Monthly Archives: July 2013

Things I Forget At the Office When I get Back From Vacation

My password.

Several of my co-workers’ names.

What I was working on.

What I’m doing here.

Why I have this job.

Why I’m spending my hours performing menial tasks for mediocre pay instead of taking a risk and pursuing my dreams.

What I’m doing with my life.

Why I even bother to drag myself out of bed at 6:30 every morning.

Banana bread for the potluck.

An Open Letter to the Naturalist Who Woke Me Up at 7:30 in the Morning By Reading Quotes From His Kayaking Journal Over the Cruise Ship’s Public Address System

Dear Brent,

Your intriguing statement that the soul is a tour guide for our lives raises fascinating philosophical questions. As a counterargument, may I humbly suggest that it’s 7:30 in the fucking morning and I really don’t give a shit about your stupid dumb kayaking journal, Jesus God.

It’s great that you once wrote that finding yourself alone in the vast Alaskan wilderness left you humbled by the majesty of the universe. But I find myself humbled by a splitting hangover and pangs of regret over the money I foolishly gambled away at the casino last night. It’s difficult to appreciate the serene beauty of a pod of whales when the parts of your head that aren’t exploding are trying to calculate if you’ll need to suck off some Serbian concierge in order to settle your bill.

It’s nice that there’s a plethora of wildlife frolicking alongside us. It really is. But I don’t want to “observe myself by observing them,” unless one of them has a hangover and knows how to do something about it. I’ll observe the fuck out of that whale. No? Then I’m begging you, put away your kayaking journal. Go catalogue some salmon, or whatever the hell naturalists do.

It doesn’t help that your sedate voice suggests you are offering me and my fellow cruisers your facts and reflections on life while enjoying a cup of herbal tea and the firm yet sensual touch of a beautiful masseuse as you gaze upon the stark brilliance of Alaska, becoming closer to nature with each relaxed breath and note of birdsong that penetrates the fine glass walls of your private lookout. Meanwhile, I’m trying to beat some obese Texan to the last plate of Eggs Benedict, even though the fat fuck already has, like, a dozen pieces of bacon on his plate, and I wanted just one of those too, but he nabbed them all while I was busy dodging some maniacal old lady roaring around in her scooter, and all the while some stupid Jimmy Buffet song is blaring through the café and holy shit, what is wrong with these people, is that guy just eating a bowl of whipped cream for breakfast?

Oh my God, now you’re reading historical quotes. Yeah, it’s awesome that some politician who’s been dead for a century declared Alaska’s wilderness to be one of America’s greatest natural resources. You know what else is a great natural resource? Sleep.

Is that poetry? Fuck you. Go to jail.

Here, I’d like to share something with you. Since you’ve offered us excerpts from your kayaking journal, I’d like to offer you an excerpt from my dream journal. I hope you find it as beautiful and thought-provoking as I’m sure I’d find your poems and quotes were I lucid enough to fully comprehend them, and also if I was a 60 year old woman.

Last night I dreamt I was swimming through the waters of Alaska. It was midnight—the full moon was reflected in the water alongside a thousand stars. The ocean was cold yet I was not, for my naked body was warmed by the thrill of being returned to my natural roots.

As I swam through the obsidian waves I espied a herd of seals resting on an ice floe. Eager to both rest my weary body and bond with my fellow living beings, I made haste to their location. When I arrived I sat upon the ice and gazed at the night. Overwhelmed by the beauty of what I saw, I began telling the nearest seal what I thought of the sight before me, what I thought of our humble place in the cosmoses, and everything else the stirring scene brought to mind. I talked at some length, and when finally my thoughts settled and I was content to simply bask in the glory of the wilderness, the seal spoke in its deep, rumbling voice. For as long as I live I will never forget what it said to me:

“It’s about fucking time you shut up. Christ, I was up all night gorging on fish, I feel like I’m literally going to explode. I want to fucking sleep. So if you say another Goddamn word I swear I’m going to slap you senseless and then pee in your mouth. You got that, dipshit?”

And then I awoke a wiser man. I think the lesson is clear.

Sincerely,
-Mark

P.S. The whales were a very impressive sight.

An Excerpt From an Episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You! Written by Friedrich Nietzsche

FREDDY

At last, gang, we have captured the Miner Forty-Niner. At last we shall learn the truth behind the haunted mine.

VELMA

I can’t believe our elaborate system of mirrors, ropes, pulleys, smoke machines, tripwires and slide whistles was able to trap the Miner in the depression of existential darkness!

FREDDY

Never doubt victory, Velma. No victor believes in chance. Shaggy, do the honours, please. Remove the mask, pull back the curtain, for truth reveals its highest wisdom in the guise of simplicity, and what is simpler than an obviously fake old-timey moustache, except maybe those crummy mummy bandages from a few weeks ago?

Shaggy removes the mask of the Miner.

SHAGGY

Zoinks! It’s, like, me!

FREDDY

Do you see yourself in this monster, Shaggy? For I see myself.

VELMA

Jinkies! And I see me! What do you see, Scooby?

SCOOBY

Wow! It’s re! Rooby Roo!

VELMA

But how? I thought for sure it would be Old Man Jenkins!

FREDDY

It is as I have long feared. We have spent so long catching monsters that we ourselves have become monsters. We gaze into the face of the Miner Forty-Niner and see only the Miner Forty-Niners inside of us.

VELMA

Jeepers! But I’m no monster!

MINER FORTY-NINER

But is not man the cruellest animal, the greatest monster of all?

SCOOBY

What about re? Rooby Roo?

MINER FORTY-NINER

You’re alright, I guess.

FREDDY

I’m afraid he speaks true. There are monsters inside us. Have you never once wanted to take the side of the demon, the wolfman, the angry lumberjack ghost or whatever that one guy was? Have you never wanted to profit from people’s ignorance and fear, from the hidden treasures and unknown oil wells that dot their derelict lands? From their oddly specific blindness to acrobatic harnesses and high wires?

VELMA

Is that what’s in this mine? Treasure?

FREDDY

This mine contains ignorance, the lies we tell ourselves and the truths about us which we dare not know!

MINER FORTY-NINER

And gold.

FREDDY

Yes, and that! Tell us where the gold is!

MINER FORTY-NINER

Wouldn’t you rather know where Daphne is?

FREDDY

Foul monster! What have you done with our fair Daphne? Release her at once, for like all women she is delicate and fragile and savage. Except Velma, who is nerdy and kind of mannish.

VELMA

Jeepers!

MINER FORTY-NINER

Fool! I have trapped Daphne deep in my darkest pit!

FREDDY

Alas! Daphne is lost to the dark pit above which all humans dangle from a precious tightrope! For deep in that pit is nothing but fear and dread, fear and dread of that most terrible thing--a natural death after a live poorly lived!

SHAGGY

Like, how do we save her?

FREDDY

We have no choice. We must burn ourselves in our own flames, for how can we rise anew if we do not first become ashes?

VELMA

You’re saying you want to go get high in the Mystery Machine, right?

FREDDY

Yes.

SHAGGY

I’ll get the Scooby snacks!

SCOOBY

Rooby Snacks? Rooby Rooby Roo!

Scooby knocks Shaggy to the ground in his haste to reach the Scooby snacks, creating an amusing sound effect. Cue laugh track and existential despair.