Friday, July 21, 2006

The summer heat collects in my apartment the way kids at ComiCon in San Diego this weekend collect Mr. Spock action figures, or explanations for why they like the Star Trek episode featuring Frank “The Riddler” Gorshin as one of guys with the black and white faces who look like the cookies at the Kosher bakery. At which point I hear Captain Kirk’s voice in my head:

“You must… learn… to. Stop… making. So many. Geeky… references.”

I’m trying to fall asleep, but my mind is racing from one thought to another:

Speaking of Kosher bakeries, my dad used to stop at this place on Long Island off the Southern State Parkway on his way home and pick up a blueberry pie for me knowing I love blueberries even though I told him blueberry pie isn’t as good as blueberries themselves -- ripening in a sweltering summer heat like now -- and besides, the bakery had these rude Russian women who never understood his weird jokes like when he sang this silly tune called “Matzoh Balls and Gefilte Fish” which he insisted wasn’t a made-up ditty, but an actual song by Slim & Slam, and years later, when the record company released their work from the 1930s on CD, I bought it and found that he was right -- coupla brothers singing jazzy riffs about Jewish soul food -- except the tune was completely different, though not necessarily any better than Dad’s version.

And dammit, now that stupid song is in my head. “Matzoh balls, gefilte fish, makes you order up an extra dish. Put a little horseradish on it, makes it really mella, oh yeah, them matzoh balls can really knock you out!” Cue the xylophone solo…

Gotta sleep, gotta sleep…

But what am I gonna do when I get up tomorrow? Am I gonna attend that ComiCon thing? Look for my next TV gig and tell people my show is airing and if you look really closely at the bottom third of the screen where they scrunch the credits, you can see my name if you don’t blink? Is ComiCon worth the drive down southern California? If I were The Flash, could I run there faster than you could blink? Would it take longer than my name appears on your TV screen? Do these questions make me as geeky as the Spock collectors? Or more like The Riddler?

One thing I won’t do tomorrow is try another Red Bull. It didn’t taste that great -- someone told me it tasted like liquid bubblegum, but it was more like carbonated caffeinated crap but wow did it pack a REM-robbing wallop, and it doesn’t stain your teeth like my black-as-Frank-Goshin’s-right-side espresso. Hey, did they ever make an After-School Special about caffeine addiction? I oughta write that. Hell, I oughta write something. Since the TV gig and finishing the book, I’ve been slacking lately. My blog is been as spotty as -- well, if the black-and-white-faced aliens intermingled, what would their offspring look like? Spotty? Zebra-ish? Do the half-faces break into quarters like on the BMW logo? If they miscegenate enough, maybe could use someone’s forehead as a chess board.

Maybe I need to stop trying to ponder the mixed genomic results from fictional interplanetary species. I mean, if I’m trying to be Gene Roddenberry and Gregor Mendel all at the same time--

Here I am again using geeky references and forced similes…

And then I sense it coming. Sleep. You ever have that feeling? When it approaches like a, well, like an ocean wave…

Every summer I put off learning to surf. I don’t know why. Probably because I have too many other things on my mind. But this isn’t something to think about, just to do. Or mabye it’s both. In any case, my procrastination doesn’t make sense because I’m here in LA and I love body-surfing. I used to do it as a kid with my friends back on Long Island. We’d go to Jones Beach and immediately splash out into the ocean, bobbing up and down, treading water, looking out at the horizon, waiting. We’d see a wave coming and think it might be a good one, so we’d swim inland, hoping to catch it just right and ride it in. Sometimes, our timing was off and we’d miss it. Usually, though, it’d be a fun little adventure. Though it might not be the one. I know surfers talk about this -- maybe that’s what they mean by the seventh wave, but often we’d lose count waiting for that perfect swell.

And when I’m trying to get some rest, I sometimes suddenly feel that heavy sleep come like that wave, a force of the universe. And then, it doesn’t matter if I try to ride it; it’s bringing me in, regardless. No sense fighting this unstoppable force. I just let it take me over. I’m actively passive.

I don’t know if I’m describing it right -- but when I awake, it’s like I’ve been washed onto the beach, exhilarated, satisfied. I don’t need to go back out in the water, or try to go back to bed.

So in my moment of clarity -- the Big Cahuna of Consciousness -- I try to write about it…

Until reality kicks in like a bad episode of my TV show with the scrunched down credits lasting less than the drive down -- not on the Southern State on Long Island past the rude Russians or Jones Beach but south in this state to San Diego -- to ComiCon kids collecting Gorshin gobbledy-gook geeky gefilte fish references overheating my brain like the summer weather ripening the delicious blueberries…


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