Saturday, August 4, 2007

What a Conversation Sounds Like

Ah, here you are. You've come back. I won't say "crawling" back, since I don't actually know that's what you did. You're so mysterious. But here you are. Yes, I'm still up. I'm reading the Tao Te Ching. No, don't worry. I haven't changed my religion. Oh, by the way, it's pronounced Dao. I hate it when you do that. Like the Tang Dynasty is pronounced Dong, although that may just be a regional thing. So I'm told the transliteration would have it. Not my language, so it's other people's authority. I had a professor that I'm remembering now. My BA is history. Did you know that? I think I took two of the three courses on Chinese history. As I recall, the third wasn't offered. I took courses in Japanese history and Indian (South Asian, or Asian Subcontinental) history, and various seminars in Islamic history. You know. Civilizations. Oh, and Russian. Not to mention European. And South American. Those must have been, technically, poli sci classes, since the professor was a Marxist. This was back when the Sandanistas were rebels. No, it couldn't have been the Sandanistas -- but there was some rebel communist group in one of the Central American countries, and one of them came and spoke to us, and I asked him about his seeking a military solution, and he said he wasn't. Odd, how I don't remember what country he was from. Oh yeah. The Contras. How could it slip my mind. But no, that's not it, because he was a communist. Oh yeah. It was the Sandanistas. And they were in power but fighting the Contras. I remember being surprised that he denied seeking a military solution. They weren't looking for a mixed government. It was a one party state. Aren't they all. He wore a black suit and a narrow black tie. Looked like a Jehovah's Witness.

Ok, now it's your turn.

[crickets. the moaning wind. the rattle of branches against glass panes. in the distance a dog howls.]

I should have known. So, anyway, did I ever tell you about the time I lured some Jehovah's Witnesses into my home? I went to their, uh, church and asked for one of their mistranslated Bibles. They showed an interest in me, and wondered if they might speak to me about issues of doctrine. Why surely you may. I'll look forward to it. They came three or four times, then stopped coming. I had the Greek, you see, and kept pointing out their doctrinal difficulties. That's why I wrote some of that stuff posted in Historic Christianity. On the Cross, and the Holy Spirit. It was for them. They didn't read it, though. That annoyed me. No matter how polite, it was discourteous. In those days, it was libraries and typewriters. Remember typewriters? No, you don't. God you make me feel like Methuselah. A friend of my son's didn't know how to use a rotary phone. I think these latest generations are the most disconnected of any from the past. The phrase used to be future shock. We're a bit past shock by now. If you don't stay current, you fall out of the loop instantly. It used to be that jobs were replaced by new jobs. When I was a kid my grandparents would talk about the old days, when the fields needed to be threshed. Threshing machines. There were photos of scores of men who would come for a few days and reap the grain, then move to the next farm. Trains of mules. In the long makeshift mess tents, the farm women would all get together and cook. Pies, as I recall. The men would spit directly onto their own pie, so that no one else would take it. Well, it worked. Must have been a custom that developed from bitter experience. But then, most experience is bitter. What's that? Did you say something?

[the seconds stretch into minutes, and hours and weeks and years. the globe spins into a cloud of interplanetary dust, and the sun grows dim. an ice age descends. the hard waters possess the continents, weighing them down below sea level. only the mountains remain, jutting like shipwrecks out of still foam. humanity goes underground, farming molds and insects, waiting, waiting for the gelid earth to thaw. someday there will be light again. someday spring will come.]

No. No, I guess you didn't have anything to say after all. What would make me think you did? My mistake. We'll overlook it. Y'know, for all this talk about Global Warming, doesn't it seem like it's getting colder?



brent said...

Man, the things you'll do for a comment. It's just disgraceful. Have you no self-respect?

I minored in History but changed it to pastorial studies. I still read and enjoy history. The History channel is my favorite channel when I watch TV. My interest was American History particularly the Civil War. Of late, I am drawn to the early American History. Pre- and revolutionary times.

Language is facinating to me. My step-grandfather was Italian whose mother came from the old country. This is probably why I enjoyed Greek so much. By the way, I flunked my first semester of Greek. Hebrew was a little more difficult for me to grasp probably because I didn't put the energy into it that I did with Greek. I have a latent fantasy to go back someday and finish my MDiv and focus on language. Maybe teach.

