Thursday, January 14, 2016


This is what I learned: submarines are small, unlike space, so playing the accordion can be a disaster, considering one’s elbow and the pressure gauge and all of us diving deeper into the black oblivion of the trench, losing faith in the outside world and getting the bends. And Martin lost his chess game.

Also, if something is a rock, something else is scissors. And then, just as you shake your fist out the porthole at the miracles of obscurity, evolutionary adaptation and blindness, in a dramatic and unexpected piece of narrative hijinks, something else becomes paper and there goes your rock, your place at the top of the food chain. You open your hand. It’s empty. It’s paper and it’s the accordion incident all over again.

Your other hand? Paper also. What is written there? What’s on the other side? A single sheet of paper in a book of a thousand karate chops. If I forget you, let my right hand forget its cunning. But you’re dreaming. The rock is gone and you’re left with Martin weeping.

In space, if you had an accordion, you could begin a note and that note would go on forever as the bellows opened, as one side of the accordion travelled past Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and all the planets, then ventured into deep space, like a probe, a time traveller, music that requires no air. And down on earth, your children and lovers gathered round your right hand, you play those songs you all love, knowing that far away, like God or an alien civilization or the beginning of the universe, your left hand plays the bass line and is a miracle and time itself must imagine the tune.

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