Friday, April 18, 2008

Captain Peachfuzz in Love

"Dear Diary: Today I kill off moose and squirrel. Weather continues fair."
"Boris! Boris! Moose and squirrel - they are saved!"
"Raskolnikov, Natasha! Now I must rewrite whole page."

You may remember Wrong-Way Peter Peachfuzz from the original episodes of the adventures of Rocky (the Flying Squirrel) and Bullwinkle (the Moose): His Navy career ended in fiasco, but on receiving a legacy of eight million dollars from an eccentric aunt, he bought the S.S. Andalusia and hired himself as captain. His next act was to sail it into the Brooklyn Bridge. (Why does all this come back to me?)

His crew responded as any crew might: they rewired the steering mechanisms of the ship. Do what he might on the bridge, PP had no control over the movement of the liner, which was controlled from a secret engine room lower down. But one day (as luck would have it, when Rocky and Bullwinkle, deceived by Boris, had taken flight in a lifeboat with Boris's Uncle Chumly, not realizing the latter was actually the stolen mooseberry bush in disguise)(WHY do I remember all this?), Captain Peachfuzz took a wrong turn into the right room and was once again (fortunately nowhere near Brooklyn, just on the high seas) steering the vessel....

Why has all this come back to me in the dazzling sunshine of a brave April day?

Because (just in time for Beltane)(the Lusty Month of May), it seems to me that Wrong-Way Peter is the perfect metaphor for love (anyway lust) in my aging but still adolescing heart. Over the years I have figured how to distract him, keep him happily occupied, unaware of the disconnect between his orders and reality - happy years when lust no longer occluded my vision, a time of busy-ness and productive activity, liberated from the horns of the male dilemma (so to speak).

I live however in dread that some awful day the captain will make the fatal wrong turn into the right room again, and embark me for Cythera, the isle of Aphrodite, the picnic ground of love affairs, the very last place on earth I want to go. (Okay, besides Florida and Abu Dhabi.) (And even Florida has a few opera companies.)

Peachfuzz is my metaphor: prosaic proper command on a rational course is all my desire.

Lorenz Hart wrote, "I Wish I Were In Love Again," but he didn't live to be as old as I am. I don't wish it at all. A country song I wrote when I was writing (titles for) country songs: "Look out, Mama! Turn out the porch light! Here comes love at us again!" That expresses it.

1 comment:

Cat Chapin-Bishop said...


By the way, this post was another one where Peter wandered all over the house talking about it for days, till I got a chance to read it, too.

I think he likes your writing or something! (I like "Hacksaw Kind of Guy" better, myself.)

Blessed be...