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a bright scar filled night by walt valentine Printer Friendly


today i sat down and slowly finished the final pages of a well

recommended book. enduring and endearing to the very end, the young

author captured something of these times, this angst and confusion.

he was one of us, the kind who pick scabs and never allow wounds to

heal. he dreamt hard of life and he dreamed long of death, and with

each word that he recorded a wound stopped festering, perhaps not

his, but somewhere someone had understood. and it went on like this

for miles and centuries, bleak constellations of something too big

to be seen in just one gulp of the eyes; too loud to be said and too

heavy to be put down. there is something of it in the air, in the

sweet and cool taste of the night air, that can remind one in the

silent hours of calm stillness. when the mind has grown weary of

its tricks, has lain aside the movie memories and this millenium

lust, a gentleness and focus is realized and found to be coursing

the veins and strengthening the bones; a light is sparked as simple

as a touch-lamp and continues to burn, resiliant through the pitch

and the need.

we have stumbled out into the darkness once again. as it was in the

past, is now, and will be forever. ever the same disorientation of

one exiting a movie- inside cozy and captured where the self drifts

off into the screen and becomes epic and beautiful, bronze and

magnetic to the opposite sex, more glorious and immortal than those

tiny peer perched near; and so a story ensnares the mind, a new toy

to occupy the baby, to allow it to once again drool with no self-

consciousness, and to become many things at once. but alas, soon

enough the play is done, the hero dies, and the credits roll.

lights hit pupils that are far too large, and the black and white

checker floor of the bathroom reeks of vertigo and reality. then

outside, where memory still expects daylight, and into the deep,

dark night where legs, spine, limbs, eyes, ears, feet, fingers, toes

are forced to feel again after sitting still for so long. a numb

tingle glitters over the surface of the skin, pins and needles. the

mind is forced into the body, and the body receives some of the

residual flight, fantasy, and heroism provided by the storyline and

cinematics. nothing is real. everything is feeling. slow, cloudy

nights of our lives drift on to the time and tomorrow, edging nearer

to a reality, perhaps not the reality, but something- something to

ground us, just like old electricity who bolts and flashes dancing,

only wishing and hoping to touch, to dive into the solidity of the


and then i closed the book. how difficult to put these times into

words. so strange that when i walk out among the city streets and

squatting houses i feel i am traversing a huge desert. a great

loneliness emanates from the small enclosures that we keep ourselves

in, and especially from the locks on their doors. it seems a great

white noise is becoming the norm. no more the simple comfort of the

wind in the pines and the sounds of the night; these have become

foreign and frightening. now comfort is derived from a constant

drone and hum. children who cannot sleep unless the television

remains on. adults who need alcohol and medication to finally close

their tired eyes. and 24 hour convenience and entertainment for

those who suffer the dreariest of insomnias.

the cat then wandered up; little, silent creature who would surely

eat me if i died here in this chair. and i made noises and kissing

sounds, and then began to scratch my fingernails on the fabric of

the chair. for some reason cats find this irresistibly charming and

alive; so they stalk it and attempt a kill. the young tabby sat at

the bottom of the chair, tense and taut, ready. i peeked the tip of

my finger out over the arm to expose it to the cats field of

vision, and then gave a slight wiggle as though small and exploring

and alive. i carefully observe the cat the entire time, for i would

prefer not to have my hand scarred and sliced by those wicked little

claws. and as i am watching, the cats body remains perfectly

still. the only movement i detect is in its slitted pupil. the

pupil grows suddenly large and then the cat immediately pounces.

funny that ive never noticed this before. funny how my own pupils

must expand and contract, giving me away as i ready myself for the

leap, my body preparing perfectly for each moment- as i wait for the

bus with thoughts wrangling my head, as i feel tongues in my mouth

and flesh upon my flesh, as i contemplate a book and twiddle fingers

for the cat. each an infinity of its own these actions, each a

cosmic phenomenon whose true weight and magnitude i can only

imagine. and to approach these things with words and a pen, with

physiology and the scalpel? a daring lot we are. a curious and

insatiable lot. sidestepping reality, we continually search for a

cause and a reason for the cause, and a reason beyond that etc,

etc. we reach out for a purpose and a heaven, a calling and some

sort of recognition. we are never humble, never meek. we are

individuals. we are separate. we puff up like toads at the mention

of our names. we talk more than we listen. we cut ourselves

and each other with broken mirrors. we are gruesome and sadly

beautiful. and we stink of our own smell which is that of a great

and wholesome loneliness...


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