Lil’ Boy Blue
In the cosmos, a young foreign planet known as Lil’ Boy Blue enters the limits of our solar system. The idiot, naïve as a Cracker Jack, has strayed a long distance from his home. More than a little lost, this absent minded youngster has entangled himself in youthful musings by making pretend that he is a knight in search of a cosmic Holy Grail. He has been picked up and swallowed by the spirit of adventure. He has poked his nose outside the boundaries of his own orbital neighborhood and separated himself from his family. He has become a little fish in a big pond, turned himself into an accidental runaway, and unwittingly had his name added to the missing planets list.
The universe is no place for children. It is dark and cold. It has vicious laws. Its magnanimity is overbearing. It feasts upon weakness. It swallows innocence. It rapidly provides disillusionment. And it ruthlessly wilts optimism. It takes a lucky and intractable soul to navigate the cold, empty ocean of the universe unaffectedly. Life sings not long outside the playpen. If you’re wanting to keep playtime from deflating then you have to drench life’s objects in crazy. If you leave things as they are then you will swim in gray. Boredom, pain, disgust, and nausea will seep into your paradigm and you will sink, flailing like a drowned cat.
Lil’ Boy Blue’s brain is sputtering its juices like a shaken up paint can machine gunned. He is too young to handle the universe. All of the rough edges and blunt weightiness threatens to tear him to shreds. He doesn’t allow himself to see things for what they are. Doses of imagination are released to ensure his survival. If the stream lets up, and the make believe story stutters, it will be fatal. A crumpling fit of panic will ensue. And there is nothing worse for a lost child than panic. If you let fear into your head you’re dead. Suddenly you’re huddled in a fox hole, moaning out incessant prayers to a silent God, repenting all your sins in Pentecostal slurs, begging your father to have mercy. You’re scraping in snow piles, trying with bloodshot eyes to make an igloo, shoving handfuls of mysterious berries into your autopsy report, enduring frostbite, over-exertion, and in the end, fatally slipping, with bugging out eyeballs crying over everything in sight.
Lil’ Boy Blue is doing what every good boy in his situation should do, walking calmly forward, without reality checks, letting the momentum of his story carry him on, wrapping each instant in a manageable package of his own design. Every creep thus far observed has been painted into the form of a storybook villain. Black holes are dungeon towers. Asteroids are rampaging phoenixes. He doesn’t question anything too deeply. He is a hero, and that’s all he needs to know.
The sight of Earth is a welcome relief. She has the possibility of kindness. He can sense a heart beneath her surface. The sight of her suffering draws him to her. Pikes and precipices of civilization beam from her skin. She shines with radio towers and floating satellite dishes. She radiates with infected glory. Her surface burns with aerosol cans and Freon cartridges shooting expellant orgasms all around her. Her skin is scrunched together with television wire. The buzz of prime time hisses fly speech through her aura. She writhes around in loopdy loops.
Lil’ Boy Blue approaches cautiously and timidly greets her.
Mother Earth is startled.
“What do you want?” She asks, heat waves of paranoia flushing through her feverish skin.
“Do you need help?” asks Lil’ Boy Blue.
“Who is taking care of you?” Earth asks. “Are you lost?”“I am not lost.” says Lil’ Boy Blue. “I am on a quest.”
Mother Earth can’t help but to be touched. A tug pulls at her instincts. This stray boy… He is not running from her… This is a new and relieving sensation. Long has it been since she has had an actual conversation. Long has it been since somebody looked at her without scorn and disgust.
“What kind of quest?” she asks.
Lil’ Boy Blue does not know how to answer. It is the dreaded question. His lip quivers and a gulp of anguish rises in his throat. Tears well in his eyes as reality begins revealing itself.
”Don’t cry.” Earth says. “You are safe. You don’t have to answer that question if you don’t want to. You don’t have to worry about a thing now… Hush my little darling… You are safe, sweet angel… Don’t worry…”
She restrains herself from coddling him. One touch is all it takes.
“I will help you find what you seek.” She says. “You don’t have to be alone anymore. You are safe with me.”
A smile climbs up Lil’ Boy Blue’s cheeks. He relievingly settles into Earth’s orbit. It feels safe there. The denied fear of being lost is alleviated. He has an adult with him again. The unanswerable question of purpose slips from his mind.