The Vapour

are little unseen tendrils of vapour around you. Yes, now. Look around. No, I
didn’t say you’d be able to see them. But they are there. They coil slowly
heavenward and return with the rains. They crawl over the wet rocks, float low
over the breathing grass after the rain, slip down beaver holes and accumulate
in comfortable shadowed corners.

I saw them two years back, midnight, across the highway on an empty
patch of grass. It was a sort of misty smoke, arising slowly from the wet
earth, hidden but for the occasional truck throwing its passing halogen glare
over this mysterious substance as it thundered across the highway. It was
beautiful to see this living fume, waving gently over the top of the dark
grass, almost inviting.

I know what it is. It is nothing, and it is all. I know where it
comes from, and that place is worse than hell, not possible for any mind to
imagine, nor for any artist to capture in colour nor for a pen-wielder to
imprison in ink. I know what it is. And to understand it, to feel it, to
capture it, you need not paint it, describe it, or make fine plays about it.
You need only to do the undoable: know it. I have done it, on a wet summer
night two years back, when curiosity drove me to grab a light and stroll across
the highway at midnight in my nightshirt to know this living vapour.

I fear not allegations of insanity as I relate my beliefs about
this ethereal substance, for I know that he who laughs will one day be visited
by the vapour and whispered unwanted secrets in the ear, and made to observe
the life they have been living, the principles they have been following, and
the meaning they have been searching for, gradually unraveled, slowly and
inexorably, as torturously unbearable as watching with wide eyes a car run over
a toddler who left her mother’s hand.


<this piece,
written on a friend’s computer, was not completed. now i don’t know how to
complete it, so i will let it remain incomplete.>



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