Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ordinary mysteries

Ordinary mysteries: beside a green electrical box outside the cemetery, a pair of tan shorts and patterned shirt rest splayed on the ground. Memory now seems connected to photographs. It wobbles otherwise. No alphabet catcher with butterfly net to pull in names, just this hunting instinct with no visible prey.

Dante did not like neutrality, the Yale professor says. He thought you should take sides, though sometimes the side you took was solitude. #Quitlit.

"As soon as one reaches the true, that is, the invisible, it seems rather that each man inhabits his own islet . . . and we should rather be astonished that sometimes men come to agreement about anything whatever" (MP).

The shirt and shorts are not fit for television; there is no plot to be found that ends there, beside Kahekili Highway. The mystery is that there is no mystery to be solved, presented like a clue that answers only to itself.

Fear is best represented by underground parking lots, either in the solitary clicking of heels on concrete or in a locked car someone is trapped in. Make it look like suicide so the intention could not be yours. Use despair as your excuse for not passing go or collecting your $200 or for landing in jail, but with a good lawyer.

The end of anxiety is a charged emptiness. No content to distract from pounding heart, sweats, and prickling in the extremities. The end of it is the middle, no exit sign, no Deep Throat to hand over documents.

Vatic, vacant. Vacancy, empty room. My room outside Brattleboro looked out on the parking lot as it slowly filled with snow. The mystery of "seeing" that image at this time, when the sliding glass opens to a palm, and my dog barks in the next room. And all that comes between is, for this instant, gone.

The birds are not visible, but they are not invisible either.

In the Cambodian narratives, a family huddles in their elevated thatched house, knowing someone sits below, listening. The image of the listener enters into them like a microchip. There is small man inside of me who hears what I say, and he is not my conscience but something that only pretends to be. Someone walks for days to see a dying relative, and then comes back. Someone else steals rice from the paddy but cannot eat it where she can be seen. The invisible is not true, but it's safer than.

The invisible the true requires a safe zone, where you can give your angel a GPS and send them off to forage the qualities of honesty and loyalty and not suspect them to be at odds. With my glasses off, you are safe from my gaze, in which we presume judgment. To not see clearly is to let drop my gavel.
It's a start.

The invisible the true is abstract. You cannot read Dante and think invisibility cloak; it's all out there to be seen. The formalist structure of punishment. Not adequate to the crime, but somehow miming it. As if punishment were a 3-D mirror, but we'd forgotten our combs and our toothbrushes. Nothing to cover up our anguish.

He and Virgil were in their college's outdoor club, wandering in the woods and wondering how to get Yelp-worthy views without falling into the canyon and dying of self-portraiture. You will see your own last moment in your phone and that will reassure you that you fell. "Keep ticket as proof of your voyage."

Bryant returns to the sadness he felt when he had to tell Radhika that she, too, would die. And to the time when she put on her fairy costume and couldn't fly.

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