. elsewhere . . letters from the inaccessible .


9 April 2001

In Which the Protagonist Waxes Verbose on Sunsets,
  Among Other Things

Periodically, I'll be speaking to someone, and I'll respond or make some sort of declaration that is almost completely unconnected to the topic at hand. Lately, it's been happening more than in the past. For some reason, I always thought that these times were just aberrations, that everyone experiences them. True, everyone does to some extent.

I think this all really started in high school.

Snack time and lunch in those days was often an adventure in keeping one's eyes peeled, watching out for death from above, or, if not death, near complete humiliation (we're talking high school, after all, the era when a massive zit on the nose was cause for humiliation) in the form of a thick substance ejected forcefully from the business end of a passing (no pun intended) sea gull. I was a member of a large social circle, satellite to many of the smaller sub-circles within, and my friends used to enjoy testing me to see how many conversational threads I could follow at a single shot. I admit it, we were all some very geeky people, where social standing had more to do with one's GPA than the label on one's shirt.

Only in recent months have I built up a theoretical construct around which to base this peculiar (and complely useless) talent of mine. It's as though I can tune into several television channels at once and keep up. More precisely, when I'm speaking to you or performing a task, chances are good that there are at least 2 more internal dialogues or monologues taking place, often completely unconnected to the topic at hand.

Just the other day, I was speaking to German about something and I interjected a final statement of a thought process which had been going on at the same time, unconnectedly in the background. Multithreaded, as it were. I said something about a television show, I think, and his response was to pause briefly at his computer, rotate his shoulders and head subtly in my direction, and ask, "What???"

I call it crosstalk, where one channel overlaps onto another. And it's been happening more of late than usual. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I'm not in the present situation, distracted. I can be completely focused, and it is not uncommon that that focus is on two separate things contemporaneously. Of late, one channel has been devoted to the conundrum of my situation with a person in my life, and today, while I was working on the two biggest projects I've ever worked on, meeting with people, having conversations, giving a little advice, taking a little advice, I was wrestling in my mind with what the hell, exactly, is going on.

Here's where I get to the part about the sunsets.

I can't seem to leave well enough alone. If I get the proverbial smile, I want the hug. If I get the hug, I want the kiss, and so on. I'm a beauty addict; for that matter, I'm a beauty pusher as well at times, trying to get people hooked on the beauty which makes me breathe deep and roll my eyes back into my head. The most beautiful sunset in my experience was the one I was lucky enough to share with Clinton and Sharlene back in September. I left that experience content, not wanting more the next night; not needing more the next night, or even ever again. If ever I see another sunset as that night, I would consider myself lucky, indeed.

But I was talking about channels.

Today, another little sparkling Christmas-tree-light bulb flickered on in my head. It's a truth, but I've yet to decide what I can do with it, or what I can do about it. Many of these have been popping on around me, fast and furious, more of them confirmations about little truths or ideas I'd always harbored were true, but some of them were completely from left field. Of course, in the Shelley/Byron/Tennyson sense, beauty is truth and truth beauty, and I'm addicted to learning what is true. The truth is this: there is an inconsistency in how I approach my experiences. With the sunset, I took that piece of the sky into my head, and hold onto it, periodically revisiting it. With other things, I can't seem to permit them to be one-time experiences. I need another smile. Another hug. Another kiss. She claims one can't miss what one has never had, but I do, and desperately. Because, as I've talked about with Clinton, I've had everything, the high joys, the deep despairs, broadcast to myself all day everyday in stereo. Sometimes, it's as simple as turning the dial onto another channel that's been placidly murmuring to itself in the background, sometimes the volume gets turned up without my intent, and I need to stop and smile or stop and weep or stop and revel in a new-to-me thought.

There will be other sunsets, but that was more beautiful than any which came before it. There will be other nights, but I guess what I'm trying to say is that one will hold a special place in my heart, even if it doesn't in anyone else's. The truth I hit today? Let the beauty happen, and let it go. More will surely follow, in one venue or another. If it doesn't mean much to someone else, it doesn't follow that it means nothing, and it certainly doesn't follow that it can't mean a lot to me. What to do with this truth now? What to do about it? I don't know yet, but I'm listening to the frequencies as they bounce from the ionosphere, channel-hopping and keeping an eye out for the answer.

musings of señor prod.

Doing the things a macroscopic prophet can at The Revolution.


©2001 Timothy A. Clark -|-