Saturday, February 23, 2013
"On the other hand, I don't have any knees." (The Continuing Adventures Of Monty The Mountain) (1)
I am a mountain, which is why people get confused sometimes and think that my name is "Monty The Mountain," but you would be wrong to assume that is my name. Are you, after all, "Mark Twain The Human?" I think not.
Forgive me for using "Mark Twain" as a descriptor for an average human. Mark Twain is on my mind a lot these days, because I am taking a class in American Literature at City College of Omaha, which is where I am a student. I only took the class because I knew him, Mark Twain, or, well, mostly because I knew him but also because I needed three more credits to get full-time status this semester and I didn't want to have to start paying back my student loans.
You think being a human is complicated? Try being a mountain.
Seriously, I wish you would try it. Because I get lonely, especially since I found out my girlfriend is cheating on me. I haven't told her yet that I know, because I'm not sure what I am going to do about it. I mean, yes, Lucy is cheating on me, and yes that hurts but then yes, too, not many girls are willing to date mountains at all, and so maybe I should hope this is just a fling? And that she'll get over it and we'll be happy together?
For so long as she lives, anyway, which is not nearly as long as I am going to live, provided that My Nemesis doesn't get me. I hope... she? he? it? ... it is hard to have a Nemesis and not know a thing about he/she/it other than that it exists, especially when one is trying to write down one's thoughts and feelings, as I am trying to do here, which may surprise you in that I bet you didn't know that mountains had thoughts and feelings, let alone girlfriends and a need to not pay their student loans, etc. etc. and so on.
But we do: I can tell you, because I am a mountain, and I have all those things, except maybe the girlfriend because I haven't spoken to Lucy in a week since I found out that she was cheating on me, and so while we haven't broken up we haven't exactly been together, either, and so I have all those other things.
On the other hand, I don't have any knees. I don't know why that is. People ask me that sometimes. There's this guy I know who said to me the first time I met him, "Why don't you have any knees?"
There we were, standing in the middle of a cosmic battleground created by the interaction of our psychic forces, ready to do battle, and that was what was bugging him.
I was, like, "So you are about to do battle with a psychic mountain and that's what's on your mind?" but before I even thought that we were fighting and pretty soon he was just a pool of juice. Not pretty.
Don't mess with a mountain. I can say that, for sure. I may be an indifferent student, but why would you hold that against me? It is not easy to be a mountain and a sophomore in college. For one thing, I have to constantly mess with perspective, so that I can be a mountain and still sit in one of those dinky chairs. The Student Life Coordinator told me that the various laws that help force accommodations for people don't consider "mountain" a handicap, which they're damn right it's not, but still, I have to constantly be focused on maintaining my own giant size, while also not, if you know what I mean.
I know you don't but it's hard, is the point.
So. I am writing this down because I don't know what else to do. I am sort of at the end of my rope, here. Ha. I was about to write "proverbial rope" but then I didn't because of course the rope is proverbial. Can you imagine a mountain hanging from an actual rope?
I did that once, and I'd rather talk about that than the feelings of hopelessness I get, the feeling that sometimes maybe I should just give it all up and rock out... that's what we mountains call it when we finally give up being sentient and decide to just sit for a few eons until the shifting of the Earth's mantle which originally created us, springing us up from the accumulated dust of the eons into giant piles of sentient rock (albeit without knees) destined to use our psychic powers to protect one chosen ... thing. I... um.
I'm getting sidetracked. Anyway, I've been thinking of rocking out, of giving up, of letting the Earth swallow me back up eventually, but I'm not sure I've gone that far down this road of depression yet.
Also, I haven't found my chosen... chosens? thing to protect. I know I'm supposed to protect... he? she? it? them? from My Nemesis, but I don't know who any of these things are.
Which is part of why I'm depressed, so let me tell you about the rope thing because otherwise it's more beer, more thinking about calling Lucy, more thinking about how I don't know what it is, exactly I'm supposed to be protecting from what it is exactly that's hurting them, or it, or whatever.
There I was: in the deepest, darkest part of the jungle. Only not really. I mean, it looked like a jungle but it was south Florida, and it was spring break last year, and I'd gone there hoping that maybe some of the people I'd met on campus would hang out with me, but nobody really does, everybody's all like, "Um, you're a mountain, I don't think you would fit in with the basketball team," or whatever, so I was kind of bored and it was day three of the vacation and rather than hang out on the beach, again, and just read, I thought "Well, I'll take one of those tours of the Everglades," only the guy wouldn't let me on the airboat.
It is seriously discrimination and sexism, whatever, etc., that they didn't. I explained to him that I wouldn't tip the boat over and that I'd fit right in, and this hillbilly guy wearing some kind of tattered old baseball cap from a strip club and no shirt and a pair of jeans on, how is that even a look, I don't know, says
"Yeah, bit yer a muntin," which is I swear how he said it: bit for but and yer for you're.and muntin for mountain.
Well that was not the last I'd see of that guy that day but of course I didn't know that yet, so I got back into my rental car, which the lady at the rental car agency was actually very nice and never gave me any "you're a mountain" crap at all, and I was driving through this road through the Everglades National Park because you can do that and I got out and I was looking at the swamp and trying to see alligators, or crocodiles, or whatever they have there (I think I heard they have both) and I didn't see any.
