13JUN2012 – The moments are fast-ticking away, the floor dropping out from under my feet like an amusement park ride in which I’m glued to the spinning wall, my stomach straddling my spine as though on horseback. (See also: bomb bay door / ordinance analogy)
The movers will be here in less than a month, descending upon my meager herd of possessions like a flock of hungry mummy vultures; the vicious rip and squawk of packing tape will ricochet off these walls. Boxes imagined as lepers, suffering from a plague of red numbered splotches. The ubiquitous clipboard. “Sign here, date here.” Fast in, fast out.
Dear Future Me Now Living in California,
I hope you were able to leave your unrest behind on the other side of the country. If not, please remember: when you’ve got the day to yourself, go for an epic ride. Be Here Now. Go further than you did yesterday and don’t come home until the pain tells you to. When that dark vertigo of loneliness creeps up from behind like timber wolves to a campfire, hit the weights. Do some sit-ups. Hang from your chin-up bar and pretend that it’s life or death. When you feel knotted and confused, buy yourself some bullets and get to the range. The sharp scent of clarity, the focus, the breathing. The chemical afterglow, the sight of the slide shrugged back in the “feed me” position. Do whatever it takes to get through those moment without selling out, without going back on your word, or spending days at a time locked in your apartment with the blinds drawn devouring online movies because you can’t bring yourself to speak to another human being.
The clock is always ticking, and everything is understood during the boom of the second hand. Each instant ripples outward like the shock of an explosion seen but not heard. With every step, the plans we make take a step toward us, meeting us halfway and half again.
The force of your body descends through your legs as though on an elevator and arrives at the ground floor with a collapsing punch, pushing down against the earth in that heavy Western turn signal, the telegraph read and interpreted by American Indians who learned everything they needed to know about the white man. Forever falling forward, the instant is cemented. Everything is understood during the boom of the second hand.
Somewhere, one bite of a condemned man’s last meal is chewed. A flap of a wing is observed shoving a sparrow through the air. One piston stroke of an internal combustion engine drives a woman that much further away; a man carves a single pen stroke into a sheet of paper in the too-late-letter begging her to come back (but it never works out that way…)
Demonstrate the practiced gait of the hominid: Your arms are pendulums matching the silent song of your stride. Your arms swing easy at your side, rippling like the crack of a whip as you stroll down the city streets, maneuvering through the crowd like a tiny aircraft. Maybe you imagine yourself falling from an airplane, skydiving through a slow-motion explosion, stepping carefully across spinning debris like flat rocks in a stream. Everything is understood during the boom of the second hand.
The fingertips of your middle finger and thumb casually collide in unison, counting coup as you come between the left edge of a bodega doorway and a utility pole, wordlessly documenting and describing their parallel relationship. In your mind you can see the diagram of a million such connections branching out around you like radio waves and everything is explained, everything is understood during the boom of the second hand.
The moment passes, your foot rolls forward; weight shifts to the toes, heel rising into the air like the last chopper out. Determined survivors cling to the landing struts, lose their grip; plummet flailing, perish fearing. Moving into the future one step at a time.
Everything is understood during the boom of the second hand.
See you soon,