Sunday, April 22, 2012

Effing Depressing

 “Do nothing which is of no use.” It wasn’t the jaguar who said that.  I had come so far to seek so much. The Jaguar knew it too.

The Solstice on December 21, 2012—precisely at 11:11 AM Universal Time—marks the completion of the 5,125 year Great Cycle of the Ancient Maya Long Count Calendar. Depending on who you talk to, (and I was talking to Foster, the Jaguar) some living Maya (and there are about 7 millions of them) believe the 2012 date to be of critical importance. Others, not so much.

He yawned revealing a canyon of teeth, pinnacle monuments to dentistry. “Believe the stories you will,” Foster continued. “Before the end of times you will see the USA's imposed deadline for Iran to cease its nuke development pass.  That date is 9/21/2012.  What will happen then? The USA has not said. Given the current administration we can expect a strict embargo on pistachio nuts.”

My jaw dropped open.  We all know how I would feel about pistachio nuts.  Iran exports pistachio nuts like the Pacific coughs up TUNA.

Foster asked if I saw the correlation. “No, not really,” I said.  


If I could blush I guess I would have.

“In the expression 'end of the world' the 'world' refers to a cycle. 2012 is the completion of the 26,000 year Precession of the Equinoxes cycle, and some say it also signifies the end of a 104,000 year cycle. But none of that matters. Our moving through with either resistance or acceptance will determine nothing. What will happen will be cataclysmic changes. O gradual peace and tranquility. Or nothing much.” He licked his paw.

I sat listening to where I was. In the jungle rain sounds like cold pancake batter poured on a hot griddle.  The world droops; every leaf hangs low under the weight of the water. I shivered in my wet coat and yet the jaguar remained dry.  He sensed I was not satisfied. 

Foster held up one claw. It gleamed under the dark jungle canopy. From where the light came I did not know.  The jaguar began slowly, sounding mysteriously like Jack Palance, “Do you know what the secret of life is?” 

I cocked my head lost in his logic. “Your claw?”

The jaguar ignored my dim-witted response. He continued, “One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shit.”

I didn’t want to insult him. One swipe of his paw which matched the whole size of me and I would find myself sliced into five little filets. “Excuse me, Foster, but you are beginning to sound like a movie. What is that one thing?”

His eyes seemed to brighten. He released a low purr that sounded like the rumble of distance thunder. “That’s what you have to figure out.”

Heck, I already knew what my one thing in life was.  It wasn’t in that jungle. It didn’t matter what might happen on December 21.  There was no concern about the Mayan Calendar.  The "one thing"  is the concern and that my friend is what you do with your life. It is making the most of today.

For me?  My one thing? It's TUNA. I'd damn good at eating TUNA. It is of great use. The rest doesn't mean shit.

Some might ask why this revelation was so depressing. Come on? Pistachio nuts?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Meeting the Jaguar

So the jaguar told me of Wayeb. The extra days tacked onto the end. "The five days of Wayeb, are to be a dangerous time. During Wayeb, portals between the mortal realm and the underworld dissolved.” To illustrate, his black tail curved menacingly in the night air. With a quick whip it disappeared into the darkness that loomed thick behind his yellow eyes. He blinked twice disappearing completely. Then continued. “No boundaries prevent the ill-intending gods from causing disasters."

I swallowed my TUNA and blinked twice, knowing that my emulation fell far short. It was my effort to show my casual inattentiveness. I licked my shoulder feigning distraction, but I was as much mesmerized as any small house cat would be in the presences of his sleek power. His muscles rippled beneath a silk black coat that was poured from darkness and mystery. The jaguar, a piece of my ancestral DNA.

This was my quest. To search for the answers to the end of time. What will happen on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan Calendar ends? Deep into a Mexican jungle I had wandered to find the answer.

After a copter ride to Tulum I couldn’t just leave the “are you kidding me” beaches of the Caribbean. Visions of employing myself as a pirate cat danced through my tiny cat head. Alas, borne 100 years too late and half way around the world from the Somali Coast (Thank God). Yet, it was tough to stay on mission and drag my little cat tail into the jungles.

Tulum is a place where Goddess could retire. But who am I kidding. She hasn’t had a real job since 2003. She ain’t retiring. The Tulum archaeological site is relatively compact compared with many other Maya sites in the vicinity, and is one of the best-preserved coastal Maya sites. Its proximity to the modern tourism developments along the Mexican Caribbean coastline and its short distance from CancĂșn and the surrounding "Riviera Maya" has make it a popular Maya tourist site in the Yucatan. Popularity doesn’t preserve secrets so I had to leave the coast to find my answers.

