Wednesday, October 31, 2012

One learns to continue by continuing, by pushing through the ankle-deep water and the moccasins, the high decibel ringing that brings others to their knees. The ploy is stolen directly from Horace, from some ode or another with a rustic backdrop and learning worn like a knit cap, but it is possible to personalize even this, to shape it between your fingers until something unique emerges, with corners and indentations, with a voice like that of someone not yet fully grown. No sooner do we have him in the ground than Immanuel turns up again, not corporeal anymore but not entirely without shape or substance either. He hangs around in the evening when I am trying to sleep and he doesn’t really seem to recognize me at first, occupying himself instead with wandering about in the mists and mosquitoes like an afterthought broken free of its moorings in the mind where the initial thought first emerged as a result of very careful deliberation and effort. Our rote obsessions owe their existence to rotten luck, to an accident on the caliber of melting ice when you leave the freezer door ajar or when the sun finds its zenith over a pond where the turtles have buried themselves in the mud. Wouldn’t it be something if we had access to a repository and we were no longer expected to generate either fine or lunatic ideas on our own? We had merely to operate the accompanying codex properly to find what we want and, of course, pay a small fee, something perhaps even in barter. Like a bushel of corn or a gilt frame we previously removed the painting from because it depicted an elderly man with a sunflower in his hands and we found the depiction objectionable for reasons we couldn’t quite put into words. Maybe it reminded us of a time when we too were expected to stand still so that someone we barely knew could try to capture our likeness in oils or charcoal or dust, and our trust was violated. Maybe we have grown sick of words the way one person grows sick of another. Over time, and with little effort. Like looking in a mirror. It just happens. It just occurs like the generation of oxygen. When Immanuel first returns, I run as fast as I can, leaping tree roots and culverts in the dark, anxious to tell Eulalie the impossible news, but she has gone, has packed up and fled in the middle of the night following the trauma of internment and, before that, disease, the only traces of her left in the ruins she shared with Immanuel a pile of broken spectacles and a glove with the fingertips cut out so as to allow whoever wears it to work with dexterity, to sort and master the fine gradients of every object that exists on the surface of the planet, or at least those of a size graspable by the ordinary human hand. 

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