Power Love

Your definitive resource. That's all, just your definitive resource.

01 June 2011


I'm trudging across the parking lot like a zombie, not because I am a zombie, not today anyway, but because my pyramid of bricks is shackled to my ankle. I have an impressive pyramid of bricks. You do too, Alert Power Love Reader. Your pyramid is comprised of many bricks: a brick for indecision, another for self-doubt, another for regret, for shame, for fear, for that time in 4th grade when you called Sally Googapalooza fat so you could be cool in front of the cool kids, but Sally heard you and never spoke to you again and it didn't help that the cool kids never liked you anyway because they thought you were fat, and you were, and still are, and that's about 30 bricks right there. You have one Sally Googapalooza experience in each stage of your life, so at this point, you're hauling around a hell of a lot of bricks and it'd be nice if you could count that as strength training, maybe get some muscle tone out of the deal, but that's not how the pyramid of bricks works.

I have been told by a very serious source that I will grow old alone, and this is my weightiest brick, which balances precariously on the top of my pyramid, which kinda makes it an odd looking pyramid, I guess, kinda like a pyramid wearing a sun bonnet, or a geometry puzzle, or like something you'd see on Sesame Street in the shape episode, which concerned parents would tune into expecting enlightened conversation about body image, which of course they wouldn't get, they'd get a bunch of triangles and rectangles and then they'd have to figure out how to handle the body image conversation with their kids themselves and to avoid that, they'd write scathing letters to Obama about his disastrous choices in teleprompters, "You're a reader, not a leader," they'd proclaim, until some well-meaning Democrat would bash them in the head with a mallet.

For the record, we here at Power Love HQ do not advocate violence as a means to conflict resolution, despite the fact that we have several mallets on staff.

Anyhoodle--you have issues. Me too. I prefer to shackle mine to my ankle and drag them around in public because I usually don't have pockets and I rarely carry a purse. It's hard enough just to get pants on in the morning, let alone remember to carry receptacles with me and this may or may not have something to do with my issues, but nonetheless, here I am, dragging my pyramid of bricks across the parking lot, minivanned families stopping to stare at me as I do, me grunting every five paces, wishing I would just take the time to exercise more often, dammit--this is brick #42, you'll find it third row center--so I smile and wave, but the minivanners don't acknowledge me, which may or may not have something to do with the fact that I'm not wearing pants.

Into the forest I go. The trees don't have pyramids of bricks, because trees have neither issues nor ankles, so while they're basically empathetic to my situation, they can't fully understand it. "Humans," I hear a maple say to an elm and in that instant, I realize I don't actually know the difference between a maple and an elm. I don't even know what poison ivy looks like. Saw the movie, though, it sucked.

I trudge on. "Trudge on" spoken quickly sounds to me like "truncheon," which sounds to me like a medieval torture device or a really bad heavy metal band, so you can imagine my mood at this point. I imagine that there is another me operating in a parallel universe and the other me is making all the right decisions and getting all her hopes fulfilled and I kinda hate her because she's probably not getting mosquito bites on her ass right now, but also, there's something inherently negative about hating yourself, even your other self in a parallel universe, so I instead turn my hate towards someone who deserves it, like the minivanners. This makes me feel much better because as you know, Alert Power Love Reader, judging others is the first step on the path to enlightenment.

Finally I make it to The Waterfall, who, like the trees, has neither issues nor ankles and so can empathize with my situation but can't actually understand it. Band name: The Lucky Fuckers.

I crawl inside The Waterfall. I have to yank the shackle around my ankle in order to pull my pyramid of bricks away from the crashing water. It's okay for the mist to hit the pyramid of bricks, but shit, man, don't get that thing soaked because you will live to regret it, trust me on this one, Alert Power Love Reader, you simply don't have the disposition to handle a soaked pyramid of bricks. I do, of course, I'm far more perfect than you know, but we're all about the PSA here at Power Love HQ, so: you're welcome.

