thanks for the memories…


(diagram courtesy of the carl sagan institute)

… of white dwarves and fiery red giants

I read that men who have trouble falling asleep have a twenty five percent chance of dying earlier.  I vow to never sleep again… 

Then the memory drops in again:

Violence flares out of the peripheries, where it resides at all times, in the small apartment.  Rage roils in the bathroom nearby.  There is the familiar screaming followed by a dull thud, and then the sound of what I take to be my mother ricocheting off the bathroom wall and falling into the tub.  Finally, an otherworldly caterwaul.

I will be the color pink soon enough…

The bedroom walls inhale, gibbous and red; and with every exhalation they groan a white dwarf drab.  I’ve learned the Sun is a forgery — a shrill simulacrum.

I’m in the midst of eating 40 chocolate bars — the contents of two boxes of chocolate bar bricks from the fourth grade school chocolate sale — in an altered state of consciousness.  I’m unable to sate the lower brain impulse that compels me.  I’m not hungry, far from it, I just need to keep eating to feel better somehow.  And the book that has changed my life is propped up in front of my small black and white TV, in stark relief, imbued with a cathode green nimbus.  Yesterday, I dispensed with the notion God.  I was shocked into a sense of mortality and existential void that hadn’t existed before.

I step out of my room to see the aftermath:  I see my father hiding a revolver under their bedroom mattress.  I call for my mother, but she locks the bathroom door.

I feel irradiated as if the air is scrubbing the skin off of my body.  The fibers of shag carpet reach out and lock my feet in place as the hydrogen burns around our contracting family core.

I’ve learned from the Time-Life Book of the Universe that 5 billion years from now the sun will swell in to a fiery giant and engulf most of the solar system.  The earth will be third in line for immolation.  Everything will cease to exist.  It’ll be the end of my parents, my grandmother and uncle, and everything else I care about: baseball, the Miami Dolphins, and Arlene and the Farrah Fawcett poster she gave me for Christmas exchange.

What kind of God is that?  There can’t be a God that perverse, to create us and then inexplicably destroy everything we know.  That’s insane…

… god is nothing…

The beatings, often uncontrolled and brutal, have grown in frequency, lately, as my parents’ marriage burns to its inexorable and violent end.  The welts on my arms pulse in purple and black from the belt buckle end of my father’s belt.  

The scope of it all confounds me.  It seems as the sun is exploding now in our hallway, and I am consumed.  I’m reduced to a primordial gas and float into my shriveling room.

I’m at the foot of the bed, reaching beyond the shoebox where Hank Aaron stands forever frozen, smiling, in his batting stance and somewhere near are the Oakland A’s sitting on a bleacher above the 1972 World Series Champions banner    and three-quarters of the league lays buried in flattened stacks under the remaining 10 chocolate bar bricks that weigh the equivalent of a one ton meteorite on the 30 empty chocolate bar wrappers.  I eat 3 more chocolate bar bricks to the point  of sickened exhaustion.  My mother’s sobbing, down the hall, punctuates every bite I take.

I spend half an hour or so daily staring at the same two pages in The Book. I’m obsessed with the four monochromatic diagrams at the bottom of pages 103 and 104.

The first diagram depicts the earth’s position in the solar system.  The second illustrates the increased activity and swelling of the sun — solar flares extending outward millions of miles.  The third diagram reveals the earth and most of the planets consumed by the expanding sun as it flares into a red giant.

The fourth reveals a dead solar system, only a dense white dwarf remains…


About istsfor manity

i'm a truncated word-person looking for an assemblage of extracted teeth in a tent full of mosquitoes (and currently writing a novel without writing a novel word) and pulling nothing but the difficult out of the top hat while the bunny munches grass in the hallway. you might say: i’m thee asynchronous voice over in search of a film....
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