Thursday, August 23, 2012

Irrational parameters are still parameters, are still to be respected so long as they run perpendicular to one another and don’t cause us to reminisce about barns and outbuildings in and around which we first inhaled the smoke from imported Turkish cigarettes and learned the melody to songs that weren’t overly laden with melody, that mostly just plodded from one place to another and back again like what one imagines mastodons did when they were still prevalent on the continent. Our turn will likely come soon, third or fourth, but it feels as if we are standing in line for more than an hour and when we check our watches, that suspicion is confirmed. Immanuel plucks his from his arm, hurls it in the direction of the people he takes to be in charge, but as is frequently the case, we can’t determine this for sure because we have no way of discussing it with them. Short of sign language, of course. Short of saying something out loud. Immanuel complains that the sun makes its way down the brainstem and into his throat, passes clean through using some metaphysical trick he tries to explain while tapping mechanically, unconsciously, the tips of the fingers on his left hand over and over again. I can’t understand the niceties of it all, can’t even determine, frankly, why such explanation is necessary. I’ll believe just about anything he says. The consequences are mostly minor and have to do with the skin, the way the skin regenerates itself more slowly as you age. We like to draw parallels with the coatings to be found on the exterior of other objects, like coconuts or plastic buckets. But we reject out of hand any attempt to repeat the procedure using things that don’t actually exist. Or if they do exist, they do so only in the underdeveloped provinces of the mind. Conceptual things, things made up of words and perfectly straight lines that we can then mould and manipulate as we see fit, we can re-arrange and ultimately tear down again into innumerable pieces, all while trying to keep the look on our faces from appearing pained. If we succeed, no one knows what we are up to, but the sense of accomplishment that rushes over us at that moment doesn’t last very long. It dissipates, dribbles away to nothing and before we know it, our surroundings adopt their customary demeanor. Certainly there are dangers close by – the rumor of lynx, never substantiated. People wearing hats made of wool. But we come to grips with these things almost immediately. It is as if they were the medium within which we have been steeped since the day someone decided it’s best we do not emerge into a void. We should be offered clarity and context as something of a birthright -- by summoning into miraculous existence a frame (or stage, depending on where you’re standing) the width of the sky but not as deep and not as tall. There needed to be concessions, after all. A way of confirming we have the resolve, but not the resources, not the bond measures or the people respectable enough to propose them. What we have instead are those (like ourselves) who pass most of the day harmlessly in their cubicles. With their striped ties and their faux snake leather shoes and their miniature joke abacuses on their desks and the instruction manuals for the abacuses, most of these opened ominously to the same page, the very difficult to grasp page seventy-three devoid of illustration and, with it, any sense of something legitimately human taking place. 

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