April 10 — Intermission — To the easily offended, a commentary: Masturbation and other bodily fluids
April 10th, 2012
I do hate explaining, justifying, but I talk about it a lot. I understand. Maybe there should be explanation. I understand this too.
A great man once said, “No one ever accused me of having class.”
Crass, though I can be, there is a reason, purpose, there is a method, as they say, behind my madness.
The man was my grandfather, and I watched him die.
Please, hold your gasps, it was bad, horrific even, but it was also wonderful, in way I hope you’ll understand by the time we’re finished here today.
See, as I see it, a lot of our problems stem from a daily, even moment to moment denial, a deeply systemic denial, of our bodily fluids. Various as they may be, we almost instinctively hide them, indeed, our body itself is the embodiment of discretion when it comes to that very special bodily fluid, the blue one that breaths red, and dare it come out in full view for all to see, well, then that is surely what one might call, “a bad day.”
But instinct is a bit inaccurate, I think, because our denial is also learned. Like the college girl’s bathroom, all dolled up in sweet smelling misdirection, frilly little pieces of eye candy decorate the floors, showers and also the toilet, that place where we all deposit our crap, and sometimes even our painful crap.
Yes, farting loudly at the dinner table is generally frowned upon. Spitting in Qatar will even land you in jail. And everyone by this time has heard the stories about PeeWee Herman.
But when it comes right down to it, a nurse will stand in front of you and tell you quite openly and comfortably about the consistency and regularity of your dying patriarch’s “bowel movements.”
The truth is, that man, Scott Q. Morse, had more class than all other men I’ve ever met put together, not the least bit degraded by his Indian “Tea Pee” jokes at four star restaurants.
Multimillionaire bar room brawler, once Vice President of human relations at Volvo, a great writer and wordsmith, an absolute ace with the ladies, and a man with the best goddamn cursive handwriting I have ever seen – yes, my grandfather was certainly someone for all us grandsons to live up to.
Yet, in the end, he went out, much like every human being shlepping this pebble must do one day.
And there is the fear, right there, at that moment, distilled as it is, there is that fear which gives birth to all other fears, the inevitable end of that ego which we have all worked so hard to build, preserve, and protect.
I’ll never forget, my aunt sitting bedside, while my grandfather just repeated, “oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck.”
But it wasn’t his ego which landed him there. It was ours, us in the family, us in society. His ego had been long ago wasted by degenerative disease.
We knew when the cops found him, barefoot, a mile away from home, as a “captain,” “trying to meet up with his Marines.”
Scott was never a Marine, he was a proud anti-hero actually, an Air Force Administrative Clerk, stationed in Albuquerque.
How he used to talk about the battle of Albuquerque, the great battle in which he not only took part, but was the lone hero, was actually not part of his degenerative state, but a lucid fiction he invented to entertain us kids, a joke, and also a reflection of his own ego, his own stark knowledge of the truly small part he played in the war effort.
That storytelling Scott was long gone before the day with my aunt, in the hospital, in his last writhing moments.
No, that day was brought on by us, a symptom of our own collective lack of acceptance. Our ego will not adhere to the idea of our own finite nature.
And so comes the fear. So comes the doctor bills, medications, nurses and convoluted denial. WE, we just couldn’t let him go, though he was already gone, it was our fear of our own ends, a collective, societal, existential knee jerk which stretched his life beyond where it should have been … and also put Dr. Kevorkian behind bars (somewhere automatic potpourri squirts).
Fear of the finite, fear of death.
Out of this fear springs many ruses, all an elaborate denial of the inevitable. Most wars, arguably all organized religion, even doilies and docker shoes, automatic potpourri which sees you coming and squirts reflexively, special little frilly panties, cologne, thermostats, hair spray, late-night advertising, even forks and knives, all just a denial, a separation from our own entropic nature.
I’m not advocating we all start eating with our hands in a circle around open flames, naked, grunting and cutting loud farts. I’m not saying we should all join hands and piss out the fire. Civilization is a wonderful thing. But it also masks the truth, provides a decent cover from that very thing from which we seek to hide: our infinitesimal mortality in the face of infinite oblivion.
(From this “cover,” and with use of this fear, we perpetuate war, famine, untold concentrations of wealth and private power … and Dick Cheney’s eleventh heart.)
I think we should at least remember, a human life held against the backdrop of the universe doesn’t even equate to a fart in a hurricane. Life isn’t even a molecule in that fart, not even an atom. And this idea TERRIFIES us (*squirt).
And I think that my ‘senseless blurting’ of these otherwise hidden things may just be my own fear, fear of failure, fear of life, fear of death, maybe even fear of success. Success, even that is itself a kind of end.
The liberalization of this war has us all wearing way too much Personal Protective Equipment, riding in super-studded thick steel vehicles that are way too expensive. It has relegated the effects to numbers running along tickers beneath special episodes of Nancy Grace, to harsh words about high deficits. It gave birth to not just the first surge, but also the second (*squirt).
And God forbid there is a massacre, or Marines piss on corpses (*squirt squirt), then it’s like someone has again cut the cheese during dinner. And while Mr. and Mrs. Robinson hold up their noses and excuse themselves from the table, a squad of 19 year-olds steps in to clean up their mess, to bravely patrol and keep the peace in territory those very same Robinsons have declared a threat to their liberty, their wealth, and their lives.
Regardless of how little risk they have of becoming victim to extremism, they still seek to exact wide regional swaths of it, if in name only, and of course by the tip of someone else’s spear.
So if you find me offensive, are quick to judge, if you find me crass, find me lewd and untoward, I want you to stop reading right now and promise to do just one thing for me.
When you see a golden service star in an American window, just remember that represents a person who was willing to come to terms (quite early) with all of his or her own bodily fluids, to embrace them, their meaning, to spill them into the open, and who did so for you, so that you could continue holding your nose up, even to their pulsing existence inside your own body.
I may be offensive, unapologetic, but at least I can admit …
Oh yeah, and one last thing, take that stupid fucking yellow ribbon off your bumper. You don’t even know what it means.