Sunday, June 22, 2008

On the tracks

Peter sat in a powder-yellow tee and knee-length cutoff skinny-jean shorts. It was night (moist) in Camden, and he was attended upon the occasion by a worn, bearded fellow night traveler. "Can you spare just one nickel?" Of course not. Sorry, man. Sorry man. Like they say.
    To the right, a trickle of cars, buses. Left, a crumpled McDonald's bag skimmed across the surface of a parking lot, one end over the other, until it came to rest in the right-angle region where a chain-link fence met a firmer railing of painted-black steel. Tufts of grass. A stationary green light, communicating its binary information to the trainless platform. This light and this bag are my life, he thought. A constant and an index of peripheral activity. Halted. A silly thought. This silly thought is my life, he thought. And so on.

"All aboard!" Not an announcement, but an echo of an abandoned echo. Not a phrase, but a facet of a general memory -- a vote cast in the cerebrum toward 'permanent' impression of a place upon a young and plastic mind. An inkling of a shadow of an echo of the to-be-forgotten was he, was he, was he, &c.

Dirk bucked up at the train's arrival. It occurred to him that this funk was a transitory sensation, as like the elation of an unexpected gift or the horror of a lost earring as was the third-level valence of one argon to another. Or like.
    The glass between our romantic hero and the physical world seemed seen not darkly, as once supposed, but felt distinctly like a double-paned, argon-filled abomination on the strip mall Home Depot sales floor. If only someone had warned of the dulling of the senses &151;
The word echoed like whatever. The jagged shadows between brow and lip of neighbor re-aligned themselves upon cranial rotation like whatever. As for me, I know it takes two lines to make an angle.

I stepped into the car. I planted my front foot and pulled forward my back foot, which presently became my front foot. A fool in the forest. A plane set at 45 degrees through the length of a bower. Feed-back is the word. A story made of trees.

A self-storage place was followed by a bleak little acupuncture clinic, was followed by (in the mind only) Chili's, Best Buy, Target, Target, Best Buy, Burger King, Kinko's, Chili's, Olive Garden, one wigged memory of a past complacency cascading over the next — and at last the current loss in progress.

'How many hours are there in a day?' the composer asked the precocious young one. "Wrong! As many as you put into it." ''cuz sleep is the cousin of death, remembered the past master of a subsequent decade. The meteor is the press kit. ' Jacob L. Obscurantist called. He wants his sexy back."

"Here," he thought, extracting the paper from his bag, "is a piece of text swiftly available in some database or other.:
    "That's right. First you peel the banana. Then you take the inner side of the peel and rub it all over your shoes, just like polish."

He recalled the jolt he felt upon first recognizing that 'polish' and 'Polish' would, if used in a caps-lock flame missive, require the employment of man's knack for inferential discrimination in order to be, as it were, parsed. And he recalled again, and more firmly this time, that he had recalled this minor epiphany at least a dozen times in so many months, and very probably more.

He recalled again the point at which he first learned to think of ranking memories' significance based on the frequency of their recall.
    And so on --

It was the 'warp' of time's slick motion — train at destination and not a penny wiser. Too bad, too, as —

Cool night. Smell of gardenias and memory of burning plastic upon self-consciousness of scent register in some previous context, time, place, mood. Every action yields an equally oppressive self-consciousness, rendered worse by consciousness of consciousness, and so on like Pink Floyd cover art. If he were a CPU, this would be considered memory leak. An inefficiency about to occur, then occurring, then no longer occurring.


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