Title: One for the Road / Der Abschied
created on 24 Mar 20

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1. chelydra wrote:
 Was wondering if a youtube recording of Mahler's song cycle Das Lied von der Erde might inspire an appropriate image for this strangest of all spring seasons. Found a highly recommended performance (Horenstein). This was what happened.
2. chelydra wrote:
 So there's this Martian grasshopper parked at a bar, chainsmoking extralong Gauloises, guzzling Somerset cider from a gold mug, and in walks...
3. chelydra wrote:
 ... ???
4. indigo wrote:
 A Mercurian Praying Mantis sporting a gold cane and a top hat. On his arm we find..???
5. chelydra wrote:
 https://www.local802afm.org/allegro/
articles/jascha-horenstein-the-ameri
can-symphony-orchestra/ Jascha Horenstein died on April 2, 1973. A popular legend has it that, among his last words, were: “The saddest thing about leaving this earth is never to he
6. chelydra wrote:
 ...hear ‘Das Lied von der Erde’ again.” Simultaneous postings by Indigo and me. Hers does much more than mine to advance the joke (from its humble beginnings towards some kind of jollier punch line than my damp squib.)
7. chelydra wrote:
 If you don't know this music, perhaps you should... Perfect accompaniment for Springtime 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJgY
9a02Snc
8. chelydra wrote:
 "Der Abschied" > "The Farewell" (title of the longest and final song in a set of six, with lyrics based on thousand-year-old Chinese poems. The last lines are about how the Earth stays alive even after we're off. Overoptimistic perhaps.
9. chelydra wrote:
 Sorry, as Indigo was saying when she was so rudely interrupted... And on his arm we find... ? (over to you)
10. AFSOUTH wrote:
 Outstanding!
11. Hazer wrote:
 ...we find the beautiful, loquacious Miss Carleen Cricket, wearing a stunning.....?
12. chelydra wrote:
 ...form-fitting bronze chainmail vest, whilst loquating most eloquently upon the transitory nature of life, love, lust, and luck, & sadly wondering if the vain, distracted Mr M.P. Mantis, esq., will ever notice the gentle swelling of her abdomen, her radi
13. chelydra wrote:
 ...radiant bloom & rounding bosom, the tenderness her three dark dewy simple eyes or the deepening wisdom in her ruby-red hexagonal compound eyes, and realize, perhaps even acknowledge, his own . . .
14. Hazer wrote:
 narcissistic incompetence.She had been so enamored with him at first, but...
15. chelydra wrote:
 ...now she must face raising this crop of 150 (or was it 15,000? she paid no attention in sex ed classes) larvae on her own, with no help from this loser, who can't even respond to overt hints, let alone propose...
16. Hazer wrote:
 marriage. And so it was that Miss Carleen fell uncharacteristically silent. Overwhelmed with emotion, she stared up M.P., blinking back the tears and resisting the urge to scurry into the shadows. As this new realization began to take form in her mind, sh
17. Hazer wrote:
 she..
18. chelydra wrote:
 blinked all her simple and compound eyes in the sequential rhythm that accompanied (and revealed to sensitive observers) agitated confusion or eager anticipation or both...
19. chelydra wrote:
 ...and her batting eyelashes batted some invisible projectile clear out of the park, to be deftly and confidently caught by our old neglected friend the Martian Grasshopper...
20. chelydra wrote:
 ...whose kind, considerate little smirk and wise sly wink told her—when she suddenly became fully conscious of his presence beyond the infernal reek his slow gentle slurping of his potent fizzing cider—that here before her she beheld...
21. Hazer wrote:
 ...an opportunity. Waving her antennae ever so discretely, so as not to raise M.P's suspicions, she began to hum softly, much to the delight of the Martian Grasshopper. M.P., who had the disadvantage of possessing only a single ear, seemed oblivious to th
22. Hazer wrote:
 the flirtations, was preoccupied with admiring his lanky reflection in the over sized mirror behind the bar. The Martian Grasshopper paused in the middle of a slurp, straightened himself on his stool, adjusted his tie, turned to Miss Carleen and...
