In the city, you have a chance to interact, to brush up against, to coincide with. You allow your body to run alongside the bodies of many others. You emit your noises at them and hope some of them can stand your language and behavior long enough to enter into community with you. You pass through these multitudes many times over the course of your life, barking your sounds and making your cooperative gestures, until finally you succumb, sick or old, hunted down or simply left behind. On your way out, you fill out the survey that mostly asks, in different ways, What contribution did you make to your species cohort?
We lived for a time on dust and carrion. Every day, we prayed: for rain, for a breeze, for some real sustenance. We made a hecatomb of our old cellphones and watched the toxic smoke ascend to the floor of heaven, where it dissipated, as though denied entry. One day, we came upon a cow who, at our approach, shuddered and collapsed. When we cut into it, we found it had been boiled alive by the heat and its wanderings. Even the insects that lived in the ground, when we saw them, seemed tired, defeated, done. There was no respite.
He was one of those cool youth pastors, you know, rode a motorcycle, saw christophanies in things like the Walking Dead and shit like that. Talked a lot about zombie movies, actually, and explained what those had to say about salvation. He oversaw a lot of small groups, mostly with his guitar. There were many songs about Jesus’s lost years, many songs about how radical Christianity really was, when you thought about it. “The lord was the first rocker,” he said, “a true rebel. He killed that fig tree, remember.” Then, after a year or so of this, he seemed to dim, somehow, started to show up late all the time and would stare into space a lot when someone asked him a simple question–even one right in his wheelhouse, like about which Coen brothers movie was based on the Book of Job, etc. Then he stopped showing up altogether. We later found out that he’d moved back east to go to business school.
Oh man. Friends. Allow yourselves a momentary respite from worrying about the possible/probable imminent death of the planet. Take a deep breath and listen to this song, Judy French, by White Reaper. It’s not long and it will bring you enjoyment for its entire duration and what more can you ask of it? There’s an undeniable drive in this song that (musically) speaks of summer, East Coast summer, which is to say, pure and insane heat and humidity made bearable only by the freedom granted by the length of the days and the attendant increase in the likelihood of spontaneous parties of the backyard, municipal, block, illicit, and other varieties. Judy French is all yearning, pleading, hoping, cajoling. Hearts exploding with desire.
On the 4th of July, will you be boating on a lake of sunscreen with Don Henley? Perhaps you will celebrate the birth of the U.S. by calmly and grimly drinking a gross of beers, composed of three equal parts of Bud Light, Coors Light, and Natural Light. Hold that sparkler over your heart when the anthem plays. Remain in full sun until your skin obtains the texture of pemmican. Someone has grilled a round meat with molten yellow atop it: celebrate. Enjoy the holiday, lapse into oblivion.