why I’m gonna like Seattle zen more than Albuquerque Catholicism

I was on my way to view anatomical diagrams of a girl named Goo. I was with my good friend Patrick. He’s a painter. He likes to brag about his tattoo. It’s a fine tattoo and it rivals the best work done in Amsterdam and Bangkok and it is my understanding that he had no help from those sinful places. If you meet him, ask to see it. It is a zen tattoo. I mean to say it is a tattoo of zen. If you see it and understand it, you will be enlightened.

I feel the same way about zen that I do about Jesus. I think it’s dangerous bullshit. But I don’t know enough Japanese to say bullshit in Japanese. I guess in Chinese it should be something like So-dung; in fact, I’m pretty sure that’s right. It’s surprising what you know when you test yourself. If you asked me five minutes ago I would have said I didn’t know any Chinese. What a small world.

Most bullshit is not dangerous. Exemplis gratis: The article titled “why I’m gonna like Seattle zen more than Albuquerque Catholicism.”

I take that back. I don’t feel like making fun of myself right now. Just Jesus and zen.

I did my homework: I’ve read a lot of religion books and the Bible and zen books and things. I wanted it to be real and it wasn’t. Usually when people expect a certain answer they get it. These people make successful psychologists. When a person expects an answer and doesn’t get it they make good research scientists and inventors. Stuff in the real world has to work or it’s useless. Stuff in people’s heads doesn’t have to work and it can still limp by because so many other people will pick up the slack. The people who leave slack are called slackers. Baby Boomers were mental and philosophical slackers and that’s why their kids are physcial slackers but they don’t see the connection. I look like a slacker but I’m not.

Religion and communism are almost the same idea. They are each fundamentally based on slacking. One for morals and one for work; one for mind, one for body; one for heart, one for soul, like any fool would do. This follows the same problem in history of separating the mind and body then pretending that a Jarvic-7 falls somewhere in between. If you separate the mind from body for real, well, ask Marie Antoinette. You can’t separate morals from work any more successfully. I don’t think anyone who ever worked a hard day said, “I wish I could give away most of what I own to someone who didn’t feel like finishing high school but did feel like having a big family.” Or that anyone with a clean conscience said, “I wish some perfect son of an invisible and harsh creator would die for my sins.” Come to think of it, writing absurdist literature is a little beside the point with so many Gideons already distributing the definitive work. Don’t get me started!

I wanted to be a research scientist. I was, like Gertrude Stein, too lazy. I am not near as lazy and Ms. Stein though so I don’t feel the least bit bad about it.

I read a lot of zen koans and stories. Some of them are excellent stories when you remove the zen parts. They are often concerned with enlightenment. Sometimes the zen masters had to hit their students on the head with a tree limb to help induce enlightenment. I love this idea. You should probably view Patrick’s zen tattoo in my absence.

I like to think I’m pretty funny. I guess this is a trap. Now people out there can say, “Well, you’re not!” And have a good one on me. I think it’s necessary though. Shakespeare wouldn’t have written much if he thought, Buddha, but I’m a crappy writer! I’m not vain though. I’m not the funniest person in the world. I met the funniest person in the world right here in Seattle when Patrick and I were going to see taxonomies of a shape changing blue woman.

The funniest person in the world jumped out at us from a doorway. He said: “Can I ask you a question about being ignored?”

We just kept walking.

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