I am trying to write a poem. It’s been swirling around in my head for a week or so now, and every time I try to write it out, I think it’s utter garbage and I hit enter until I can’t see it on my MS Word screen anymore. My “poetry” document is filled with pages of abandoned lines, cast aside never to be worked on again. I guess I tell myself one day I’ll find the right words and finish it. I don’t really care, except that I’m trying to write a poem to submit to a poetry contest, and today is the last day for submission. I’ve known about this for at least a month, probably more. Naturally, today is the day I try to write. Nothing like consistent procrastination until you are under the gun to fire up your creative juices. As I type this, I am furthering my procrastination, because I am procrastinating by writing about my procrastination. It’s some sort of procrastination inception…I can normally write poetry in about a half an hour or less, which is probably why I think most of mine sucks, but I continue to post it because I believe that pushing myself to write, to put things out there is what makes me better. It’s probably wrong, but who knows.
Anyway, so I have stopped and started variations of this poem about 16 times now. I’ve almost chucked my laptop out the window 15. Which is unfair, it’s not my laptops fault that my fingertips and brain are matching up like polka dots and zebra stripes. I am just having a week where I misfire more than not. When I write, it’s like trying to turn over a car engine that’s been sitting in a garage for years hidden underneath cobwebs, boxes of memories, and a chinchilla nest or two. Why chinchillas? Well, because I can’t stop saying the word chinchilla this week.
My kid’s hermit crab died less than a month of being with us. He won it at a fair for $2. I didn’t realize it was everyone wins. I thought he’d miss goldfish bowls, not get the crab, and I’d be all “There, there little dude, you will get it next time I’m sure!” no. I got a random crustacean in a Chinese takeout box after he tried and failed ~25 times. Jack is one of those do-it-by-the-book types and researched proper hermit crab care. He bought all the accouterment, including a thing to track humidity…what’s that a barometer? and this fucking crab had the most luxurious conditions a crustacean that lived in a Chinese take out box could ask for. Naturally, he died. First, his leg fell off. Apparently, hermit crabs can lose limbs due to stress. I find that a beautiful metaphor in some way. I always hate people that give you that, “oh well at least, _____” but, I suppose it is comforting to know that, if I were a hermit crab, I’d be a paraplegic hermit crab, because my shit would just fall off every time I had to do any sort of doing. “Fuck me! I have to go grocery shopping…shit! lost my leg…”
So anyway, yes, my son’s Hermit Crab, Sharkey Jr. has gone on to the great 10 gallon terrarium in the sky, where I hope his humidity will be as accurately tracked and maintained as it was here, with fresh water, food, and shells. What kills me in all of this is most people just throw the stupid crab in a mesh cage, give it food, shells, and water. They don’t research the appropriate temp/humidity, environmental whatevers, and all this crap. And it lives to be 300 years old. The damn thing gets willed to grandchildren and is handed down generation after generation. Not us.
I suggested to Jack that we get some sort of mice eating reptile to really get our daughter’s mouth running. I could just see her face as one of these OMG SO CUTE mice got gobbled up by Sharkey III. I’m not a good person, I suppose. But, back to chinchillas, which is where this all started: After Sharkey Jr. went to rest in the conch shell in the sky, I read something about chinchillas being a great pet for kids, or whatever. I forget. So I kept telling Jack we should get a chinchilla for the terrarium (I have no idea if chinchillas go in terrariums). He asked me why I was so insistent on chinchillas, and I naturally respond, “because I like saying chinchilla. Any day you can use the word chinchilla is a great day.” Can you believe I am single? Who would not want to be around this type of wit and creativity?! Who wouldn’t want to hear someone use the same word over and over again for no constructive purpose?
This has to be one of the most pointless things I have ever written, but the joke is on you because I was just trying to do this to get my brain to fire in some semi logical order (coffee ain’t cutting it today) to maybe get this poem done. Well, I’m being generous, to maybe get this poem started. I’ll end with the last thing I heard last night:
“So, can I flush it down the toilet?”
RIP Sharkey Jr.