Sunday, December 11, 2005

Howard Writes from Timbuktu

Finally some good news! Howard is alive and...in Timbuktu!!! I'm so glad I finally found out where he is. I was worried that he'd never talk to me after what happened last time. I hadn't gone through the mail until today, when suddenly I saw an envelope with Howard's distinctive writing on it addressed to me. It took me forever to transpose it to the computer, but now I have it saved, and so I thought I'd share it with you, since it appears he knew that I would anyway:

It has been a long time Sir Barrett!

Old Howard is doing fine, of course, although the game is up, and I'm quite surprised you didn't have the faintest guess as to where or what I've been. After all, it was your recommendation of a venture that I tumbled over in my mind (several cycles) before I chose to take the plunge and have myself flown to Timbuktu in a private jet. Indeed! Do you not recall that fateful day; that trying time that you suggested you might just knock me there if I did not get me gone? Oh how our relationship was on the brink of devastation! I minded my Howardness not to disturb you over the particular defective connection of your lanyard at that particular moment, but yet I caused you disfavor because I wanted to impart an enlightened ability of my brush strokes. Perhaps I read you like a book in an inappropriate language. You didn't make your threat of sending me overseas in earnest? Silly Barrett, always speaking in encryptions and rubix cubes! When you are speaking to Howard, may you know that I take a man's word as a man's worth. Forget it not! It is one of the first principles of Howardianism. Besides, I grew tired of being the proverbial archangel, looking after your precarious souls. I could not be treated with the abuse and disrespect of unabiding restoration workers or overanxious residents. Good work takes its proper time, yet time was not on our side.

I will try to explain to you my reasons for leaving, but it is difficult and complex trying to justify the inner workings of my meticulous mind. Everyone in Canada started to appear fat and slobby to me, they had no education, no bravado, no daring feats, no deliciously minty breath. How could a Howard live in such complacency? How could a Howard live so ineffectually, without purpose? Most importantly, and this is from my breast: how could I stand upon an electrical stage, knowing that I was unwanted by my most resolute student, Sir Barrett? Your fisted thrust was merely the straw that broke the camels back. My lips bled blood of regret for you, my son, but also gave me a salty and ominous distaste. Since then, I have tried to summon up a spirit of forgiveness for your brutality, and now I am seven eighth's serene, but at the time it was simply essential that I pick up my bags and shove off. I had travel fever, and my woolen socks were giving me an irksome itch. I was sick of Boss D's idiotic stories, and of Nathaniel's obscene gestures. So grieve not for my absence. Think of me bathed in the same God-loving light as yourself (that of the sun).

So now here I am in the obscure land of Timbuktu! Writing it down now gives me the first sincere joy that I think I've had since you and I last jack-hammered concrete! Is it not glorious? There are still merchants that fuss around the bargaining table with their gold and their exotic spices, though they are not my main concern. I will try to relate to you the times I have been having and the times I now have. (Mind you, the time I now have is not plural in the least but strictly singular, since there can only be one present, which is precisely the time that is now). I have been hearing from secondary sources, and in some cases tertiary, that cry of "where is Howard?" and "what is Howard doing?" so often lately, that I found it irresponsible not to write. My nerves and gastric juices forced me to respond.

I have been engaged in some missionary work. Simply put: I have been spreading and living the good word of Howardianism abroad. I bought up some livestock which I employ in the use of my self-owned and managed tourist company: Waywordian Travel. Although the price of shares has been dropping as of late, because of an unsettling pattern of sandstorms, it has been quite a success. The perks from the local folk are immense, the women are beautiful, and I can always get my fill of African cuisine. My camels are obedient, well-trained, disciplined, determined, and well-mannered for the most part. It is only when their toes are not properly trimmed, or when they have a belly ache, that they act rambunctious or vile.

I met one interesting individual named Amman. He is like the vizier of the land. Because he is of the Islamic faith, we have been trading the secrets of spirituality, if you will. Amman is a generous and jovial being, though come to think of it, rather ugly. Sometimes, it becomes a challenge to my own personal faith, that we can be engaged in this free-flowing discourse, without completely corrupting each other. He compares the way of Islam to my way of Howardianism, and back and forth. We get into these bouts of passion over which way to open our hearts, or design our dressing rooms. In my personal faith, I have found it fit to face west when I am in the midst of my meditations, though he instructs me that I am to face east. As a result, this has provoked the annoyance of some of the local women, who are disturbed from their sleep by our inquisitions. More recently, it has gotten us into a particular geographical predicament on one of our journeys.

