Friday, April 10, 2009
I think about the Boot on 33rd and it amazes me that it was able to remain undisturbed for so long; and for me it is full of some serious implications.
My vision of the Apocalypse used to consist of fire, brimstone, the living dead, and maybe a meteor of some kind. Now I think the end of the world will be much more of a man made event. I picture a cold, dim lifeless world cast in shades of grey with drifts of crumbled styrofoam shifting in the wind. I find the styrofoam apocalypse much more depressing. It's the difference between being taken slowly from this world by sickness, versus a few seconds of panic over a blue wire and then exploding. Both are tragic events, but there is at least some excitement in the latter.
Don't get me wrong, I sincerely believe that humanity has the ability and the good sense to prevent this vision from coming true. It is in our self interest to survive. :)
But back to the Boot. I can't help but think about what other pieces of trash are out there in the world sitting patiently, waiting... Lawn chairs, umbrellas, dolls, coins, orange traffic cones, plastic bottles, a tire lying in a field. We are talking about the product of mankind's collective industrial capacity for the past 4000 years or so, just lying around. I was raised to value intellectual and spiritual achievements over physical ones because: "You can't take your toys with you when you die." The other side of that coin is that when I die, my toys get left here.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
a mug of coffee
barista flirting excessively
man with tattoos on his neck
man and woman in harmony with the music
pink un-gelled mohawk and ear gauges reading the newspaper
her partner grabs her hand
man balancing to-go cup playing on blackberry
overenthusiastic clapper with cannoli
guy much more interested in the lady next to him
friend's hand on my shoulder
couple awkwardly look for nonexistent seat
loud Japanese in the background
Thursday, April 2, 2009
What makes human beings powerful is our imagination. Using only our minds, we can create with infinite variation. Imagination is the source of the arts, the discovery of the laws that govern the universe, empathy, reality, and the infinite questions of "How?" "Why?" and "What if?"
If I were to show the Mona Lisa to an octopus... See, I'm sure there was a very entertaining image in your head just now. My point being, that if an octopus were to look at the Mona Lisa it would mean absolutely nothing to it. We however, can recognize that it is a portrait of a human female. We can recognize the skill necessary to create it, and we can wonder what she is thinking about to make her quirk her mouth at us like that. We can then imagine a short blonde guy trying to explain how important the Mona Lisa is to an octopus and find the humor in it.
When I was little, and even now, I loved to lay on the grass and watch the clouds pass over me and find shapes in them. I used to think how cool God must be to spend time making these fluffy clouds into elephants just so kids like me could find them. I realize now that it is me who is creating these shapes. If I were to take the octopus to the park and have him look at the clouds, he would say "I don't know what you are talking about..." when I asked him if he could see the elephant in the clouds. In that same vein; constellations are bogus. I resent the drillings my scout master gave us on scorpio, draco, orion, and ursa minor. "Oh, over there? Umm... does it look kinda like a chicken?"
This was a crushed leaf on Kelsey and Lahdan's steps... Just a leaf, right?
To Be Continued...
I was driving up 33rd South today, just passing REI when I saw an old sock lying in the road. It reminded me of a Boot I once knew.
On 33rd South last winter, a little way up the hill from McDonalds, there was a Boot that sat upright in the median for about 4 months. When I first noticied it, I drove by briefly thinking about how lazy someone must be to say "meh" to a boot flying out their window. After three or four days I started to feel that maybe I should stop to pick it up and throw it away. I never did. I was always in a hurry. I could get it on my way home. I could always hop out and grab it the next day on my way to wherever.
After a week or so, the game changed. The days wore on, and the Boot remained. It never moved; its toe pointing out and its laces looking at me. It always seemed to say "Hi." I started hoping that the Boot would still be there as I drove past. It always was. Through thick and thin, the Boot endured.
"You show 'em Boot. You show 'em."
The Boot survived snow storms, plows, construction, and the kind of traffic one would expect on 33rd South. I couldn't help but think that this Boot was trying to prove something every time I drove past. It silently exclaimed the victory of one more day. I admired this inanimate object who, day by day, was winning the battle against the animate 45 mph world of the 33rd South median.
"You show 'em Boot. You show 'em"
One day, it was gone. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the air was starting to feel warm again, and the Boot was gone. It was a tragedy. I envisioned some careless man in an orange vest bending over to pluck the Boot from its post and toss it into an unmarked black plastic bag.
"Good run Boot. Good run."