Tripping a few dark nights ago over boxes packed only in my imagination; like floundering with a penguin on the edge of a close-to-collision iceberg, I was overcome by an intense need (not unlike a clingy friend) to sit swathed in blackness and humidity and listen to downloaded Ray Bradbury stories from my youth.
I'm not sure if it was the nostalgic scent of science fiction, or the malignant heat, but I've been feeling rather pensive ever since my evening spent with Ray.
And, honestly, I'm a little scared of this sudden melancholy. This, because, I usually am the kind of person who would do anything (including teach a raccoon in a clown wig to ice skate) just to maintain an empty cranium devoid of meaningful thoughts and, by all means, vacant of any musings of true universal significance.
But here I sit now, with a bit of newborn thunder threatening to make its way through the birth canal of the fat, soggy air, pondering the memory of a gift I got last year.
It wasn't the unripe Japanese radish my neighbor gave me, a smooth touristic recreation of the Obelisk or even a studded porcupine on speed. It was, in fact, the haphazard salad of words that a friend mused through the receiver. And the dressing-coated words floated through as modulated current flows politely greeting a distant origin - granules compressed and re-guided, amplified and alienated; their frequency transformed into something I once found on the seat of a train in New York. The words themselves were too simple for recollection, the meaning too deeply reminiscent of volcanic expansion. In fact, I can't even remember the words. But I remember the feeling engendered by what I heard…
And what I heard, what spilled out, through duplex coil on the night of a typhoon was nothing but static. Static so clear, I could taste salty remnants of the big bang and feel my skin cracking with a coating of brine shrimp and sun.
That's it. No more Bradbury for a while. Bring in the raccoon and four tiny ice skates! And, why not a tiny nocturnal mammal-sized hockey stick too?! I don't have time for this thinking thingy. It stings.