He was sitting in a plane, along the first class line; sipping tea with milk. He did not know if he had gone through to her, in the way that he wanted – a kind of confused confection of the delight and despair, which was looking for more than companionship. He hoped that he would see her in a years time to engage in all of the strangeness that they enjoyed while sparring together. But, in truth, that would just be a dream. He closed his eyes, seen the sun for just an instance across the light gray seats, and reflecting that the were the same as the seats in the parliament building. Smiling at the connection between the two pictures, it was not what he expected. He looked again, but did not feel the same connection. One look, and it was gone.
The one point that troubled him, was she was telling him that he could not have seen 花樣年華,when in his memory he had seen it before another Chinese film. She said it had not been out in America, just the coming attractions were in some of the foreign film shops. But he remembered that he had seen it, around the same time he got Bernstein conducting Copland on CD, when that was the hippest format available; also a long conversation with his more Senior consultant in Olean. But he would look this up, because keeping his memory in strict compartmental order was one of the key methods to, on one hand, being a consultant – and on the other (in that very Greek fashion) be a, to be blunt about it, spy. One could just get away with that Aristotelian phrase, if one tried. And try he did.
It would be sadly remiss to confuse such little details as this, because they were the life blood of his cover. The very reason – actually raison d'etre – of his very existence. He must check his story as one of the first things he did. It may seem strange, but it seemed to him that his life depended on it, and began playing out the typing conversation that he would have to - spontaneously it seemed – have with the woman on the next time they spoke. He could not help but remembering how he kissed her shoulder, which was a delicious act in its self. The very light tan skin was a powerful intoxication to him. It reminded him all speeding along on that toward empty highway in Eastern New York State the time he had tried driving to the miniscule place where for a brief moment there was activity in Western Pennsylvania. But then it was gone, swallowed up by the controlled twin cities of law: New York and San Francisco. Who under no circumstances would allow the techies to be in charge of the longer, the maws would have no one in charge but the law itself. As interpreted by lawyers, of course. Highly priced lawyers, who made their fame on important cases to cash in on on the remunerative cases. It was the way things were done in this world. Though he had no idea how they would be done in the next.
How many times these gifts are given and refused because the mind has other things to think about, and only in retrospect does it realize that this was a moment that should have been enjoyed. But that moment was truly gone by the wayside, never to return again. Even, as just now would be the case, a moment which had evaporated just an instant too long, when the eyes could not see. And then everything went forward to miss the next instant. And yet people kept falling for it every time, as if the more intelligent centers of the brain took just a bit too long to recognize the internal and eternal conflict.
It seemed strange to him how these visions were powerful in a moment, and then gone like the wind. One would think that every vision would encapsulate the now, and that would be enough. But instead, there were visions past, and sometimes future, which would compete for his attention, even though they were not anything extraordinary, and sometimes he would try and fight them away. If only he could live in now. What a joyous thing that would be. It would be like a Buddhist monk, alone on a high finger tip spiral of porous Limestone, overlooking a series of peaks; many of them also stones which were also delicately proportion. Fingers to the air.
He did not think of the stock market, because he knew that this was not a real rally, by not a real president. He had stolen the election, but the other party accepted this – it was their turn. So two wars were started, and America became team USA, as this this was the natural thing to have happened. Where as in another land, Germany would be Kafkaesque in a trial – everything formalized and nothing taken for granted. Then, after the two wars were ended – no one wished to talk about them again, which left the same cycle in place. It may have been called other things, but it was still Mesopotamia, an effervescence if not in name.
And in that now, he looked over towards the windows, and in the midst of rising to the sun; he wrote upon the back jacket of a book, with a pen and that was handed out to him, while he was on the ground searching for his ticket. The exact opposite of Hugo's novels, which were large and opulent. The poem read:
“Nor winds would guide us from the calm,
the moon and all the stars seem hung
not as if affixed to distant sky.”
“The air is rich with moisture
movement made heavy there by.
It is August, in these regions without
summer, autumn, winter, spring there are,
only seasons of wind:
becalmed, tradewinds, bestorm.”
He looked around and saw many fewer face then when times were good, a lot of money had been spent making rich people feel at home. But many of those same rich people, wanted to be gone from the merely well-off people. And they were going to do something about it – as if this color of the sun was red, if only in the snow. Not given the way Ulysses has told by James Joyce, but bright as the original telling by Homer.
Racing away the time, without which even such doggerel would would be a blessing and half. He rolled over and without trying to, was asleep. In time the dreams came to him, and they were confusing, but the central theme was about one word. That one word which would not be mentioned, as if marriage was a fortress besieged. It was a French phrase, translated in to a Chinese novel. And it meant only one thing.
It was all in the mind, that shaking feeling that for him began when the first plane was lost. For many other people it would not be real until the second plane had hit the world trade center, because they believed that the first was an accident. But he knew, as did many other people, that it was a planned and calculated strike – to unleash the demons which lied within. The furrowing mists which gathered together in a torrent, which were part and parcel of our technological society – and which could be used in due course against it, not because it was hard, but because normally it would be to expensive to protect various pieces which could be moved in a collapsing of terror. It only took a man with a certain deranged vision to see it – or some rather odd people who would in due course set these things on a white paper. But these were ignored by the largely men who ran the society, because who would do such a thing as this.
And when the twisted steel was filling the air of downtown New York City, some of the very strange – and crazy sorts – were dreaming those sordid visions which would explain everything, at least to themselves. This is because the important men had things to hide, and normal people let them hide those things – where has the strange abnormal people could not believe that anyone would hide such ordinary visions, and instead concocted a mythology of the striking of the Twin Towers, and of the Pentagon. Which meant that the important things which were hidden, would only be conveyed to a new generation, which had never see event, or only dimly remembered it.