Monday, January 31, 2011

Water and Life: What's Not in The Freak Observer

AA sea of dark dunes, sculpted by the wind into long lines,
surrounds the northern polar cap covering an area as big as Texas.
NASA Image 

As I've said before, I just write chunks of stuff and figure out where they go later. But sometimes I write chunks of stuff and just forget about them. Like this thing called “Water and Life” that never made it into The Freak ObserverThe fragmentary notes at the end must have meant something to me once. 

• • •

“To chase the story of life, we have to taste the water on Mars.”

That’s what they tell me on the evening news. I think they said there was ice a month or two ago. They had pictures of shiny-and-white-something under the rusty dust of Mars. Now the machine has drilled in and tasted it. It’s water. Pure water.

They have determined that the water on Mars is better than you can get out of the tap in LA. I have no idea what the water is like in LA, but I don’t personally think that pure water is any indicator of life. I have too much experience with life, and I know that life has a tendency to crap in water.

 Once I was riding my bike on the logging road, really busting my strength, and I needed a drink, so I went down the grade from the road and sucked some water out of a creek. It was clear as glass and so cold it felt like it was going to crack my teeth. I drank that water until I cramped, which wasn’t that long, to be honest, because it was powerful cold and I was powerful hot. Then I got on my bike and kept going. The logging road followed the creek. Why wouldn’t it? That was the best indication of where gravity said it should go, and road builders aren’t all stupid.

So I kept going and going and then I saw a dead deer in the water. Who knows what killed it. Disease? Parasites? A magic golden arrow like in a fairy tale? Who knows? Whatever killed it, it fell right into the creek days ago. And I sucked water out of that creek like it was pure as the blood of angels.

If I’d gone up a different logging road, I might not have seen a dead deer. I might have seen the Hayes cows moseying around on the grazing lease and shitting in the meadows, on the rocks—and yes, in the water too, because that’s what cows do.

My point isn't about pollution or parasites. It’s just that water may be essential to life, but that life always leaves its footprints in the water: little tiny parasitic footprints or long green algae-slime footprints. Pure water is no promise of life. If water is pure, put your money on no-kind-of-life-at-all.

• • •

Me, "Edgar Mitchell did an esp experiment on Apollo 14."
A regular person, "Do you have any proof?"
"No."
"Well then it is no important than any guy in a tinfoil hat. Astronaut smastronaut."
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