Wednesday, January 29, 2014


i went to the kitchen like any other morning. i took out the plastic egg container. i had prepared for this, i wouldn't make the same mistake again, last time i had pushed against the end edges too hard, those eggs in there are fragile beings, didn't notice the cracks i dented in them, when i took them out the next time, i had both eggs at either end of the container broken and useless. this time, i arranged the leftover eggs into the center of the container, leaving none to hang out to dry at the ends so that i could close the thing with force and an easy mind. i opened the container and saw the remaining two eggs smack dab in the center in their cute holders. i went to reach for the first egg, i cupped my fingers to take ahold of the top of it...stuck, it was stuck...i didn't expect that, not at all, thus i couldn't control myself, i was expecting the egg to come off freely into my grasp so i picked it up with my patented force...but because the damn egg was stuck at the bottom from some unknown glue, i instead flung the entire plastic container upwards...well, the other egg wasn't stuck, it was just fine and unglued, so it came flying out of the container from my force and landed splat on the kitchen floor. the stuck egg's top shell was crushed from my force, so it just stewed there half-open with its yellow guts spilling out into the other container holders, useless.

are you kidding me? are you fucking kidding me? how could this have happened? i planned for every contingency, i made sure not to repeat my mistakes of last time, only to have a new set of variables i could never see coming. all the studying and learning from mistakes in the world still couldn't prevent a repeat of the same horrible outcome: yolky mess, empty useless eggs, an empty stomach, and a shell of a man.

i fell to my knees. suddenly a wave of depression not like the others hit me, hit my mind hard, this was different, this was bigger. i looked at my hand...and i started to tear up, my eyes got hazy, my sight got gauzy. i quickly fell back on my training, drilled into me by the doctors. i got up and continued with breakfast as if nothing had happened. i reached for the coffee milk out of habit, the milk in a special cylindrical container with the pop cap. but that fucking pop cap is tricky, it has a secondary level of cap you must pop for it to be truly closed tight. the big overarching red cap is pushed down to close, but it's not airtight-sealed until you push it down once more. i didn't know this, or i knew this but forgot. i checked to see that the cap was closed, it appeared to be, so i went to shake the container up and down to mix the ingredients up, you should always shake things thoroughly before consuming them, right? that's the general rule. it wasn't closed twice-over, so all of the fucking milk came streaming out like a nervous fountain all onto the floor next to the spilled runny egg...and slowly, quickly, the two mixed into a yellow-white-brown stream

the water of this stream entered my head through a small hole i leave open for introspection, the water gushed out drip by drip in my head, filling the bowl of my head, slowly, rapidly reaching the red line, the top, where they warn you not to fill it over the red line with any more water or the dam will break, the water rushes rushes rushes desperate to turn into a new image, i for the last time look at the egg on the floor as it's constituted now, still recognizable as an egg but hurriedly mixing with the water as i mix with the water this water that now has free reign as it collapses into a huge waterfall the water falls falls falls and crashes into the stream below racing and racing with majesty over all the land, the slanted land downward until it reaches its final resting place: a moat of a magic castle, the miniature-golf place with the batting cages in the front, the moat fills up fills up fills up nicely

one last look at the egg yolk, the yellow circle not a circle anymore, a misshapen circle, then an oval, then a square, mixing into the stream, like those giant yellow balls they use in the batting cages, those ridiculous oversize balls they use that are even bigger than softballs, it's so that everyone can participate from beginner to expert, not regulation-sized plain white baseballs at all, that was funny.

Dad was showing Mom and i how it was done. we sat on a yellow bench by the first of the twenty cages lined up in a row there, i had my arm around her.

Dad was being embarrassing again, wearing his Kurt Cobain sweater, sticking out his tongue, and shaking his torso like some gangly scene kid at a club for the first time, having no idea what to do, what the hell he was supposed to do, what the decorum for this place was, and not caring an inch. see, at this first cage, it's super-super-super beginner, the ball that comes at the batter from the automatic metallic pitcher all those feet away down there is the most ridiculous moonball you'll ever see: that ball is shot up into the air so high it's a miracle the upper netting of the cage reaches that high, it careens up there taking its sweet time to form its arch path and then comes down right at the sweet-spot strikezone of the batter, i swear the whole process takes five minutes. the last cage at the very end pitches the ball to the participant at the appropriate MLB-standard 100-mph line-drive, only jocks who actually play minor-league baseball or drunkards trying to impress fancy ladies dare to step into that cage. although, ironically, you'd have an easier time of trying to strike that ball than you would this interminable moonball because you could align your body more easily, you could calculate the 1 second or so it takes the ball to fly from the machine to your bat. with the moonball, your body isn't used to waiting a day and a half and then getting ready to hit it, the timing is just all off.