23. chelydra wrote:
 In the momentary pregnant pause before he could utter a word —whilst realizing this was a now-or-never chance to be resurrected from his lonely dried-up bachelorhood—
24. chelydra wrote:
 —quietly drinking himself into an early (but not really all that early - he was past sixty in grasshopper years) grave (where do grasshoppers go when we die, he silently, shudderingly, asked the moth passing by—
25. chelydra wrote:
 not really expecting an answer — all this took up only five seconds, maybe not even, but 'twas nuff to reveal his confusion and consternation and hopeless ineptitude, as in these garbled half-thoughts and
26. chelydra wrote:
 ...grammatical loose ends that no one would ever be able to find, let alone reconstruct correctly, since they weren't written down or even spoken audibly, not even spoken in the whistling, whispering
27. chelydra wrote:
 ..., sing-singing dialect of his Cornwallian grasshopper subspecies. Six seconds. Oh god, he groaned inaudibly, wondering what sort of golf grasshoppers should pray too. Seven seconds...
28. chelydra wrote:
 ...as he hurriedly adjusted his tie again he became aware he'd never actually swallowed that last warmly viscous slurp of delicious Somerset cider—and, horror of horrors he noticed, hanging in the air...
29. chelydra wrote:
 ... inside the twenty-seventh box of this ever-growing stack of boxes, teetering recklessly now, jammed so full of meandering and meaningless verbiage—that he had, thanks to Goddess Rachel's considerate inclusion of autocorrection services in her tavern
30. chelydra wrote:
 ..., blasphemously wondered what sort of golf he and his species should pray to. Eight, nine seconds, maybe ten. Miss Carleen was still looking him over, but her expression conveyed dismayed concern rather than the lusty naughty gaiety he was sure he'd g
31. chelydra wrote:
 glimpsed fleetingly illuminating those colorful unforgettable eyes. With a waning hope that he might yet salvage something good (not too excruciating, anyway) from this little encounter, he
32. chelydra wrote:
 ...lost track of his newfound awareness of his last unswallowed cider as he straightened up, inhaled deeply for delivering a pick-up line not too overt (lest he rouse the oblivious but mercurial Mantis out of his revery)...
33. chelydra wrote:
 ... and hoping the next words he heard be a wise, witty, resonant conversation-starter sufficient for the purpose of — oh golf, he swore under his breath, now she's reaching for a cigarette, and — oh wait it way my own Gauloise pack she plucked it fro
34. chelydra wrote:
 from, sly and coy—those eyes!!!—she too is trying to salvage this moment!— and now I must light it for her—whereupon he sensed the onset of an inharmonic convergence of inhaled cider, a defective match ineptly struck, a suddenly very alert nine-fo
35. chelydra wrote:
 ...nine-foot-tall (in cricket feet) mantis, and the small still voice of that little moth who read his thoughts eleven boxes ago but had to get them translated from cricketish into mothian and then ponder how best to answer...
36. chelydra wrote:
 ... which was, she decided: "Right here, you old fool! And right now too, by the look of it!" (Had she translated from grasshopperisn, she might replied more quickly.).
37. chelydra wrote:
 Whereupon,
38. Hazer wrote:
 the peculating fizzy cider suddenly erupted with full force, sending a brown steam of spittle straight as an arrow into the peering eye of the Mantis.
39. Hazer wrote:
 Horrified at this social faux pas, the grasshopper stared transfixed as the Mantis...
40. chelydra wrote:
 ...'s 18-inch long spaghetti-like tongue whipped sinuously across cheek, chin, forehead, ears, eyelids and bouffant hairdo, as an odd medley of sensuous groans and erotic squeaks emanated from somewhere deep within that spindly-looking chest...
41. chelydra wrote:
 But, even more alarming— When MG mustered up the courage to steal a glance at loquacious Ms Cricket, he wasn't prepared to see that she...
