The Meaning of Life
In a few moments, the cities of our planet will crack the glowsticks in their skyscrapers, spindling neon spider webs that flicker when hairdryers are fired up in the tri-county area—below these colossi with infinite furnished pockets someone is ranking the greatest space shuttle explosions: a heated dispute in which saints are reluctantly getting involved—a sensei in the art of paperclip sculpture looks through an attic window, staring at the tree branches dispensing toilet paper on the Night of the Hooded Sweatshirts.
Shhh, the traffic patterns say. Shush yourself, respond the talking crosswalks.
Someone is yawning into a telephone and five hundred miles away there is resounding echo of hum-drummery—in a basement apartment, a man sips green tea from a mug of Indonesian plastic, re-alphabetizing his spice rack upon the ceremonious addition of dill.
Stop the garlic presses: the official fish of the night is the American Sole!
Down the street, a nameless yet familiar neighbor is scraping a legendary grill, preparing for a block party: the half-a-hamburger children will leave with watermelon mustaches, popsicle potpourri fingers under pillows; three piñatas will martyr themselves in the name of good times, flay their papier-mâché, donate their tootsie-gizzards, and our kissable cook will swear his golf buddy to secrecy on the whereabouts of the purchasing location of his lucky spatula.
In the garage, boys filibuster one another's opinions on the most skateboardable parking lots in town, how to effectively steal crab apples, and the bodacious trigonometry of a pop-wheelie.
The mascot for the evening is a cartoon character levitated above the animation cell's crust, gathering its windmill legs into a run.
At the Kwik-Stop, two lovers kiss underneath the air freshener—some guy buys a single can of beer with pennies—one of the lovers sighs, relieved, not knowing she will soon buy a magazine that will smell better than her date.
Downtown? Everybody's renting themselves in the discotheques downtown—everywhere I see possums. I regret nothing! they say underneath the radial all-weather tires of the family returning from the matinee—a streetlamp rubs the film of daylight from its eyes—birds check themselves out in the windshields before bed—organ music along the chimneys—faces painted for 4 a.m. photographs—an earthworm cloned by a bike tire.
And the meaning of life—I forgot to mention the meaning of life.