A Third Thing:

It’s not necessarily a third thing. I’m not sure what the second or first thing would be in this context, but here it is, the proverbial and apparently third thing:

I want to reach up. Use my hands to grab a star out of the sky. I want to use clichés without everyone’s panties getting all bunched and wadded. I want to take that star and rub it against a cheese grater. Then I want to sprinkle the gratings over a salad made of asteroid debris. Preferably the radioactive kind. Then I want to take that salad and eat it with a pair of diamond chopsticks–the kind that might chip my tooth. And if it chips my tooth, I’ll put that tooth under my pillow and wait until the tooth fairy comes to ridicule me in my sleep for how I’m too old to believe in her anymore. At which point I’ll spring out of bed, sandbag her with my tempurpedic pillow, and take off with her bag of teeth and any remaining coinage in her fat fairy purse. In the morning my mother will wonder why a small winged woman is unconscious on the floor. But I will not be able to solve that riddle. I will be half way to a remote village in Guatemala that trades teeth in bulk for a variety of banana that’s been technically extinct for sixty years. Then, bananas in hand, I’ll dig my way to China, or maybe somewhere in Africa where I might use the bananas to curry favor with a traveling band of nomad orangutans. And I shall become their Queen. And when I die, my hand clasped in the sweaty hair of an elder orangutan, I’ll wonder why the hell I wanted to grab a star from the sky in the first place. I mean, how foolish? I should’ve just stayed home and watched a movie.


There was a point to all this, wasn’t there? Maybe something about the proper digestion of salads… No no no that wasn’t it. Ah yes…

I want to grow. I want to grow so badly. But here’s the rub (and maybe this is the third thing): growing involves changing. Did you know that? Cause I sure as heck didn’t.

I’m quite sorry to spoil the fun; the illusion that one can grow without changing, without letting go of habits, practices, behaviors, and beliefs that no longer serve one’s highest good; that one can grow simply by changing their hair style, their manner of dress and isolating themselves in a foreign country, although that is certainly one way to grow; terribly sorry I am to spoil the illusion that one can grow in the presence of comfort (where is the excitement in that)? The uncertainty? The tension? The release?

I’m sorry to spoil the illusion that one can grow without taking a magnifying glass to one’s shadow and holding it so the nose disappears and the mouth gets all big like a rowboat transporting a pair of googly eyes, and one, at the very least, let’s out a silly little giggle. No, without that one cannot hope to grow at all.

Do you get it?

Transmutation of one’s darkness necessitates the pragmatic recognition of absurdity.

Still not getting it?

We’ve got to look at the ugly and see the funny. 

For example, here’s a picture of me that’s not necessarily flattering, a picture that’s by no means traditionally pleasing to the eye:

Yes, yes. There you have it. A visual representation of absurdity. Of the great tragicomedy that is life. Please feel free to Photoshop the snot clotting in my nose for use in the Spring issue of Vanity Fair. How’s that for a gender revolution?

Listen, okay. 

I’m not your guru. Not that I think you think I might be. You’ve got Deepak Chopra and Dr. Phil for that.

I’m just a girl who got mistaken for a boy for twenty one years because I had a penis, two testicles, short hair, somewhat broad shoulders, a reasonably deep voice (like maybe a low alto), an insatiable attraction to women, and a sense of style that indicated to any and all passersby that I had just emerged from a sinkhole in a dusty couch.

Our ideas of how things should be matter as much as fresh apples matter to an anthropomorphic sheet of sandpaper.

Life is like a box of chocolates that somehow transforms into a stretch limousine with a jacuzzi, a torture chamber, and a dress code that mandates you must wear, at the most, a bowtie and toeless socks. You’ve either got to get on board, or miss out on all the weird fun. And sure, you might lose a pinky in the process. You might cry and wish you could be riding in a nice sterile Ford Pinto. You might pee in the jacuzzi and draw the ire of all six lizard penguins bathing beside you.

But listen, you dag gum human being you, one cannot hope to grow without change. You can’t grow without first sitting quietly in the mess of your life; without sitting on a floor covered in all your old clothes you thought you’d thrown away, without sitting on a floor smeared in crusty wads of Monday’s over salted lasagna leftovers, a floor stained in the jizm of an elephant god that never really cared for your taste in music, without holding hands with the ones you love, singing kumbaya, and letting everyone see just how snotty your nose gets when you begin to cry over how ugly everything seems. You just can’t hope to grow.

So you best get used to it. You best make friends with the ugly so that nothing ever seems ugly again. That’s the only way, my non-cetacean friend. And I believe in you. I believe in me. I believe also in dragons, and fairies, and alien beings from the Taurus constellation who’ve knowingly incarnated as humans to help raise the collective vibration. So maybe you should go read a book by Freud. Or sit in a sweat lodge chanting your name over and over again until it finally makes sense. Either way, make sure you’re at least a little bit uncomfortable. Or you’ll miss out on all the weird fun.

And that, I think, is the third thing.

Yes, that’s definitely it.

Signed, weirdly and queerly,

Your friendly neighborhood Zo


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