the lizards are out there

people ask me about the lizard thing. i try to explain, but the incidence of lizards in my life … sometimes difficult to express.

included below is a story from a long time ago, six years, which i’ve included here for the record.

yet another lizard: my friend m.b. (who i haven’t seen in years, and miss, and should call) is an incredible artist. she is also the source of my philosophy ‘life is for living hair is for dyeing’. and at one point, she employed me as an assistant, and i helped make this papier-mache lizard, which adorns the ceiling of wild planet, which is a record head store shop type of place downtown (she also painted the place):



and wild planet is for lease, if you’re interested:

in other, non-lizard related news, the far right lunatic fringe is alive and well in our fair city:


now, the story:

about five years ago a neighbor of mine committed suicide. it was meticulously planned & carried out in the most thoughtful manner possible; this struck me as an unusual way to approach what amounts to a desperate last act.

he gave no outward indication of his intentions during his final weeks, as he was laying out his cover story, a planned medical procedure that would have him out of the house for several days. he arranged for his bird to be cared for with another neighbor; he delivered the animal right on schedule, along with generous supplies and an overly adequate budget to cover any contingencies. this was the last time anyone saw him alive.

the neighbor watching the bird had keys to the apartment. after several days, he went to check on things & found the suicide note – written in marker on a piece of cardboard about 3 feet high by 5 feet wide – & its author dead of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head.

he had been sick for several years, in constant pain with no hope for recovery, yet no end in sight. he was unable to work & living alone, in poverty. he apologized for the inconvenience of his death. there were three envelopes taped to the cardboard, containing his will, letters to relatives, & copies of bank & vehicle records, all very neat, organized, methodical. according to the autopsy reports, he took a lot of pills. enough, actually, but at some point when the pills had loosened his psyche & he was ready, he put the shotgun in his mouth. methodical, & very, very thorough.

oh, and the neat note? all sane & logical, at least down to the last line, scrawled in large jagged angry (or terrified) letters, with a different pen (a red one), apparently as an afterthought:
*THE LIZARDS ARE OUT THERE*

the lizards are out there. i know what you’re thinking, and no, i don’t take that personally, because i know precisely what he meant by that — and i relate. it’s the same way with spiders — there are always spiders. the ones you see, & the ones you don’t see. spiders are far more aware of us than we are of them. we walk in a room, the spiders there know. but how often do spiders creep, unseen & unrealized, through our rooms, unnoticed occupants of our subconsciousness as much as anything else? often indeed, believe you me. there are always spiders. among other things.

there are the unknown knowns, the known unknowns, and the unknown unknowns, you know?

the lizards are out there.

5 thoughts on “the lizards are out there

  1. That big lizard is cool, and your friend’s place looks groovy. Nice pictures of your city, they give a good feeling of what it’s like there.

  2. and that building on the corner is, i think, the earle stanley gardener building, so named because earle stanley gardner did earle stanley gardnerish things in it way back when. or something.

  3. Yes, they are…

    …and you were addressing the hand-lettered signs rather than the signage at Dexter’s? Cameras and Hi-Fi! Man, that goes back a ways…

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