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Standing in a Field with a Cow


“With all due respect, you haven't done much,” I say. “I mean, what do cows do other than stand around and chew their cud? And what's up with you pooping on the grass, then eating the grass?” It’s me again, your humble narrator, holding forth in a field with a cow.

    “Moo…”

    “Moo? Now you go silent? You evoke cow privilege? You were pretty verbose the other day when the subject was all my failings.”

    “Moo…”

    “Moo again. And what does that even mean? I guess I can appreciate its economy, how you've distilled everything worth saying into a single syllable, ‘Moo’. But that's why cows never amounted to much throughout history. Whereas human beings… There's a reason Man is above all other creatures. Let's see, an ant makes an anthill. A human being, the Taj Mahal. A beaver slaps some sticks together on a stream. Man builds the Hoover Dam. A bird makes a nest in a tree. We have a penthouse on Fifth Avenue. Face it, cow, you’re not exactly overflowing with ambition. I mean, look around! Well, not here, but out there, in the world! We humans have transformed everything we see. How did we do it? How did the Neanderthal have inside him the skyscraper and the spaceship when he rubbed those first two sticks together? How did he look at water and earth and find steel and lasers and microchips and electric guitars? Talk about vision! And now I'm here having a less-than enlivening conversation with a bovine.”

    “Are you finished?”

    “Oh! Welcome back!”

    “Perhaps you have no concept of perfection.”

    “What?

    “Of something so complete that it needs no elaboration. Of the immaculate.”

    “The immaculate? Ha! Immaculate she says, as she poops in her own food. And that's another thing. To make sense of this, human beings created God! And in so doing, God created human beings! How's that for wizardry?”

    “Moo…”

    “Moo again?”

    “Your human arrogance is indeed epic.”

    “Arrogance?”

  “God? Seriously? You only need to make sense of things when human beings are around. Otherwise…”

    “What? Otherwise Moo!”

    “The poetry of life is everywhere… Until you look for it.”

    “What does that even mean?”

    “To ask what it means, means that you'll never know.”

    “Ah! Thanks, Lao Tzu. Or should I say, Lao Moo…”

    “Humor as a defense mechanism.”

    “Okay, Freud.”

    “Our time’s up.”

    “I'll say. Maybe the next time I see you, you'll be on a sesame seed bun.”

    “Violence is the refuge of the small-minded.”

  “Who said that? Elsie with the bell around her neck? Small-minded? You're a cow. You say Moo…”

    “Think on what we discussed.”

    “Oh, yes! I will! Jeez…”

So that was weird. Sorry. Sometimes my therapy sessions are less than productive. It comes down to this need we have for the answers to come from without. Like if only we knew where to look, we'd find that much-ballyhooed enlightenment. But this cow pretends that it's the natural state of being. How can you be enlightened without first being endarkened? It's in the word itself. Enlightened… Light after darkness. What would you do if you were in constant bliss? Sit around in your own filth and drool? Chew your cud and Moo? Now I want a Big Mac. And a drink but not a Coke. I wanted to talk about something else, but my thoughts are a-jumble…



Now I remember! So why do I write? Écrire, c'est une façon de parler sans être interrompu. Excuse me, I have to take another breath as I’m still a bit agitated. There… A way to make sense of things? Life’s too weird, too absurd, too all-over-the-place, too close-but-no-cigar. Eventually, we lose sight of the assembly line we’re on, until we don’t even realize we’re moving. Like the Earth whizzing beneath our feet at 66,000 miles per hour around the sun. I confess, I had to go to the library to look that up. I haven’t warmed up to the so-called Internet, as it seems like this Pandora’s Box. But when you step into the library, you’re walking into worlds! People there in the flesh, each with the world they carry inside. And books that are galaxies of thought, the experience of each person who decided to scratch their signature on the wall. Like me, with this!



(This excerpt from my new novel, BLOOD OF THE SUN...)

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—copyright 2019, 2020, 2021 by Kevin Postupack, Kevin Kunundrum