a midsummer night’s dream, or the head of an ass

I’m in a subterranean student bar trying to play nine-ball, but I’m only moving the balls from place to place like an anorexic pushing food around her plate. I stare at all the ones still on the table with the same feeling of frustration that Stalin must have had when he thought about all the people still alive in the world. My stick-manipulating ability has clearly slipped. I need a girl, you might say. But it’s hard not to be intimidated by the ones hanging around a place like this in mid-summer. They’re a bit more…seasoned: their faces have clearly passed from the nomadic to the pastoral stage of cultivation, with the pleasant furrows of a well-tilled field. That slight air of desperation might as well be a giant biological clock hanging around their necks like Flavor Flav, each thud of the ticking hand almost audible in the air. Whether it’s just ticking up or, more menacingly, down, like the vest of a suicide bomber, I don’t know. Don’t call me an anti-romantic, though. Or at least I question whether I do any more injustice to the reputation of love than the Romantic poets who describe its expression in terms virtually indistinguishable from the symptoms of an outbreak of, say, dengue fever.

On the street two mental degenerates almost get in a fight. The police, having blown their load of investigative rigor on pursing the malfeasance of some people on bikes that might have been drinking, are naturally nowhere to be seen. Sometimes I feel like a violet that’s been put back in the cabbage patch. I see a sign that says “The Cheeky Monk.” A cheeky monk–virtually the definition of the modern academic. Sure the fate of Ward Churchill might have been one chink in the wall, but, as is generally the case, I doubt that any true Reformation will happen until someone gets between a horny man and his desire to get married. I may have left the university, but I’m not resentful, though I do have a kind of nightmare of becoming an associate manager of 40 hours a week. I don’t always want my relationship to my environment to be like that between a hammer and a flower bed. But it doesn’t really matter where you are. Any place where the mind touches the ground is the intersection of the entire cosmos and some pebbles. By pouring forth the contents of an over-active mind into its surroundings, whether they be favorable or no, I’m contributing to the colonization of earth by the heavens.

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