One Day

Across the years from the time he put them down, his words come on to me with his memory of a clear day framed in pale blue with retsina and olives. He mouths the words, pummels them, actuates the synaptic reservoir with something of what it was like to be there, and perhaps with a desire to arrest the self in that moment. I am left with the integrated munition of my belief in these things; that it really is Marvelous to be alive, and I am here thinking that. Marvelous. Marvelous how he says it, how it is evoked from the dry pastiche of the page, like he is talking in a language that I understand vividly, that I can catenate into larger pictures composited by the things I have seen. Christ, haven't we heard the bells at midnight?

Marvelous in the way he writes Marvelous; I can hear him debouching the word like a rotund woman with a large plate of something good to eat. I look at the sun where it comes across the cold metallic craw of a wasted season and I'm feeling that. I see that it is in fact round and warm and about as coherent as a monomaniac in soliloquy to a flock of stubborn sheep. The day is a projectile with nothing but the stand of it's moment to rely upon, so I recall that it is a rule of rulership to be present and to claim the responsibility of your coherence, and I am remembered to all of these things thanks largely to the words that stream out at me from his hammered-on page. I can hear him writing this book to me as I sit here beyond his time; It doesn't matter to me that now is a shared actuality, when the actual realism of this moment doesn't exist to be measured or defined in the quiet hiss of spectral chromatography. It can't be touched. None of the moments that flow out of this crevice in space-time, so daintily squeezed into the binding of those static pages, are actualized in the present with any index to the magnitude of their reality.

Even as the light I am seeing now is slightly hazy with the brown sky of a large Urban demesne, the sun is focused and unfettered, and it can be placed firmly fourty years in the past with all the clarity and heavy handedness of his monologue. I poke my nose up in the air, expecting the heavy accent of Olive wood burning in the stoves of a town in the crag of a sceptre, like a mountain. I am expecting to see that in the course of waking up and walking down the street, this Greece that I have never been to, has come alive. The truth of it is that I see the people around me vividly, like the memory of a dream in the thirty seconds after you wake up. I see the lines of the structures of the city, I hear the compounded cacophony of the vehicles and the clatter of cups in the cafe like a symphony of everything I have ever heard. It casts me back to the sense of a forest, to the shore of a sea lost in the myths of an unrecorded poet. I am smelling the fresh bread of a well regarded bakery, like the honey-brown promise of another second like this, glittering in the present, the cold reality embraced as it is, without the presupposition of consciousness, experiencing it as a light, a smell, a touch to feel the sky with. This synethesia an ongoing enticement so that, touched off, we are dancing about architecture, and painting about songs; the tragedy never quite carried off except in the hard and beautiful smile of a jester that knows it's worthless to record it. In posterity it is only beautiful, and now it is transcendent, now it was transcendent, now it is something else.

My jester never strong enough to defend me from the momentum of my beast. I am cast up to the height of this intense and beautiful day like a rag-doll caught in a cyclonic disturbance, and I am exulted in the burning light where the sun irradiates my soul. So I am happy to be Here, where I haven't been happy in months, and I am Happy to be alive, where I haven't been living for years, and I am happy because I am trapped between the dead words of a book from the past and the hard light of a day I haven't lived. I am Happy because I know I don't have to write it down, but content in the fact that I will. I am caught upon the aviary of a scene I'm not responsible for, watching from the shadows of the future as characters I have never met work themselves into a frenzy to describe the exact significance of the light as their Sun sinks into the Mediterranean Sea. I am free of their plot, and I am hardened in the sense that it isn't me, and that it never will be. I am free in the sense that these beautiful people and this beautiful scene and the world that contains it has never actually been, will never actually be, is abstracted from the burden of another monster with too much to bear and not enough weight to disburse it.

In the resolution of this fit, I'm caught with the idea that there will be times like this as long as I am willing to see them, and that there will be olives and strong drinks and cigars to smoke where the meal has been eaten and the sun is sinking in the reality I can actually see, where I'm not just living it vicariously with the idea that I will truly live it. I smell the smoke, I take the drink, I lean back and enjoy the act of smiling, closing the pages of this book so they will continue to mark for me this day with that bright clarity of bells last heard at midnight, in the heart of an opposite season, in a different tone, the callibre of some Marvelous fortune, a future unfettered by expectation.

All words © Brian O'Reilly