TOPOGRAPHICAL TALES

 

 
THERE ARE MOMENTS...
 
...when everything you can recall (or fail to recall) seems to be standing about in a plaid overcoat, waiting for a taxi to Calcutta. The weather is "perfect," the newspapers all seem to be written by a pack of thieving children, the automobile has vanished from the face of the earth, to be replaced by a armada of cherry-flavored candy umbrellas. It wasn't as if you had been requesting these modifications, or that you particularly deserved them... it is the fact that they occurred despite your worst intentions that renders them as valuable - as ephemeral - as a Moon Pie Festival in Venice. 
 
Such a time was the one captured in this map: three female torsos uncovered in one week in the same rocky terrain. Suddenly the shoddy patina of your small hometown has a very real "raison d'Ítre," besides the annual Baked Bean and Clown Parade. There is the shocking sensation of realizing that something actually happens every once in a blue baboon. This sort of discovery can even make your dreary job at the Toy Lawn Mower factory seem magically romantic.

Yet - sadly - soon everything returns to normal, and the fact that you have a new haircut doesn't really uplift the situation. But joy - at its very best - is meant to be a fragile emotion. So you keep a stiff upper lip, and lose yourself in local pleasures.

 

 

 

   

LOVE...

 

...moves in mysterious ways, and one cannot predict whether it will blow up beneath your skirt and uplift you, or simply "have its way with you." Surely it is this very non-linear aspect which makes the experience worth going through. What began as a simple weekend trip to a favorite fishing hole in the Einstein-Disney Wastelands Resort turns into a horrifying chase across the gravel fields, and an eventual extinction by the blow of a lead-weighted bibelot to the back of the head. The weeks and months that follow may be ones of desperate flight and the inevitable capture, but haven't you been thirsting for the uncanny? When you are sitting in your jail cell, and the dreams of that day are replaying in your head, I am certain that a very sharp feeling of accomplishment will fall upon you, and make that dreary cement chamber into the very Alhambra you once hoped to create a home office in. 

If we strive for so much, and yet achieve so little, we can take comfort in the fact that so many others have done so much less.

 

 

 

THE LAW PREVAILS

The Rabbit Conservatory hasn't been this interesting since Raoul "Mudpie" Hanson used it as his hideaway back in 1934. That story had made all the best magazines, and so Constable Klatter was quite cheerful as he pushed the shovel into the moist ground, fully expecting to see the familiar face of Alicia Hankly, former drugstore clerk and "paramour" of the local bowling league hero, Westin Thurne. Soon, the writers from five surrounding communities would arrive, probably frightening the rabbits into the hills, and snapping photos of the area (and - consequently - of Klatter himself), and asking the Constable how the hell he knew where to find the body? Little would they suspect that he was - in fact - psychic. This was a fact he kept hidden from his friends and family, but it formed the basis for his feelings of superiority, even in the midst of continuous social humiliation brought about by the fact that he looked like a Peter Lorre left out in the sun for too long.   

 

 

 

 

"One minute Lydia...

 

...was walking toward the beach, and the next she had disappeared..."

Well, ain't life convulsive? Sunny day, not a care in the world, and so on. The last I saw her, she was carrying a Dixie cup full of fried clams, and talking on and on about her upcoming vacation in the Netherlands. Unbearable yapper, so full of herself. So rich, so nauseatingly pretty. I suppose she took off early, her brain bursting with (the usual) erotic daydreams of Rembrandt.

One hopes she shall be missed....

 

 

 

EXPOSITORY HEIGHTS...

 

...was unusually calm this year. Colin Mortabank  gazed down on the black waters of Rhetorical Strait, and began to feel as if his life of go-kart races and drunken animal abuse had not - in the end - been a very expedient path. College had been entertaining, although his degree in yachting had not made him famous. Father "provided" and kept his distance, while his mother had long ago fled the diseased family circle for the brighter fields of San Bernardino. All that Colin had ever pretended to love or understand had turned out to be a bigger sham that he had planned.

Still, maybe he would go boating...  

 

 

 

 

 

HE DIDN'T RECOGNIZE THOSE WAVES...

 

 

 

...and the green rock that loomed before him seemed to be from another movie altogether. Teresa had warned him not to go sailing in the Volcanic Lake system, especially so late in the day, but he was a proud man, full of middle-aged bluster, and so he took the small dinghy out into Grumpy Lake, carrying only five dollars in change and a cold fish sandwich. He now had a stomachache from the sandwich, and was beginning to wonder if it was - instead - the nascent signs of a heart attack? His father had died at the age of 23, having never seen Barstow. 

The smell of sulfur was quite pronounced here, wherever he was: it was almost perfectly black, but for the creepy green glow of the rock in the distance, and he began to think that he had made a big mistake, one that made his decision to marry Teresa seem almost quaintly charming by comparison. By just turning his head slightly to what he thought of as the West, he could hear a faint twitter of voices and the throbbing of an odd drum. It certainly wasn't Bach, but - honestly - he had never fully appreciated the music of Bach, preferring Arthur Godfrey and TV theme songs. 

To embolden himself, he began to whistle the "Andy Griffith Show" theme song. The drums and voices seemed to echo the tune. 

 

 

this way out of here....