Monday, March 19, 2012

No Time

It is a damn odd thing, hitting the wall of realization that in life, there is nothing as cruel as time.

How strange an angel is time, that fuels our tiny limbs as we learn to walk. She lifts our bodies, and then our minds, as we play in the shadow of her wings.

And then one day, when we are sufficiently built, we are introduced to the heart beat. The first of our many time pieces, though perhaps the most honest.

My tiny fingers, perhaps still slight enough that sunlight could still light up my hands like a neon sunrise, would be placed flat on my mother's chest. A confused calm, as I don't understand, and then suddenly, under the tiny leaf of my palm, I feel something. . . something speaks.

It tells tales in movements; the quick assurance that it is indeed there, the booming promise that it will continue, and the dreadful silence as you wait for it to return.

To be fair, that silence isn't known to the little ones. But as patience or perhaps foreshadowing enters one's repertoire, it seems to lengthen, and somehow insinuates itself as far louder and longer than any other passage in the tale.

Some years later, we are taught the master's language, of time. Analogue or digital. . . seconds, hours, days, months, years, decades. . . and then? There is surely more, but to children, they do not go much beyond decades, as truly, will you need to know any more?

At some point, and I really cannot tell where . . . life falls completely into step with the beaten heart, with their clocks, the beating of wings. To the stars and the hills, you seem to sway a bit between your bed and your desk.

Then suddenly, you notice that you've started to collect invitations. They are to celebrations, to meetings that remind you that "you know me, and I know you," but they are quickly overcome by a few poignant wakes. The numbness makes counting fairly unreliable.

One evening . . . and it is always early and you are always wretched by rule. You will labor to breathe, to feed your traitorous heart. The air comes like a swell of the ocean, but you are a cracked mug. Teasingly it swirls about your lips, and then recedes . . . the wheezing of your lungs mimics the piping song of gulls.

You will start bargain - perhaps your devil has a name, perhaps he does not. Sadly, you will never be sure if he bothers to listen at all.

Maybe you are the noble sort. "Please, spare my wife's laughter, my friend's spirit, and anything that brought me a smile. . ."

Most likely you are simply yourself, "... save my body, my hair, my voice... "

". . spare them from being bloated with corruption, bled into the shadows, and buried . . . for all time."

A great many plead with their heart to bursting . . . their first and most honest time-piece.

And though, you are in a bed, in a city, guarded sleepily by millions. . . at that moment, you are in the desert, frozen in the moonlight, between stars and hills, and terribly alone.

- 2007

I think I was reading up on deals with the devil, working with sales people, and at the same time, equal parts intrigued and dissociated by talk of wrist watch collection -- are these not already analogous to the rotary phone?

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