In the Saharan desert, it does not do to look for street signs, because, after all, there aren't any. A Moroccan trinket salesman could tell you that. You must be able to smell the scent of an oasis, and taste the density of salt in the sand, and know the stars like your own belly button. Anyone who is serious about travel knows this. It takes an almost instinctual directional acumen to seek your proper path. Because we are so based on faith, Amman and I, we don't rely on the modern amenities of the technological sort: no compasses, no GPS systems, just our guts. Though, it has become apparent to me that even guts can be thrown into a state of disorganization, so much so, that they forpanic mind to panick. Amman and I were in the middle of the desert, somewhere between Timbuktu and Kendal, when we lost our way. Our canteens were just about dry when I decided to take the last sip. However, as I drawing the water to my mouth, my camel Seamus nudged me with his head, and knocked the canteen out of my hand. As anyone might react, I gave Seamus a harsh rebuke and questioned him as to why he was acting so out of character. He snorted at me and turned away rudely. Although I warned Amman to stay out of it, he took sides with Seamus, and blamed me for drinking all the water. We further argued as to which direction we thought the sun had risen from, and we were ought to go. Amman's nattering mouth distracted me from summoning a sense of direction from my loins, and before long, neither of us knew which way we were going. We might have lost hope. Amman was already caught up in a womanish lament, but then old Howard thought of a trick to keep us out of the devils trap.

I thought back to the time I performed a tracheotomy on an unfortunate squirrel that had been hit by an oncoming vehicle in Canada. My expertise saved the squirrel's life, but it also ironically trained me for this special situation. It dawned on me how I could innovatively apply my tracheotability to in this new setting. Out of sheer luck, I had with me an old straw that I used as a kind of snorkel for when the sand storms were especially rough. As you may well be aware, Africans in the desert are apt to wear full body protection, which also covers the face. I thought to myself: if Seamus is a camel, and camels have humps, then all we have to do is penetrate the hump to extract the water from the sac. Amman got out his pocket knife despite having to ask what it was for. I told him "just watch" and he obeyed out of curiosity. I was then about to make the decisive incision when Seamus got spooked and took off on a run. Now, it wasn't planned in any way, nor was it necessarily predestined. You may give it a feminist or postmodernist slant if you so choose, but the ropes tied to Seamus' snout accidentally caught around my ankle. It whipped me off of my feet. I dropped the knife, but grabbed hold of Amman's hand and we went flying through the desert, like two wild sled men through the sand. All the while, Amman was yelling out curses, and calling for Mohammed, but I was simply wrestling to get the veil off my face so that I could figure out what was going on. Lengthy story brief, Seamus dragged us to the brink of the Niger river, and then we knew we were safe. I thanked myself and drank heartily before we followed it back to our home in Timbuktu.

When we got there I decided to change and take care of my scrapes and scabs that I had incurred on my ride through the Sahara. I believe Amman did the same, though to date, there have been no witnesses who can attest to his specific spatial region at the time. Although he was acting a little surly throughout the rest of our trip, and made his sentences curt, I offered him the invitation to go see the belly dancers that were performing that night in Timbuktu. He agreed to meet me later, so that is where I went, but when I got there, Amman was not to be found. I asked the bartender if he had seen Amman and described his complexion as dark, his eyes as searching, hair black, etc. However, the bartender then wore a curious smile and repeated my request to me: "So, you are looking for Amman are you my friend?" I replied: "yes!" and wondered whether or not he knew who I meant. "This is not a place for those such as you who are seeking Amman." He said, and he started clicking his tongue. By this point, there were others who were engaged in this discussion, contrary to popular manners. They were tall fidgety men with long beards. They started clicking their tongues in a similar fashion and ridiculing me. An uncomfortable feeling started to grow on my skin. "Is Amman not welcome in a place such as this?" I asked. "A man such as you is not welcome no." He said. "Yes, but I am asking about Amman. Is he here or have you seen him?" I asked again. His voice became louder and sterner and he said: "There is not Amman for you sir. I must ask you to sit down and not ask so many strange questions sir. Here we have only women." He gestured towards the tables where the women were engaged in belly dancing, and so I sat down, although it went against my sense of Howardianism. This whole interaction continues to be peculiar and vexing to me in my mind. I do not understand his reluctance to answer whether Amman was there or no. I felt like leaving, but then I considered perhaps that Amman would come after all, so I decided to bide my time and have a few drinks. There is a strong rich green drink that they serve called Acweleppe, which is particularly good. Soon a feeling of inebriation consumed me and I had a lovely time clapping along to the rhythm of the music. Someone handed me a tambourine, and the girls closed in around me, showing me a true sense of hospitality.

