Feces lined crevices emit a foul odor; I can smell it as we walk. The waste, a by-product of thought and experience, is deposited anywhere it can be forgotten, anywhere it cannot be seen, anywhere it will not be noticed. Touring through the labyrinth-like maze of pathways long forgotten, I am reminded of all the things we’ve been and done. I am reminded of the moments when all things were new and we lived, really lived. Along the pathways there are doors, doors that have not been opened in years. I reach for the handle…locked.
This is a dark place. The pathways are narrow and unkempt. The sky itself is darkened by a rancorous, brown air that lingers, seemingly with a purpose to obstruct. The sun does not shine in this place, and yet there is oppressive warmth, kindled by stagnation and the dim light of futility. Structures, dilapidated and abandoned, crowd the pathways and threaten to give way to the onslaught of time’s ravages, crumbling finally into the corridors, and blocking forever the pathways that connect the ramshackle tenements. Two-story houses with no one home. This is a place of the past that has forgotten its moment, and continues to exist. It is everywhere and nowhere. This is a side road, left to decay and lead travellers astray into the arms of despair.
“What’s wrong dear?”
“Nothing, I just missed our exit. I’ll turn around when I get a chance.”
Boom! Despair. There is no turning around. There is no U-turn.
There is only despair. Unless…
Continuing on, I wonder what might be behind that damn door. Why is it locked? And who locked it?
There are more doors. Placing my hands against rough wood, I push. The movement startles us for a moment and you recoil slightly. “Why the hell isn’t this locked?” I mumble under my breath. We are never happy, always wondering “why” and “what if”. The Tyranny of the ought’s: things should be this way; things ought to be that way. Disillusioned and desperate we seek solace in temporal moments, in things that are transient at best, and at worst, don’t exist at all. I push open the door.
Peering into a dimly lit room, we can see a “moment”, frozen stiff; there is no movement, only stillness. A slight wind blows across my back and enters the “moment”. It begins to swirl, ever so slightly. I can recall this “moment”; I can remember it, touch it, taste it, hear it, and smell it, as if it were happening right now. This is my “moment”, we are on my turf. But this “moment” has passed. What the hell is it doing here? Why has it been cloistered behind these walls for so many years? What purpose can this decrepit vestige of the past hold for a being living in the now? In this “moment” I stand in confrontation with a blue-suited man. He directs me to the front of his car and asks me to empty my pockets. The night goes still, and I defer to his authority. Reaching into my pocket, the scene freezes. Something is to be decided that has already been decided, that has already happened a lifetime ago, and yet, here it remains.
Disgusted by the image, I turn to leave. Glancing back over my shoulder, I see the “moment” begin to again swirl. This time, without me in the doorway, the “moment” begins to disintegrate, deconstruct itself, as the winds blow through unobstructed. The edifice itself shudders, as the “moment” disappears. We stagger backwards. Wood and concrete fall to the ground as the foundations on which limitations are built begin to fragment. Turning back into waves of possibility, they are carried away on the winds of realization.
What have we done?
What is it that you have just witnessed?
Shall I open more doors?
I think I shall.
Running down the pathways, I kick open the doors. Even those that are locked bend to my will, as they are wrested from their hinges. There is no closing them now. As each door is opened, the “moment” that resides within plays itself out and swirls into the oblivion of possibility. We are running now, you and I, running as fast as we can. Keep up, damn it!
There is no time to stop. On with the business at hand, let’s tear down the tenements. Hurry!
As each building falls, the wind grows stronger. Thunder cracks, and rain pours down, washing years of rot and decay down the sewers. A gale-force wind tears loose the last remnants of attachment.
A clear sky beckons from the horizon as I turn to you.
Look at me.
Where did you go?
Are you still wandering those pathways in a place called despair? Let it go.
Open the doors, and then… let it all go; I have.