It seems like when a place is famous for something, that thing should be like all over the place, doesn't it? Like if you go to Florida there should be alligators and white-trash serial killers just walking around the streets having drinks at Ernest Hemingway's house, the way (I imagine) if you went to Australia you would have kangaroos just jumping everywhere, ten to a streetcorner, as they say.
But no, there were hardly any alligators or crocs or whatever in the swamp, at least I didn't see any, and I got back in the car and drove some more, and I drove most of the day, and stopped from time to time, and I ate some of the snacks I'd brought with me -- Cheetos, mostly-- and pretty soon it was like five o'clock and I thought I should be getting back to the hotel, because there'd been a lot of serious partying at the pool and I was hoping to make it into my room before that got going. You know what's depressing? Slinking around the edge of a massive party carrying a six-pack of beer and a book you bought at the mall that day, hoping to get invited to the party but knowing you're going to end up reading, like, 2/3 of that book that night and you won't even drink the whole first beer you open.
So I wanted to make it back before the party started, really, so I wouldn't be confronted with the noise and girls in bikinis and guys who are cooler than me, etc., and whatnot, and I turned around to get in my car and there's Airboat Hillbilly standing there, grinning and chewing on something.
"We don't git miny muntins in the swamps," he said.
I didn't answer back.
"Wonder what the 'gators'll think of you," Airboat Hillbilly said, and he pulled out a gun and fired off three quick shots at me.
I don't need to tell you that they didn't hurt me at all, I mean I'm rock and all, etc., but I was surprised, and so I stood there a moment longer and then Airboat Hillbilly smiled, more.
"So ya rilly are a muntin," he said. "I wasn't sher the boss wasn lyin' t'me."
And with that he pulled out a totally different kind of weapon, one he'd had behind his back, and I'd seen something like it once before only not this close and not pointing at me and not, for sure, in the hands of an Airboat Hillbilly.
So I ducked and rolled, something that took me years to learn to do -- no knees! -- and hoped to get out of the way of the device but it didn't work, it enveloped me and him in this field and we were on a psychic battleground, but one he'd devised, not me.
It was a cliff, or rather a precipice, or maybe a rock tower. More like a rock tower, I guess, this pile of rocks that just rose up, out of nowhere, or out of infinity, or something, taller and taller and taller and at the top, it was only a few feet wide all the way up, at the top it was maybe 5 feet wide, total, and we were standing on it, and the Airboat Hillbilly says
and pushes me off the rock and I am falling.
But look, it wasn't my first psychic battle and obviously wasn't my last, because I'm here telling you about it and I've had some since then, and so I quickly got a rope, made from my mind, that anchored onto the top of the rock and couldn't be pulled out, and I grabbed that psychic rope and I slowed myself down and I hung from the bottom of it, looking up at Airboat Hillbilly.
"Perty quick," he said, and he tugged at the rope. I concentrated, and the rope resisted him. He put both hands on it and pulled, and I thought harder and the rope turned white hot, electric hot, and he pulled back, his hands singed and burning.
This was all in our minds, you know: if you'd seen us in the Everglades you'd have seen him holding a Projector, a device that lets people use psychic powers even if they can't consciously control them, in a limited range around them, and me standing there, and both of us motionless, because what he'd done was snare my consciousness into this realm he'd created.
So I was hanging from my white hot rope and he was up there with his (mental image of his) hands burning, and we had a standoff. I couldn't climb, but he wasn't able to dislodge the rope. I was trying to think what to do next. The hardest part of a psychic battle is gathering your thoughts. The thing about Projectors is they make it a little easier to do that, amplifying what you're thinking and giving it energy, whereas I've got to do that on my own, pulling it from Ether and etc., so I was furiously trying to focus on what I was going to do next but Airborne Hillbilly had the edge, and he began pelting me with comets.
Really big ones, great big giant balls of ice that were flung into me from everywhere, forcing me to use my perspective to be full-sized again and that helped a little but comets are big anyway, and I was starting to get hurt, and I heard him yell
"Good bye from yer Nimisis!"
and I concentrated really hard and his hat turned into a monster, a monster that was all mouth and it swallowed him up and then flopped onto the rock, chewing him ferociously and then spitting him out in bits because it hadn't any stomach, and the comets stopped.
I focused and created a mental jetpack and got myself to the top of the rock tower, where I kicked the monster off the edge and heard it howling as it fell and fell and fell into the distance, and I looked down at the Airboat Hillbilly's head.
"Don't mess with a mountain," I said.
And then we were back, in the Everglades. Airboat Hillbilly slumped to the ground. He wasn't eaten, not really, at all, but his mind was eaten, pretty good, and he was pretty much just one of those comatose zombie patient guys like Jack Nicholson was in that Cuckoo's Nest movie I watched onetime on Netflix.
So I got in my car and I drove back to the hotel, where I didn't get invited to the party. I never saw Airboat Hillbilly again but for one time. That's another day, though, because I have to get to class.