Sunday, Feb. 09, 2003, 11:44 PM

Milk cartons and carbon extraction

I have a milk carton that says

property of
Reiter dairy
thou shalt not steal

on the side. What does this say about me?

This afternoon I spun around in my living room until my leg collided with the loveseat. The inner-cochleal fluid in my ear was so shaken by then that I had relinquished all sense of balance to the fates and fell in a heap upon the floor in a fit of laughter. The cat thought my behavior so unnatural that she floofed up like a Halloween cutout and ran from the room. A good time was had by all.

I sang and danced around the apartment, snapping my fingers and clapping my hands like a man possessed. A person living alone will often engage in fits of bizarre behavior. I am not afraid to announce this fact any more than I am afraid to announce that I masturbate. It is simply a fact of life. And I tend to make up my own songs. Strange little things, often rhyming and often about mundane things like cat food, knives, the pins and needles feeling of a re-awakening appendage or the ability to pick things up with my toes. It was listed in the vows at my wedding as being one of the endearing qualities that my wife would forever love about me. Perhaps I should make an effort to curb this behavior before I embark on my next marriage. No, perhaps I should marry someone who will truly appreciate me for all of my eccentricities.

I purchased a carpet for the living room, and matching runner rug for the hallway, and a set of matching towels for my bathroom. There was much rejoicing. The towels matched each other and the colors in the bathroom, not the rugs, which matched each other. Got that? I cut my finger while attending to a woodworking project on Sunday. I finally cleaned the second bedroom out leaving no excuse for avoiding the weight set stashed therein. Well, since I am single and have already scheduled vacation time at the beach I suppose I should be working out more. But instead I am attending to my diary. Just another form of procrastination.

I guess I should get onto the bit about writing here instead of recounting my weekend antics. Okay. I had lots of things to write about rattling around in my head. Let me go look…okay...hold on…I know they're in here somewhere…ouch…dammit it's so friggin dark in here…hold on what's this? (shakes something out and a cloud of dust erupts into the air) Ah, look, my libido. No wonder things have been so, ummm, uninspired lately. Looks like this puppy has been put away for some time now. Oh, sorry, that is not what I wanted to talk about.

Avian is one of my favorite words. I am reminded of China and the coal mines that produce wonderful fossils from the dawn of birds. Those little mine workers digging pieces of the past up to be burned to warm little huts against the cold of the night. Taking piles of compressed organic material from the bowels of the earth, and loading them into railcars to be pulled to the surface. Interesting to note that the gauge of the rails (distance between the two rails) for all railroads on the planet were set by ruts in ancient Roman roads created by chariots. Yes, chariots. How obscure and archaic is that? Anyway, these pieces of compressed carbon are exhumed for consumption. It makes me wonder if we are interrupting the natural processes. Will our graveyards become coal seams? Will our dead be compressed and converted into oil fields? Will we some day be fuel for some future society of people or animals or things?

I have visited the Drake Oil Museum in Titusville Pennsylvania where the first oil well was constructed. The original crude oil was pandered as a cure-all and sold from the back of a wagon to passerby's. When the local Native Americans pointed out that they often skimmed the oil from the tops of local creeks and used it to coat the outsides of their wigwams, jackets and moccasins to repel water a new line of products was invented. When a candle was dropped into a bucket and the surface of crude caught fire and burned yet another use was born. Amazing stuff. Reminiscent of nightmares-black, slimy, sticky, hard to wash off and always leaving a residue that you can still feel and smell after the fact.

I have reached the bottom of the well tonight, rather abruptly. Curious says I, for it seemed to be much deeper and filled with finer stuff than this, but alas, you will all have to subsist on this alone until next time.