Friday, May 20, 2011

le fin du monde

Say what you will about this tortuous road we call the twenty-tens, there's an awful lot of life out there to love.

Examples:

Jack sits across from me in a bright red shirt that reads: Give Blood (You Selfish Bastard). The world may end tomorrow, but he and I—at least—will not be among the looters.

The crazy lady in the Bushwick coffee shop (who has been serenading us with hoarsely rendered jazz standards through her toothless lipstick maw) just broke into a chorus of yodels. Full-voiced, flesh tingling yodels.

The last time I came to this cafe, the sidewalks and trees were winter bare. Today, a shock of green bedecks the streets. A pair of heels (yes, heels—and cherry red at that) are strung over a power line outside an artists' shop.

Crazy lady again. She's asked the very patient counter girl if she's aware the world might end. At six o'clock tomorrow. You're a very nice person, she says, before taking her sideshow out into the twilit world.

That's my new favorite word, by the way: twilit. If the world ends tomorrow, I will have found that much marrow at least to suck from out between the piles and piles of bones.

It occurs to me how much we human creatures learn—on our feet, our backs, by the seats of our pants—and how quickly we adapt. Here I am, nine weeks convalescent, damn near weaned off yoga. I dance in fits and painful spurts. The world has stopped its making sense.

How soon we learn to part our hair a different way, to take honey over sugar in our tea, to fit our lives around the current void. I'm eight months living from a suitcase: four pairs of pants, one pair of sheets. One makes one's way. I've spent whole days in the last two months on doctors' tables, in waiting chairs, rubbing my fraying boots across the same industrial carpet pill. We bring ourselves to suffer any ill, provided we survive.

Denied the fruits of our labor, we plant the seeds of contingency. And when those are dashed away by rain, we spend more time crying than it takes to grow another set.

I'm just saying: if the world ends tomorrow, we'll all just have to figure it out. What do we need with a new world when this one has never ceased to change?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Reverence the highest, have patience with the lowest. Let this day's performance of the meanest [most menial] duty be thy religion. Are the stars too distant? Pick up the pebble that lies at thy feet, and from it learn the all.

(Margaret Fuller, 1810 - 1850-)

pro said...

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Phoenix said...

"What do we need with a new world when this one has never ceased to change?" <--- sound a profound insight (as was the one you left on my blog post, thank you so much for leaving it, it was beautiful) and I'm glad and grateful that the world didn't end, so that we have even more chances to change it for the better.