Tenterhooky Ver [Chronicles of Dis-/Infection, 2015]


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You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. º– Pablo Neruda

This is nutsolicious, crazy but cool, non compos mentis for real. Again with the weather, you best believe! Tonight was my lil‘ bro‘s preponed b-day shindig, tibiajig…what-have-you. It was nice but my mind lit out now&again because I‘d missed yesterday‘s muscle-meditation and circumstances were converging so as to negate the athletic ritual another day, another night. Which gives you that tenterhooky sensation in legs and arms because, really, they should be slugging it out with gravity right around now. In fact in a sense I was as at one point my mom, true story, grabbed me in a wrestler‘s hold and  threw me back on the couch, hooking her arm under mine in a fast grip. Then as I tried to negotiate my way out of that my sister plunked herself down beside me, swivelled and threw her legs down in a solid lock. Really. Eventually, for safe measure, she sat down on my lap to immobilize all my gym-directed movements and winding. A mum and a sis‘, this is more weight than my bicepses deal with at the fitness center. Social bonds can weigh one down rather steadily at times. 

You might see where this is going, you might have an idea of the shape of the future! Or not, this is not yet very meteo-related. Nutsolicious, I stated, because it is both crazy and nice… after pizza and champagne and stumbling across an ancient longdrink recipe in my parent‘s antedeluvian cabinet [Black Velvet, insane in its own right: 2 bottles of dark beer, 1 bottle of champagne, that‘s it, the classic 3 bottle, 1.3l long drink….what do you call that kinda tumbler?]  and after passing on a slice of three-ton chocolate cake [about the icing pyramid on her slice my sister had the following to quip: looks like 5 pieces of chocolate‘s worth]. 

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Après such lovely familial doings I stepped back out into the reality hereabouts referred to as Luzern. Quite negentropic I must say, that unfortunate combination of high winds [we call „blowdryer“]  and cardboard-collection-day. There were empty box-tatters way outside their natural habitat next to the regular garbage…thanks to the blowdryer. But what does it mean? It was, it is: Ver! Spring! I defecate thou not 🙂 Warm winds like it was late march on actual January 10th. This after we didn‘t have the first refrigerator-day until the 27th of December and X-Mas was a balmy affair where I strutted down the deserted, narrow streets of Lucerne pretending to myself, impossibly, childishly, that this be Rome or some other such glorious metropole of yore. Where the warm air mixes with the ancient smells of a history that inscribed itself into all of humanity. Exept it was Lucerne, it is, where gravity and mediocrity vanquish the days. Ahhh, lovely city of mine, blood running white and blue. The Reuss there since forever, watering the Raptors, flushing out medieval feces, bearing an acclaimed old city itinerant to the next life, rusting bikes as the fools toss them in, awaiting perhaps some great calamity that only a river can wash away.  

Clement it is, most atypically. But the human mind is such a critter of habit, good and bad, that it will take its sweet, unhealthy time to make sense of even the most basic sensory input. In this mode of belated behavioral adaptation I, like my dear fellows, kept flouncing about in the many thick, animal-skin-imposturing layers of winter garb. Pedalling, for example, on my MTB along the quadruple forest lake, asking myself why rivulets of sweat are running down my torso and turning my midsection into an unpleasant swampland of bodyjuices. Wondering as to how I would lay dry these spontaneous everglades. Then realizing, the facepalm only mental, the marked discrepancy between the actual vernal conditions and my arctica-compatible duds. Tonight the same thing happened: marshes on the inside of my new jacket. But I couldn‘t be bothered, buoyed as I was by the unbidden, delightful ver. Spring you say, aye, what a spring. Injecting even our step. Who needs swag if you can have spring? 

Peace out motherless‘fuckers.

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And now that I‘ve written this thing [the piece before last, with the burning smile], this strange, sad eulogy, this half-remembered panegyric, I can acknowledge that nothing has changed. A few words more sprinkle the world but the man is still dead, the acquaintance, the friend. It is strange that one should feel so strongly about people one knew so passingly once they have passed. What made all the difference was his stunning vigor, which made it seem like he possibly had some secret power to multiply, at will, the meaning of life. The laugh, the handshake, his words swiftly lifting one into a good mood, a man beaming with charisma, the kind of person who would win a presidential race without taking a single step outside his actual character. Then again, how easy it is to wax poetically about those one knows but cursory. I know nothing of his demons nor his dark hours, I only know his radiance. A force of nature, now departed. Come and gone like an whirlwind, a wave of generosity. It seems that it would be in the nature of things too intense to last but too few beats of a heart. 

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The words, departed from reality, only call up images of what has and might have been. Nothing much in fact, as we were just acquaintances. Memory? Not even a catchphrase I can remember, though surely in that lilting senegalese cadence there must have been colocutions that poured forth time and again „C‘est la vie, mon ami!“. Why not? A strong-winged word. Yes, I seem to recall him uttering this phrase to me outside the library last summer. Last indeed. 

„C‘est la vie, mon ami!“ I can hear it now clearly in his smile-backed, guttural soprano. A standing resolution to weather life as it comes… and goes. Uttering the obvious because, ulitmately, it is not. Poor soul. What a cuora ingrata, what a heart of darkness to attack its own keeper. The words inside are coarser though: what bullshit, what a total fucking scam! Dead at thirty, for what? Bloody stupid.

Then eventually I circle back around to myself, drawn back by the blackhole gravitation of my own ego. Somebody cherished has become gravely ill, someone well liked has suddenly been taken away, a beloved one has had enough of life….so thoughts of mortality creep back in. Though I‘d be lying if I didn‘t acknowledge they‘re there all along. Consider your death every single day, no better antidote for our contemporatible narcissim. This flesh of ours is too perishable, will not even be mummified by the endless flashlight of selfies. Death awaits in each&every little shitty cell as it pumps, pumps, pumps to keep out entropy. Tries again, fails again, fails better, fails worse.

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All the stresses of moving and eating and seeing and chasing a ball and reading and eating and writing and running and shiting and making love and eating again, year in year out, what can you do? The muscles plus our crummy grey mass must get all used up. The skin will wear thin. 

We all know we are going to go, just not today, no, it will be some point in the future more congenial to dying. Oneself is always the glorious exception to all human precedence. But now? Seeing death creeping along the far perimeter? I feel again the weaknesses of my flesh, how the gravitons suck away at it from below without cease as if there were some urgency for me to become soil again. 

But no. Not me. Not today, nor tomorrow. Maybe when I‘m 80, sitting on a mountain range of texts, a lifetime of words high enough to see and understand one thing or the other, maybe then we can have this conversation again. Again and again and again, borne in a place beyond Chrono‘s call. 

 

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About tmabona

writer, reader [bolano, DW, bellow, deLillo], runner, badmintoneer
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