Missive the Sixty-First

Wish Them Well.

DATELINE: Saturday, March 3, 2001, at 0015 hours CDT.
Conway, Arkansas, USA

By D. Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles
CornDancer & Company

You think and think, but nothing beyond the mundane and the commonplace arrives. This has happened before, time and again.

You can't reconcile the desire for isolation with the reality of separation, can't tell the difference between desire and consequence, between choice and enforced retribution.

You're hungry for something substantial and spicy, but too encumbered by ennui and reluctance to cook, or hire a chef.

Life wasn't supposed to be so ill defined and tenuous. The elders were offering-up certitudes and tenets in the last days of your innocence, but rebelliousness kept you from leaping aboard their sure train to success.

You Gave Away Your Ticket to Ride,
First Class All the Way.

It was a sure train, too; knowledge of its surety mocks you in the twilight, mocks you like the fool dancing on the shadowy edges of your mirrors.

No, that's not true. Check your primary sources. The rebelliousness came after the fall, came upon you like psychic jaundice in the weakened immunity of an enforced guilt and condemnation. You were the willing participant in the lost war, were you not? How many babies did you kill? You weren't defiant until you realized how much the elders had tricked you, how much the pacifists and opportunists despised you.

The defiance grew slowly, like a hidden swelling. You nurtured it with amphetamine and adrenaline and in-your-face accomplishments, soothed it with whisky and tetrahydrocannabinol and serial conquest. Like erosion, you slipped into a hard-burned image of the troubled rebel, slipped so gradually you couldn't see the ghostly trails of the spiral.

Gradually, you fell away from the core, drifted far from the center. You became switched to the sidetracks.

At What Cost Do You Accommodate Futility?

Now you can't run fast enough to catch the speeding coaches, the racing engines. You're not sure you need to run. You've come to an uneasy but entrenched accommodation with futility.

You watch the gifted youngers, the ones who are engaged and confident. You struggle to see beyond the strange prison walls of your maturity, but you must squint and employ thick lenses to read the handwriting on the distant banner: Accept the judgment.

Nothing in the scenes unfolding like dreams before you (none of it) is about you. The show is not about you. It is not about you.

You watch the young athletes and musicians inside the pyramid, the young journalists and acrobats inside the cocoon. They perform with a flair and prowess. They are strong, confident; they surge and soar. You acknowledge their talent, entreat the hopes of their heart to become their fulfillment and take dispassionate pity on their aspirations. Is pity it? Pity? If so, you know beyond certainty: Your cynicism is terminal.

"It is not," saith Oksob from a place of solace.

You wish you could believe in the purity of the motive.

You wish the fits of encouragement, which tumble from your lips like new wine from old skins, were real enough to matter.

You wish your practiced cheerfulness and passionate exhortation ran deeper than skin deep.

You wish your silent prayer and humble supplication to God protect them, lead and guide and direct them shall be heard with unbridled clarity and superior action.

You wish the young ones well in their headlong flight toward realization.

on Tuesday, March 6, 2001.
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| 2001 by David Ebenezer Baldwin Bowles |
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