#16

Something Special

How could they have known?
They couldn't.
No way.
None of us could have.
On a conveyor belt to the stars,
and it all seem so static.
So still.
Like outside on a dark night
looking at the stars
It seems dark, and still
and yet...
Now we know
Now we know of the movement
The movement
They thought it was a political thing
an event
a party
a revolution
something
that should be ...
that could be stopped
Now
all that seems so far away
like trying to stop a snow slide
in the Alps.
Like standing in front of one
of the old Big Boy locomotives
in the museum.
like trying to stop time himself.
Time herself.
How anthropomorphic
subconsciously still there
the remnants of humanity
It had been a long time
(a pun)
How do we count...
a few million years???
a few billion???
Time as a point?
Time as a line?
Time as a quantum, tensor field?
Time as a woman?
It made no sense
And it was sense...
All of it
three billion years of sense
all compressed onto the
head of the proverbial pin.
A sphere the size of a period
With the mass equivalent of a billion suns
all in information, knowledge and wisdom
compressed to point zero.
The plunge to the
"other side"
the idea had always been there
always in the back
behind the daily things
the surviving
the eating
the dating
the courting
the buying
the selling
there was the "sense"
of something more
something special
in everyone
in everything.
After every special event
like wars.
Every man on Omaha Beach
Fifty years after
felt like he had been there
watching history unfold.
None felt like they were making history.
The were watching history.
Mostly they tried to keep their
heads down.
But some times they couldn't help
bot look around and take in the pageantry
they were part of something bigger
then themselves.
Then the guy next to them exploded
and they remember what to do.
Dig deeper and keep your head down.
Sarge said dig in quick
or you would become part of history.
He said that after the war there
would be a cemetery on the hill,
and if you wanted to be there for the ceremony
in fifty years you better dig fast and deep
other wise you would spend the fifty years
on the hill waiting.
Time, waiting,
now it seemed so silly
to talk in those antiquated terms.
Ramsey thought of his grandfather
who missed being on the beach
that day in 1944.
He got sick
during the physical
at Fort Riley.
They found the problem,
the lingering effects of
Unguelent Fever.
Not life threatening,
not debilitating,
but no storming beaches.
Even cannon fodder
needs some strength.
Anyway, his grand father sat out
the last round
and survived.
Like his father
and his father
and his father
and all the others.
Darwin was right.
Dead critters
don't reproduce.
All of his progenitors
back to the single cell
had survived
long enough
to reproduce.
But they didn't.
Reproduce, that is.
Not exactly.
They reproduced in Darwin's sense.
But not exactly in a mathematical sense.
Some thing was added.
Each generation,
even microbes,
had added something.
Some sense of being there.
Some thing to faint to see,
to sense.
Some thing that could only
be seen
Now.
Looking back four billion years
to the point
where time began.
Where the accumulation of experience,
of how to succeed
without even trying.
Of adding to the sense pool/gene pool
swimming pool of life beginning.
The warming of the realization
that here he was
a part of history
made Ramsey nervous.
Usually, his gene pool nervous system
told him,
that meant that someone
was about to die
before reproducing.
And that was his prime objective
for the night.
What was the benefit
of his insight involving
the whole future/past of mankind
if he couldn't get laid?
What?
He couldn't think of any.
Priorities were tough to set.
Get laid?
Or dream?
Obviously, get laid.
Easy decision.
Because the best dreams
came afterward.
Like now.
He looked over at Kathy
and wondered,
if she had seen the future
of the universe too?
All compressed into that single
point in time
When all the knowledge,
and wisdom
of the ages
surges across
the gulf
from he to she
becoming one
with the ages.
The whole universe
compressed into a point
in time,
an instant
when all of the accumulated
four billion years
of surviving,
of succeeding,
of surpassing,
is passed
like a torch
to the next generation.
Good luck,
God speed.
You go with a
little more that I had.
And will add to that!
A little,
Each generation
adds a little
on a conveyor belt
to the Stars.
No stopping it now.
It started a long time ago
and that time
as we know is now.
He turned
an kissed her on the
back of her neck
and slid back into that
dreamscape
between this world
and the next,
that only comes
along sometimes
when you least expect it.

Bill Bottorff
May 13, 1996


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