Thursday, June 22, 2006

A fractured thought about fractured thoughts.

A sudden flash can kill your train of thought.

You’re sitting awash in solitude, trapped in your own personal glass, teaching yourself to suffocate with the words in your head. When suddenly something flashes through the glass. The real glass, the glass that separates the place you’re in from the loud and the windy and the dirty and the smell. And -- usually -- the bright. But here it comes, there it is, and BAMNATION AND HELLFIRE…your thoughts are gone. Dead. Whatever they were, whatever they could have been, they are now strewn about you, unable to be reached from behind your personal glass. They lie there, twitching, moaning. Trying to get back to their home. But they cannot. And you cannot help them. And suddenly, they’re gone, lost in the air.

They may or may not be found again.

The flash was nothing malicious, of course; just another fellow in a nondescript white van, enjoying the use of his headlight while driving merrily along in the atomic glare that is a sunny afternoon in Los Angeles. Drive-by effulgence, slapping you in the eyes and breaking the spine of the personification of your thoughts. They were there, you knew they were. But then they’re gone, just like so many other things that pass through our lives. Just like all those other thoughts that you’ve had and then discarded, thinking them useless in the space of your day, thoughts condemning thoughts, cycling over and over and over again. Gone again. No more.

But there’s something different when they’re taken from you. When something that was half there, ready to be whole suddenly gets stillborn from your head by nothing more than an instant of incandescent stupidity, you sometimes wish that you could have kept it with you. You wish that you could have seen it. And sometimes, sometimes, sometimes…you cannot help wonder what they were. What they could have been.

What they never will be.

A lost thought could have been anything. It could have been a thought about a pet that you once had, or a possibility of calling up a lady friend that you wish to speak to just one more time before you never speak again. It could have been about the sandwich that you didn’t have, or an idea for that novel that you’d always been meaning to write. It could have been a reminder to feed your cat from the bag on the right, as the food on the left gives her bad gas. It could have been a better route to take to school, or a thought about the concentration of iron in pigeon-brains that allows them to use their heads as a natural compass. It could have been a memory of a smell that you’d thought was lost to time. It could have been something that would make you happy. It could have been something that would make you sad. It could have been a concept for a funsensical flying contraption, one that you would have put hundreds of hours of work into, that would eventually kill you on phase 16 of the testing process.

It could have been the right thing to say.

It could have been anything.
But it probably was nothing at all.

Just like those moments when you see her, that person crossing the street, books in her arms, ponytail bouncing gently against the small of her back. The person that you see and declare love for, eyes glazing over slightly, mouth drying so fast that you could find nothing to say if she had even been within earshot. Those moments when Studious Jane walks by, and you wish you had done something, not because of what was, but because of what could have been.

What could have been was probably nothing. What it was, was nothing. But it could have, it could have been anything.

It becomes just another beautiful lie to get you through the day.
Because that’s all it is, really. Just another example of the probability of possibility. Things that we know, for the most part, will never happen. Thoughts that, for the most part, we weren’t clever enough to have. These things that we know, and for the most part, we accept. Except for that little bit of us that doesn’t. The bit that we hold in our hands, watching it glow just a little, the thought about the thoughts telling us it could have been. It could be.

The part of us that lets us dream.

And dreams are right. They’re often wrong, but even when they’re foolish, even when they’re stupid, there is still too much right in them to ever let them go. If they don’t rule us with their wrong, they can be nothing but right. If we hold them tight and love them, and still accept the world.
They’re all the same, you see. All the dreams, all the words, all the ramblings, all the thoughts that we squeeze out of our heads on a daily basis, they all have something to them. Something stupid, something real, something true. And sometimes, sometimes, sometimes…something brilliant. We all have a moment, every once in awhile.

And so that thought, that concept we lost; even though probability speaks against it, that thought still could have been anything. That lost moment becomes something between truth and illusion, a world of possibility that never was and probably never will be, something that might have been your bright and shining moment. Some kind of insight that stays locked within a box, unable to be touched.

Schrödinger’s thought.
Treading the edges of fantasy and reality, the chance that we were brilliant is there, waiting for the chance to be found again. Or perhaps, the idea lost in a flash of diverting light was just you musing on how delicious it would be to have a restaurant that specialized in selling a good ol’ fashioned “Kentucky Fried Sandwich”.

Who knows for sure?



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