This One Time, 65

This one time all of us dead people were hanging around on the streets of a city most of us remembered, even though many of us had never been there in life. It was confusing. Particularly for me, as I had never really believed in a soul. I was gratified a little to know that none of the myths had quite gotten it right, and the few consciousness-mystics who seemed to be close weren’t really the sort to be smug, knowing they had gotten there via paths of ignorance and good guessing.

Hear the pride in my voice. I must have the strongest ego ever among the dead. But I had studied everything I studied so that I would know what the hell is going on, because if you know, you can predict and, if technology keeps up, control. I dedicated my life to getting a handle on things, to at least lay the groundwork for the repair of some of God’s worst mistakes — injustice, tragedy, fear, and misery: the four actual horsemen of the perpetual and ongoing apocalypse that is life.

Here’s a take on the events of Genesis that is at least true in a poetic sense — something that helped me get some perspective despite the fact of its mythic nature. This is the true value of such things, wiggly concepts of truth and facts aside. In this take, God had spent six days on the act of creation, exactly as documented. It was obvious, when you look at it from this view, that God wasn’t finished, and this is the evidence: God had a Garden where everything was perfect. Which means that everything outside the garden was still a bit haphazard.

The purpose of a garden is cultivation. It’s a test-bed for tweaking, for finding the balance points. A place that serves as a perfected microcosm. When humankind — glossing over the irrelevancies of blame-shifting and gender politics — opted to have the knowledge of God and to become gods themselves, God, who was still on his break, gave people the other half of the gift: the responsibility to finish, if not the whole of Creation, their own perfected Garden outside the walls of his own. Because, you know, too many cooks and so forth.

You’ll never be happy in someone else’s garden when you think you can do better in your own.

In this version, I am the summation of the worst element of mankind, the sin of Pride personified, internally rationalized and justified by the overwhelming sense of the responsibility to fix every impossible last detail that causes human misery, from unfair allocation of space and resources on an individual level to weather and tectonic drift. That’s my leptonic charge that keeps me from sinking into the bosonic condensate that is the unified ground state of being dead, at rest and at peace, at one with God and the rest of Creation.

Being dead is a complicated state. Elsewhere I am alive, in infinite combinations and variations along the paths of the labyrinth of superimposed possibilities where everything that is permitted is actually mandatory. Outside of the walls of the connected paths, in the parts of the labyrinth where there are no exits and no entrances, are the versions of me that never were and never will be. A larger infinity, as it were. If you are a student of infinities, you will know that some infinities are larger than others and you will understand what I am saying. Otherwise, I suggest you take it on faith, because it is a necessary truth for true understanding.

Here in this city, the unquiet dead gather to enjoy the smell of rain on pavement and the sound of the wind that delivers it. A heartbeat away is the reality that once lived here and will live here again on the other side of the ripple that broke the surface, the stone that shattered the self-healing mirror, symmetrical to the last tiny detail. Here in the shattered, suspended world, the last real child on earth scuffs the new off the tip of his sneakers kicking at the last sun-bright yellow dandelion flower, milk bleeding from its broken green stalk, and vanishes into the clouded lake we swim in without a detectable ripple.

In this disturbed state, it is not possible that humans ever existed. All of the paths in the labyrinth are closed off to us, living and dead, and the city incandesces and fades, a sandcastle without wind and waves to have constructed it, without wind and waves to eventually take it apart. It joins us and lends its probability to ours, with its rain and wet pavement and promise of eventual sunshine and the perfect kite-flying weather. The boy never noticed his transition. Nor did the dandelion.

The ghost pavement is once again solid under my feet. The wet wind is in my hair. I don’t know how much time I have to build a kite and fly it, but I have no other goal right now, none more important, than buckling down and getting to work on putting paper and wood and string to the wind while I have the chance.

And if I fail, so be it. Somewhere, somewhen, I will succeed, and the world will be perfect.


March 6, 2011 · by xalieri · Posted in This One Time  


Leave a Reply