Sunday, May 4, 2014

Good Morning Jacob...

Letter to my Son
Sunday, 4 May

Jacob's Toon

Good Morning Jacob…

“Hand me the red.  I’ll need a hammer.  Wait.  This isn’t red enough.  Don’t we have something more red?  I want fire engine red but even more so.  Put some orange in it or something.  It has to blister my eyes when I look at it or it won’t work.”
“How’s this?”
“No, that’s starting to look pink.  Did you add white or something?  I want burning red, searing red.  I want it the red of two thousand degree metal.  You understand?  Come on.  Let’s think cherry catsup on fire or something.”
“I got ya.  Hold on.  I’ve got just the trick.”
“OK.  I’m waiting.  It’s like I’m wanting s’mores but there ain’t no campfire.  Get me the campfire.”
“You got it.”
“Let’s hope so.  Anyway, I had this dream that I was climbing this hill.  It was very steep.  I mean really steep.  So steep I had to zigzag my way up it and I was still out of breath.  My legs were so tired they were like rubber.  It was scary.  If I’d of slipped I would have rolled all the way to the bottom.  It would have been brutal.  By the time I reached bottom I’d be in pieces.  It would have been more like falling than rolling.  It was that steep.  I don’t even know why I was climbing this hill.  There’s no way you’d get me up there in real life.  I don’t know.  It wasn’t so bad when I first started out.  I didn’t think much of it at first except that it was tiring to climb.  Then I looked back.  That was a mistake.  I wanted to get back down instead of continuing up further but I couldn’t.  I would have lost my footing and fallen all the way down to rock bottom.  It was safer continuing up but I couldn’t get myself to go.  For a moment I was frozen right where I was – too scared to continue either way.  My knees were shaking.  I was stuck.  I felt like panicking.  I had to get control of myself because, obviously, I couldn’t stay there forever.  I mean there was no one within miles to know I was there, let alone be able to help me down.  No.  The only thing for me to do was steel my nerves and continue up – all the way to the top.  It was a long way to go.  I looked up only once and immediately decided never to do that again.  It was so steep and there was so far yet to go.  It made me dizzy just thinking about it.  I felt like a rock climber half way up a treacherous high cliff and suddenly deciding I didn’t want to be a rock climber any more.  I was terrified but I had to continue to the top if I was to live.”
“Here’s the red.”
“Oh.  OK.  Hmm.  Yeah.  OK, let’s go with it.  I like it.  You know what?  We’ll splatter some orange over it when we’re done.  I’m talking orange orange – neon orange over a hint of electric green or something.  It’s going to have to jump off the red surface in order to work.  Get me the hammer and get ready to drain your balls on this.  We’re going to take this canvas and beat the living crap red into it.”

 * * *

“I like it.  If anyone anywhere had been sleeping they ain’t sleeping now.  You can see the hammer blows right in the red.  There’s a sharp, fine mist of vivid spring green here and there.  And over the top – a few gob slashes of molten orange.  It’s voodoo gumbo.  It’s a canvas laden with lighter fluid waiting to be torched.  It’s what I feel reaching the top.  One thing more, though.  It ain’t finished without a small splotch of enamel black near the center.  That little hole of black is the finish.  In time it swallows the entire damn vibrant field of red all around it.  Because that’s life.  That’s how it goes.”


No comments:

Post a Comment