Friday, August 2, 2013

Blurry Reflections In An Ever-Expanding Puddle

After twenty-two straight days of ominous grey skies, sizzling high humidity and near-constant drizzle, is it any wonder you're reaching for the anti-depressants? Chewing them like candy, swiping them from family and friends, hording them with pack rat-like fervor. You're as depressed, but somehow you don't mind it as much. You're learning how to be happy with your chronic unhappiness.

Think of it as the paradoxical nature of life in the rainy zone.

Even the usually uncomplicated act of moving through space has become a daunting challenge. It's like trying to walk on the bottom of a swimming pool wearing gravity boots (breathing, needless to say, is also problematic). To conserve energy you and your wife take turns dragging each other around the house.

I'd like to go and sit on the couch now, you announce.
Fine, she says. But first you'll have to drag me into the bathroom.
Let me take another pill and see how I feel about that.

Twenty minutes later you're still sitting at the kitchen table, feeling neither one way nor another. The wife has managed to crawl to the bathroom and you're dumbly gazing out the window wondering when the garden had turned into a jungle. Menacing plants with large, succulent leaves press against the glass, aggressive crawlers seek out cracks in the outside walls, flocks of subtropical birds nest in the attic.

You weren't even aware there was an attic.

And then the screaming starts.  Not that you immediately recognize it as such. Sounds waves propagating through a humid medium of supersaturated air invariably become distorted, compressed, twisted into unrecognizable shapes. A woman's scream, therefore, is mostly indistinguishable from, for example, the mournful murmuring of ghosts, the subsonic drone of an anomalous electromagnetic discharge, the hapless yowl of a hungry puppy.

You sincerely hope it doesn't turn out to be option # 1. With your mood in free fall and your limbs simulating strips of worn out elastic, the last thing you need on your plate at this point is a so-called 'supernatural situation'. And suddenly you're wondering where the expression 'on one's plate' came from.

  Don't I have enough on my plate already? You also want me to worry about the origin of the expression 'on my plate'?  Anything else you'd like me to do while I'm at it?

Could you perhaps remove the birds from the attic?

Okay, now you're getting on my plate and I'm not very happy about it.

Can I offer you a mood enhancer?

Screw you!

Two mood enhancers? That's two for the price of one. You'll be feeling twice as upbeat in half the time.

In addition to being an idiot, are you also a drug dealer?

Fortunately, both you and your wife have wholeheartedly adopted the puerile, dehumanizing and utterly mindless practice of carrying cellphones at all times.  She calls. You answer. It's one of the few things you actually agree on.

Get in here, she says. 
Why, you want to know.
She says, I'm trapped in the bathroom with a giant spider.

(Another feature of the relentless rainy season, the giant spider, with the apparent ability to materialize out of thin air. They appear, they terrorize, they vanish. If you stare at them and let your eyes slip out of focus, they begin to resemble distant elliptical galaxies millions of light years from Earth, the black holes of their plump fuzzy heads as alluring as they are lethal.)

How do you expect me to get there, you ask her.

Crawl, she says.

You want me to crawl to the bathroom to see a giant spider?

No, I want you to crawl to the bathroom and catch a giant spider. Bring tools, preferably with the capacity to also serve as weaponry.

Are you seriously suggesting we terminate a giant spider?

If this thing bites me and I die, I will come back and haunt you mercilessly.

Ah, ghosts again. Why are you not surprised? One minute you think of them, the next your wife is threatening to become one. You sense yourself caught in an unreconcilable loop of quasi-tragic unreality. You're also pretty sure it's started raining inside the house. On the other hand, you might just be over-medicated. You're so mood-enhanced you've begun hallucinating. To the extent you're willing to entertain the implausible notion that the sun has come out.

The what has come out?

Bright glowing disk in the sky, source of all life on Earth?


Never mind.

Pondering all this, a virtual myriad of potentially debilitating variables,  the phone rings .......


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