Fox sketch

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My neighbors cage

Bird cages become terrible things if you think about them. They seem to come from a ancient manors covered in dust and with white drappings over furniture. When empty there’s a soft melancholy that comes with rusted, black bars that might break if you pushed hard. A swing is just more lonely when there isn’t a bird on it.

Putting a bird in won’t makes things much better. I’m not one for heavy handed metaphors but it’s hard to image any contentment coming from anything that could claim the entire sky, being restricted to a tiny cage. It’s damnation. Insanity for birds and condemning man to be a callous and unfeeling thing, amused by petty, pretty suffering. Color the cage with your own horrid indifference, the bird might not have much time for you either.

My neighbors either poets or masters of atrocity have gone a step further. In their grotesque tower that looms over the entire neighborhood they got a cage on the highest floor. Rather than put any birds in their cage, they’ve found themselves a better metaphor- they’ve caged light. In a corner they’ve wasted for a concrete, meaninglessly stylized balcony that no one can reach they’ve put a solitary light bulb that’s lit for no one in particular.

In fact I don’t think anyone would bother to look that far beyond the trees, street lights and other squalor all the way up a rich mans house. Maybe they think it looks good no matter how futile; another ornate holding for us to want. I’m not sure they’d take much notice of it themselves so there it glows, in an uninterrupted darkness. Unseen and meaningless, trapped above us all.

The nostalgia of others

There’s nothing to take you back like nostalgia. Maybe cause nostalgia doesn’t have to bother with reality. Reality can never hope to be as perfect thanks to the continued existence of most things.

I always like asking people who were in Joseph’s before I joined it, if things were the same. Did the sun feel the same when it set, do they dream like I did while looking over the banyan, and I wonder just how much of them was left behind- in the air, in the memories of others who we had to feel but didn’t see. What could I have missed and who would I have know? Would we share the same nostalgia?

I ask them these things, in so many words, without saying anything. You might think it’s funny but I ask them about geography, how classes were spread out, how they remember going from one memory to another. Nobody thinks about routine and it melts in memory, something too subconscious for them to reflect on. I draw meaning from it like you’d draw prophecies from tarot cards- except the prophecies point in a different direction.

It’s frustrating how so much seems like the same mundane but with killer details hiding just where I can’t find them, were I can’t understand them. Retro photographs with so much of the same but different.

I’ll reappropriate what sometime once said about men writing about women -A facination with different memories is nothing but a facination with my own doubts, the feeling of uncanniness. What I feel is the same as what one feels in the face of any mirror, any ghost in the face of abrupt reappearance of what one thought lost or overcome.

The nostalgia other people share with you threatens everything you left behind, worrying you with something better, something too simply different. It’s pulls you back, it pulls you apart from different pasts. You might as well stay lost in where you’re familiar.