I really want to get this going....

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

JUST LIKE THAT


17. JUST LIKE THAT (Two Hands in a Three-Handed Story) - a Princeton Tale:

I awoke one once upon a winter's day and found myself face to face on Library Place with Albert Einstein - who was walking the street intent on identifying the cars going by - and as he moved along I set in next to him and he said "a bevy of autos each with a name - Pontiac Chrysler and Chevrolet among them - the strangest words in the English language I've heard by far - but more important than all that is the differentiation between them for once that is gone we will have no other and I do foresee that day coming soon - perhaps it's but another portion of my 'Unified Field Theory' setting itself up for operation would you say?" and he turned to look at me smiling as he did so "for there is really no sense in regarding matter and field anyway as two qualities quite distinct from one another because what impresses our senses as matter is really but a great concentration of energy into a comparatively small space" and I replied (almost without thinking nor knowing what it was I was saying) "skin from electrons and bone from loneliness" and once I said that we both seemed from that point on quite comfortable with each other "our cells must obey old songs around electrified bodies and fields of yearning and I find myself drawn into myself while drawn to others - and all flesh is nothing but the strength of force" and he stopped just then and looked up as I saw darting up above a red-tailed hawk of some singular variety which was just then swooping hard down upon some hapless black squirrel squirming in a terror of its only very own "and the sadness of nature is what resounds through the night - that sound we hear calling us back through dreams and the horrors of sleep - with every sensation the density of us" and he appeared intent on listening though he never turned again toward me to speak "a plague of grasshoppers" he said "a real plague - one equalling all the sins of a stupid mankind - that is something I worry about for no one really knows any longer what we are doing and once those sins are counted I'm really afraid an equivalence of insects will collect all the food grown in our wickedness and all preserved by dominion of the powerful over the weak" and with that we parted just like that - he going one way and I another - past the red cottage brick wall surrounding some big house along the old Princeton Battlefield Monument - which monument I thought actually overblown and in poor taste IN FACT nothing more than a huge mess of stone signifying nothing more than signification but Princeton was often like that so it really didn't matter to me - strivers and the universal monkey-shiner intellectuals who undertake these things usually do so on their own and within their own small coterie of assumptions and ceremonies - for what would some top-hatted General Washington now make of any of this anyway with meadows and fields dismissed where once his men's own iron bloods flowed like rivulets through a trickle of rum and nothing but highways and roads now sluiced through the ever-present concerns of the men who here died ('and we buried a lot of them just where they lay and with no time for anything but the most cursory of examinations we straightened up their littered bodies and uttered some horrid form of last-death prayers at the site') and today everything there is measured in ruminations over taxes and zonings and little details of the dumb and stupid - Mr. Cadawaller and the secretary of whatever nods his head yet again -- 'it was to strengthen you' but it was RATHER to cause ourselves shame that we did these things and we were supposed to give God at least a signal that we listened and became a more gentle people but we have not and did nothing or maybe (instead) we put up the cross and said 'thank you for that cross' as one with one voice and one last screaming howl and the only note this Einstein fellow ever wrote that I saw was 'Boy : grind the meat - signed Butcher'.

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