Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Grotesque Imagination

Abandoned Rubber

As I was leaving Clarion Park one day after an hour of bird watching, I saw a soggy prophylactic against one of the concrete chock blocks in the parking lot. I assumed someone had flung it there during some previous night of passion. I'd never been there at night and had no idea what kind of patrons came there in the dark. So to speak.

It had rained earlier that morning, but had cleared off before I arrived. By the time I was looking at the wet discard, it couldn't really be told if that thing was clouded merely with rainwater. It just looked wet, really. Now I don't mean that in this day of sexually transmitted diseases, I experienced any temptation whatsoever to pick it up, lay it out carefully under the microscope and subject it to careful scrutiny! I just wondered about it. Nobody else was around to wonder about it, so I did.

Two days later, I was at the park again and noticed that the lone condom was still there. Maintenance of the city parks suffers as much as any city department from budgetary cutbacks this year. Somebody early in the year threw one of the large trash cans into the deep storm drain that runs through the park and it stayed there for a couple of weeks. Anyway, I looked with interest at that happy balloon, again from a safe distance. If someone had come along and asked me what I was doing, would I have candidly answered, "Just looking at this gooey looey!" and laughed like a loon?

What if they retorted, "How do you know it's gooey?"

Everybody's a smartass. I had not prepared any answers to questions of that sort. Depending on who had asked me, I could have given them a disgusted look and said indignantly that I was going to email the City Parks and report this outrage and complain that the park wasn't being cleaned! Actually, I've done just that about the garbage can in the storm drain and earlier about fallen tree limbs blocking the pedestrian trails. (Just call me a secret do-gooder.)

Rubbers are interesting, and ought not to be unduly condemned. There must be a compelling story attached to each one, that's what I always think. Don't you? The condom in the parking lot was just as it'd looked on Monday. Though a little dirtier, the latex still had a newish look. I thought I could detect microscopic dots of sheen in the small puddle of rainwater it rested in—automotive oil, I'd think—well, probably. From its unevenly-deflated shape, someone as crazy as I am could imagine that if it had not recently been on somebody's member, then perhaps it had been in the hands (hand) of some earnest student of love who'd been joyously practicing with it on a banana. Naturally, you and I never did such a thing, but I suspect that somebody has, don't you? People are very weird, not to mention grotesque, you know?

If the former had occurred, I guess our happy sexual athlete simply flung it out the car window with a sigh and a "Thank you, Jesus" to the stars and a "Thank you, babe" to Whoever. It's an old-fashioned story.

Clean This City Up! (Start with me!)

But what if it was the latter scenario? I couldn't help but wonder, where was the banana? Wouldn't it all have been flung out the car window together? Why would one want to keep it?! Why not? I guess the banana wasn't as transparently "trash" to him (or her) and could be retained in the car for a while. Frankly, I would have considered a "practice" rubber less messy than the banana. I wonder if they remembered to remove the banana from the floorboard before somebody stepped on it? Life is messy.

Okay, I know you think this is getting too weird. I think so too. I now leave the rest of the guesses and conjectures about these messes to you. I have to go see my witch doctor right now.

[Uh, you weren't waiting for me to write about cute angels with pink wings teaching virginity to white fluffy bunny rabbits, were you? Sorry. Not yet.]

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Abandon hope, all ye who enter here! (At least put on your socks and pants.)