Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Multiply An Oddly Satisfying Sound

There was a time when he understood his own anger to be a direct descendant of his mother's anger. It was sharp, it was quick. It couldn't be predicted. Like what they say a tiger attack is like. There was this hunter, prowling the house, and as dangerous as it was you couldn't help but admire it a little - it was so beautiful, it was so powerful.

This is why he has renamed bluets "Mothers' Anger."

Yet in the basement with his father the other day, clipping wires and otherwise fiddling with the 1954 American Flyer, it occurred to him that perhaps he has not given his father's anger enough credit when ascribing the lineage of his own.

His father does not get angry often but when he does it is a blunt instrument. It tends to be self-directed. Yet like a cyclone it pulls a tremendous energy from everything in its vicinity - it is hard to breathe, hard to remember that you have a body, that it is your body. It is Old Testament anger. Its consequences adhere not to the body - which a tiger attack would savage - but to the soul. There is doom in it, your doom.

And in truth, he saw something of himself in it. That moment of display, as if one were scaling the asbestos walls of hell and their burned fingers were about to slip, sending the rest of the body down, down.

It tires him, this talk of anger. This talk of consequences. Why must the body always be related backwards to the bodies that made it, or that share its genetic composition?

He hears, in the distance, the raw baritone of geese as they identify the pond and glide towards it, to rest, eat, multiply, an oddly satisfying sound.

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