Here is a place I know. It is easy. I know where I am. I am here. I am afraid of it. I dream of living in this. It isn’t a thing that is anything else. It is the thing, all of itself. And I am here. Lucky me. There is a sound. It is quiet and not. Oh, an abstract thing. No. It is tiny and whole. It is physics. It is a big thing. It is the everything thing. But don’t say that. Too many steps back.
It is that thing in you, that thing you hold too tight, little too much of you that you don’t want to let out, that you might say no to, that you might think that is too much and is everything. And that is the thing, tiny as it might be that is everything. It wakes you and makes you remember.
It was a while back and I was different then. But I wasn’t. You weren’t. We were there. And we remember. And that is the curse. It is love. Or memory.
I hate the idea of deleting. I would rather rearrange, keep the letters that I have created, alive as it were. Why destroy something that I created? It’s mean. It’s lazy. Vindictive. I know it sounds like hubris. ‘Never touch anything created by McPhedran. Those words are precious and divine.’
As much as it might be something like that, I like these letters and words. I made them to be here, to be read. That’s something, isn’t it? Or should I just delete?
I remember the walk to the stadium, around the abandoned concession stands and then the old viewing tower. I used to run up the winding staircase as fast as I could and always cramped up before I was even halfway. But it was bordered up now. The exhibition grounds had the feel about it everywhere – old and forgotten, papers blowing, everyone walking away.
I still read comics in the paper. I didn’t like any of them that much. Andy Capp made no sense. Same with Blondie and Hagar. Rex MD was ridiculously dumb. The worst was Family Circle. So bad that it was good.
It was one of the first things that I learned to mock. I felt superior to it. Kid stuff. I listened to music by Angel, Blood Rock, Goddo, Moxy and The Who.
I stole my first cigarette from one of my mother’s oldest friends and smoked it behind the garage. It was raining and it got soggy. So I had a good excuse to throw it out early. I stole a pen for my mother’s birthday. I hated that pen and scratched it up, but it was always on her desk.
She didn’t know where I was because I was going to a concert. And I wasn’t allowed to do that until I was 18. But it was The Who, and I had to see The Who. Except the concert was lousy. People were drunk and fighting everywhere. A watermelon was smashed beside me. And the music was predictable and boring. I couldn’t believe it. I had a doughnut when I got home. Boston Cream. It was lousy too.
This air was no good. It was not what they wanted. They would not be coming down because of it. She knew it. The volcano sat low on the horizon. It was tired, done for now. The smoke still drifted out but was pulled across the water, sucked with the currents and winds, the birds turning away, knowing all of this, waiting for it to pass. And then it swirled up, as if on command, and Proxima Two was gone. It was just the one sun, the land in low profile.
Em remembered something about herself, sitting alone. There was the beach and the sound of the water and she was there. Wherever she had come from. She was in this place. She was here. She knew that. No one explained any of that. She was here. And there never would be more that. Except going forward. And she was doing that too.