Sunday, August 31, 2008

A burn on the world.

You could see it from the freeway. Going up, up into the sky, mingling with the particles of smog like blood pooling in water. It turned the air into a sickening yellow cloud. Anyone driving by, they could see it. Helicopters soaring overhead, vivid orange colors dotted, dancing through that nasty yellow. There sat slouch-backed I, one person, staring it down, watching entropy work its way upward towards the blue, hazing up the gentle air. The air that we happen to breathe.

Well, it happens, and we -- this stink of a sweatpit of a claptrap of a squeezebox of a limpet of a city, that sticks to the side of greater whatevers with a sense of purpose that doesn’t seem to make much sense -- are still here to breathe. As it happens, as it stands -- it’s terrifying. As terrifying as a day. As terrifying as a life. Watch it: there it goes on.
All the time, this happens.
All the time, this stands.

All the time, this is what we view, and keep on living through.
After the smoke went higher and higher, just like the Sun in the Sky, I went onward to the post office. It was where I had been going, all while something burned hot underneath the heat. It was full of people.

There they were, the lot of them in a holding pattern. Holding off on living for however much time they would be spending under those buzzing lights, smelling nothing but the sweat deposits building on people’s shoulders, and the scent of cardboard in the air. It was hot. It was something, it was something, it was something…it was something to see.

It really was.

Because the post office is like an airport, or a traffic jam, or a frigid street corner, where people gather while waiting for the bus -- it’s a place where people can be seen. Their fibers start to unravel, because of the heat and the cold and the tedious sways and half-hearted half-steps. It’s where people let elements of their façade start to flake away, falling down like their skin, hitting the floor, becoming the dust.

Outside, the world was burning up.
Inside, the world was burning down.

It was a place where people could be seen.
Like the balding man with sweat-stained shirt of robin’s egg blue, holding sadness back in his eyes, only letting it escape through the distance of his thousand yard stare. He looked worried about something as his young son came up beside him, gibbering happily about the dinosaur on the poster that stood to remind people about the eventual switch to digital television signals. His father nodded his head, while never moving his stare from their spot in the vicinity of nowhere. But he…he cradled his son’s head, carefully, delicately. As if it were the only thing that he knew was real. In the face of his terrifying life, that was the only face that he could feel, like the hands of the blind, feeling out love.

He was living through the ways of the world.

I got a new job so you dont have to worry about being paid on time ever again. Im sorry about everything.

That was the notice scratched on the back of a piece of scrap paper, pressed against an assortment of other things so that I could not see the other side. The man with the new job was sending a money order, with the note to be delivered alongside. He was two people ahead of me. He borrowed my pen.

He was getting by, as best he could.
All the while, things were burning.

Things are always, always burning. Out there. Way of the world.

I suppose so. I suppose it’s terrifying, in a way. I suppose it’s comforting, in a different way. I mean it. Because if things are always burning, that makes it easier to understand when things are happening closer to home. Things are happening, out there in the world. To people of mine.

And yet, as people speak in hushed tones, I find myself surprisingly unafraid. This is what happens, as the world out there continues to burn. This is what is supposed to happen, so that the world might turn. Sun in the Sky. People who cry. Moving on, getting on by. In a terrifying world, where people can be watched scrawling fear on bits of paper, where men can stare into an abyss but still hold onto something they know is real, then that which is always happening -- naturally, expectedly -- is nothing to fear. Entropy burns the world down, while life builds it up again.

So don’t cry, dear people. Look out there, out at the haze from the fire.
Look at it, and don’t worry.

Things will grow again.

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