Friday, August 7, 2009

On the practicalities of the search in infinite possibilities for true love, and on farts

I was sitting in the Library yesterday, reading, quiet. The woman sitting to my left was not as quiet. I don't know what she was doing; I wasn't ballsy enough to look over (Zounds!), but I do remember thinking, right at that moment, that she and I could never be happy together. That struck me as sad. Sure it's only one person, but still, to say that a human being that God made, loved by her friends and family, could never make me happy - that's a little sad, isn't it?

It was because she was doing this weird snerking thing, like she was sort of trying to clear her sinuses but then also her throat at the same time. And I was sitting there, trying to focus on my book, rereading a longish periodic sentence to find an especially tricky antecedent and- SNERRK! That did it for me.

But I don't give up hope (who am I kidding, of course I do); I know that it is possible to find the perfect someone, because my brother just did. The day after tomorrow, my family and I leave for his wedding in California. And we're driving, which is equal parts exciting, daunting, and gastrointestinally intimidating. Snakes on a Plane haven't got jack on Farts in a Car.

That reminds me of another long family roadtrip, ten years or so back, to Denver, I think, when we passed through Nebraska. Have you ever been to Nebraska? The whole state smells. It's really unbelievable. It's marvelous. Seriously, from border to border, the state of Nebraska is covered by a blanket of dry fart. It's like South Dakota just gave it a Dutch oven. We got out in some podunk town to hit up bathrooms, and for the first five minutes, I was convinced that everyone else in my family was emitting a constant stream of flatus - I think we all thought that. But as the time dragged on and we realized that no one can fart for twelve minutes straight, the sad truth soaked into our consciousness like the butt-dust into our clothes and hair: this town always smelled like doody.

Back in the car, on the highway, with the air on recycle, we tried to shake fart smell out of our shirts and wondered what it would be like for someone who grew up in a town like that. What happens when Charlie Jim ships off to college, opens his suitcase and pollutes his dorm with the stored smell of dry shucked taint? And does Charlie Jim ever come back once he's gotten a whiff of the outside world?

But I guess there are some things that just don't bother some people as much as they bother other people (me). That's why there can be towns and states full of Charlie Jims and why even though I could never bear to love the woman at the library, maybe there's someone out there who can. Still though, dude, yuck.