You stare at it too much, that’s why it seems like it’s not moving. That’s why the hands creep and the hours pass like cold honey, thick and slow. The clock can be your friend, but it’s usually my enemy. The boring stuff takes forever. The fun stuff is over before I even realize it.
I have a few watches, but I don’t like to wear them. I wish I did, but it feels weird, carrying time around with me. It gets heavy, and my arm feels tired, not from the weight, but from the pressure of the watch watching.
If you ignore time, you’ll probably be happier in some ways, but life will be hard, too. You won’t pay your bills on time. Late to every party. You might forget to eat if you’re not that bright. I don’t know how bright you are, but most people aren’t very.
Don’t get me started on DST - I abhor the change in the time. I’m convinced that someone will crash into my car on the freeway, thinking about that hour of sleep they lost. Wondering how they’re going to spend their extra hour. Not watching the road. And I hate being tired. In general.
I would prefer to live in a world with no clocks. Wake up when I want, sleep the same way. Eat when I’m hungry. I’d have to get everyone on board though and you can’t get everyone to agree on anything.
I guess we’re stuck with clocks, whether we want to be or not. The hands keep creeping. The numbers keep climbing, and we’ll keep organizing our lives around the little circles on our walls and wrist.
Some great imagery ("cold honey") and phrases ("the pressure of the watch watching" feels literally heavy and ponderous), and I love the last paragraph.ReplyDelete
I also love the last paragraph, but that's because this is my goal, and I also know that it is basically impossible. I love this piece and agree with the perspective. I also agree with David that its got some great phrases.Delete
I find this meditation both engaging and intriguing. It’s not one of your Mader Raps ™ or one of your verbal expositions – ejaculations? Instead, it’s calmer and more thoughtful, but it’s as readable as any other piece of writing you’ve ever produced, highlighting the fact that the rate that time passes us by is usually relative and how it seems to be the master of us all. It’s delightful and whimsical – Bravo!Delete
“And their sun does never shine,ReplyDelete
And their fields are bleak and bare,
And their ways are filled with thorns:
It is eternal winter there.”
“Holy Thursday,” William Blake
All dogs know secrets like the bones they’re said to bury, and Blake knew from the change in the air that the bad thing was coming and was inescapable. It was an ozone tang fused with something other that yes made his snout quiver but also his heart. Something necrotic. Not the strain of decay you’d want to roll in, a thing much worse. Putrefaction. Blake felt his tail curl like a sneer between his legs when he first untangled the smell from all the rest on the early summer air and he knew his world and all worlds were about to change but he could not warn his two-leg people with words.
Piney, of course, sensed it too, and even when Blake lay quiet in the unlit corners of the barn he’d catch her anxious night whistles hying from the house when she dreamed. They each would comfort the other in daytime, nuzzling and licking, eyes heavy and freighted with dread.
Blake knew he owed his very name to his two-legs and their love of a long-dead wordsmith and dreamer (and my dog, did they privilege words and dreams, speaking them over for the joy itself), so he waited and shied from overt alarm, mindful of antiquity and the inscrutable ways of his adopted clan.
Came first the blight that blackened the green things. Hunger bided its moment and stole in behind, and Blake’s two-legs soon cried and made of themselves lightning trees, black and rigid and implacable, and began to slaughter Blake’s playmates in the barn, whom he loved: the small, horned, surefooted ones; their gentlefolk kin clad in cumulus coats of softness; the pink ones who were bright and avid with tender mischief.
After which they believed in nothing. The rain of dark birds. Creeks pulsing black with the stink of rot. Dry thunder amid teethlike rock.
Times the wrongness didn’t equate with anything Blake knew or loved.
“Sweet Blake,” whispered the mother. “We fear things will get worse for us all. I wish we could save you.”
I know this, thought Blake. I knew this before you.
The father was silent. But he too then whispered, “‘Some are born to endless night.’”
So it was that after the bad air came worse men.
Blake remembered his people, recalled his efforts to save them, but he was shabby and not ferocious, and his two-legs fell one after the other, the father and the mother fighting valiantly, and their boy child, Eric, and the marauders absconded with his favourite, the girl child who was kind beyond measure, sweet Eleanor who he’d played with in the hills.
Slat ribs and mourned kin united him with Piney, until even she was slain one day on the roadside by a single clade of an endless stream of two-legs ruined and set loose by this new world’s dictates.
Here he was now, nowhere to go, eviscerate of purpose, bereft of plans.
Maybe the mountain wolves, emboldened or desperate, would decide for him. He even made it into the foothills until a heart change breathed on the embers of his resolve.
He turned from the hills where the howling of wolves caught the desiccate wind and shambled toward home or where he believed home still to be and he stopped for a moment at the place on the road where Piney’s blood still marked her departure from this world and he let out a broken howl of his own, hoarse and plaintive, and hoped the wolves would leave him alone because alone he was.
I love the picture you can paint with words. This is devastating, but it's a great read.ReplyDelete
Somehow it always feel worse in fiction when an animal suffers, especially one as loving as a dog. :'(Delete
I always love reading what you write, David. You’re so erudite and write so incredibly well that I always need to read your posts at least three times before I feel I’ve got everything I can from them. You’ve such a confident voice and create your worlds so ably that I can immerse myself in them so easily. Using similes like the tail that curls like a sneer, you engage us so effortlessly, then you catch us unawares with the brutality of the piece you’ve written here. It’s stark and it’s bleak, but I couldn’t help myself - I had to read and reread it again to experience everything. Simply fabulous, as usual.Delete
I also love 'Blake felt his tail curl like a sneer between his legs' - also, 'Here he was now, nowhere to go, eviscerate of purpose, bereft of plans.' The power in this, for me, is in word choice and cold emotion and unique structure. You're so good at these dark, amorphous glimpses. I like reading writers who clearly love language and music and words, and you are one of the best.Delete
They talk about what is for dinner. They talk about the newest problem. They talk about the weather. They talk about me, like I'm not sitting right there between them. All they do is talk, yet they truly believe that we don't understand what they say, or more importantly, how they say it. As if Human is hard to understand. We communicate more effectively and the subtlety of our scents and bodies will always be more beautiful than those words they insist on using.ReplyDelete
Now he comes into the room, like he has a right. I lift my whiskers and let the ingrate know how much he is not welcome in my room. I know she believes it is hers, but I can't help it if she is wrong about this. She is wrong about most things, but I choose to keep her around. She amuses me and every time I think about leaving or defecting to the other one, she pets me in that spot that only she knows and I remember why I keep her around. Besides, she's sweet in her own bumbling, clueless way. The poor thing does try. If only she would figure out that I am right so much more often than she is. In fact, I am always right. Alas, she feeds me and plays with me, and ohhhhh, she found that spot again. Yes, she can stay for the time being.
Another animal perspective! I'm guessing a cat, but I might be wrong.Delete
I wonder who the narrator is addressing. It may be the new pet or one of the offspring of the protagonist, but nonetheless I enjoy the droll nature of the voice you’ve used here. I love the way the power within the relationship between the animal and the human shifts when the owner overcomes the status quo toward the end – the best characters always have weaknesses; that’s what makes them easier to identify with. A lovely piece of writing – well done!Delete
This is a cool mirror to DA's piece. I like the toleration and the relationship in general. Super engaging.Delete
I love this moment in some dark metamorphosis you fully capture without having to spell out what she's becoming. We feel and see and hear and even smell (dry cinnamon) the shift. It a perfect example of the power of showing over telling.ReplyDelete