I hated Scooby-Doo
for the laugh track
and the repeated sound effects
and the lack of movement
and the repetitive head bobs the characters did while talking,
which I knew were for the illusion of movement.
But I especially hated
the background cycles.
You ran past that same vase four times!
How has the creepy coin collector (laugh track)
not caught you yet!
To keep my sanity, I did not stop watching the show—
I easily could’ve, we only ever watched it on VHS—
I told myself they were running in circles
to eventually disorient their masked pursuer
and lose them in the recovery.
But though I convinced myself I’d convinced myself,
I would sit there, tape playing,
gritting my teeth over my wrestling arms.
I should’ve welcomed the repetition—
I watched Back to the Future start to finish every Saturday morning;
I listened to the same songs and the same albums;
I painted the same paths in the same area
on the playground at school during every recess,
Mom’s refrain of “You bring the playground home in your shoes!”
always echoing in my skull;
I maintained the same hesitation in talking
to whoever my crush was then—
but I never could stomach that running in circles.
I saw it for a cheap trick
and was insulted Hanna–Barbera thought they could trick me.
I was too smart to fall for their bullshit.
But I watched the show anyway.
I watched it on a format I controlled!
We all do things we don’t like doing—
or so I’m told—
and I’m told it’s a mark of maturity
and maybe I felt more mature—
teachers and parents and grandparents all claimed I was,
I was advanced? I was smart? for my age,
which years later I’ve realized
was their way of absolving themselves
from having to instruct me whenever they felt
I should have Just Known whatever I needed help with—
but I hated those background cycles so god damn much
I’m surprised I didn’t yank out more of my teeth.
Running in circles is always more frustrating
when you watch other people do it,
because you know how they can fix it
and you assume they want to.
I’ve been circle-running since high school, and—
don’t touch me! It’s not that bad, I kind of like it!
It’s easier to run in a circle,
over ground I’m very familiar with,
than chase after unseen ground, far and away.
And after ten years,
my stomach has learned to deal with all the sloshing.
Have I told you how much I hated Scooby-Doo
when I was a kid
and had yet to learn
that maturity was accepting your rut
until it finally got too late to get out of it?
Those shitbirds ran in circles,
they always did,
and I never could figure out why.
[ 20150415+19 ]
Austin’s Coffee. Winter Park, FL. Across two different days.
“Wherefore the Circles” is the seventh poem I've written for NaPoWriMo 2KXV, the goal of which is to write thirty poems in thirty days. Follow the fprg tag NaPoWriMo 2KXV to see what I write this month.