I sure could have used a machete. Being a slim and agile cat skilled in jumping trains and stowing away on cargo ships was of little help in navigating the tight flora weave. And the further I pushed into the jungle, the denser it became.

Sooner or later I knew I would stumble upon him. Later was desired, but I knew I would have to face the inevitable. I stumbled through vine and thicket knowing I wasn’t really going to find him. He was going to find me. And one night, after the full moon had begun to wan, I found two glowing beads hovering in the voided stillness. His golden eyes staring at me. It had just rained. I was soaked and he was dry.

And for all his power and all his mystery his name was Foster. I tried my best not to snicker. “My little Diablo, what is your quest?” A voice as silky as his hide. (Was I expecting him to sound like Denis Leary?) He knew where I was from and why I was there. Suddenly, I felt as if I had climbed the mountain and found a cross-egged shaman who knew the answer to life.

His presence made me stutter. I know that’s going to ruin my reputation. “Um, iiiit’s a ttttime thing. The peeps want to know the deal with the Mayan Calendar. I was sent on the mission to find the answers.”

Do you know what he told me?

Next blog, peeps. Next blog.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Mission: A Go.

For crying out loud, I can’t even get an Easter break. I am complaining like I lost the TUNA. So what? I’m a seasoned traveling cat, but this trip has been one challenge after another.

Let me recap. I wandered aimlessly around Indiana avoiding tornadoes. Or so I thought until I discovered I had been in Illinois. (I’ll never forgive that DC bag lady who stole my GPS.) Come to think, maybe it was Indiana after all. I wanted to be in Kentucky. The lesson learned here is that following rivers can get you into trouble as they snake every which way. And bridges? Some should be burned. You never know what lies, sleeps or lives below. I wish I was talking about trolls.

I found myself eating my way across the Ohio/Mississippi River Valley. Surviving on bacon and barbeque. TUNA withdrawal can be a bitch. Once I hit Memphis I got a bright idea. A Steamboat River Cruise to the Big Easy. Except the tourist season hadn’t started. Getting a ride down river was about as hard as drifting along with Huck Finn. And I was dreaming of sitting on fat ladies’ laps and nomming finger sandwiches. Instead, I hitched a cruise on an out of service tug with a couple of old gristles. Got off in Natchez when they started that “here, kitty, kitty” nonsense. Nothing good ever came of that.

In Natchez there are 53 things to do. You can tell me what they are. I never stuck around, but if you can only do one it is the Southern Carriage Tour. Say hello to Ben, a great old dapple of a horse.

But Ben wasn’t headed to NOLA. Hopped on board a train (my favorite mode of transport) and thoughts of City of New Orleans filled my cathead.

Rolls along past houses, farms and fields.
Passin' trains that have no names,
Freight yards full of old black men
And the graveyards of the rusted automobiles.

If you are lucky to be alive when you arrive in NOLA you’ll be above ground, just like the dead. Thank God for concrete.

Let’s see what happened in Louisiana? Oh yeah. Primaries and Basketball. That is what March is all about. The Madness!

Something made me go mad. I hate to fly, but I took a helicopter ride to what I thought would be Mexico. I didn’t hear anything about the Gulf of Mexico. Ended up on an oil rig in the middle of the Gulf. Surrounded by water and not a TUNA in sight. Stuck on the wreckage until the crew rotated. And these guys, the roughnecks, are serious boys. If they ain’t working they are eating or sleeping. A cat on the rig is no distraction. I tried to get them to haul a fish or two out of the water, but they stuck to business as the price of oil went over $100 a barrel. Can you remember when it was $40? About the time O’man got elected.

Enough with the water. I’ve crossed the Pacific on a cargo container with a Croatian crew. I’ve crossed the Atlantic, twice. Once on the Queen Mary II. Now I was marooned in the Gulf. So when the next chopper pilot told me he was doing a little R and R on the beaches of Mexico, I was off the island with a whomp, whomp, whomp of the rotors.

So here I am. I can see the Mayan ruins. I have not ventured into the jungles. Do we really want to know what lies within? Nah. I’ve tried to solicit a US Postal ride back to USA in an Easter chick crate, but the agricultural guys aren’t buying it. Damn it.