Monday, July 07, 2014

A Well-Respected Leader

He was a well-respected leader in his field with memorable accomplishments and due notice. But he had done something; the news said so. There were certain allegations, not yet proven, by any means, but alleged by well-respected news conglomerates. The acts suspected were less than felonies but more than misdemeanors, and beyond comprehension as involving economics or cricket. (This niche was never adequately defined for the general nosy onlooker, like any traffic accident.)

In West Side coffee shops, the consensus was that a plethora of charges was buckshot, hoping with sufficent specifications to bring the bird to ground. In East End pubs, it was by approximately the same plurality determined the number of counts was telling, as he must have committed some of the offenses at least, just as you would expect a certain percentage of any crowd to be gay, or Baptists, or not wearing underclothes. 

As no offenses had as yet been brought before a DA or Grand Jury, the Esteemed Leader saw no purpose in responding to idle gossip. But his wife did. 

She was a recent immigrant who has married into all the esteem - at least, that which was native to us. No honor won beyond our shores mattered, of course, although the lady had scored myriads of awards and been feted in her native land, which was reputed to be New Zealand or Zanzibar or Zaire, one of the Zs. Her plea for fairness and a decent respect for the full measure by which truth was made manifest certainly sounded alien as well. 

It was unanimously reported by the news business that her editorial, widely carried and much commented on, was most profound and extremely eloquent, referring as it did to Seneca and Aeschylus and the 1,001 Nights. But in the pubs, it was seen that much skulduggery must be hiding behind such a vast curtain of prose, and, like in the cop shows, if a suspect is rumored to be in a house, then you approach said dwelling as if he definitely is. 

For us, the law is a game played by elite specialists, like golf, and only concerns us if we are hit by a ball. The premise, often repeated, of innocence until proven guilty, is ludicrous, like Schrödinger's Cat*. Guilt or death dates precisely from the event, and not when it is revealed by honorable observers. 

When so much logical error  goes into establishing the past, it's no wonder we're so often gobsmacked by the future, like crazed drivers obsessed with our rearview mirrors. 

*Schrödinger's cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, in which a cat in a box who might have died both did and didn't. A lot of funding goes into physics. 

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Monday, June 09, 2014

Schopenhauer Dream

The book was actually only an exegeses  of a footnote from a previous volume in which Schopenhauer had written: "The only valid aphorism must regard events that never happen." 

I am watching a football game on TV, idly in breaks from reading, but there is some drama in that a hotshot team (unnamed) is expected to do well with all their stars and the legend inscribed on a sideline banner: "The road to the Super Bowl starts now!" But there is a slight impediment to the plot - Cleveland is grinding out yards in unspectacular fashion while the stars mostly wait on their sideline. There is a score on the ground, but the stars can win that one back in a flash. Only - Cleveland has the ball again and is methodically moving again and there goes their fullback the last few  yards into the end zone. 

I begin to see the slogan for this game may never work out on the field. 

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Friday, April 04, 2014

Can I Leave Here?

A herd of us along undistinguished terrain which I could describe better were I able to see better and recall more clearly. We are all under no constraint we can understand, yet we are angst-riddled under our feathery aplomb like turkeys who intuit Thanksgiving. 

Hazel is my guide, and she is free neither. We understand there is a code of conduct we cannot comprehend and that expulsion will result from its violation. 

"Can I leave here?" I ask Hazel, very quietly. "I mean, can I get away?"

Her response is silent; seems to be a nod. She would like to leave, too, as would we all, to where we do not know and to escape what we do not understand. We mill, one walks, then another, free associates with others. Knots form and break and reform; listening, watching. 

One sits at a desk in this open country, two potted plants marking a door to an office which is open to all sides. "Yes, Ronald, he has developed quite a taste for candy. Loves his Mars Bars and See's." Sneering, almost. 

We understand, those who have heard, that Ronald is gone. We will tell the others as we casually meet up, and they will do the same subsequently. It will be generally known in an hour about Ronald. We will mark candy. 

