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80 Years Ago

Archives 11-01-2000

North County Lines by Bob

An Award Winning Column

For comments or questions contact Bob at bobncl@hotmail.com



I recently received a letter from a reader who asked if I purposely use symbolism in North County Lines.

Not knowing what symbolism means, I pulled out my hard, thick dictionary and flipped through pages, like a hot locomotive thundering into a tunnel.

Reaching the S's, I plunged past an avenue of expressions, leading to a valley of idioms and antonyms, a place where a writer could wander happily, losing track of linear time.

Clocks. Watches. Dials ticking seconds. Digital displays. Calendars. Ascending numbers on paper squares. Boxes enforce order. Time categorized keeps you hypnotized. Chains of accepted illusion broken by what Spirit knows.

Time travels in circle. You've been where you are. Deja vu? No. Memories of past soon to be present? Exactly.

You're perfect. Let go of guilt and sin. The Divine lives within. Always will. Always has been.

Silent voice: "Stop dreaming, find symbolism. Don't get trapped in Webster's web." Too late. Eyes transfix on sexuality.

From Latin sexualis. Male and female combined. Variation of Yin Yang. Nothing profane. Cries of "Profanity!" exit mouths of those trying to conceal lascivious desires behind guise of self-righteousness.

Fastback Barracuda parked under Southern stars. Distant neon blinks Topless Bars. Foghorns in the night. Moonlight dancing on Atlantic waves. Trojan soldiers, wasted and spent, in crooked line at end of rutted path.

Ancient ceremony begins. Modern nuances arranged. Lynyrd Skynyrd through correctly configured speakers. Sand crabs scurry into holes. A beachcomber yells, "Crank it up!" Another voice yells, "Louder!"

Nothing to get hung up about. Just drunks searching for happiness in bottle, where it can't be found. Liquor, beer, pill or otherwise. How did those lyrics go? "Jokers to the left of me. Jokers to the right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you." Appropriate somehow.

Mellow mood with song that fits. "Bankin' off of the northeast wind. Sailin' on summer breeze. Skippin' over the ocean, like a stone."

Blood slurping mosquitoes swarming. Roll up windows. Intentional misconceptions. Reptile brain in command. Secret bliss swallows thought. One and one equals one. Fire consumes participants. Beating drums cease. Ancient ceremony concludes. Split apart in two again. Masks reapplied. The creatures climb back into situational pretension.

But where was I? Still lost in S's, searching for symbolism. Perhaps I could avoid being sidetracked again. When I reached snake, I knew I was kidding myself.

Although I searched diligently through the definitions of snake, verb and noun, I didn't find anything about snake that tricked Eve into eating an apple from the Tree of Knowledge.

What was wrong with Webster? Didn't he believe serpents talk? Didn't he believe Judaic fables?

Perhaps a different belief system flipped his switch. Perhaps he was a Rastafarian, rolled into a passing number, buzzing through Jamaican fog, riding Mary Jane wings down circle stone passages in cascading rainbow sky.

Regardless of Webster's religious notions, however, I still didn't know if talking snake in Garden of Eden was the same snake Morrison referred to in Doors song.

According to Jim's lyrics, the history of the world is written on the scales of the snake. "But you won't know a thing till you get inside." Mr. Mojo Rising described the snake as seven miles long.

How could a snake be that big? Was it the same snake the Lizard King referred to later in the song? "The minister's daughter's in love with a snake that lives on the side of the road. Come on, girl, we're almost home. Let's run. Let's run, run, run. Let's run."

But what was I doing lost in thoughts of running home and the minister's daughter and the Lizard King and snakes when I should be looking for symbolism?

Perhaps I'd get there this time. But sunshine interrupted my trip.

Sweet, glorious sunshine, immaculately conceived, Apollo redefined, intensified illumination. Radiant light providing warmth for plump, ripe tomatoes that explode in mouth like firecrackers, spreading tender, sweet juices that make taste buds sigh, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhh."

Orange sunshine. Memories of the sixties. Flipping. Skipping. Dripping. Tripping. Colors swirling from 8-track speakers. Windows obstructed open. Reality not real. Purified vision. Bell bottom paisleys. Head bands. VW vans. Navajo moccasins stained with Woodstock rain. Hendrix. "Castles made of sand fall into the sea. Eventually."

Free love. But there is no other kind. "The love you take is equal to the love you make." Revolution. A Thousand Light Years From Home. Ruby Tuesday. Mother's Little Helper. Why Don't We Do It in the Road? Helter Skelter.

Sunset Boulevard. Strawberry Alarm Clock ringing. Incense and Peppermint. Drunken star in shiny car shouting sexual invitation at hippie chicks on each side of me. Where did they come from? Where were we going? Where was I going? Mental note: Drop back in to see what condition my condition is in.

Flee before destination forgotten. Ride Harley to top of Sacred Mountain. Drink from Mother Earth's eternal well. Escape LA before wingless vultures with fake smiles devour my bleeding brain. No barefoot vagrant saint there.

No barefoot vagrant saint anywhere. Maybe he'll reenter life later. Maybe he'll remain where he is.

Silent voice: "Find symbolism." Too late. Morpheus awaits at gate.

Sole passenger on a midnight train, spiraling languidly down to Land of Nod, slowing chugging through a kaleidoscope fog to the sanctuary of dreams within dreams.

The dark angel whispered, "Neptune's child, magician clown, your ride awaits beside River Styx. Perhaps you'll find the key before crossing that way again."

Perhaps I'll find the meaning of symbolism before shedding human form again. Perhaps I won't. It doesn't really matter.



Overton County News
415 West Main Street
P.O. Box 479
Livingston, Tennessee 38570
tel 931.823.6485
fax 931.823.6486

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