Monday, January 09, 2006

The Divine Comedy

In the middle of the crystal desert, in the middle of the lake in the middle of that desert, I put down the delicate oars of my narrow boat and picked up the untitled book which came floating by me on the water. A lion, a leopard and a female wolf regarded me from the icy beach. And in that untitled book, I read of the year and where it had been and what it had seen and what it had heard. Good music and conversation, good sights and situations, everything was pleasant but also a little empty, a little doesn't-matter, a little self-bitter, too, and definitely lacking excellence. It was a book of bleakly petty trials and nasty mares'-tails, a book of lovely episodes and awkward dialogue, good sunsets and cold mornings. There was the Starlite concert in late spring, with DFA79, a brilliant show, best ever. There was Of Montreal's wonderful release around the same time, every song an intricate and ornamental and clockwork waving hand-of-sadness in the water. Moving down to Whyte Ave was all but said and done—then life laughed last and turned the whole thing into a theatre of the absurd (though more so for others than myself). There was a terrible evening in Morinville, and three other people know of this middle-summer evening. There was an old blue car mouldering in the garage, an economic decision to quit playing golf, a heart-stopping letter from university, a pear rotting in the grass. There was the occasional party, the occasional argument, the occasional crisis at work or home. No transportation (as always) divided hours apart from hours. Long warm days became long warm days. Ice-cream cones on Perron Street, and cold lemon sherbert from Block 1912, country music on the radio after midnight, too, and a day or so at Sylvan Lake. Not the worst of things, surely. My debts slowly cleared up, Arcade Fire sang in the autumn, the new Lemony Snicket came out, my girlfriend had a birthday and decided to head back to school. I started borrowing different digital cameras. December was brutal. Long days at work or at school made each day longer than the day before. The Chronicles of Narnia was a brightly coloured picture, Christmas morning was a brighter, C's face the brightest of all, like excellent jewelry or virtues from hardship.

I turned the book over (for it contained all my latest life), and read the newly-glowing numbers on the cover, 2005. "Last year was not all bad," I thought. "Last year had some very good evenings. Next year's book will have better things to report." I threw the book back in the water and looked to the frosty shore. The animals were gone away. Six pale towers remained, instead, long thin ladders up their sides. Only the new year might say what they contained. I picked up the oars and rowed for shore.

No comments: