Saturday, February 11, 2012

These particular bodily movements resemble those of a hammerhead shark inasmuch as they do not seem to have any ultimate goal, any purpose identifiable to those who are on the sidelines and who like to tell themselves their opinions are just as valuable as are those of the leading experts who tend to publish their findings in journals with names we find it difficult to pronounce. Names originating almost always in the Greek and therefore striking our ears with all the subtlety of a claw hammer. I recoil from violence when it arrives as itself, as something so obviously designed to cause bodily harm to others that one can not reasonably argue otherwise. But when there is some room for interpretation, for deciding that what one experiences – what one sees and what one hears -- is not necessarily the same thing as what is actually out there, my mind increases the speed of its operations two or threefold and the ideas that result begin to accumulate at the base of some enormous structure that has also appeared as if out of thin air. It towers above everything else around it and you might crane your neck in an effort to catch a glimpse of the top where it recedes beyond what look suspiciously like clouds, but it is impossible to see the top given that the structure has no top and no bottom. It is all middle much like a story someone is already telling when you walk into the room and which continues long after you have lost interest in it and decide to leave. I become acutely aware for some reason that my hat is the same color as the structure and I begin to wonder, as is only natural, if maybe they are made of the same material. But my curiosity has never been overly aggressive. It is just the sort of thing, like an aged canine, that raises its head at the advent of a loud noise but lowers it again almost immediately, the realization that noise by itself is rarely harmful overtaking it and allowing room then for more mundane considerations to make their appearance. Like whatever happened to those vivid dreams that used to haunt my sleep every night when I was a young man? Why aren’t there rhinoceroses trundling about in the dining room any longer? Why do I no longer feel someone’s delicate fingers snaking their way deliberately around my throat? In the other room people have decided to do without their shoes. They have piled them up in the corners. Some of them have chucked their shoes out the windows, afraid, I suppose, that the others in the room will be able to discern the most compromising details about them just by gazing at what they put on their feet. I would follow suit, but I know I would have to explain myself later; I’d have to come up with a more compelling reason for my decision than they do if only because no one believes me when I am telling the truth. The truth tends to tumble from my mouth in discreet pieces. Broken. Shattered at the edges, so that if you were to run your fingers over it at these edges (and not the middle which is dull and cold to the touch) you could expect to draw blood, to accidentally dislodge splinters and push them so deep into your flesh, they will never come out again. Not even when someone -- a loved one, a relative much too anxious to play this role of both savior and deliverer of pain – offers to have a go at your flesh with a pair of tweezers.

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