Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Persistence of Memory

I was born on a cliff that ribbons off into the horizon that I never walked toward. Piano keys held up the mountains to the east. I tried to play the keys. I hoped if I played them just right I could keep the numbers from falling of the clocks. There were so many feeble attempts to produce harmony. It never worked. I couldn't help myself from playing dissonant. A number fell from a clock somewhere.

My house sat atop a tiny island floating in the ocean to the west. I would sit in the corner of an empty room and look out the window while the lyrics of Sufjan Stevens floated by on picket signs. I'm not afraid of you now. We can fix our own meals, we can wash our own hair. Since the time we meant to say much, unsaid things begin to change. And another number fell from the same clock.

Guitars would sink into the sands of my old elementary school playground. 1959 Gibson Les Paul Standard Electric guitars were half way swallowed by the dirt and tiny pebbles and the dirty band-aids from children's boo-boos. Sometimes the strings would strum themselves and sing to us. Sometimes the strings would tighten too much and they would snap and children would cry and cry. Another number fell.

I drank my water with dynamite. There was always a long fuse and I was always so thirsty. I could never seem to keep the fuse out of the glass long enough for it to dry. It was always drenched, always sad, never able to light it. I couldn't seem to bring myself to drink from another glass, though it would have been the logical thing to do. The burnt out matches kept piling up. Numbers and numbers fell from the clock.

Tangled black trees grew from piles of rubble. The cradled a cracked window pain that if you looked through, you could see that the sun was actually a light bulb. It wasn't warm and it wasn't kind. On a particularly cold day, a branch broke from one of the black trees and the window pain shattered on the ground. And out of the broken branch, a white-blue light extended into the air. It's the only color I can remember. No numbers fell from the clock that day. They haven't fallen since.