Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Turn Off the Computer, Turn Off the TV, Skip Work: Go Outside!

It's dangling green worm season here in Austin. A joyous time, I spend many happy hours walking, pushing my twins in their stroller, batting wildly at my face and body at each and every imagined or real twitch of the hair, trying to keep the worms at bay. It's during this season the cherry blossoms bloom, trees get their leaves back, and my front yard, which I think is now legally designated as a wilderness preserve (my backyard actually, literally, is), is forcibly invaded by a prickly bunch of dandelion guerrilla resistance fighters. I'd mow, but I'd never come out alive.

Some people call this spring. Spring is something that happens outside (that's that place between your car and wherever you are going) so I can understand where a lot of people may get confused. I come from the desert myself and outside meant hostility. Here in Austin they have these large plants called trees. (Well, they did. At least when I first moved here. Apparently somebody hung a sign reading “Every last god damn piece of Earth in Austin for sale,” and business has been brisk. Which is great. I'd much rather drive past a new Hardees every thirteen feet than another squalid abandoned block of dense foliage and life. I was getting real sick of going for walks and seeing things like rabbits, deer and coyote when beer cans, transients and SUVs are so much more progressive.) These trees provide shade and color and beauty. Compare this to the large plant entities in the sonoran desert. WWII was fought and won entirely on the American campaign of dropping cholla on enemy troops.

Spring is a “season.” Again, new, confusing information if you come from the desert, a place not so much with seasons but oscillating periods of “walking death:” the length of time as measured in minutes it takes for the human eye to dessicate in the negative humidity air. When the corpses get deep enough they act as nursery plants for other organisms and a little shade so you can go and get the mail. And so the circle of life keeps spinning.

Anyway, as for seasons, as I understand it, the Earth, a large orb of dirt and water and vegetation and concrete makes giant space circles around a flaming nuclear reactor. Because the Earth is tilted on its own axis of revolution, different parts of the Earth receive amounts of sunlight. Note: this only works if you believe in the religion of science. This pagan belief, inspired by fear and the devil, claims that information and knowledge about the world, life, all physical elements and their interactions with each other, have to posses supporting “evidence” that is “testable” and “repeatable.” You'll notice that no where does it reference the bible where all truth lies. Jesus the Christ himself once said “Fuck you and your pareidolia. I totally prefer pita over tortilla.”

There is still some Earth left. Some of it in largish stretches. I encourage those of you not afraid of being eaten by bears to get out and experience some of it. It can be a rewarding experience, as long as you heed these cautionary warnings:

1.)You cannot rewind or skip the Earth. So when you are walking and boring parts happen, which may be large swaths of your walk, you are basically stuck with the experience. You have a few choices here, the two most popular being to enjoy the sounds of birds and the breeze and the way leaves sound under your feet. The other being to bitch and whine and dream about all the wonderful things waiting for you on your television back at home. One of those choices is way more popular in America than the other.

2.)There are surprising few murders and rapes occurring just out in the open during the average walk. You'll have to tone down you expectations a level or two. To satiate your need for schadenfreude, the Internet waits patiently at home where you can insulate your emotions and humanity,and bathe in the pain of humans you have reduced to non-entities. That being said, I have seen the following things on walks : Teenagers engaged in heavy petting; teenagers and younger adults engaged in the smoking of illegal substances; one dude blowing another dude on a park bench that I came upon while running and got real close too before I realized just what exactly was going on causing me to skid cartoon style and turn and run where my lower torso actually made progress in the reverse direction before my upper torso could complete the twist; boobies.

3.)Also, outside is not temperature controlled. I'm not sure why this hasn't been fixed yet, but it hasn't and in order to go outside you may need to wear clothes that reflect the conditions (a fancy word we use meaning “reality”) of the outside environment. For instance, in a cold environment wear more clothes. I'd like to make this especially clear to adolescent females because I see you all day long at my work strolling naked through the dairy section absolutely clutching at your fridged body. Remember: more clothes = more insulation = warmth. If you must show them off, feel free to flash your titties every three minutes or so.

4.)Outside has things like rocks and dirt and bugs. Once, when I worked for an offsite airport parking garage called “Hell's Eternal Damnation Parking Misery” or something similar, I got to deal with a lively family livid that their car, parked fifty feet away from a river, parked under a tree, parked with the remnants of a french-fry heavy meal still rotting inside, that this car had been invaded by ants. They were shocked – Shocked! - that we had allowed such a thing to happen. Other people got angry when birds shit on their car. Still others are angry with the sun and its eternal light.

5.)If – and this is a BIG if – you manage to overlook all these marks against outside, and the inherent horror in the outside experience; if you can see past the lack of comfort and toilets and moisturizing creams outside; if you can delude yourself to the point that outside is “fun” and “rewarding” you may find that the experience becomes valuable in a way that the city and inside can't provide.

And then you and I will understand each other.

And then begins the real fear.