Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Holy Question!

    Lohbado staggered behind the remains of a burned out gas station and sank down on a heap of broken cinder blocks in a sea of bricks, metal reinforcement bar, chunks of cement, long grass and weeds. When things bothered him, Lohbado went to a vacant lot along a freeway service road and talked to a hole in the ground. The hole welcomed him to say whatever he liked, to complain and grumble to his heart’s content.

   He gazed into the hole and started to laugh. A puddle had formed from a recent rain and reflected his funny face, with the sky behind. He listened.

    Sound flowed in muffled waves. Layers of beige air rippled off the thundering viaducts as motorists crawled down clogged arteries to various destinations. Noise created pressure in his chest. He could hardly breathe. He rocked back and forth on the cinder block as nervous energy overloaded his system. He was glad there was nobody around. He enjoyed making a fool of himself.

    He had reached a point where there was nothing left to say except to discuss the alphabet, letter by letter, in great detail, listing mental associations, symbolism, puns and cosmic non-cosmic insignificance. The less the significance, the greater the relevance. It felt incredibly important for Lohbado to uncover hidden meaning, even though he knew there was no secret. Everything had been revealed in the Book of Oogah, a book full of holes, a holy book, describing everything and nothing in one breath.

A souped up Chevrolet Impala convertible pulled up on the cracked pavement of the burned out gas station. A tall man jumped out, popped the trunk and removed a beer from a cooler, then slammed the trunk. He took a long slug from the can, then gasped and a few seconds later, belched and sighed. He caught Lohbado staring at him.

    Fear swept through Lohbado as the muscular tall man in a rapper shirt, the number 13, approached to find out what Lohbado was staring at. When under pressure, Lohbado had a tendency to blurt out the first thing that came into his head.

    “You’re a messenger from The Great Nomroh,” said Lohbado, after the man asked him three times, in a rapper voice, what the @%$& he was staring at.

    “What does that mean?” asked the man.

    “The question does not exist,” said Lohbado.

    “You better not be laughing at me... Are you feeling all right? What are you doing here?”

    The man offered Lohbado a sip of beer. The beer made him feel better right away. It turned out the man was going down to the river to work on a song. He offered Lohbado a ride. They gave each other a brotherly handshake. The man took a beer from the cooler in the trunk and handed it to Lohbado. After two sips, Lohbado felt the glow. The combination of beer, nausea, and hysteria worked like a charm. After a few sips of beer, questions sounded empty. In the moment of drinking beer among the ruins of a gas station, during a warm day in May, as the sun blazed from a clear sky, through curtains of smog, Lohbado felt pure.

    The feeling of purity lasted as long as it took Roy to drive the Chevrolet to a marina where the river opened into a lake. Sail boats were attached to various docks. Roy laughed and shouted out fragments of a song he was working on. Motorists turned their heads to watch the spectacle of Roy at the wheel of a convertible, roaring bits of songs and laughing hysterically. Lohbado felt embarrassed and pleaded with Roy to calm down. Roy was behaving like
a messenger from the Great Nomroh, a spirit of endless possibility. Unfortunately, Roy was getting a bit too excited. He raced through a red light. A cop saw it. A red light flashed. The siren wailed. The car came after them as they approached the marina.

    Instead of pulling over, Roy booted it. The Chevrolet roared like a rocket down to the cement pier and kept on going. Lohbado shouted for him to stop. Roy had reached a point of no return. The car leapt off the end of the pier. The second of being airborne felt like an eternity. Lohbado thought of how nice it would be to have another beer from Roy's cooler in the trunk. All that beer would be lost forever as the car plunged to the bottom of the river. Lohbado instinctively jumped from the convertible as the car went under. Roy went to the bottom, his hands gripping the wheel. Lohbado kicked off his shoes and swam for shore.

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