A possible boy, who reads to live, came unasked with six o’clock.
Hovered there at the bedside repeating his title all through the walk to bathroom and back again.
Like all his predecessors, he blocked the way back under the covers. His fog moved down the hall to the smoking room window, tailing me back to the jeans and tshirt I claimed at the foot of the bed, and tailed me back again to the smoking room and the cool night air of its window. A possible boy, who reads to live, bounced again and again, a basketball boinking in an empty gym, and fouled up the protestations of the Planner who pleaded his case for the broken resolution to sleep in this morning and prolong the respite from the chorus. The resolution was enacted and proclaimed last night before sleep came. Everyone assented. As they had a thousand nights before.
I would dearly love to drop back into the bed and resume sleep. Saturday affords the time more than the other days. All my days afford the time, but Saturday and Sunday more. The sleep would be restorative. But the writer is declaiming this title in his corner. The grammarian is twisting it in the twilight, holding it against the dusty rose sky, interrogating it to reveal its case, its root. Curmudgeon Man grunts at both, demanding to know if the Grammarian will ever stop chewing on each and every last one of the knots of words that ping pong about the cavern. Waste of time. Should be let go to float away into the ether with the smoke of the mornings first cigarette, drifting off out the window to climb up the building’s wall of painted concrete, or the knotted clusters should be trapped and sealed off with the rank butts in the tupperware container.
Every tool in the garage has a reason to be alive. They live nobly, have a history of gestation from thousands of millennia before, condensate of star dust, recently wrought into final shape by grudging hands in some manufacture, recently, in some decade, some year. Used once or many times, now waiting in the wings, hanging, standing or lying as in a theatre properties room, impatient to have another film of acid and oil and sweat applied to the handle, in honorable addition, and countering the dust and rust of time they attracted while loitering offstage awaiting need.
Those tools, with unreachable lifetimes stretching back before lifetimes were granted to the men who made them, are the tools of a movie watched last night and joined with tools that sit waiting for me in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Florida, Kentucky, California, and joined with the chosen few in my little red bag standing stalwart there in the corner. The Declaimers and Grammarians play games with the affordances steaming off the tools in that movie garage like fog off the lake in Cheshire of an autumn morning.
Curmudgeon Man grunts appreciation for the second cup of coffee, coughs a welcome to the second cigarette, shakes off the crowding chorus.
Writer resumes attendance to snagging patches of the din that fills the cavern and attends to flattening them out onto the page.
The possible boy who reads to live has only his title echoing from the chorus cloned of Declaimer in the infinite halls of mind. It first throbbed in strong royal purple with echoes of blood red and flashout winks of magenta but the possible boy is droning down through blues and greens and sifting off to sandy, dusty grey.
I’ve no idea where he bubbled up from.
Writer turns to Curmudgeon Man for solace. The snatches that so entertained the Declaimers have not kept their color when pressed onto the page.
The Declaimers have no care for the bold-in and wisp-out half-lifes of their children. They have taken up the stories of tools and places and busted knuckles. Sagas of Men, Women, doers of deeds, numbered to glitter as sand or snow in low February light washed neither white nor not white.
In this dull cacophony, the possible boy who reads to live might, for one, let me slip past and back into that bed because the voices of him have receded to positions impossibly far down those corridors and black holes that leak off through the distant walls of the cavern where the used up Declaimer clones and Grammarian assholes wink in and out of insistence.
Those voices are impossibly far from hearing yet remain heard until there is only the dull dumb memory that some song was sung this morning, and it kept me from sleeping.