Monday, March 29, 2010

Voyage of the Sea-Worm: A semi-academic analysis of the modern-day cave-drawings and decorations discovered in my basement (Daily Photo 3.28.10)

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Cleaned up my basement a little. There's a tiny, disused room down there, about maybe 5 feet wide and 10 feet long, what used to be the coal-storage room back when my house was much older. We store dog food in it now.

Before we owned this house, an old lady lived here. She had a son who must've used this room to smoke pot in, because it was left in such a state of teenage-boy-weed-and-hormone-and-ignorance-fueled-weirdness that we've left it untouched -- like a shrine to irony, too hilarious to take down. It's been barely touched for five years, until now. (I finally bothered to replace a burnt-out light bulb in there.)

Among the art pieces along the walls are this Iron Maiden poster, and a Van Halen one as well on another wall. Stapled and glued to random points are cut-out logos from cheap beer cartons like Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors, and a bumper sticker for WHJY-FM in Providence, a local classic rock and metal station. These things must've been sacred totems to the young boy. The walls and ceiling are covered in pencil scrawlings so numerous and weird you'd think someone had been locked in there like a prisoner in a garret and documented his descent into insanity. Most of the words are strangely diverse band names -- U2, Twisted Sister, Run-DMC. Odd, the kid that listened to all those. I was most surprised that after being in this house for years I'd only now just noticed that someone drew a couple of almost-but-not-quite swastikas on there, and two stars of David -- but they clearly aren't the work of a disturbed kid into Nazism. The kid obviously had little to no idea what the sort-of-but-not-really swastikas meant, because they're drawn bizarrely, with extra arms that don't fit, as if he was really only drawing interesting shapes that he'd seen somewhere before but couldn't put his finger on. These shapes were like advertising for products he'd forgotten, or just angles and lines that appeared menacing and sharp like the Twisted Sister "TS" logo he put next to them. He probably even thought they'd make cool-looking ninja throwing stars -- one of them is labeled "CHINA STAR." That could mean either a weapon or he wanted takeout. Again: pot.

Around the Iron Maiden poster of Eddie as the Trooper is a written a list: "Great charactors." They were probably band names, or people in a story he was coming up with while high with friends. Here are his cast of charactors:
  • Cumulus Cloud
  • Tree-Tall the Intellegent [sic & ironic]
  • Silver Piece
  • Moses Malone
  • Zorn
  • Tweedle dee tweedle dumber
  • Pecker the Sea-Worm
  • Sea-Worm the Slime-Thrower
  • Meenlock the Pre... [illegible]
  • Pecker the Hairless
You can see he was running on fumes by the end. Literally. The names "Mike" and "Pete" are spray-painted on the wall. The young boy and another of his tribe, perhaps?

I'm speculating that Tree-Tall the Intellegent must've been their primitive god figurehead. Pecker the Sea-Worm may have been a creature in their eerie and ill-formed universe mythology, maybe an important character in their Creation Myth. Yes, and maybe this simple Sea-Worm endured trials beyond imagining, singing songs in praise of Tree-Tall and trooping across fields of battle and running with devils, evolving into a proud and noble warrior -- a slayer of giants like Zorn and Meenlock, a thrower of slime. Sea-Worm the Slime-Thrower, in fact. Perhaps in his advanced age, the once-ruler of Cumulus Cloud evolved still further into the wise, Solomon-like Pecker the Hairless.

I'm going to scrub it all off once the weather clears, because obviously unintentional or not, I'm not happy having cryptic quasi-fascistic symbols on the wall of my basement. Just in case some accident happens and the police think we've been up to weird shit down there. But I'll leave you with one of my favorite bits of wisdom sketched onto the walls of this room, which I also never noticed until today. It's circled strangely, almost as if he is depicting it stitched on a pillow, like the sage and gentle aphorism it is.

3 comments:

Michelle said...

Ah, a classic sign of teenage hormones. I did the same thing to the walls in my parents' garage. The only problem is that they never moved out and my angsty musical lyrics remained for years and years.

Naturally, I had scribbled Morrissey lyrics right by the door leading into the house. How many pairs of eyes rolled as they walked by into the house, I'll never know. It became a walk of shame for me, especially with a snickering hubster behind me.

My father finally showed me mercy when I was 30 and repainted the whole garage.

funderson said...

wow...such great taste in beer... Do you wonder where this kid is now? jail? wall street wearing a suit everyday? I'm thinking cop...

Sprout + Bean said...

This is divine. Why don't fascinating things exist in my house?!

I bet this boy grew up to be a fine gentleman, who now smiles into his coffee as little ones tug at the awkward elbows of his sleeves.

Either that, or he has started a cult. In the mountains of Wyoming. Where coyotes are sacrificed on the third Thursday of every month, but ONLY when Tree-Tall the Intellegent is present.

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