(originally from may 2008)
Okay, it’s not really flash fiction. It’s another of those free flow prose thingies. I dunno. They’re not particularly about me, so maybe it is flash fiction.
Funny fact, I actually wrote this on paper with a pencil because the laptop was defragging at the time…. it is funny after you read it, trust me!
I am filled with the overflowing need to rattle down my thoughts on this imaginary paper. My fingers hover over plastic keys, each one representing a fragment of a thought to share, from one mind to another, across the miles. So far and yet so close, sometimes you think that you can touch, but when you reach out through the space you find only the illusion; words printed on a screen, and your chaotic thoughts come back to haunt you in their tidy font. They are a mirror that reflects your tragic mind and shows you the ghost of inner peace that, once achieved, is blinded by the sun and so escapes into a restless dawn.
And yet I sit, the air filled with the rhythmic clack as one letter after another takes it place, spelling out a useless ramble that is only coherent in its lack of originality. I never was one for imagination and still the ability eludes me like a caterpillar lost in the snow. I only reflect back what I see, reality slightly skewed and regurgitated for the masses. But truth is stranger than fiction and so everyone applauds and calls for more while I stand in the shadows and politely beg off from my obligations, like a wraith who has no reflection and is not even represented by the hollow flow of words that pour forth.
And can you see me? Can you find my soul drifting somewhere in these useless phrases and pin it down, a shining souvenir of someone that you used to think you knew? Or do you see through this illusion, past the smoke and mirrors to the cheap trick underneath that reveals nothing, though it lasts forever? Do do you not feel disillusioned to discover that this magic show was all a lie and you’re left with tickets not refunded? But, you didn’t pay to see, so what did you really expect to find for free? What can anyone expect from a one way conversation, a blackout of civilization that flows from one isolated mind to the next?
Did you really expect to find your salvation spelled out for you in black and white? Or perhaps some helpful hint to show you the way? There is none of that here, only the mindless drivel of a forgotten generation lost between the folds of a commercial America too busy chanting death songs to the tune of “Amazing Grace” and watching people fail on their televisions. For only in the failure of another do we feel big, like men among the mice, and so we watch and complain when we find that there is nothing left to see, only mindless entertainment piped through sanitized circuits, bereft of any soul.
Yet, we continue to wait in anticipation for some nugget of truth or for a stray glimpse of wisdom that does not come, and all the while I type, my fingers marching to the drumbeats of mediocrity as they try to find a meaning to this puzzle taking shape before me. But there is no meaning and there never was. Only empty words that sound so nice when read together and paired in neat and tidy bundles. Succinct, yet messy in their apparent lack of cohesion. There is no wisdom here, no revelation, not even a small piece of me is embedded in these aching paragraphs that seem to stretch endlessly on without an end.
At last the crowd disperses when they find that there is nothing here behind the curtain. No magician with a magic wand, no meaning behind the weeping words. There is nothing to be derived, no blood to be taken from these dried up ideas that sit on a shelf like trophies from forgotten glories. Silence falls with their leaving, so thick that it is crushing, but beneath this heavy haze of quiet is the sound of tapping keys still pounding in an endless rhythm, clacking useless alliterations for mass consumption on a global scale. Still typing out empty reflections of an all encompassing epiphany that reveals nothing and everything all at once, that demonstrates the shallow lack of whim within the skeleton of a mind that has not been completely stomped flat by the true nature of a pitiless society.
And though the crowd has gone another one will take its place, waiting to be amazed and expecting to find something hiding just beneath the surface, like a termite in the rotten wood of old ideas. And so I will continue, churning out meaningless phrases to fill the time and take away the edge of the carefully ordered moments in this life, one word after another. Though I have nothing left say and never did, I am filled with the overflowing need to rattle down my thoughts on this imaginary paper. My fingers hover over plastic keys, each one representing a fragment of a thought to share from one mind to another across the miles…….
Song Playing at the Moment: “Life Left to Go: – Safety Suit