17 January 2009

Mi cerebro esta en fuego!

One...take control of me?
Yer messing with the enemy
Said its two..it's another trick
Messin with my mind, I wake up
Chase down an empty street
Blindly snap the broken beats
Said it's cut with a dirty trick
Its taken all these days to find ya
-“Clubfoot” by Kasabian

I can’t sleep. More accurately, I couldn’t sleep. Between the Wee Lass and all the people in my head, there was no way I was getting a nap today. The cats cooperated, though, which is unusual because normally Furball 1 and Furball 2 start yawping at me or each other or the little ghosts in the corners of the rooms every time I try to take a nap. Then they try and sit on me. I can’t sleep with a cat ass in my face, no sir. There was that one time, but beer was involved. Never again.

Wee Lass couldn’t help it. Poor gal has a cold, a mega cold, head full of snot and lawd knows what other Really Disgusting Goo fermenting in the sinus chambers of that lovely little head. The net result of said fermentations is a cough, a croupy cough as the old timers say. Old timer, ha. I remember my Ma and G-maw saying “croupy” when I was a kid. I guess I am an old timer.
Well, this cough was kicking in real hard right about Gumbo Family nap time. So there was that. Rocks rattling through a plastic tube set on reverb, every minute on the minute.

Where was I? Oh, yeah. People in my head. Shit, I hate it when that happens. The people, they get in my head, then don’t want to leave. Like that time when you were a teenager and that friend of yours decided to have a party at his house when his parents went out of town and he only told ten people but about 150 showed up and there was maybe weapons involved and hot girls dancing naked in the front bay window. Yeah, like that. Behavior such as that tends to attract attention. Attention in the form of crotchety neighbors who were really spying for The Man, and they called in Riot Control as it were, guys with radios and shiny black boots with lights on top of their cars, and those ultra-black nylon holsters carrying po-leece issue firearms. Not that anyone was busting caps, mind you. Still, po-leece makes me nervous, that’s why I don’t like them in my head.

The people in my head this time, though, were not law enforcement. They were gate crashers, loud drunks intent on rousting me out of bed and wanting to talk. Plus they were hungry and wanted to know if I had any of those cheapo frozen pizzas like I used to get back in college. 89¢ for a piece of frozen cardboard slathered in Genuine Artificial Memory of Tomato and some kind of cheese-like bits that could have been gooey packing peanuts. And it tasted like manna to tastebuds prepared for the hit by a generous lashing or two of barley pops. Yeah, man.

I was squinting my eyes at them, yelling “What the f@*k, bro, sleeping here?!” and they just laughed. They told me to get my ass up, got some Big-Time Thinkin’ to do, and they reckoned I was just the poor sap to do it. When my vision finally cleared, I could see them hanging out at the foot of my bed: Captain Dumbass and cIII, all owl-eyed and laughing and polishing off a bag of Cheezy Poofs or some other air-injected corn snack.

“Dudes, Ima sleeping. Get out.” They giggled.
“No”, said the Captain, “We got something for you.”
“Word, bro, trust us, its good” cIII said, adjusting his sunglasses.
“What could you possibly have that’s so good I would give up sawing some logs. Not real logs, mind you, but figmental logs.” They looked at each other and grinned. They turned to me and in unison said,

“Stories, dude, stories. Mental Guinness.”

I heaved a sigh, looking up at the ceiling. No way I could turn that down. And they knew it.

“Let me get my shoes on.”

So I did it. I hopped into that sleek black hot rod I keep in the back of my head, fired up the engine, and told my buds to hop in and hang on. Ignition. Hands wrapped in black leather gripping the wheel, we oozed around those turns like molten silver, skimming over the asphalt like an attack chopper on a nap of the earth recon. It felt good and we were at the Captain’s Place in no time. I slid to a halt in the driveway, inches away from the minivan. He jumped out of the car and ran inside. I could see Supreme Leader peering out the window.

“Nice rack!” I hollered. She just grinned and flipped me the bird. The Captain returned a short time later with a sheaf of paper in his hands. There were little yellow smears on it from his Cheeto fingers.

“Dude, it’s cheesed.” I said.
“Sorry. Next time I’ll have some Tostitos, the white corn type.”

I started leafing through the sheaf, reading as I went. My vision went wavy for a second as I finished the story. I looked up. The Captain was grinning.

“Kaleidoscopic, bro. Where are you going with this?” I said.
“Don’t know. I am inventing the reality as I go.”
“I dig it.”
“I knew that you would.”

Speed. That deep feral rumble as the engine vibrations rattle up the frame and into your guts. Yeah, man, strapped to the tiger and hanging on for dear life. We arced across the froze up midsection of Canada, looping in a wide curve down into the little slice of the Arctic called Land O’ Ten Thousand Lakes. Funny, not a stick of butter in sight. Funny. A thought bubbled up through the bogswampy greenness of my mind.

“You guys want to hear something funny?” Double nods. “Hang on!”

