By Andrew Ramirez
It’s been a long winter break but it’s nice being back, glowing, on your computer screen. Or for all you dinosaurs still into the whole preservation of your eyes (if it’s not veganism, it’s activism, always something) it felt real good rolling out of that printer. I feel one part Robin Williams wafting out of his lamp, two parts frozen Austin Powers soaking in warm syrup, six parts Bill Paxton wincing triumphantly into the sun at the end of Apollo 13, and infinite parts coach Bombay cockily limping off a night bus at the onset of Mighty Ducks II, musing in a raspy voice: It’s good to be home…
Right, right. But it’s more like: Who the hell reads your blog, much less prints it out?
Look, it’s not me; it’s the movies I was raised on. Blame them. My head gets snagged in all the sentimental muck that’s supposed to define the glorious return home. Even if it was like the movies, more accurately it’d be less D2 and closer to the likes of Frankenstein. Pained moaning, major confusion, all these stitched wounds I can’t account for.
Q: In one hundred and sixty characters or less, please define: welcome home.
A: Lightning. Belted by leather straps to a steel gurney. A strange man leaning over you screams you’re alive. YOU’RE ALIVE!
But it’s worth considering the second part, too:
Part one: So you’re back.
Part two: Well who cares?
There are a few fine examples of questions that (for reasons of sanity, motivation) are better off as spinsters, uncoupled with answers:
1. Who reads your blog anyway?
2. Now that you’re home, how many people are knocking on your door, saying welcome home?
If it’s too many, you drown, face-down, delusional, in a tepid pool of self-released bodily fluids. And if it’s not enough, you pretend it doesn’t matter—who cares? certainly not me!—simultaneously smoking way more cigarettes, wearing a lot of black, and looking forward to finality, drastic change, things like the end of the Mayan calendar.
All of which helps me cherish the simple, basic act of tapping out lines that fall into blocks with spaces in between. It’s like the child who talks to himself. Who’s listening? Well, the kid doesn’t worry about it. Why should you or I?
And whether there’s a six-foot banner with your name stamped across it, waiting for you at the bottom of the airport elevator, or no one but the janitor wearing a shirt with his name on it: what’s important is you’re here, arrived, alive.
So welcome back already. Time is short. Have you eaten? We ought to do something, like go to a bar or something.