And then the wind blew and gathered a cloud of skittles that rained down on this land while from the sea in the distance rose a delicate fragrance of orange peels and blackberry jam and I thought to myself, ‘this is soooo weird,’ and then I was like I’m going to get myself some cotton candy and chill on a park bench and melt like ice cream and have the passing cats and dogs lick my sweet ass clean off the street so I can find a cozy home in their embrace and kick back and relax inside them until they evict me back out into the world through the back door — good thing, too, cos it ain’t cozy in there, it’s hot as hell, I just remembered — hell is a digestive tract, an ever-churning processing plant. Ask Food, it knows what hell is. Hell is to be digested in a long and well-organised digestive tract that breaks you down into nourishment for something or someone else — so out the back door I go, splat, and not a moment too soon, splat on the hot concrete slabs and the dry-dead soil, my vibrancy and substance sucked clean out of me by the long sucking pulsing hose, and I look forward to cooling down again, but I don’t. The heat is still on, I’m baking yet again in another kind of hell, open-air, a drier but meaner sequence that will lead to my being scooped up like desiccated garbage by the passing cleaning crews — not eaten up but raked in, wiped away, stashed into a garbage container to be thrown away in a landfill alongside sticky icky refuse packed so thick, it won’t be broken down and assimilated for centuries.
Maybe I’ll get lucky and save myself the pain of idle putrefaction by getting sucked into the ground on the spot where I was dropped by the sweet dogs and cats of the street before the large revolving brooms snatch me up. Maybe I’ll get absorbed by the earth and decompose into a million elements, fertilizer for the trees. Or maybe evaporate, turn into a stain on the sidewalk around which men and women stroll daily, conversing with passion about what constitutes a fine day out on a day like this, the first day of this year’s summer, at least in the northern hemisphere (what goes on down under is another matter. I live up here, in the top part of the globe, this is the world I know). The cleaning crews will pass through and sweep me away or the watering hosepipes will sweep me away and the earth will devour me and process me and spit me out in the form of methane gas or maybe a rogue seed will absorb me and push me through the concrete slabs like a wiry gangly weed filled with heavy metals and pest cravings. Or maybe I’ll get lucky and my broken down ingredients will come together in the right way with the soil’s ingredients and I’ll sprout up in the form of a beautiful green tree, lush as the dawn of time, a reminder that wood turns to ash inside the furnace of hell only to turn back into green life. Refuse and waste reverts back to prime material. Discharge becomes recharge and coal turns into fire and warmth and heat and cooked food and industrial revolution and millions and millions of ramifications. Life spawned out of decomposition — which is simply a nasty synonym for combustion, breakdown, processing — and the cycle continues. A new dawn rises from the remains of yesterday’s light, from the long night that ensued. A new life emerges. The churn of the world kicks in.
Such is what takes place on the first day of summer on the isle of middle earth in the middle of the day.
In the southern hemisphere it’s all inverse — what kind of inverse you ask? It could be a mirror image or a negative print or an action in reverse order — it’s for you to discover, I says — and they looked at me like I was crazy and asked me ‘you on something?’ and I says yeah baby, I’m high on high grade air conditioning and a small touch of fatalism mixed with seeds of sunrise to mark the dawn of time, one more day in the wake of this hellhole we call Earth, this Eden we have engineered into a gargantuan digestive tract without having thought too much about how to handle our appetite. All we do is gorge on whatever we lay our hands on, food, habitats, goodwill, intelligence, our shared trust, we feast on them like there’s no tomorrow, and tomorrow seems a little farther away each day, the nights getting longer, uncertain, and all we can do is wait for the orgiastic process to play out and work our way through the long summer of hell — and into the right position — so that we may come out of the binge with something tangible and useful, so that we may sprout as life-affirming energy full of potential, carrying the flame — flame as guardian and tool and nurture and protector, and processor, and assembly line, and kindred spirit, not as fire-breathing holocaust, I says, raising my hands to the sky to touch the pool of white-hot summer glaze that washes over the once-cool rotating-in-space ocean-blue marble we call home.