Thursday, May 01, 2003

the lifespan of the human eye

Someone I didn't see raised the blind of the window across the street and I saw a large, blue balloon that seemed to float on its own, untouched by hand or string or ceiling in the middle of a small, empty room. There was something about the balloon that reminded me of a gesture that I had taken part in so many years ago when I noticed such things and became involved in them through no fault or credit of my own.

I was reading on the metro and a family of tourists sat a few seats in front of me. I noticed the daughter, who was probably a few years younger than I was at the time, and I thought that she noticed me too. Nothing was said, but when we exited the metro and the family went their way and I went my way, separated by the distance of a large parking lot, I turned around to see that the girl had turned around also and we waved to each other. Certainly I would never see her again and if I had at any point in my life since then, I had no knowledge of it.

I refocused and inconsequential though it was to my existence, I sat in an unfolded chair with my back straight and both feet on the ground. The night before I pondered and commented out loud on the infantocratic regime of the neighbors below. No one listened. And yet I felt dazzled at the prospect that a day later I had the pleasure of being circumspect about something that I had said the night before. Circumspection was my bon-bon and I treated it to myself only on the rarest of occasions.

I meant to spend my day jotting down some notes on the word 'distend' and how it fabricated a sort of credibility to any given thesis it was used in. A fabrication of credibility was no doubt an illusion, and yet I was wont, as was my wont, to relegate what was to be a jotting down to a thought dismissed. The nature of illusion fascinated me. Not the kind of illusion that magicians do. Not the illusion of something not being there that is there, but the illusion of something being there that isn't there. But how could one use words about something that really isn't there?

So my pencil stayed in its place and the white sheet of paper that I had taken from the notebook by my bed remained unchanged save for any microscopic draft that assailed it. I was unaware of any movement by the paper, which surprised me because the small window in my apartment was opened and I was certain that there was enough air out there in this big world, and that air was most likely moving in a manner that would exploit the smallest of creases let alone an opened window, however small, that was larger than a small crease.

So I sat and waited, deciding not to move until I saw the paper move. I didn't have to wait long because a few moments later as I was thinking about the motorcycle that I heard roaring by below my window, the left corner of the paper rose slightly before falling back into place.

I no longer sat in the chair and I wondered for a moment what consequences, if any, I would suffer. I moved closer to the window where I didn't see the motorcycle, which by now, had probably turned one of the corners, right or left, of the road that intersected the busy road upon which the building I lived in stood. Disappeared. Vanished. And it occurred to me that people who ride motorcycles are from the future and that if I were to encapsulate this new hypothesis into a few understandable words, that I would be doing a great service, not only to mankind, but to the future beings who existed now as well. It would remain only a hypothesis though, and never become a theory as I was frightened of theory, not because I wasn't a courageous man, but because others were so easily fooled by the mere mention of the word theory when accompanied by any number greater than five. I only theorized while I was on vacation and at a great distance from people.

I stood at my window looking at the balloon, pondering conversational devices that would make it possible to communicate with inanimate objects when another motorcycle roared by. There were many of them, I thought, and they circled the block of this busy neighborhood, which was a good thing really because I didn't have any clocks in my room, and therefore found it impossible to be certain of the time that most people use to reference points of the day. I knew now that it was three fifteen and forty-two forty-three forty-four seconds. Forty-seven. Forty-eight. Forty-nine. And although people who ride motorcycles were from the future, I considered them not contrary to the ways of those living in the present and of a benevolent nature.

The blue balloon seemed to peer at me, which made me cast my eyes down. When I did I saw a fly crawling in my window and I was afraid for it because my window, when opened, had a tendency to slip. It usually slipped slowly until it reached a certain point then slammed to its base. I had invested much time in certain fathomable aspects of fly-life and conjectured with infallible logic that the fly would consider me a prophet if I could communicate with it. If the fly lived for only one month and I knew with certainty that my window would slide down and kill it, I could save the fly's life by telling it one minute before it died, which would probably seem like someone telling a human something a few days or weeks before something happened to them. Of course my window slipped much faster than that and I was never certain when it would, so I could only shoo the fly away and leave it perplexed in whatever way flies are perplexed, as to the nature of the force that acted upon it. It might consider me a god, and yet, I was no god. If I were a god I would quiet the neighbor's children in the apartment below.

I retrieved my notebook and pencil and thought to capture the vision of that balloon in the window with words like blue, balloon, window, untouched, float, but when I looked up from my notebook I saw that the blind was being pulled down. That's when everything around me went dark and I disappeared.

No comments:

Post a Comment