It’s a true enough warning. Speed kills. The human body, in its current form, is not tough enough to withstand serious impact. With the invention of huge, powerful, jet fueled, turbocharged engines rocketing a generation of procrastinators across cities, countries, continents, the potential for injury is high. Our bones are brittle, our skin soft, our brains spongy and the objects we are trying to reach tend to be unforgiving, immovable, made of steel and concrete. Even water at certain heights will act like a slab of pavement. We like to go fast and we break easy. Our need for speed (on second thought that phrase is a little too Top Gun-ish) our elation for acceleration is understandable given the bigger physics of the situation. The earth itself travels at a rate of around 70,000 miles per hour, so like it or not, it’s a global population of speed freaks. Which is good, as it turns out. The planet understands something inherent about survival, and that is a moving target is harder to hit. There are other dangers whipping around the universe just as fast, if not faster, and so it’s important to keep on a rapid trajectory. Although speed kills, as it turns out, staying perfectly still isn’t so safe either.
Case in point. There are initial reports that a meteorite has killed a man in India, supposedly. NASA denies the meteorite theory, but I haven’t trusted that shadowy space agency since they declared the moon to be free of cheese and have never formally come out in support of Pink Floyd’s “The Dark Side of the Moon” being the greatest concept album ever recorded ever. Ever!
A bus driver, on his break, minding his own business in Tamil Nadu, India was blasted by a space rock. As if there weren’t enough things to worry about, enough perils in the modern age, a person now has to play one-sided dodgeball with the galaxy. So terrified was I over the weekend that I was almost killed by an oncoming car because I was too busy searching the sky for flaming rocks. I needed a little perspective, so I consulted the International Comet Quarterly. I love the International Comet Quarterly and read it whenever I can. The centerfolds are just the right balance of taste and smut.
According to the “I.C.Q.” a ton of meteoritic debris falls on earth every day. EVERY DAY! Meteorites are much more dangerous than anyone ever suspected. Most will remember the meteorite that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013, shattering glass for miles around. The space rock then apparently set up a few website scams advertising free penis pumps and cellphones, then kidnapped some Ukrainian teenage girls and sold them to Spanish brothels. In 1992 a meteorite fragment the size of a ping pong ball hit a boy in Uganda, then tortured and killed some political dissidents, throwing their mangled bodies into the river for the alligators. And in 1954 in Sylacauga, Alabama, a meteorite struck a crucifix, setting it on fire before lynching a black man who had allegedly whistled at a white woman. Like most people, I had no idea the things were so vicious.
I can’t sit alone with my thoughts for very long or I start to go mad. I feel myself turning into some doomed mental straight out of an Edgar Allan Poe story. Instead of being trapped by racist meteorites, airborne toxic events out of Puerto Rico, and an army of squirrels around my house that seem to be planning something big, I took advantage of a little nice weather and went over to a small outdoor workout area next to the Silver Comet trail near Stone Mountain. I figured I’d go for a run. Keep moving, like the earth. The workout area is great not only because it is verdant and refreshing, but also because of the people that congregate there. It is a hotbed of wild speculation about true health, how to achieve it, how to keep it, how the government and the food industry want to strip the average citizen of it. There is a guy who is always there. He’s got a huge torso, toothpick legs and a head that may have been affected by the Zika virus. He’s loud about health. What people think of as mildly unhealthy this guy thinks of as downright deadly. What people think of as healthy this guy thinks of as generally harmful. What people consider very healthy this guy thinks of as conspiratorially destructive. His name is Mr. Camber and he’s awesome. I asked him what he thought about meteorites, just to get him going.
“Forget meteorites,” he said. “What really has me scared is estrogen.”
Mr. Camber went on to explain that there was a secret government plot, in collaboration with the pharmaceutical industry and run by Luna, the ancient Roman goddess of the moon, to feminize the world by introducing estrogen into the food chain. He no longer ate seafood, he said, because the ocean was full of discarded birth control pills. Already fish are showing signs of exaggerated sex characteristics. Monsanto is, as we speak, trying to infuse estrogen into quinoa and sprouts. All part of the plan to sabotage Jupiter the great and manly sun god into a sniveling, emotional wreck, whimpering of hot flashes and eternal menopause. That is why Mr. Camber only eats his own homegrown, organic soy to combat the female hormones creeping up the food chain. I told him I sympathized. After all, it is unnerving to be sitting in a restaurant as the waiter rattles off the specials. “We have a pan seared grouper with like the biggest tits you’ve ever seen on a fish. I mean, this thing is incredible.”
Meteorites were controlled by Luna as well, he said. It was all a rich interconnectedness that was plainly obvious if looked at the right way. A two-pronged attack. One from above. One from below. The only way to combat it, he declared, was to elect Donald J. Trump president of the United States.
I love it when things turn political.
More Alembics to come.