This persistent interminable gray outside overhead
one that is universally brought home to me and you
clogging our lung tissue with God knows what
being perchance a genetic sort of genocidal manmade flue
its tendrils too high up do grip our sky
its gossamer strings expand and fall
spreading out its deadly wings above
polluting the lungs of one and all
those cloistered scientific rolls of inventive men
whose ghastly invention requires a toll in lives
to clear this earth of most others they think
might cause petty interference to their tiny tribe
to release a demon from who knows where
in their lifelong purpose path seems to dwell
duty bound to fool all with false dreams it seems
to open the heavenly gates of an earthly Hell
emptying the powers of common woman and man
decreasing their numbers from frivolous pride
discounting their generations old and new
erasing them all far and wide
what sort of thing their earthly pride
by itself slithers along a bloody path
to plague all from one and on to the next
dispensing tiny bits of eternal wrath
some Satan bound up in a red robed silk
to gleefully watch the collective purpled face
their lifeless bodies with the others to be burned
and disappear them from life without a trace
destroying that which is good in all mankind
their Moloch served the only gain
by loosing these feminine bound faults
visiting death to cure all mortal pain
the righteous good of unbound ken
abandoning fidelity to save one’s skin
thieving all bonds with the moral by this terrible test
laying waste by slavery upon the rest of kin
a religious worship of a totaled six
a secret ritual proactive pushes this eventful plight
in trebled communion loosed by secretive incantations
carefully soft croaked to bring on an eternal night
be damned the stone within one’s mortal eye
dissolve the blinding hubris of their crushing brand
tear down these tall temples that reach down from on high
and recover God’s grace while one still can!
The night graces the sentiments of all living creatures in terms of illuminating their extremes. The experience of life resting on the edge of the play of all things half lit and half unrevealed. How anyone can maintain a strict and untainted rational view of their own circumstance is beyond any level of normal comprehension. The pillars of one’s sanity carry the heavy burden of a crushing persistent doubt. What will tomorrow bring? Something good? Something that I can handle? Or, will it undermine me in some irrevocable sense of realized helplessness that I cannot escape. Certain facts ring true. We creatures who are aware of our own existence no matter how sheltered or distracted by daily activity know that sooner or later it will all come to an end. The body is vulnerable and its vigor can be breached by a physical injury come of an unexpected accident. Or an unexpected encounter with an act of violence. The unreasoning expression of anger by a stranger. The calculated shift in policy by those entrusted to manage the public trust making unexpected decisions that affect all. Of even worse, the actions of a rival society that decides to sink to a base mentality of a brutal aggressor and create a level of mischief that has no counter force to balance out. The older one is the more it becomes how apparent that you are just as increasingly vulnerable to the machinations from those of your own society as another distant competing one.
What a terrible surprise to encounter a beast in the wild that you sense is weighing the decision if it can tear you apart and eat you or if you might put up a fight that would leave them hurt or killed by virtue the unexpected! The two of you face to face, attempting to make a judgement as to which of the two is the most powerful and dangerous each waiting for that unforeseen instant when one of them commits to an action. Can one enact more damage to the other? Can they run faster or perform maneuvers that their antagonist cannot overcome? How long will this face off continue as instants of time seem passing instant equal to infinities? Then both must be tested in terms of a resolve and a spontaneous reading of the tea leaves of their fate. in terms of which one will have it’s desire fulfilled and how the other suffer shall suffer for it. A hard lesson for those brought up in the illusion of safety being a natural state of being. The confidence one possesses in one’s own powers and the intuition that allows them to succeed being a quality of long hard won experience that, as an essential quality, one cannot afford to lose.
The dimensions of that phantom universe ever expanding into unfathomable immensities as one passes into uncountable days and weeks and years of existence. The burden of making some form of sense of it providing one with their greatest appreciation of just how little that they are. A single speck of dust, if that! A point of individual self-recognition in this universe that is not shared by all the others specks. Some resting on top and some below and all jostling in the perpetual dance of Brownian motion unable to find an absolute sense of peace of mind. Save perhaps for what they imagine must be waiting after they draw their last breath? There is no loneliness that can compare with the one that is experienced when this knowledge is truly brought home by the fact of all things being demonstrably finite. One’s existence in jeopardy of being transformed into a game equally devoted to waiting helplessly while simultaneously attempting to ignore it.
