I will accept that Gnat believes Pokemon are real, because she caught an imaginary invisible one and goes outside to train it, performing strange ninja moves. I will accept that her invisible Pokemon are fed invisible Pokeblocks by her invisible Pokeblock maker, which looks a good deal like a disposable Tupperware container I bought last week. But I’ll be switched if I set out the invisible maker in the back yard while she’s at the wading pool.
Oh, who am I kidding; I set it out where she was training, if only to see the look on her face when she gets back. It may not be important that I believe, but it is terribly important that I believe she believes.
It’s getting dark; they’re still at the wading pool. That’s what July is for. In Fargo we spent our summers at the Harry Herbert Hoover Heever Howland Municipal Chlorine Tank; it had a wading pool for babies and main pool whose bottom sloped off at an alarming angle – if you were small and unsure of your swimming skills, that is. The moment your feet couldn’t find the bottom, you had a glimpse of life itself and the things to come. It also had two diving boards, a short one for cannonballing – which was prohibited - and a tall diving platform, which seemed nine miles high. This was Fargo in the 60s, and I’ll never forget it –the rough feel of the concrete under your bare feet, the basting girls, the machine that dispensed ice cream sandwiches in sharp-edged metal sleeves, and whose treasures were often lost because you poked the treat into the far reaches of the sleeve as you attempted to extract it.
I wrote something long and “deep” tonight about something or other, and in retrospect I think we’re all better off if I just drop ‘er down the flamey Memory Hole. At least it’s good to know that I’m eventually bored by my own tendentiousness. Sometimes you have a good idea based on a slender observation, and you – by which I mean me, I guess – attempt to justify the time you’ve spent on the observation by infusing it with Greater Meaning, until you find yourself standing next to a molehill with a backpack, pickaxe, rappelling gear, oxygen tanks, and three Sherpas sure and true. So never mind.
It’s been a nice week, and I’m due a small ration of vacation. No nits to pick, no scabs to loosen, no complaints – time to let it go and sit in the backyard and read and unclench. Last night I dreamed I watched a movie that consisted of Star Trek episodes reenacted with foam puppets, and I remember being amazed by the ingenunity, given the limited nature of the medium. When your weekly output seems less impressive than a half-remembered dream image of Kirk made out of foam ranting about tribbles, it’s time to step aside for a day or two and recharge.
You know what I really want to do? Hit the road. Head up Highway Ten again, go back to Fargo. It’s not summer without Fargo. It’s not summer unless I stand on the old streets and walk around and look at the grand old movie marquee at the head of Broadway and recall how I saw “Omega Man” there, walk past a building that wouldn’t know me from Adam but once held a coffee shop in the basement where I went once to scribble some peevish mewlings in my journal. If you grow up in a small town, your love is inevitably unrequited. Which is why you return, the grey swain, flowers in hand. Remember me?
I also want to go back to Disneyworld. On the Fourth I heard a story about new citizens sworn in on the grounds, right by the Magic Castle – a ceremony that seemed designed specifically to irritate French Intellectuals. (I exaggerate, somewhat, buy I will never forget a conversation about American architecture with a French actor; he was looking for a house and had seen too many Victorian homes, which he bitterly denounced as “stupid American Disney sh*t.”) After they became citizens they marched down Main Street. Fun detail #1: there were 1,000 of them from 100 countries. Fabulous all-American detail #2: F-15s screamed overhead. It couldn’t have been better if Mickey had parachuted down and given everyone a coin embossed with President Disney’s face.
Have a fine weekend! See you here Monday, and see you at buzz.mn. . . right about now.