Did you know that we are 50% banana? My youngest daughter, who has a penchant for odd or interesting facts, Ripley’s Believe It or Not books, the TV show Buried Treasures, rocks and sea glass, and inventions (since there are butt warmers in cars she thinks there should be air-conditioned back coolers for the summer-and if you sweat like we do you’re with her here), is now addicted to her iPod and an App that gives her some new, unusual and probably dangerous information on a regular basis. Such as the fact that we share 50% of our DNA with bananas (which I suppose explains a lot, like why we can put a man on the moon but can’t cure the common cold).
And speaking of the moon, according to my daughter, you can’t cry up there. When I tried to push this a bit she said it has something to do with gravity. I guess we need gravity to cry. This doesn’t seem right to me. If I was on the moon I think I could cry. The tears would just stream up off my face into the black dense universe. Like Elphaba, I too would be defying gravity. It would feel more like an offering, more like prayer.
We also never dream about anyone we haven’t seen in our life. Every person in our dream is someone we know or been introduced to or walked by. Our brain has actually taken a picture of absolutely everyone we’ve encountered and stored it somewhere. My daughter loves this–she thinks it’s really cool. I find it preposterous because how can that be true, and terrifying, because what if it is? Of course, my dreams are older than hers. They are darker and more complicated. Full of betrayal, danger, secrets, lust, and a great deal of other hullabaloo that I can’t get into here. How awful if I actually know all these people doing all these crazy and sometimes horrible things? I’m going to apologize right now to any of you I know or may have seen or even those of you I have conjured an image for in my head. I’m sorry if I dreamed about you and you were doing something despicable or ridiculous or contrary to your every moral fiber. I don’t believe I have control over my dreams, although one of these days my daughter may tell me otherwise. I’m never quite sure what’s coming next from that App.
Here’s a good one. Did you know that Bill Gates has so much money that if he drops a one hundred-dollar bill on the ground it is literally not worth his time to bend down and pick it up? This makes me wonder about so many things, like why are we even debating whether it’s ok to increase taxes for the 1% if they can walk around dropping $100 bills without a care in the world, and does anyone know where Bill Gates likes to walk a lot and is it a public space that I might have access to? And is someone actually making money from the 99 cents my daughter paid for this App? Are there just millions and millions of prepubescent girls purchasing this App across the world, being fed these particular facts in some insidious way so they will be so inundated and brainwashed when they are 18 they will join a cult? Or create a Ponzi scheme? Or try out for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders? Or write a breakout fanfiction novel about zombies?
It’s all starting to make my head hurt. And it raises the bigger question that I am sure every one of you has asked yourself time and time again, but still you have no answer. You just don’t understand. Who writes this crap? That’s what I really want to know. Who on God’s green (well, not so green) earth writes this crap? And more to the point, should it be me? Should I really be wrestling with point of view and what’s at stake and character development and a sense of place when I could just write, well, crap. It seems to be a legit business these days. In high demand, ok pay, no drain, no shame. Maybe I took a wrong turn back in Mrs. Kleeman’s fifth grade English class. I fell in love with words and stories and the transformative power of books. Did I miss the boat? Is there an App for that?
Honestly, I could just cry. On the moon.