The jungle of the universal unstoppable chaos rending all great ancient empires into minuscule particles that routinely alight upon the surfaces of one’s domicile. Every day we all breathe in the history of the path but must then also be cleansed of it. The ever-present despair of wanting to in the face of this save some crumb of absolute certainty that one can anchor their own sense of lasting presence in this world upon. One then finds themselves in a state of empathy with all competing forces as the need for the assurance of a continued existence to prevail over all is incontrovertible. The courage to continue on each day and every moment despite running out of all good reasons to do so the essence of what it is to be alive.
How then can anyone or anything that they offer as a panacea be taken seriously as a replacement for one’s own resolution to continue the struggle? This is the basis of an unholy power that a mindset of reliable absolutes come of participation within a longstanding society of those that expect security over the unavoidable obvious dangers of simple existence. What passes for omniscience and prowess in fact eventually very quickly being revealed as empty promise. The result leading to a persistent sensation of angst come equally of the anger of frustration and despair. The sense of desperation come from a continued existence of being trapped by the same and unrelieved by even the simplest of animal pleasures too quickly building up to an ultimate crescendo. The house of cards of personal false hopes built on such social compacts that can never be realized bringing down the house!
Is it any wonder that a cornered animal caught in a trap will gnaw away at its own limb? Or equally, a human being caught up in a mindset of having no options against the inevitable will find a pleasant means with which to self destruction. The fatal flaw of societies and individuals being that some power outside themselves can solve their own dilemma! The fallacy that their own efforts as guided by by same over a lifetime in building up a material resources as bulwark against any and all situations a mere fallacy. Though those that made you can shelter you for a time as they struggle to prevail eventually you will eventually be on your own with all the illusions that the mighty pyramid of society will bestow upon you. But you will still realize that you are still utterly naked and helpless. The sole course of action in either case being to continue on despite all.
Given that life seems so short when one is nearing what they are repeatably told will be the conclusion of the same there is a tendency to prolong existence that takes hold of anyone thinking themselves gifted with the gab of words incised upon the page. The aches and pains of seemingly withering limbs tossed off to some inevitable malaise that is built in to the human mechanism that though many feel may be radically altered inevitably catch up in a collapsing series of organic collapses and subsequent increases in mounting physical disabilities. The final chorus comes most times in a clairvoyant condition accompanied by a decent into solitude when all one’s adventures peppered by a healthy degree of irreconcilably cynical misgivings about what their eventual outcomes have led to. All coming home to roost within one’s waking consciousness demanding not simply a sense of closure but a public airing. As if by way of a declarative confession the positive aspects of these events might outweigh the unfortunate situations and acknowledge some assurance that their main protagonist has found their own sense of sainthood in the minds of an otherwise indifferent reader. How foolish is the ego when it’s child-like innocence is eventually converted to supplicate this solipsism when one is in the final grasp of this aged folly!
Setting off on the journey to explain one’s mortal ramblings over the course of what ever seem like unfathomable decades one must find the appropriate way stations of vivid memories. One’s that though they might not lead to any sensible definitive conclusion in terms of a judgment of character as a whole do at least provide a sense of navigation to pinpoint what might be possibly significant to the mindset of the protagonist. Some notable momentary excess on the part of the subject that stands out by way of an opportunity missed or a fatal danger narrowly avoided. Something that invokes a sense of fateful destiny that acts as a leveler for all human experience and stimulates an empathy along the lines of, “There but for the grace of God go I!” Where one starts this search provides a weather vane as to the general present tense focus of the autobiographer. Can there be some succinct exponent in a sentence or two as a starting point that, if it does not explain the character, does help in characterizing the type of journey that defines him? Can one be assured that some genetic trait as inherited from forebears mentioned at the beginning of too many tales is not the ready handmaiden of eventual fate? Or does the path traveled merely substantiate the notion of an empty cup initially void of substance whose true identity is wholly dependent upon what was poured in and enjoyed?
