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Pre-Kodachrome

Every once in a while, there comes a time when time itself slows down—one of those moments when life goes pre-Kodachrome. You actually get the time to look around, to look up (which most people never do). When you look up, you see a whole world exists above you, just over you, and you want to experience that world. So you enter it. And then you look down on the world, perhaps like the bees do, or maybe the trees. Looking down, you observe that no one will ever notice this world you are in. The curse of our eternal insignificance. There is a whole new thrill, then, in being part of this rarefied existence. When here, you feel quite invisible, as though you have found that one abode that is uniquely yours. I find myself in that abode more and more often now. Writing on the backs and margins of half-crumpled credit card bills that were once lost in the silence of my coat pockets. An enquiring bee flits about. It settles, for a moment, on one of the bills, perhaps trying to decipher the writings on it: "Iced Tea 360.00. Poetry is a more heady brew." The bee flies off, and my eyes follow it for some time before returning to the ragged paper bills. Looking around, you notice that no one really notices this world, this existence that has grown to become yours. All over, a strange silence settles; it is a silence of three parts. The first is a dull, echoing silence made by things that are not. If there had been a wind blowing, the leaves would have rustled, and the silence would have fled. If only people would be looking up, someone would sound a name and empty the growing quiesce. If only there was some music... But no, there was, of course, no music. There were none of these things, and so the silence was there in their stead. Somewhere to the right, a couple of bees sang their poetry in syncopated buzzing. In doing so, they added a sullen, perhaps solemn, silence to the previous one. Sound and silence met in counterpoint. The third silence was much more difficult to grasp. If one listened for an hour, one might begin to notice it in the shade of the surrounding trees. It was in the ivy-covered walls that held the heat of a sun long gone. It was in the rust-coated staircase that held the memories of numerous stares, echoes of steps that had long ceased. It was in the hands of the man who sat with scrunched-up credit-card bills. This space above the rest of the world was his, just as this third silence was his. This was quite suitable, as this was the greatest silence of the three. It engulfed the other two within itself. It was as deep and wide as an autumn ending. It was as heavy as a guilt-laden prisoner. It was the silence of a lone man waiting for the end.


Think.

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