The Puking Muse (a 30:30 report)
There was something about ice skating on cranberry bogs, which are words we said to each other 15 years after the fact when we reached our early thirties and we were still lucky enough to not have died from some overdose situation, and for that matter, what about all those times I had woken up and discovered – rather and entirely unpleasantly – that I had vomited while sound asleep, which in this case means sleeping the sleep of the passed out – so I can’t say if it’s right to describe that as sound asleep but whatever the word choice the image ought to be clear enough, not choking to death during the night and, oh, I’d say this occurred probably something like 50 times between when I first started sneaking out at night – out the window – and meeting up with neighborhood fellas and sometimes, when we were especially blessed, daring girls who’d snuck out too – and that middle of the night sickness was like being 15 and all the way up to last week, to be honest about it, and if I have given any impression that this puking while sleeping is something that used to happen, like in the distant past, well excuse me, cause last Tuesday is not so distant – You feel me?
And anyway I am still here and this I can attribute number one to good luck, as in incredibly lucky bastard because we all can think of famous highly competent people in what they did and I’m thinking pretty much of rock and roll people here, who died in their sleep because of this very same situation which is messed up and super sad, my point is why God – say there is one or maybe more than one, which would make it Gods – why I got tapped on the shoulder to wake up another day after the middle of the night stomach regurging festival, well that number one has to be lucky, and also, since me and Angel and Patty and Li’l Lal were discussing this last weekend, and somebody, I think it was Angel, said what about being selected and we all asked what that was supposed to mean and he got kind of religious which he does sometime and maybe he got tapped on the shoulder at birth to be a more religious character which was a reason why he parents decided to give him his name, but that’s what he was impressing on us, what if we get saved because there is some work we are supposed to do?
And right here I am going to say that while that isn’t my first choice as to why I haven’t choked to death on sleeping vomit I’m not going to laugh at it or give him shit or tell him to go fire up a cigar-sized reefer so he can come on back down to earth, like from heaven, but there may also be medical explanations, so if you tend to sleep facing down, on your stomach, versus up and on your back then you have a better chance, who knows that kind of thinking is beyond what I’m cut out for, and I think this came up when we were talking about ice skating back in the home town which had a bunch of cranberry bogs all over, we were the home of that big cranberry company which had the best juice (which I later learned had more sugar than ice cream, and I will get to a diet discussion here shortly) and so we had all these cranberry bogs and when you live in that town or one like it you learn by paying attention that in the winter the owners of all those bogs flood them with water from some supply, like a little pond, which is very close by and pretty much is only there to flood the bogs they don’t have fish we never went fishing in a cranberry bog next door pond, but they drown the berries and the plants because they’d die from the cold –
And this was Massachusetts and we used to say it would get colder than a witch’s tit, which nowadays that is not so approved as it was back then, though in fact even Patty said it one night a couple of months ago when we were all sitting around drinking tequila shots and also gin and tonics which that combination may sound kind of gnarly but it ain’t, anyway we were watching some nature show and they were showing winter animals and Patty for some reason said the tit thing, my point is it gets way cold in Massachusetts in the winter and that degree of cold will kill the cranberry plants so they flood the bogs and then the bogs freeze and I cannot tell you, not being real smart and especially with science stuff, why being in ice isn’t cold enough to kill a plant when being in the cold air that made the ice is – you got me on that and maybe Angel or Patty would know (Li’l Lal keeps pretty quiet mostly, so it’s hard to tell how smart he is about stuff though I do remember times, even if I can’t remember the exact reasons, when I had this feeling he was a real genius).
And anyway they flood the bogs which works for what they want and if you think about it that means there’s probably only like three or four or at the most five feet of water, which is all that needs to get cold enough to freeze, unlike some of the ponds in town which are probably ten feet or more and maybe a lot more deeper, so I hope I’m painting a picture for you that cranberry bogs freeze first and that is why, if you remember back when I started telling you this, we did a lot of our ice skating when we were kids on frozen-over bogs, and that ice was black, really, and amazingly clear and just like on ponds you sometimes heard what were called safety cracks – the ice was cracking which would be a little scary because there were more than enough stories about the truly bad things which would happen to anyone falling through the ice, but usually what was happening – and check out Mr. Science me – those were cracks under the ice that were evening out the pressure, now that there was weight on it with maybe five or six of us skating and possibly playing hockey, which is why they were called safety because they helped keep it safe and like I said you heard them on ponds too but it never felt so, um, comforting, if that is the right word to use there, and like I also said when we would rush out of sucky school and run home and get our skates and head down to the closest bog, which in my case was up on Gibbs Ave which wasn’t much of a walk for me, and we’d take off our sneakers and tie the laces together then put on our skates and skate until time was running out for us to get home for dinner on time, which when you think of it is an all-around healthy American activity,
But my point is right around that same time is when most of us started drinking, and we would find buyers and give them a little money and they would buy beers and Tango and sometime chianti for us and, again, this is when the throwing up in my sleep thing began for me and it has gone on I’d say at least once every couple of months and sometimes a stretch of a whole bunch in a row when we were hitting it pretty good, and that’s for 15 years and I am still here and I call it flat-out luck and Angel wants us to believe God has some purpose for us and I think Patty basically doesn’t give a shit and Li’l Lal is mum on the subject,
But last night we all made dinner together, in the big apartment we have in California, in the town of Fillmore which is inland from the coast over at Ventura and is covered all over the place with orange groves, which I just realized as I am telling all this to you that when I was growing up I lived in a town that had fruit which made a fruit juice and now all these years later and way across the country I live in another town with fruit which makes a whole other juice, though of course this is California so there aren’t any frozen skating ponds out here, though one thing the same is we all hit it pretty good probably even more than we ought to and we are playing with fire – I know I am –
Which was one of the topics in our house meeting Saturday. And Angel was humming that James Brown song – Hit it and quit.
Ha-ha. That’s a good one.