The waiting maw of the empty blank page stares back challenging the pen of the goon holding it to come up with something really good. What can one offer if they are honest to the process of revealing some all to obvious hidden truth if they do not take the plunge and risk mediocrity? The recounting of these incidents being raw flax from which a story must be meticulously woven. Taking a shovel to it? But even if it is plastic, and comes along with a bucket, it will not stop the shifting sands of intervening time to reveal what might have been gained or lost in those now distant foggy shores of early childhood. Maybe clean air and a sunny sky might provide a better solution to isolate some obvious experience that though it may be so noticeable it is too routinely overlooked because it is taken for granted? A random thought shifted by an unaccustomed observation that of itself is out of character to the normal repetitive cycles of the daily grind. Perhaps something that one has tried to expunge from their conscience but that bubbles back up to be periodically annoying? An outrage that one committed being ill advised at the time where common sense was ignored? Banality? Banality sells! Especially if it is tinged with humor or embarrassment that most normalized people can relate with. Whatever it may be it is a first step towards one’s eventual epitaph.
Then it came to me in a dream. One that analogized an event that had transpired in actual life wherein the two central players in my own existence had engaged me to move some disused items of furniture. The items mainly in question being older homely looking wooden bookcases from a locker in a small boutique within the basement of the fringes of a middle class suburb. The legs of an occasional passerby walking past the picture window mounted from shoulder level up to the low ceiling. My father always invoking me to do a service on behalf of my mother’s whim using me as a means to please her in a manner that I resented at the time. A situation that I was only fully able to comprehend in recent years long after both of their passing’s. Yet, what did this have to do with anything int he here and now. Too reliant upon the Internet as a source of both entertainment and companionship. Curious stories being simply that but having no baring in terms of my own experience of life. Where has the rational trailed off to amidst this constant deviation from what was once the norm?
“I’ve bored myself stiff!“, as the saying goes. No sense of delicacy of smell to detect anything beyond less than subtle odors. The illusion has become past tense and it leaves me naked to the facts. A bag of wind in a confined place. No seams to exploit to find an escape with. Pronouncement after pronouncement, mostly concentrating some new form of loss. Should I settle into mediocrity? Descend into some quiet space? This prospect of endless mediocrity is killing me!
The world has left me! And I am leaving it. The dubious head space of the virtual mechanical beast shown up for the mortal tool that it has become. A massive sorting device that simply categorizes taste and curiosities. One’s desires too easily deflate by satiation of an animal need to brush up against one’s own. Even if the bump is merely in the mind and not in the higher reality of physical practice. Fate has played its hand too early and too long ago. I see clearly the dilemma that I am enveloped within.
All this talk is far removed from the entity dwelling within. Superficial and superfluous to the daily exterior concerns of the withdrawals of lofty intent to favor the mundane. The convenience of memory interceding like some cavalry troop to defeat commitment. Society seemingly demanding the referential over the innovative. A crushing series of never ending blows to the ego of the individual who would dare Promethium tasks. Potential conversation driven down to the daily talk of the number of shekels to be had. The speaker being the one who is being had. Life beyond can never be measured out in bits and pieces.
I am a carnivore for the facts.
Suddenly! I woke up old. The mirror showing a face defined by creases and wrinkles bemoaning someone unrecognizable past youth. Lost in a sea of old! Old men and old woman from a generation grown old to replace their no longer extent fathers and mothers. Secret conversations held beneath a sheltering cranium existing betwixt the past and a quickly fragmenting present. Between dreaming and a persistent waking material reality. The persistent fragment of all things no longer in force but in a quickly fading state of inevitable dissolution. No type of clown more insufferable than that of an old clown. The pretense of continued youth come to conclusion. A face that I can finally trust to confirm the worst! A fear of being demoted to final irredeemable empty insignificance.
Scaffolds strung on wires hundreds feet in the air of the bare steel columns of a monstrous life sucking skyscraper. Big ungainly things overlarge far beyond the scale of simple humanity challenging the sky like a thousand ghost-like children of the lingering hubris of an ancient Enoch worldwide. Insubstantial support, even for the young! So far to fall back down into the abyss of an earthly folly. So futile to hang on and hope to await rescue which can never come soon enough if at all. Marooned and waylaid in lofty thin air. Abandoned by foolish missteps of dreaming the continuation of an world world and papering it across something new. Then bemoaning this fate to ears that no longer exist! How to be reborn in a few brief seconds struggling arm and leg into the thin empty air?
The absurdity of planning ones demise so as to be in charge of making it happen on command as opposed to an eventually ensuing unexpected happenstance. A self-appointed Archon preserving in his mind the fallacy of the existence of all things past. “Buy my entire life for cash!” And I will simply walk out with only the clothes on my back and valise full of the money. Let the purchaser play the game of discovering the myriad of details that are embodied within. I cannot come to any lasting sense of resolution with them!
