Friday, June 16, 2006

Guess Who

My crotchety mentor (no Sir, – hold your whip! I mean it in the sense of having a notable crotch. Ai-eeeee!) has lately fallen into a petulant fugue. Satisfied to do nothing but languor on his divan and occasionally browbeat me, I have been forced to step in and uphold his prodigious output of musings.

Being, as Mr. Snrub routinely makes note, a moony dunderpate hurtling brainlessly toward his own dumb oblivion I have very little in the way of original thought to offer you. An idea did occur to me though, and I think I’ll try and describe the faces of my various friends to you, the reader, seeing as how a digital camera is seemingly beyond my means.

There is a man of my acquaintance who hails from the tempestuous and cold lands of northern most England. Of his mind and constitution I will say not a word, for words would not suffice to encompass him – and besides which I fully imagine that he would immediately confound and countermand any definition I tried to place on him by the simple act of his continued existence.
What there is to be said of him will have to be said of his face, frozen in my mind in a particular moment.

Imagine, if you will, two ranges of ragged mountains locked in collision. A monument to violence such as only the tortured forces of geology can produce – a mounting, tumbling ridgeline of cascading crags and crevices. Mighty sub-continents grinding basalt to dust beneath their ponderous mass with such incremental movement as to look frozen in a prolonged, indefatigable turmoil.
So stands this man’s knitted brow.

Of his mouth, a twisting, thrashing line, I am reminded of nothing so much as two ravens, dire in their black, portentous forms, scrabbling on the hot-baked surface of forlorn American asphalt.
They are two things alone in the blasted waste of an alkali flat, held together by one tether – a desiccated strand of roadkill that they are holding a desperate tug-of-war over, the putrescent meat snapping and sagging in mid-air as the birds struggle against one another.

Only one emotion contests with the gnawing hunger that compels them: fear for life, for from the distance a gleaming semi-truck is hurtling. No human sits behind that wheel, or rather no intelligence that can be fathomed by we sane here in our moderate lives. It is a fever which commands that truck, a bloated, burning bladder and a faltering mind dying beneath the smothering haze of fatigue, tedium and nurtured dullness.

The birds half-flutter, half-hop as they fight each other, mindless from their fear, mindless from their hunger., and between them the roadkill dances.

But his eyes, I barely dare myself speak of his eyes save alone for that secret hate that dwells in all our hearts that is sick for self-destruction. As Odysseus at the siren, as Agemmnon nearing his daughter, as society amid its sloth, for Thanatos I write.

Imagine God upon his golden throne, and about him the seraphim dance. Imagine in this God the embodiment of the fury and vengeance of the Old Testament, and that what arts upon the archangel’s visages is nothing so much as reverent terror. Imagine now that he rises and in his heart there springs up a black anger, that from his lips, if it were indeed words that he spoke, he issued a portent of retribution toward humanity.

From his side fly the seraphim in fright and as they flee they whisper to one another:
“Did you hear? Oh! Did you hear?! He that said if He bares not Angel to spurn his council, He will bear no longer for Man to spurn his spirit by wicked ways!”

And so solitarily will God approach the perfect circumference of the universe, its unbroken convexity lying as a perfect, shimmering egg suspended by adamant chain, beneath the auspices of Heaven. Then with one hand he will upraise pick, and with one hand he will upraise maul and in two strokes be done. Thus will God turn away and sit once more on his throne and leave the universe no more perfect, but pierced through by two far-set holes.

So it will be that in the world below we will gaze up, uncomprehendingly, at the night sky where two rounds blaze from where once there was nothing more remarkable than the stars or the moon or the sun. These horrible holes, these terrible, incomprehensible holes, that let streaming into world such light as in the universe there never was, and as shall even yet never be nameable by imperfect man.

Ben was eating yogurt.

-D.C.

1 Comments:

Blogger -e said...

i see that Nabokov has been inspiring.
love it.

Ben eats yoghurt?
slowly?

6/22/06, 11:42 AM  

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