Saturday, August 29, 2009

you won't like it!

earlier this summer, i was mowing the lawn when i came across a secret and mysteriously-wrapped heavy duty garbage bag hanging from a tree. normally, this would not cause me a second glance; after all, the tenants of the former-motel/current-apartment building located near the back of our lot (by the woods), are a unique and interesting breed--a diverse group of apartment-dwelling country folks.

however, this discovery was different--the garbage bag hanging from the tree had a note attached to it that was encased in a (presumably waterproof?) plastic presentation-type sheath. and the bold block red letters glared menacingly at me as i slowed down my mower to read them. they said:


immediately, and with the wicked and undaunted determination of a child sneaking into their parent's closet the week before christmas to take inventory of the loot, i was utterly and completely consumed with curiosity.

the bold red words swirled around in my head as i continued to cut the grass. most puzzling--i thought--was the brash, speculative, and hasty assumption that i wouldn't like whatever is in that bag. how do they know whether i'd like it or not? it seems like something capable of being liked, i assume--otherwise, why would someone go to such trouble keeping other people away from it?

as the situation played on and on and on in my mind, i decided that i couldn't trust my splintered memory enough to remember the exact wording and structure; this could cast a shadow of doubt on my story later when i tell everyone i know about it and expect them to join me on a late night covert mission to private property and back.

i turned my mower around, pulled out my 3 mega-pixel camera/phone apparatus, and snapped a picture of that son-a-bitch. also, on second inspection of the bag, i noticed that the contents had corners or some sort of defined shape (boxes?)--it wasn't just a big bag of blood or anything.

now that i had the exact syntax, i could further analyze the intention. perhaps, i could determine the contents of the bag by a thorough scientific analysis of all known factors, ala inspector jaques clouseau ("It won't be easy, that is why I have always failed where others have succeeded").

It goes without stating that garbage bags aren't normally hung from trees. Rarer still, are those with notes attached. And probably rarest of the rare, notes containing more exclamation points then a 'cathy' comic strip and cryptically-organized like some sort of linguistic equation:


i understand 'PRIVATE PROPERTY!'. it means don't touch my shit, asshole. 'LEAVE THIS ALONE!!' speaks for itself and is another way to say private property. however the wild card, 'YOU WON'T LIKE IT!', suggests one of two things:
  1. the person that hung that bag feels cast out or detached from society, such that they feel anything they like/use/own is insignificant and useless to others
  2. the person that hung that bag is into some really sick shit
either way, i think it's a statement best left off this particular sign. i take offense to it and the way it beckons me to disprove it. i lose interest in 'PRIVATE PROPERTY!', joyfully-mock 'LEAVE THIS ALONE!!', but 'YOU WON'T LIKE IT!' is a direct attack at my ability to like or dislike something. all-in-all, it's not a good phrase to use to disuade someone because it introduces opinions/emotions instead of focusing on commands/instructions. plus, it's a tiny bit combative.

nonetheless, i did have some fun attempting to predict what the bag hanger might have thought that i (or a five year old) wouldn't like enough that we stayed far far away from that scary/sick/gross/horrible hefty bag. i, with help from my creative team, brainstormed on all possible contents. let it be stated that i will not commit to either liking or not-liking these things..
  • Deer parts from deer killin
  • Mouse traps with dead mice still in them
  • Pictures of my neighbors (and me) taken through various windows at night
  • Dead pets/animals/wives in boxes
  • Clown costumes
  • Bee/Wasp/Hornet houses
  • Books about Metallica
  • Letters from disgruntled ex-girlfriends/wives/family
  • Flea, ant, and tick farm
  • Used bloody broken condoms
  • John Schneider's boots
  • NHL Hockey trading cards (with stick of hard gum)
  • Emerson, Lake, and Palmer 8-Track collection
  • VHS movies with names like "Golden Shower Girls" or "On Olden Blonde"
  • Boxes of poo
completely surprising to me, i have not opened the bag. it's been two months and about 10 mowed lawns since i found that plastic treasure and i haven't peeked once. truthfully, i can't imagine anything within that sack that would provide as much entertainment, discussion, or creative speculation than the note securely fastened (in moist-proof sheath) to it's exterior.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

when someone great is gone

my aunt gail has been through everything.. her mother (my grandma) barely survived her birth. she was overly-large, disgruntled, and highly dystempered when entering the world in 1934. the first of three girls, she was delivered with hell's fury on her chin, a veritable rabble-rouser from the start, and to the finish.

i saw her the other day, with tubes shoved despondantly up her nose and her wits fading like the crimson lace of sunset vanishing over the horizon. it pained me in those last hours to even meet her clarvoyant gaze, let alone bask in it's forever place in my understanding of yesterday's rebellion and heart-felt paradigm.

and in her last gasps, i felt her fullest fight: a fight against all that stands in the way of true and flightless conviction, a stance of noble distinction. she stood true to her decisions, and faith in these things were what gave her purpose, in a world that grew weary around her.

and now that it's all gone, to what do i owe her rememberance's observance? a cup full of ashes? a vision of her glances? a time too enchanted to tell her of her strength? for none of these things can add up to the sum of her influence--the wars of confluence, a beast of the nonchalence, a representation of everything buoyant and well-suffered--a woman not a mother. a keeper of soul's essence, and observance too.