Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I Got My Drink And My Two-Steppe: The Mongolian Intersignificance

Aeons ago, smack in the momentous year of 2002, I was a Junior in high school at Landmark Career Academy. The esconced mew of a secreted brainwashing facility was an alternative school, run under the chilly auspices of the Fairfax County Public School system in that strangest youth-haunt of Northern Virginia (which factors like a dispirited, grungier East Coast regurgitation of Orange County, but even more sparkly with the granite glimmer of DC State Buildings and the otherwordly verdant sheen floating over Federal lawns after Springtime drizzles on teenage drive-about nights), was the place where I really began to flourish as a could-be, as awkwardly as I might, being as I was, a would-be.

I met and befriended Rolando P. in the Academy and we quickly began to develop fledgeling new mini-theories of primal psychology and behavior: most notably, "Tranthropimpostorismicruelty" (or "Tranthrop") and its concomitant behavioral manifestation "Pendulentropy". These new unwieldy collections of conceits were not merely descriptive visualizations of fact, but also provided a new guideline for 'supracultural praxis.'

Of course, our "counterculture" manoeuvrings were largely a reaction to the stuffy, normativizing coercions of the stark sentinels of our surroundings---a suburbanized military society of army personnel and statesmen and their families, a subset demographic which culturally dominated the rest of NoVa's populace: Hispanic, African, and Asian immigrants and the economically healthy, but just as peaceably objectionable smattering of Good Ol' Boys.

Rolando and I were high on a sober-psychonautic vision of Life, I a born Ashkenazic Jewish kid, he a son of Bolivian parentage, with suspected Portospaniard Moorish ancestry inmixed. Among our many esoteric and almost Abulafian "Concentrations", which often took on the feeling of Vision Quests complete---across Alexandria, Arlington, Burke, Lorton, and DC, and in the second-storey parking garage lot of our school---which itself was a little room located in an upscale shopping mall of all places---was a bizarre notion we conceived and continued vigourously to carry out.

At some point in our arcane studies, we became aware of cans of soda and cups of fountain drinks left standing upright in the parking lot by insouciant folks walking out from the opulent bowels of the shopping mall after a day of fancy-free expenditures on overpriced knick-knacks and brand-chic bric-a-brac. So, we took to making sprinting starts across the lot, lifting off the asphalt from the skin of our sneakers, bending a right foot forward in mid-air, and letting release, as that raring foot kick-jettisoned that erect vessel of soda pop or savoury juice into a great elliptical arc of 'Khayyamian proportions', spanning across the low-bellied sky in a spectacle of flying drink droplets and their shed vessel falling beneath like a space shuttle's sloughed booster rockets veering back to Earth.

Well, somehow we imagined that if we formulaically executed this action with right concentration, we could just conceivably transport ourselves for a split-jiffy to the open steppes of Mongolia, only to be immediately transported back, before we should be much conscious of the cross-continental teleportation. This exercise, as juvenile and unrecyclable as it jars the brain, had severe philosophical undertones, exemplifying a novelly modern, but antiquely primaeval concept of action and intent. It might be mistaken for a cheap imitation of old magic, but in fact it was modernizing mysticism of gestural permutations. Nor was it mere dance or theatre, but a form of gesticulant Dvekuth. Of course, I later instituted the proper disposal of the "trash" qua Kavvanic prop.

This very youthful mythology between us, Rolando P. and I, and the others who may have become minutely initiated beyond their better judgment or even awareness of the fact, was heavily popular in our abysmal discourses a la Tehom* for a very long stretch of our young lives, weaving us through greenest lanes home on fog-misty evenings after school and in the traumatic drip, shot, and surge of NoVa-Cain into, and disarming, the higher conscience.

Then, years later, I ended up going to Mongolia in full body "4 rlz", on a business trip for the school at which I am employed; temporarily departing my post in Manzhouli, China for the obligation. While there, I thought, I must make the most of this fulfillment of a youthful dream in adult duty. So, I had Batbold stop the car outside Ulaan Baatar, somewhere near the outpost of Terelj, and I went off onto the freezing Mongolian steppe---somewhere between its own Secret History and my own Keatsianly infantile high school fancies. There I asked Batbold to film me in the debilitating frost as, this time, I turned the tables, and in an adult answer to a childhood question in the 'Aliyah of Rolando's and my "Dibbuk Khaverim", I kicked a vessel of soda pop on the Mongolian steppe, momentarily transporting myself back, perhaps, to that old parking lot outside Landmark Career Academy.

*"Tehom"-(Hebrew) "Abyss"