The forensic report stated that the subject had fallen off the superstructure of the Remington Center complex at approximately 2:45 AM and had landed upon the street immediately below. His body shattered by a fall of some three hundred feet most apparently landing head first leaving his skull and neck completely disintegrated upon the pavement and killing him instantly.
Somehow it didn’t feel like Christmas? He sat by himself in the recliner staring forth at the warm glow that the multi-colored filaments cast from their spiral wrap about the figment of the imagination called a tree. The old familiar prints lay silent and immobile upon the wall ahead in the dimness. The inside of each of their frameworks suggesting something familiar and recognizable. A cast of unrevealed characters resting below them on the deep shelf just below where a forest of pictures and artifacts played hide and seek with the eye. He nodded to himself ensconced in the hum from the two decade old refrigerator working hard in the apartment’s small kitchen. The silence recused further by the infernal pedantic precision of the old pendulum swinging wall clock. A small knock from the larger presence of the two and then the timepiece had won the battle and he could only hear it and himself. What was there to worry about? Though it was hard to conceive of it his child had outlasted many an adult? Another distant family member had just bit the dust the week before. And he was a decade and a half younger! Health in its most relative of forms was his curse. Sure there were plenty of small annoying conditions pasted upon his physical being like a collage. But their sum total was still inconsequential. In any case the prospect of his own demise was not what concerned him. The immersion into a growing abyss of loneliness did.
It appeared that while he might have broken a heart or two along the way he had more generally disappoint many more. So much so that his mailbox had dwindled down to an occasional recipient of holiday cheering. His lack of prosperity certainly not inspiring much interest in the female of the species. His few male friends having departed long ago into marriages, children and their own heart attacks. Not many cared to recall his name these days even with the prodding of the holiday season in full swing. So many dim faces bubbled up into his consciousness these days that bid him recall their names. One mystery mentally solved dragging up another visage along with a brief silent scenario of their association long past. The chimes out of sight to the left sounding a ringing three in their singular carillon toppling this interlocking lacy pyramid back into his dense skull. The resultant impotence of absolute silence once again stirred by the pendulum’s measured click. The muffled hum of occasional distant traffic far outside rising for a moment and then driving off leaving him to the empty amphitheater of his thoughts. Aside from the colorful light displays one might have thought it as being as dully resplendent as any other night. His head now self-consciously scanning the ribbon of the horizon outside that his reclining posture on the chair allowed. Nothing but the same old pinpricks of far off twinkling man made light.
The child within him opening his heart to detect what unfathomable presences might be in near proximity beyond the scattered prospects that his eyes registered in surround. Nothing? The sketchy events of the day prior being the only in resolve of his internal visual screen. The failing light of the Winter Sun approaching it apses as he walked in the cold air upon the sidewalk down the seemingly inexhaustible row of mid century ranch houses. One out of three attempting some acknowledgement of the season upon the front lawn or the front window. The whoosh of heat pouring forth suddenly like the spillway of a miniature Grand Coulee dam. There was so much to distract one when the physical body had been stirred from sleep! Unconsciously his fist closed and the tightness that its internal tendons woke him to the fact of their equally dismaying presence. The fine shadows of striations upon his aging skin on the back of the hand and wrist only softening but not fully going away. It was curious but he didn’t feel that old? His gait though not a match for those youngsters of barely twenty still maintaining its own internal peppy clockwork precision. Surely whatever fate was waiting for him as that right leaning bookend shoring up the continuing volumes of daily minutia that made up existence had not come to an end. One might be signaled at least in some prophetic Hollywood fashion by glimpses of a glowing or a holiday sprite if it was?