It is needless to say that Amman did not make an appearance that evening, though we have resumed our discussions of faith again recently, and Seamus has not received a single scratch to his hump. Time is passing along delightfully and I am happy here in Timbuktu. I feel that my mission is just about complete, but I am not quite ready to leave. At night the stars are better than they ever were in Canada for me, so this overshades me with peace. The one thing that I long for when I look at the bright face of the moon is my Pamphilia. We have been keeping up correspondence through mail, but it is sometimes difficult not have her close to me. I look forward to the day she will come by camel for a visit. You too, should see this wonderful place.

Well, that gives you an update on the question you so inexpertly pondered. I have looked at your site and seen that you have not forgotten about me. Here I am! Of course you are never without Howard. It may take several weeks for this to get to you, and by then it will already be voting season. So I tell you: vote for Jack. He is the only man who will do something about global warming, which, if you are concerned about penguins at all, you should seriously ponder. He is the only one who will figure out public transport. I thank myself that I do not have to be caught up in all the silly trivialities of Canadian life, snow, and winter at this point, but if there is one thing you can do for me, it's show those snotty Tories and corrupt Liberals that Howard means business. Jack is the man with the well organized palm pilot. He is the one for Canadian parliament.

I am wishing you Christmas cheer from a place less chilly, adieu my son, and steadfast love to all the bloggers.

Sincerely,
Howard Wayword


Filed under Howard Wayword

8 Comments:

Blogger Red Hot Sexy Papa said...

thanks for dropping by!

come back again :)

2:37 AM  
Blogger Internet Street Philosopher said...

Coolness! I just did a paper on ancient West Africa, and part of it was on Timbuktu! I wish I was there right now instead of doing finals!

2:42 AM  
Blogger Carrie said...

so Howard wants us to vote for Mr. Layton does he?!
hmmmmm....contemplating...my dad would be all over the NDP...loves em....but I think I will have to be a Torie this time around....ZERO LIBERALS...BASTARDS and jack won't survive the cut....so my vote goes to the blue eyed devil himself....that's right.

glad HOWIE is ok....holy fucking long letter man....sorry for the profanity...he appears so PROPPER and SOPHISTICATED....almost makes me want to "freshen up"....alas....two kindred spirits have rekindled their love....the world is at peace.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Manuela said...

omigod... no wonder you enjoy reading the musings of an infertile wench... it appears you are completely nutters! In only the absolute best of ways of course... but holy crap... I'm EXHAUSTED from just having read that.

Thanks for the chuckle...

5:02 PM  
Blogger FFFrapgirl said...

Who is Howard?

2:05 AM  
Blogger Blackempress said...

interesting read. very expressive. :)
merry christmas & happy new yr to all.

2:11 AM  
Blogger Cocaine Jesus said...

ok, right, yep. one of you is crazy i'm just trying to figure out who but then again maybe not(???)

4:50 AM  
Blogger sirbarrett said...

red hot sexy papa -ditto!

street philosopher -nice. I would like to go there sometime, but I'm not going to trust Howard's camels.

Mitzee -Agreed. I'm thinking of voting Marxist myself. Haven't decided yet. It is good to be at peace again.

Manuela -yes, he does have a way of tiring you out doesn't he? He's full of circumlocutions.


Candi -clink on the links above or look in my drop-down menu under "Howard"

Black Empress -Happy holidays to you!

Cocaine Jesus -I'm as sane as psychologist. It's Howard that's nutbutter.

8:44 AM  

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