Monday, October 18, 2004


My walking faltered, and I drifted gently to a stop. There must be some way -- I might have thought -- to want something. There must be something.

The clouds were travelling steadily to the northwest. A thick silver cloud-cover, drizzling a steady rain, like a vast sheet of corrugated steel gliding across the sky. The clouds can move. Are they free, or bound? The question, I'm told, makes no sense. I suppose it doesn't. They look free. Except that every ripple in the corrugation is moving the same way, hurrying toward the mouth of the Columbia. The wind made visible. If the wind isn't free, what is?

At the far end of the breezeway, a door opened, and an Indian man came out, gesticulating. He was talking on a cell phone. I started walking again. See? Only the prospect of being thought odd by a stranger is needed, and I'm set in motion again.

Red wet leaves on the pavement. As I left the shelter of the breezeway, the rain tapped lightly on my scalp, barely impeded by my thinning hair. I walked through the parking lot. I couldn't really be a suspicious figure. I was wearing my badge.

The wind blew a spray of rain into my face, onto my forearms. I yearned with love, all the familiar sensations of being in love, except that there was no one at the focus of it. I'd die if I couldn't have... somebody's love. Who was it? I must have been daydreaming about somebody, musn't I? You can't just be lovelorn. You have to pine for someone specific. I think the same people say that, who say you can't ask questions about the freedom of the wind.

Tired of my exile. Tired of my loneliness. Tired of my weariness.

A small mammal under a huge restless sky. Generating warmth, by habit. A blot on an infrared camera, a harbor for mosquitos. My heart beat steadily toward its total. I found myself counting softly, as I often do, when I feel exposed and vulnerable. Following the gentle decrement of my lifetime, the slow running-out of my time. How long should a man's life be? Another question that makes no sense. Long enough to reach his death.

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