what goes around does not go in a straight line

What Goes Around Does Not Go in a Straight Line

This may be funny. This may not be so funny. This is a primer for happiness, the cadence of circles. This is my double, catching things on the fly in a universe without particles, packaged food or decimal points, tiny as a dream and huge as a toenail. I shall presently wish you out of existence.

Context under stress. The moan of escapism. The florid fast shuffle. Collisions in collision. A bright burst of the unspeakable, the abrupt death of certainty.

The rain stops, the rain starts, the rain stops again. The fire fighters have packed up and gone home. If the van starts I’ll drive home, if not I’ll push it over the cliff and standing on the roof with my arms stretched wide cry, “Be gone!” Cry, “Let bygones be gone!” Cry, “Look out below!” Cry, “You’ll never take me alive!” as three sheriff’s deputies, a mental-health orderly and a dog catcher chase me thru the bramble.

Now if this were a stick shift, a stick shift being a vehicle with a clutch, a clutch being a foot pedal to the left of the brake pedal that can be engaged to shift gears in the transmission, I wouldn’t be faced with this dilemma. I’d put the van in neutral if it didn’t start, get it rolling down the road, jump in, engage the clutch, put the transmission in second gear, disengage the clutch when the van reaches twenty miles an hour, and presto! The engine would kick over and I’d drive home. I’d feed the turtle and the turtle dove and the shy python in the spare room, cook up a little grub, put on my slippers and sit down to write a letter to a good friend down in Sacramento who sent me a letter that arrived today – pen and ink in an envelope, stunning because of its content and its timing, coming the day after I wrote Digital Extinction. In the letter my friend says:

“My apologies for my poor communication. I have given up on computers. I’m returning to writing letters…”

“My girlfriend committed suicide…”

“I have been so lost in the past two years. AT&T turned off my phone…”

I found a used copy of Tire Grabbers in a bookstore last week for $8.50…”

“Don’t know if I will ever again have a computer…I don’t trust them…”

There is a force beyond the Higgs particle the holds imagination together. They will never find it in their digital universe.

But now the moment of truth is at hand. It’s time to turn the key in the ignition and see what direction my life will take.


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