One again the tiny cat’s claw of his conscious mind scratched lazily at the question of the purpose of his own personal experience of existence. As a recent infant brought to some degree of sentience he had rued the passing of his two progenitor’s one day thinking that he must surely pass on before them. What did he know of such things then beyond a vague broadcast notion of instantaneous cartoon finality? Life seemed an impossible circumstance without them? Now sitting on the other side of the mountain he considered that the crowds of humanity that had intervened along his way had only caused him to be glad that the bulk of them had tread off to their own sense of mortal fate and not dragged him along with them. He bore no grudges that came quickly to mind. The long absence from such daily felicities had softened whatever past frictions that might at a former time been naggingly apparent. Peace on earth and good will to all men! His own unspoken suddenly chimed. The resultant silence that this comment expecting to summon within his thoughts instantly shattered by the external growl on an anonymous V8 growling noisily and grumbling loudly off into the hush of night. His eyes raised them self up to the ceiling but with no apparent desire to signify any evidence of broken respite. The world had so long ago descended into an annoying place that he rarely had to e energy to pay it too much mind. All his own accomplishments along the way having reciprocally been simply as trivial to the outside world’s regard as this unexpected distraction. A pop of a bubble recklessly loosed in a tub of warm soapy water.
Somewhere he fathomed there surely was another that was calling his presence to them? Maybe more than one? The habit of a long irrepressible pipe dream stating that for everyone there would one day be someone. The many potentially possible ‘someone’s’ of his long past by this point safely taking on a cinematic dimension that was indeed safer than the human sort. All plots being theoretically a sequel to the initial ones they served the fancies that would suit the audience as part of the bargain of a continued interest in the next one. What did his ancestors do before such things existed? Count the wizened skulls of long past ancestors tossed about in shadowed corners by a fire lit smokey cave? Such musings leading one back to the static credos of Platonic gospel that stated one could never break their own chains to see more than these shadows. What then was human existence but a play of passing light and shadow upon an uneasy screen? That imitation tree festooned by the many aged family artifacts pretending to recall past joviality a dismal failure. What could be recovered from the ubiquity of the present that could be of utility to one’s unmet desires? You could after all be asleep in so many ways only to wake up to late to the glaring fact of it! the problem was that how could one tell? His head turning slightly as another growling engine just outside again making its escape into the night. The last of the Christmas crowd in his building was making its final farewells and speeding off back to their own abodes.
Another low deep throated startling rumble suddenly deposing this notion. No evidence of earthquake or explosion rocking his habitation bringing him to the conclusion that another plane load of late arrivals was ascending to destinations unknown. What then of him. He was his own Plymouth rock still awaiting a Pilgrim. Some ceremonious delegation long expected upon his shore but found to be running a bit later than he could ever have conceived? The need for positives rattling off such sentiments rather than accept a more lagging conclusion. He felt his neck crackling slightly as he shifted about in his chair. The weariness of the hour was placing its claim upon him. That was the wonder of this thing called consciousness? One never knew if they were the dream or the dreamer? An idle thought indecipherable from one more long-winded supposing gravitas. Which was the more potent version suggesting the most accurate view of things? The body after all had the last word both by its infernal animal impatience and its eventual proclivity to final decline and unavoidable termination. A tough act to attempt to follow with one’s storehouse of accumulated disappointments and exasperation’s. The tree still sat there with its colorful display of pin points setting their glow upon the old familiar shapes in picture frames suggesting old familiar faces upon the wall. The artifacts below them unmoved by the transitory nature of thought in its affinity with a passing thunderstorm. Another holiday would pass and lead of the continued banality of the necessity of everyday concerns mapped out over another coming year. Fate in the end having the say as to when this repeating cycle would come to its ultimate conclusion. Something that the man was already familiar with and in a similar manner continue to come to know. It would be a touch act to follow.
The old bitch upstairs was dragging her furniture across the floor again! Another knock just as he lowered his head. “Goddamn bitch!“, he yelled! Hoping that his exclamation was just loud enough to be heard through the concrete slab construction of his one hundred and eighty unit Mid-Century dilemma. The snowbound darkness to his left from the old squeaky recliner seemed to evaporate all probability of life beyond his own in the darkened semi-lit lounge. To look at him and his lifestyle one might have thought he was in some terminal form of inconstant mourning. Another drag and a bump diverting his attention back skyward to the old phantom above. There was no way of course of determining the exact identity of the occupant above him beyond the habits associated with the irritation that she caused. The moving of furniture at odd hours of the night suggesting someone perhaps as solitary as he. Small erratic nagging scratching noises or the bang of something upon the floor waking him out of a dead sleep suggesting the possible companion of a feline. The other phenomena less associative being infrequent bouts of fog banks of cigarette smoke that drifted in from the common space betwixt the bathroom and small kitchen that rose up through all fifteen stories of the structure. Sometime the heady aroma of wine treated weed stung his nose before dawn and threatened disorienting his head. It seemed incongruous that someone elderly would be indulging in such mundane hallucinogens. Both then given the era nearly fifty-years previous when society was breaking apart from incessant social dissonance drug taking was the common practice.
