Secret Pop

Sep 8, 2004

Late Night Strolls and Candlelight Vigils

I'm beginning to wonder if the spiders in my neighborhood are actually trying to catch me. Each time I take my dog for a walk, I pass through a jungle of spider silk, slung between the various trees and bushes that line the sidewalk on my street. I am constantly having to sputter threads of it out of my mouth or extract it from my eyelashes or maddeningly try to wipe it from my clothing. Are they actually hoping that I will become ensnared so that they may cocoon me for eating later? I suppose you have to admire their ambition. I'm not as fast as an insect, but I'm pretty sure it takes a little more to immobilize me. Anyway, I hate it. It's nastiness, and it gets all over me. And any of you out there who know of my weird fear of accidentally getting pee in my mouth can probably imagine what runs through my mind when spiderwebs get stuck to my lips. I mean, that stuff totally comes out of the spider's ass. Gross.

On Monday, when I was getting ready to go to the pool party, I saw some TV vans across the street, and, if you must know, I'm WAY too cool to take an interest in other people's tragedies. (And by "cool," I mean nothing of the sort.) Nothing maddens me more than getting stuck in traffic because someone ate it on the turnpike and all the other drivers are hoping to catch a glimpse of his brain matter. So, I tend to regulate myself about such things. I noticed the vans, but I didn't crane my neck or ask what was going on or even really try and focus my eyes very much. But tonight, a neighbor greeted me and told me that "the kids" were gathering over on that corner because sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning, a surface street drag race ended in a car smacking into a building, splitting in two, killing all aboard, and jettisoning part of the car into a pedestrian leaving the 7-11, killing him dead, as well. Death so nearby. Blood on the concrete. Pointless and sordid. Depressing and sobering. And maybe vindicating for crotchety old folks who think that those upstarts got what was coming to them. Maybe they did. Who am I to judge. I'm no saint, and I drive like a lunatic much of the time, but I'm alive, so I guess that puts me in a slightly more advantageous position than the poor sods who ate it on the street at three a.m.

Few things are fair. Change is sudden and swift. Your favorite show gets canceled just when you were getting into it. They shut off the fire hydrant in the street just when you got around to putting your shorts on. The slow song ends just when you were going to ask that girl to dance. And it's followed by Say You, Say Me, and no one can dance to that crap, right? With that weird fast part in the middle? It will sink your game before the tip-off, friends, and you can quote me on that. So maybe you should do more. Now. While you're still breathing. While the cancer you've always feared hasn't actually shown up. While the rates are still low. While your car can still make the trip. While people will still be able to respect you for trying. While you can still go shopping in a skirt. Maybe doing something now would be the best thing ever. And maybe it would free you of that hang-up you have. Your father's approval. Your friend's expectations. Your lease agreement.

This is all very inspiring, but I feel quite certain that the bloke who died across the street was probably doing about as much as he was ever going to. It's easy to Monday morning quarterback the situation from where I sit, but I saw his friends. He wasn't going to find a cure for Parkinson's Disease any time soon. Maybe the reason for his death was that I should find out about it and write this blog entry. See? There is a god.

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