Essay

A Day not so Unlike any Other Day [Flash Fiction]

 

Hark the herald angels sing–did they not blow their trumpets signaling the recreation of the universe at the Incarnation of the Son of God who is begotten not made before time and creation; all that nativity stuff that I took more seriously than Macy’s could or would, but I did not go to church, do not go. How long has it been since my last confession I do not bother to calculate any more?

When a Chimpanzee’s mother dies, he runs into the forest and beats his head against a tree. He bangs his forehead repeatedly against the trunk. I remember Professor James in his Romantic Poets class telling the story of the young Tennyson who wandered all night in a thunder storm, carving Byron is dead in the trees he passed, soaking wet as he was. After hearing of Byron’s death, the Chimp Tennyson did what human chimps do, or a version of it. I carved no names into trees; I did not bang my head against the trees in my neighborhood. I remember listening to Dinah Washington at night after everyone had gone to sleep at my cousin’s in Lowell and crying, sobbing uncontrollably (that’s horribly cliche). And how do we get from Christmas to chimpanzees.

It was a day not so unlike any other day; all days, any day is like any other day and nothing like any other day this any-other-other-day is not like. I have used this line before, here in paraphrase of the former. I am not talking of the weather, the mind has its own atmosphere; what we see as climate and weather in the mind, another reality, no? Can any one ever be certain of what he recollects, recalls, remembers–all re-memory being the mind reformed reforming.

I am certain at times that I must be remembering a dream when I recall something at another time that I am sure had happened outside my dreams.

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