Monday, March 26, 2007


Have I mentioned to you folks before that I have an enemy? I can't recall now. I do, though. It's a person I despise. The worst student I've ever had, with some brains but nearly pathetic laziness, total unreliability, and an ability to do the wrong thing at the wrong time that is peerless keeps following me around. Or perhaps I follow him around (it's a male). Everywhere I go, it's the same giant already there or right on my heels. The giant isn't Nemesis (male) and doesn't seem to be persecuting me for any particular crime, except making him what he is. Obviously, I'm talking about William Wilson.

Anyway, today is springtime for William Wilson and recrimination. It's a morning full of haze, in which no one can wake with a full spring in the step, and the air feels like a humidifier stuck on full, already warm at six AM. The Tarheels lost in the round of eight last night, thanks to my wearing unlucky boxer shorts. (All yellow underwear is unlucky and should be worn only when no matter of consequence is uncertain.) Coach Williams was very upset, and so was I. It's a bad time, I suppose to go "off meds and out of therapy," as one State Department official said of a Department of Defense fellow. "Night entangled trees" give way to thick fleshed flowers making a dim mosaic through the fog of a day just getting a running start on becoming a blister.

Could the same air, the same flowers, the same dim dawn, be a florid melange of scents and delirium, if things were better? I'm not sure even Walt Whitman could have enjoyed these overbred southern mornings.

At any rate, William Wilson (the bad one) has dictated to me. It is in a fog that we meet, after all, and in the fog that shots could be fired, but, of course, they never are. Instead, there are two who go in and two who come out. I have always had a kind of out-of-sync S.A.D. Most people get bummed in winter and cheer in summer, but I get bummed in Spring and Fall. As the hazes and blooms appear and vanish, I get out of sorts, physically and emotionally, and my doppleganger nears me, pistol drawn. Poe's fog (I'm referring to a story here, you know? I have been throughout... does no one click on links?) is assumed to be the result of psychology. It's supposed to be confusion. I don't think so. I think it's a fog made of mist. Also note that it thickens by rivers and schools, which is another piece of verisimilitude, because I think William Wilson hangs out by the schoolhouse most of the time.

September is usually pleasant. April is not. September's massacre of vegetation always seems to me to be a scourging. The world sheds its display and recants its boasts. The trees drop their lies and pretenses and go back to being trunks and limbs. Bushes stop all the deception and trickery and leave the bees alone. The only unpleasant part is the lawns of the great middle class (from $18,000 to $950,000 per year in income) dying. They go brown and tan in a truly hideous scrofula of vegetation in Autumn, but the fault lies not with the season but with the lies of the people who sacrificed six months of ugliness for three months of constant care and green ground for hiding animal defecation. Autumn merely shows them the truth and strips away their braggadocio.

Spring, though, has the activity of a shout, the truth value of an orgy. Every lifeform begins to sacrifice for display. The world becomes an amorous bachelor or hopeless maiden at a singles bar, going into debt to look nice. Animal and vegetable alike put on their hairdos and hope that the rain doesn't wash them out. They go for broke with their credit cards and arrive at destitute, and all for the chance at a chance at releasing their pent up sex.

"Birds build -- but not I build" is the most bitterly rending line in all of poetry. At times, I could pray with the poet for rain, but virtually never can I understand how he can find a growth that appeases the pain of Spring. Instead, I go back into the fog and haze of an intemperate morning and conclude that the real problem with William Wilson is that he's a lousy shot.

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