The Unswung Bat

Monday, July 16, 2007
 
A cry in the dark,

That was the name of the "dingo ate your baby" movie. You in my class in grade 5, or maybe 6 remember. That sentence is short a comma, I'm sure of it. Two clauses that shouldn't be open to each other are fused in mutual juices like Siamese twins, not because of malice but redundancy, that is, absent absence or the lack of a nothing skin that confirms you are not me. Does not confirm you are me. Everything reduces in language, but I am a seeing a dark garden scintillating with fireflies that puncture the dull gray air with their tiny spikes of light that show the existence or needlessness of God, one of those, and I have no words for that. And anyway the sentence is better itself like that; is correctly deformed.

The Mexican wolfboys who became trampoline artists did so, they say, because they were tired of being a side show attraction, wanted people to come to see them for a skill rather than a condition. Though the posters for their new act, I'm sure, said come see the trampolining wolf boys. From the energy of the first act, the second is launched. Wolfboy is the new Madonna, is the new multi-stage Saturn V.

Energy! Maybe the dingo ate your baby.

Energy negotiatiates so it is alright for we'll say a trampoline skin to try to be both up and down at once. It brokers an accord between two states (S0 and S1, before and after, making possible during) the imaginable alternative being untenable.

It's never the right time to be pragmatic, especially ever. Clacking teeth.

That couple would've been better off if there'd been no dingo, you could say; when the woman went to jail her man put his everything behind trying to find the dingo, or even a few bitemarks where it'd been.

The scalar quantity of energy has positive or negative magnitude and no direction, and it is what makes up your mind.

I'll tell you a secret ("tell you" a "secret?" Energy!): If I ever am give up into the right time, I have let myself be hit by a train. Notwithstanding, I might stray, next to the tracks as it hurtles through. When I wandered at night, an overlooked luxury among many heaped on highschoolers, I once drifted past a girl toeing the yellow line on a subway platform, observing her steps like listening to a violin solo, and in a voice that was a baby's, singing, as the subway train, brutally and out of nowhere, displaced the air a pucker from her cheek. The distance away from your face your lips travel in the average kiss. her fascination was unbroken like a sentence without a period.

If she was singing Mariah Carrey. Who is no Madonna. Either she was high, or that's how she was.

If she was singing with her steps, who cares about a train?

Another secret is that where I hope to god I'll go when the other choice is to sell off my books, is a dark scrubby wilderness of ropy dry roots and thorny bits and drums, where I will camp me out around a fire and, in the fullness of time, cook maybe some chicken legs and listen to the wood sing high-pitched soft notes, and sit and the burning meat smell will get into the nostrils of one of those quiet big moving things around you that aren't there till you see them, and she'll lurch into the camp site and I hope she'll eat some chicken.

And the fine sand-glints flying past on the ground like where the fireflies in the air were grains of mica on a rock discovered held to light and turned because special, dryness etching a minor light stillness into the rushing blur under the wheels. I won't look at them, I hardly did when they were fireflies. A firefly flew into my computer screen, once, twice, three times before getting frustrated and flying off in a state of consternation. One landed on my arm. Saved, as by divine grace, from my mosquito-conditioned reflex.

The kids when I get home from work laugh, giggle and ask restlessly when--"when!"--do I want to go on the trampoline. Play monkey in the middle. Tag. Isabel's too slow to play tag. That's 'cause she's a fool. No! I'm am not no I am not! Hunter's calling me a fool. And in short order he will, with a dumb look on his face, accidentally-on-purpose shove her with his nine-year-old shoulders and she will without even thinking about it counter with her five-year-old hands and in no time, but all of time is measured until you arrive at units of no meaning, they will be a snarl of sibling brutality. Or just as easily I'll say we're going outside, come on, and all will be forgotten, even the fact that Isabel's too slow to play tag, and I'll even the odds in monkey in the middle for her. But while we're out I can't say anything, only move like an animal, a horse with a boy on his back.

When I sit down on the carpet with my laptop in front of me and Isabel comes for me to imagine her up some amusement, she doesn't think for an instant that I'm the one who needs it. I pick up with one hand the duckling-colored stuffed rabbit on the floor, and Isabel lunges to grab it, and like that it's the struggle of humanity in the universe. Ms. Bunny Rabbit scurries back and forth, she darts, thinks, reacts, she turns her head to the sky in mute pathos, and when the other's claws are on her and there's no escaping the pull, it's so important to her for no reason she knows of to wave faster and faster that pink scarf which is sewed onto her hand, goodbye! Goodbye! And the contest ended I turn back to my laptop and for a while in her world Isabel becomes a bunny, somberly and with effortless concentration. A deep breath and crouch: hop!

And I, eventually, move outside, where it is becoming increasingly dull and gray, the fireflies having done what they came to do and retired. So you've got a train schedule in your wallet, and you've got maybe there's a dingo right behind some of that dark everywhereness.

It's what you don't have to be told when it means what you hear it. You're staring like someone who knows they're staring like an animal. It is the disbelief before a confrontation, what plays in your ears while the other thing gets close. It is it is it is it is it is

So this is what education is?



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