Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the waltz

You laugh to yourself as this lonesome sound subsides. It is like that old joke, the song plays backwards, and you get your dog and you get your truck and you get your wife. Moving away from the pain, from the hapless dusk and brutal night. Away from the spattered pavement and the flooded gutters, away from the screen and the page. The unseen owl drifts further away, the startled dawn sifting through the rain and the gray. The shotgun thoughts fade, following the trail of memory. Bittersweet remnants of better days, that intermittent re-enforcement that makes so many burdens bearable. Maybe tomorrow will be more like yesterday than today. Favors need not flee us forever, you think.

Somedays you forgive yourself your worst, somedays you know you will never know how bad you can be, most days you struggle and strive, blind to the history and the memoir ink. Motive is such a precious precipice, the bare edge, the trusting sentiment that leaves no villains writing diaries. You wish ill on a stranger, you pay penance towards some disaster, you talk casually to the drunk begging for change. You do the work the day requires. Everyone left doesn't mean no one will stay. Everything finished doesn't mean your job is done.

It may end bloody, it might play out quiet. There might be speeches and fanfare, a flourish of friends and flags. There might be a series of diminishing beasts getting their bellyful. A future for some archaeologist, piecing together a puzzle of tea brown bones. Questions left unanswered, letters laying furtive in the remaining mail. You might have mattered, you may have been a monster, you might be the founding kernel of yet another dumb faith. No-one knows who will tell you. The truth abounds though the facts are hard to find. You laugh though, because every piece is a kind of freedom. You laugh because it is all funny from far enough away. Whatever the debates that rage, whatever the jokes that float in and out of sight, that last laugh the one argument settled. The mystery always easier when you start with the end.

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