The language of blue meep meowed for living. Food lines were shorter and we had less to choose from. Cheeses were cheeses and everybody thinner and the non-competition, contrary to what we all thought should be the case was better than competition except in the death scheme of things which we knew little about from day to day anyway.
There was no post-modern for everything was modern and of course all literature was simply something others did who didn’t know about warm carpet and doorways and other rooms. We talked to the girls who would later become ugly or mean or old and they talked to us and we wondered if by our talking to them they would become nice later. Those who were nice then are nice now and those who are lost then are also lost now for still, everybody has to die.
As we age we get more words and more thoughts, but everything stays the same. We meet those who gave birth to our icons and they ask us for imput because we seem wise. We can’t draw yet, only think, so we offer a promise of help, but don’t understand the primitiveness of their calling cards. M&M’s have phone numbers to rooms above you. Hotel rooms that may promise anything from sewing to massages. Fat people you knew are thin. There are fewere butters and fewer breads in the supermarket and you see an original Buddha, the one that you lost that says “The Gold Coast” on the bottom, but is on the desk in the supermarket next to the artsy people who are paying for their food, waiting in a slow area for food while others move around the rest of the supermarket which is just as slow, but not quite.
There is no fear here of disappearing. You remember the girl who stopped you as your car was parked outside of the one family who aged. You forgot to bring in the fifty cents you needed to get a soda out of their soda machine. They are all in the pool like always and when they see you they are not happy to see you. They are ashamed. So you go back out to your car and pull it into a better place beside a trailer whose occupants you don’t know. Then you pull it up further to be avoid being splattered by a rain bird. They they stop. Two girls. Hispanic girls and they stop in front of your car and start talking like they are stopping for you to look at them which they are. They are young and have make up and small tits and they talk and you are interested until the black girl comes out and she starts talking directly to you. She says that these houses are all in and of themselves (or something like that), like “***** are you up there fucking?” And of course, she says, she is. And sure she could go out and do whatever she likes, but it was the jealousy and all that (or something like that) which made her stay with her boyfriend. She had a bright pink face and lips very large and red and she wasn’t pretty, but she was young and although her own future seemed bleak, being big lipped and saucy and therefore ignorant he hoped for the best for her, at least until she disappeared, which she did of course since she was black anyway and he was white.
But the main thing was that there was less in the supermarkets back then and that was a good thing. There was less to choose from and therefore there was less excitement. Everything was calmer. The good looking one said something ugly about an ugly job. You can hear the bitterness but when you attempt a joke, your brother and friend Hendrick beside you, Hendrick much thinner than he is now, of course, you find you smile widely, a real smile that you don’t remember being able to smile in a long time and she beams and all of the ugliness that you thought, or would have thought now would be impossible to remove, fell off of the pretty girl’s face (who had the body I forget to mention) and she smiles back and you know that you’ve made a connection, but there’s no way to reconnect so you walk a little bit faster and perhaps you’ve reached the sprout where Hell may be if Hell still be possible which it isn’t since walking on is of itself proper and right and therefore Heavenly and sane.
Hendrick had earlier pushed the shopping cart of a lovely and tall girl who he could never push the shopping cart for now and when he was done they hadn’t said nary a word when she went on pushing the shopping cart herself and they’d had some sort of communication which didn’t need anymore depth. I had taken to smoking the three joints all at the same time by this time, but after awhile I needed them to go out and they were all lit and when I put them in my pocket I hoped they were out completely which they were.
But it was the slowness of the day that mattered. The little inside of the store. The fact that I was aware again and nobody demanded anything of me like they do now. Since then the animal that we call society had grown long, mean, tentacle-like arms with fingers. Each tip had a smile and a reason to buy something else which you did or else be strangled by philosophy which stated: Buy me or seek another way of living. Of course, nobody would consider seeking another way of living so we would buy and buy and buy. But there bread was bread. Buddhas were Buddhas. Light orange wrappers. M&M phone numbers. Young men not surprised by it all. Thin friends we hadn’t seen in years. Artists creating 80s phenomenon cartoon characters.
And as we wind down our belief in anything other than the way that we are now. As we remember our breaking bones and newer smells, our failures and our hopes, and the way that we think we must buy in even further to the world of more breads, more Buddha’s, we learn that we don’t learn as we age, but we forget and if we are wise we learn that to forget is the antidote to less warm aisles and girls who never regain the ability to smile. And we forge ahead and a crust of ten years doesn’t seem too bad, but the crust of 20 seems interminable and irretractible and all simply because we have known of our histories, felt the warm butter of life on the bread of colored and fading carpets of warmth, walked the linoleum seas whose lines were still etched with black tiger lines, and looked around at awe at all the things that were no longer in the supermarket, and unless we did something about it, would be.
But to dance and not apologize for the loss of the tippy toes until we find them again when they’re not in ourselves, but within the thought of them and the thought of them is locked inside another place because we can’t be in the place where the original thought originated and instead we become a loner and we create a new product for the shelves that reminds us of something that is wonderful and new and something nobody’s ever had before and by the time it is over and done with the shelves are covered with such like ideas and when we go to the store all that we see are faces of people who had failed to find that one thing that they were looking for.
Then they go home in their cars and stand in traffic and see the new styles of cars in front of them. The exact style of car when they dreamed of cars as children and other children were dreaming of cars as children and then all of the children grew up and the smarter of those children realized their dreams thinking if only they could be on the highway then those other children who dreamed of the same cars would love them and respect them and play with them at recess, but by the time recess came along there was no such thing as recess, only class differentiation, and the children who didn’t make the cars went to work elsewhere and none of the children ever played with one another again so the dream was a waste of time and vision ultimately and didn’t produce the required result because of the ten thousand realized dreams keeping the other child from their bread and butter at home.
And somewhere the mechanisms for making all of the money must stop and when it does we will think to ourselves that the end of the world is at hand, but in reality it will only mean nameless bread and re-valued Buddhas. We’ve let the monster grow ten million hands, 100 million digits with 100 million faces on each which now scare us. They are our masters. They used to call it keeping up with Joneses. It is simply and actually perpetual motion. We’ve relegated ourselves to the position of the ants.
And to do this our pride must die, but it is through pride that some of us only know how to receive love. We do something well we are to feel proud and receive smiles from significant others. We feel proud so we do more things well. Needs become opportunities to contribute to the good, but as the world spins up out of control and we all lose our footings and become weightless inside of gravity, bolted only to our roads and our jobs, we start to wonder, we start to philosophize anyway until something hits us, be it dreams or memories, and we know again we have feet and we remember the way others used to have good, heavy, weighted strides in the supermarket where we would buy things, but only what we needed and then go home through the desert or the hills or even the city and live, our eyes wide open, our ability to connect intact, everything about us welcoming of advancing age, but feeling none of it and nobody insisting upon it under the guise of forever.
I push my cart and I see you.