His headaches had increased in the last several years from the occasional to the frequent. It was reasonable to assume that all this airborne nuisance was a possible accessory if not prime cause of his distress. As it was the residents of the building had shifted in composition to a less sophisticated set that could be characterized more by their careless excesses than their civility. He had devised a nightly ritual of barring the door with two old steel walking canes and stuffing disposable plastic bags from the local supermarket in the gaps. The settling of the building having thrown all precise angles from their original square into a kilter. More than half way up the tower he could feel the building tremble without a warning seemingly from any more reasonable explanation than it was settling unevenly in such a manner that made the structure more vulnerable. The combination of all these factors adding to a building level of unconsciously gathering insecurities. Dark thoughts in the night fueled in part by the darkness of fractious world events where every day seemed to be another form of unraveling crisis. The faces of his bygone parents looking ever sterner in the accumulating shadows of both day and night. Perhaps another sign of his incrementally fading vision. “What then?“, he thought, “When I finally go blind?”
The lack of company and prospects for the future seemed to go along hand in hand. He seemed stamped from birth in a singular mode as a solitary soul. Perhaps condemned from some previous existence in another lifetime for an oversight or transgression that was considered unforgivable in a cosmic sense of being. Though he had suspected it in childhood there was something about him that others found unsettling even detestable. He seemed to attract expressions of instantaneous scorn or unmasked derision in the initial expression of strangers. His relations with others being tenuous at best. A shadow of a type falling upon his aspirations as they had all one by one seemed to crash prematurely before any lasting measure of success could take hold. Maybe it could be described as a certain sense of an ever failed optimism that was behind that gap with him and the rest of the human world? At this point he had seemingly succumbed. The program upon the screen before him had a taint that seemed in keeping with the ever mounting disaster that his current life was increasingly appearing to be. The space next to him ringing out with another utensil dropped out of a phantom hand.
The accumulation of experience such as it was made one convinced that one’s presence of mind in some way was a result of their own actions over the long term of their existence. One could collect positives as well as negatives. In some respects it gave a possible explanation to his dilemma. Recollections of events past when assembled suggesting more than possibly a pattern that suggested some prior suffering that was prevalent where he played the part of either victim or perpetrator. Bad memories of a childhood twisted by that subversive sense that he had something to be guilty about yet knowing exactly what. Strange affinities with old deposed European cultures now vilified as ultimate villains. Toy sets allowing play demonstrating an interest in resonating with past military grandeur’s. The stage set by entertainment entrepreneurs that had translated their rigorous subversive dogmas to lay in wait for vulnerable minds like his own. Who in that age could tell if any thought formed in their head was truly one of their own devising? The more his day vision suffered and the ability to conjure the recent past of moments waylaid an instant after enacting them the more the same sense of building despair set in. He played with these phantoms in his mind much in the way that he had once done with those little plastic toys.
He could recall for no particular reason and incident of his past in which he had purchased a brand new dark blue long sleeve shirt. Something of a talisman of sorts with which to attract the possibility of female attentions at a weekly party of his male high school friends. Taking it out of the package he had bestowed its magnificence upon his ignominious torso and felt a new confidence building within. His general perspective of being ground down in the world of the untermensch suddenly catapulted to a new height of unbounded self-confidence. Off he strode down the street to make his newly revised presence known. Yet predictably, as fate would have it, in particular his own. a mere half an hour later he was tearing violently at his new covering as he had found that though he was useful as the group’s weekend chauffeur, he had been shut out otherwise. By the time he had arrived home his shirt was in tatters. He had been betrayed by his own sense of foolish optimism to believe that his prolonged curse had been lifted. But found out much to his disappointment that this was anything but true. Much later he would find salvation in the love of another. His first. But then he would also find a way of mucking that up as well. So much for optimism!
