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Over the Counter Meditation

Over the Counter Meditation

While half of the world moves softly through a season of gray I am caught in the bright light of spring. Colors are exploding everywhere around me, each bloom sending thousands of particles of pollen into that invisible soup we breathe and call air. I like the springtime, the warmer weather and the short sleeve shirt. However, this year I am suffering more than I can ever remember. Usually I do not take drugs for the problem, but this year I am taking one little red pill each day.

All the packages warn me to not use heavy machinery while under the influence of these chemicals and on most days I manage to resist the temptation. However, in the haze of early morning I paused by a construction site and there sitting in the middle of a field of dry mud was a Caterpillar Earth Mover.

I think that most observers would, at first glance, consider me to be rather quiet and conservative. I do manage to keep my unconventional aspects well contained and try to behave as a good citizen should and it is at times a soul killing task. However, this morning I was alone. There were no TV eyes, no police and no security. It was just me, a quarter box of tissues and the diluted red pill chemicals in my blood.

Ordinarily I have no desire to operate heavy equipment. Perhaps it was the package warning itself that put the idea into my head as I wandered, the day before, through aisle after aisle of the Rite-Aid. Each aisle containing thousands of brightly packaged allergy and cold relief medications. The packages seemed to whisper and smile. They teasingly presented an idea of immediate relief. Their warning was printed in such small print that it seemed to me that it was not ever supposed to be read by anyone but a lawyer.

Perhaps my judgment was off or perhaps it was a moment of true clarity. Perhaps it was a longing for a glimpse into a parallel universe. Whatever the reason, I found myself swallowing a handful of those candy colored red ovals.

In an instant my sinuses, my head and my purpose became clear. I was born to move earth. I would shape the earth into a giant message of love that could only be read by spy satellites or passing UFOs. Slowly I walked through the oasis of half completed dreams to my new yellow friend.

As I approached the Caterpillar, however, something was happening that I did not understand. It seemed to shimmer and vibrate in a way that only people who own electron microscopes have ever witnessed.

I stopped in my tracks as the vibration grew more violent. The silence was deafening. The machine seemed to expand and contract with a plastic like elasticity. Suddenly the Caterpillar lost its original form and became a floating sphere of warning median orange. Then, I swear with the revolver sun and a pack of wild dogs as my only witnesses, the caterpillar transformed itself into a gigantic, glorious butterfly which fluttered its psychedelic wings and flew gently toward the heavens, leaving a carbon scented circle of diesel fuel and yellow shrapnel on the earth below.

Kai Eric [2006]

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