I jerked the wheel hard left, heading straight for the intersection of Yikes and Whoops. Black ice spread out under me and I slid into a 360, hopped a curb and slammed to a halt in the front yard of the house I had been aiming for. Pearl came running out on the porch, a blizzard of paper trailing in her wake.

“Sorry! My bad! That was my fault, not yours!” I shouted, “I’ll have someone come by and fix that!” Pearl just shook her head and said “Well, since you’re here, you guys read this!” She shoved a paper in my hand, and we crowded around to read. A short time later, we were laughing it up on the snow covered lawn. “To err is human,” I said to Pearl,”and judging from this you are one of the most human persons I know!” We shook hands and the Captain, cIII and I jumped back in the car.

Rocket ship heading for the sort of middle-ish region of the just right of the middle of the US of A. Houses and farms and cows and stuff flying by, a picket fence of blurry things. The turbo sounding smooth and sweet as that big-block 454 purred like a jaguar the size of a semi. Hot rod, baby. Hurtling through the heartland, something started looking familiar. What was it? How could I possibly know something I had never seen? We rounded a curve, heading for a slight rise. There was a house just up the slope, there was someone standing in the drive shoveling snow. ‘I know that person’ I muttered. Telling the others to brace themselves, I pulled hard on the wheel, doing a bootlegger turn just past the house. The engine screamed as I revved it, and we fishtailed it up the driveway. ChurchPunkMom stood there, leaning on the shovel and smiling bemusedly as I rolled down the window. She said,

“You’re nuts, you know that?”
“I know, but we’re having a blast, right guys?” A hearty “Boo-yaah!” from the fellows. CPM reached into her coat for a rolled up bunch of paper. She handed it through the window and said, “Well, make yourself useful and eyeball this.” We read the story eagerly, intently. The car was silent as we wrapped up. She cocked an eyebrow. “Well?”

The three of us said in unison ,”What an asshole!”. She grinned, we grinned, and I popped the car into reverse, slip-sliding down the driveway and back out onto the road. The tank was getting low, and I was getting really tired. The Captain had his head out the window, screaming “WHHHHHOOOOOAAAAAHHHHH!” at the top of his lungs.

“cIII, how much further?” I said, eyelids droopy from fatigue.
“Not much farther, bro, not much farther.”

Up and over, hugging the ground like paint on a Ferrari. I blasted the radio, scrolling the channels and finally landing on something that sounded like Motorhead. The little flag on the antenna was whipping into ribbons, making that buzzing sound like a stadium full of dragonflies. cIII slapped me on the shoulder and pointed to a house coming up fast on the right. A hard turn with tires howling brought us up into the yard. I slammed on the brakes and came to a halt just inches from the porch. I could see two sets of eyes just above the nearby windowsill, peeping out at us. They grew big and excited as cIII opened the car door and stepped out to run into the house. He came back out with a stack of index cards, a bit tattered and stained with ballpoint. He grinned, eyes hidden behind those black shades and said, “Dig this.”

I took the cards and squinted in the pearly overcast light. I read quickly once, read it again to make sure I had it right. I closed my eyes and rubbed my temples. A small voice squeezed out of my throat:

‘Bro, you’re playing with my head.” I looked up. He just grinned again and said “I know.”

I rested my head on the steering wheel. I was pretty tired, and getting grumpy. I likes my naps and I was a long way away from one.

“Can somebody please take me home?” I croaked.
“No problem,” said the Captain, slapping me on the shoulder, “No problem!”
He took the keys from my hand as I slid over to the passenger seat. cIII stood on the porch, bouncing the Goat on his shoulders. He waved as we backed out of the yard, said “There’s more, make sure you come back.”

“You know I will,” I said sleepily, “I dig it.” The Captain gunned the engine as we throttled out onto the asphalt. He didn’t say anything, and I was too tired to talk. I reckoned I did get that nap after all. I don’t remember the trip home after that, but the next thing I knew I was waking up on the couch, a cats’ ass in my face and on the coffee table, a set of car keys. I sat up and yawned, scratching my head.

Furball 1 just gave me the stinkeye and went back to sleep.


  1. What an awesome ride..
    Thanks for dropping by.. come again soon, I'll make y'all some Irish cocoa. ;)

  2. See. It's shit like this that gets my Wonderlust up. I think a Good roadtrip is exactly what I need. Don't forget your sleeping bag. I'll bring the Funyuns.

    I'll be ready in 10 min.

    Also. Cat's are notorious for always wanting their Salad tossed.

  3. CPM: Irish cocoa, oh yummmm....

    cIII: Topped off, ready to go. I have a case of Mr. Pibb and some Guinness too. I like the Funyuns.

    Tossed salad, though? Not so much, regardless of species...

    cIII I just lost it. That's some funny s**t.
    And Irish, I'm glad you got some sleep ;)

  5. Very cool have to find out how it ends though,what's the difference between a tossed salad and a rim job?- fur?

  6. You riff like a jazz man. Amazing.

    (Make room in the car for me next time~ I love me the occasional cheesy poof.)

