Faster and Noticeably More Furious
I admit it’s been a while since I watched a film
in the franchise, so I know I’ve missed a lot in
between sagas: births and deaths and resurrections,
street racing evolving to makeshift space missions.
I understand, firsthand, our lives all have sequels
in which plot twists occur, even though in a sense
we write our own scripts. But in which movie
did gearheads turn murderers? When did guns
become an addition to stick shifts? Somewhere in
the series, what began as friends sipping Coronas in
an Echo Park backyard segued into semi-automatics
used for self-defense in a Central American jungle.
Somewhere in my own story, I stopped to consider
the necessity of shots fired and the placement of
bullets and realized the only true target audience
is yourself. So how does the Toretto bloodline,
a map of open byways and highways, not speak to
every nerve in Dom’s body pleading with him that
the finish line is only as sweet as the muscle car that
brought you there, and that the message isn’t really
to go big, but to simply go home. We are taught to
keep our foot on the pedal and not let up, but in that
way are unable to savor the gust of air from the
checkered flag. Instead, we slide our hands across
our foreheads to wipe off the sweat from cleaving a
machete through the fronds of our own Amazon as if
violence is our only way out.
The singer and the actor have reunited after a two-decade
hiatus in which rappers and athletes and divorces have
interrupted the moments in between their first kiss and
most recent spotting in the club as if their newest merger
is an advertisement for indecisiveness and mid-life crisis
and makes me wonder if there is an expiration date on
loneliness, because to jump from person to person is not
a lost art, but an art in loss. And when the barista told me
she’d never be part of a marriage again because of all the
paperwork that accompanies the end of one, I pondered
if her half-empty coffee cup outlook would always be
worth the cost of never even considering a refill. My
favorite baseball team’s closer continues to blow saves
and his manger continues to send him out at the end
of games which in non-baseball vernacular translates to
your boyfriend still hasn’t proposed, and you want to believe the
next month is when he’ll finally take your hints to heart. But what
we are willing to accept for ourselves and what we want is
the equivalent of dropping to a knee locked in limbo,
either having the strength to return to a standing position
or allowing our body to just fall face-first into the earth.
Sometimes we need to be the one to walk out of the
dugout towards the pitcher’s mound, take the ball away
and say, “Kenley. Thanks… but you’re done.”
Daniel Romo is the author of Moonlighting as an Avalanche (Tebot Bach 2021), Apologies in Reverse (FutureCycle Press 2019), When Kerosene’s Involved (Mojave River Press 2014), and Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press 2013). He received an MFA from Queens University of Charlotte, and he lives, teaches, and bench presses in Long Beach, CA.
Étienne Léopold Trouvelot
The French artist, astronomer and amateur entomologist Étienne Léopold Trouvelot is noted for two major contributions in his lifetime. The first is the 7000 or so illustrations he created from his astronomical observations, the quality of which reached their zenith in the 15 exquisite pastel works which were published as The Trouvelot Astronomical Drawings in 1882. Trouvelot was invited onto the staff of the Harvard College Observatory when the then director Joseph Winlock saw the quality of his illustrations, and in 1875 he was invited to use the U. S. Naval Observatory's 26-inch refractor for a year. As well as his illustrations, Trouvelot also published some 50 scientific papers, and was credited with discovering "veiled spots" on the Sun in 1875.
The second and rather more unfortunate legacy Trouvelot left the world was the accidental widespread introduction of the highly destructive European Gyspy moth onto North American soil. From Public Domain Review.