DISPATCH FROM THE FRONT
The weeds are everywhere. They surround the house. They rush down the hill to the neighbor’s house. The people who live there despise us—me and the cat and the ghosts—five ghosts, hiding out in a bungalow from hell. I don’t venture out. I keep my cover. In the basement I have a year’s supply of canned food, and bottles of gin, rum, vodka and Jack Daniels. Jack and the old man, doing the best we fuckin’ can.
We watch the neighbors from our window as they scrub their driveway and fondle their lawn and play with their rock garden. Their property is immaculate.
The weeds from our property have advanced as far as they can without actually starting a war. It would be worse than a war. It would be outright slaughter.
The weeds are poised on the very edge of suburbia. They have positioned themselves in the rocks directly above the house of the immaculate deception. They are in absolute readiness to attack.
I watch and wait. As Sun Tzu wrote: “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” *
News from the front lines reaches me firsthand because there are weeds growing in my ears—did you think that was hair? There are weeds in the back of my throat—I thought it was raggèd from the whiskey. They grow on my chin—no, that is not a beard. I think they have infiltrated my brain.
Somewhere there are wildflowers.
* I do love, as someone wrote (J.D. Salinger perhaps), the “aesthetic evil of the footnote.” Above quote is from ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu’s ‘Art of War.’