Monday Evening Post: 8.8.22

I wonder.

At what point does memory become history?

And, at what point is desire too corrupted by selfishness so that nothing pure is left remaining?

Though, it could be argued that selfishness is never not present, even in our most selfless acts.

But actions held with the ‘ishness’ of self, as opposed to the ‘less’- they linger infectiously longer. Don’t they? A shame that lasts eternal, or so seeming. And embarrassment that etches into our very natures and behaviors, seeming never in all out scarcity. Are we, electrified meat bags that we are- are we never free enough from our inward selves to ever see the more outward all around?

I suppose this is just your narrator, here, projecting. And that is all this ever is, with all the finery boiled away. As, truly, I have no idea what you’re thinking. And whatever this might be, over a decade in its going- it is certainly not a listening exercise.

So, listen.

I don’t suppose I can call myself a slouch (though as of late I always seem to think myself as one). In three decades (geologically insignificant), I’ve managed deeds and endeavors and experiences more than what the average folk might know. And though, perhaps, I tend not to think much of it, I know there are occurrences in my past (and potentially still prescribed in my future) that most bipedal sentient beasts will never know. Most won’t even have something comparable.

Something about life and quiet destitution, or so someone said.

And destitution, though unlikely, is not impossible. But that quiet part… that bit seems incompatible. Even if I feel myself barely above a murmur as of late, there is never silence. Perhaps a neuroscientist might be apt enough to explain what it is that always seems more comparable to Apollo’s fire inside than a condition of impulses and neurons and hormones. To me, at least. To me, that incursion into what otherwise might have been a peaceful, simple life. The intrusion into my psyche that always pulls me to come here, or a few other places. And without any metrics which most others would call success. All these words, over all these years- they have gained me little more than fleeting self-satisfaction, and the occasional acknowledgement from some being whom I already know.

After all, I type away in a world that wants to be read to. Or at the very least, has a more concise written word that all this rambling that never seem to amount to much.

But, I suppose, I’ve just been avoiding the question.

These memories, which in aspect have been all I’ve got left of certain situations- these memories might as well be leather bound upon some dusty shelf. So much which has shaped the mind that lies before you now, so much is even falling beyond the point of recollection accuracy. My own personal mythos, which who knows for sure how any of it really went down? Add in the defense mechanisms of selective memory, and I could have been going on all this time a monster, thinking himself some born again king.

Then again, it is all just chemicals. Bounding and balancing inside and out of my being, whatever it means to be a being to begin with.

I recently told my daughter of a teacher I had. From the age that I was so sure I would forever leave behind. Funny, that life.

High school, junior year. I had only had my first kiss a year before. Remember that, though. Ideally. It was after a play, though not one I was in. In costume. Early spring, and she kissed me. The coward that I was, and may always be.

But anyway. That was not the conversation had with a seven-year-old. She needs to get a job before anything like that pours out of my head.

This was about the teacher who the state deemed worthy of teaching a bunch of adolescents about chemicals, and their categorization and combinations. Meaning the chemicals, not the adolescents.

The reason any of this came up, doesn’t matter. What mattered was the potency of this person’s behavior and demeanor upon me, and subsequently, upon the child.

She was a small one, filled with fire, this teacher. An active volcano of a human being. This teacher, she was never deprived of energy. And when she wrote upon the chalkboard…

And yes, I had to explain that classrooms used to have chalkboards, and yes, I know what a smart board was, but they were new and only so many teachers used them, and most not very efficiently, and truth be told, the teachers that mattered the most to me, seemed to always be more of chalkboard people, and perhaps it was because the chalkboard provided a better stage for the performance of instruction, and knowing my own attention driven youth, that the inspiration was always better mined with those sorts of instructors than those who had organized and perfectly delineated lessons that could be confined to electronic slides or the sort…

But upon establishing our common ground upon chalkboards of yesteryear, I told her what made this female instructor of chemicals so fascinating. She would write out whatever information she deemed worthy of notetaking, working her way in the traditional western method of starting on the left and ending on the right.

The beauty came in the next line. Instead of just taking the few meager steps to return left, this woman, at best little more than five feet tall, would wind up and take a massive leap back to the starting point for the next line. A human typewriter. Which may have been her own homage to what once was before.

That, and when the chalk dust would accumulate heavily upon her hands, she would stop wherever she was, clap her hands together to pass the particle into the air and say, ‘Ooo… look at all the dust. Pretty.’

And then back onward with the lesson.

Does saying all this make the wee chemistry teacher immortal? That, I cannot say. But by passing it on, at this rate, she may outlast a few others.

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