Looking for life to ever stop moving, breaking, bending, twisting, or convalescing is like looking for a scrap of Boba Fett’s armor in the bloody sands of Sarlacc. Every time you think you’ve got a little control over a situation, like Ed Harris would in any astronaut movie, you’re dragged back down to earth by anchors made of splints and popped tendons. My wife was rough-housing with one of my stepsons and tripped over a baby toy. She smashed her elbow and cracked one of her orbital bones. Not the best Friday night. She is on the road to recovery. We have twin, eight-month-old boys who spend most of their time with her during the week. Needless to say, having one arm for two babies has been interesting. Her cast makes her movements very Borg-esque, like she had just stumbled out of the glowing green collective after a fresh round of Nanoprobe modifications. Life is a lot like the Borg. You must constantly adapt to the chaotic forces. They may send you scattering, like jeweled sunfish beneath a summer dock. You will eventually return to feed. You will adapt.
- Merging into traffic on Monday mornings always reminded me of when you watch nature shows about sharks. Whenever my car slides into a gap between the flickering brake lights of a giant truck, I feel like one of those parasitic feeders meandering next to the monstrous curve of a Great White Shark. There are thousands of darting fish all around me, but my best chance of survival is to magnetize towards the juggernaut who everyone notices. If a piece of open space between cars dribbles out of his maw and solidifies to his streamlined form, I get the leftovers, and vacuum the air up in desperate maneuvers.
- I usually don’t feel old too often when encountering new video games or media. Recently, a friend of mine brought over Donkey Kong on the Wii U for us to play together. Similar to the original gaming titles for Super Nintendo, the game is cooperative and two player. You hop across mountainous islands covered with huts, jungle traps, caves, mines, underwater palaces, and treetop cities. All these various levels are occupied with surly alligators, crocodiles, orangutans, snakes, vultures, bugs, bees, and squids. The main antagonists are a bunch of evil penguins freezing the jungle island, causing alarmingly fast climate change. It’s not the evolution of Donkey Kong that makes me feel old, or that I remember when the original version of it was released, like some lost spell in a weighty book. What makes me feel old is the difficulty level of the game. I’ve been gaming all my life. I think I’m moderately good at it. However, this game is ultra hard. It took my friend and I multiple lives just to get through one level. We’re constantly swearing, fumbling, and dropping the controllers in anguish. We’d master one part of the level, only to fall victim to others. The amount of motor function needed for this game rivals that of an astronaut powering a high-speed capsule to the moon with their thumb. I would not be surprised if Donkey Kong for the Wii U has destroyed many parties, friends, and families.
- I had to bring one of my infant son’s into the library recently to return a book. The moment I walked in those doors, which were painted with that odd hue of 80’s beige you see in a film by John Hughes, I felt like I was raining hell down upon the earth. I was the fallen angel. The cast out one returning to paradise. My son was completely asleep, and cuddled up in his car seat. He wasn’t going to make a sound. The entire library fixed their eyes on me. They expected the child to scream and holler, like a castoff banshee on the edge of a fairy woods. People at the computers, checkout tables, and various desks stared at me, but looked away quickly when I would make eye contact, like they were going to talk about me after gym class in a nearby high school. The library doesn’t have an infant policy. I would never bring my baby in there for more than few minutes. It was slightly delightful to feel like the harbinger of doom for a small moment.
- Whenever I’d drive home on a Monday night, and merge into a trail of lights chained together like a giant worm in the dark, I feel sadness. It would be better if I was carrying a torch, and joining a long line of warriors, who were going to fight Grendel, Sauron, or Ultron in some wasteland writhing with shadows. Instead, I’m another scuttling crab on the mundane shore. A person locked inside a moving can, listening to people I’ll never meet on the radio.
- I wanted to set aside one of my musings to simply thank all the amazing people who are supporting my writing, blog, and books. I love it. The happiness I have when you read, like, share, or comment on my material cannot be measured. Thank you from the depths of my heart for encouraging me, and validating my passion. I’m truly blessed to be in the company of so many great writers, artists, and human beings. Have a great week!