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12.17.03, wednesday morning

Burned unto my inner eyelids is the image of Mordicai, Richie's pet peregrine falcon in The Royal Tennenbaums, which I saw last night, after a pitcher of Pabst, cigarettes sucked in a car winding through the Oakland hills, and tuna melts at the all-night Lake Merritt Bakery. (Go when it's 3 am and sit at a window overlooking the light-tiaraed lake, preferably with a notebook; black water in the midst of the City is meditatively conducive of imaginative effluvia).

The next morning, I told Jimmy that I need to visit the lake more often. I need to see more dead birds. I haven't seen one in awhile.

Phil, you see dead cats all the time.

But that's unnatural, uniform, and perverse, I responded, referring to the manner of death that produces roadkill. Kinda like mass slaughter in meat factories, only random and unorganized. That happens in a part of the city where there's no trees and no predators other than people in cars.

By witnessing death in its many forms at the lake, I wouldn't look at a dead beast and think, Omigawd, there's a dead cat in the road. Poor cat. Instead, I would be reminded that mortality is a strange and often neglected benefaction; my life is precious and unique only to me (and in a loose way, to the ones who love me), of which only I am responsible; the only thing that could take it away is the violence, physical and psychic, that living in this world wrecks.


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