Notes from a weekend:
It was my bright idea to walk from This Recording Headquarters over to 104 and CPW for Gideon’s birthday. First he let me win at Madden ’07 which may be the most fun game to play since Blades of Steel. Though Brady went down in the second quarter with a broken arm, Matt Cassel stepped up to throw a mind-boggling 5 TDs and 3 INTs, including a late one to Ben Watson to seal the deal. I hate it, seriously and a lot, when I don’t know whether or not I’ve actually beaten someone. My dad used to do this to me in ping pong. He threw games to my brother all the time to make the little guy feel good, and then he’d play me, and it’d seem like he was playing at full strength, but who knows. I throw games all the time for no reason, except in NHL Hitz for XBox. There I just honor the game. As we were preparing to watch an episode of Heroes, I felt my back go out. Never in my life have I experienced that kind of pain. If I hadn’t bought chocolate halva earlier, I probably would have gone in the ballroom and cut myself. It was that bad.
Since there is a school of thought (one I might compare to those who believe bananas can feel pain) that back pain is all imaginary, let me reassure you, it was not. I truly did not want to be in pain. Still, I had to think of a least a few possible reasons that karmically I had brought this upon myself. I quickly narrowed it down to three possibilities…
1. I was at 12th street books yesterday, and I bought a bunch of books. Among those was a ragged copy of The Satanic Rituals. Though I was buying it ironically, and I was only going to use it to bargain myself into a plasma TV at most, this still could be construed as an affront against civilized society. My friend Andy was telling me about this guy he lived across the street from who found a copy and buried it on his front lawn.
2. The night before, at Andy and his wife’s house. I attended a small gathering. Near the conclusion of the gathering, Andy brought out a massive bowl of an alcoholic beverage aflame. “This,” he said, “is quiemada.” Someone appropriately dimmed the lights. Then the incomparable Jared Hohl read something along these lines: Owls, white-owls, toads and witches. Demons, goblins and devils, spirits of the misty vales. Crows, salamanders and mages, charms of the medics. Rotten pierced canes, home of worms and vermins. Wisps of the Holy Company, evil eye, black witchcraft, scent of the dead, thunders and lightnings. Howl of the dog, omen the death, maws of the satyr and foot of the rabbit. Sinful tongue of the bad woman married to an old man. Satan and Beelzebub’s Inferno, fire of the burning corpses, mutilated bodies of the indecent ones, farts of the asses of doom, bellow of the enraged sea. Useless belly of the unmarried woman, speech of the cats in heat,dirty turf of the wicked born goat. With this bellows I will pump the flames of this fire which looks like from Hell, and witches will flee, straddling their brooms, going to bathe in the beach of the thick sands. Hear! Hear the roars of those that cannot stop burning in the firewater, getting so that purified. And when this beberage goes down our throats, we will get free of the evil of our soul and of any charm. Forces of air, earth, sea and fire, to you I make this call: if it’s truth that you have more power than human people, here and now, make the spirits of the friends who are outside, take part with us in this Queimada.
I think we all agree it could have been that.
3. As I mentioned at the top, I walked a long way over to Gideon’s, through Central Park at 75-90th street.
Slowly, carrying a shitload of chocolate confections, “Doomsday Book,” which I started reading on Thursday, and a Game Boy Advance in case I had to rest, I made it to the bottom of the Great Lawn.
An old woman suddenly came up to me and grabbed my arm. She scared the balls right out of me. My balls were literally halfway across the lawn. They ran like the dickens. Wouldn’t you? I mean, come on:
She brought my head down to her level and whispered, “Mind yourself. SIX MOONES REMAIN.”
If you can catch that reference, perhaps you can also help me fix my back pain. I’m trying to live my life here. OK. All right.
“The Woods” — Tall Firs (Right click and save as)