A mercy how time flies, don’t you think?
Just sliding by like butter over toast on a warm day.
Don’t like what’s going on, just wait a little while.
A month or two will seem like drops of water. Drip
drop. Done. A second cousin of mine, who has since
passed on (drowned, he was), was convinced that time
was speeding up (also, that there were faces on the,
er, face of Mars, but that’s another story). He
cited, vaguely, a study done of prison inmates in
which they claimed that time was passing by more
quickly than it used to do. My cousin, a skinny man
who was on some kind of raw foods diet, was strangely
belligerent and there was a kind of seediness to his
weird paranoia–testimony to his years of smoking
out? or was it true that he was selling some kind of
drug?–and he made my father and I drink weird
concoctions out of his blender.
Oh, yeah. He had this thing about banks, too. He
stated that banks were nothing but a scam begun in
Italy in the 17th (16th?) century, continuing on to
this day. He thought they were quite the racket, and
I was not–still not–entirely unconvinced by his
arguments. His rapidity of speech and tangential
leaping from topic to topic made it hard to follow
the thrust and flow of his thought.
I’m sure there were other things too, that I have
completely forgotten since. Through some kind of
verbal jujitsu, and because of my father’s good
nature, he set us to work mowing and cleaning up his
yard, while he stood by and led us on.
Another anecdote I recall: he mentioned getting crabs
in Portland from trying on jeans at the Jean Machine
without wearing any underwear. I, of course, imagined
a giant machine from cogs and gears and… well,
jeans. The jeans functioned as a kind of belt to hold
the other bits of machinery together. I never got
around to imagining what the Jean Machine would
actually do. Something wonderful. Or something
rich with eldritch horror. In reality, I’m sure the
Jean Machine was a kind of skuzzy shack with lots of
used jeans to try on. Apparently, infested jeans.
It was one of those interminable afternoons that
seemed to drag on and on and on. Conversation was
decidedly one sided. My father has always been a
soft-spoken man, loathe to interrupt, more jazzed
about what others have to say than anything he might
have to offer and, I suspect, especially those with
mad rantings to get off their chest.I lean that way
myself, though not quite as far as my father. I
mean, I already know what I think about things. In
spite of that, I was utterly blown away by my dad’s
cousin. I had no idea how to respond to what he had
to say. It’s kind of awe-inspiring the way some
can turn their speech (rushing forth like a broken
water spout) on and off like a spigot.
Drowning in verbiage and lawn clippings.