Progress as a Way of Historical Thinking

The doubt that might allow us to pluck ourselves from the center of our own narrative is precisely the same needed to plop us back down again in the asylum. And so maybe it’s best to allow the backdrop to spin past in whatever guise it sees fit. We’ll continue on our way as if the horse that sways beneath us is just the sort of transport we requested from the beginning. Of course, the resistance is in the cells; it lurks there like pederasts. Take, for instance, the Pacific Ocean, which for all its glory and boundless area is still dwarfed by your hope that there is something after this existence. Something that allows you to get one over on the athletes in school who always jumped a little higher than you could. Who tormented you with nicknames and occasionally made off with your street clothes from the locker. How this would be rectified in the next world has yet to be determined. And there is always the chance that simply wishing for such rectification will make you unfit to receive it. But that doesn’t stop the mailman from dreaming his days away in the front seat of his truck. When the sun gets low in the sky again, he is forced to throw whole bags of undelivered mail down the storm drain and hope that no one is watching from behind a curtain. You’ve noticed struggle suits the anaconda as well, the shape of its head making it seem as if the animal knows what it is doing. When in reality it is simply following orders so ancient they can’t be expressed in words. At least not those you or I are accustomed to using. Words that make a sound like that you’d hear when striking an empty kettle. Of course, we must accept anachronism in this instance. Because if we don’t, there will be nothing left over to give to the children. To the artisans who are relying on our generosity. On our being able to see through any scam that requires the almanac. Or that hooks its prey much the same way the osprey does. Meaning, from above.

Charles Freeland | Mudlark No. 35
Contents | Twilight of the Big Finish