From here to somewhere, not here. It starts with a need to conquer, something basic, really, a drive coursing through every living thing, and that powerful urge harkens back to when we slide all blue and wet into the world, fighting for first breaths taken into lungs more accustomed to warm, comforting fluids than cold, sterile air. We conquer earth incrementally, one breath at a time, or we perish. The struggle - the exertion of will over natural forces, over the elements, the tete a tete of being vs. universe - morphs ever weirder, ever more complicated the older we get.
Take Larry, for instance. He, all by his lonesome, is a very tall thing.
Larry, born Lawrence Boogernap Buttstrap, Jr., fell headlong at struggle and conflict long before his first slap and gasp brought him screaming and kicking into his mother's arms, only, a much noted lack of gasp left his entry somewhat quiet.
Linda "Linnie" Asswallop Buttstrap and Lawrence Boogernap Buttstrap, Sr. planned on a boy and that's just what they received.
"Someone to carry on the Buttstrap name!" They proclaimed the evening of their child's conception, waking other guests at the "Notell Motel Lodge" off a side road, off a maintenance spur, in the shadow of an overpass a hundred yards from highway 64.
"And a Junior, too!" Mrs. Buttstrap cheered, pumping her arms the way she'd seen stocky girls on the television do, celebrating an hour and thirty-seven minutes of life married, as a Buttstrap.
"Oh, Linnie. You'd allow both the Boogernap AND Buttstrap names to live on?" Larry glowed one shade past grey through unfortunate acne scarification and gingered nappy stubble. "You ARE the best wife for me, the best mate, the best...oh, just the best!"
"Just like that gypsy lady told you I'd be, honey." Linnie helped Larry step from his jump suit before folding back the leopard print duvet cover and lying down, ready to begin a life of supplication with glee.
Nine months and one day later, at eleven pounds, twenty-nine inches, Lil' Larry practically swung long-armed from a vine, some gorgeous version of half-monkey, half-man, shocking the delivery room with a throat-clearing, "A-hem," followed by silence and then gentle coos and burbles. A woman wearing mismatched scrubs pried his fingers from the umbilical tether.
"Is it customary for a newborn to do that, to just say, 'hello, here i am, now I'll be cooing?" Larry, Sr. had expectations involving screams and wails and 'gack, gack, gack'. His own scrubs, bought on-line from the only outlet able to locate iridescent gold and green plaid, wavered like a television set lacking diagonal hold, if ever such a thing existed.
"Where's the gack, gack, gack?" In fact, he even voiced the question outside his bulbous head.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Buttstrap, (pronounced BOOT-stropp by those with culture, no matter how many times a neighbor called their trailer home asking to speak with "your Butt Crack" or "could I please speak with your Butt Crack?") lay splayed, gutted and gaping, unable to recover modesty, what with her uterus practically inverted, looking like an adult angler fish landed in her lap, dredged from the deep by green gowned hospital staff then forgotten, doing its level best to entice an attending OB-GYN staffer close enough to snap her up in one yawning gulp.
From an awestricken fantasy involving Jr.'s future as either an Italian league professional basketball player (something to which Lawrence, Sr. aspired, both due to his love for obscure fig and pasta dishes and despite his diminuitive four feet eleven inches in height) or working a job as a lamplighter in old Williamsburg, Big Larry - as he was known in the flour mill - leapt to his wife's side, insofar as a man with short, stocky legs barely longer than summer sausage might leap.
"Please, someone. Can't you see my wife is bleeting?"