DECEMBER 11, 2018

Season of Peace


So anyway, the annual Parade of Lighted Yachts was smaller this year. Not a lot of people feel like celebrating in a grand way what with all the losses that have happened recently. Nevertheless, the houses are being draped with lighted garlands and the now traditional animatronic figures glowing steadily in defiance against the increasing darkness.

Old Gaia sits there on the rickety porch of the world. Now is the time when Gaia tilts her weathered face creased with valleys, arroyos, hills, deserts, plains, mesas, continents and the liquid seas of her deep dark eyes away from gazing at her son, Phoebus Apollo riding in his bright chariot as she sits and rocks ever so slowly in the ticking wicker chair, the folds of the quilted Universe draped across her lap, the rocking becoming the dance of Shiva, the creaking rails marking the ever ceaseless count of time's advance, ticking each second, each century, from the first moment of creation until that rocking chair stops at the moment of that last, terrible, motionless silence.

Some people confused by Astrological hoodoo believe in this day and age the season cools as the earth spins further from the sun -- nothing could be further from that deception, unless it be the foolish nonsense of Mercury Retrograde, the classic illusion, for nothing moves with surer purpose than the planets.

As Gaia turns her face away from the light, her ravined face gradually cools with measured shadows covering the valleys of her eyes, all the world chilling under the frost that puts all of Nature into a deep sleep, and everything is precisely where it needs to be right at this moment while Phoebus Apollo gallops in his low-rider at an angle to her repose, harder to see in his daily journey, a sort of sideshow to beat all side shows.

Now is when the Goddess walks the cold furrows, morning the temporary loss of her daughter, gone to spend a pomegranate season with the Dark Lord below, and the sere stalks crunch beneath her sandals.

The kids start out shortly after sunrise and the wheeze and clang of the yellow school busses return as light fails once again to spill out the little runners with bookbags and conical hats.

All around the Island the gentle folk, and those not so gentle, look to bedeck their mansions and their hovels with such trappings as makes Tradition, each to each. Mr. Howitzer arranges for Dodd to have a Douglas Fir delivered and has the help do the ornaments. He has no time for that rubbish but does have Dodd serve spiked eggnog in the parlor with the fire going on a Spare the Air Day until Mrs. Cribbage falls into the ferns because of too much brandy.

The Church of Our Lady of Incessant Complaint is once again hosting its annual pageant with the help of some singers on loan from Pastor Nyquist of the Lutheran Emmanuel Church. This arrangement is possible due to the long friendship that has developed between Father Danyluk and the Pastor and their mutual agreement to say nothing about it to their respective bishops.

The Lutheran banquet is organized and well supplied with good wines and liquors that appear to have come from the Rectory of Father Danyluk, so everyone finds the arrangements convenient and comfortable.

Trees, of course are ensconced in bay windows for all to see, including the Almeida family, the Sanchez family, and even Jason Arrabiata, CFSM, who of course has topped his Fir with a metal colander. And even the Household of Marlene and Andre is planning a sortie so as to obtain and bring back a tree suitable for the washtub that has served as sturdy stand for many a jolly year.

Of course no one in the Household can afford a tree, what with the rental crisis being what it is, yet nevertheless, year after year a tree of some sort of condition does appear even as a tree may disappear from some other place. One year Mr. Howitzer came out to fetch his paper and stood there puzzled, noting something amiss with the landscape but unable to place his finger upon it. Only that an upturned wheelbarrow stood beside the wall where there was a gap in the green privacy curtain.

"Dodd! I say, do you see anything amiss out there?"

Dodd pursed his lips. "Can't say so, sir. Unless the gardener left some tools out there. The wheelbarrow, I see."

"Well have it put away," Mr. Howitzer said. "I am going to have breakfast. Poached eggs benedict. The usual."

Later Dodd removed the wheelbarrow to reveal a newly shorn pine stump. Which he covered up with mulch and a potted azalea.

It was yet too early this year to fetch a tree for the Household, which still had to gather its resources, but plans were being made.

Plans also were being made by members of the Angry Elf gang who had in mind several "educational" burnings in the next few weeks. They, too, found a kind of joy in the Festival of Lights. when cars burn so merrily through the night outside of selected storefronts.

