Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Disorders of any kind fascinate because they represent a separate way of being, an alternative to whichever one we have chosen and which plagues us with its inanity, its predictable noises. The juvenile swallows nesting in the chimney. The guttural moans coming from the ditch that runs along the opposite side of the road. That side where the chickweed grows unencumbered and the coyotes emerge from the brush at night and scowl at you as if you have done something particularly odious. Which, of course, you have, at some point in the not too distant past, but how do they know that? Where are they getting their information? After a number of years, Eulalie finally seems to be warming to the idea of making a life with me. And sure, this life will of necessity include others, people I have yet to meet and who I will, no doubt, loathe the second I meet them, people who will eventually attempt to murder me in my sleep, I’m sure, because that’s the type Eulalie prefers. But this is progress just the same and I wish to celebrate. I call the guards to my cell by pretending to hang myself and when they hear what I have to say, they agree that something must be done to mark the occasion, but none of us is sure exactly what. They don’t trust me anymore and I make no secret of the fact that I think they have made an unfortunate career choice. Nights are the worst, with the stars scratching at the bricks outside and no one else able or willing to hear it. I think sometimes I will go crazy. This is a euphemism of course and one that does not enlighten us in any way as to the state I will actually be saddled with when the transformation occurs, but maybe that’s the point of euphemism. That’s why we expend enormous energy digging euphemisms up with our cognitive shovels and throwing them around as if they were gold doubloons. We wish to direct attention away from the truly vital and onto that which the general public considers vital because they have been taught to do so in their schools. Not that they attend regularly or pay the slightest bit of attention to what’s going on around them when they do attend. Even Eulalie agrees we have to find a better way of speaking, something that still relies on words, sure, but words that don’t operate the way they have been, to this point, expected to operate. They must, she says, borrow their meanings from the shifting color of the syntax that tries its best to hold them together (and fails) and not from any rigid definitions that have been handed down to us as if they were miraculous gifts. We know better now. We have seen directly into the heart of those who would provide us with these gifts, these so-called legacies, and we have found that heart wanting. All it seems to have been good for was moving blood from one part of the body to the other and for housing figuratively those emotions without which people used to believe they could not continue. They would have to sit down somewhere by themselves and spend the day staring off into outer space. Or its closest equivalent given that space itself is impossible to see when the rays of the sun are passing through our atmosphere during the day and so causing it to glow a de rigueur gemstone blue.                        

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