Tuesday, May 09, 2006


If death is such a bad thing, then why did Jesus—in the case of Lazarus—compare it to sleep, and why does it feel so good to turn out the lights at night and feel the soft covers come up over one’s naked body, and feel the Reaper snuggling up against one’s chin?

It is 9:30 a.m. and I have just eaten my third 3 Musketeers bar. That’s a total of nine musketeers in less than five minutes. Death is nigh my tent, but I am pleased of it. My fingertips are gay in the archaic sense because they are shaking like paint mixers. I could eat three more 3 Musketeer bars—but halt. While nine musketeers may be company, eighteen would be a crowd, a nougat-filled crowd. I have possibly just now entered musketeer heaven (as I write) because I am feeling quite good about m-m-myself. (M-m-my brain is tricking me. Sombody, p-p-please help me.) My bloodstream is licking its chops. This good feeling will go away in about ten minutes, and I will feel like shit. Is it a good trade-off? You bet it is.

I did my eight-mile walk yesterday. The weather was favorable and I was not eaten by a dog. I just sort of walked. I didn’t do anything else, really. I did sip my fruit punch Gatorade through my blue bite tube. I may have had one or two thoughts. No, wait. I just remembered that I was on Base Line Road heading due east when a high-flying bird took a mid-air doopsie. I saw the blob of white doopsie emerge and I visually followed it all the way to the ground. I have for years seen the results of avian digestion, but never the process. The sky was so blue and the field was so green and the doopsie was so white that my eyes got so big. It took the doopsie nearly four seconds to hit the ground.

This doopsie reminded me of the time I saw a space shuttle launch and watched the two white solid rocket boosters jettison just short of space. The boosters were just tiny white dots away up there near space and I had to squint and shield my eyes from the Melbourne, Florida sun to even barely scratch out the pencil-shaped side rockets, which to me looked like tooth-shaped dots. (Imagine being where the boosters were. Imagine being close enough to them to rub a flat palm against their great sides as they whirled and twirled and flipped end over end through the air over the ocean before their chutes popped. [What violence!] Imagine the sound of the air whipping around the boosters and the sun reflecting in the leftover heat of the main shuttle engine—the big red thing. Imagine the size of the boosters and how cool and smooth the shiny ocean-side of the boosters would be to the caress of the open palm, and how far away I looked to those boosters, standing, as I was, in a motel parking lot shielding my eyes from the same sun glinting them.)

Well, it was the same thing with the doopsie.

Birds flew automatically for thousands of years before humans learned to “imitate” them with killer engines and landing gear the size of semi trucks. Men stared at birds out their windows after breakfast and figured that if a being that small with a brain the size of an avocado pit could fly, then so could they. Why, with the proper amount of feathers and a hearty strap or two, they could fly as well as any purple-bellied finch. So the men built wings loaded with feathers and straps loaded with little sizing holes. The men strapped the wings to the tops of their arms and cinched, each, the others’ buckles. Thus the men proceeded to make fools of themselves before their womenfolk and the more discerning neighbors.

All women back then pooh-poohed air travel. For one thing, the women would not fain soil their dresses. For another thing, the women had to clean up from making breakfast for the men. For another thing, the women kept birds as pets and the birds filled them in. Even the birds were smarter than the men, but the women were for sure many IQ points ahead of their penis-wearing counterparts. For another thing, the women foresaw overcrowded coach seating and twelve-hour flights to Sydney. Said one to another over a sink full of earthen pots: “Let us simply invent the minivan.”

I had to live forty-six years before God allowed me a vision of freefalling bird poop. For some reason, I have been mysteriously repeating to myself this week: “Complete life’s work, then die. Complete life’s work, then die.”

Another domino falls, I fain concede, with yesterday’s flight of the doopsie.

© 2006 by Martin Zender