I woke up this morning feeling like salt-water taffy. This is one of my least favorite things, this absurd “candy” children gleefully watch stretched and pulled by belted machines in some horrible mall. It was one of my late grandfather’s favorite snacks and was also, perhaps not un-significantly, the source of a fight I once had with an ex-. It was a fight over nothing, my dispute with this woman about salt water taffy, because in terms of taste and nutrition and general life-value, that’s about all this product is: nothing.
(The long and short: she wanted to eat some taffy and I told her I thought it was gross; she took umbrage and defend this little candy while I revealed its many degradations. Like most fights, we were both right and we were both wrong. Also like most fights: it was really stupid.)
I decided it would be good to get out of my apartment, so I pulled on my shoes and plugged in my headphones and cued the Sigur Ros. Because they sing (mostly) in Icelandic I am forever drawn to their music. I love not knowing what the hell they’re singing about, and find it liberating and alluring to follow their melodies while simultaneously having the option to create my own lyrics.
I walked through the park and laid on the grass, still damp from last night’s rains. The sky overhead was a bright and medium-pale blue and when I looked at it long enough my eyes grew dull and tired. Thin clouds scuttered overhead like skeins of a gossamer gown and the sun warmed my chest and arms.
I wanted to sleep and wake up different; I gave both a serious effort but neither happened. Instead I watched the clouds form birds and ducks and ospreys and even something that resembled the Maltese Falcon. I wanted them to be different, these clouds slipping past, to form something more meaningful or significant to how I was feeling—I was in the mood for ominous, an open-ended order I thought gave the clouds plenty of room to interpret, although I was fairly certain it looked nothing like the Maltese Falcon.In lieu of such SERIOUS SIGNS! one of them became instead an old man with a waxy, drooping candle’s face, and as he passed by he winked at me and I somehow knew exactly what he meant:
Hey, speck of mass on the ground searching for Something to justify or substantiate how cruddy you’re feeling—take it easy, get out-of and over- your<self, and maybe even have a laugh.
I did not have a laugh. But I did smile at my self-centered absurdity, which was a step in the right direction.
One of the many gross things about salt water taffy is that it’s ferociously sticky, which is thematic because lately I’ve felt stuck. The causes of this are two-fold: 1) I’m doing too much stuff that isn’t what I want to be doing, and 2) I’m struggling to get the things I do want to happen to actually happen. I suppose everyone feels this way sometimes: you have a good sense of a) where you don’t want to be going, as well as b) where you do want to be going, but you just can’t seem to find the right way of avoiding a while getting to b.
For me, a trick to getting unstuck is to write (potentially very) shitty posts about clouds and taffy and hope that some of it sticks in a good way. On that charge each of you, dear readers, can judge. If I’ve failed in that seemingly simple task I can only shrug and say, Oh well, and acknowledge that I’ve never been a good dancing bear.
Which is a fun image. And maybe now I can have that laugh.