Monday, November 09, 2009

Moths And Hobos

My experience with hobos and moths has taught me that it is a mistake to be attracted to warmth and light; these are the real death traps. These are the places where there are walls that hold the warmth and light together in stagnant pools allowing virulent strains of consciousness to engage in a frenzied process of growth and replication. In the cold, endless, dark, night where there are no walls, your own radiance is all that you have, all that is required if you prefer freedom to entrapment. You may shiver and come to know death’s pale face in the wide endless wood, but you will have lived unfettered. Uncontaminated.
The life in the light is like no life at all. It is the life of chimps in dresses and lions behind bars and baby elephants in clown paint. It is no life at all. Where everything is chained in certainty, in safety, in comfort and doused in fluorescent splendor and halogen homeliness; on the inside.
It can be so tempting as you flit by in the night, a solitary lone entity, a one that has no other, no assurances, no desires to lead you from one unsatisfactory chamber within the labyrinthine city walls to the next and the next, sampling the buffet offering of colored lights; trying the red light, the blue light, the green light, the yellow light, the orange light, the violet light and even the white. It can be so tempting, the promise of something to warm your cold skin, the promise that death will no longer be able to look in on you and leer at you so.
You can leave her behind, outside the walls. You can be warm and full of the same stuffing the rest of the may hens and Christmas geese of civilization have been stuffed with. You too could be filled with the disease, the warm disease. No longer alone. No longer unique. No longer alive. One of an assorted variety of creatures fastened by steely pins to a white back drop, carefully labeled, preserved beneath the glass, made brilliant under the light.
It is so tempting. I know. I know.
We shiver and run barefoot through the blackness and ascend invisible mountains and tumble from great heights never knowing what we are doing, or where we are going, only doing it with style, somersaulting on wings the color of soiled doilies or whirring by in a drafty box car over the clickity, clack, clikcity, clack, or strolling by the glittering glass display windows without peering inside. It is so tempting because death has gone all mad, or always was and always will be and whispers all sorts of things through her broken teeth and the gaping black holes where they used to be.
She is always out here with us, hanging on our arms, or walking five paces behind, and sometimes she’s a gay old time, but sometimes she makes you shiver, or rather something in you switches around and makes you shiver, because people are hot and cold like that. Sometimes we are repelled by the real deal and sometimes we accept it, all depending on which of our masks is doing the driving just then. And when you are one of those “I's” that can’t stand her rancid breath and wailing cackle anymore, then you might start looking for the nearest well lit window, looking for a crack to slip in.
But then you might remember, Rome always falls, and when it does she will be waiting and feeling scorned, and you might even think for a moment how lonely she would be if you weren’t out here turning summersaults down her black cape. And you might remember that moths get trapped in brightly-lit kitchens and die under lampshades and behind curtains, having battered themselves to death against the confines of the oppressive walls of the labyrinthine city. You might think, as I sometimes do, that hobos are wiser than the moths, trying to get outside instead of in, and you might take a step backward, away from the open window or door, away from the light and the warmth and sickness of the living dead and not enter Rome with its comfort and delights.
Those things, they come with a price, so you see, you can sell yourself to Rome or give yourself to the wild, and one you do to escape the pain of living and the other you do for love, because mad as she is, death is your companion, your immortal beloved, and maybe you can help her to carry the burden of eternity and give her a shoulder to lean on in the wilderness.

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