Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rumor has vineyards flourishing in the vicinity, stretching as far as the eye can see in all directions and giving off aromas so thick you might mistake them for isolated clouds of locusts. After days of searching, I fail to locate even so much as a fig tree in bloom and I feel as if my toes are turning inward, folding over themselves in an attempt to pass my feet off as works of art. Who knows their motive? Perhaps I should relegate all rumors to the status of incomplete truths and not write them off altogether but not jot them down as soon as I hear them either. In this way, I might be able to enjoy whatever months and years remain to me in this place before I hop on a train and start over. Eulalie says the fumes from the gasoline in cans Immanuel spends most nights huffing circle around her head and refuse to dissipate even when she waves a towel about, when she whispers spells at them that she makes up on the spot but which should have the power nonetheless to affect in some small but crucial way whatever she aims them at. After all, she is not helpless. Even the night sky takes its overall structure from the way her name sounds when you say it out loud. Eulalie gets angry, impatient with my endless pleading whenever she comes to visit, dismisses my arguments out of hand even though they make perfect sense. What does my heart care, she says, for the twists and thievery of logic? Why should it pay attention to you who are so full of words? I start unbuckling everything then, dropping my hat and my clothes to the ground by way of both silent and (as I imagine it anyway) eloquent rebuttal, but she is not convinced. We can do whatever you want, she says, her arm on mine, her mouth so close to my ear as to seem suddenly a part of it, one of the ridges and contours intended to capture and direct sound waves, to gather them and concentrate them and channel them deeper and deeper inside, but you can never lure me away permanently, so don’t try. At moments like this we know better than to unpack the satchels of causation, to attempt to find within them sustenance or footwear. I remember once lying awake for hours beside the still form of a woman whose name was so close to mine we got them confused. I wanted to know what occurred inside her mind then with the unconquerable desire of the man who can never actually get what he wants, and worse, is conscious of the fact. Knows it the way he knows the deep meanings associated with a substance like blood – which is to say instinctively, without benefit of schools. Perhaps she was even then making room for me, clearing away back passages, throwing away candlesticks and what looked like family Bibles but turned out on closer inspection to be mere phone books that no one ever used. Or perhaps, in there, her kingdom was -- like Edgar’s, according to tradition -- suddenly overrun by wolves.  

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