Monday, October 15, 2012

Inside the sphere we are constantly bumping into one another, turning our palms skyward as if to suggest there are alternatives every time. As if to suggest the boundaries are not as well-defined as we have been led to believe by those whose job it is to determine the boundaries and make sure they don’t shift. There’s precious little we can do to prevent movement, though, and the lights remind us of this when we try. They alternate patterns, they refuse to illuminate certain portions of the room and my skin reacts by tightening and growing brittle over stretches around the elbow, below the knee. It reminds me of boutique leather and I am proud for a while, even taking pictures of it to show other people should my skin decide to heal itself. No one would believe me then. They would object in the strongest possible terms. Or else they would simply nod their heads and continue their conversations about Borneo, about the cheapest ways to get there. Our days fill up suddenly with voluminous miniature objects like sand, with rumors having nothing whatsoever to do with sand. We run from these as we might from a swarm of stinging insects. There is only so far you can go, though, when the light behind the clouds is not the light you would otherwise expect to escape from those clouds should they break or should there be no clouds in the first place. All of which suggests our feet were not designed for running or even walking very far. They were designed, I’m sure, for some other less daunting activity, and when I study them on other people, as opposed to when I study my own, I come to the same conclusion pretty much every time – our feet were meant to hang limp beneath us when we fly. If this conjures fairy tales and myths with griffins in them, so be it. I can’t be held responsible for what other people believed before I got on the scene. Their attempts at making the eye the arbiter, the mind the axis of the cosmos, were entirely successful, I’m sure, and deserving of the same sort of grudging respect we offer qualified umpires. But with success comes the equivalent of legal documentation, wills and subpoenas, and a tendency to say things in a way that no longer appeals to those you are speaking to. As a consequence, they lower their eyes if they are polite, thumb their noses at you or spit in your direction if they are not, and resume whatever it was they were doing before you arrived. Cultivating certain questionable grains. Holding hands or throwing dice against a dried mud wall where a handful of hungry curs look on, sharing apparently in the ancient understanding of their race that dice mean bone and bone is lucky as any number you choose to carve into the face of it. Bone is the future promising you something bold, something of consequence like transformation, like finally getting what you’re owed, all by way of an otherwise truly merciless past.

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