When Nouns become Verbs
(To read Excerpt 1 click here)
(To read Excerpt 2 click here)
We met Lady Babs at the train station in Košice about 80 minutes later. She joined Mr. Critter and the Big Guy in one car; I, Gar, Phad and J.B started our trip across Slovakia to our homes in Banska Bystrica and the long, lost and winding trip that led to ‘The Bridge’ some 22 hours later in another car. Lady Babs tried for hours to reach the rental car agency, without success. She was the only one who spoke Slovak well enough, being a native speaker, to actually explain our current plan of action to the unaware rental car employee.
We continued forward across Slovakia and into Hungary, effectively stealing the rental car before she actually got ahold of them and gave them the unfortunate news that we didn’t know when we would return their car. It was a Sunday, they were closed. We were supposed to just drop the car off. Contract ended, no Official Highway Sticker from the agency to drive in Hungary or Croatia, we didn’t stop, we didn’t care.
“Mnamna mnamna” echoed from our windows as we traversed the Hungarian countryside towards Budapest. Not much they could do anyway, we wouldn’t be back for days. At least we contacted them. They could blame us later if the car came back in shambles.
When it comes to laying blame for actions, time gets all skewered; it squeals and kicks about and causes a general clamor. You try to somehow devise a linear map that conforms to a certain geography. You say yes, becoming “bridged” while driving over Krk (Neck) Bridge leading to the Isle of Neck (Krk) with the crescendo of the Ode to Joy starting at the precise moment of your cars’ tires touching the aforementioned bridge, all seems rather like shoddy fiction.
Why is it always the Ode to Joy? Kubrick should have the patent on that, but he doesn’t. For reasons unbeknownst to most parties involved it’s always the Ode to Joy, 1812 Overture, Carmina Burana, The Requiem or Conan Soundtrack that ushers in momentum. Sure other music gets it due, but there are certain movements that cause a palpable warping of the air around us in ways many fail to recognize or would rather not acknowledge.
Reality is shoddy fiction. Sometimes freckles are actually a faerie’s kiss but no one wants to admit it, coincidence is coincidence and eventually everyone draws a Royal Flush. Who really wants to read about their own droll lives anyway? When you’ve got The Muppets on your side for three months, then you can make a mockery of reality, fiction tips its hat and hands you the stage, you throw the money back at passersbys on the boardwalk appreciating the busking with a “go get more beer!” and become a “Rent a Party” replete with a three room villa paid for by the Big Guy, skinny dipping at 3am, blond Austrian sisters and beer with ice cream for breakfast. Whew!
Some instances just happen to have the patent on cool music. If you’ve never pimped out two of your friends’ guitar playing talent, on seaside promenade, in a party city along the Adriatic coast, then you should. Put it on the calendar, order a millionaire to fund the whole operation – unexpectedly is best, it adds to the whole universe of incalculability – get the friends with guitar talents, call in an air strike of alcohol and vacationers; add in details.
I can’t honestly picture that bridge at this time. I don’t’ remember how fast we went over it, at what speed we reached it, how high it was, if it had two or four lanes, what color it was, if it was made of metal or stone; nor can I picture the view across it (no photos that I know of exist for that moment), whether it bubbled out of the piercing blueness of the Adriatic or stood high above it, how many cars were on it, if it had a smile on its face or was giggling. I do know the crescendo of the Ode to Joy started precisely the moment our tires touched the bridge. That’s irrefutable; it’s felt in the cells.
That’s what happens when memories transmute from a biological phenomenon located in the neurons of the brain to a biological phenomenon located in every cell of the body. Your big toe becomes a font of experience, its mitochondria doing somersaults to Johnny Cash in a villa with a perfect view of the sea at sunset; your skin cells overflow with remembrance and do the twist as their golgi apparatus hop scotch to the soft susurration of sea as you float on your back during a morning swim; your buttocks considers taking up residence permanently on the Baška beach while its endoplasmic reticula perform a ballet of stunning precision with beer in hand. Photos and memories become insufficient reminders after they’ve transfigured into poetry.
(click here to read Excerpt 4)
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Pronunciation: shod·dy (ʃɒdi)
Part of Speech: Adjective
1. Of poor quality or inferior workmanship
2. Intentionally rude or inconsiderate; shabby
3. Pretentious vulgarity
4. A fibrous material obtained by shredding unfelted rags or waste – mungo (noun)
5. a fabric often of inferior quality manufactured wholly or partly from reclaimed wool (noun)
1862, “having a delusive appearance of high quality,” from earlier noun meaning “wool made of woolen waste, old rags, etc.” (1832), of uncertain origin.
Shoddy – Noun
Shoddies – Noun plural
Shoddily – Adverb
Shoddiness – Noun
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