Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The death of mud puddles

"Filled with kids in rainboots / who know the pleasure of mud and kings." The universe is like that when you have early eyes. Matthew Dickman knows it. He remembers. But he also knows it becomes more than that. It's not that the mud disappears, it's that we look past it and the rainboots don't fit anymore and we don't buy new ones.

And we learn too much. Biology is the death of carefree mud puddles. Brackish water isn't meant to be seen through. But that doesn't stop us.

Mortgage payments are the death of mud puddles. Who has the time? And how does rainboot stomping help us move on up like George Jefferson? There is no utility in even the perfect puddle stomp.

Gangsta rap is the death of mud puddles. Once you've come "Straight Outta Compton," once you're packing a 9mm in your sweatpants at a nightclub, you can't be seen stomping in a puddle, just stomping on some chump mother fucker.

Business suits and fancy shoes are the death of mud puddles. Who could afford the dry cleaning bill? Who could show up to work covered in mud?

We can't unsee what we've seen. We drive through mud puddles on our way to somewhere else. Somewhere consequential. Somewhere important, etched into our schedule.

Maybe rainboots are unforgetting like elephants or Shel Silverstein's Giving Tree. Maybe they are biding their time, amassing an army. Waiting to take back the world, give us back our mud puddles. Maybe the next time you see a wall of rainboots, you'll remember.