What else could I name this angry, rotting, agave stump with a decaying corona? He is very upset, and I am only nominally responsible for making him that way.
I was social distance hiking with one of my oldest, dearest and bestest friends. Kristina has known me since I was 18 when we bonded night after night at the Cornell University North Campus Dining facility. It was an all you could eat situation, so we were there for hours. Such magic, finally having the conversations I had longed to have but wasn’t sure were even possible while also sampling every entre on the specials board. We gained weight and we gained lifelong support.
We were huffing and puffing up Runyon Canyon’s outer trails, talking about impermanence, accepting change as a constant, trying to figure out the ideal lesson to learn from these difficult observations. Mostly we concluded that the lessons learned never change but still have to be learned anew every day. I don’t know why I can’t seem to retain the wisdom of yesterday for more than a few hours. Here’s a major one that I should know by heart given how many times I have “learned it”: Anger poisons everything. It’s an ineffective tool. Not like using a banana as a hammer which, while it wouldn’t work, also wouldn’t cause any damage, just a mess. It’s more like using a hammer to remove a splinter. The thinking, assuming there was any “thinking, would go like this: If I beat this thumb to a bloody pulp, the splinter will no longer have a place to be lodged.
I don’t have a terrible temper, but it could stand improvement. And improve away I do. Just like I exercise regularly but never get more fit, I practice keeping my temper in check and manage not to do real damage.
So that brings us to this very upset fellow. While hiking I spotted a few promising face making items but not wanting to interrupt our flow, I made a mental note to come back. But then Kristina pointed to this agave stump and asked if I saw the face in it and had I ever made a face here. No and no. Although the first no was easily turned to a yes by giving it my full attention. She started hunting for the needed elements and located the one that made her vision come to life, the bark tongue. Kristina is also the person who suggested the handlebar mustache for the bike chain desert face. I wonder if I could stuff her in my dog walk satchel. She’s really handy! Thanks Kristina!
When I read the first paragraph to her, she felt you needed some additional information. I called her because I couldn’t remember what we had talked about on the hike. I knew it was really meaningful, but what was it again….? She was making choux pastry. Isn’t that funny? Would you pick up the phone if you were making choux pastry? She’s so awesome. She wants you to know the dining hall also had a full desert bar. Let that sink in; an all you can eat desert bar. Thank goodness the next year we rented a small apartment and shed the freshman fifteen because there was no one to cook for us. Most often we ate something called fried potato sandwich. It’s two ingredients, maybe three if there was mayo. She wasn’t making choux pastry back then.
And now for the final thing that husband wants you to know. There are more covers of Black Hole Sun on Spotify than any other song in the known universe. You should sample a few of them. Here’s my current favorite.