Wednesday, June 16, 2010

23. The Slightest Memories before I Forget Them

What time is it there has been that
makes what we might be
real? Of what
time and in what place have we come
to perceive what we are that we never
would otherwise realize? There is a
sense in it
of the way a reason
might extend beyond and thus
the realm of unreasonable, a means
of determining to which extent
any number of assumptions might
evaporate upon contact with fact.
Thus, you have three children,
even if we, once back when we were
younger, would never have imagined
exactly that. The fact
that the children add up to three
is enough, but our imaginations of
three decades ago could not have
guessed your place on the continent,
your children, your life. Or even
mine, or even today,
riding a giant bus to a gun factory,
surrounded by the noises of metal,
the machines and their machines, the
robots that pulled steel bars into
gun barrels, scent of machine
oil, and the memory of
shooting guns, pistol
in my hand, and recoil, working
the .30-30’s lever, stock of a
16 gauge against my shoulder and then
the falling shell. Or later at
a restaurant haunted by ghosts,
thick rock walls that hold in
the cold, a hive of people talking
all at once, and there I suddenly realized
I had known some of them for decades,
yet we made sense together and alike, not
with words, but with stories,
just as there is no idea without
a story behind it. I understood this best
when a person not telling a story
spoke, and we could not recall
the outlines of the world
for a moment. We are human people. Our lives
make sense only in the sense
that they are stories, that we can
tell them, and I would recount a story now
except that I am tired, my room overlooks
a harness track outlined by a bright white
fence at night, and tomorrow
might be the time to wonder
why we have the lives we have
and what we will do with them
now that we know.

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