It would be logical for a saw to be in a barn

When you leave the house you wonder why you did – the sunlight seems too bright and the air is hot after the air conditioning.
Also fragrant from the surrounding forest.
You wonder why you went out. You had a reason.
You’re looking for your musical saw. There you go.
Your mother can’t find it. Either it was never delivered, or maybe your uncle received it and forgot it somewhere.
It wouldn’t be the first time he’d forgotten something.
The electric cello you found right away, and the theremin, likewise the carbon fiber cello bow, which turned out to be, at best, an imitation carbon fiber violin bow.
But it would work for the musical saw.
If you had it.
It wasn’t in the garage, you looked.
You finally get the barn unlocked.
It is full of stuff.
Mostly cardboard boxes, neatly stacked. Hundreds of them, all full of sticks collected and dried by your uncle.
If civilization collapses, he’ll have something to burn.
Also, there is a saw on the workbench, but it’s the wrong saw. An old 24″ handsaw, not the 30″ bariton musical saw you’re looking for.
You look around for a while.
This is perfect hobo spider habitat.
You give up and leave the barn again. You look into the window of your uncle’s truck, but there is no saw forgotten inside.
A green tarp covers something beside the barn. You look underneath out of curiosity. It’s a pile of sticks, neatly arranged in a heap about six by fifteen feet, three feet high.
It looks like an art installation.
An old Ford tractor rusts in the grass on the left side of the barn. It was the first tractor you remember your father buying.
Berry vines grow over an old Caterpillar on the other side.
He bought objects he didn’t really need, you think, hoping something would change.

Spider powers

A poison spider bit me on the foot while I was at my mom’s house. No necrosis, so not a Brown Recluse. No central nervous involvement that I could pin down (would clumsiness count? I bumped my head three times afterwards, once so hard I can’t remember bumping it) so probably not a Black Widow. Nothing squirts from my wrists, so it was not radioactive.
In accordance with Rule #34, there are several websites devoted to photos of spider bites. I found one there that looked similar, basically a big blister. Type of spider, according to the website: fast – it ran away before they got a good look. It popped while I was hiking around the woods with my brother’s parrot on my shoulder, which shits down your front and then your back and laughs while it’s doing it. Then I walked through some mud. It looked grotty but my cousin gave me some antibiotic salve and it healed very nicely.
I’ve had splitting headaches since the bite, but I think it’s because I need new glasses.
I’ve been having crazy ideas lately, though, that I think are caused bythe poison spider bite. First crazy idea: none of our good, rational ideas worked; or, rather, they got us to this point, so let’s try some crazy ones instead.
Crazy idea #2: save the climate with slot cars. Resurface all roads (starting with freeways) with solar-electric asphalt stuff. Put a slot down the center of each lane that would power the cars driving on it, and charge their batteries at the same time so they’d work after they left the road for other streets, because of course this transformation won’t happen all at once.
If you do this and get rich, I get a cut for the idea, k?
More crazy ideas soon unless this wears off.

Nine miles down, finally

Chris was kind enough to put the recording of the performance of Nine Miles Down online. The recording is about 10 MB. It is located here.

Will be back in about ten days.


Kneeling by my bed, fishing underneath it for my alarm clock, which had fallen to the floor because my night stand is so full of shit, I was filled with the desire to live a life where a chicken wakes me, not a clock.

By “chicken wakes me,” I mean, like, a rooster crowing, not a hen jumping on to my bed and clucking, as the cats do now.

Yes, my cats cluck.

This fucking alarm clock, I thought. I get up extra early for a few minutes of peace before rushing in my car with the cracked windshield (again! for no reason this time! simple stress fracture because the guy installed it wrong! but try to get him to admit that!) to an office where little of value is accomplished (other than I am now a level 51 wizard, dude) so I can afford the gas to go to the office to work. And insurance.

Or something.

The alarm clock or the chicken.

It’s a lost Poe title.

Night before last we watched a little hedgehog walk from the front flower bed along the driveway through the hydrangeas into the back yard.

Oh, and yesterday, I almost forgot: my wife called me at work with specific instructions. In your lunch break, drive here, park here, go into this store. A man will be waiting for you.

It felt like Mission Impossible: everything went like clockwork. No traffic, there in 15 minutes. My wife told me to come in for a phone, I told the guy. Oh I talked to her on the phone, he said. You the guy with the pool? he said. We both had a laugh at that. I bought a phone and drove back to the office, even had time to get a bite to eat somewhere. Got a kebab sandwich. I was tempted to tell the guy selling it to me how sorry I was that the Turks had not beaten Michael Ballack, but then I worried, what if he’s not Turkish? I’ll sound like a moron. Maybe I’d have sounded like a moron anyway.

The worst man in the world

It dawned on me the other day – life is a load of pipe. I remembered this teacher in high school, not much older than we students, looking at this medallion a girlfriend had given me. It was inscribed (pardon my French) “Vie et soi libre” or something like that, which was supposed to mean Live and be free.
The teacher took it in her hand and read it. She had to stand pretty close to me to do that. Live and be a book? she asked.
I was a bit uncomfortable, because she was pretty. She probably thought I was, too. It only takes me thirty years to figure stuff like this out.
Anyway, my metaphor: there I am, as that kid, one pipe on the truck; and here I am, remembering him, another pipe. And it’s a big load.

Earlier this week I went out to the pool to empty a dish of water. I put the dish by the filter, because it leaks, slowly, but fast enough to make everything pretty wet if you don’t do that. I bent over to pick up the dish and my cell phone jumped in.

My life had been seeming sort of empty and pointless until that moment.

Then, you know, you have the epiphany. “My entire life has been leading up to this.”

The nice thing about that particular epiphany is, you can have it over and over. Every single moment, if you’re bored or OCD.

And THIS moment. And now THIS moment.

That little split second of slapstick was all it took.

I felt like giving all my stuff away and starting a commune.

Everything but the electric cello, at least. I haven’t seen that fucker yet.

My wife and I were walking around last night. The kids are in the United States this month. We leave day after tomorrow, on the 4th of July, to join them for 10 days.

So we were walking around because, that’s what we parents do when the kids are on another continent. We had dinner in a new place by the river. It was nice. Then we looked at the town square, which is all dug up because before they can build underground parking there they have to let the archaeologists look for stuff.

They found some old dice, for example.

We walked around and there was this guy on a bench waving at us. When I made eye contact he blew us a kiss. He was giving off pretty heavy crazy vibes.

We made a big circle around him. The problem was, there are ads hanging on the wall right behind where he was sitting, and my wife likes to read the ads. Houses for sale, cars. Stuff like that. The house we live in now, I found it there.

So we circled around. The guy was gone when we got there. Ever since they moved the mental hospital to town, there are more people like that around, because the mental hospital includes a halfway house type of thing.

Then, BOO!, sort of, he comes out of the restroom, right next to where we’re standing.


We hightailed it out of there, in a relaxed, strolling way. He obviously doesn’t know our employers, I joked.