How The World Ends

I am not a receptacle for your feelings. I am a human being, there is a penis that hangs between my legs, and a heart in my chest.

Today In the world we can be certain of very few things: there is a girl kidnapped in Europe who will not sleep well tonight; a gunshot delivered to the back of the head will at best cause brain damage; and a young actor in Soho will leave his young actress wife and daughter, move to Manhattan, and quietly kill himself. The masseuse will find him.

This is not all we know. But I mention these facts, and not others, because you seem to have confused me with yourself.

In Gaza they are sleeping without power tonight. "Thank the Israelis," say the Palestinians, candles bobbing up and down in dark. "Thank their rockets," say the Israelis, and they go to work or the Wall or to King David's tomb to cry for where God can hear them. Did you know there is a stone underneath the Wall from which God pulled the Universe? At night American cameras catch the sight of so many candles in the street. In the darkness you can't tell whose hand holds what.

So there are many ways to forget yourself. Once I kissed a hand in bed only to find it was mine. How different that is than strapping a bomb to your chest to blast yourself through the warm bodies of other humans. Sunlight hanging for a instant in a suspension of lungs, livers, hearts and bones. Then who cares whose hand is whose? The journalist couldn't even tell it was a hand until he got close. Back in the States he tells the story over drinks, dinner, a taxi ride uptown. "It is hard to be back," he says, watching Manhattan flash like teeth.

See how he gives it away, into the air? Did you forget that words are complex patterns of pressure on the fragile ear? It takes sixteen still pictures flashed in a second to convince your eyes you saw someone moving out there. Computers must gather forty four thousand one hundred snapshot of sound before you hear my voice telling you:

Today In the world we can be certain of very few things: several nesting swans survived the sunrise, a man in the Bronx did not make it to the hospital in time, and the young actor left behind a bottle of pills, a movie, and a daughter. We don't know what happened to the girl. And yet you talk on as if it were not so, as if these things happen to other people, as if you had a good reason to strap a thousand words to your chest and light the fuse.

Don't make me build a wall.

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