September 19, 2012
Hey, empty window of expectation. How about I try to keep up with time by typing? As long as the string of words keeps going forward I won’t be stymied by any past or future, just this key, this thought, this key thought. I read a book for people who do high risk personal security for politicians and celebrities, it’s called Just Two Seconds, and it kept pressing the point that, “All assassination attempts happen at the same time: now.” So in order to anticipate and defeat these attempts, you must always be there in the now to meet them. The way to do that is to keep noting every detail of of your surroundings, to never let your attention flag by constantly re-engaging it by seeking out every bit of stimuli to test against the criteria of your mission: Is this person a threat?
I was going uptown today and had a headache and had to sit down outside the 96th St. Station to dig in my bag for aspirin, and once I took it I decided just to sit for a minute, and watch everybody going in and out of the station to see which ones were going to try to assassinate my client. That’s not a guitar that guy’s carrying, she’s walking quickly and not looking at anyone, this lady’s muttering, these three guys are wearing construction helmets and vests which are fantastic disguises (Banksy said that one of the best ways to disappear in public is to put on a bright orange safety vest). That guy is just straight-up shifty. It certainly was engaging; and it made me feel safer to assess the threat level of my environment and determine it to be relatively low, a cool yellow-green on the emergency color wheel.
When I was afraid to fly, I watched a lot of in-flight movies. It wasn’t only a distraction; if I could get engaged in one of the stories, it satsified my subconscious superstition that nothing could happen while a story was playing out. There’s a sanctity to narrative, in its promise of completion; you’re always owed an ending. In stories, things make a kind of sense; events are linked by causality, actions have outcomes. It’s gratifying to the bone. It’s like the Amen Extension of the Plagal Cadence, the “Ah…ah…ah..men” notes that appear at the end of virtually every hymn (as an atheist, I always hear it as “The…ee…ee…end”). The downside of this is that all compelling-enough narratives present themselves as possible, if not likely, so you might read, as I did, at age twelve, Stephen King’s Christine, then spend a sleepless week of agitated writhing, waiting for a vengeful, hellbent car to barrel through your bedroom wall.
No real point to be made here. No revelation for the revelation-a-day calendar that this blog always wants to be. No, wait, take that out of the passive voice. The guy I used to work with at that place always said that — “This is what the organization wants to be. This is how the club wants to be used.” Which was crap. I mean, I anthropomorphized everything as a child, to the point that I apologized to chair legs if I banged into them, and felt bad for the banana I left in the bowl (not to mention the one I was about to ingest — WHAT IF THE BANANA HAD A SOUL), but even as a seven-year-old I knew that ascribing motives or desires to inanimate pseudo-entities was pretend.
I kept saying this summer that I was going to have a manuscript by October. Hah! I’ll be lucky if I get a manicure by then! Hi-yo.