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JWR 3.42 - That is Truth
Lee Harvey Oswald had a beautiful Russian wife, and that is the truth. Oppenheimer was instrumental in the creation of nuclear weapons; such a name can only be associated with creating the most powerful weapon in the history of mankind, and that is the truth. There is a financial firm called Oppenheimer Funds, and that is also the truth. The firebombing of Dresden, Germany by Allied forces during the Second World War killed more people than the atomic bombs dropped on Nagasaki or Hiroshima, and that is the truth.
At 1:10am on Monday, June 28th, lying awake and unable to sleep, I heard a crazy, fucked up rumbling in the wall behind my head. It lasted for a few seconds and then stopped. I thought my brother (who lives in my house) was doing…something, who knows what? I then heard him getting out of bed, so I got up and opened my bedroom door. He came out of his bedroom and I asked, “What the fuck was that noise? What’re you doing?” He told me it wasn’t him. He said his room was shaking. I didn’t feel any shaking, but I sure as shit HEARD whatever it was. We went and looked outside, didn’t see anything, I went to the basement in case something happened down there, and just went back to bed when we couldn’t find the cause of the ruckus. (“Can you describe the ruckus?”) I stayed awake for quite some time before finally getting to sleep. That day at work, I asked around and come to find out an earthquake hit in Illinois, about 70 miles west of Chicago, measuring 4.5. I had never felt (heard, really) an earthquake before; they’re somewhat rare in this part of the country, the last one having occurred more than thirty years ago. The bedrock that lies beneath much of this portion of the country helped the quake make its presence felt farther north than me. Was I aware that something was going to happen? Was that why I was still awake? Am I in tune with the workings of the Earth’s crust? The world is falling apart, and that is the truth.
The word is falling apart, and that is the greatest truth.
On Saturday another series of thunderstorms went through the area. Rain is beautiful and soothing. At 5:30pm, accompanied by a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning, the power went out, came back on for the briefest of moments, and then went out again. And stayed out. I was watching Grosse Point Blank, which is a very funny movie; I highly recommend it. Because of the overcast of the day, 5:30, which should be very bright, was dusk-like. I wandered from my bedroom to my living room and sat in the recliner/rocker. Before two minutes had passed, I was joined by my brother and his daughter. I looked at a magazine in the faded, filtered light of day and they…well, I don’t quite recall how they spent that time. Before long, however, the footrest of the chair was up and the back was reclined. I folded my hands on my chest and closed my eyes. With no power, the world absolutely stopped. The sound of cars outside was foreign and out of place. I would have read had it been lighter, but shutting my eyes was a welcome reprieve. I never fell asleep, and actually never do during the day. Taking naps is just something I can’t seem to do unless I’m truly sick. My eyes were shut, my mind was at an idle and my breathing was slow. I’d say I was in a meditative state, but I wouldn’t recognize one of those from a Nutty Bar. At 7:15 the power came back, the kitchen lights came on, the sump pump turned on, the television in my room came back to life, the ventilation fan in the furnace/central air system switched on and life returned to “normal” within thirty seconds, like it never happened.
Last night, all the windows of my house were opened; a cool breeze ebbed and flowed throughout the evening, too cool for this time of year, really. Because it was Independence Day, many people were setting off their own illegal fireworks that can be purchased at one of two firework superstores along the stretch of I-94 in Racine. When you purchase fireworks you are required to also purchase a fireworks permit allowing you to possess the fireworks, but it does not grant permission to light them, a caustic legal loophole. I sat in my house, listening to all manner of explosives being lit, launched and thrown. There were so many for so long from all around me, it sounded like a war zone. Small firecrackers resounding like pistol and rifle fire, large fireworks being launched screaming into the air only to explode sounding like bombs and missiles finding their targets. It went on and on. I was waiting for Tom Hanks to come find me and take my home to mom.
In the spring, there is nothing more beautiful than opening your windows for the first time that year and feeling the breeze waft through the house, maybe even slightly cooler than perfect warmth, but truly refreshing, nonetheless. A little later in the season, the delicate scent of lilac comes to your nose as unobtrusively as a kitten walking past your shins.
In the winter my favorite days are the ones when it is actually warmer at midnight than it was at noon. Sometimes, when shoveling snow at night, flurries will fall and you can watch the flakes dancing through any cone of light, so softly and perfectly, and you get to see your breath alive outside your body for a moment. I stop and watch it, hypnotically caught in a ballet of weather fronts.
People die every day, and that is the truth. Irish gold is beautiful, and that is the truth. “It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh / It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath,” and that is Truth. I left, but am back, and that is the fuckaroo of truth.
“Go then. There are other worlds than these.”
Copyright © 2004 John Lemut