Storm Clouds in Tow
Nobody is quite sure where he came from. Or what he is doing here. And if they are aware of any bit of information they know better than to offer it up...out here in the open. Word has a way of traveling along city blocks and through streams of collective consciousness -- like a fog you never notice but that everyone feels, blurring hard lines beyond distinction.
Can you be sure that you weren't invited here long ago? A date and location printed on one of those many discarded windshield-affixed manifestos...placed carefully as to defy the miserable and changing wind -- lodged discretely to avoid any of the inevitable and prevalent set of invisible hands. Tossed away with an off-hand shrug.
But some events were meant for your attendance. And perhaps you are only now arriving at your long-reserved front row vantage point to witness this forgone and conclusive set of circumstances...this bitter scene of the crime.
Who's to say that all of our resistant reflexes weren't fighting for a survival of their own? Minor peculiarities in the fabric have a way revealing fundamental and highly evolved flaws in the grand pattern. Backs were broken and jokes were told when nobody held the slightest hope for making a dent in the foundation. Good finds its way to the shore, like trouble finds its way to your door. Washed up and gasping for air. Struggling for a life that defies all logic and can only be taken at its swollen word. Glimpsing the world through shaken belief...shouting to the beaten shoreline in muted refrains. Clutching dry land for dear life...grasping at a reality that is only too real but fades before very eyes.
Funny how these things have a way of making fools out of the most distinguished among our visionary pranksters. Finding themselves caught in a sudden parting of ways. Retrenching along the landmarks of beaten paths. Holding ground in a losing battle to make amends. Exhausting all efforts to slip beneath the newly drawn water line. Casting diminishing shadows against the restless pier. Washing away with the collected dune...falling apart in a piece by piece crescendo, building to an immaculate destruction.
And there he is. Silhouetted by the reverential moonlight. The madman we extended great efforts to discount in watery shrouds...shelved in the frenzied folds of disbelief. Rising now. Out of turbulent waves. Covering the ground like a make-shift deity. Stepping in time with a shadowed life of his own. Stumbling like a lost ghost along the terrain of a forgotten dream. Measuring distance in knee-jerk forays into the unknown. Gaining a foot-hold in the ever-present and simple acknowledgment of misinterpreted truth.
Might as well write this one off to romantic symbolism. Better that than deal with the step-by-step accounting that will only lead to sullen bottom-line conclusions. Retrace those footprints that so callously led you here. Pocket those hopes you thought you shared. Settle in for the night in a dingy shelter and crash...you've got it coming. Do yourself a favor and sleep this one off.
But what will you, our faithful and ever-present observer, make of this scenario? Caught in a cross-wind of casual observance and ritual awareness. This is your great dance. What will you make of it? Will you shrug it off to deranged utterance? Or will you seek a greater understanding? Will you cast your glance to the waning hour and harbor yourself against everything that you hold to be true. Will you take measure and enter the details into hidden pages and dark passages of our permanent record?
Are you up for the call?...
He's moving off now. Who can say why?...or where. And it's beginning to look like rain. Some will lose sight of his outlined departure as he descends into rolling fog, gathering now along the banks of our lost shore. Down by the docks. That will be our last image before the sudden shower and its attendant umbrella opening ritual commences, blocking all possible lines of vision. Hurriedly going about our separate ways -- doing our best to lessen the extent of our soaking...or to at least find a decent place of seclusion where we can keep our shivering to ourselves.
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