Friday, May 21, 2010

No goodbyes

Sylvie est apathique. Not without reason, no. One could say that the stifling Georgia heat would beset me enough as it is, but as it turns out it wasn’t the only factor in my pitiful deflation. The last few blows I received from The Institution were formidably petty, and it was the shock of them, rather than the implications, that shook me into slow-motion. I have not shaken it off yet. I suppose time heals everything. So I wait for the mighty Chronos to deliver me.

An excuse for why I haven’t been writing. I ought to try to persuade myself that it’s not laziness, a decidedly unflattering motivation for any writer, however minor. So this is what I tell myself: it has nothing to do with being lazy. And in fact, it’s almost true.

But now it’s time for departure, and I’ve no last words, no goodbyes. Yesterday we went to play trivia, the last time for me, I suspect, and I didn’t even look back at the place, measure it with a ceremonious look, as I’d have done in another time. Perhaps if I had, the memory of the place would condense into that last view of it. The high ceilings with fans whirling insanely, people carousing down below, rubbing their potbellies full of beer, a rosy-cheeked Dargan hollering undecipherable things into the mic. A small town barroom, and yet, a place of returning, of affection born of habitude, a place where eventually people know your name, and fear you as you grab the pencil and the trivia sheets. Ah, moments. Moments make so much more of places than they really are.

Speaking of visual memory, I ought to snap a photo of the many boxes that surround me. But I don’t like to remember this sort of circumstance. Moving is a time that makes me wary. Packing is an activity that makes me nauseous. In our Brownian movement through the topography of this continent, a lot of energy is expended. Energy from fear, while so inevitable it is to fear uncertainty, to find yourself at the mercy of an American law that counts freedom in days, like an hourglass, pouring and pouring sand, ominous and hostile. Personally, I find it frightening. I seek a little bit of balance and, when I find it, I sleep, as if to make up for the three sleepless years at The Institution, where I’ve bargained my life and my health for some promised distinction that in the end I didn’t even receive. It’s shaming how much we are ready to sacrifice for a travesty. And even I, who so resolutely advocated content over form, eventually fell for the form, and cried for it. I cried as I buried fairness once more. Remember Battleship Potemkin, dear communists? Dignity is to not be given food with worms in it. As to me, I’ve a worm stuck between my teeth.

I eventually took a photo of the boxes, because this moment must be documented. Another departure rings its bells, but luckily there won’t be anybody here when I leave, to see me lament. I’ll go silently, just as I arrived. As I back out of the driveway with my overweight car I’ll make sure to have Kleenex handy. So, this is it, Macon. No goodbyes.

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