Monday, May 02, 2005

one grip, two frood, red starfish, blue tattoo

It is with great sadness and infinite joy that [we/i/you] ask the fish to stand still, sit down and jump up and down for this Starfish:

-picture from Natural Perspective

Actually for any starfish. Personally, I have a personal relationship with starfish in general and their essential star-like features. But here's two reasons why this is not just the catch of the day but the catch of the week. One, my mother and two, the end of the world. Which would you like to hear about first?

Do you have a grip on your life?
(Warning: the tattoo in this story is not blue)
1) At the prime age of 55 (or so) my mother got a tattoo of a starfish. She had released her firm control on reality and taken a plunge into the deep blue sea. Thus embracing the rebel within her soul. Sound strange? It would if you knew my mom. Let me give you a bit of history:

I got my first tattoo just after my 18th birthday. It's a small affair on my ankle and since I always wore boots, my mom was none the wiser. Except at those occasional times that I would walk nonchalantly down the stairs in a towel after a shower, forgetting to check if she was around. Then when she asked, I'd tell her it was a temporary tattoo that I'd bought in a vending machine outside a grocery store. She'd believe me, of course, and we'd move on with our lives. Now granted, she only saw the tattoo once in a while, but I mean come on... anyone who buys temporary tattoos or anything from those little machines in front of grocery stores knows that you almost never get what you really want, at least not twice. But my mom, blissful and innocent in the ways of grocery store vending machines, believed that the tattoo was fake for the better part of a year. Until one day in a hotel:
"That's a real tattoo isn't it?"
"Yeah, mom."
And that was it. I mean what could she say. It's not that my mom is naive or anything. It's just that like all parents they believe what they want to about their kids until they absolutely can't. Now, for my other tattoos, I got her drunk to tell her - no mean feet as she doesn't often drink. This worked much better.

So a few years later...

My brother took my mom to get her open-water scuba certification. In the vastness of the ocean, my mom's identity was challenged. Being a Virgo, she has driven her fingers deep into the marrow of her life and has always played it with puppet-strings. But before the ocean, we humans always stand naked and alone - utterly at the mercy of Mother Nature. She knew this and she did it anyways. I can only imagine that feeling of panic when the dark waters of uncertainty closed over her head and - gasp - opened up the magnificent world which thrashes and thrives beneath the waves. It must have been exhilarating to realize that she could let go, release the strings and just float along with the fishes.

Compared to this, how hard is it to go to a tattoo parlor, face down a large man covered in flaming skulls and tell him that you want a starfish tattoo on your ankle? No - not a seascape, just a starfish. No - not the size of a hand - smaller like a penny. No really, I don't want any sand or sun or shells or waves - just a starfish thank you. Yes, I'm sure. Thanks, really, it's a great deal, but I just want a starfish! Yes, I'm serious... and I'm sure - just a starfish please! What do you mean you can't - it's simple - it's just a star with sand-like coloring! And no, I don't want any sand!

What is your reality quotient?
2) As for the other starfish, are you sure you still have time for this? Well anyways, I do. It's the end of the world and I feel fine.... Well, I sort of do and I sort of don't and I sort of sort out the sorta sorta sorta... argh, I'm stuck in loop as it were. Saw The Hitchhiker's Guide Movie this weekend and was delightfully surprised that they pulled it off with all of the British flare and zany antics which wouldn't be the Guide without it (though I spent the rest of the weekend with singing dolphins in my brain):
"The Guide is definitive. Reality is frequently inaccurate."
I'm sad because it reminded me that a frood has moved on from this world to those [above/outside/different/non-existing in a very real way] other worlds that I know nothing about. The inestimable hoopy Douglas Adams died in May 2001 while working on the screen play for the movie. Ah well, I'm sure he's chillin' with the fishes at the Restaurant. (hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy)

For those of you only [familiar/not familiar at all] with the Hitchhiker's Guide series, here's a quote from one of his essays called How to Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Internet:

"I suppose earlier generations had to sit through all this huffing and puffing with the invention of television, the phone, cinema, radio, the car, the bicycle, printing, the wheel and so on, but you would think we would learn the way these things work, which is this:

1) everything that's already in the world when you're born is just normal;

2) anything that gets invented between then and before you turn thirty is incredibly exciting and creative and with any luck you can make a career out of it;

3) anything that gets invented after you're thirty is against the natural order of things and the beginning of the end of civilisation as we know it until it's been around for about ten years when it gradually turns out to be alright really.

Apply this list to movies, rock music, word processors and mobile phones to work out how old you are."

So, in honor of Douglas Adams and those of us who will miss that hoopy starfish, I put out my thumb, look to the stars and wish I knew how to see the Marvels of the Universe for less than thirty Altairan dollars a day.

5 little fish:

Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

thank god for you mysfit. i was working out how to sum up my thoughts on Hitchhiker's, & you've done it for me.


i'd like to figure out some way to invasively play the "So Long & Thanks for All the Fish" musical number in a loop when people leave this page. i really would.

3:31 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

i love your mom.

4:10 PM  
Blogger mysfit swam up to say...

do you think i should separate the two starfish? is DNA too lost in this post?

5:53 PM  
Blogger jenn see swam up to say...

my DNA is never lost.

7:29 PM  
Blogger Carl V. swam up to say...

Wonderful memories of you and your mother, thanks for sharing as they seem really special! Hooray for her for getting a tattoo, that's too cool!

As I posted in my review I really enjoyed Hitchhiker's and it makes me sad to know that such a creative person whose humor was right up my alley left this earth at such an early age.

We've been singing the dolpin song here all weekend! :)

12:01 AM  

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