Edmund Hillary

In No Particular Order

Jacquie and I are going on a road trip. We’re bringing a GPS device. Like an iPad, its screen automatically changes orientation as you go from holding the device vertically to horizontally and back again. This way we’ll know exactly where we are as our car tumbles down the side of a cliff. So, I won’t be posting here for a while, especially if we tumble down the side of a cliff.

In the meantime…



Lost Sleep

So I haven’t slept in the last day. Big deal. There are tons of things I haven’t done in the last day, more or less. I haven’t littered. I haven’t shoplifted from a book store.  I haven’t urinated on my upstairs neighbor’s mailbox. So why is everybody fixating on this particular thing as if it were the end of the world? They wag their fingers chidingly. “You need a decent night’s sleep,” they say. “Like a dolphin needs a hole in its head. Going without one is a risk to your physical and mental health.” But I’ve gone without a dolphin all my life. You don’t see me running around with mental problems. The fact is people don’t want the truth to be known. The less you sleep, the farther you see into The Beyond.

The Beyond.

Sleeplessness begets hitherto unimaginable powers such as the ability to detect in others their unspoken determination to kill me. This group, coincidentally, includes anyone who has spoken with me for more than five minutes, read my blog or heard about me. Jacquie says I’m being “paranoid.” Call it what you will, this power is a lot better than paranoia. And anyone can have this power. If you go without sleep for a day, you too will detect in others the unspoken determination to kill me.

Closeup. Left armpit. Deadly white-tailed spiders. Introduced to New Zealand from Australia in the early 19th century. Good thing I found them when I did. I almost missed them. They were traveling under an assumed name. They planned it all ahead. In the early 19th century. They hunt at night, leaping many times their body length like the cast from West Side Story, only with one thing on their minds: to predate on a defenseless household pet (me.) Maybe also to win a Tony. So two things on their minds. Oh, and to eat, and to get laid. Which probably happens at the same time, knowing those types. You know. (Wink Wink) Arachnids.

People also say if you don’t sleep, you don’t dream, but that’s not true because I had this dream that I went to Glengarry Wines for a non-Zealand vintage. But I wasn’t sure what I was in the mood for. So I stood for a moment looking perplexed––you know, trying to look like a New Zealander––when this clerk comes up to me and says, “How can I help you?” I smiled. “I’m not sure, exactly,” I said. “I guess I’m looking for something cheap and white. Like me.” The clerk laughed, which proves that I was dreaming, and if you want more proof, Sir Edmund Hillary defrosted my Fisher & Paykel Elba RF 249 fridge because a faulty gasket in the door had led to a build-up of moist air in the compartment that condensed too fast for the poor refrigerator, and later turned into a thick carapace of ice, partially blocking egress to and from The Beyond, a problem that was not covered under warranty. (Figures). But Hillary knew what to do. (Of course.) (Show off). He said, “Tenzing and I faced this same problem on Everest. Good thing we’d had a couple of screwdrivers on the way up.”

Then things got really stupid, like a bad photograph taken with a shitty camera by a poor craftsman who blathers on and on about his tools, which I never saw a problem with, incidentally, since if the poor craftsmen had a little more money, they could afford tools they wouldn’t blame, but I digress.

I went to art school.

The dream had turned into a nightmare in which I read a story somewhere about a survey of travel “experts” who said that New Zealand was the second hottest destination this year after New York City so I knew that I finally had fallen asleep.