquet. It’s awesome. Last season my team, Untitled Bowling Project, was pretty bad. We stunk. We didn’t even make the playoffs. This season we got off to a great start but have been slipping in the standings ever since. I’m still trying to find my form, at bowling. At tipping back the Bud Lites I’m a pro.

My best game last season was a 197. I took a girl out on a date the night before and got stomach poisoning from undercooked chicken. The next night the pins were my mortal enemy and I smashed them down with a vengeance until the very last roll where I had a chance to crack the elusive 200 mark and choked. Only tipping 3 over and ending up with said 197. Still, I had a great 10 frames and can’t complain about a thing, except that the girl turned out to be a total dud, but hey, all’s fair in love and bowling, right?

I’m at work, listening to the Yeahs, Yeahs, Yeahs; Karen O singing into my earphones. I’d like to think she’s singing directly to me and only to me, then again, I’d like to think I’m the King of Sparrows. There is a particular tree down the street from me which is always twittering with the tiny birds. I walk by and chirp-chirp and they holla’ back. I’m guessing that doesn’t quite make me their king but until I face opposition I’m going to hang on to my crown.

Am I the only that is really afraid what these Teabaggers are going to do one day, when one of the more unhinged fanatics deems themselves an American “hero” on par with Timothy McVeigh and decides to strike out against the Government or a Democrat or our President? I plead to all my right-wing readers (whom I’m guessing only stopped by here by mistake) to maintain civility so that their ratcheted rhetoric doesn’t drive the more paranoid and mentally unstable of their ilk to engage in violent paroxysm that might result in injury or death.

In eight bitter years of George Bush’s reign, with all the disgust the Left felt at his War policies and Croniesm, there was nowhere near the level of hate and threats fulminated against him that there has been in just a year and a half of Obama’s presidency. You cannot go on Yahoo comments without seeing some rather reptilian invectives being leveled against him and everyone who agrees with our commander in chief. Guess what? He’s doing a pretty good job if you ask me! And he’s trying to work with the Republicans as best as he could. Obama’s been much more bipartisan than George Bush ever was. This health care bill has many Republican elements in it, including being modeled on Mitt Romney’s plan in Massachusetts. He’s given in on offshore drilling. He’s continuing the fight in Afghanistan. The wiretapping program remains untouched. I don’t agree with some of these actions certainly, but they’re Republican ideas and proposals. If you listen to the fleas that salivate over Sarah Palin’s every word or suck at Glen Beck’s teat, you’d think Mussolini himself was running this country. It makes no sense.

There is no rational thinking on that side of the aisle anymore, so I’m not even going to bother to engage in political debate when at the core what they’re really upset about is skin color and not getting their way, so I’ll just say this to them: hate the man all you want, but don’t throw bricks through windows, or threaten to shoot politicians, or act like you’re going to wage a second civil war, because that’s just fatuous pablum, and makes you look as crazy as a woman wearing a wedding dress the morning after the groom left you at the altar.

On a more pleasing note, I went to First Fridays at the Natural History Museum and had quite the pleasant evening. The stuffed animals in the mauve/blue light created a surreal atmosphere in which to enjoy a plastic cupful of Cabernet. We strolled through the exhibits and listened to the music, learning about the heart rates of birds while trying to guess which habitats belong to which species of chirper. When I came across the sparrows I said, ‘hello, sparrow, it is your king,’ but seeing as it was a taxidermied specimen, I got no reply. When it came time for the band to play we found out our tickets didn’t allow us entry into the room so we watched the projection of the singer next to the reconstructed dinosaur skeleton in the main hallway. There was a slight lag between the live music and the music emanating from the speakers in the hallway if you stood in between the two rooms. It was like watching a kung fu movie.

The day is beautiful. I live in Los Angeles so I write these words a lot. The earthquake over the weekend made everybody dizzy the way it rolled around like an topsy-turvy ship and made the ground undulate underneath our feet, but now the sun is gracing the region with golden light and I’m dizzy with good vibes.  Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a dream and this is one of those days.  It’s amazing how your life can be altered so suddenly. They say a butterfly can cause a hurricane halfway across the globe. I don’t know how that works, but I know the slightest glance from a pair of blue eyes can change the shape of your heart. Make you dream of the perfect pizza and New Haven winters. We’re all standing on fault lines but when she looks at me all dewy-eyed and loving I feel just fine.

I’m training to run in the L.A. marathon come next March. I’ve been running 16 laps underwater everyday in an olympic-sized swimming pool. I put on a scuba tank and tie weights to my legs. My thighs are the size of hamhocks and my skin sloughs off of me like a Shar pei. I might kill myself crossing the finish line but at least I’ll have a new commemorative shirt to wear in my coffin. Have you ever set yourself a seemingly impossible task for no other reason than the thrill of accomplishing something pointless? I feel like each one of my blog posts is like that?

Does the day greet your face warmly? Or over the hand like a nun slapping you with a ruler?

Can you tell time of day by the location of the sun? Or navigate the seas by the direction of Orion’s belt? Can you draw buffalo on cave walls? I can mimic the loon’s mating call and wrap my loins in banana leaf. It’s a real hit at the clubs.

I want to sail through the Norwegian fjords and dine on salty fish in the motherland. I want to visit my great, great grandfather’s grave and tell him all about Big Brother and America’ s Funniest Home Videos and Snooki from Jersey Shore and ask him about Thor and what my grandmother looked like as a baby. Did she wail tragically when she was born, or smile a wet, angelic grin?

My own baby picture sits on the bar above a dozen dusty wine bottles. My cheeks are puffed out and the photo’s yellowed with time. I get more gray hairs and whiskers, but stronger and wiser — so the tradeoff is fair — as I gain distance on the picture. Every now and then I pick it up to study the photo closely and it seems that baby is looking back up at me, analyzing the man he’s become. I hope I’m making baby-me proud!

My mom used to read romance novels in the den. I read Russian novelists in my Fairfax apartment. My buddy reads Neil Gaiman graphic novels. Another watches wrestling matches on Youtube. We all plant bushes and trees in our brains and let the garden of thoughts enchant our daily lives.

I’m at work trying to put a square into a circle while the day blossoms grandly outside. I wish I was somewhere else, in the park, sitting next to a beautiful girl with flowers in her hair? My dreams still have lacunae that need to be filled, blank pages with poetry to write, but the vapors are solidifying and the fog is lifting.

You’re out there taking shape, my numinous daffodil, and when you come a-whistling I’ll sing along to your tune, our voices intertwining and lifting to Heaven like smoke signals from the last members of the Lakota tribe, gleefully stentorian, buoyant on a sea of stars…


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