Monday, October 28, 2013

Reluctance


    Feel the discomfort flood your conscientiousness once again. Open your blurry and boozy eyes and stretch your dehydrated muscles, emitting various cracks and pops, perhaps only audible to you.
    Who do you see?
    Who is there to share this aftermath of a late breakfast and  an afternoon stroll through a city or a park or in  the wilderness. Walking, eating, dancing, reading, watching a show, playing a game, laying in bed all day talking and touching each other in playful ways.
    Drink water with them, laugh with them, be with them.
    Savor the moment and do not worry. Do not worry about who you are, or what your are doing, or what will happen tomorrow or the next day or the day after that or a month from now or a year from now. Do not worry about the world outside of your room, outside of your home, outside of your yard, outside of your neighborhood, outside of your city, outside of your region, outside of your state, outside of your province, outside of your country, outside of your continent, outside of your hemisphere, outside of your planet, Earth, that glowing blue marble in the vastness of space, outside of your solar system, outside or your galaxy, the Milky Way swirling in circles and spirals made up of endless other circles and spirals within the faint tip of the wave of light we all occupy.
    Look at them. Look into their eyes. Do you they feel as you do? Do you want them to feel as you do? Does it even matter? Hold them as they hold you for as long as you can and please, I say, please do not forget it. They are beautiful like you and I and everyone in just the right moment.

    The orgasm was sustained and intense and it left me feeling drained of everything in my body and mind. I forgot, for a moment, that this sexual encounter was for something other than recreation. My body went limp on top of her, my neck nestled in the nape of her neck. I felt her cheek muscles, pressed against the side of my head, curl up into a smile. She ran her fingers through my hair. We're trying to bring a child into this world?
    I suspect she my not be paying as much attention as me, but I could be wrong.

    The next night, when she was at work, I went for a walk on the grounds where the Pythian Senior Home once stood near Jefferson High School; where new and no doubt paranoid policies are being instilled and enforced every time the news covers another school shooting in a fleeting and sensational way; instilling only fear into the public conscientiousness without provided context to the situation. There was a football game being played and it sounded well attended. Fear be damned, a football game will bring the crowds in. Do schools on Lafayette still have marching bands?
     About half way through walking the grounds I decided to turn back. I wanted to see if there was a marching band at Jefferson High School, but I felt strangely watched by unseen and suspicious eyes. I am an adult male and I was wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt and dark green pants, walking alone at night next to a high school. I am a part of the public conscientiousness and paranoia.
     I walked through streets with Spanish names such as El Prado and El Granda. The name El Granda confused me when we first moved into the neighborhood. El is masculine and Granda is feminine. In Spanish the street should be titled La Granda. The streets are slanted forty-five degrees to the normal city planing of a rigid ninety degree perpendicular grid. The streets were jarring and disorienting. For a while I walked slowly through the streets, looking for recognizable objects. Street signs. Houses. Road intersections. Trees with knots and hard bark. Green and brown-green asymmetrical polygons of yards surrounded by clean or crumbled concrete. The weaving branches of small and leafy green  bushes. A fire hydrant  stained with dog piss or dog shit. I am usually walking a dog when I am navigating these streets. It's the best way for me to become familiar with new streets and neighborhoods.
     I finally found my way home. My new home, still unfamiliar in the dark. A home built in 1930 and in need of repair, according to her, with modern innovation. Her bathroom is constantly a sight of dynamic repair and disrepair, very progressive stuff.

   "Children find a way. They side step times, as it were, and the ravages of progress. I think they operate in another time scheme altogether. Imagine standing in a wooded area and throwing stones at the top of a Horse chestnut tree to dislodge the sturdiest nut. Said to be in the highest elevations. Throwing stones all day if necessary and taking them home and soaking it in salt water."
     "We used vinegar."
-From Underworld by Don Delillo

    She and I spent the evening with friends, drinking wine. We had not seen these friends in a very long time. She flirted with a former lover.
    After an argument I found myself in, I slept on the couch, surprisingly apathetic to the entire situation. I didn't care that she had flirted with him and apparently she believed I should have. I didn't know how to win an argument based entirely on hypothesis, so I gave up and slept on the couch.   

