Thursday, June 02, 2005
I Get Sprung
It's officially June. Ah, June. It brings to mind thoughts of spring and flowers and swimmin' holes and barbecues and animals having baby animals and sunshine and happiness and love and lots and lots of other stuff that doesn't interest me. While the rest of you are having sing-alongs with cartoon birds perched on your fingers, June in Riverside is the beginning of smog season. Right up until Santa Ana season in September we're going to be stuck under the same stifling dome of stagnant polluted air shoved in slowly through the canyons from the west, from the tailpipes of Ford Excursions and Cadillac Escalades driven by 4'11" women all over LA and Orange Counties. Summer in Riverside is the season of seizing lungs, watering eyes and surrounding mountains drifting into the memory of myth and rumor behind a surrounding, obscuring wall of gray-brown haze.

Yes, my kids will grow up with a slightly reduced lung capacity compared to most others, but they will do so in a 4-bedroom house in a nice neighborhood instead of crammed into a 1-bedroom condo nearer the coast for the same price. So I say thank you, smog. Thank you. Maybe you do kill us slowly, but you--in conjunction with horrid traffic and the inability of this region to develop a competitive job base--keep housing prices down where mutts like us can afford to pretend to be upper middle class. Our impenetrable smog-shield is the only thing keeping the ridiculous ravages of the SoCal housing market at bay--and then only just. Instead of a crushing layer of death between we Mole-People and the precious, life-giving sun, I like to think of our smog layer as the warm security blanket that keeps housing prices reasonable. That's some magical, magical pollution.

Besides the start of Smog Season, this June is also going to mark a new and terrifying development. I think it's only fair that I warn you now so you all have ample time to have your meds adjusted or make final arrangements should you come to the reasonable conclusion that your lives are about to lose all structure and meaning, a rumbling chaos that can only be solved by the release of sweet death.

On June 18th, 2005, the Bucket is going dark.

For one whole week.

I can't say why I will be unavailable or where I'm going or with whom, but suffice it to say I've always wanted to see Cuba.

Oh damn it. I've already said too much. The very nice man from the Justice Department assures me the stay will be temporary (I believe his words were "on a trial basis"), but I'm not taking any chances. I've been working up my resistance to torture by having my children ritually abuse me, even more than what comes naturally to them. Every once in a while I'll have them flush one of my books down a toilet or douse me with fake menstrual blood or deprive me of sleep by shouting in my face all night (which they are going to do from time to time anyway). I feel good. I feel ready. I've been on a steady diet of bacon, alcohol and crazy gay sex in anticipation of missing out on all those things while in the company of a bunch of detained and restrained Muslims from all over the world. I can do it, I know I can.

In the meantime, we've got a little over two weeks together before the break, so let's make the most of it, shall we? We can look at old pictures and visit all the places we visited back when we first met. We can all hold hands and take long, slow walks down the streets of our blog-youths, pointing out landmarks and laughing until we cry, drowning in nostalgia and the stinging, never spoken anticipation of separation. Then we can split a brick of hash and drop off into a smokey stupor for old times' sake.

Damn. I promised myself I wouldn't cry.

This post on the Narcissus Scale: 9.6



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