Recently I was taking my morning walk in Prospect Park when a stray gust of wind blew a pink quarter-page leaflet onto my chest. I pulled it off of my shirt and took a glance; a new carwash was advertising itself. The top script was in some gaudy “futuristic” font, which looked ridiculous on the wasted and forlorn leaflet, and thinking briefly about how that text came to be there, on that loose sheet of paper in a vast green park in a city drowned in advertisement, pushed by some lonely breeze through that place, on that day, and landing square in the sternum of this particular figure, a deeply frustrated writer buzzing with coffee, I suddenly apprehended that the existence of written words permitted time travel to and from and between all expressions of that form, not in a clichéd poster-at-the-library “reading is magic” way but in the literal sense of transporting my corporeal form along time’s arrow to reside somewhen else, to be there in those eras where old words were verdant and young, to feel them, physically, between my fingers, virginal and alive. So I traveled.
'Everyone worked in HR.'
This was how I was sure that we'd been transported to Hell.
This is the sort of piece I want to read twice: once to understand at an intellectual level, and once again to feel it, to float along its stream face up, letting the language carry me through the beautiful and the terrible.
Thank you for bringing this kind of writing into the world. There are so few people who write who are good at it, and you are among the best I've read.
I feel constrained to point out that the aching void in humanity, the missing piece, is God. Man was designed to be in communion with God and our estrangement from Him is the void we have.
Just needed to put that out. Thank you again for your clear, beautiful and well-thought-out writings.
Many humans, even most first world humans, have a device that they can hold in the palm of their hand. Humans can use that device, on a 24/7 basis, available pretty much anywhere that humans are likely to be found, to access just about all of the information that has ever been recorded by humans and cats. Art, literature, music, data, artifacts, just about everything that you would want to look at is there. There are still some gaps, sometimes YouTube doesn't have a musical selection and it's always better to see a Ming vase in the flesh, but those gaps are closing fast.
Humans use this device primarily to argue with strangers and look at funny cat videos.
“My body left this tired age behind, the leaflet fell in silence”
Into a trash can I ASSUME
Upgrading to paid for this. Absolutely beautiful and moving on multiple levels.
I'm sure different things will stand out when I read it again (and again). But on the first read, something in me felt deep affection and recognition and sadness for this sentence: "He told me there was a soothsayer, and that she was cheap, but that she only saw what you wanted her to see." A related thing—or maybe the same one—appreciated the placement of the sentence about solving bedsheets, just after the points about solving cancer, hunger, and energy. And the whole of me was brought nearly to tears by the last two paragraphs, though the others of course played supporting parts. Anyway, thanks for that.
Dear Freddie, you continue to amaze with how you write from and to the soul…❣️
I can't believe they figured out the bedsheets :)
Seriously, I liked it a lot. This reminded me of "The Tempest", especially the throwing the pen into the stream part.
Wonderful read. Thank you for the admonition. And the style comes through (so rare these days).
It was only missing the disclaimer "TRUE STORY", of course. ;-)
It made me think about how boring the indifferent universe is. It is only made interesting by attention being applied to it.
Honestly, I'd rather V.I.K.I. or SkyNet get us than your vision. But I'm guessing that's your whole point.
Those last two paragraphs...oof! I can only hope you are wrong about that particular future dystopia, although something tells me your guesstimation is partially correct. Regardless, your expositional meanderings here are, as always, a joy to read. Thank you for that.
"...and they were whispering anxiously about filing their income taxes." -this line filled my with so much horror and dread for some reason. :-/
Saved this, enjoyed it a lot
Outstanding, didn’t know you had this in you.
I would ask for more, but it would be foolish to expect something this good daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly.. Made my reading day.
Stirring. I am always grateful when you share this essence.
I had to double check I wasn't on Sam Kriss' substack for a moment, which is high praise for a work such as this.