I called for a morman bible once. The readers digest had an add that you could call an 800 number and they would bring one by. They took a little survey and in a couple of days two single female morman missionaries appeared at my door. (I was single at the time.) They came for four visits before they replaced the one I was getting through to with the big mama morman missionary. After that visit she said that she could see that I was not interested in joining the *church* and they wouldn't be coming back. I prayed for that one girl for several years after that.

I could talk more about my agrarian ancesters, however this is more than I've talked in 6 months and I'm feeling a little bit exposed. I do the listening. That's what I'm comfortable with.

Jack H said...

Yes, "comments". But not from *you.* Hearing about your boring past and uninteresting ideas is not my idea of how to profitably invest a sunny Sunday morning. They're having a Burning Man I could be going to.

Six months? I pity you. I never stop talking. Me me me. But maybe you've noticed. I think my way is best. That's why I'm so popular, especially with all the chicks. That's *my* comfort level, bucko. Yeah. The chicks.

And no, I don't have any self-respect. *sob*


Anonymous said...

I almost fell for this, too. Typed, deleted. Typed, deleted.

Who are you talking to, Jackie? Someone caught your fancy?

Jack H said...

Ah! At last! A! You've come! You're back! Please, please don't feel the need to delete. No, share with me, with us. Um, so what are you doing? Wanna go to Starbucks? I've heard great things about it. They're having an extemporaneous poetry contest -- wanna try out? And then we can just hang for a while. Uh, so what're ya doing? Oh, did I say that already? Haha. I'm so crazy. Um, yeah, I really like, you know, Starbucks. It's rad. Oh, didn't you ask me if someone was hot for me? For sure! There's this hot chick who's so hot for me, I can just tell, you know? Maybe I should talk to her. Yeah, I'll be all casual and say, like, "Hi." And she'll be all, "Oh, hi there yourself." And I'll say, "Hey, wanna go out with me and have some coffee?" And she'll say, "Dude, I work at Starbucks." And I'll feel really stupid then, but I'll laugh and say, "No duh. You didn't have to take a tone with me, baby." And she'll say, "Whatever, loser." Then I'll ask to talk to the manager, and she'll say he's on break, but why don't I write a note and she'll be sure to give it to him, and I'll be like, "Right, like I'd trust you." And she'll get all mad and go to another table. And you and me will laugh as she walks away, to make her think we're laughing at her.

It'll be great.


Anonymous said...

Naw, you don't need somebody else to scrape off the bottom of your shoe, now do ya?

Anyway, were you talking to me? Annonymous? I think you got the wrong person here, since I've never said anything about someone having the hots for you. Must be a different annonymous. Anyway, poor me, you wouldn't consider me for a coffee companion, all things considered. Plus, I hear there may be bugs in the coffee.

I shall now step aside for the right "annonymous" to come forward. Love always, Me, the wrong annonymous.

Jack H said...

No, no I'm sure it's you. So what's your point? I don't know what I know? That's sort of demeaning. Why do you always try to hurt me? Talk about shoe-scraping. I'd never do that to anyone. It's inhuman.

Oh yeah, I know more about you than you'd ever imagine. What? You think I live an a fantasy world? That would be pathetic. Yep. Pathetic. And I don't appreciate the games. At all. I'm a very sincere person, and don't have time for nonsense.

You've got a lot to learn.


Anonymous said...

My point is......I don't think I really had a point. Apparently you're willing to accept and replace any annonymous with the annonymous that you were waiting for. When you put out an open call for comments, that's what you get. I mean that sincerely.

Ever go to Chef's Take-Out?

Jack H said...

Oh I'm so over you. Get a life.


Jack H said...

No! Wait! I, uh, I didn't mean it! Heh heh. I didn't mean *you*. Why do you have to be that way? We'll just put this behind us. And I'm not sure what you mean when you're talking about there being more than one you. Is that like some sort of metaphor? Listen, I know how complex you are. You don't have to make it more complicated than it already is. This thing that we have, it's too valuable to just toy with. So shape up.