I recently recalled an image from my childhood.
Initially, I was not sure if the image was of a figure whom I had often imagined or if the image was an actual memory. What I remembered was the image of a middle-aged man standing on the side of the road holding a sign that read:
“Bomb The Whales.”
I asked around to the other (now grown) children who lived in my hometown and they confirmed that they too remembered the man.
People hated him.
He was often stationed across the street from the local Whole Foods.
Drivers with pro-peace/hippie/liberal leaning bumper stickers would drive by and honk their horns and yell “fuck you” or “go to hell” but he was not deterred by this.
He got off on it. His smile would grow wide and he’d wave as if he had been complimented or the drivers were simply saying hello.
TU HAVE THE BEST APPARTEMENTS IN THE WORLD MON PARIS.
[ TRES JOLI ] TWO TOILETS UN ÉNORME SALON THREE DOUCHES
FREE WI-FI ONE TRES GRANDE CUISINE THE GREATEST VUE DE LA TERRASSE PLUS LE GARAGE PARFAIT POUR MY CAR MON AMI TRES JOLIE TOIR EFFEL UP AND DOWN HIGH AND LOW TOUTE LA NUIT MON PARIS.
TOUT IS VERY FANTASTIQUE ICI [ TROP PERFECT ] ICI AU THE 4ÈME ARRONDISSEMENT 1ER FLOOR IN PARIS AVEC YOU MON CHER PARIS.
We are they who dig! Tunnellers who seek the light. Those who scramble for glory. We are birthed into darkness and secrets, desiring only to claw at the world upward to salvation. For though our time and form emerges in the dark we desire one thing only, the light! Through some evil our race is born of the deep darkness, yet suffers waking dreams of the glorious, gleaming light above. And so, as if we do not have autonomy over our wretched forms, as a single mass upon the moment of emergence, we hold our claws to heaven and rip at the imprisoning earth. Ever do we tunnel forth, the infinite gloom our greatest enemy, our natural fear. Such is the tragedy of our existence, such is the mystery, we come into being not knowing of any others of our race, yet knowing somehow of the light, perhaps those who have dug and tunnelled to glory await us in the light’s embrace, there in the gleaming world above!
Larry Page is stuffy. He stands, walks to the sliding glass door, flicks the lock and steps outside. There is a hot tub. There is all-weather furniture. There is a redwood cabana made by a Native American who carves imposing women from fallen redwoods, to Larry Page’s concern.
The patio is wood. They had considered faux for its weather resistance, shine, longevity. But his childhood patio had been real wood. He’d helped his father build it. The splinters in his feet had taught him something about suffering and responsibility. Larry removes his phone from his pajama pocket. He pans left, then right. The sun comes in bars of gold that split the trees and speckle the patio. He presses the phone’s screen where a button should be. The phone clicks where a lens should be. Larry Page has not made love to his wife in ninety-two days.
What world is there without art horses bellowing to the new stag?
Frayed man, empty your pockets. I loved you.
Saint my status in the blackest death calls you can give me
for the end pulls my hats off to your birthday suit.
Crumbling useless in mousy mouths, what purpose did we swerve?
Put out my light, snuff the whisper I place on your shoulders—
be the wind that blows out my candle right.