Wednesday, September 21, 2005

quintet (encore)

tomb ethics

The quietude of night falls. Like the curtain which descended just two hours ago - that red crushed velvet barrier between fiction and reality - the quietude of night falls just as easily now. With the sound of the last clap still fresh in your ears, you sit seemingly alone in the front row. There's a bottle of Macallan single malt on the seat beside you. A pile of ash on the floor. The fictional ghosts of a thousand dead characters looking over your shoulder. Tomorrow's newspaper lies open in your lap.


You'll realise how much you depend on him when he's gone. That feeling you get when you're walking on thin ice - there's a sensation of cracking and crunching, you can feel the depth of the water in your every step. That's how his absence will be - you'll long to be on solid ground. But it's so easy to take him for granted when he's there every day. Always within reach, you can depend on him to save you from yourself. Ice melts quickly in the spring. And how deep are the waters beneath you? You yearn to dive in, to go for a swim, but you know that you might never emerge from the water's murky, infinite depths. Nostalgia. How many lives are lost to that lake each year? Too many to count, you think, too many to count.

man of tomorrow

He's like Wells' Time Traveller talking about the four dimensions of space. You - you're one of a group of disbelievers not able to, no, not willing to wrap your mind around the fourth dimension, Time, and see it as an equal to Length, Breadth, and Thickness. You accuse him of speaking in abstractions, of relying on verbal trickery, but really he's only saying things you don't want to hear. And you can't see the truth for what it is - a lie. "I'll come back for you," he said. Sure, you thought, that's what they all say.

horribile dictu

Those impossible hours. Lost between night and day. The constant struggle: why choose A when B could be so much fun? The moment when there are more people waking than going to sleep, when is that? Obscured shapes flit through the darkened park. 4:30 comes and goes. Somewhere, there's a missed opportunity for adventure, you know it. "Come with me," he said. Another you would have jumped at the chance to shake things up, but it comes too easily now: always choosing A instead of B. "Go on," you say, and you yell at the stars, "live that life of mediocrity!" Your city is haunted - but at least you'll never be alone.


Yourself at present: adrift on an ocean of past experiences, catching fleeting glimpses of your future in the sky. Mirage. You once read in an article, that each year between June 21st and July 10th, a phantom image appears over a glacier in Alaska featuring a handful of buildings from Bristol, England - more than 7000 kilometres away. Strange things happen, you think. Flashing neon crosses. Black velvet Elvis portraits. Bobbing hula girl dash ornaments. There's a stretch of highway in the south of the province that is more familiar to you than your own reflection. You'll speed, top down, with the fresh spring sun cool on your face - so rote, you won't remember the drive. Flight, a basic instinct. The comforts of home always call when trouble surfaces. Tomorrow will come, you think, tomorrow always comes.

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