Rendered Fat Content


Victor Arnautoff: "City Life" mural, Coit Tower, San Francisco (1934)
"The pointy end trails a very long tail which will never become any different."

Maybe it's an effect of This Damned Pandemic, but I've been catching myself daydreaming lately, frequently. I'll find myself floating in the hallway of my elementary school, surrounded by everything that seemed so unexceptional then. It all seems golden now. The absence of a normal routine might have been forcing me into reliving past ones which all seem like history from here. I do not know how they made that transition into golden past because at ground level, the whole show seemed continuous, flawless. Everyone and everything fulfilled their role perfectly, each precisely as they eventually would become, each act somehow frozen in time yet still convincingly fluid. I remember considering attempting to capture on film the place and time where I came of age, but I never found the time to take those pictures when I was still imbedded within that familiar frame. What seemed normal, even banal then has since become the stuff of barely believable legend. Almost nothing survived intact—I know that I certainly didn't—yet my daydreams seem so crisp and clear that when I finally snap out of one, I can't quite believe that I'm here and not there. I might be both.

I conclude that we're each MakingHistory every blessed second.
We expel it like an airliner's contrail streaking some sky. Of course, in that moment of creation, it's not quite history yet, or history so damned fresh that it seems little different. But the seed's securely planted. I wrote last week about Eternals, and I guess that this MakingHistory's sort of an extension of that, or its initiation. I wish that I could muster a deeper appreciation for this continuous tacit aspect of living, though I'm uncertain whether greater reverence would change much. MakingHistory just happens. I suspect that increasing my self-consciousness might produce precisely the same stuff. If I acted as if my every action were a scripted performance instead of a preconscious resonance, I'd still leave contrail behind me. My later reveries might offer me broader perspective than I could have possibly mustered then, but then they seem to produce that regardless of my former diligence. And, I fancy that I now know how all those uncertainties actually turned out. I can revisit that history without all the worry I experienced then. I notice that I worried a lot then.

The pressure to perform seemed enormous. I so wanted to fit in yet felt that I couldn't. In recounting, though, I seem a flawlessly integrated part of the show, the flow nudging me into routines which, while sometimes frustratingly inescapable then, seem remarkably congruent, even friendly, as my history. I catch myself cringing sometimes, realizing that no amount of revisiting could possibly change anything that happened. It's written as history now. However much I might lobby to just paint over that mural, the once present it now represents as past remains stunningly accurate. Revisiting makes those pasts seem more present but it changes nothing, and everything lasts.

Already this morning, I've been busily MakingHistory. One day, I suppose, that my 1:30am visit downstairs to let in a recalcitrant Max (he'd escaped just before bedtime and was rewarded with a night outside in the cold) might become an utterly iconic representation of this place and time. It might have seemed an outlier experience at the time, but receding time has a way of elevating black swans into apparent normalcy. I cannot foresee how history might represent anything about me. There are no unrepresentative acts. There might also not be any that can't accurately represent me, my experiences seem curiously fractal, familiar pattern present at whatever granularity the photo or video (or daydream's) taken.

I suspect that I'm daydreaming to reassure myself. If I was once, then I might still be, a sensation that sometimes escapes me when feeling in isolation. I set out yesterday thinking that I might run a few errands, but arriving, I easily talked myself out of most of them. I reminded myself that I'm supposed to be on high alert, not reverting to any routine. The streets seem lined with forbidden places, restaurants there but inaccessible, adventures suspended with a predominance of caution. I returned home to reenter my reverie, a seemingly superior state than any other present. Of course, one day I'll find my fleeing back into sweet reverie to seem perfectly representative of me suspended within this time, same as every other time and every other place has always seemed upon reflection. Such perfect symmetry should not seem so out of balance. Pasts should not seem in any way superior to any present. The pointy end trails a very long tail which will never become any different. That pointy end, continually, inescapably MakingHistory, might be attempting to delight me. I'm certain my reveries will.

©2020 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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