All Hail the Coming Night!

29 January 2010 § Leave a comment

It’s midnight in this cold Alaskan landscape I am forever bound to be a part of, whether I want it or not. It has me by the neck, and gives a good shake now and again to make sure I continue to fear it, to feel it, to be fooled into loving it. And what love I have. I am a sober fool.

Books are finished with the quickened grace with which they were completed, and most of them provoke the sentiment: You are a Failure. You Will Not Achieve This. My revolting attitude is one of relative innocence, giving in. The Rules are steadfast now, in this secure and digital world where most of the loopholes and personal freedoms have been given up. The powers that be, pretending that they were not of the generation who took advantage of improvisation as younger men, swiftly carried those baskets away from us. Perhaps when the internet wrapped its binary hands around our essence, our being, claiming to be the web of life rather than zeros and ones.

We’ve given up Dignity for speed and ease of communication. Yesterday in the streets of San Francisco, a young detective politely asked a priest to use the telephone. His request was granted. Tomorrow in the alleys of Kathmandu, an opium dealer will consult the beam of light embedded into his wrist about the currency exchange for the British pound so that he does not feel cheated by a group of university students. Laptops are obsolete, typewriters all but forgotten. What is a pen, grandfather?

The world I want already happened, and I’m not sure I can reconcile it back into being. My words don’t know the right people to have that kind of pull. A strange man is tugging at my coat-tail, luring me into his existence, and I’m looking for the bar, toward the hills, thinking that it’s already too late.

The moon arrives promptly by five in the afternoon, a massive white rock playing children’s games between snowcapped passions on its path across the stars, saying hello to the lions and the giraffes and all the royalty and beautiful women of the not-quite nighttime. For his consorts are the honorable breed, not running from murder raps and police of foreign and hateful nature.

My hate is vanished with the grooving bass notes of the nineties. They linger with me, the sadness overwhelming sometimes, but the hopeless climax will sound pretty and convincing, and I’m an easily influenced romantic. There is no jigsaw that could destroy it, no labyrinth monotonous enough for me to lose it but for fleeting seconds, and in those moments I am a scoundrel, my thoughts betraying. A savage thirst for a previously shunned excitement and loose grip on control is beginning to take me – I can feel the cool tingling rush, and addiction has sway here: we have only known one another by sight, passing in hallways and maybe we saw eye to eye at a party once, on a rare and obscene occasion. Perhaps it is what I fight daily, or it is what I knew in her arms, when I was alive and pulsing and lavarocking. It is elusive. I am perseverant.

While chances and trust are foregone, replaced inevitably by Policy and Procedure, I am on the unseen sidelines, tracking down exceptions and making sure that hope is still in my pocket, providing a bit of guidance when the map is lost, or abandoned altogether. My patience rivals only the Thirst. And these days, there doesn’t seem to be enough rum to go around.

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