Where is Hazel? I look all about. Hazel is gone. Might she have escaped? Or has she been transported, possibly because of that very subtle nod of encouragement?

 Then they'll be coming after me next. I look all about, watch everything that moves. We speak quietly, the lines in our brows to indicate insouciant acceptance, the mask we wear. Breaking apart and mingling and then standing and then moving on. It is not a very interesting way to spend time but then we aren't really doing that because time itself has been transported. 
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Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Why Did I Ever Return?

A series of barren buildings along a desolate landscape, in no particular order, unmarked, to no discernible purpose. I have been here before, I am thinking, maybe more than once, so why did I ever return?

We wandered into the structures without number and along pathways outside. We stopped and gathered, but we were as riders on an elevator, each to her own purpose or following his own design. Like cattle, no one spoke. 

The girls might be in colorful smalltown Sunday dresses. The guys moved close to the pretty ones, but were easy to discourage. One lady crowded close to me in order to deflect a suitor. No one was aggressive, all was lackadaisical but there was a humming just below human hearing of unease. 

There was no particular style to the furniture; each chair and bed was like someone had placed it temporarily out of a personal stock. You could sleep in any open bed. You could find that out by occupying one and waiting for objections. I settled in one, but soon had to find a latrine. 

No one asked what it was all about. Maybe everyone believed everyone else knew more than they and wanted to hide that fact. That's why I didn't ask any questions. I just roamed and stopped and then set off again. 

The latrines were not many and were unflagged. I found what may've been urinals but always either privacy was unavailable or it wasn't a latrine after all. (I was of course following my own somnolent urges and my dreams scripted themselves so I wouldn't wet the bed.)

There were other beds available, though, and I found them. When I was called away I would find another wherever I happened to be. I was not sleepy, nor hungry. I just waited for a chance to leave. The ground was drab and dusty and stretched over broken uninteresting country.  The walls were some sort of faded ochre stucco and the floors were chipped tile. Why were all these buildings placed here? There is no reason anyone would want to be here. 

I expected to be released through some unsuspected mechanism I could not imagine and so, I'm convinced, did we all. 

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

She Does Not Even Know My Name!

(The following story is a dream, and any resemblance to actual beings, living or not, is to be expected, as the principal characters would certainly recognize themselves were they to read it, which I sincerely hope they don't.)

Terry was a well-respected man about town but I wasn't. Anyway, we both were apparently engaged in an event once upon a time featuring a certain beauty queen. 

We called her that and she seemed to like it , not recognizing irony. She actually entered contests and placed highly, too, and Terry and I reportedly did something with or more likely to her and people talked and the event morphed. That's how it is. 

I did not know what we had done, but I was very sorrowful and penitent in keeping with slow burning general outrage. 

Terry was not around so I was on my own along a typical street in the 'burbs. I lived there. Here I am now, carrying roof tiles to guys up the street so they'll like me better. It would work for a while but always like gravity and without actually seeing her the Beauty Queen came back. 

So one sunny morning the Beauty Queen actually walked into a room in the shimmery radiant flesh and there were some neighbors and me, sitting in a room. Well, then. I tried to shift the topic over to that event from the past without mentioning it, which was a very dodgy path to exculpation. 

I alluded and hinted and drew a blank. She not only had no memory of any occasion similar to the one towards which I nudged her, but she did not remember me. 

Repeating my name which had been fed to her by another member of our gathering, she had no recognition. And it was true because she made no eye contact with me while puzzling over the name. I had no contact to her mind with the words she mused over. Woesong?

I had not even existed in her history. So why had I carried the roof tiles up the street?

In the back yard now, the one to which I had handed those tiles was heading off across the sunny yard with a buddy, and said to him, you know, Woesong and Terry, that time with the Beauty Queen -

It isn't true! I yelled. She was just here! She does not even know my name! It didn't happen! Ask anyone who was there!

Did they do any jail time? asked the companion of Roof Tile Guy. 

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