Thursday, January 19, 2012

The brochure makes mention of the lake as if it were something to bore others about on your death bed, something to paint or explore come Tuesday when you have nothing else to do. When the highways are emptying out and you can’t figure out why. We listen to the advice of the red-headed woman in the too-tight spandex pants but secretly, inside, we are telling her what we think. We are listing the reasons why the lines around her eyes remind us of home, why the scent she wears during the day ought to be forbidden. I like the idea of saving your best ideas for the boat trip over because that way you will have something other than French poetry to keep you occupied. You will have limits placed on you by the atmosphere itself, which is full of flying insects suddenly and has a tendency to aggressively refract sunlight even when it’s getting close to evening and the light is growing scarce. If no one else is going to acknowledge my presence, though, I am just as likely to start singing. The songs don’t have to defuse the situation, but it’s nice when they do. It makes everyone sleep better. In my back pockets, small grains of unidentifiable material vie for space with the air itself and when I stick my fingers in absently (when I am speaking to the red-headed woman for example and I don’t know what to do with my hands – I don’t want them flapping about in front of me like recently beached fish), this material sticks to the flesh on the ends of my fingers and refuses to disengage until I run my fingers under hot water in the sink. There is a lesson in there somewhere, a physics lesson, no doubt, concerning surface tension and how there doesn’t actually have to be a surface involved for you to experience the tension. But I am getting so sick of learning things without trying, I don’t insist on sharing this knowledge with those who otherwise might benefit from it. The people standing around in the hallways when I come and go, those smoking their miniature glass pipes and muttering invectives at me under their breath. The delivery drivers trying forever to turn left. We can’t imagine a more mundane existence than the one we have been blessed with at any given moment, and yet, just try to take it away, try to snatch it up like a coin from off the table and listen to the way we complain! Listen to the vehemence with which we insist we were only daydreaming for a moment. We are now going to turn our attention unfailingly to those things that matter -- that separate us once and for all from the monkeys and the marmosets who (I suppose as a result of this particular announcement, or one very similar to it made within the hour) are even now turning back flips in their cages. 

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