Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Tacit Peace


Routines are an inevitable necessity. The cosmos works on interconnected unity and repetition. Had I not finally established an official spot for my car keys after the fifth time leaving them somewhere, I might be writing a "Do Not Tow" sign instead of these words.

Familiar rhythms crescendo to a beating headache when overplayed, however. I drove one route to work for years (on the days I had my keys). Every morning at 6:53 by my dashboard display, I passed the same stoic, mustached, walrus-like construction worker standing at the corner of Motter Ave. and Dill St. waiting for his ride to an overly familiar gig. The pattern was initially comforting, a reassurance that I had company in facing the day. Later on he just bothered me, a tired character in a tired plot. (At one point I stopped seeing him there. I guess it got to him too.)

We eventually cease to appreciate even the most spectacular encounters. Once you've lived in a place at the shore for a while, you no longer look out at the ocean, and that upbeat yellow you painted the living room now drives you up the very same walls. Notice how mellow the crowd remains under a ritual Independence Day sky, as if the fireworks were happening on a distant screen saver. Chronic users get low instead of high, the cannabis cloud thickening into a lead blanket, the harder stuff a deathbed.

There are some cycles that have to be broken altogether, certain landmarks that belong in the rearview mirror. You don't revisit quicksand, perpetual religious conflict only begs the apocalypse, and one colonoscopy is enough, thanks. Otherwise, a well-timed departure begets a positive return. The best chocolate cake comes at the end of a diet. A forgotten view takes your breath again. Love is renewed after time apart.

The more things change, the more they stay the sameness.

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