Rolling a Blog

August 27, 2008 at 2:52 am (Uncategorized) ()

The cold glow of the LCD display transmogrifies my skin into a three-dimensional stencil cutout, some features lit a pale, desaturated flesh hue, others black as the inky night outside the window behind me. I sit, watching the cursor blink on, off, on, off, bringing with it a new thought, a new potential direction, with each iteration.


Where to begin? With the half-assed thought that spurred me? With the first sentence I wrote? With my birth, with ancient Greece, with the first man, with the spinning solar system, with the big bang, with the impenetrable blackness that may or may not have come before? There is no point of first relevance. All things led to this moment, to me in this secondhand chair in front of this glowing technobauble. And many other things besides; I don’t want to sound like a self-absorbed ass here, whether it suits me or not. But where to begin?


Let’s cut it short. A monitor is a manacle, a gripping thing attached by an extension to a weight that grabs a man and holds him still ’til it’s had its way with him. Man is a prisoner of his own creations. But he made his wardens well; they lisp alluring love-notes from their sweet facades. They cultivate Stockholm Syndrome. And I’m no better than anyone else. I fall for it. I crave that slowly strangulating embrace. And so I propitiate the petty gods of modern life: I offer up a few cobbled words in bedraggled paragraphs and sit back once more, eased, perhaps, but no less sick and no less tired of the sickness.


Segments of my fingers flash in and out of the cutout portions of the stencil, black, pale, black, pale. My eyelids grow heavy like worn out window shades. I prop them up, I force them not to drift and wander…how long can you explicate yourself, cut into the meat of your own brain, and still dodge the big question, the main question, the only real question? It’s goddamn well written on everything, just under the surface, the chipped lead paint that you try like hell to stare at between the bare patches.


Where does this lead? What is the End? There, I said it. So much hubris just in thinking it, as any schlub with a curious mind and a few years at his back ought to know. The future? You want to know about it? Now, before we get there? I supposed you’ve got the present all figured out, right? And the past, hey, that shit’s been all laid out neat like a medical school corpse for ages, I’m sure. Please. You go ahead and wave your arms at the fog in front of you, beg it to part for your precious eyes, plead on your knees instead of striding forward like a man, or like we think men ought to walk, like we imagine our dads strode if we can’t remember any better. Don’t expect much more than truculent opacity. Me, I’ve learned to be content with this, the six inches of hard ground in front and the twisted, slippery, slipping memory of the few yards behind. God, if only they were just a bit more slippery.


At last my fingers still, the stencil composes itself. Time has rolled on as time does, implacably. The mind is worn, older. Does the shape make sense? Has anything become clearer? Maybe. Maybe from the future’s perspective, if…but no. Time for the last respite, sleep, that fickle, fascinating dame, if only she’ll stay the night.


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