Friday, June 09, 2006

Random Scraps

Lunatics rule, the rest of us drool
Lunatics run amok. Scattering the quiet and calm in every direction. They stand up and scream for the sake of the noise made. They attack our senses and rattle our souls. Hammering nonsense into directives and rules. They focus on the ridiculous and bend our wills to stupid endeavors. And all the while we are distracted by their manic gyrations, the real threats loom. Growing silently patiently waiting for their turn at the front.

Okie Overdrive
Dropping down out of the mountains, I shift into okie overdrive. 70,000 pounds of 18 wheeled momentum gathers steam and I grin as the speedometer creeps up to 90. I hold the wheel loosely, letting the truck find it's own way down the three lane wide super slab. The scenery picks up the pace as it zips by my window. But wait. Oh shit! Some curves ahead. Hugging the inside of the first turn, my hands tighten on the wheel as the truck begins an 18 wheel drift to the outside. A foot of space and a puny guardraill is all that pretends to protect me from a 200 hundred foot bummer of a plunge. Just as I begin to think it is about time to revisit my past and make peace with my maker, the road curves back and I jam hard into it and ride it out. Easing on the brakes, I pass the bail outs at 80 still out of control. One more curve and another drift toward the abyss. Cannot brake now. Cannot engage the tranny, I hang on and hope those new radials live up to their rep. I try the trailer brake. All I see in my mirror is smoke and I have to let up. The road straightens up and I try to find high gear. Grind the gears, double clutch, touch the brake, grind the ...finally the shifter hooks up. Whew!, I ease her down, shift down, and as the engine screams in pain I slow down. The road flattens into the valley floor. Shaking, I pull over to the shoulder and stop. I check my britches. I also check off that stupid trick from my list of fun things to try.

No rose colored glasses here. I almost paid the highest price for being stupid on that night run from Vegas to LA back in 1977.

The Blue Jay
I wanted to kill that fucking Blue Jay. It pounced on that poor sparrow and began pecking it to death. I rushed to the rescue but pulled up short. My emotional knee jerk reaction turned to resignation at the brutality of the natural world. I chased the Jay away and peered down at that poor young sparrow. One wing obviously mangled and useless, it gazed at me from a bloodied eye socket. The eye now in the Jays stomach I guessed. Nothing I could do. Let nature run its course. I turned and walked away. Looking back, I watched a crow that must have been hanging around swoop in and take it. With a small taste of satisfaction I grinned crookedly and thought, "Well, at least that damn Blue Jay didn't get it."

The rest of the day, the violent end of the sparrow popped into my thoughts. I was not sure why it affected me so. But the lesson of that food chain moment had made a point. A rerun of sorts on how the World really works. Life is never secure or truly safe. Hazards exist and predators lurk.