Dad had enough time waiting for the moonball to land to make weird faces at the two of us, all involving his tongue. he swayed his body back and forth like a crumbled gingerbread man. when the yellow thing finally decided to land, Dad took the biggest motherfucking swing with his bat that a human could, it was all power, he was trying to kill the air around him with that

SWIIIIIIIIIIINGGG...and a miss, what a miss!

Dad fuffed it up so badly the rotation of the spin he caused missing the moonball pitch flung him to the ground jerkily as his body did an awkward half-circle.

"that whole thing was hilarious," he summed up afterwards.

"i agree, from the moonball itself to your whiffing of said moonball in such a spectacular way, " i replied.

Dad had a knack for turning on a dime from silly to deadly serious. no surprise, he did have on some Kurt Cobain after all.

"Creature," he circled his arm around my furthest arm and held me tight, "Creach, do you know what i could have done to ensure that i would have hit that moonball?"

"well, firstly, taken the thing seriously..."

"okay, and"

"i dunno, i'm sure there's some sort of mathematical calculation you could use, a rubric of physics and air flow and other calculations that you could use to position your body in such a way and prepare for the right moment when you are to swing your bat."

"sure, sure, math is fine, but do you know what the real force is that would actually have had me hit the ball?"


Dad continued after my pause, getting his message out in one breath as if he desperately needed to impart this wisdom before it was too late: "it's will. will. will. you actually have to move your body and do it, do it, hit it, do it. math only takes you so far, calculations are good the first time around but never the second, you can prepare for a set of circumstances to happen to you all you want, life will never grant you what you think is going to happen, it never rewards you for the long studying you did beforehand. something always happens that you never prepare for, and it will knock you down to the ground. you get up because you will yourself up, you, you, not me, not Mom helping you up, you. Mom and i are your family, it was fated in the stars that we would be your family, that you would exist, and that this family would exist, it shines as long as those stars which created the three of us shine. we are the only ones who truly care about you, we'll pick you up everytime, even your greatest friends are not your family, friends will let you down because they must travel their own star path, you will use friends and they will use you along the way, TO GET BY, CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK on the path to fame and sex. they will eventually be too busy to care about you, we are the only ones who are permanent members of your star path, we booked two seats two lifetimes ago as the stardust was being formulated. but stars die.

stars die.

one day, you will be alone, with nobody to pick you up, and you simply have to muster the will within you to pick yourself up. if you don't, no one will, you will lie on the ground forever, your friends are gone."

i look at the yellow bench Dad is walking with me towards

toward Mom on the bench, her soft face

my eyes dart right to the brown barbed-wire stand where they keep all the oversize yellow balls, and i look back at the bench, yellow, Mom's favorite color, and my everything centers back around and through and into and up and down and back again into the white hole of thought

until my teary eyes focus once again on the egg yolk that is now not yellow. i never left this place, i was on my knees the entire time, my hands are wet from being planted on the kitchen floor that is one inch covered in river, i stare at my hand through my watery gaze, i study it intently, all five fingers, this hand of mine was molded from the clay of my father's hand, with stardust mixed in as glue, i look out the kitchen, i call to him, i shout to him for help

my father does not heed his son. my father does not hear me. Dad is gone.




Cheeky Minx said...

But your will is here, here in the words, here in the retelling, here in the way you bring to life your Mum and Dad and the colour yellow and your love and loss.

And I feel it all right now. And my heart is set to burst.

~M x

the late phoenix said...

cheeky: thank you, my love. my head full of all this water/coffee milk is about to burst :)

Juliette said...

Wow. That was very well written.
yolky mess, empty useless eggs, an empty stomach, and a shell of a man. - That was a sublime sentence.

Always get up. Always.

the late phoenix said...

juli: thank you. yeah, most of the time my sentences are just profane...