    On the weekend I went hiking with friends, an old friend and a recent friend. We went to Shades State Park. I took pictures when I felt the urge to take pictures of what I was seeing. This is something I try to refrain from doing most of the time because much of the time I feel over-flooded with mostly banal imagery. The practice of constantly taking pictures of what you are seeing with your phone seems like a new trait of our digital age that many take on without actually thinking about what they are doing. This seems especially true when someone uploads them to a internet in someway. I perceive it in a mostly negative light, but I partake when I feel I am seeing something I do not see in reality very often. All too rare views.
     I draped my feet over the Devil's Backbone. We explored the honey comb of a natural sculpture of sandstone. Aaron leaped from a sturdy swing set and I caught him in mid air with a picture. We ate at a Chinese Buffet afterwards. It was a great day.
    I became the Gatekeeper of Rock Kingdom on trail two. I explained the fabricated economic status of Rock Kingdom to Charles and Aaron. Charles walked with me on the wooden plank steps erected above the boulders and rocks. Aaron leaped and climbed up the loose stone face held together by the natural flow of water and wood and green moss at a warrior's dash next to the wooden steps. It was a commercially grim economic status. I explained that Rock Kingdom now has their first Shoneys breakfast buffet and they are building their first Subway. Our inspiration for embracing the corporate world was the educational source of the Fraggle Rock videos found in the garbage dump next to Rock Kingdom. Many Nurseries in Rock Kingdom have begun to make their own puppet sets and plays of Fraggle Rock with various local artisans. I said that was kid's stuff, though.
     We reached the divide in the trickling the creek. A fork in a hypothetical road. A sign read "Do Not Hike Beyond this Point" It was once carved in dark wood and the painted yellow ochre in the beveled edges. Now it is plastic.
    "What's up there?"
    "You don't want to go that way."
    "That sign makes me want to go that way. Why did they put that sign there?"
    "That's where the Minotaur lives and roams."
    "Like a labyrinth?"
    "You understand. Shall we continue on the trail?"
    The three of us stood in silence for a moment. Sometimes I have trouble justifying some of the practices of Rock Kingdom, but I did not voiced them to Aaron and Charles at the time.

    When she and I last went hiking at Shades State Park she spent our time there complaining. The bugs. The rough terrain. How many steps she had to walk up. Sweating, which I do not understand, because I sweat everyday. Rudimentary plumbing, even though we were obviously out in nature. Things are less specific in service when in nature. I thought everyone understood this, so why complain?

    Reason is six letters brought together to create possibly the most debatable word in the English lexicon. It is curious and possibly torturous to find it when confronted with nonsense, but I assume we must still try. More than anything it is something that makes and keeps us human beings and it gives people an excuse to use the word quandary.

    Define empathy. The mental capacity to allow yourself to believe what another person's mind and body is thinking feeling and experiencing at a specific time. Mental atrophy of one's own reality due to how one perceives another's reality. Weakness in one's sureness of their existence due to the hypothesis of another's existence, real or otherwise. Caring. Caring too much. Caring for someone even if they do not care that you care. Stagnation of personal progress due to disprovable ecstatic truth. A way of pissing other people off without doing anything other than being there. A foolish way of making a living. A way of making other people uncertain and paranoid because of the selfish yet confidant environment they were raised in. When something unexpected, positive or negative, occurs. A way to confuse a person who believes the concept of empathy does not exist. An excuse for writing something down when words seem void. To believe one understands without over explanation. To be familiar with what humanity and reality is capable of, even if one pretends to be detached from humanity most of the time. An exercise someone can conduct when someone one knows is suffering from something someone doesn't know in order to become closer with something one must understand. A crap shoot, really. Love in some way or many ways. Something that seems strange, but really is not due to historical and human fact or theory. Memetic evolution or hearsay. Western subversion. Transgression, progression or regression. Thinking and feeling outside of one's self.
Empathy is a word.
Empathy is a collection of letter
It is a code.
It becomes difficult sometimes.
Empathy is a haiku.

Again the hiking
I wanted to feel again
It really feels great

In America
Insanity beckons more
than reason these days

I told her we needed to talk.

"You don't love me."
"What?"
"You don't love me."
"Why does that suddenly matter to you now?"
"I'm not pregnant."  

Aaron C. Molden



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