Friday, March 16, 2012

The part about the fragments was good; you might almost be forgiven for keeping that around for a day or two, setting certain portions of it to music. If you know how to play the banjo, say. Or just how to arrange musical notes on a staff, which doesn’t look all that difficult to me. Of course, no one bothered to inform me the crate had arrived and that inside the crate something was desperate to get out. It had eyes you could see in the darkness between the slats, glowing red orbs that portended evil. Everything, it seems, portents evil these days. Everything is sick and tired of serving someone else’s purposes and so, in order to make its escape, in order to assert itself finally the way the Ibex asserts itself against others of its kind by ramming them with the massive, curly-cue horns on its head, all of creation has decided to cast some spells on you. It has decided to get in your mind and stir the conceptual circuitry about like so much cake batter. I recommended a different course, one involving the methodical mastering of foreign tongues and asking complete strangers to identify the single physical characteristic (widely-spaced eyes, lips that turn up at the corners) they possessed that made other people think they were trustworthy or competent. When this didn’t produce any meaningful results, I gave up entirely on meaningful results and concentrated instead on those that could be had for the asking. Whichever results just showed up because you stuck your hand out or you dropped a glass object from a great height and instructed everyone around you to be quiet and listen. I can’t imagine why the tarmac seemed suddenly so much shorter, why the approach was hampered by ginkgo trees with leaves the size and consistency of ceramic ashtrays. But it was and we would just have to deal with that. We had to recognize that the world is not manufactured according to anyone’s specifications, that it doesn’t have to fit together like a hose and the wet end of a spigot. I went back to the hangar after it had emptied out, and I examined the debris, the splinters, the place in the corner stained with blood. I was struck by how timid the memory is, how reluctant it is to serve its original purpose, which means, I suppose, vomiting up the information it has been asked to store. Perhaps this is due to its relatively late arrival on a scene that had been, if not humming, then stumbling along just fine without it for a million years. In fact, I imagine some very hard feelings once it decided to make its appearance. Name-calling, a campaign to have it removed from the premises just as if it had committed a violent crime, or worse. A desecration. This is why you can still make out today a faint outline in the dust, parallel lines where something like fingernails got dragged through the dirt. And why when you try to look away from the spot, you can’t. You can’t even whistle in time to the piano someone two houses down has started playing in what seems like accompaniment but is probably just coincidence. After all, who has the time to score your experience? To spend the morning commenting on everything you see in the medium of minor thirds instead of getting dressed like an ordinary person and going to work?

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