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Adolf Hohenstein: Time Cooperative (1899)

" … giving my existence special meaning here."

As a dedicated fantasist, I can see anything in almost anything; everything's an omen of something. For instance, while driving home yesterday, the Schooner's rear driver's side tire went flat. Flat tires have become genuinely rare occurrences. I can't remember experiencing one since I was in my twenties, maybe fifty years ago. I'd known that the tires were getting near when they'd need replacing, but, as usual, I was stretching as much life as I could get out of them. The perfect tire seems to be the one that has less than a mile of useful life left in it when it's replaced. I'd found the one weak sister among the four and driven too far.

I pulled into a handy farmer's field to change the tire, an experience which I expected to become an ordeal but which I easily completed
. As I was packing up, the farmer showed up on a colossal tractor, pulling a spraying rig. He cautiously approached me before I announced that I was just fixing a flat. "Oh," he responded, "When I saw a car with its trunk open parked next to my pickup, I wondered." He sensed an omen, too, confirming that there were two of us actively projecting in that field.

For me, everything might mean anything. I am forever wondering what this or that event actually meant, for I firmly believe that every event carries meaning beyond its face value. In my estimation, a rose is never just a rose but also a messenger brimming with potentially helpful information if only I can find the perception to unwrap the message. Rare occurrences, like flat tires, naturally seem more significant. Determining their meaning usually feels more important than interpreting some pedestrian cloud shape, so I began wracking my brain for the likely underlying meaning.

These omens Portending often employ simple puns. A flat tire might portend something else in my life going flat, warning of an impending inconvenience. Because the event could mean anything, I hold a lot of latitude for interpreting. There's never any way of really knowing The Gods' underlying intention in sending the Portending in the first place. Interpretation demands a certain intuition, a sense for which no known measurement exists, so on the most obvious level, the whole interpretation exercise seems to be open-ended as well as self-inflicted. There might not actually be any Gods sending messages, just an over-active imagination behaving like a terrorist.

I don't believe any of the more skeptical suggestions, for I have this feeling that I might be especially connected as if I might be a closet latter-day prophet. I predict my future well enough to have survived much longer than many. I fancy myself to be quite insightful as well as especially canny. I believe The Gods have probably chosen me to communicate with because of my unusually prescient perception. I can actually read their messages in my tea leaves. I'm a true believer in what many consider to be absolute delusion. So much the worse for them, those forced to live purely in unvarnished reality without a shred of epic suggestion. I know for certain that The Gods or something are more or less constantly whispering in my ear, giving my existence special meaning here. This much seems clear.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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