Big Dumb Guy

'Endless Tunnel' phot by Jaroslaw Blaminsky‘Endless Tunnel’ photo by Jaroslaw Blaminsky

When I was a young man, I began searching for the meaning of life. Along the way, I wrote a travel journal, a mix of prose and poetry, and labelled it Fool’s Odyssey.

I’d bought a ticket for London and suddenly found myself in a metal tube disguised as a jet, operated by a literal fly-by-night airline. The vile air was slowly murdering my brain and immune system. I hadn’t slept for days, and was growing stupid with fever. So I wrote:

There’s time to think on a plane. There’s time to grow old on a plane. Time to change your karma. Take up knitting. Plan your future. Understand James Joyce.

But you don’t.

You just sit.

And one generation passes away,

and another one comes in its stead;

and the earth abideth forever, they say,

but you never can quite get ahead.

            Water, water, water, water—clouds.

            Water, water, water, water—clouds.

The wind blows to the south, then turns to the north;

he bloweth about, but he knoweth his course.

            Water, water, water, water—clouds.

            Water, water, water, water—land.

And that which has been is that which shall—


Huzzah! There be land, men! Wales, the green and rich and earthy woolen scarf about the neck of Britain. Land of ancient Celts and giants of old…

Behold, I’ve contracted a cold. But how? Some devious Druid cloud crept in through an unseen crack, and then by means of mystic Celtic ritual de-mythologized and materialized inside my throat, bedeviling me like… Like what?

Like a big dumb guy, hangin’ around and hemmin’ and hawin’. Secret bane of some proud, upstanding Welshtown man. Ruinous, illegitimate child, result of one night’s sweet, departing faithfulness. Child of lust, child of Druid legacy…

Big dumb guy.

Just then, in the midst of my miserious ruminations, the earth reached up and grabbed us with her grinning grey midnight airport runway. Gatwick Airport, England! Oh, God! Oh, Hell!

Why am I here?

I managed to get through customs without them discovering my secret atomic molecule blaster. And then, carrying a shoulder bag that was never intended for shoulders as sloped and rounded as mine, I wandered down a long white porcelain tunnel, which eventually came to a train station–after passing through the center of the earth.

Waves of pyrexia passing over me: Is this it?  Have I died? Is this what death is like? Walking down an endless tunnel with a big, dumb guy pestering you? Is this it? Lugging a bag and looking for something that may or may not exist, and even if it does—how would a person know—it might be lying? Is this it?

Why am I here?

Why am I anywhere?

To read the next episode, click here.


About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Fool's Odyssey, Humor, Memoir, Poetry and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Big Dumb Guy

  1. Pingback: The Friendly Skies | Mitch Teemley

  2. Mitali sancheti says:

    “Is this it?” The most asked question of humans!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I completely and thoroughly like this. So self revealing. And you used the word pyrexia, so there’s that. ;-D

    Liked by 2 people

  4. rothpoetry says:

    Very interesting! Oh the joys of youth! Great post Mitch.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. gpavants says:

    Hi Mitch,

    Are you going to be dropping piece of your Fool’s Oddysey like bread crumbs? Live the storytelling style. Thank you. In Christ,


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Hanging From the Ledge of Heaven | Mitch Teemley

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