CHEAP EATS I dreamed a bear was after me, and it chased me into a craggy and impossible landscape from which, if I survived the bear, I would never find my way back to exactly alive, either.
These kinds of things don’t bother me anymore. I’m too busy being bugged by spiritually advanced, old-soul new-age dinks who think me visually and verbally attractive, then find out that in spite of their evolved, complicated mysticism and unflappable belief in reincarnation, they simply can’t wrap their brains around a funny and beautiful woman who used to be a dude.
I say, "Well, so what about your arms then?"
They laugh, but I’m serious. Whatever happened to a sense of adventure? A kiss? A touch? A taste? Finding out via the body? You know: the here-and-now incarnation, the one with spinach in its teeth. To me, good old-fashioned sensory perceptions are a gazillion times more valuable than extra-sensory ones, or energy fields or even Ouija boards. Meditation … prayer … thought itself can’t do what teeth and fingers can. So don’t pay too much attention to your dreams, books, guides, and all that other dumbass brainy bullshit, OK?
And if you think it’s bad in Berkeley …
Where I live, in the woods … well, the woods were lovely, dark, and deep until I came to crave less chickeny company and, a year or so ago, started venturing away from hearth and shack. And was horrified to find that my neighbors were not farmers and lumberjacks, but hippies. All of them! Even the farmers and the lumberjacks!
Yesterday evening, for example, I was killing time, half-pints, and fishes and chips down at my local neighborhood cider pub, when I was hit on by a big ol’ truck driver. Yay! A truck driver! I thought. Oh, and he was very sweet and forward, and was wearing a cowboy hat. I almost certainly would have gone home with him, except that I had accidentally left my chicken door open, on purpose … so farmerly duty called, eventually, and I excused myself from his embrace.
This proves, if my math serves me, that a bird in the hand is not worth four birds in the coop. With the door open. By the way, please think of the bird in the hand as me, and the hand as his. Personally, I don’t care, one way or the other, but I don’t think truck drivers like to be thought of as birds.
My point is that he gave me his business card, and I fully intended to use it some time, say, if I needed a cargo container full of corrugated tin roofing material hauled from here to Fresno, or a date. But when I took a look in the sobering light of morning, there was his name, his address, cell phone and e-mail, sure, but where it should have said "truck driver" instead it said, get this: "energy healer/poet."
And the foxes and skunks and tit-mice and deer that inhabit these lovely, dark, deep woods with me are still trying to shake the haunting wail of utter despair and frustration which emanated then from the Shack of the Nutty Girl With All Them Chickens or SONGWATCH, as they call it for short. Because while I have no doubt that a trucker is 100-percent capable of seeing that a chicken farmer is a chicken farmer is a chicken farmer, no matter what else in the world she usedta be … my experience has been that these energy-addled new-age seer dinks are about as sightful as buttons on a sock monkey. Seriously, it’s happened more than once or twice. It’s happened three or four times now. Maybe five.
Belief in anything at all is kinda counteradventurous, innit? But as far as non-nonbelievers go, my funnest dates so far have been with fundamentalist Christians and Mennonites.
Of course I will give this guy and his cowboy hat a try. He doesn’t know yet the kind of girl I am. So it will be interesting to see if (as I can only hope), truck driver trumps energy healer.
Oh, and I do have a new favorite restaurant. Chinese joint goes by the wonderful name of Eat First, in case you want to look it up online. I’d a done it here but story trumps all, turns out. And anyway my Chinese New Year’s resolution is to renege on all my other ones, which were torturing me like a bear in a dream, so …
Maybe next time. Now I have to get going on a trucker song.
L.E. Leone’s new book is Big Bend (Sparkle Street Books), a collection of short fiction.