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Stop'n Go 

"Stop'n Go," has to be our motto, hon. I can see why we have to stop, but it's depressing if you don't hope you'll get to go sometime. I envy people who can have an aperitif before dinner, a glass of wine with it and a palate-cleanser after. And a cigarette or rum-soaked tiparillo. Them's the epicureans, moderation in all things, the golden mean, the good-life sheen. We are not like that. If we go, we go. Take the wine. First, we turn it into whiskey. Then we don't mix it with dinner. You either eat or drink, we say. These are ritual events, not little amateur productions. You go to where the experience takes you, not just a few timid steps out the door. To the wilderness. "Whatsa happenin'?" Jeff Miler asked in a poem, and answered, "I dunno. But let's have a coupla martinis and see whatsa happenin'." The same goes for smoke. What's the point of one cigarette, with or without dinner. Smoke's a rope ladder you take all the way up or down to heaven or hell, until it pours out of your eyes and nostrils. Shapes form in the clouds. I won't even mention the illegals for which I, personally, have little appetite. It doesn't take much to send me fishing in the cosmos, so I don't. I can only use illegals in moderation, so they don't interest me. Drink and smoke I can abuse in epic-heroic quantities: that's interesting. And there is tradition behind it. And hangovers ahead of it. Coughing. Sputum. Black lung. Bile. Vomit. So you have to stop. We do. Slowly, health returns, like a fresh green sapling from a blackened old trunk. Soon there are leaves, it's spring, birds settle in your hollows and start singing. It's good, you feel great, strong, one with the people. Ah! Deep breath. Then boredom sets in. It's all so nice. Normal. You miss the madness. You count the OK things: healthy food, OK; a glass of wine with healthy food, OK; exercise, OK; thinking clearly, OK; dreams a bit confusing, but OK. On the other hand, predictability. Linearity. Monotonous time speaking in beautiful, correct sentences. Syntax sparkling like polished teeth. Eyes bright on objects not so interesting. Libido on vacation. Maybe, you think, maybe it's time to go. Maybe it's time for an event. Maybe that was enough stop. So you stop by the "Stop'n Go." Get your go. Hope we get back, hon. For what? To stop again, that's what.


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