We’re hairless for the most part. There’s a few of us with hair, bristly, fuzzy, shaggy, going clockwise in corkscrews or ethereal as halls of hallelujah in the summer picnic clouds, enough to appear mammalian, like a monkey, I think you get the picture. But mostly we’re black and pink and various shades of brown and our skin is bare and tender and soft. The skin cuts easily. Bruises easily. And so we build shelters to prevent ourselves from bumping into one another, doors and windows and rooms to do things privately, unobtrusively, things like eat and shit, take showers, enjoy sex, watch TV, and keep from getting hurt, keep from getting shot or stabbed or stepped on or cut. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. And as we near extinction I have to wonder: will there one day evolve another species with enough curiosity and arms and fingers or appendages resembling arms and fingers, appendages with the suppleness and sensitivity to maneuver implements like shovels and trowels to come dig us up and reassemble our bones, put us back together like Humpy Dumpty and stick us in museums, position our anatomies in big display cases to do whatever it is the species taking our place imagines we might’ve been doing in those two-legged bodies with osteoblasts and osteocytes, little finger bones and big thigh bones and a big round skull to house and protect a squishy globular convoluted brain and tree-limb arms and beanpole legs and funny elegant bones of the feet. How do you walk on those?
We didn’t just walk, we danced. Hard to believe. But there it is. A species that danced.
Will we be remembered? Will we have counted in the infinite reaches of space as a narrative of survival and civilization whose records indicate vertiginous odysseys of thought?
Or will we be forgotten, obliterated from the record, our bones reduced to atoms, our quirks reduced to quarks, our valentines crunched into neutrons? Was it all a charade? A masquerade? Does it matter? Not really.
And what am I doing? What’s all this firefly chasing chimerical vermicelli?
I don’t know. Trying to write it down. Life down. Put it in letters. Words. Sounds that make meaning. Sounds that make images appear in the brain. I don’t know why. It’s a compulsion. Amber beads strung together for a necklace. Why, I don’t know. For decoration. Or more importantly conveyance. The conveyance of ribs. Drums. Fireworks. Emissions of truth, if you want to call it that. An attempt to be truthful.
Why? Why be truthful? Truth matters. I believe it does. And that’s the truth. The truth for me.
I sound dark. I often do. It comes with age. It's hard to be buoyant when you're old. You cease developing and cultivating looks. A look is what you call an attitude. This would be poise and sunglasses. I did a lot of that when I was young. I tried looking cool. I looked at Miles Davis and thought, that's it. That's the look I want. How can I be cool like him? Like Miles Davis?
I don’t know, but the end result was Gabby Hayes.
You’d have to be my age to know who Gabby Hayes was. Gabby Hayes was an American actor best known for his roles as a hairy sidekick, a goofy old guy with a wink and a howdy do. He starred alongside William Boyd as Windy Halliday, but then he got into a dispute with Paramount over his salary and went to Republic Pictures and changed his nickname to Gabby. He got a gig hosting the Quaker Oats Show. He’d sit on a bench whittling or sanding some little object, wearing a big black floppy hat, its brim gashed in several places, and speak in a creaky old man’s voice about the sundry oddities and flaws of life, how he just couldn’t remember what it was he was not supposed to forget and hold his hand up revealing a big black ribbon tied around his index finger. “Just look at that,” he’d say, “now what have I got that doodad on my finger fur.” He wasn’t just a bedraggled clown of the windy old west, he had wit and fire, there was brimstone in him. He was handy with a gun. He hosted Quaker Oats for four years, 1950 to 1954, did a one-year stint with ABC in 1956, and then, in 1957, his wife died. He ended his days managing a ten-unit apartment building in North Hollywood.
Quintessence, some cosmologist say, is a hypothetical dark energy that is implicated in the accelerating expansion of the universe. It is fine-tuned to explain the cosmological constant problem. According to the cosmological constant, the universe is static. But it’s not. The Hubble telescope showed that the universe is expanding more rapidly than expected. Astrophysical data shows that this sudden transition in the expansion history of the universe is marginally recent. That’s a bit spooky. What’s going on? Will any of us ever know, ever find out?
In real life, Gabby Hayes, whose real name was George Francis Hayes, was well-read, well-groomed, serious and highly philosophical.
There’s more matter to matter than mass and density. There are also doodads and fur.