Tuesday, August 7, 2007


He feels himself fading. He feels himself losing his substance. He passes by objects as if he could pass through them. Only habit keeps him solid. If he should take one wrong step, in the wandering journey he makes through the hours, he might pass into darkness and never emerge, or fall into a myriad sparks of light and scatter like particles from an exploded sun. One must be better than the other. Habit tells him so. But darkness takes up so much more space.

So much darkness and not enough light. It won't resolve itself into twilight. He hopes it will settle into the circadian rhythms of rotation and revolution. But he senses that the very observation of this fact is sophomoric. He's not embarrassed by this. He starts with basics.

When he was young he found stimulation in thesis and antithesis and synthesis. It seemed like wisdom. It was just the awareness of sex. Now he thinks that two things do not join to become a third. He thinks that two things remain what they are, perhaps changed. Some third thing may also appear.

He watches to be sure that his feet follow some twisting line that only he can see. It isn't a middle way. It bisects nothing. It represents no balance. It skews far off to one particular side. He hasn't determined any axis, any plain that defines his movement -- there is no distant goal, no guide point he uses for reference. He feels himself always tilted.

He finds no common ground. He sees no means of compromise. He has lost his sense of wisdom, of justice. He cannot generate severity when severity is needed. He does not know when gentleness will do good. Time beats no rhythm in his soul. He cannot find the moment when severity or justice are due.

He touches something. What is it? A solid. Some warmth. Ah. It is skin. Perhaps it is his own? Yes. He thought it was intangible. Now he cannot get past it. He knows the only way to get out of it is by bleeding. Well, he knows there are other fluids -- but it is blood that counts. Give too much and he will die.

There's no wisdom in this, he thinks. It's not real -- it's just a thesis. The other thing he needs, to make it real, is the part of himself -- he believes, still -- that can get out yet remain alive. Darkness needs light.

What is light?

He cares about others the way others care about him. From a distance. He is diseased by etymologies. Words have meaning. Love is found in that set of things that do not fail. If it fails it was not love. Thus, he is a time traveler. He can change the meaning of the past, by what he decides about it now. If his love fails, it was never love -- for all that he thought it was. This is why he knows now to be careful. He has to love those he would love, forever. He is careful, and does not speak of it -- too great a responsibility. As friendship would be, on a lower frequency. It isn't just a fond feeling, not just shared time. It is an intimacy that carries a committment. Thus he says he has no friends, and calls it honesty.

Now he seeks to be careful. Careful to bisect an asymmetrical section between darkness and light. Careful to tread his line. Without it he thinks he would be lost in the dark. Darkness is not the only true thing, but it is true. What of light?

He thinks he should guide himself by light. He thinks he should leave the path he walks, turn sharply off the curve and find a straight way to go. He thinks he should find a friend, and shatter himself into a myriad sparks of light and shower his friend with love. He thinks that if he should do this he might still have skin to hold in his blood, for all that he is shattered. He thinks it is darkness that makes him fade. He thinks his disease of words would become whole in the presence of such action. This is what he thinks.

He thinks that time has lost its rhythm, and with its loss, he cannot tell wisdom from foolishness. He thinks darkness is necessary. He does not look up. He puts one foot in front of the other. He wishes he could love again.



Anonymous said...


Oh, there you are. You had me worried. Devasted, actually.

Don't give up, you know this is only temporary. Virtual hands of annonymous friendship everywhere. I humbly hold out mine. NO, DO NOT SLAP IT AWAY. Einstein's definition of insanity just may apply here, buddy.

Honestly, I am worried for you. So painful a read, so brutally honest and real. I can't convey the lump in my throat or welling of tears onto this little "comment" square without sounding trite, hollow, and doltish. And so I say only,
JACK, so you will hear that someone is saying it.

Jack H said...

Please, be at peace. I'll tip my hand in a way I don't usually do. These are performances. They are not untrue, but they are true only of a moment. It is the darkness of a blinking eye. I return to a few themes because they drive me, but this is not who I am.

I use FP as a sort of public notebook, and these scribblings are not meant to be taken seriously. All art is artifice, and manipulative. It goes for an effect. In January I sort of took this blog in a different direction, more personal, but that's a good thing. You can see in it something of the cruelty with which I've come to treat myself, but it's the abrupt cruelty of the adult who recognizes the self-pity in a sobbing child.

I don't want people to think that the actual author of this blog is Jack H. He is a character. I've had some fun with that theme too. It's the old tears and laughter thing. Indulge me in both. Neither is who I am.

As I say, peace. No truth is the whole truth.


Anonymous said...

...whew. Thank you for letting me know that you're okay. Whoever you are.

In Castaway, Tom Hanks painted a face on a volleyball and called him Wilson--his only companion on the deserted island. Wilson became so real and dear to him, he tried to save him from drifting out to sea. His anguish at losing Wilson was so real, you mourned with him.

Yes, I shall think of you as Wilson from now on, and shall not worry.
I'm still catching up on your writings, so I'll be back often.

Jack H said...

Yes. Please do think of us as a soulless object, upon which you can project your neuroses. Such an apt metaphor for what we here at FP are striving for. Come one, come all.

The font of our wisdom is inexhaustible.

In an unrelated note, our countless readers may be interested to know that they are indeed counted. We have had something on the order of 19000 drop ins, in the 20 months we have been operating -- although some members of the board feel this number cannot be accurate, given the manifest worth of our efforts. It must be orders of magnitude higher. But the more staid of us do not trouble ourselves with such incidentals. We are content that those who chose to make themselves known, do so through their comments. All others may maintain the anonymity that we ourselves value.

The Editors