Check out the updated Baja PHAQ!
When I was a child taking a bath after a long day of playing outside in the dirt with Sister and Dog while Mom wept hormonally, uncontrollably, inside and Dad showed busloads of widowed grandmothers the wonders of Hawaii or St. Louis or Miami, I used Dr. Bronner's Magic 18-in-1 Peppermint Oil Liquid Soap to create a perfect soap bubble membrane between my hairless arms. Coat evenly, cross arms, slowly move right hand up left bicep while left hand stays at right elbow creating a triangle of shimmering shivering peppermint oil. Over and over, in search of the perfect one.
It is this that the membrane I see now reminds me of. A floppy sheet of innervated tissue shot through with blood vessels circling the globe at five to six feet above ground connected at billions of points to the heads of every human being on the planet. Just above the eyes. Exactly like a healthy pink floppy gardening hat slick with protective mucous. The complexity of vibrations and ripples and standing waves in the membrane is astounding. A little girl in a sundress skips down the street to the east while a basketball player passes her going west and Steve Irwin attacks a crocodile headfirst somewhere in Australia. For vast stretches of ocean where there are no walking talking tent poles the membrane rests on the water. In highrises it folds over and over from floor to floor in endlessly fascinating and complex permutations. As I move through space I feel it breaking in front of me and rebuilding behind me like a human tooth slowly realigning under pressure of metal structure. As I barrel down the highway from Springfield, Mass to New York the wake in the membrane behind me is amazing. The guy in front of me, too. And the guy in front of him. We're all going 80.
Greasy Body turns to me and says "you're out of coffee." Greasy Body is exactly that, a cadaver known universally across his medical school campus as "Greasy Body." Every day he sloughs off a new pocket of effluvium and the students find a fat deposit where a fat deposit does not belong. He is not obese, but he is saturated. Endlessly greasy. "Coffee," he says.
"I heard you."
He purses his lips and something greasy squeezes out as he stares straight ahead with his cockeyed plastic inserts.
"It's time for a nap anyway." I pull off at a rest area. As I'm washing my hands I hear the wet slap of Greasy Body's hand on the stall door where he emerges with the toilet flush.
"What do you do in there anyway?"
He smiles and cocks his head towards me. "Wouldn't you like to know?"
"...no, no I wouldn't."
We climb back into the van and I settle back in the driver's seat for a nap. As I grow still and the silence grows around me the engine is still ticking. It slowly resolves itself into fat wet drops.
Probably Greasy Body.
Past pieces presented by Baja Phats
Now you can pay to read Baja Phats Presents!