His dreams as he encountered their bits and pieces and parsimonious lingering fragments seemed perfectly understandable though it seemed impossible to recall beyond a single glaring aspect past the time of waking. The pennant on the top of a mainmast of a vessel laying hull upright upon the bottom in the sea of his unconscious. There were many such wrecks there waiting to be rediscovered. Occasionally one would spontaneously rise to the surface during the course of a day’s idle thoughts. It was maddening that whatever force guided his consciousness was jealously maintaining control of it to the point of incrementally removing control from him. He could recall the piles of dog poop staggered like poorly laid landmines trailing into the hotel bedroom from the tiled floor in the lobby. The enigma of this unexplained phenomena taking place in some unidentified metropolis for reasons that would never be made clear as to how they related to him. A vague suggestion floating about that the management was not thrilled to off its services to clientele of his stature. Yet the exercise of a dance step type of physical exertion to avoid soiling his shoes seemed as if he had actually performed it while waking? And merely returned to bed and sunk back into the same dream?
Perhaps this curse had been renewed in an incident in years before? Then again maybe congealed in a single incident? He could recall a short road trip taken in high school in the company of other students from the school’s speech club? Their destination being culminated at a crappy Minneapolis hotel for the purpose of engaging with the wonders of the Tyrone Guthrie theater. The student’s after party being accompanied by the latest Beatle’s album of that time, Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The males warming up by having a spontaneous fire extinguisher fight in the back hallways of that creaking edifice. The girls setting up a Ouija board. The entire group congealing under a foggy screen of marijuana smoke to engage in an impromptu seance. One of the girls jumping up to break the circle and declaring that the speaker from the other side was none other than Adolph Hitler. He turned his face back from his thoughts to the window. Any excuse to justify this ongoing insanity of the inevitable ravages of old age both socially and otherwise. So many excuses that might add the value of an unsung melodramatic drama to what had descended into a lackluster humdrum existence awaiting the silent call of the grim reaper. Would his makeshift barricade at least provide some element of forewarning? It didn’t seem likely. The stigma of forgetfulness able to be accounted for in so many causes that one might just say this was merely a plague brought on be mere happenstance. There being no way beyond the ritual of the pronouncement of generally acceptable opinions based upon authority to answer with an air of the definite. And that of itself was its own form of fatal execution.
The thought bringing up another long filed memory from adolescence. The book called the History Of Torture which he had read in paperback form. It’s contents evoking both the sleazy as well as buoy a fearful dread. The institutional insemination of the Holocaust drama in a formative age of many recited personal fictional accounts being transmigrated into the public record of alleged facts. The perversity of the minds of the authors competing with each other to derive the most sensory debilitating descriptions of unbounded evil inhumanity for the sake of garnering temporal notoriety. How much was added to the empty shadows of adolescent minds in that postwar era? Brainwashing starting in the licentious realm of smelly exploitation newsprint paper printed tabloids. And transmigrating into the unsophisticated soulful moral repositories of the naive. The real unbearable torment of human existence not found in the physical dimension of uncontrollable pain but in the estrangement of the individual inevitably finding themselves permanently waylaid from the group as a pariah. Suffering attributable only to one’s own nature and not the all too obvious machinations of a society turned into a cold inhuman vehicle for processing the species into a puppet fit only for its utility. The cog as victim turned into the victim defaulted to the banality of a cog. All the socially proscribed devils found too late to be naught but fallen allies that had proceeded him. The endless futility of all this being the most unbearable burden of all.
A has been that’s never been. Nobody left in the parade. Fingers no longer my friends. Eyes on the way out. Guts churning day and night. The squish squash sound of a heart over-clocking all through the night. A has been. No longer good for nothing except in my dreams. No longer of use to the users. That never been part still hanging over my head like a dagger. Like a star elusive and out of reach. Dare I reach out and cut myself on the reflection. A flesh and blood automaton to the rest of the world. No one. No more braun with a failing brain. Going to bed too early while everyone else joins the party. Listen to the silence in the room. Counting the dollars that I should have had. Wanting to pay back old debts to people who have long since picked up stakes and gone away and died. Someone of no regard that the rest of the world is no longer in danger of being aware of. Another corpse to step over. A has been. Bouncing up and down weaving right and left. Legs unsteady and light headed possibly ready to take a dive. A has been! That’s what was overheard. The truth in it from having overheard. Learning that this world has given up on me. No it is my turn to follow suit. That long low empty space behind my footsteps where a whole lifetime used to be. Now all gone. The end. Only the wait left to be endured in respectful quiet. When will I wake up? When is it time to not. No longer? A wake up call for the has been. A long night’s rest.