You’re raking the lawn, cleaning shards that have unearthed with the melting of the snow, that brutal tide of winter having finally thinned away. You find things thrown in the snow, having thought the snow a black hole of sorts, and here they are, facing you with the tide down, threatening to poke through your flip-flop if you don’t catch them with this rake, a grate of aluminum teeth to swallow these uncomfortable remnants. You’re alone in the street so you say things to keep you interested, assuming nobody around. When was that relationship really doomed, you say, after picking up someone’s scarf, or, the less dramatic how did a copy of this Facebook conversation get here, after seeing this printed, wrinkled text. I’m sure I deleted it… Right, I could only archive. There’s a book, too, some book-club-book that sold really well because it tapped into a collective reserve of guilt, telling some story that described the suffering of some other person, waxing poetic with dramatic adverbs, something to make the reader cry, and then angry, and finally to produce a solution, all from the comfort of a balcony, and go on to the next book: Next week, it’s peace in the Middle East. Just a book, get over it, you’re too sensitive… Maybe that’s it, this nervous aggression: Even if you felt that you had found a solution, and absolved some of your guilt, a piece of it was always archived.
Things used to be better when there weren’t any shards, and you could really make sense of the world.
You opened your eyes… the shards were still there… your words hadn’t changed the situation on the lawn.
Things used to be better before, because people could complain but nothing was really questioned, and I didn’t feel as uncomfortable.
Still nothing. It seemed like the darkness was never turning to light, and the starless sky went on glowing pink. You could say things, but the shards still had to be raked. Fine: The next piece was a bill, this thing you thought you had thrown away, blue five stained red, blood from some boring story of fighting in a bar over which guy owned the woman: Blood money! That was something you understood: You’d seen movies about it, read about it: You hadn’t contributed to it, because you weren’t the evil Russian-CEO, or black criminal in the movie: It was possible to delete your complicity, not just archive it. You were just a worker bee looking for honey, buying things that, well, the profit-consumption-Russian-CEO kind of relied on, and, uh, would probably contribute to the extinction of your species.
Things used to be better, because, even though it’s the foundation of current bad things, I did not feel as uncomfortable, and everyone was treated fairly.
The pink sky and the shards were still there, despite everything, maybe finishing the lawn was the key: The sun would rise, and you could finally go inside. We have: one participation medal from a rec league of indoor soccer, where that guy kept on trying to break your leg – in the social league – and you egged his car; one beer ticket that somehow went unused; one receipt from a first and last date; one vaccination record of your first pet, this thing you treated with obsessive good intentions, feeding it into well-intentioned-obesity, protecting it when it wanted to play in the park, making the thing feel nervous around other social animals, sparking that fight; and The Planet of The Apes: 3D on blu-ray, thrown out after a nightmare where the apes took over your neighbourhood, and your apartment, and you thought, shit, I hope they don’t treat us like we did them, and all the racial politics of that nightmare, and the uncomfortable privileged feeling that it was somehow really racist, lead you to throw the thing to the snow, and you had fixed the problem, but there it was, under your flip-flop.