Archetypes and Repetition [Flash Fiction]


. . . and once having read Kerouac’s description of the rising Merrimack River rushing overflowing, there I was in the middle of things, she had died all of sudden, how is any death not all of sudden even at fourteen? I was in Lowell–we had made it to Lowell after the funeral. I made it to Lowell with my cousin, my godfather, who I had only recently found out had dies several–or was it seven–years ago? I imagine I could think that I went by the Merrimack looking for Jack’s ghost, or that I could think that I might want to go by the river looking for his ghost–and I am not even sure if I had known anything about him when I was fourteen. I would have liked to think so, at least some time ago after after the fact.

I felt better having burst in the dark before the dying embers of the fireplace at my cousins, listening to Dinah Washington, I forget which ballad, over and over, replaying one song I cannot recall how many times–his father having played jazz for many many years, jamming with musicians that made it to the Berkshires for Jacob’s Pillow.

I used to play songs sometimes to make me sad, el llorono I imagine me saying in Spanish, a dream I had had of Garcia Lorca talking to me on the shore of the Mediterranean–staring at the dying embers of the fire, I used to wish I had a fireplace, under Dinah’s voice, breaking into pieces.

I was in the town Ti Jean was born in, after the funeral–I had helped carry the casket, lead blue, I used to say so many things about the funeral I have since forgotten (I swore I heard her voice come from out of the dark of my bedroom one night sitting in the living room in my father’s leather recliner meditating on the hum of my refrigerator about 1-teenage-AM, with Lee.).

The subject of another trial–all about tribulations–every trial an essay–every essay a trial. Another trial and another trial, all of them creeping in petty paces, syllable, after syllable, all of the records of time; time in the mind, time on the clock, time descending with space in a metaphysical parallax. There is a parallax in the mind too.

Her hands were bent, were knotted, twisted by arthritis . . .I see her holding a fork and with that fork beating into Andean peaks of meringue, egg whites in a bowl, someone’s life passing before one’s eyes happens in stages throughout one’s life I presume. It does not happen all at once all of a sudden. I cannot imagine how long the montage would have to be for all of it at once to happen in the minutes or hours before death, whose death, her death, his death, their deaths were different, were the same, were what were when were how–no, their deaths are! I held my mother’s hand until her heart stopped beating.I slept at my father’s feet like a Viking dog the night before the morning he died.

That is all.

The way we once knew the cosmos was recreated the moment the shofar was blown–eternal return, all religion is a linking again with the One, the True and the Absolute.


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