Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Moment, Sharp as Glass

“I’ve always been attracted to edges. All kinds of edges. Like there are those places where a field meets a forest, and there’s a thicket or a whole bunch of shrubs and vines and things. Those places always have more birds and mammals than either the forest or the field. They’re called ecotones, those in-between places. Isn’t that pretty? It’s like music from the collision of two different things. Edges are always more interesting than middles. Did you ever notice the most interesting people are the ones you find on the margins? Wallflowers at parties, street kids busking outside popular bars, anarchists squatting in abandoned churches...You get the idea, right?”

Jacob nodded.

“I also kind of have a thing for edges in time. That moment of anticipation  just before something completely changes your life. When you know it’s coming and you even have a good idea of what it is and whether you like it or not it...will...happen. You understand that, don’t you Jacob?”

Jacob nodded.

“The frustrating thing about edges, Jacob, is that you can’t stay. They’re transitions, and transitions are no place to live. They’re just for passing through. But what about the beach, you might ask. Beaches are ecotones and they’re lovely places to stay. You’re right, they are. But even there the tide comes in and you can never drink the water. Are you thirsty, Jacob?”

Jacob nodded.

“See what I mean? There’s nothing here to drink! Just sea water and birds and hedgehogs and anticipation! But let me tell you my favorite thing about edges, Jacob. It’s called fractal geometry. Did you know that if you look very closely at an edge, you’ll find even more edges? The closer you look, the more you find, the more complex it gets. Edges are endless, Jacob. Finite but endless. Like life. Even knives and razors and broken glass, perfect and straight and beautiful and sharp and clear, are longer than you can imagine. Isn’t that wonderful? Together we can touch infinity, Jacob. Infinite complexities interacting in infinite ways, for one perfect moment between now and then. Edges can be loved and worshipped, but never understood until you leave the middle forever. It’s time now to abandon the middle, Jacob, to embrace the edge, free the sea, and touch infinity with me! We’ll stay as long as we can. Are you ready?”

Jacob nodded. There was nothing else he could do.

1 comment:

  1. I just LOVE this piece. I have this mental image of Jacob being tied up and despairing--knowing he's going to die soon, and just nodding because he figures each nod is worth a few more moments of life. . . .

    This piece is riveting and just--sparkling.