Billy and I were canoeing on the Black River, just out back of his house, slide the canoe down the hill, and into the water. Billy guided. We crept up on a side stream the pintail ducks had meandered into: once they panicked and had to flee our approach they had to fly at eye level right past our noses: good trick, Billy! But now we were wending home, taking a short cut through some thick brush, but Billy has spoted a brilliantly colored grosbeak.
I’d been birding that winter in Florida, Billy had been birding for years and decades. But this grosbeak was new to him: couldn’t tell by me, I was enjoying the hell out of everything.
The bird was going about its business. It sensed our approach, had to sense our slipping up on him, paddles weighed but the canoe having momentum. The grosbeak penetrated the brush, his back to us, seeking safety. We didn’t move. The bird checked us over his shoulder, sensed no follow up danger.
We were bird watching, here was a bird; now the bird began its own creature watching. Who are these men? How come they’re moving without moving? Eventually the bird decided he wasn’t in danger, began to realize that we were looking at him: admiring him! The grosbeak turned his ruby chest full on us, puffed it out completely: he knew what his talents were.
The canoe continued its momentum “forward.” The water dripping from our paddles slowed, our pace slowed, but still: we were passing the bush the bird had penetrated. The bird had been “facing” us for a minute or two, blazoning his ruby crest. Now the bird had to hop to the next bush to keep in front of us. We kept moving foward, the bird had to take aggressive action to keep up with us. Finally, the bird ran out of bushes to pose from, we continued to ride the current toward Billy’s garage / boat house. The ruby breasted grosbeak seemed indignant: “Hey! I‘m the show here! Where are you going? Come back!”
I’m a show off too, long have been. So was my father. So is every body.
So is the peacock, the elephant, the porpoise …
I recently mentioned the poor little monkey I saw in the Central Park Zoo — his mushroom-capped glans atop his imploring erection trembled right in front of his brow! My dick is tall, but this was ridiculous. He was showing it. How come no female had come to mount him? poor thing. There were some terrific looking girls, tall, slender, on lunch break I presume, before a cage on the other side of the primate house, inspecting, giggling about, I don’t know what: some chimp with a hard on, some gorilla leaking its pathetic jissom on the concrete!
No, no, my monkey, may have implored, speechless; look at me!
No, no, I echoed. Look at me!
(Those women were so attractive! (showing off!) God, I wanted to stand my rod right under their chin, leak some lubricant onto their lower lip …)
(Look how a tree blankets the whole neighborhood with its pollen!)
So: we’re showoffs, since before Eden, since way before Eden. God too was a show off, didn’t want to share magic with the Tree or the Fruit. Me, me, me. Look at me, Adam; Look at me, Eve!
Nazis goosestepping through Poland: Look at Me!
And now we have another damn Olympics, glorifying what we all do, never stop doing: showing off.
Here’s what I don’t get:
The first time I saw photos of “wheelchair olympics,” handicapped competition, prosthetic track and field, I was very moved. Finally, maybe, we’re taking a small step toward becoming Christian, brothers, survival-worthy … watching each others’ backs. But now all those inclusions obscure the healthy.
Several times I’ve mentioned the Potemkin Village built to fool Catherine the Great about the health of her nation. Recently I’ve been remembering a play I read under Eric Bentley, Jean Giraudoux: a village hires athletes, parades them before their gods, saying “These are our cripples.” Geniuses are presented as “our morons” … (Could that play have been Anouilh? not Giraudoux? been a while.)
What’s going on? Misrepresentation, disguise, deception … are old old pk themese, K. themes.
I’ll expand, interpret.
But today when I see Lebron enter the Post freely, steamrolling the area, I’m blown away, remember Denis Rodman under the boards. Talk about showoffs! But when I see some guy with steel springs instead of legs entering a sprint, I think, “We’re not Christian!” “We’re not fooling God!” (“Are we even fooling ourselves?”) “This isn’t a Helping Hand; this is condescending!
This is contemptible!