Today, The Past, and Some Night to Come
He lives with ephemeral creatures beneath his feet and stanchions around his bed.
A case study in diverting his elbow’s loose skin and the stubbing of his tender footing.
In the darkness outside sycamores make wide arm imprecations and water themselves with wines of every variety.
His ambition is drained in a scruff of the neck twist—a meager remembrance of his days spent in a robe.
His teeth are chattering. Tomorrow he starts his apprenticeship as a bellows fellow at the smithy.
“Fou!” says the Past, inserting its finger in god knows what—¿El lapiz de Extremadura?
He slogs, knee deep, in hummingbird angles, all-stiff and blur-fast. Before him shine the bones of the pitiable Condors of Lima.
Is he comforted by this knowledge—that the afflatus was hard won—speaking in tongues while wearing the cloaks of invincibility? Or did he don the cloaks of imbecility?
In any case, his body is taught with a dab of holy pedantry.
She, on the other hand, hears a clacking coming from the road. She feels the steering wheel shudder to the sound of the clacking. Is there a compromised tire up front? What is making that sound? She feels the steering lock and she drifts to the shoulder.
The car’s thermometer reads 115 degrees. The empty road heat shimmers in the distance—an ocean opens in the desert.
This is not something she can afford to do—leave the safety of the car and expose herself to the environment or to potential marauders in wait.
She intuits Inuit umiaks on a Fata Morgana in the heat shimmer ocean before her—all this in invisible increments of …
And you say: “Stanchions? Cloaks? Condors of Lima? Wha?! Are you insane?”
“Welcome to America, our never-ending, great popularity contest. And to capitalism, where likability trumps everything else.
If you were my student, I’d tell you to forget about being liked.”
— Chuck Palahniuk / Consider This