Friday, January 03, 2014

The Great Not Me







It occurred to Samuel that he could have gone the other way in the last 10 years of his life. He could have kept part of what was old, broken only part of it, and introduced a new fragment to fill in. So he would have a new life and an old life patched together. He might have enjoyed the seams.

The seams between parts of his life would quickly fill with experential plastic, transparent glue time where he would do things out of time, a respite. He would be sitting and travelling perhaps.

The real life segments would develop boundaries, memory would seal them from each other. He could even take on different names and make up different histories which his memory would seal up in membranes made of time glue.

Samuel rose from his bed after this eventful night. Blocks of history had done a dance tonight. He met undead ghosts and nearly dead ghosts as well as dead ghosts. They took him on tours and filled his heart. He shook his head and try to cleanse himself of the flakes of the night. He tried to get into living where it is safe. How many more such daytimes could he expect?

Why had he come into the United States and New York from where he originated in the void? Why was he Jewish? Why not some other place? What is the present time? Why not some other time? There was so much about him that was somewhere in his life but that he didn't know, that he was never told. It was unconscious because it was never learned. Consciousness is such a strange bestowal.



What if they
didn't tell me I was king?
That's my place now.
What would I be?
.
I see my head
taller than the rest
and deny the exceptions.
What if they stopped doing what they do?
.
A little man,
in this little body
I didn't make, I am
ahead of change, rushed.



The questions were calming, much to his surprise. The questions rooted him into something lasting and basic whereas answers seemed topsy, tipply. There would always be questions, he could be certain of that while answers would be questioned and toppled.

He imagined a universe furnished with questions, where things were inverted as small sucking vacuums in a space of larger, weaker vacuums. Was this where he might have come from? Unknown land, unconscious world, did dreams flash in and out there?

Samuel woke up at 10 am, two full hours later than usual. Well his dreams disturbed his sleep several times just before dawn and he awoke to a safe place where everything gradually made sense. Then the cat came in and fell asleep on his legs. Samuel was grateful to the cat for cediting him with humanity. Samuel felt that cats had a way of honoring people they felt were fundamentally good, at least not harmful.

He was sorry to miss the early morning hours. The satisfying part of the day would soon end as sources of irritation would soon begin filtering into his life. But the sun was bright in the Winter sky. The trees seemed supernaturally tall. The dark lines of the branches, the nude branches like bones reached upward and outward. But they passed through unsystemmatic pathways in space. He wondered how the trees chose the passages, the holes in space through which the branches expanded. They were ameoba like. Their protoplasm squirted up through these invisible narrow channels in the air.

The phone rang at 11 am when the day was well underway. Marcy answered then passed the phone to Samuel who was surprised to receive it.

They went to the beach beyond the big trees. There was a great salt march and the sound tumbled around them. Three family men including Samuel walked through their unfamiliarity and differences. Samuel took a hundred photographs. Unusual to walk through sand in the cold, passing remnants of broken brick walls, shrines made of plastic, steel rods and flags. The sea birds wired together swirling overhead and damping down like a foamy cotton bedspread on the shallow water.

They looked for deer but didn't find any.

There was so much history here but the story wasn't pieced together and narrated for them. They could just see the outer edge fragments as they penetrated into their own time. The animals went about their business, surviving the winter as Samuel and his companions walked through the sand with their imperfect shoes. What the animals did was not their business. They spied on the animals fruitlessly, meaninglessly.

The origin of Samuel was not known to him. He didn't own his own history, had no claim to it. The people who had the information were gone.


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