Monday, March 21, 2016

7946. BELOW THE WATER LINE (pt.199)

(pt. 199)
Let me think here of a hundred things.
Mostly contradictory, and, ultimately,
mostly pretty useless. Being brought 
up a boy  -  I can't speak for girls  -  
a lot of this is thrown at you. You're 
supposed to take it all in, absorb it, 
and turn it into useful protocol for 
your own life, one of careers, action, 
energizing and edification. To be 
satisfied. The Boy Scouts begin it all,
if your father doesn't : 'Be Prepared!'
Yes, that's, dynamically and said so 
electrically, the Boy Scout motto. 
Preparation is everything, never get 
surprised, don't get hit with the
unexpected, be set up for all things, 
know what's coming. All that sort 
of thing. Yep, and fellas, it works 
until, surprisingly say, your girlfriend 
gets pregnant. Not so prepared now, 
are you, or THAT wouldn't have 
happened. (Did I really say I can't
speak for girls, just before? Can 
I actually say even that anymore)?
Being prepared  -  when you come right 
down to it  -  I always thought anyway  -  
is a pretty stupid affair : Mr. Button-up,
Mr. Know-It -All, Mr. Never Letting
Anything Cool or Unexpected Happen.
To me that always sounded like a pile
of really boring you know what. I 
always figured, 'give me the unexpected, 
throw me the surprise, any old day. It's 
more fun, better to learn from, and far 
more the way I want to be.' Going back,
now, to about 1966, let's call it, way 
before Internet days and all that crap 
now  -  I know, I have friends that I've 
traveled with, they can't take a shit 
without Miss Candy-Ass on their 
'Mapfinder Questorama How Do I 
Get There and Where Am I Now?' 
voice accessory damning their every 
free move. They fall for it every time,
while I, the one driving, have to hear 
the consequences. A blind bird can 
have more fun flying around than 
can anyone following one of those 
things. What's life to be about? 
If you're so weak-knee'd that
you have to have some lady-voice
scratching your back for you so as 
to find the next turn, I say go ahead
then, take that and go. Just don't
call me up, I'll be lost.
If someone had told us kids, back 
about 1960, that there'd be God-voices
telling us where to turn and how to 
get somewhere, we'd have spit up 
our noodles in the Brandywine 
Junk Yard we were sitting in. Before 
us stretched war, and then adulthood,
all to be lived, we hoped, without 
direction finders. Turned out the joke 
was on us; ten years later half the
new, modern things that started 
happening, through the 80's and 
90's, came from developments 
in Vietnam military situations 
and needs, or the space program.
Strangest damn world, indeed.
The entire 'Arpanet', or whatever
it was called  -  today's Internet, 
now  -  was first made for military, 
inter-staff, communications and 
intelligence and information 
passing. Go ahead, if you don't
believe me, look it up. The product 
we know of as 'Superglue' was 
first developed for field wounds 
and military dressings, Vietnam,
battlefield injuries, to immediately
close up wounds and things, to stop
bleeding and field death. Too weird,
but all true. Same goes for the space
program but, really, when you come
right down to it, who now cares?
Avenel kids, we busted windows with 
glee, just to see how the patterns of the
cracks went. We'd start fires with the
leftover gasolines found in old trucks
and cars. Incendiary crazy fools, but we
never thought. Explosions? Cool! Those
poor houses going up on Doreen Drive
and Mark Place; jeez it's a wonder they
ever got done. Those poor guys, every
Monday morning, must have had to 
spend three hours first counting up the
damages and repairs needed from the
weekend just past. 'Those rat-bastard
kids on Inman hit us again!' Unlike
today, there was never a guard posted,
no one around, nothing being watched.
We were alone in a wide-open world,
ill-defined, without definitions, but
ready for it all no matter. Be prepared?
For what? They ought to be prepared
for us, thank you.
Have I ever told you that wet noodles
were invented so people could say bad
jokes and stuff 'went over like a wet 
noodle?' OK, just kidding on that one.
What the use of any of this? I wonder
sometimes. Everyone used to say I was 
a 'rebel' from Avenel. Huh? I never 
understood any of that  -  I certainly 
wasn't what they said, and it just
showed really how little they knew. 
What a poor grasp they had of my 
reality, assuming they even knew
what it was. My problem wasn't
so much 'rebellion' per se  -  if it
was I'd have been a druggie or a
criminal or something  -  it was, 
really, more that I simply didn't
understand anything  - like living 
in a foreign land where people kept 
talking in a language I wasn't really
hip to and caught only a few words 
of here and there. I always felt more 
like a spiritualist, a real fervent 
believer, in a roomful of jaded 
atheists. Who all believed nothing, 
but chattered on endlessly, trying 
to believe in something. Or convince 
each other that they did. Like on 
Easter - my whole life, it was
always about the clothes and 
the food and the visits and the 
better weather, and all that crud. 
I never once heard anyone, amidst
all these 'believers' and celebrators,
say 'He Is Risen!' What gives, 
I wondered. It always seemed to 
me that if such was the ostensible 
reason for basis of your actions, you'd
at least want to own up to it. But no 
one ever did. It was, truly, as if I wasn't
understanding the words or concepts too
well. I was a fairly simple guy, a little
aloof maybe, and my simple bodily
presence is fairly normal  -  everyone 
should have related. It was only my own,
inside, thinking that was different, but I
figured they gloss over that  -  like the 
same way of not saying, 'He Is Risen!'
So, all this 'being prepared' stuff, it was
pretty useless  -  1966 again, all those
new and breaking rock and roll dudes, 
the music that supposedly stirred so 
many, you think they didn't work 
by the seats of their pants? It was 
all chance and the serendipitous
arrival of some chord breaks and a
better-knack for the tune producer
or engineer. Nothing was down pat, 
let alone culture and personal life.
Avenel to L. A., nationwide, it was
all on the wing. Be Prepared! Ha!

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