I woke up in a strange place

By Marc Heiden, since 1997.
See also: a novel about a monkey.

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February 19, 2002

I am back from the polar wilderness. It is nice up there. You should come.

It was twenty-four years ago today that I was born. The main thing about me when I was in the womb was that I had a fucking sweet umbilical cord. A lot of fetuses don't really know what to do with their umbilical cords, so they just sit around and receive nutrients from it. I used mine to practice martial arts maneuvers, which is why I am so good now. Expectant mothers who want their sons to be cowboys would be well-advised to get them started with the umbilical lasso early in gestation. You can't waste any time. The world is speeding up. Have you even heard about entropy? Damn. Careers.

There was some controversy over the rabbi's announcement last week that this year's Clementines are for shit. The rabbi is a guy who employs me to write and research various things for him. He likes oranges a lot, and was therefore pretty concerned about the recent declining quality of Clementine oranges. Among the cooler heads that fortunately prevailed in the debate was Jenny Gerbi, who sent this explanation:

The Clementines are for shit this year because of the Mediterranian fruit fly- spain clementines are no longer allowed until they fix their ships so the cold holds will kill the fly larvae, (which, apparently, will distroy everything south of Illinois) and the SHITTY clementines are from morocco. I'm not sure why people are so scared of fruitflies, but there it is. It's been a pretty miserable year for citrus all around, if you count the "midwest fresh" crap I seem to be getting around here, even from Whole Foods.

That explanation was relayed to the rabbi, who replied:

thank you,it is now explainedbut nevertheless ia m bereft!

His typing style is marvelous. He just kind of mashes his hands against the keyboard until he gets a parliamentary majority of the letters he wants. That's why I do most of the writing. He's a great guy, though.

A number of my friends were born around the same time I was, so there has been a lot of discussion of ages recently. I liked 22. I thought that was a good number. 23 was okay, but I thought 24 might be better in terms of conveying the right index of youthful promise and maturity. Then someone pointed out that 24 is the official beginning of Your Mid-Twenties, and now I am thinking that 24 is perhaps not so good. I don't want to be in my mid-twenties yet. There is not much I can accomplish with that thought, unless there is a 22 year old who is looking to trade up for some reason. (I will throw in a draft pick from my early fifties.)

It's easier to age, I think, if you're actually doing anything with your life, even simple things, like a job that is leading somewhere, or love. You can outline your life with those things and allow for the grand accidents to happen in between. I was the ultimate wonder boy at 22, and now I am a problem for the team's salary cap, like a rabbi without his clementines. But I am very familiar with martial arts.

This hot piece of ancient ass is Cleopatra. She lived in Egypt more than two thousand years ago. I am long overdue to see the exhibit about her that is presently at the Field Museum in Chicago. It ends on March 3rd. The Field Museum did a bang-up job on their last major exhibition, the Russian Gold That Had Never Been Out Of Russia Before, and this one looks very promising as well. I want you to understand that I would never use the phrase "hot piece of ass" in everyday conversation, but the phrase "hot piece of ancient ass" in reference to Cleopatra signifies my participation in cultural dialectics, a brilliant subversion of multiple academic and social paradigms. I hope that was clear. Most of the problems in my life have been caused by people not knowing when I am serious, aside from the time when I was five and a skunk lost his shit in our area of the trailer park where we were living, and a couple other examples that I could probably come up if I tried, but not many. I am not such a bad guy if you consider all the paradigms I am subverting. Anyway, you're certainly welcome to come to the exhibition. The admission is, if I remember correctly, pretty reasonable, given how hot she is and all.

I woke up in a strange place is the work of Marc Heiden, born in 1978, author of two books (Chicago, Hiroshima) and some plays, and an occasional photographer.

Often discussed:

Antarctica, Beelzetron, Books, Chicago, College, Communism, Food, Internet, Japan, Manute Bol, Monkeys and Apes, North Korea, Oregon Trail, Outer Space, Panda Porn, Politics, RabbiTech, Shakespeare, Sports, Texas.


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Written by Marc Heiden, 1997-2011.