Saturday, December 01, 2012

Five p.m.

The tree trunk was swinging back and forth, back and forth, in an ever increasing trajectory.  It took a few moments before I saw the man whose hand was on the rope, moving the trunk with the strength  of his black-clad back and shoulders.

The end of this wooden striker was getting closer and closer to the inevitable point where the momentum, aided by gravity, causes it fall forward and strike emptiness, an emptiness given tone, as defined by the iron that surrounded it.  

Dwarfed by the high glass and steel of the city looming above him, the man was standing upon an almost anachronistic platform of wood, nearly the height of the elevated concrete platform upon which I was passing.  This train was of a similar elongated narrow shape as the striker, and it was similarly propelled forward by the hands of a single man.  The train too was operating according the dictates of the clock, and the man with the hands on the controls and the man with his hands on the rope were fated to pass one another in the sky at the same point in the day, though not of the day, as such things are defined by the movement of bodies far larger than those of the two men. 

And as the front end of the train struck out over the front edge of the river, so did the front end of the striker make contact with the iron bell, the sound just audible over the roar of the city and the train and whatever was spilling from my earbuds, a sound that is the traditional marking of time by a religion that doesn't believe in such concepts anyway.    

On the turntable:  Live, "Mental Jewelry"

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