What I Remember from When I was a Boy [fiction]

Another and Another and Another


I remember my Dad reading MacBeth to me when I was a boy, one of the Folger Library editions we used to use in school, one of Julius Caesar we used in 7th grade. I was maybe 7 when my Dad read MacBeth to me. I remember noting that Faulkner had taken the title of his novel The Sound and the Fury from MacBeth’s soliloquy upon hearing of his wife’s death, how life is a tale told by an idiot, yes, an idiot’s story, full of sound and fury, of course, all stories told by idiots are full of both, signifying nothing . . . all of our telling the telling of the idiot who signifies his nothing by sawing the air and belching and bellowing–out, brief candle.

The word ‘universality’ comes from the word ‘universe,’ or, in its etymology, one line. Yes, all universality is about one-lineness, a kind of singularity, or unilateral-ness; that is, everything linear, everything in a state of linearity, one dimensionality. But is this the the chief component of the universe, or what is uni-versal. Yes, universality exists through an extension of another and another and another–all in the petty pace?

Does universality have to go on in petty paces? Again, we find the extension that is a line in what is universal, every line extends. Essential to the idea of a universe or something universal can be found in the term ‘another.’ There is an in perpetuity in what is universal. I wish I had a handle on my universe, this cosmos of mine, let alone this one of ours. There is nothing so difficult I recall having read somewhere where someone said Picasso had said. Yes, nothing so difficult as a line.

Unlike Hamlet’s undiscovered country, the death Macbeth faces is plebeian; it is ordinary in that it is the same death everyone meets. By this, Macbeth’s tyranny, his usurped kingship, is made low. To die is the final democratizer, everyone equal before the laws of Death. Level is flat, even thus balanced. What is in balance is of equal weight; Death is equal unto us all. Another and another and another passes, out, out brief candle . . . and who escapes Macbeth’s soliloquy on another-ness, how is life not full of sound and fury signifying nothing for every man and woman facing death, facing the absurd. There are no universals without extending another and another and another . . . all universality dependent on this state of anotherness.

Macbeth shares an association with this state of anotherness, perhaps born out of his state of otherness which derives from his choice to kill the king. Macbeth’s estrangement, his state of being other, other than who he was before the murder, other than what has become of the kingdom since the murder, both inward and outward states of otherness is intensified by his coming to grips with the banality of another-ness, a most fundamental anotherness in the days that creep so likely in their petty paces, as do tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, how they creep, once more, in their petty paces, yes, all of them to last syllable of recorded time.

The record from beginning to our doom, his doom, the end of all records reaffirming the likeness of day in day out existence repetition repetition repetition. Yes, all of our yesterdays, together, lumped as one, the great monolith of past time, the same yesterdays of everyone else that light every fool on his way to death, death the great and final another-ness of every one of us.

Who is like unto Death? How do we imagine the angel of death, how to write the angel of death, Lang suggested that the Angel of Death would be the gentlest of angels, no? It has started to rain one of the days I am remembering . . . yes, rain, rain go away–we know where this is going; we know from where it has come–come again another day. Another day infers a day has been had before, that there is one from which an extension into another can be made. Another and an other do not seem to be so different. The former is made of the latter, but then children are made of their parents, we could say. There are limits to their sameness or even their similarities.



Otherness and another-ness are distinct, the latter sharing something of the former, while the former is apart from the latter. Separate is this other, always separate, exclusive even at times, in places, what situations could we draw to illustrate. Another is always possessed of something of the former in the series. Another is serial; other is not. Another makes a line; other is a point. Another primarily shares in and while other primarily shares in but. It is not as if you cannot say this and that other or you cannot say not this but another; you can. It’s just that I am speaking of their primary associative condition.

Come again another day, and I will explain it all to you. I remember the showers we took i the rain in the summer in Pittsfield in our bathing suits. I still cannot imagine another happiness as sweet as the happiness when I was boy in the Berkshires the summers I’d spend there at Aunt Mae’s . . . I was told that when she was young she looked a lot like a young Katherine Hepburn–Katherine Hepburn always reminded me of my Aunt Anna–does still today every time I see her . . . I am remembering the time I went to see the Vatican Collection–was it one day, or did I go more than once–I do not recollect.

I swore for a time after I had seen the statue of the Emperor Augustus from Prima Porta that I had seen it breathe, yes, breathe.

It did. It took a breath. I saw it.

I did too.

I did not imagine it.


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