Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Battle Hymn of the Exquisite

Hello, blog lovers!

There was an... incident earlier this morning. I'm not sure if I'm ready to post anything about it yet.

...Okay, now I am.

The solar collectors are complete and fully-functional, so now all we have to do is wait for them to charge up, which will take a few days. Weight Wizard wanted to turn in, but the rest of the crew thought a celebration was in order. That's when Storm Boy revealed his "surprise" for me. It turned out to be something he called "An All-Star Tribute to Blockade Boy Featuring Storm Boy With Special Guests Rainbow Girl and Tusker." Which was a fancy way of saying the three of them had worked out a marching band routine in my honor! And I know how much Storm Boy hates marching, so my mighty heart was moved in a wondrous manner.

Rainbow Girl played her fife, and Tusker struggled along as best he could on that ocarina I gave him, and Storm Boy... well, I'm not sure when he even found the time to construct the damn thing, but he was playing an instrument of his own design, a perfectly ghastly-looking object he had dubbed an Electric Sousasaxotimpanibone. It combines the features of a Sousaphone, a saxophone, a timpani drum, and a trombone. And when he operated it, Storm Boy looked like he was simultaneously pleasuring and being crushed by something from an H.R. Giger painting. As near as I can tell he had pre-programmed it with tunes so it was closer to a barrel organ than something you'd see in an orchestra. Cootie was so alarmed by its noise that she scrambled for the lower decks after the first note. I wasn't familiar with any of the songs they played. After the incident I demanded he tell me the titles for all of them and then I also made him show me the sheet music so I could read the lyrics.

It explained a lot.

They started out with "Toxic" by Britney Spears, then segued into "Ain't No Other Man" by Christina Aguilera. I didn't know any better at the time, so I just sat in the reviewing stand (i.e. a folding chair) smiling and holding on to Weight Wizard's increasingly slippery, fidgety hand. Storm Boy and the others stomped merrily around the deck and even made a pass under the big dome in a nod to our temporarily-petrified figurehead, Plant Lad, who is several decks up and strapped to the "prow" in the unforgiving vacuum of space. They had made it halfway through Kylie Minogue's "Come Into My World" when Weight Wizard wrenched himself free of my grasp. "This is bullshit," he hissed at me. "How much longer are you gonna make me sit here and listen to this no-talent fat-ass suck-up and his loser brigade?"

"Easy on the hyphenated insults, kid," I chuckled. I tried to grasp his hand again but he yanked it away. I glanced over at Storm Boy. His face was crimson. He held up his right hand in some kind of signal and his confused bandmates suddenly started in on a new tune, which I later found out was something called "Girlfriend" by one of Canada's most revered prime ministers, Brigadier-General Avrile Levigne-Thicke. Weight Wizard stood there with his back ramrod-straight and his arms folded, scowling at Storm Boy. For his part, Storm Boy marched with great intensity in a circle around him, dipping the bell of his Electric Sousasaxotimpanibone ever-closer to Weight Wizard's face.

"Light," spat Weight Wizard, contemptuously. He leaped almost to the top of the dome. Then he shouted "Heavy!" and he came down like a cannonball on top of Weight Wizard, smashing the Electric Sousasaxotimpanibone and not-so-coincidentally breaking Storm Boy's arm. Then it was on. The two of them started brawling, with Storm Boy getting a couple of rabbit punches in on Weight Wizard with his good arm, Weight Wizard unleashing some impressive karate moves on Storm Boy, and Tusker whaling on the both of them for no discernible reason and with a goofy grin on his face. Rainbow Girl, bless 'er, split into her energy forms and did her best to pull everybody apart. But Weight Wizard was so light and so slick with perspiration that she couldn't get a proper grip on him. I threw myself off my chair and propelled myself across the deck just using my arms, like Ursula in "The Little Mermaid" and the next time Weight Wizard bounced into the deck I snagged his foot, pulled him down, and threw my body on top of his so he couldn't get away. Storm Boy used this as an opportunity to kick him in the arm before Rainbow Girl zapped him with an enervating ray and he crumpled to the deck himself.

