Saturday, November 24, 2012

The change in temperature coincides with a change in pitch, a dropping of the voice sufficient to cause those in the vicinity to pause in their conversations and glance around nervously, to look over their shoulders. Primarily in the direction of the entrance where the voice seems to originate, though it is always difficult to determine these things, isn’t it? It’s like burning paper and repeating nonsense syllables over and over again in an effort to glimpse the authentic self as opposed to the inauthentic one who shows up in shop windows and other people’s memories, their vivid dreams. The man says he has a sister inside who is partial to women like Eulalie though she enjoys the company of men and boys as well when nothing better is available. He says he knows Eulalie can use the cash just by looking at the condition of her canvas shoes and the comb sticking out of her coat pocket like one of the discolored antennae of an outsized mechanical insect. He opens the gate to the backyard and she follows as if in a trance, though she knows trances belong more properly in religious memoirs and fiction and so she makes a note to herself to invent a compelling version of these events when she gets home, a version having as its catalyst not the events in question -- and of course those occurring immediately previous to them -- but the overwhelming sense that her life is supposed to mean something even when it is completely devoid of the strange set of integers that keep popping up or the elements of myth (the timely lightning flashes, the earth goddesses carved from stone) that might make someone, a complete stranger, sit up and take notice. Might make him whistle through his fingers in an attempt to catch her attention before she slips away forever on that sea we call anonymity when we feel like we should call it something so that others will know what the devil we are talking about. Not that it matters. They too are headed in the same direction and the only thing that promises to redeem us is an empty basket hanging in the corner of the room or a bottle tossing about on rough ocean waves, a bottle that we of course imagine contains a handwritten message from someone marooned on an island these past seventy years and more, someone who had enough time on his hands to examine our most crucial concerns seriously – how the subject and the object interact with one another now that we know it is not the pineal gland’s job to effect such an introduction. Why desire causes suffering when it ought, logically speaking, to cause nothing more serious than a headache, or a sore throat, while an occasional bird silhouetted in the morning sun trills from its palm branches in triumph.             

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