  7. Holy hell that was an awesome post. You ARE da-man!!

  8. Great trip, Gumbo, thanks for letting me drive. That 454 is bigger than my man-van. It's reminding me of a Blues Brothers song that I just can't remember the name of. Probably because I was beating my head against the desk in the vain effort to banish the image of a feline tossed salad. I need a drink.

  9. I like the jazz man comment - I think that's just about right with this tale.

    I can't quite seem to get past the Gumbo Family Nap Time line....is it true? I need to implement some family nap time....that might be the trick I need.

  10. Here's a little road music for ya. This next one's goin' out to all those voices in your head.

    cause theyre waiting for me.
    Theyre looking for me.
    Evry single night theyre driving me insane.
    Those men inside my brain.

    The dream police, they live inside of my head.
    (live inside of my head.)
    The dream police, they come to me in my bed.
    (come to me in my bed.)
    The dream police, theyre coming to arrest me, oh no.

  11. That was really entertaining! lol Next time you jump into that 'sleek black hot rod', stop by ours ...... I'll give you a Lavender plant that may help with the sleep. Shout loud though, I'll probably be in the greenhouse. :)

  12. Pretty wild road trip there, Gumbo. Thanks.
    And get some sleep. dude. Sleep deprivation can fuck w/ your head.

  13. I'm living vicariously here. One thing we don't have on an island is a decent road trip.

    I'm thinking you keep a notebook (or a laptop) next to your bed.

  14. You have such an imagination..

    You ought to be a writer or something..


  15. This was an amazing post!

    I'm glad I found your blog.

  16. What a trip! Next time y'all should swing by Western New York and drop in on the Daytons. We have a little fiction here, but our truth is a whole lot stranger sometimes.

    Also? Vicks vaporub on the soles of the feet does beautiful things to children.

  17. Nice road trip! I'm pretty sure I heard the Captain's “WHHHHHOOOOOAAAAAHHHHH!” as you guys shot by ;) .

  18. What? No Utah? We are a DESTINATION state! Where else can you drink all the near-beer you want, collect spiritual wives AND get baptised in just under seven discussions. Next time, think Utah.

  19. Have loved reading your posts while I was on break and gave you a shout over on my blog.

  20. that was a great post - life has been crazy so it's been hard to read all the posts I've wanted to - I'm adding you to my sidebar so I won't miss anymore of your posts. Take care and keep up the good work.

  21. That was very, very incredible. AND, it help my interest - which is damn hard to do. However, I'm a bit dizzy from all the jumping around. (or it could be the hangover...)

    I loved it. LOVED IT.

  22. Michelle: So am I! Especially BEFORE I read that cIII comment, that’s just naz-tee!

    C and C: Tossed salad has, um, dressing? The fur, well, depends on who shaved I guess…

    Vic: *blush* Wow, thank you! I likes me some jazz. Plenty of room, it’s a big car.

    Chris: *double blush* ThankyouThankyou! I am proud to be ‘Da Man’. Does that come with reserved parking?

    Captain: Anytime, my man. Them big block V-8’s have the power. I’m with you on the tossed salad, oh, jeez

    Lee: Me, too. An honor for me, no doubt. The nap time is a weekend ritual, hinging on Wee Lass getting her daily zzz’s. I used to do chores then, now I just sleep!

    Mister: You continue to amaze – CHEAP TRICK! I haven’t really listened to them since I lost my vinyl copy of ‘Live at Budokan’. Wow!

    Lesley: Will do, I could use that lavender…

    OAM: Can? It already did!

    PHST: I could set one up, lot of curves I guess. And, yes. Plus lots of post-its.

    IB: Was that you that went by on that Harley?

    BEW: Ha! When I can get it to sit still! Writer? Geez, Ida know…
    Bella: Lovely name! Thank you, and I’m happy you found me too.

    Pamela: I can do that, fo shizzle! The VaporRub, does it, you know, tranquilize them? :)

    Goodfather: I’ll bet you did, he’s LOUD.

    Steenky bee: With a description like that, well, yeah, we’re there! :)

    PSHT: Good to hear, and thank you very much!

    Tony: Hey, thank you! Reminds me, I need to get you in my reader. I will!

    VM: Thank you, glad you enjoyed it. The other thing? Drink lots of fluid, take some B vitamins, should clear right up ;)

  23. I still can't believe you let the Captain drive. *shakes head in dismay*

    Really, now, you needed me helming that car. That way, you all could have gone longer collecting all sorts of stories. As long as you pumped me full of French roast coffee and blueberry scones, I could have gone all night. We could have traveled the ENTIRE country scoring stories.

    This was awesome. I actually had to turn off my iPod to read this.

  24. Well, I was tired...

    Turning off the iPod, that's some serious bidness. Wow! Thank you!

  25. Next time you go on a road trip, head to my neck of the woods. It's warm here.

    I hope Wee Lass feels better soon, snot is never fun.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...