Sunday, January 8, 2012

Each letter stands so close to the next, we see a blending where there is none, a conglomeration that turns sentences into mere smudges of black and renders the message incoherent. When you add speed to the equation, a passing at velocity in whatever bus or boat or taxicab carries us, you can forget about deciphering invitations, determining context or adjusting your long-held expectations. Anda promises civilization within an hour’s march, but the humidity is high and I’m still feeling dizzy from the intoxication, so I have to sit down in what appears to be the remains of an ancient chicken coop, almost entirely taken over now by weeds. In the shade of the trees that tower above the structure, Anda caresses my shell and speaks to me of the far end of the universe where, she imagines, planets spin in endless, meaningless rotation and the stars extinguish themselves from sheer boredom. Her hands feel like the antidote to all poison and my mind is suddenly filled with images that have nothing to do with the world or anyone in it. They revolve upon themselves so that their underbellies become obscenely prominent and then there is a sound in the center of them like trumpets. It’s almost impossible to reach the stage one stage beyond where you currently find yourself, but struggle is expected and when the wind bangs at the window like a fist, you can be excused for taking this as a sign. Maybe we are built to love only ourselves and when we escape these original settings, when we find room inside for more than one, we are not so much transcending that original condition as re-stating it, turning it into its opposite by saying it out loud. You know, says Anda, her fingertips mapping seams absently, you are not really an egg. You have just convinced yourself of this at some point in the past for reasons that you probably don’t even remember, reasons that have ossified by now and sit somewhere far away, on the ground, like stones. If you were to stumble upon them again all these years later and pick them up and crack them open, you’d find inside an empty, black core. A core of nothing. By way of illustration, Anda pulls at the organ that has begun, thanks to her exertions, to crack its way through brittle shell for the first time in my memory -- something tangled and intricate and long, engorged now and throbbing, insistent against her skin. I fear for a moment she has let some sort of contaminant in, that the compromise is one-sided and I will suffer terribly and die a protracted death, but she seems to know what she’s doing, and besides! when one discovers something new about one’s self, something animated and bizarre and pointy, one has to stick around long enough to give that thing a name. To determine what it is capable of unleashing upon one’s unsuspecting public.    

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