Unpacking the Moment
It’s Columbus Day.
Ebola reminds me of his gifts to our indigenous peoples. It’s gotten hot yet they say to expect lots of snow. Lucky the markets have rebounded since the crash. Bills are due. Jobs are up. Approval is down. Journalists are beheaded, tear gassed and told to turn the light off as if its time for bed. Everything is an ad and everyone’s a salesman. Terrorism is the new brand of hate and selling fast. Kids are being shot, arms up, as they try furiously to keep up with the Kardashians. Instalike, snap shot my selfie before it dissolves screaming for yelp on Facebook withering away, alone on-the-line. Like this, will you?
I am here, I think.
Panicked, I look. I can’t find myself. I am somewhere but nowhere yet everywhere at the same time. I become all this crazy around me, spinning intricate, fickle webs in my brain.
I am treading water, inebriated on the uptown train.
A middle-aged woman reads the Post, a toxic rag. The cover splash spits “Savages” and shows a white journalist from Evanston, Illinois on his knees in an orange jumpsuit with a lavaliere mic clipped to his lapel. A young British man wearing a black outfit, face covered, stands next to him holding a knife to his neck.
Her suit is conservative, kept, and cut for business.
We never make eye contact. She reads, scans the cover, sips her coffee, and turns to Sports. Like sardines in a can we jiggle. I imagine her pushing up, strap-hanging with one arm legs dangling as she screams, “This is wildly inappropriate.” Or maybe that was me. The distance between my reality and the reality of others grows wider. It’s cold, alone. The space is cavernous and the echoes send shivers up my spine as they reverberate waves of something that could have been but isn’t. I am walking on a rocky path at the bottom of the canyon wondering how anyone could survive alone. I am on the train, in a canyon, in a suit, on the sand losing my head.
I stop and take a deep breath.
I close my eyes and walk slowly, naked into the lake of my own consciousness. As I get quiet, diving deeper, the warm water holds me like a womb. Briefly, this world, the news melts away as I am coddled to sleep to the lapping of the great gramophone of existence. There is a Me I uncover buried within unaffected by all this and that, constant as the stars. My breath brings me there. Slow and steady calms the mind. The embrace is soft yet sturdy. I am vulnerable and suddenly everything is ok just the way it is. The doors open. I get off and on with my life.