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Midnight Occlusion

Static

The clock is blinking a radioactive mercurochromic orange “12:20” and I wonder What was that dream I just had? I’m still having? and realize I’ve only been asleep for an hour and a half. But my eyes are wide and there’s a churning in my head telling me sleep is not an option right now. My thoughts about the Beebe project are jostling one another—colliding random nuggets about that hideous courthouse in Park Rapids and how to say something charitable, anything at all, about the House Wing of the old State Capitol which is a building best forgotten, whose history is a mashup of all that can go wrong with public architecture, and also about what might be his most important building, the Fargo Masonic Temple, so long-gone before my arrival here that the Gate City parking lot must always have been there, and then there’s that idea for an Agincourt character named Sharon who drives taxi and ferries people from here to there—from the market to their apartment, from home to the dentist and back with no charge for waiting at the curb with the meter off—but whose services also include lifts to the afterlife—and all these thoughts are so muddled in here like shit and piss and used condoms at the sewage treatment plant, that I wonder what the fuck the difference is between “sewage” and “sewerage” and make a note to look that up in the morning, as this churning leaves so little room in here I might have to vacate the premises and let them have my head for as long as it takes to work things out.

So I reach to my left—where there’s always a modest heap of books; I sleep with books like Imelda Marcos probably did with shoes—for David Mitchell’s Bone Clocks and read forty or fifty pages or so, so clearly that I understand what reading is for the very first time, like that time I couldn’t sleep and decided to vacuum my room, with Schönberg’s Piano Concerto on the phonograph—do they even make those anymore?—and freaked when I thought there was someone outside my window on that stifling August night in Norman, Oklahoma at Mrs Starr’s house, humming along with the music and realizing it was me humming along with Schönberg and that there actually is a melody there, and that I’d just had the sonic equivalent of that visual shtick where the two profiles suddenly become the candle stick, and the out-of-body experience teaches me how to read for the first time since I may have picked up a Golden Reader at the age of four or five, and with that comes the dread that I love writing more but certainly never will write anything of meaning or consequence to anyone else, and I think That’s OK because it’s better to get it out there and make room for something new.

Maybe I’ll read another few pages.


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