Wednesday, August 15, 2007

You do it to yourself, or...

Why I am Travis Bickle in a Room-Temperature Redux

If you've seen Taxi Driver, you might realize what I mean. Travis "Are You Talkin' to Me?" Bickle had delusional paranoia and a sense that his best efforts for excellence and virtue were always being undermined by outside enemies. But in fact, it was his own habits and fears and obsessions that eroded his character, so much so that the only way his fragmented character could be salvaged was by distilling it into one pure act in one pure fugue of retributive violence. Pretty hard core stuff. I am like Bickle in that while I may feel jeopardized, say, in my pursuit of holiness or wisdom, by outsider aggressors, in fact I do it to myself. I am my own worst enemy, as are many of us. But I am only a pallid redux of Bickle in that my redemptive fugues of will are not nearly as gory, nor as cinematic. The best I can do for cinematic effect is bury myself in study (my own Chariots of Fire anthem playing in the background), or do some pull-ups (to the mental beat of the Rocky theme), or gorge on some good grub (while listening within myself to the tune from Fat Albert). I hear PSP is a good way to go, too, though.

Well, last night I was up much later than I should have been, partly because I spent time tidying up my room. This morning I spatula'd myself out of bed and enjoyed Mass (oddly, not devoted to the Assumption... I'm constantly baffled by the intricacies of the Roman rite calendar), went back upstairs to get ready, and then hustled off to work, feeling good at least knowing "my house was in order." As I came down the steps, though, I felt something firm but not really hard in the toe of my left shoe. "Odd," I mused, but had no time to examine and remove what I thought was a plebeian (albeit curious) shoe-borne dust bunny.

The ride to work was smooth and fast, enhanced by the Peppers jamming in my iPod. I hurried into class and tried to get my bearings. It drizzled this morning so I had donned my rain gear. When I tried to remove the pants, they caught on my shoe heels, so I slipped the shoes off and shook them out while I had the chance... and then saw the true form of my mysterious dust bunny.

It was a two-inch cockroach.

His sojourn in my shoe had left him much the worse for wear. He was down to half of one antenna and only one attached legs (three others tumbled out like stalk snowflakes to catch up with their corpse). I don't know if the little stowaway was alive or dead when I put him, I mean, my shoe on. He wasn't telling, either. In fact, all I could read on his face, askew on a thin broken neck, was this:

"You've been Bickled."

1 comment:

craigb said...

save that guy for fondu!