He should have known that the day was doomed from the moment he woke to see his alarm clock in pieces on the floor by his bed, the cat grinning at him from the place where the clock had always sat.
Finally arriving at the office, he was no sooner at his desk when the fire alarm bell rang. Within moments of reentering after the all clear, it rang again, and his own, very private Chinese fire drill was under way.
The day calmed until, after lunch, the Regional Manager arrived, gathered everyone at the great round conference table, and demanded to know who had made a simple error, and watched as the inevitable circular firing squad began.
He can spend hours on the wooden bench in the small square in the center of the village. There he is but a statue, staring up at the giant clock face that looms over the square from the turret of the Village Hall. He likes to watch the long hand, arrowlike, make its slow, but inevitable movement, circling the blank outward gaze of the numerals. He does not care much for time, has too much of it some say, too little left, he knows. But here, as he stares fixedly, it stops. There is no motion in that instant, there is only the instant of time. It is no longer real, it is a thought lost or forgotten, and there is only the single moment in which he sits on the wooden bench in the center of the village.
There is an art to creating a mix tape, more so to day, when tape is usually only found in museums and antique stores.
Then you chose carefully aware of the sonics, aware of the limits on time, weaving a musical tapestry.
You can do a mix CD but everyone knows that with tape you listened all the way through, for fast forward was only for getting to the end of the cassette to play the B-side, and CD’s have no B sides to play.
In the beginning there was a void, stasis, dimensionless. I am a point, without size taking form only in motion, so too the seat on which I sit on United flight 951 not going from point A to point B for neither can exist in motion transcending time.
Each decision sets one me on a path, into a dimension, dimensions while I tread a different path and I a third, yet I have seen the step ahead before having been on its path as all random walks must cross endlessly. The universe grows crowded with exponential me’s creating paths, and so must expand, until we cross and in some minuscule amount contract the cosmos.
Often I seek pain to slow the pace, or pleasure to quicken it, always immutable. I have learned all of this in my endless search for my paradoxical twin who prefers the accelerated pace, moving as quickly as possible, who looks younger at each intersection. Good night Albert.
First Appeared in Afterthoughts (Canada), Vol. 2, No. 4, Autumn 1995.
One downside of growing up Jewish is that you never meet an angel or a church mouse
I have met angels, although they were in the guise of Bodhisattvas, and there are a surprising number if you look carefully enough.
As to church mice, I do have to wonder why they are symbolic, for they have vast homes, direct access to God, or the Bishop or synod, and if they aren’t tapping into the collection plate, they aren’t real mice, and as for starving, do they keep the communion supplies in a safe, for if not, the mice are certainly never go hungry.
We spent one morning of our visit to Key West wandering around Hemingway’s home.
The six-toed cats seemed to realize that we were cat people, came over to us, took us aside for a petting and conversation.
He was a tough old goat, they said, or so our ancestors told itm and we cannot begin to understand why you, cat people, so obviously intelligent would pay to see the old typewriter he hated, because the S and D keys always stuck
We scratched them behind the ears, sat by the empty pool, and waited for a literary inspiration we knew was never included in the ticket.