Wed, 19 May 2004


time traveling


(Some random scrawlings that I can't seem to make coherent)

Knowing that these are My Last Days in this City makes everything dreamlike and surreal, like I'm waiting for my own personal apocalypse.
The past and present meld together in a spiraling, feedback fashion. As I walk aimlessly across this urban matrix, I orient myself through space with nothing but memories: I pass that patch of sidewalk where he pointed the gun at me. I walk across that parking lot where my buddy took off his shirt and just about took off his pants before we stopped him. I drive down the street where we tried hailing cop cars to take us home. I walk past that club where my other buddy picked up those two women and where we danced countless drunken, sweaty nights—these last memories all blur, smeared by alcohol and repetion.
I try to un-know these past few years, pretend that I am once again caught in the moment, exploring this vast place that I am now familiar with (though I only learned an infinitesimal increment about it)
Knowing that my immediate future lies completely elsewhere, literally half a continent away, it is close to impossible to start anything new. No matter how adventurous I feel, I find myself walking through the same familiar streets, drinking at the same, tired bars. The only difference is that I no longer meet familiar faces.
My own personal, transient history is being erased even before I leave this place for the final time. I realize it is megalomaniacal to expect that I would leave a mark in this place, but the immensity of this city and my insignificance in it bears down on me in this solitary days.
The weather has morphed at least six times since I've been sitting here, recapitulating the seasons, with change to spare. The bright, blue sky of summer, the brooding grey of winter, the deep dark, pregnant rain clouds, the yellow glow of the sunlight gleaming through the breaking bank of clouds.

It's odd, this feeling, that, despite knowing precisely where I'm going to be in the next month (well, not precisely, but about as precise as you can be given the changing tides of Fate, Godel's Law of Incompleteness, and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle), I feel completely directionless.
It doesn't help that there are a hundred, thousand trivial tasks that pull at me this way and that, these ridiculous loose ends that, like dandelions or gophers, just keep popping up.
It's like this cosmological game of Whack-a-Mole.

I still marvel at the sensation of being completely isolated and disconnected despite being embedded in a rock-and-concrete organism made up of millions of people. Sometimes, much like how motion-sickness and the concomitant nausea can creep up on you, I lose my sea legs and plumb the depths of this seething loneliness. Then I regain my equilibrium and composure, and plunge on dazedly, immune to passion, sorrow, or joy. It's amazing the sorts of things human beings can adapt to.

17:23:02 19 May 2004 > /portents > permalink > 65 comments