Saturday, February 4, 2012

Each sphere acts as a container of some sort. You can see whatever it contains moving around inside it, shuddering and rolling, pushing against the sides in a desperate attempt to break free. The spheres are arranged in neat rows five and six deep along the banks of a stream, on the muddy part that rises higher than the rest of the surrounding earth and otherwise serves to keep the stream from regularly inundating the environs around it. The question naturally arises as to the nature of whatever placed the spheres here – was it beast or human, something with foresight or something obeying simple instructions planted in its even simpler brain millennia before? We will, of course, never arrive at any satisfactory conclusions if only because conclusions are themselves remnants of a time we no longer inhabit, no longer even recognize when it flashes up on a screen and we are asked to comment, in writing, on what we have seen. On whether what we have seen makes any sense in the context of the present. Or when it is combined with what we haven’t seen, with what has merely been implied by the setting we find ourselves in and the fragrances that keep wafting in through the open windows. I am feeling more fatigued by this procedure than are my companions and they can barely keep their eyes open! I think sometimes we are subjected to interrogation simply to satisfy the will of those who would otherwise be without any discernible will at all, who would languish on a pile of pillows until someone discovered them there, all jutting hipbones and skin the consistency of paper. Maybe it’s time we began asserting our independence by following certain footpaths through the grass, those that lead the way out of the city -- out of civilization itself -- by way of the junk yard and the water treatment plant. Maybe it’s time to start pointing directly at other people’s chests with our crooked index fingers even as we are doing so. At least that way we’d be clear of the overhanging power lines that sag and spit their malevolent energy, their unseemly apparitions, at us every moment of every day without most of us knowing where exactly these apparitions came from. We just wish they’d go away. Think of the publicity afterward! The headlines screaming our triumph in capital letters, the public servants committing the civic equivalent of ritual suicide -- saying not their own names but someone else’s name over and over again, repeating it until that name begins to sound like a collection of nonsense syllables conjured up in order to cast a spell. Whatever it is they are up to, the birds know better than to hang around and let such sounds affect them adversely. They scatter from the branches of the trees, fly as high as they can until they appear to be mere specks against the overcast sky, remnants of some memory that moved us once to tears but which now seems flimsy and alien. The sort of thing you dispel with a quick shake of the head, followed sometimes by a long swallow of whatever liquid is in the glass you happen to be holding in your hand.           

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