Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Under the earth something stirs, follows its own inclinations to the surface where, I suppose, it finds enormous disappointment and so returns to where it came from. In the meantime, we look around, trying to find what has changed, what this visitation has done to alter our environment. Whatever we see we file away as just so much clutter. We pretend the desk is the desk where we paid our bills the day before. We strain to maintain some sort of consistency in the way we sign our names. Maybe, though, those lines in the soil were made by a tractor. And whoever was driving it had something particular in mind, some message he wished to send to the rest of us but he didn’t feel ordinary language was up to the task. He thought he’d sensed in it a separation from the everyday such as you find in the minds of schizophrenics and those who must care for them. Those who are infected with their wards’ particular way of discerning the universe and, once infected, abandon all desire for a cure. Afterward, Anda brushes the leaves from her body and gets dressed and I am left to figure out how to fold back up and conceal this new appendage, this sudden emblem of what I was not previously that still hangs obscenely from the broken portions of my shell, that has pushed its way through and shows no inclination, now that it has been utilized for its obvious purpose, of retreating. We discover important truths on the fly, divine them, as it were, through the simple prosaic refutation of the divine that manual labor represents. A working things over with the hands. A turning the mind into little more than an extension of that which houses it. That which is charged with getting us safely from one place to another, all the while engaging in whatever mischief it can get away with. Breaking off bits of wild sugarcane. Bringing them to the tongue. Anda can’t contain her mirth as she watches me fold it and bend it and attempt to conceal, and I would like to be angry, but the endorphins are still running amok -- flooding the plain -- and the sun is sinking somewhere behind us. Animals are moving about now in the underbrush not far from what is left of the coop and it is time for us to move on. Once under way, Anda utters the name of the city that awaits us at the end of the path, utters it with some intensity as if to make of it a talisman. I ask her to repeat the name several times, pretending not to be familiar with it, but I just like the sound of her voice, the sound of something tangible residing on her voice like a wooden box of the sort that usually contains something of value. A bracelet or one-hitter. An ardent, hand-written note from someone no one else in the family knows.       

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