When you've got the funk.

When you've got the funk, I'd say that you have it all. Some blessed soul at Westport coffeehouse just cranked up some sinfully smooth saxophones, and it's making my butt go sway*.

(*Yes, I shake my ass from time to time. What of it.)

Funk is hard to pin down. It's up-tempo in a way that makes you want to put down that old mouth-harp, quit crying over that old woman who done you wrong, and go find a new one to dance with. One clean-spit guitar riff, a horn jab or two, and I'm ready to become friends with somebody new.

Strange, isn't it, how for all the GET-ON-UP'AH! goodness that funk has given us, it's a word that we also use to talk about emotional sludge. Getting "in a funk" is apples to the whisky of "getting funky". Being depressed has nothing to do with bass saxophones.

Much has been going on in this life of mine. Upheaval, tradgedy, suffering, stagnation and ironically, change, have been the harmony to my Monday through Sunday melody–the one that you can't put down when you turn off the amp. Music stops, but we still float forward in notes, faltering and alone no matter the symphony that we can't strike from.

My melody is asking me whether resolution ever comes. If in this life we ever feel less tossed, less prone, less subject to the whimsy of spinning galaxies of galaxies. Or the tides. Asking which came first–the questions or the answers, and wondering whether they actually come in pairs, or if one outnumbers the other.

You can stare into the looking glass as long as you like. You can refuse to meet the morning. You can stay up fighting before you even leave, and make knots of pure simplicity. You can puzzle, you can wonder–you can dichotomize and analyze and subjugate and simplify, but the ultimate conclusion always comes down from God that we just don't ever know.

We are living in mystery, the kind that only happens to everybody.


When you are eaten.

I've been wondering lately what, exactly, is so terrifying about the thought of being eaten.

People try to tell me that to be eaten would be terrible. An awful way to die. I tell them that it would be purposeful–meat recycling, if you will. People usually just look horrified when I say that kind of thing.

Through watching more horror movies these past few months than I'd seen in the cumulative 21 years beforehand, I've seen a lot of people-eating. Often, people are eaten by big things, i.e. monsters, dinosaurs, machines. Other times, it is other humans that sink their teeth into the largest untapped food source in the world.

Strangers, neighbors, priests, boyscouts, lawyers, firefighters and actuaries...walking red meat. Humanburgers. People pie. Johnny Depp did it, why shouldn't we?

But none of that is the point really. I do wonder sometimes if in survival situations I could bring myself to eat other people...to slice thick, card-sized slabs of meat from cold, dead buttocks. It's been done before. The point is, I want to know why it's so terrifying.

In reality, I imagine you would be dead for the majority of the chewing–or at least in shock and riding a tiny tidal wave of positive chemistry into the gullet of whatever (or whomever) has you caught between their teeth.

But no matter the violence or atrocity, in movies or the news–no matter if the victim is dead or alive, we cringe an extra inch at the thought of cannibalism, or being eaten alive. In reality, it'd be a really short way to go. Way shorter than cancer, or any other terminal disease. You'd live your decades strong, and end them in mere seconds of suffering. It doesn't sound so bad, really.

I think that where this fear comes from is our deep seated, nagging feeling that we might not be so special as we think. If we can be eaten, then we are no different than the cows, pigs, or chickens that we chew on a daily basis. It all comes down to the fear that maybe, just maybe, we really are just meat. And when we are eaten, we are gone. No body to show we were alive-no ashes to revere on the mantle, nothing. We've become assimilated back into the great whirlpool of nature, in recycled atoms and decomposing carbon. And there's nothing we can do about it.

We hold the image of a complete body as sacrosanct. And to watch the undead pull taffy from our guts threatens more than just our ideas of violence–it flies in the face of every person who has ever cared for their safety, or life.

Because we live in these bodies. And until we die, they are the only way we have to interact with the world.

What a shame that they are so fragile. Because we are all food for someone.