Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I know a few things.

They say to write what you know. It's true all right. You should write what you know. That's the reason why stories about dragons and spaceships aren’t held in high regard among literary types. They are not true fiction.

I've thought about what I know. I don't know a lot of things or people, but I know some. There are things from long ago. I know the cold walk to school in the morning over the frosted grass, down one hill, up another, and across the field, and I know the soft, satisfying crunch that came with leaving small footprints in the iced dew. I know the feeling of the dried plants on the embankment and their sharp seeds that held onto your socks in the summer, and the bright orange wildflowers covered with terrible, harmless ants. I know the sound of the blind beetles that crashed into the stucco walls and the windows, and the beautiful green sheen on their disgusting hard bodies. They flew like an overloaded plane, too weighty to maintain control. I imagined them wearing goggles like fighter pilots in old wars. I know the rush of air and the feeling of disobedience that came with an unsafe bike ride down a hill, and I know that hill was much steeper in youth than it is today. With that I know the pain in a bicycle crash and the burn of pavement against skin. The real pain of the crash was in the stomach; it was the sickening embarrassment of failure, like spilled milk. In youth each moment was felt to be significant and each failing or victory was truly felt. The happiness and sadness and all feelings in that time of life, in the first decade, are as true as any others, but they do not last. No one recovers as quickly as a child and no one is hurt as easily or amused as easily.

I know a few things from more recent times, things about people, but it might be a while before I can write about them. I'd like to write about them some day. Keep an eye open.

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the end of something.