The local Homeland Security Offices held a joint clandestine get-together with other agencies. Organizing the event proved to be a challenge as some of the operatives were not officially funded, requiring high security in communications which took place via encrypted emails, encrypted thumbdrives passed around in scones and bagels from the Boogie Woogie Bagel Shop, and encrypted passenger pigeons who were required to fly blindfolded.

Hamsters were employed as well in ways that cannot be divulged or you would simply have to be killed. Because that is the way.

Nevertheless the spooks and moles and para-militaries and other people who had socialization problems while kids at school managed to gather at the Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor Hall down by the Marina and the place was decorated all festive with flags and red, white and blue Xmas lights and balloons and it came around to the Secret Santa which everyone really loved.

Mr. Steif got a black silencer that turned out to have come from Mr. Spline, who got a nice set of crystal vials of cyanide and ricin, which he thought was a very thoughtful gift from Mrs. Spikenard who got a set of really neat-o flic-knives. Cmdr. Stiffstik got a lovely set of marches by Sousa and Bagely along with a mounted set of boarding spikes.

They had all enjoyed a big much of the eggnog and wound up singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic arm in arm. It was a a touching sight.

Then there was the game of Locate the Snitch in which anyone who had taken pictures at the event was turned upside down and tossed on a rug until they became quite sick and their cameras were smashed. At the end of the day, a fine time was had by all.

Over at the Old Same Place Bar, all the talk was about the scandals that had ensued at the Animal Shelter where it turned out many well-connected political individuals on the non-profit Animal Shelter Executive Board had been accused of sexually abusing some of the inmates there, including a number of individuals one would have thought above reproach, such as Roy Boor, a card-carrying member of the Rattlesnake Preacher Association. Then there was producer Harvey Schmierstein, Bent Frank of Arizona, Blake Parenttold of Texas, Frank Al of Minnesotta, John Icon, and even the Board President Ronald Rump himself.

The list, consisting of 42 names, is so long, it does look like there will be a complete turnover not only in leadership but also throughout the Entertainment industry which some speculate is part of Rump's master plan to bolster the economy by increasing the number of jobs while Spacey gets therapy and Louis C.K. tries to find a way to make horrible behavior funny.

It is not funny and never will be.

But it might be a good opportunity for well-qualified women to step in and restore order as well as rectify a few imbalances.

Still, the footage of Board President Rump scampering around the kitten pen with his pants down, grabbing at you-know-what does not speak well for the probity of the Executive Branch.

Even Justice John Roberts was heard to comment, "This image makes me want to retch."

Justice Clemons has remained notably silent.

The fact that President Rump has actually bragged about grabbing kitties and making them purr has incensed genuine Conservatives everywhere. Rump has, in response, vilified the Press for being so outrageous as to report the truth on most occasions.

"That Anderson Cooper of Cyn-Cyn is gay! He is gay, gay, gay!"

"Of course I am gay," said Cooper tersely. "At least I am not an incompetant bozo with a bad haircut."

Well, Cooper did not actually say that in public, but you know the Press. And now Cooper is looking for a New Year's Eve partner now that Kathy Gifford has stepped in the cesspool.

It just does not seem to end. Now Rachel Maddow has her head in her hands, saying "I swear to god, I could not make any of this up!"

So a bare knuckles fight breaks out between the Man from Minot and Pandora Thighripple when she misheard the guy talking about animal husbandry -- she thought he said "breasts" when he said "beasts". Maybe he did deserve a punch in the mouth -- who knows. The fight escalated into a brawl between Semi-Liberals and Neo-Cons and then descended into s savage, atavistic melee of bottle and chair smashing and nails and teeth and blood everywhere on the floor, with everyone who comments on Lauren Do's Blog employing chains, knives and butterfly-belts along with acrimony, insults and sarcasm, spilling out into the street until the sirens and the tear gas and the dogs arrived.

John Knox White was thoroughly trampled as were all of his Planning documents.

So it goes on the Island with its continuous stream of scandals and gossip in Divided America. Lots of backbiting and infighting and brass knuckle politics as we enter the Season of Peace.

The night train far across the water wailed from the Port of Oaktown and keened across the estuary, over the former airfield, over the the Jean Sweeny Open Space Preserve, through the construction zone of what used to be the old Cannery, crying over the basketball hoops of Littlejohn Park, and died between the Edwardian house-rows as the locomotive click-clacked in front of the shadow-shuttered Jack London Waterfront, trundling on the edge of town past the former Ohlone burial mounds to an unknown destination.