Little Richard Ate Cthulhu’s Carrot Cake

When I’m going through my depressive morning horsecrap, the considerations that pry me out of bed (because if I stay there I’ll never want to leave) usually have little to do with thoughts of my personal death. But at age 83 (“Hey granpa, whadaya think about when you piss down yer leg?”), some do.

Most of these intrusive mental helpers want to look at what the hell it is – death; how can you encompass the idea of total negation; what does it mean to “not be”?

But one morning something came to me (no, it wasn’t the dog), an offshoot from the articles and books I’ve been looking into about brain function, consciousness, and memory.

Staggering upright, I thought… “It feels like I’ve already lived past the end of my life, that I’m the remnant of a someone or a something which shouldn’t, by any good reason, be continuing.”

Puttering through making tea, I further realized that what I really want to continue existing into the unimaginable future – what I plant my feet deep into our squiggy earth against losing – isn’t my self but my memories.

I don’t mean that they should continue on attached to me-as-entity, but exist as unique somethings on their own. They’re no better than anyone else’s memories, but all memories – every single one’s – are unique, rotund objects of interest in themselves, guide-stones of knowledge everyone can learn from.

Does that make them important? I have daily less idea of what might or might not be important. But… I want my memories – viewed as neural things, as irreproducible tidbits – to remain for examination beyond the end of it all. (I’m not talking about the spiritualist “thoughts are things” dipshittedness, because thoughts are not things, and neither are memories. They’re both passing neural maps, relationship patterns, but it would be nice to think that memories could continue to exist as separate, unchanging, tangible units.)

Is that where these ruminations sprang from? Didn’t seem like it when they started. I think they began as reporting on an immediate life incident (the 2011 storms up here that temporarily isolated us, in a minor way), but over time turned into… gifts?

What? Who bestows pre-sampled covered-dish suppers, unasked? There was nothing generous in my mind back then; it was a form of observation that later became mental release. It was need-of-giving made Word.

These days, I wake in the morning and it’s like… there’s no way to point to what it’s “like”; there is no like, but let’s say, as a wandering metaphor, that I’m tumbling down a long, silly incline sweeping me to no obvious terminus, no landing place.

Or, more likely, I’ve already vaulted the landing place and am plummeting into one of those infinite depths that horror writers like to imagine – a wayness to nowhere. (No, it has nothing to do with Cthulhu – that soggy, mushy Buddha-gone-wrong.)

*   *   *   *

We wish you a hare Krishna,

We wish you a hare Krishna,

We wish you a hare Krishna, 

And a Rama new year!

*   *   *   *

About 15 miles up the pike on Rt.220 there’s a sign for a Gutter Master outlet, where a couple or several guys will arrange to come to your house and extrude a gutter to match your needs. But what makes anyone a Gutter Master?

“Thou shalt extrude at my will!”

“Follow gravity, thou curved embracer of runoff, flow not uphill!”

“Blow forth leaves, wide and dense, let them not accumulate and inhibit thy passageway!”

That kind of thing?

But for no good reason, the silly term set me into my song-parody mode. Think Gilbert and Sullivan for this one:

He is the very model of a modern Gutter Master,

He scours out the blockages and flushes water faster…

*   *   *   *

Most ludicrous corporate slogan (to date):

Sitting in the car at a turnpike restaurant last year, I saw before me the side of a large transport truck, with these  words scrawled in green semi-cursive near the top –

“Ahead of the Curve in Refrigerated Logistics”

I don’t recall the name of the company, possibly because that phrase had half-obliterated my mind.

Soo… there are people on the road who refrigerate their logistics before negotiating a curve? To what point? To take the place of cinders?

And do they save a few crumbled logistics for later, to sprinkle on their peach melba?

*   *   *   *

Little Richard died a couple years back. Yet none of the obits I read mentioned that he wanted to be known as Big Dick until his manager convinced him that wouldn’t go over well in 1955. [All right, don’t believe it! See you in hell.]

In my second year at the House on 34th St. in the mid ‘60s (faithful readers, dig back into your files to unearth this highly relevant reference), I was dancing against Barry, one of the other House inhabitants, a blunt, stocky Brooklynite who, looking back, was like one of Maurice Sendak’s Wild Things.

We were dancing to Little Richard’s “Jenny Jenny” in the living room. By “dancing against” I mean that we were facing each other, not aggressive but in inherent competition of being. I almost never dance, but there, then, in those few minutes, we bounced and leapt and shouted and slammed the floor, equal in energy and intent as few are equal at any time.

We were dancing to “Jenny, Jenny,” not one of Little Richard’s major hits. That dancing’s the first reason why it’s my favorite of his. The other is that, when I listen now, I hear that on “Jenny Jenny” Little Richard took himself to the limit. By the end, he’s verbally stumbling and gasping for breath, can barely finish the song because he’s gone as far as it’s possible to go.

When we take the trolley to the end of the line, isn’t that the way it should be?

*   *   *   *

Another little known fact: When the empire of ancient Peru sacrificed small children to make the crops grow big and strong, they sang, “Inca Dinca Do.” 

*   *   *   *

Linda made another damned fine carrot cake.

Can you picture whoever first poked through the fridge, thinking, with a flash of illumination, “Jeez, these tough, dirty, brittle carrots would make a fabulous cake”? 

Was it inspiration or divine madness?

*   *   *   *

Tomorrow, god’s going to strike me dead. What then…?

Keep these memories in the cupboard with the carrot cake.

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