42. chelydra wrote:
 [It occurs to me that a really good movie director or animation studio could probably compress all this into 25 or 30 seconds and it might even be pretty good.. maybe sort of...]
43. chelydra wrote:
 [The continuity department might have a hard time inserting a brief clue about how Martians crickets settled in Cornwall, or vice versa, and probably a lot else, but maybe the best policy would be to let the audience figure it out for themselves.][at even
44. chelydra wrote:
 [...-ing classes for post-deconstructionist cinéastes held on Thursday mornings at the Moose Lake Cultural Centre, up yonder in Hazer Country]
45. chelydra wrote:
 [which makes me wonder if this might work with the opening scene in the bar might turn out to be a movie within a movie, with the remaining ...
46. chelydra wrote:
 [....hour and a half of film time devoted to (a) the aforementioned discussion about what it means, which then fades out into (b) the various bored housewives, lusty widows, and ineligible bachelors in the class....
47. chelydra wrote:
 [....gather up their notebooks, snuggle into their pullovers and earmuffs, and trudge carwards through snowdrifts, feeling panicky at facing a lonely Thursday lunchtime and a long empty afternoon...]
48. chelydra wrote:
 [...at which point one or two of the bolder and more sociable cineastes suggests they all might try the Thursday duckling luncheon special at the Comeright Inn at the corner of Moosehead Mews and Lakeshore Lane, with free unlimited drinks for...]
49. chelydra wrote:
  { ??? } { but be sure to not leave our friends hanging, unless you feel that Box 41 would be a good place for the film to break or the projector overheat, and then next week's class it can be seen when all is...]
50. chelydra wrote:
 [... spliced and cooled, and the plot (after much thickening in April slush) is ready to be resolved or maybe not as all these loose ends suddenly leap out like mantis-tongues and....]
51. Hazer wrote:
 Hazer, sensing her host's frustration with the rabbit trail she has led him down, leaps down the rabbit hole taking the mantis, grasshopper and cricket with her to be be chocolate coated and served up along side the pine beetles at the the Moose
52. Hazer wrote:
 Lodge. With a sigh, she straps on her snow shoes and heads for her cabin where she is soon engrossed in a jigsaw puzzle, content to leave further story telling to the loquacious Mr. Chelydra.
53. chelydra wrote:
 For generations to come, the local Esquimaux tribes swapped and embellished legends of a distraught common snapping turtle, cruelly abandoned by the last of his erstwhile comrades, clawing...
54. chelydra wrote:
 at the triple-locked steel door half-buried under massive ice-crusted snowdrifts... with his hypersensitive hearing and/or deranged imagination, this shivering, shuddering hulk
55. chelydra wrote:
 did a sad little dance in a doomed attempt to keep his greenish-black blood circulating to his exposed extremities, already numb and brittle...
56. chelydra wrote:
 The rhythm he tried to dance to, which he heard faintly vibrating the steel door, was not emanating from a jolly gathering of social insects laughing, singing along with the juke box, jitterbugging on the bar of imported Honduran mahogany,
57. Hazer wrote:
 his way bravely back into the sunlight to once again entertain the masses with his delightful commentaries and highly entertaining yarns, realizing he was not abandoned but set free to start afresh. (I was taking this on a rabbit trail, wasn't I?)
58. chelydra wrote:
 nor was it sound effects of a trio of antisocial insects punching, pounding and stomping one another in their jealous rages, crushing each other's paper-thin exoskulls on a floor of cider-puddled permafrost... No, it was worse, fart worse (was that a typo
59. chelydra wrote:
  or an autocorrection? Unintentional whatever it was, swears Chelydra with his last breathless hoarse gasp of loquaciosity) ... that companion OH MY SAINTS AND SAVIORS, bellowed Cheydra explosively—'TIS SHE!
