Wednesday, August 4, 2021

So much depends on pronouns


4 August 2021

The question that formed on the loop evaporated. I lost it at the cross street as Lilith and I turned left. The only commonality between speed skating and baseball is the left turn. A St. Louis congresswoman camped on the Capitol steps for days to extend non-eviction notices. She’s considered a leftist. The question of privilege makes my high school classmate unkind, she says, victim of a father’s trauma, passed down like a dowry. And don’t talk to her about money. Late in her life, my mother talked to her neighbor about her father’s alcoholic violence, her mother’s cruelty, the losses of sister and burnt toast. She’d been all gesture, hint, provocation, not explication de texte with all its feelers, the reader an anemone clinging to coral but swaying, nonetheless. She plays the game now, its rules transactional, made to keep the game going. I hear crickets, speaking of games engineered to go a long time. You can take picnics to cricket, brown bag lunches to committee meetings, but your sustenance goes toward the stamina inertia requires. Inertia, too, fails to unfold gravity, float away like the letter A at Radhika’s senior soccer game. I thought Radhik funny, but Bryant drove to the store to buy another balloon. No one wants another lock-down, but denial only sometimes serves to push a traumatic event back, far enough to avoid its jaws. You want the question that has no answer, but lacking question, there’s no reason to seek one out. Take the seeking away, and there you find your seeker. Bewilderment’s one path, the other’s lost in the forest. At the cross-road, take both directions, said Yogi Berra, and he was right. A brown pig the size of a horse. The black pig’s sharp left turn, hoofs screeching on asphalt. The turn of a screw. Another disgraced New York governor says, “This is not who I am.” Depends on how you define the pronoun “I.”

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