The Future is the Motherfucking Future
My father snores. I keep my fingers on the keyboard and stare at the black screen in front of me – my computer’s gone to sleep, my father’s computer has stopped gasping. Everything is sleeping.
There is nothing for me to write, no formal complaint I can file, asking for more time, more life. Dear reader, my father needs more time. It’s important for his future.
There is, it will be proven, some immaculate spark that animates us. But that spark is not part of the meat. Memory and personality are part of our meat, our twitch brains. Love and hurt, regret, hope, addiction. Everything you call your past, your life. Everything that makes you lives in your meat.
Pushing an acorn into the soft earth of your yard while your father smiles and says, That’s right, just like that. And the acorn sprouts and grows into a tree and years pass and the tree grows up to the height of your bedroom window and then your parents split and you have to move and you wonder sometimes if the people who bought your childhood home let the tree live or had it ripped from the ground.
And one day Dad gets fed up and there they are on your bed, his hands at her throat and her nails digging at his cheek, and you’re pounding on his back screaming for him to stop but he’s too big and your fists are so small and weak and when Dad was holding the paper earlier you looked at his hands and hoped one day you’d grow up hands big and strong like his, and the oak is growing in the yard.
And you love someone, trace the line of her jaw with your finger in the dark, knock softly on her door in the dark of the burnt out porch light, kiss her in closed-eye-darkness. And you love someone, and the oak may be dead.
And you get off a train, a tourist in Vietnam in the early twenty-first century, and you see a boy holding a newspaper to a broad, seeping cut on the top of his foot. You go to him and kneel down and produce bandages and peroxide from the first aid kit your dad insisted you bring with you, and you clean the boy’s wound, and wrap it up, even though you do not know how deep it goes, you do not know if you are helping. You’ve never had medical training. For all you know you’re pressing a Band-Aid on a broken bone.