Meanwhile, Weight Wizard frothily screamed at me to get off of him, getting spit all over my rugged, handsome face. As I roared back at him to calm down I was overcome by vertigo. My voice went strangely flat and buzzy, my arms lost all feeling, and the two of us suddenly shot up into the air. He deftly rolled my body off of his own. I slammed into the deck. I could see Weight Wizard moonwalk-bouncing off to God-knows-where. Rainbow Girl and Tusker rushed over to me. I could tell by the looks on their faces that it was bad. "It happened again, didn't it?" I buzzed.

And sure enough, it had. My body is now almost totally metal, except for a few fleshy parts inside my skull. Everything else is hollow. Since my hands are useless and I'm not about to put any art supplies in my mouth I had to ask Storm Boy to do a rendering of my current state. Yes, I know. Don't start with me.

I haven't seen it yet. Let's discover it together!


Sweet fancy Moses!

I'm pretty sure I have never adopted that pose in my entire freaking life. (Although you just know Storm Boy does, whenever he needs to hitch a ride or score a free pastry or whatever.) Ugh. Of course, I can't stand up at all now but if I could? I wouldn't do it like that. The picture also makes me look a bit too curvaceous and Art Nouveau for my tastes, but otherwise it's a fair likeness.

I don't know what will happen if (or when) the last of me disappears and the only thing left is this shell of steel. I might be like Plant Lad, frozen solid with my eyes wide open. I wonder... is his mind frozen, too? I know he gets stupider as his whole body slows down in preparation for dormancy, but maybe his brain never completely shuts off... maybe he sees everything and hears everything but it just takes him a long time to process it all. It's a mystery. There are nights when Rainbow Girl is at the wheel and everybody else is asleep, and I pace the deck by myself, looking up through the dome at Plant Lad, and he looks down at me with that glum, sleepy-eyed stare. (Which I sketched a while back. See?)


Maybe he knows exactly what's going on and he's inwardly pissed, and there's nothing he can do to stop it... I hope that's not how it will be for me.

But you know what? I didn't get as far as I have by being a pessimist. I've rebounded from fates as bad... well, almost as bad as this. I refuse to worry about what's to come. And I've got a crew to take care of, so I'm going to focus on that. Okay, enough philosophical claptrap. Back to my narrative! *Portentiously intones* EPILOGUE!

Rainbow Girl helped me into sickbay. I had a heart-to-heart with Storm Boy (the poor sweet dope) where I explained in no uncertain terms that I Just Wasn't Into Him. I think he understands now. Tusker got a stern lecture about Minding His Own Freaking Business and I pointed out that if we weren't in such dire straits he'd be cooling his heels in the brig right now. Then Rainbow Girl and I sat down with some coffee (that sloshed down my throat into the bottom of my hollow feet) and we went through my big catalog of Commendation Medals and picked out an especially nice one for her. (She's also typing all of this for me, which is swell of her as I'm sure she'd rather be in bed.) [Too true! -- Rainbow Girl]

Weight Wizard isn't talking to me, or to anybody else. I know this is hard. It's usually me taking care of him. Maybe I've babied him too much, and that's why he's so stressed-out now. But I'm sure he'll come around. And anyway, with the raucous life I lead there very well might come a day where I have a permanent injury and I'll have to rely on him as my Primary Caregiver. So this is good practice for him. Once he gets over this initial bout of shock and denial, I'm sure he'll be fine. Because I'm an optimist, and I have faith in the little guy.

Everything will be fine.

You'll see.



Anonymous said...

Clearly, you're approaching the point where you simply "invert"and start becoming increasingly organic, eventually with no metal but a little bit in your head...right?

Anonymous said...

I hope your powers haven't...well, it'd just be gross.

Anonymous said...

Tell Strom Boy he did an excellent job with the colours. It's very pretty.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Chawunky: Hey, I'll take what I can get. And if it turns out that way, I hope it starts with the dingus. For Weight Wizard's sake. (Rainbow Girl is shaking her head as she types this for me.)

Anonymous 1: I presume you mean it'd be gross if I turned into a wall of flesh? Agreed, although you must admit it would be very Clive Barker.

Anonymous 2: I'll send him your regards!

Bill S. said...

If it's any consolation, you're much more attractive than Robotman ever was.

Jeremy Rizza said...

And my eyebrows make the cutest little whirring noises when I wiggle them now.