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Sunday, May 9, 2010

why we stick to sandcastles

Say you take a grain of sand, that poetic grain of sand and you toss it up in the air, and then you toss another and another until you’ve cleared the Riviera, Copacabana and all of Huntington beach, until chicks in bikinis are stretched out on bedrock, and sandcastles on the shoreline are no more. Say you keep casting up sand like that and say you do this feverishly, though on a mission from God, say you spend most of your adolescence casting up sand in this fashion in vast swirls up into the sky, and say you manage somehow – by sheer force of will, by voodoo and telekinesis – say you manage to keep these vast swaths of seaside sand in suspension just out of gravity’s filthy reach, and say you keep them turning and swirling, spreading out further and further, expanding until the extremities gather into packets, like planetoids turning on their own axes, and say you keep doing this until the entire array pushes further upwards and outwards, higher and higher, so high the whole experiment becomes – how shall I say – practically a mirage, something indistinct but still visible like a whirlwind of interstellar locusts, a meteoric dust-storm, expanding in vast multiplying swirls of sand; and say that now and again – because maybe it gets boring after a few years – say that now and again you cast into this sandy mix the odd salvo: a stone, a dead crab, a can of sunblock – just for kicks, just to see the unholy chain of explosions it sets in motion, and say that – being a guy after all – you can’t help but check askance the gorgeous chicks on the Riviera and the volleyball babes in shades down on Huntington beach, say you just glance over to see if they’re impressed at all you can do with a dead crab, yeah, and say that indeed they are impressed, and say that right then you start to get all satisfied with yourself for being such a clever little thinker, such smart-ass little thinker– how macroscopic and genius, how boundless my imagination, how vast my scope.

But now you’ve stopped thinking about the swirls of sand completely, now you’ve totally taken your eye off the ball, and thus, at the height of your self-applaudisment (even inventing new words derived from French), brisk and adolescent though you may be, genius and philosophic though your thinking, the swirls of sand start coming down: first the Riviera in soft showers, then Copacabana and finally, raining down hard as hail, the courser grain off Huntington Beach.

A genius little prick you feel now, smothered thus in your own universe.