Momentum and Potential

I walked the terrace of a Tuesday morning, because the fires had raged the whole night through before. I had thought it would be nice to take a stroll in the midst of entropy; I had thought I could fashion some sort of system in my head, an equation by whose constraints the cooling wood might flake and fall.
It was snowing gray instead of white, and the complete air around my feet was blocked with volcanic phlegm. I was walking through the issue of a mountainous cold. When you put it in perspective, my body must have looked like a feral fuzz slowly rolling over the napkin of the earth, occasionally snagged by a raised place in the cloth, a lump of fluid caught and congealed in the dusty folds of ground. I could almost sense the fever pounding subterranean spikes into the soft places of the planet. I could almost learn something from this, I mused as I kicked a chunk of pumice down the incline.
Rolling along down the hill, the rock lost its definite shape and, with each foot it distanced itself from my boots, became an orange blur. It was just another comet plummeting to civilization, another hammer striking the hot blade of society.
“I started this!” I laughed after it, but nobody knew anything about it. For a moment, I was a little boy again, dropping an ice cream on the ground only to watch it melt in the midday sun, like my dreams from the night before. And here was the same thing, a reeling stone careening down a tilted level – and I had only kicked it to watch it fall in the morning’s glow, fall just like the flames from the night before, down into nothingness. Somebody once asked me where the fire went when the men put it out with their hoses, and I could not tell him because I didn’t want to lie. The truth is not that the flame even gets extinguished; these fires are still going in the distant places we call minds. I started this.
I trailed off for awhile, my thoughts riding the ashy clouds for the rush alone, and not to arrive at some particular destination. The pumice hit a house about half the way down and exploded like a geological aneurysm. That brought me back. I couldn’t help myself; I had to laugh again. The thing about it was that it didn’t even make a sound, it just sort of lost itself in the impact. It was speeding downward one minute, bouncing off the plants and chunks of cement with their protruding copper stalks, and the next minute it was no more than a smudge on an edifice of stucco.
But I knew what had really happened, and that’s why I laughed. I don’t see why everybody has to judge me for it. At least I’m getting enjoyment out of life. Besides, it’s like I said with the flames: that rock is still rolling in the distant places. It’s not really gone or anything. That’s why I laughed.

Momentum and Potential


Little Rock, United States

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