The Fog

It always seems to start with the same recycled thoughts, the incanted images of vaguely haunting inexplicabilities. And why to keep these thoughts? They’ve been moved from one apartment to the next. Countless cities, friendships, hours, years, have dragged these memories and their poorly lit theories around, like a letter pressed amongst books or old receipts.  And these things hold a childlike thread of explanation, attached to a spontaneous piece of art to add a depth that may or may not be there. The first of these images is dead people in the walls. An ever-thickening smell further compounding the horror of something trapped, seemingly inextricably, in the structure. Mortality and mystery, I guess, history and reconciliation. Living with what we cannot change and the struggle with the idea that it is all just a conjured metaphor.

From time to time, we find ourselves in a mist. A seemingly opaline blanket on the cold, dark stretches of route 89 somewhere between Burlington and Montpellier. It is 2:46 in the morning and you are trying to convince yourself that the whiskey you drank (hours ago) is gone and you are alert and capable. You know that you must be sharp, but you also know that you are not. There are deer and other lives at stake – more so your sleeping friends than an approaching car. Yet, you enter the fog and it is scary, but you cannot ignore its siren like quality. Despite the potential of impending doom, you are pulled along and down into a further trance. Most often people feel these somnambulistic times lasting for a week or so. This short duration in no way diminishes the reality, or even super-reality, of the fog, but in many cases the fog can last years.

The real mystery of the deep fog is that one has a nearly impossible chance of finding exactly when they entered the fog. For in most cases, the sinewy, damps strands work exactly as one imagine it should – gently kissing the tips of the toes, tenderly winding its exaggerated, milky fingers along the feet, slowly massaging ankles and calves as the tide and pull begin to rise.  By the time the engorging stream is densely packed around ones knees, years may have passed. As we start to become aware of the dangers of the thick fog, we flick on the brights (knowing full well it will be magnified by the water droplets). We try illuminating the matter to test its potency and perhaps for a smidge of perverse amusement, and such attempts to gain power over the ether prove only to reflect its greatness – its perfection as a fluid parasite that dopes us up and takes us hostage.

It may very well be the searching for the exit from the fog that keeps us there. The direction, you know, is correct, but all else is up to chance. Fog clears, but we are in a different place when that happens. Same car, same road, same type of trees, but it is later. There is so much mystery in the fog. All the infinite possibilities of what exists within that are not part of this particular moment. You don’t see these things, but they are there, and without tiring yourself with all the imaginable theories, you must concede that you will never know and life continues to move forward.

Forward has the heavy title bestowed upon it of implicit progress. However, the forward motion of time is its own deity – free from good, evil, the tangible and the extraordinary. It just is and we must accept it. It is at this point that I surmise that we never accept it, and those of us prone to the foggy limbo wage the biggest battle – the largest futile war known to man.

"Time is a river without banks" by Marc Chagall


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