Sunday, May 26

Punctured Bicycle, on a Hillside Desolate

Have you ever been standing on a rail car as started to move? I feel that disruptive sway, lurch, bump. Instinctively I reach out to grab something, to break my fall. My hand lands on a stranger in the darkness. She shrieks. "Somebody is trying to touch me!"
"Sorry, sorry! I didn't m-" as I jerk my hand away. 
The ground lurches again. I drop to one knee. The car is full--packed in fact--with strangers, and each stranger more stranger than the next. I reach for my bootstrap to pull myself up, but the strap is broken. I remember remembering then that I had forgotten to remember to mend that boot's strapping from flapping, but before I can launch into a full-blown consideration of the nature of prosaic procrastination, the ground shifts again.
I resign myself to the notion that bootstrapping is out of the question. But the movement of the place has changed.. It is movement, but it isn't. Everything is moving. Everyone is moving. All at the exact same speed, and not in relation to each other. The floor rumbles and squeals, but it is sturdy. "What is happening?" says one voice from the darkness. "What is going to happen next?" says another. A small hand tugs on my sleeve. "Sir, can you help?"
The box lurches again, with a sudden increase in the rate of acceleration. We are tossed about. A woman and I fall into each other. I blacken her eye on my elbow and bloody my nose on her forehead. All is forgiven. We're all moving faster, faster, faster. The whole ground is shaking; the floors are screaming with the sounds of metal tearing against metal. Sir? Am I a 'sir'?

We rumble on; faster, faster. Tiny fissures open between the boards of the car's walls. There is light. The light is not cast; it can only be seen directly--so narrow are the fissures. Slowly my eyes collect the light. The light is not enough to draw an image, but enough to draw forth imagination. I see a man with the head of a fish. He is brandishing a guitar. He looks directly into my eyes and silently mouths the words "shindleria praematurus". It makes me uncomfortable.
I see an old record player. I can see even from across the width of the car that is it not vintage but a replica. A warped record spins on the turntable.
"Kunda." the record speaks. The man is still staring at me. He has mouthed the word. But the sound was clearly from the record. I tell myself I misheard. This cannot be. That word, though.. where did I know it?
"Astratta." The voiceless mouth coincides with the mouthless voice perfectly. I remember. I know the words. I remember everything. I remember everything, ever. Horror and terror grip my heart like two curs fighting over a rotting flap of meat.
"Montosse." I scream and tear desperately at the walls. My knuckles bloody in their futile attempts to smash through... My panic is unrestrained. There is no way out. This is happening. The record player has slowed to a near standstill, the needle still hovering in place. All sound ceases. The man is motionless, static. All movement ceases; the rumbling careening shaking ends. Time comes to a halt. Only I am aware of it; or only I am only aware of my own awareness of it. An infinite amount of time passes.
I feel it in the back of my throat first. It crawls up the back of my tongue. With all my will, my tongue pins it to roof of my mouth. It is thus held for four hundred ninety thousand years. My eyes close to the motionless silent darkness.
"Canda." The voice is mine. The sound comes from my mouth. All is dark, silent, and still.



Tiny birds call nearby. I open my eyes; they face upwards, my body on its back, propped up against the root of an old White Oak. A sparrow, two chickadees, a titmouse and a smallish woodpecker are toiling in the branches above me. "Dee, dee, dee" one says. "Ratatatatatat" says another. .

To the side, a bicycle with punctured tire leans against the same tree as I.





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