60. chelydra wrote:
 And to think those legend-mongering Esquimaiux were sure she'd never come to the door to sooth this beast with her dulcet tones, but would prefer to keep him dancing to the gently rhythm of her jigsaw-puzzling clickity-clacking he mistook for insect activ
61. chelydra wrote:
 -ities... In that dark perverse world of Eskimaux myth-making, that naive, trusting turtle believed his missing companion must have wandered off snowblind into a glacier crevice,
62. chelydra wrote:
 or been abducted by polar bears needing a nanny or perhaps a lovely concubine, or a gentle lady to handle their household's jigsaw-puzzling chores...
63. chelydra wrote:
 ...but in all the various competing versions of the Esquimaiux legend, Chelydra's pathetic delusions as he danced himself to death on the ice-crusted snow (like the a very slow, soft, quiet arctic echo of the maiden's sacrificial dance in Le Sacre du Prin
64. chelydra wrote:
 -temps) (delete 'the' of course in Box #63)... where were we? Oh yeah, those legends all insisted that the erstwhile companions had got bored with all this reptilian gibberish and snick of home, smirking by her warm little fire—and in at least one versi
65. chelydra wrote:
 -on told by a particularly bloody-minded tribe, she's got a stewpot simmering with tiny carrots and turnips from the last July's two-week-long growing season, into which she intended to scoop in dollops of thawed turtle when the time comes...
66. chelydra wrote:
 How they misjudged her! (snick of was supposed to be snuck off, and lord know how many other neologisms have been invented and scattered by this running-amok autocorrector! The Eskimaux even now are probably telling takes of our Creator-Goddess monitorin
67. chelydra wrote:
 -g every keystroke and amusing Herself by invisibly intervening with her endless verbal trickery!—the thought of which sets off Chelydra on further paroxysms of despairing self-doubt, unspeakable hallucinations swarming through his fast-congealing frig
68. chelydra wrote:
 -id little brain, which at last succumbs, despite the gentle dulcet entreaties of his lost-and-found comrade, and its grey little glimmers fade to a black as black as a polar solstice...
69. chelydra wrote:
 But the darkest-ever hour is before the brightest-ever dawn, as the wisest and most hopeful of the Esquigriots would say in conclusion...
70. chelydra wrote:
 And what now, pray tell? Surely not the soup option—goddess forbid!—well...on the other hand, wouldn't a comforting kettle of soup be nice?
71. chelydra wrote:
 Chewing on jigsaw pieces month after month gets tiresome after... As does endless yammering when procrastination exponentially surges in inverse proportion to the urgency of set-aside tasks...
72. chelydra wrote:
 one last, last, absolute;y last fleet-footed little footnote scurries very quietly through Chelydra's sinking-sinking-sunk shrinking-shrinking-shrunk little mind...
73. chelydra wrote:
 ... which seems to be a vague little hope that someone—Hazer?—Indigo?—the reticent Mum23?—our aloof goddess?—anyone!—or however many people (or insects or turtles) it takes—might put this odd story to bed with a lullaby-like conclusion...
74. chelydra wrote:
 ...ideally one that ties up all the stalactite-like (and/or stalagmitoid) loose ends so poor old expiring Chelydra, souped or not, can resin peace (wtf?)
75. chelydra wrote:
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q_bw
uSK7U34 (Start at 11:00 minutes in to hear nicely resigned and resined peaceful sound track, for inspiration and consolation)
76. Hazer wrote:
 and so Hazer, remembering her doctors instructions to eat whole plant foods and avoid animal protein, searches the pantry for black beans. But now what to do with that half frozen turtle? Wanting to revive him she submerges him in a warm bath, feeds him s
77. Hazer wrote:
 some flies she collects off the window sill. Once she is assured his tummy is full,,,and she is sure it must be, judging by the slowly blinking eyes and retracting neck, she gently places him near the warmth of the fireplace, sits back in her rocking chai
78. chelydra wrote:
 r...
79. Hazer wrote:
 chair, humming a lullaby, until they both nod off into dreamland.
80. Hazer wrote:
 ..and once Chelydra is well rested, she looks forward to hearing all about the dreams, being quite certain they will be quite fascinating and a most welcome distraction from the icy winds blowing off the mountains.



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