Sunday, October 8, 2017

8 October 2017

I want to write an honest sentence about control. After her dog lost control, she hosed her down for hours. There was also a tumor underneath her heart. We control crowds, not guns, birth control not medical costs. The vice president went to a football game so he could walk out when free speech was exercised. The man who took the first knee says he'll stand to get his job back. And the homeless are so filthy in their ragged tents. They made their choices. A therapist told me that just because my mother had been controlling didn't mean that self-control was a bad thing. In one instance, the politics of bad feeling is suspect, while in another it's simply an arrow in the quiver, a tool in the toolbox, an aide to remembering. After a couple drinks, the dog walker says, she no longer noticed the trash in the canal, the disorder in the streets. But that was the real Venice, not the consubstantial version, cleansed of Italianate chaos, illuminated on a strip of neatly disorganized geographies. On his table they found not a note of explanation but numbers that counted how many concert-goers he could kill. My former student worries that he stepped on a dead person's hand. That he can't yet make sense of the event. These are your thoughts on meaning, if not alphabetized, then hovering like seeds in the air above the strip. There's none to be had; the house wins every time. Take your torn envelopes elsewhere and fill them with seeds, staple the open ends, label them with names. There's no purchase for them in a desert.

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