So. As a retired person, I’m finding my life so coagulated with personal efforts requiring allocations of time that I need a prescription for Coumadin of the Clock—a thinner for the pitiful remaining Life’s blood of an aging old geezer. My retired guy’s time of relaxation and recreation has become a workaholic’s dream. Confusing literary functionaries aside, I find myself too busy doing so much differing shit that I’m doing a shitty job with all of it. As a younger man I’d have done a Ben Franklin Evaluation of all my involvements—that tried-and-true, methodical decision making tool—and pitched the lesser-valued involvements to the curb like so much leftover Brussel sprouts casserole.
Howsomever, being an aging old geezer prevents me from pitching out even my dirtiest, most tepid bathwater for fear that many of my babies might catch cold. With but limited life remaining, I want to do every fucking thing I can do, yet all I want to do is take a nap. I’ve so many things I want to do, my internal time conflicts resemble the political/religious interests of the Middle East. My Sunnis are in constant battle with my Coptic Christians to gain control of my worktime, while my prostate is warring my ADD over control of my playtime.
Confused? Me too.
Background. Salvador Dali is my favorite artist, and Dali had a fascination with bottle flies as they relate to the birth-illness-death-decay-birth recycling dealio that is Mother Nature’s ashes-to-ashes population control plan. The bottle fly is both the harbinger of a pending death and the first provider for Nature’s composting machine that turns our dead carcasses into rich, life generating earth. The fly identifies a sick animal, tends it carefully, and then plants its eggies when the time is right. Timing is the bottle fly’s strength, because timing is integral to the bottle fly larvae. Too soon to hatch, there is no viable host to supply needed nutrition. Too late, and the host is dried out and unfit for larvae food.
In Dali’s mind, the bottle fly’s part in life is mystical, a sentiment I too hold. As a composter and non-believer, I see flies as tiny prophets—miniature beasts who buzz their excitement at finding a place to settle their manifest destinies. Flies lives are fully dependent upon their hosts’ death—an irony that might be Life’s biggest irony of all. Flies are symbolic of a certain stage of life—that point that marks whereat an animal has entered end-of-life stage. Illness, or the inability to move, are the symptoms flies seek in their animal charges. I have often wondered if our infirm bodies send off a fly beacon, some sort of signal that attracts them.
And flies are prolific, planting 150 eggs each day, each egg hatching a larvae within twenty-four hours. According to my math, one fly couple can produce generations of offspring within two weeks totaling in the millions, if all eggies hatch and all larvae make it to adult flydom with fertile mates. That’s quite a lot of fucking flies, and those millions of flies can be a major problem at a composting operation because they have so much fodder with which to work. If it weren’t for state laws requiring an operator to mitigate fly populations, I’d have made fly infestations a routine part of my composting plans.
Hell, I’d have imported Spanish bottle flies and raised the little shits.
Now, some of you are already saying to yourselves and maybe out loud, you’re asking, “Jesus Christ, Mooner, what in the fuck are you going on about this time? Your ADD is totally out of control!”
And I’d answer you, I’d say, “First, what I’m going on about IS time, and second, of course my ADD is out of control. That’s what I’m telling you.”
I got all serious about my life when experiencing the newness of my prostate cancer and daily visits to The Great Radiator. At the end of one particular week of treatments my side effects were severe, so I swallowed an entire bottle of Gram’s special prostrate mushroom tincture and sat with the dogs out back in the snow. The dogs were bundled under the heavy blanket, each lying beside me with their heads in my lap, and I was fully-covered except for my face.
If it seems many of my recent stories include snuggles with the Squirt and Yoda, that would be because we snuggle often these days, a byproduct of the subject upon which I now ramble. Sensing the love and warmth of my adorable puppies is a thing I desire to fully enjoy.
OK, I wasn’t fully-covered since my face was exposed to snow and cold, but who really gives a shit? As I held my face to the drifting flakes, the mind-altering aspects of the mushroom juice eased my physical discomforts and opened my intellect to think upon Life. My Life. I realized that having cancer was my bottle fly moment. It fully dawned on me that the last stage of my life is here, harbingered by the cancer, and what that means. I didn’t freak out though, I instead felt the relief that comes from knowledge, acknowledgement and acceptance. As most of us do, I think I had never really looked at the reality of my future death in its totality until that moment. I was in denial and it seems have always been. I’d never cogitated the completenesses encompassed therein, and I must say that I’d prior been uneasy with my death.
Now I’m not. So let me chase to the cut. Or, better said, let me chase to the prick. As an acknowledgement that I have cancer, and as a reminder that I need to fully-enjoy my remaining life, I got a tattoo of a bottle fly. I wanted to place it in a spot on my body that I would look at most often, and since I think that getting a pecker flesh tattoo installation would kill me, I put the half-dollar-sized fly on my left hand. Dili Dali—I named her Dili Dali for Salvador—sits on that Vee of flesh between thumb and index finger. In addition to all the times I see my hand in a typical day, since I use my left hand to peek at my poker cards, the inked fly gets extra exposures. And since I’ve decided to play more poker as part of my “maximize the pleasure from remaining time,” Dili Dali and I are quite well acquainted for the two weeks we’ve been buddies.
This one Catholic guy that plays poker asked me, he said, “Is that a fly on your hand? Why would anyone tattoo a fucking fly on their hand?”
I told the entire story to his disgusted countenance, he asked if I was a pagan, I said, “I’m worse than a pagan, I’m an atheist,” he snorted at me and called another player’s bet. He won the hand and thanked his God and did that “cross-your-heart” Catholic dealio. A few hands later, he called my all-in bet for about $140.00 and he lost.
He cursed, but not at his God, and I asked him, “What’s your God’s name?”
“Huh…What do you mean?” his response. He seemed quite confused.
“I can’t thank your God for my win if I don’t know His name. It’s obviously His cards skills that beat you, not mine.”
And unless they are using them to incarcerate Texans, fuck all Walmarts!