There is a space in the crossing of the ferry where if you shut your eyes you cannot see either shore. At another place in white fog it looks as if we ghost about on a large lake surrounded by a dark land of low hills and gentle rises. It is a pleasant trip on the poor man’s yacht where the station of birth is an insignificant impression.
“I do not know where my thoughts come from,” she says to me as we take in the wet morning air. To which I respond, “Well, possibly you do not pay close enough attention.”
“Well, yes, a well it is...” as she clears her throat of a harsh wind, “I do have this incessant buzz in my head. At first I thought it was an apoplectic disaster in Gab’s truck, a cosmic upchuck. Then one winter afternoon when I set up to bake tarts I received a thought that the buzz is mine, the core of me. It is where I connect with the celestial micro-spheres. Like this firewall in my head it is the furthest that I have been able to reach back to my primal sauce. It is where all those fucking screams come from, you know. A congenital hot flash of buzz, I can read your mind with it. It tells me all kinds of things that come up fresh and slimy like an artesian well in a natural gas field.”
Her comments made me wonder right then on the passage deck if Etidorpha should be allowed to continue to chew on her lit cigar. Or if maybe I should make an excuse to wander down within the steel shell of the ferry to the lounge below and watch the television news on the giant screen. There was another fool running and I did not want to miss the carnival. But the waves of the placid sound and the softness of the morning haze kept me steady at her side. I stood; prepared if need be to have my mind read, stood in an uneasy attempt to erase all of my thoughts, of the banter of fools or otherwise. My face wore the mask of an inquisitive grin, at the least; I hoped that is what Etidorpha saw of me even with the aptitude of her buzz, that a useless grin of me is all of what she perceived.
There is no better mirror to the world than the dewy stare of a morning idiocy, fresh like kale and carrots in the grocery newly misted.
I did one time have a friend named Mink Zero, a wanna be electric guitarist in a coke band, his fingers were faster than his brain, who told me that he could receive music from the radio in his car, the Ford Falcon his parent’s had given him, when the radio dial was turned off. He may have had an excess of mercury in his head, tooth fillings or titanium or whatever but I never did find out for sure his specific metallurgy. He was then, at that time, only susceptible to FM broadcasts and very small pills. With those candy beads he could hold the keys to a pulsating universe in one-thirty-second flatitude of the palm of his hand.
It was a noise to signal love affair for him to listen to his own head. I first met him when he was lost in Peterson's Bog behind Sapsucker where he talked to a large rock surrounded by a field of skunk cabbage, the rock irresolutely stuck in the mucky ground. His desire was to persuade it to fly.
For Mink though his reception was more than the hum of a large blast-engine, a buzz -- a social network composed of replicated story sounds, incomplete guitar riffs, discordant drum solos, chants scribbles, musical marginalia and drones, washing machines that bang off center without the touchy feely interference of real people, glinted mirages in an uncaged stockhausen of his me.
At times he picked up other signals, like sempiternal wave blurps and beeps, and on more than one occasion he told me there was a satellite of aluminum opalescence circled us overhead as dainty as his sweet angels.
Though as Mink Zero aged he fell more and more into less regard to judiciously select the channels he would receive and as he sunk the slippery slope of cellular degradation he began to receive AM talk radio more frequently than not and it was little surprise to us who continued to know of him and where and when that through a number of undergraduate steps he took up to deal in semi-automatic weapons.
But that is another story. We were nearly to shore when Etidorpha opened her carpet bag, pulled out from it a small white paper bag and from that a small plastic bread bag, recycled and held closed by a yellow plastic clip, she then disrobed from a soaked paper towel that had on it writ in black marker the word ‘experiment’ and from this confine it emerged a doughy substance that looked to me for all the world like tree fungus. “Eat this,” she said.
"Shit," I said.