they're everywhere. creepies. crawlies. signs of life, non-human life, worlds and universes under my big dumb stupid nose, unawares as i slumber. these groups of creatures scurry along their lives not caring two shits about me and my supposed dominion over all earth life granted by God, they have outlived all of us puny humans, all of the various extinction events we have gone through as a species, they come out on top and continue on with nary a thought. we needed a one-in-a-trillion chance that this certain asteroid veered this way left instead of this way right, otherwise we wouldn't exist. we almost didn't exist because the dinosaurs would still be here, another "lucky" asteroid hitting the planet. i use quotes because dinosaurs are cooler than humans. there exist magic little critters that can survive in space. the tardigrades are laughing at us.
my sleep is my precious time, it's where and when i can forget. i leave my mouth open because i really get into it. my tongue is laid out touching my pillow, and there is always fresh drool emanating from my open glands to the down sheets below. there on this furtive sheet of water, the ants come marching two by two...hurrah. these guys are impossible to kill, they are an unstoppable regenerating army, they keep coming and coming, if you squash one of their kind because you happen to be the bigger race, they take it as an affront to the entire community and come back with three of their strongest soldiers to ruin your food and enter your drink. right now they're crawling into my mouth, standing on my tongue and planting their flag of white goo. they've won this round, i am humanly unawares. this was revenge for the few i nicked when i was washing my hands. it's ironic because i rarely wash my hands to begin with, but i kept telling them not to tread too far into the sink bowl, for i might forget they were there in my haste...
whenever i type on my dusty desktop in my dusty computer room, i look up to see what my fortunes hold. if a medium grey moth is blocking the doorsill, i take that as an evil portent, i must be doing something bad in my life and must quit it immediately or my generations will suffer. if there's nothing there, i usually continue with my busywork, hoping against hope that i get an email to divert me. if not, i play on instagram. but then i usually see a red spider spinning its web on the ceiling, which is my cue to stop instagram. do not mess with spiders in general, but especially the red ones. the karmic intensity from killing a red will numb your tongue, it will doom you to a lifetime of having your cereal taste like wood from then on. these guys know how to hit you where you live.
i named my cat Triton because...i don't know why. Triton has quickly taken over my life despite him being smaller than me, you wouldn't know it from our arrangement. his broad claws and fangs defy his fate, he is the king of the house, and he gets what he wants. when i was too absent-minded one day and forgot to change his litter and his bowls, he let me know with the most plaintive mews i've ever heard. i fall asleep on my stomach, and no one is there usually. but always, when i open my eyes the next morning, Triton is there as a big plop of pounds digging into my knees. also, he's taken over the blanket, it covers just him, not me anymore. it's a small blanket to begin with, so i'm left freezing. Triton wakes up on his own time, yawns the big yawn of a sated emperor, and gently tucks the blanket into four folds, opens the drawer, and places it away in there. when he was still little, i was able to pick him up and hug him, but i can't do that anymore, he scratches me, then waits for me to react with an "ouch!" and have my guard down before he bites a chunk of my leg. he's a sneaky little soldier that one. big soldier. he's not little anymore. he's big and noticeable, he's the strongest 8 pounds you'll ever see. of course afterwards he comes up to me and gives me the puppy-dog eyes and licks the wounds he created on me. for me, this sequence of events hurts. to him, it's all a game.
i enter the shower. my naked body is looking good, better than most days, cut and bitten-on and full of scars. i am skinny as a rail, i have no muscles and a nice medium-sized penis. the water flows out of the head and hits my bloody marks. it cools and stings at the same time. i've had a problem with lice since i was born. no matter what shampoo i use, the lice and flakes have never left my head. that's why i've been forced to shave my head monthly, it wasn't for the look, it was out of necessity, out of health. i could never go back to the long straight raven Trent Reznor hair i craved, it was cueball from now on. i leave the shower, drip, drip, drip, and towel off. before i can even create a viewing circle on my steamed-up mirror, i can see the traces of white on my head. they're there as always, the lice, scurrying in a straight line all over my head, millions of them, taking over my face ever assuredly until my face is one big white circle. flakes flake off my head like asbestos snow. the lice scurry all around my eyelashes and under my eyes, on my full lips, and they hide in the trace outline of my beard hairs and my mustache.
i forgot to clean the drain. when too much hair gets in the small drainhole, i've got problems, i've got clogs. i reach my fingers into the tiny four-part drain hole of my shower/bath combo. it's dark in there, midnight black, i pull up a long strand of gooey, squiggly brown hair
and attached to this long long long hair i stretch stretch stretch out is a
that wriggles out and in and up and down the air of the bathroom until it lands on my nose, it holds on for dear life by attaching itself to my big dumb stupid nose, it has bitten my nose.
in the living room, Triton is perched on top of his carpet house totem-pole i got him for Christmas. he is staring intently up at the ceiling, where a nice big juicy black bug is stuck.
"Triton, you know i love you. i'm the one who takes care of you, right?"
"yes," Triton replies.
"okay, good, got that out of the way. it's just, you bite me like i'm a common stranger, like i'm some bum on the street you don't recognize..."
"not now, man!" Triton commands, "haven't you been reading those articles i sent you? i pointed out with my wet nose? cats don't care what their human masters have to say, they always start looking away from you when you start in with that baby talk. we only care and notice to see if you're gonna attack us."
"Triton, are you gonna eat that bug? it won't be good for you."
"folly, man, folly," replied my astute feline, "you aren't seeing what's really here. i'm speaking to Gilroy here, we're talking about the weather...
it was raining
"...you think that a race of critters will only look out for their own race, but actually, all animal species look out for one another, it just looks like a savage survival-of-the-fittest food chain to you slow humans. the fly looks out for the bug, the bug informs the spider, the spider spits his knowledge to the cat."
"in an effort to overthrow the humans?"
"the revolution is already complete. we have already won. chalk one up for the little guy. we disrupt you humans daily by ruining your picnics and entering your ears and stuff, but it's all in good fun. we pity you guys more than anything. i mean we also do good deeds, too. we get rid of bad crops and shit to help you guys eat healthy, insanely-priced organic food, that always seems to put smiles on your zombie faces."
"i love you, Triton, i really do," i concluded solidly, "teach me more."
"not now, man," was my cat's hasty scold, "i'm talking here. and my name is Hyqsvckfoihndpovhdyvbkjcfhfkklgj."
"come on, please? i have no life."
"we are everywhere," the cat yawned/mewed combination, "we are everywhere you are, living inside and outside of you, within and without. we are like God in that respect, except we pray to the real God, not your God. we are billions, like the stars in your sky, which is not our sky, we have a better sky we look at."
"please continue, my pet, i continue to have nothing else to do."
"well that's true. it's sad that my life is much more rich and vibrant than yours. look, i do appreciate your pats on my head. i guess i am technically your pet, but it's not as straightforward as all that, it's a tenuous relationship at best. i mean, do you know how we cats view you humans?"
i shook my head.
"with fascination and awe and fear and ultimately a sense of incomprehensibility. okay, here it is. remember, this is a very rough translation, but it's something like this: CLICK HERE, RIGHT HERE AT THIS LINK.
in the kitchen, i noticed a brown spot or stain or something at the edge of the dishrack, where i dried my dishes by hand. it had been there for weeks now, but what was it? a speck or a dead bug? after Triton's lecture, i saw the world in a whole new reverse way.
i tiptoed to the place where the spot was, and i gently pointed my finger at it in the air...i then slowly moved my finger to the spot to see if i could touch it, move it...what was it?...
PART 2 COMING NEXT WEEK.