Monday, April 15, 2013

The Reprieve

From Journal #32 

Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Gazing at the fountain through a humid haze... still feverish...
Last night was exceedingly strange...
Coming home from a long, hot, and exhausting ride on the F-Train—I saw a man break down in sobs because he had been out of work for a very long time and couldn't support his family—
Then a long walk across a dark and dispirited Ditmas Avenue...

Finally arriving home, I walked into the living room and noticed an insect in the air—flying in a strange and fluttering manner, making elliptical swoops and turns as it rose and fell, rose and fell, almost in the manner of a kite—and finally settling on my wall. My first impulse was to roll up a newspaper and smash it, but something deterred me. I couldn’t identify the type of insect, and looked closer at this strange creature—quite large, actually, and of a singularly aerodynamic design, graceful-looking with oddly-shaped and proportioned forelegs that stretched out and hinged back again towards the body and then outwardly again quite a good distance in front.

If I had to identify its color, I would guess Prussian Green of a quite beautiful shade.

The creature’s head was oddly-shaped and in the same aerodynamic mold as the rest of its body. A singularly graceful and pleasing proportion announced itself from every facet of its body. I abandoned all thoughts of destroying such a wondrous being.

I went to the kitchen and took a small glass jar from the cupboard and a postcard from the table. I managed to trap the creature in the jar without harming or damaging it, and then slid the postcard under the lips of the jar as the captive fluttered wildly about, hurling itself at the glass. I then examined it more closely and was further impressed at its fine design. I carried it into the kitchen and held up the open jar outside the window as the creature flew off into the humid darkness of the late-August night.

Reprieved! Saved by your graceful symmetry and good looks! Saved by your harmonious and pleasing palette! A close call for you—lucky that I happened to notice your charms before you ended up smashed and broken against my wall!


5—An engineering marvel—cantilevered and sprung in a delicate-looking stance

3—Dancing in the air, filaments trailing like the tail of a kite

4—All leafy-green and delicate—filaments hanging limply in the air as it swooped and dove in a little display of aerial grace

2—Irretrievably smashed and never again to mimic the swoops and dives of a kite—your delicate aerial ballet ended in one brutal slam of a rolled-up newspaper

1—Your body pressed into two dimensions like a mono-type into the narrative and fabric of the day's news—perhaps adding an ironic and graphic counter-point to a randomly chosen article

6—Perhaps serving as an ironic illustrative element to a random article and adding further meaning and dimension to the original intent.




If, when you fluttered in my window—if I had been thinking of “X”, whose overbearing and arrogant manner can drive me into a rage:

 or “Y”, whose most potent weapon is mockery:

or even “Z”, a gentle soul who nevertheless possesses quirks that irritate and annoy me at times:
If I had had X, Y, or Z in mind when you happened to fly in my window, your fate might have been very different. I might have lashed out at you in a transference of rage and resentment and ended your poised and delicate life. Lucky for both of us that I had neither X, nor Y, nor Z in mind. I might have been remorseful afterwards and you would have had your juices staining the day’s news like green printer’s ink. Perhaps your crushed and flattened little body might have resembled a fossil image from the Devonian Period—or the impression of a Pterodactyl .

Or maybe you might have resembled an angel that had been celestially pressed into the receptive shroud of the tabloid.

Or maybe your expiration in a fraction of a second would only have been a messy and grotesque horror that would be tossed in the garbage as quickly as possible.

Maybe it was a combination of the late summer heat and the slight fever that I had that caused you to appear in an exaggerated manner that saved your life that night...


 4:01—Anxiety creeps in around the periphery of the park...

/// pterodactyl /// benevolence /// kites /// insects ///

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