To read Fool’s Odyssey from the beginning, click here.
Chapter One: April Fool’s Day
And so it began.
I bought a ticket for midnight, April first, one way to London.
I haven’t the foggiest.
No pun intended.
OK, pun intended.
I mean, where else do you begin looking for yourself
except for somewhere other than where you are?
Don’t answer that.
Those old charter airline terminals were so godawful weird.
I don’t know what it was, quite,
the pasty orange and yellow walls
or the steward who looked like he shaved from the inside out,
and raised mushrooms for fun and profit
in his spare time
in his hair.
After filling out the waiver
that said I wouldn’t hold them responsible
for what happened to me,
I had the feeling a strange South American doctor
would suddenly run up and want to perform surgery on me
with a dull Swiss Army knife.
I wanted to be free,
to be up in the air
in a clean aluminum and vinyl jet
with big, strong, masculine
there was a kind of fellowship there,
a splendid, internal sort of aching,
as we sat together, all of us passengers,
staring at the bloody mustard-colored walls,
and sticking together like gluey little aphid babies.
Finally, we swarmed aboard.
I’d already seen the movie and the earphones hurt.
What was I doing there?
The floor groaned.
I held the plane together.
Then suddenly we were up,
up in the clean air, the friendly skies.
The stewardesses (stewardi?)
were lovely but aloof—
like those little African deer.
We climbed swiftly.
The little deer bounded about
checking seat belts in the marshy lowlands
and carefully removing complimentary drinks
from the paws of the great polyknit-bemaned lioni
who yawned and stretched in the first class, grassy veldtland
of the foremost northern plane.
This swiftly fleeting vestibule,
this Herculean dart,
was, for five hours, like an orange
lobbed by a snotty, laughing, happy youth.
And when it came down in Bangor, Maine,
there was a good, drippy, succulent splat!
And we, like so many giggling, sticky aphid babies,
slid out with the seeds,
glinting in the punchy early-morning
freeze-dried coffee sunrise,
Ah, what’s in a name?
pound-thrust, thrust-pound, rush-roar–
ain’t no big thing, we done this before.
See the sea?
Water, water, water, water–
To read Fool’s Odyssey 4, click here.