Wednesday, November 24, 2010

a sliver of memory....

It's interesting how things can emerge with no apparent rhyme or reason.

I was just staring out my back window. Looking at the tan sycamore leaves in the yard. Listening to the muffled wind through the glass pane.....

My first 15 years, I lived at 3608 East Main St., El Dorado, Arkansas. The house next door to the east was always changing occupants. Once the Baumgartners lived there for a while. The boy -- Marty -- was about 13 or 14, a couple years older than me. His frame was on the large side, and his blond hair was in a kind of crew-cut.

He kept to himself, didn't play much with us neighborhood kids. One day, I went over to his house. He always had a slightly smirking, slightly sarcastic expression. He sighed a lot, had a subdued aura of chronic exasperation. A sort of world weariness, especially striking to a kid who had no idea, at that point, what "world" meant or what Marty's expression could possibly signify.

From out of all those years has tumbled a discrete memory. Of him saying something to me that day in his room:

"Everything is surreal."

Of course, that went right over my head. What did that word "surreal" mean, anyway? This episode was quickly forgotten as the new days and years would swallow me up in whatever came....

Today, it came back to me. Looking at tan leaves and listening to muffled wind. What brought it? What faint and complex stirring deep in my skull set off that chain of associations, leading to Marty and "surreal"? It must be like what Churchill once said about Russia -- "a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

I don't think brain science will ever get within a jillion miles of soul science.

1 comment:

  1. Growing up, one of my friends used to invite me over and she'd shed her skivvies and dance to Fleetwood Mac. She was four years younger than me but decades older in some ways, just as I am now younger than I was when I was 14 going on 100.