Pre-Socratics, Priests, and Presidents

Heraclitus of Ephesus is said to have uttered something to the effect that “Opposition brings concord.”

The man was a crank and lived in a cave, so it’s easy to understand why he believed strife was necessary. It’s reported that few people, if any, liked the guy.

The melancholic Ephesian wasn’t entirely accurate: opposition does not always bring concord. It’s interesting when concord results, conflict resolved, compromise reached, good feelings aflutter, but there are occasions when confrontation produces lasting discord, and some of these incidents are to be savored.

Why do I believe this?

Because I, too, am a melancholic crank.

I savor.

Few people like me.

I’m in bed. I finish reading Pre-Socratic fragments and a couple essays by MFK Fisher, turn off the light, take a brief trip on the Memory Express in search of delicious discord, and I recall two confrontations: one with God’s certified surrogate, the other with Thomas Jefferson.

Each event serves as a lesson in how to muster discord with opposition, and create enduring enemies — of believers, presidents, and librarians. Continue reading

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A Travelogue: Deep in the Ass of Texas

I open the door to the house, Kathy steps in. I stumble across the threshold, close the door behind me, shed my clothes and deposit them in a pile on the floor, waddle to the bedroom, collapse on the bed, and sleep eleven hours.

When I wake marginally refreshed, I rehydrate and replenish my electrolytes with a blend of Gatorade and Tito’s Homemade Vodka, and send a text message to Wanda, my personal physician and confidant concerning all things related to mind and/or body. Continue reading

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Be Prepared, You Might Leak

I call my daughter, Ivy, to discuss how she can be of assistance once my atoms scatter.

“You’re leaving me with four- to five-hundred paintings and drawings when you die, so I refuse to deal with anything else, “she says. “You’re not unloading anything more on me. I’m going to have to rent storage space and move everything, so that’s all I’m willing to do. What a pain in the ass.”

Ivy is in a foul mood; she was driving home during a recent storm, collided with a UPS truck on a blind corner, and destroyed the left front end of her Porsche Cayenne. Her Porsche Cayenne was her entrée to an other-than-bohemian lifestyle. Or, at least, to the pretense.

“Fucking UPS truck. Those fucking delivery drivers are stressed out, always on the clock; they don’t know what the fuck they’re doing. And the fucking county plow left just a nine-foot-wide path around the fucking corner. Fucking plow drivers, they’re all fucking idiots. I went to high school with a lot of those fuckers and they can’t spell ‘plow.’ I’ve eaten broccoli that’s smarter than those morons.” Continue reading

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Meat, Mayonnaise, and Madness

It’s deep winter in the San Juans; madness lurks like a clown in a van outside an elementary school.

With few breaks, snow falls for a couple of weeks in February here in Siberia With a View. I’m grabbing my ankles, El Nino is ripping me up; I’m suffering mental roids from a meteorological fisting.

Things are not pretty. Continue reading

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