Essay

Beware the Frost in Early Spring [Flash Fiction]

Created equal . . . something I say, I think we understand, I have heard, I know we have said we have wanted this. I sometimes do not remember where I have heard it, that all of us are created equal . . . something I assume I know in the marrow of my bones, something I feel passionate about, passionate for . . . I do all of these and some of these at times more than others, but any one of them at any time anywhere might be what I do, I sometimes dream them as well.  I often, though, could not defend or articulate how any of the fore mentioned acts or thoughts were real to me. I do not know if they are even tangible here, no more so sometimes in mind. Yes, equal but how, but when, but where . . . but, but, but, all is contrary again. I am this and I am that and I am here and I am there and I am up and I am down . . .

Who is equal? There is no person absolutely the same as any other; each of us is unique in his or her totality, I used to think that a person was non-totlizable. What am I trying to say? What then is equality? We need to address these questions, though, because we seem to slip time and again in our understanding of what we mean by when we say that all men are created equal, all human-beings are created equal. If I slip when I stand under, all falls down. I remember a friend who said that he feared shards for weeks after having dropped a glass . . .

Under what scrutiny could any equality be sustained, be maintained, be perpetuated . . . there will always remain skills some can perform better than others, things that one knows that another does not, things one can explain better, make better, do better–is that what we mean when we talk about equality, about all of us being equal. There are always inequalities that glare at me when I compare people with other people, people with me–and I do compare them time in and time in again to others and to myself . . . to what gain is this other question posed, one I seem unable or unwilling to answer, a question of virtue? a question of commonality? a question of universal humanity? a question of being humane?

Do we have proof of these claims–what kind of proof would we need, could we provide . . . what does providence have to do with proof. How can you prove that you and I are equal? I often respond without answering . . . so many questions posed, some of them are correctible, the mistakes I make, taking things the wrong way is a creative act, yes, I do make my mistakes as I make other things, what things, I make so many things . . . as I like to say when the inequalities are not matters of nature–why does racism or sexism or any other heinous ism persist?

There are always those who will try to naturalize inequalities that are anything but natural, that is, facts of nature. I want to be more natural–everyone wants this. I want everything I think, everything I do, every way I act to be more natural; however, is this what I should be wanting? I should want things more civilized, no? Yes, I am an animal; human is what I choose, whatI need to choose, should choose, have to choose otherwise I am not . . . but I fear this too . . . I equate civilization with the worst in imperialism and colonialism, of course I do, we do, everyone does, no? How could we not abandon it? I have it in me, I think,the ability, the predilection to corrupt my humanity. Perhaps we should be wary of how we civilize . . . organic? Is organic what I want things to be? We should want things to be more organic, no?

What are we–or, what am I being here, having been before what? To become or not to become . . . how is natural always a mistake? Many will ask this–no, they will not. I ask this; I do not remember having asked this . . . one response, not necessarily an answer, is that an animal is natural, right? All animal behavior is natural. The animal I am has a nature; Tennyson was correct in his assumption that Nature was always red in tooth and claw. What then must I say other than be wary, my readers; be very, very wary of what you ask for when you think you want things to be more natural.

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