The Waterfall falls. It sounds like it's humming. I close my eyes. "Act of grace," I whisper to myself. "Act of grace. Act of grace. Act of grace." After a while, my mantra starts to sound like "sack of mace," and that appeals to me, probably because I've been inundated with violent images that today's society deems socially acceptable, so I train my precision vision on the canyon outside The Waterfall. I've come here today to get rid of the bricks, but I've tried this before and even when I've walked out of the forest, unshackled and light, I end up jumping in my car, rolling down the highway, turning up the music, feeling happy and hydrated and then I look in the rear view mirror and there on my back seat, what do I see? My pyramid of bricks, luxuriating like a spoiled cat.

Today I'm heartbroken and determined, less trying to unload, more trying to survive, and I can't help but think if I don't get rid of my pyramid of bricks soon, I'm gonna get sucked under by the undertow, which is quite a feat in the landlocked Midwest, so maybe I'd make headlines, but only until some other fucker gets sucked under by a magic dragon and then, even in the after-the-undertow life, I'd still be a nonentity.

"You should write a book and call it Self-Indulgent Bullshit," The Waterfall says.
"I like you better when you sing 'Amazing Grace'," I tell it.
"Hey, I don't come over to your place and play DJ, do I?"

True. I haven't invited The Waterfall to my place since that disastrous dinner party with Kid Rock. In my defense, I really didn't think break dancing and juggling were mutually exclusive. They don't give you a rule book, you know. Plus, up until that point, I was considered proficient with flaming swords.

"I was hoping I could leave my pyramid of bricks here," I tell The Waterfall. "Maybe you could erode them a bit? Perhaps to the point where I could at least keep them in my pocket?"
"You're not wearing pants."
"Neither are you."
"When was the last time you looked at your pyramid of bricks?" The Waterfall asks.

I have to think about this for a bit. I have many times glared out of the corner of my eye at my pyramid. Occasionally I zen out and can see it in my peripheral vision. But in terms of straight-on, direct eye contact, I'd have to say that's not an activity I'm particularly fond of.

"Last Tuesday," I say.
"Bullshit: Brick #13, row 2, second from left," The Waterfall says.

In addition to my mind-numbingly awesome proficiency with flaming swords, I am also a world class bullshitter, particularly when it comes to me talking to me, which is how I spend most of my time. "I don't want to look at it," I mumble, embarrassed. "I'm afraid it's gonna fall on my head."
"Maybe it won't."
"But maybe it will."
"But maybe it won't."
Band name: Stubborn Motherfuckers.
I say, "But if it does, no one's around to help me out from under it."
"What am I, invisible over here? I'm around." The Waterfall snaps.

It's true--The Waterfall is literally around me. It's splashing in front of me, pools of it are collecting at my feet, rivulets of it are slinking down the wall behind me. "Are you suggesting I use my laser precision vision to erode my pyramid of bricks myself?" I ask.

Just between you and me, Alert Power Love Reader, sometimes I exaggerate slightly, so I'm not altogether confident I possess the laser precision vision I brag about. Even so, I don't have a better solution. I glance quickly at my pyramid of bricks, then turn away. Good news--the world does not swallow me whole. I turn slowly and really look at it.

It's less red than I thought, more purple. And kinda wonky in its balance, like someone tossed each brick on a pile without caring where it landed. The individual bricks are held together by what looks like grape jelly. It does indeed appear to be wearing a sun bonnet.

The Waterfall falls. The trees hum. I want my pyramid of bricks to disappear, but they don't. Instead, they seem to lose mass from the inside, until there is still a definable pyramid, but one that is more like a triangle of balloons in brick shapes. I tug my shackle. It feels like an ankle bracelet. I take a few steps. My pyramid of bricks still follows me, but I don't have to trudge now. I do a quick kick-ball-change maneuver. Still there, but I'm nonetheless moving easily. I roll out a series of Rockette chorus line kicks. Perfect. My pyramid of balloon bricks settles in comfortably by my side.

"I'll take requests now," The Waterfall says.
I stretch out in The Waterfall's puddles and close my eyes. "Thank you," I say to The Waterfall.

The Waterfall clears its throat and begins to hum "Amazing Grace." After a while the trees join in, and everything else is quiet.