Thursday, July 22, 2021

Time management


22 July 2021

I spilled water on my shoes as I left the room. My role had been the hooded teenager who wished only to be left alone. Depression’s a cocoon; I grieved when I left it, knowing it to be my central fiction. I pulled my hat down over my eyes, which stared at the floor. Another woman was trying to get through to me, asking questions I refused. To be in the moment when it’s past is its own genre of hurt; to be there when someone caused pain to make his pleasure is to rehearse the play until you can’t get out of it. All the stage doors have been locked; not even the audience (who is you) can get out the back entrance. You will run in circles until you fall to the floor, panting like an old dog. Let’s hope the circle gets broken, if only so we can re-trace it with two edges jagged, blues and blacks surrendering to white paper. You say “I should have known” in the present, which cannot forgive the past. The difference between a bad memory that was made to happen, and the accidents of brain chemistry that know memory itself as a form of suffering. It’s not a difference in the time sense, but in the intentions of our bodies, ones we ascribe to pronouns or those for which we can find none. The mind cannot see itself, except as discursive thought, which lies about time, makes a fiction of our photographs. Bryant called it the Red Roof Inn, the tiny rusted shack off Hilina Pali Road. It yielded rust silhouettes, rust abstractions, a white FIRE sign whose I was mottled with black. An empty cache, as it turned out; nothing there with which to fight a fire, just the color of fire framed against Mauna Loa, off an asphalt ribbon two pigs had sprinted down. Linear memory only works at a close remove, or approximated in grammatical sentences. Give this two more days, and nothing is left except staccatos. Detail flees like the pig, who finally turns into the forest to the tune of a whimpering dog in the back seat of our car. The beauty of rust's material forgetting itself, making topo maps of weather conditions that come and go. The plaques and tangles acquire a lovely shape we cannot see, even when we concentrate on our mid-brain or let time fly out the top of our skulls. The bones that ran the show now stand in for breath. Alternate nostrils to make a circle, then go back the other way.

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