July 26, 2008

Beware of Bears Bearing Beers and Bolt-action

Alternate title: The right to arm bears

Suicide, it turned out, tasted not like the cold barrel of a gun but instead like an artificially sweetened malt liquor.

I lost my mind before I even walked through the gated arches of the police station. The psychological effect of the drugs was strong and my will to live free was gone. I told the dispatcher I was there to confess to crimes – I was dying from the drug and it was time to confess my wrongdoings before the final judgment.

Contrary to the popular perception of dying it was a uniformed police officer, and not St. Peter, that was taking my final deposition as I sat there facing the consequences of my choices.  For nearly fifteen minutes, the officer listened as I rambled on about various perceived wrongs I’d committed, which were primarily focused on poor choices often related to my drug and alcohol abuse. It was clear that the policeman was getting very frustrated that he’d had to deal with me at all. His attitude was that I was wasting his time. He said he needed to address something else and asked that I return to the waiting area in the lobby.

At the moment I slumped down into the chair and started to hang my head low, another police officer arrived inside, walking through the same gated arches with a black bear cub escorted in his custody. That officer turned the bear over to a booking officer and walked back out through a set of sliding glass doors that let in a glorious amount of sunlight. The soft glow of the sun, and the slow saunter back to sobriety started to elevate my mood. The gentle rays from the sun beaming down on me energized me. I realized life was worth living.

At the same moment, the booking officer took the handcuffs off the black bear cub, and instantaneously, the black bear cub let out a deafening roar and threw the booking officer to the ground with a single sweeping push. Next it circled the waiting room while loudly expelling its horrible screaming sounds from its voice box. I was fascinated and couldn’t help but stare at the bear. It soon noticed this and became aggressive towards me.

Looking right into my eyes, it roared again, and I was tharned by the gravity of the situation. The bear acted quickly and decisively to lunge towards me. I was knocked aside, but the bear managed to bite into my arm with a surprisingly weak chomping force. It didn’t even feel like it broke the skin. I was able to shake the bear off.

But the experience of defeat seemed to only galvanize the bear. Now it was distraught and seeking revenge. The bear managed to find a long rifle and picked it up between its teeth.  The bear pointed the weapon at all the people in the waiting room in a threatening manner, like it was about to execute every last one of us.

But with a thunderous boom, an officer outside blasted a 12-gauge slug shot through the sliding glass doors and into the bear’s torso. The single shot was devastating to the cub, now laying there with the rifle beside it, surrounded by a pool of its own blood.

During the ensuing confusion, I simply walked out of the station and never returned. The entire experience was so hard to deal with, it started me drinking again.

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April 14, 2007

Zero-Gravity Zoning ZZZ

My neighbors really need to start obeying zoning laws. I’m driving by, and what do I see? A flatbed tow truck parked right on their roof. And next to the tow truck is a guy standing on the roof, building another house right on top of the roof of the other house. I’m wondering how this two-story, wooden house can support all this weight. I reach a stop sign at the corner where this house is, and as I make a left turn onto the intersecting street, I see the wooden ramp he’s built to drive the cars onto his roof. It turned out the tow truck wasn’t the only vehicle on the roof. There were also three passenger cars with yellow light bars, parked at the frighteningly steep incline of the roof. I think I might write a letter when I wake up.

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April 7, 2007

Tantalizing Tantric Trainrides

The fluorescent track lights are lit too early; it’s only 6 AM and the light from the sun isn’t even pouring in yet. The other riders are split between sleep and stress, where this author prefers the former. But that locomotive’s diesel droning just lulled me back to sleep like I was at home in my bed. With my eyes closed but my ears unclosable, the train refused to allow me the courtesy of a full deep sleep. But deeper and deeper down, I would have never known. The train started to become less and less real. The “no smoking” sign in the corner made me ask: am I smoking? Remembering my laptop in my travelling bag made me ask: am I on my computer right now? If I am on my computer, am I looking at something other people on the train shouldn’t see? I saw a black and white photo of a nude woman. Is there a sign telling me not to get hot over this photo? But there comes and there goes my stop, and now I know this morning is off to a bad start.

