Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A question of positioning.

It makes you wonder.

Yes -- yes, I do believe it does.

The places you’re in; the places you thought you’d be. The people that you -- yes, all of you, every last one of you fine chaps, chapettes, and astonishingly sentient chapattis who squirm in their seats as this white on black tries to look you right in the eye -- wish that you could have been. Right here, right now, this very moment, this very millisecond -- I’m locked in a labyrinth of pale grays and flat walls, waiting on moving pictures of someone who I’d never thought much about before, and soon, will never think much of again.

I chose this place.
I really, truly did.

And it makes me wonder: What does this say about me?

Hard to say, that.
Hard to say, hard to do, hard to get used to, day after night after day after night, each one tumbling into the other, long string-outs of similarities that never quite end. I chose this, the sequence of my days. I knew what was coming, I knew where it lead. Long days, long nights. No nights, no days -- just a solid block of time, where everything is either Doldrums quiet or Cape Horn frenetic; never any in-between. Way of this world. Right?

So. Again. What does this say?
What kind of person, what kind of twenty-youngster looks at the world, looks at the choices, looks at the roads, looks at everything he can and might comprehend doing; what kind of being chooses a world where the work ends when the sunlight begins?

I don’t know if I have an answer.

But still…

Tonight, before I set about writing this bit of business, as the sounds of frogs in want of a pond hit my ear from wherever-the-fuck, I was moving through the cool air of an empty parking lot. Footsteps loud and dull. Ears twitching along, ever so slightly. It was a good place to be.

I took a moment in the midst of a stride to suddenly arch back my head and hurl my arm straight up, up, up, the bojangling mass of my assorted keys soaring into the fresh night air, the air with a trace of the sea. Head staring at the sky. Angry, empty blackness. Except for one thing -- glinting metal, spinning with a lazy twirl, throwing the light of the grounded world into the sky. A mass of sparkles, moving through the void.

I looked at that, that sudden singularity, and I was happy.

Happy enough to sit down here, and try to yodel stupidly back into the void.
Thinking about my place of employment, my place of rest. The place where my time drifts by. It’s a quiet place, this very moment.

I like that. It’s quiet enough to try and think, to try and power through this mass of disconnected thought-strings that have been plaguing my words as of late, so that I might sit down in this chair (or another chair like it) and write something that might be a taste of something grand. A mass of sparkles, moving through the void.

As of late, I’ve ended up with bits like this:

"Her hair was still wet from the rain.
Still wet, but not from lack of drying. The warmth of her body and the room caused the moisture to evaporate, slowly, but it was definitely there. My eyes moved over the thin haze that shrouded her head, and I couldn’t help it: It looked like her, a part of her; a part of her was trying to leave. As if any and all of her doubts -- about me, about anything -- were manifest above her head, pulling her away into the fog, a solemn Viking funeral for human emotion. I could feel the concept of that, of Jill leaving. It was almost as if it was in my skin, trying to scrape its way out from inside of me like living sandpaper. The sound of that dragged across my eardrums, a terrible, jarring sensation. I didn’t know how I could do it. How I could slake her thirst. How I could make her doubts towards me go away. There was nothing. Nothing at all; so I tried for the only something I could manage. I leaned closer to her ear and whispered, 'Tell me how to be in love.' She didn’t answer."

Parts of a whole, as always.
Parts of me, as always. Parts of you, of us, of everything…these are the things that one hopes for. These are the places that a head goes while sitting in the center of servers that never stop turning their fans, of tapes that never stop being wound, wound, wound and rewound. I chose this. This place, this position. I fought for it, body bloody and bruised, footsteps scraping across the carpet with a trail of claret left behind.

It’s mine.
I own this, this place.
I own my toil.

And because of that, I find myself a happy man.

The hours are long, the sleep is missing. The coffee is strong, the fingers are moving.
Oh, what a glorious night.
What does this say about me?

I still don’t know. I don’t know what it means to be a fellow who loves knowledge, but chose to leave its house behind in favor of something like this. I don’t know what it means to try and do as much work as you can, not because you’re much of a perfectionist, but because you hate it when people have to work harder because of something you didn’t do. And for the life of me, I don’t know what it means when a friend -- an old, old friend -- speaks to you with a certain something in his voice. When he tells you that you’re somewhere beyond your compatriots of old, you’ve gone along and done something.

In a moment like that, I don’t know what to say.

But I do know something. It's not much, it rarely is. But it is something.

What sort of a man chooses a life of short days and sleepless nights, long hours and moments where stress tears his brain to shreds and leaves him gasping like a fish on a bank; what sort of a man chooses this tedious world of quiet moments where nothing is going on other than fingers quickly typing and old episodes of This American Life playing, a world where quiet moments like that can fall apart like a earthquake shook their foundations loose? A world where the work drags out, hour after hour, and the problems pop up like whack-a-moles?

What sort of a fellow, what sort of a fool?

A happy one.
A tired, irritated, happy sort of man.

Sparkling through the void.

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