Saturday, September 23, 2006

Spin the Black Globe for Me

Somewhere in the Carters, NH
Mile unknown

The usual 2PM nausea had set in. I had not overeaten this time, and I was drinking plenty of water. It was the third three thousand foot climb in six hours. I was at a limit. Frost coated the front of my clothing, a morning's frozen breaths. Face steaming in the air, I went inside.


"You're not here," I say.
"Of course not. I'm the remembering of a remembering of a remembering of something that was probably not even real in the first place"
"That cinches it. That's something I would say"
She is flickering like a bad DVD. There's virtually no visual memory of something this far back, far back when I was intoxicated on youth, vodka, and methamphetamine. What is it saying?
The pink globe has been spinning now for a while. It's got the Run Lola Run soundtrack in it. It's a good globe, hotter than the green globe but without the fiery oblivion hiding inside the last globe, the black globe. A flickering hand pulls down the spinning pink globe. Another song now. "'So I run faster, and you caught me here' Good choice. There's no more running now, is there?"
"You'll run forever."
"My loyalty has turned, you know. Some time ago. I feel nothing. I'm getting married next year."
"That's good. That's the point. It's almost done."
In the real world, I can tell that I am stumbling, stumbling badly, reeling from rock to rock as if struck by blows, cheek on granite. In this moment I am stuck inside the crook of two downed trees, snowflakes flying from their needles, my head in their branches. I feel terrible. I crane my head at the summit far above, no trees blocking the bitter wind up here. Wind chill coming up on zero now. Inside I move to change globes. A flickering hand offers the hated orb. It spins with malice, it spins with blood.
"Spin the black globe for me"
I take it. The black globe opens, and I am lost.


There has been a simple melody in my mind since I left Georgia, and it has maddened me that I could not remember where it is from. Now I know. It's from the movie Fargo, one of the incident themes. The main theme melody arises in my mind and I realize that it is a dirge.

I am walking the aisle to a vast funeral barge, but I do not look inside. I sit in the pews. Who is inside the barge, I do not know, and I do not want to know.
A vast, furred shape sits beside me. It is a bear. It is a bear, so much bigger than I could ever imagine a bear could ever be. Vast. Its paws dig into my back, urging, go- go and see. I do not want to, but I go, because the bear is at my back.

It's me. I'm dead. I've been dead for almost a decade now.

Me as I should have been a decade ago. Cold in the embrace of oak and water, ready to float to forever, blooded and dismembered.

The shock brings me back to the real world, where my body is still climbing mountains. The spirit goes back to the bear, deep in fur and filth.
"Oh God. Oh God. What is this? How does it end?"
I climb powerfully, endlessly weeping. Ahuh ahuh ahuh. I blow snot and climb. I climb. I climb. Three miles per hour now.
"This is the Day of Nine Dogs," says the bear, "And this is the time of your trial and initiation. There is strength in despair."


This is the time to realize that the whole of my being is a hole. It has no bottom. If I turned the Earth into ash and corpses it would not be filled. It turns brutally inside with a black hole's tidal foce, tearing bits off with its spin. It is not filled with vodka, or food, or even whole mountains. It is pain and life and it ends only with my own death.

But it is also a dynamo. Its magnetic field is fantastically powerful, so long as I orbit at the right distance. This is the thing to do- orbit the dynamo inside at the right distance. Don't wander out of it on your own inertia. Don't plunge inside and burst into flame. Dance with your inner singularity, orbit. Use it. Ride it.

The barge has not gone on its way yet. I hide my dead face with another piece of brush. Sometime, sometime soon, I will set this barge alight. Or perhaps I will never come back to this place, this room inside my mind.

"Can I come back here after today?", I ask.
"There is no after today," said the bear. "Everywhere is today. Today is a facet of all your tomorrows. This is the day of shamans, the day that is not a time but a place." The animal raises itself on its hind paws, to its full height of twenty feet. "Now . . . It's time to start running."

I return to light, to the outside world, and pick up speed. The rock face flies past me. I feel very strong. It is one of the best days of my entire life. This is what they mean when they say "peak experience".

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