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February 10, 2007

Postcard Prints and Dynamite Flints

When had I been here before? This place looked like a postcard from one of the abandoned gift shops on the Taconic parkway. There was a wide body of flowing water, a cliff over which it was flowing, and in the other direction, a massive construction project overhauling some old building near the way. I drove my 93 Mitsubishi Diamante right down the dirt road towards the water, and then into the water. The water was only about two feet deep, and it seemed drivable, as if I had been to this place before. I followed the water against its direction of flow for about two hundred feet before cutting the wheel to the left and trying to pull it back up onto dry land. The land I selected wasn’t exactly dry, either. So I turned the car around and tried to head back to where I started. The engine was now flooded and wouldn’t even crank over. Pushing the car, I neared an edge where water flowed freely over. When the front wheels went over the cliff, I knew the car was about to escape me. I had a leash tethering me to the car and vice versa, but it snapped without haste. The car and I went over the edge of the waterfall, and the car sank without delay. But I could open my eyes underwater here, and I could see my car at the bottom, alongside a blue and white Mini Cooper that had also made its way to the bottom. My front wheel was also broken off, probably from the impact against the river floor. But I took a deep breath, swam down to my car, and started the long journey to push it out. But it was of no help, since with everything soaked in water the car wouldn’t start once it was back on land anyway.

These two girls in a car drove up to me and asked if I had driven my car into the river, and I said yes. They said I shouldn’t have tried to be sneaky and take it in (also, I didn’t sign-in at the entrance). I noticed a stick of dynamite, unexploded, sitting right behind me. If only I had a lighter, but alas I too was soaking wet and incapable of immolating anything. The conversation drew me towards the nearby construction, and I peeked inside, seeing the bare wall supports and plasterboard still going up through the pane-glass doors. I opened the door and walked in, and started walking down towards the basement. But the basement, it turned out, was not under construction at all, it was a bustling underground bar. And walking around the perimeter of that floor, I realized there was yet another underground level still: a grand hall with wood trim and wood décor everywhere, and with yet another stairway to another basement level.

This third basement resembled a subway station, with cool white tiles and light, except that the ceiling was too low (no more than five feet), which was supposed to be a “security feature” according to someone I overheard. I didn’t want to be down there, so I started to run as fast as I could through the tunnels. I passed friends and family and lovers in the tunnels and none of them said a word to me. Running out of this complex I found myself topside again, back where I had parked my car in this quiet and unsuspecting scene from a postcard.

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January 13, 2007

Nuanced New York New Year

This New Year’s party was like no other I remember. No one I knew was there, but everyone’s face was familiar to me. Some of their voices sounded an awful lot like my friends and family. The party wasn’t going well, it seemed. In fact it didn’t seem like much of a party at all. The mood turned angry and then everybody was mad at me. What I had done was unknown to me, but as the crowd became angry, I became angry in defense. I noticed that someone had disassembled my rollerblades. The bolts and ball bearings were scattered around haphazardly. I left the party, but was unable to find my keys or my car. I started to walk instead, off into the sunrise.

In front of me then was the rushing water of a stream or river after a hard rain. The otherwise beautiful postcard scene of this watershed was disrupted by floating orange and white plastic barrels partially submerged in the water. They were labeled as though they were some type of hazard, but I couldn’t decipher their contents. It occurred to me that these barrels could be linked together because of their peculiar square-like shape. Before long, a series of them were linked together forming a tiled floating dock over the majority of the water, still running below.

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December 19, 2006

Hooray for Heavenly Hawaii

I was in Hawaii, but I couldn’t determine which island. Some friends and I were traversing the rocky cliffs over the ocean. Taking one wrong step, I knocked a rock out of alignment and caused it to start to fall down the face of the mountain. Looking down, though, I noticed my friend Steve Ng, who I hadn’t seen for ages. I shouted down to him, and he reached up to give me a high five. But reaching the end of the rocks, and back on the ground, it started to rain. Everyone I was with ran in different directions. I found an umbrella somewhere, and without my friends there with me, started the long walk back to our hotel. I missed my flight home for sure.

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