Rolling Ball of Mystery

This was written in about 2001.  I believe it was revised somewhat later, but this is what remains.

In 1981 Ki and I used to walk down dark city streets across the VCU campus to visit Golden Donut on Main Street.

Windows were open in Richmond’s Fan District and the sounds of summer wafted out through them. Once I stood looking up at a second floor bay window listening to a band practice. I couldn’t see the musicians, only the slowly revolving ceiling fan with its twin shadow on the high ceiling.

That part of Richmond imprinted itself on my feet. I still wander some nights in rural Pennsylvania, always looking for the second floor windows, the ceiling fans, the hedges of orange lilies closed beneath the moon.

And my feet left some prints of their own. See where I stood looking up. Follow the young me past alleys and bay windows and porchless houses divided into flats, past city-style college buildings, bars, wrought-iron fences, all the way to the yellow island of Golden Donut, Open 24 Hours.

What did I know of dark roads and alleys? I wasn’t afraid. My life was an adventure, a road opening onto moonlit vistas, a promise waiting to be uttered. There were no babies to nurse. There were no deep rivers of grief, no mourning to awaken to, no remorse-filled reminiscences. There was no road without a light at the end. And Time was a lazy rolling ball of mystery that left, everywhere I walked, a trail of filament visible only by the light it reflected.

Moonlight reflected in Time’s silver trail can seem one moment like a lighted window, the next moment like a visual cicada’s-trill. It doesn’t have to tell the truth. It’s up to me to be true when I glimpse it.

Published in: on April 13, 2011 at 9:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

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