Editor”s note: Popular Daily columnist Chris Kula has left town early for spring break, so writing in his place this week is special guest T. Dunn, an aspiring postmodernist word-artist and part-time employee of the State St. Starbucks.
Spring break: A facetious mirage in the desert of youth. A devious median on the road of broken promises. An all-night diner for the lost souls of man-children. Spring forth, spring break, and claim me as your dark love child.
I pack my bags with swim trunks and wistfulness, sunscreen and longing. The airport is rife with destinations, but I have none. My only arrival: Despair. My sole departure: A true love. I fly United, disjointed.
The stewardess taunts me with nuts salted with the tears of a clown, but I do not indulge. I feast instead on the sweet, sweet remembrances of my past, of puppy dogs and ice cream, ice dogs and puppy cream. I try to look out the window, but the clouds are too poignant. The seatbelt light is off, but I am restricted by the lead weight of my grief jacket and it is two sizes too small.
I sleep the tormented dreams of Italian filmmakers. The captain I believe him a devil, or my uncle slaps me about the face and shoulders, prepares me for landing. The flight will soon be over, and spring break will begin.
Oh, spring break, how I loathe (love?) you! How I wish to smother you (mother you?)! How I long to be in a cocoon (Cancun?)!
As I walk alone to my hotel, the Mexican sun oppresses me. I remove my scarf, trade it to a young boy for Chiclets. He curses me. The streets of the town are filled with my student body brethren. I listen to them speak of things I once knew.
“Senor Frog”s, dude, we”re getting fucked up!”
“Hell yeah, Steve-o!”
I press against Steve-o, whisper in his ear, “Lost! I am but a dinghy in a squall of unrequited love!”
Steve-o punches me in the mouth. The “blood” tastes like “irony.”
I check into my hotel and retire to the lobby bar. There I suckle at the giving teat of Jose Cuervo. My sorrows drowned in the nectar of the agave plant, I am left staring at the worm. He sings sweetly, a song yet untitled. I weep for the worm.
Darkness strangles the city. I wander from nightclub to nightclub in a loveless stupor. The neon lights are as blinding as the truth that was kept from me. The pounding bass of the dance music reminds me of my mother”s heartbeat, only less mocking. I call out, “Quell the rage that burns within me!”
My cry is met with the collective “Whoo!” of 100 Caucasian girls.
I later find myself standing at the bar. A man wearing a brazen moustache offers me sex on the beach. Shaking my head, I say, “I”m sorry, barkeep no amount of alcohol can cure the malady that is I.” The man tells me he”s not a bartender, and again offers sex on the beach. Frustrated, I gnash my teeth, tear my clothes. The man seems excited.
Quickly I walk away, stumbling over my apathy. When I right myself, I am standing before a goddess. Clad in a hooded sweatshirt, her short blonde hair is spiky with ennui and, behind her black-framed glasses, she has eyes of the bluest skies that remind me of childhood memories.
“I dropped my existence,” she says to me, “and when I stooped to pick it up, I found only my toothbrush.” I nod, feeling her words, her syllables, her sad fricatives.
“My alarm clock shames me daily with the sounds of impending failure,” I reply. “And there is no snooze button, only the lose button.” She turns 90 degrees so that I am facing her profile.
“I wish to massage your essence,” she says.
“Don”t look at me,” I respond, covering my eyes with the back of a hand.
We embrace. She wears the perfume of utter humanity. Her reality cries out to me, and I find myself rapt with the passion of she.
I throw back my head in laughter, as does she. A single crow flies above. The end of spring break draws nigh (a sigh?). We are in the moment, regardless.
Chris Kula”s true words of choice run every Thursday. Give him feedback at www.michigandaily.com/forum or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.