“I Dunno”

Around here, we’re preparing to move into a new house, which means going through things, throwing many away, uncovering other precious gems.

It’s always an introspective experience to stumble onto artifacts, proof of moments long past. It is odd how stumbling onto a trail left by the past comforts us into the future.

I found the following short story scribbled into an old, forgotten notebook, dated May, 2012:

I Dunno

Some invisible shove got the old man, just then. He turned around and said, under his breath, “I dunno what’s gonna get me but i do know I am not going to spend moments worrying about it” and some things about time capsules and golden years, turned again, walked out of the place and started treating everyone the way they wanted to be treated.

Instinctively.

Once home, he sat down and wrote on elegant stationery from a far away hotel, “I don’t seem to learn anything until the final hour. Guess that’s the reason they are keeping us around. We find strength in pain and faith in the face of hopelessness.”

Meanwhile, another old hero lies on the gurney, watching the drip down in front of steel pole, dancing his eyes in it, suspending it, just a trickle now, down and down until it is in his bloodstream. Wishing it intoxicating ain’t easy, drip after drip after drip, wondering what happened to his life that he should be here, now. Time.

There is not much anyone can do about a chance encounter with death, save the odd miracle here and there. We are all waiting. The world is a big waiting room for finding things to occupy time in between subtle notions of the questions we will never know the answers to. Music plays from the speakers overhead.

That is probably for the best, he thought, still watching the dripping. There is not much point in worrying about something that is coming eventually. Is that like worrying about catching the next train while standing in the station? The things we think we know.

Truth’s market is marginalized by the markets that capitalize on obscuring it. That’s what his father had always told him. He said, “It’s best to always tell folks what they want to hear, especially if you’re trying to sell them stuff.”

Indeed, in his nearly 40 year career, he could not argue with that. “Some of us seem to have little interest in knowing about how things work. We want to drive the car, ride in it, but don’t care much for how it works or why it is such an amazing and also flawed invention.“

Still, he thought, we make great sacrifices to play and manage to keep our minds and imaginations as great gifts taking in sight. sound, smell, taste, touch. Stay busy at getting things styled out before it all evaporates. We make good times of it and tragedy should be an inspiration to try harder. As children by the sea, we build sandcastles taller and taller for the tide.

So get building. Water will carry us away, back out to
sea, back from where we came.