Our giant marlins

I was walking home.  All along the sidewalk were black iron fences that stretched on and on and behind the iron fences were stone buildings and behind the buildings was purple sky cut into patches by black clouds above and the silhouettes of classical design below.  There was grass and once in a while where there were no buildings a family of trees huddled.  There was a breeze but it was not cold.

I once would worry about things of an existential nature and wonder, when would everything be settled?  Now all of that feels very far away, buried under many callouses or perhaps masked by a hideous suggestibility.  I think that Icarus survived the fall.  I think he lived and walked back and forth across the earth and eventually forgot what it was like to be close to the sun or want to be close to the sun.  Then in his old age he had petty disputes with his wife.  You never do the dishes, Icarus!

I thought I had something against drama.  People arguing noiselessly in nightclubs.  Raised voices.  Self pity, or worse, ingratiating the worst parts of the self all the while knowing that you’re only making a date with demons.

But really it is the way we live our dramas.  It’s the real thing, we insist.  Even better than the real thing.  Like the toreros who lean into the bulls after their horns pass to give the illusion of danger. They need history lessons to remember how to live truly.  But where are our Cretan prisons? Where are our giant marlins?  Where are our forty years of wandering among sand dunes and manna and learning again the forgotten past?

What you see at night looks different from what you see during the day.  It’s dirtier.  But how can you say you miss the day when you are looking at the same thing?  Do you only see half of what you look at?  If on the street at night I ran into Alexei Fyodorovich I would ask him, where do I catch the night bus to Westminster?  But then I would say is it really you–or some impossible qui pro quo?  Then I would say live with me, Alyosha.  Some things lend themselves to idealization. Other things are harder to make into words, the heartbeat of a hot dance floor, the drink that finally hits you, the feeling of being someplace very, very foreign to yourself.  Fall in love with a filthy expatriate.  Try some things, Alyosha.  You might surprise yourself.


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