Sunday, December 2, 2012
It was a day like any other day.
Somewhere in the cosmos, a moon crashed into an ocean.
Three new stars were born, and two old ones flickered out.
A motorcycle hit a tree. A man jumped off of a bridge.
A tanker truck blew up. A baby robin jumped out the nest.
A lady stepped out in front of a bus. Somewhere, twins were born.
The fire trucks were lined up outside of the tenement. A ladder was extended, but it didn’t reach. A young father threw his baby, and then he jumped.
A tree fell in the forest, and it landed on a beaver.
Channel 49 was experiencing technical difficulties.
A clutch of reptilian eggs was laid in the cold, soft mud of autumn.
A bus crashed, a hotel burned, and the young lovers were oblivious.
A piano fell out of a nineteenth story window, and a man quit drinking.
A woman resolved to change, a youth repented, and mothers mourned.
The artist laughed, and no one cared.
I ran out of milk, and so I had to go out.
I stepped out onto the sidewalk, and that’s when everything went black.
I was watching a man in coveralls with a tool belt at his waist.
“Oops! Sorry.” He saw me then. “That’s not quite what I was looking for.”
“I’ll send you right back, if you promise not to tell.”
He stood there expectantly.
We stood on a thin white line. We were hanging in a great, vast void of pitch blackness. It was like a plank, painted white, and it wavered off into forever, a pale, attenuated tendril of something-else, in nowhere-space. The end of it floated around aimlessly, drifting about in little curlicues, as if questioning its own existence.
You could say it took a moment to sink in.
The words of the Beatles went through my head.
“…he’s a real nowhere man…”
All around were the white lines, going off into every which direction. They were all connected by cross-lines at regular intervals, and he had a wrench and he was doing something.
One of the adjacent lines dropped away, and the end hung there, limp.
“What are you doing?” I was absolutely astonished. “Who are you?”
“I’m Murphy. I do maintenance.” He ws unfazed. “Are you ready to go yet?”
“No! What is this place?” I asked again. “Where in the hell is this?”
“You mean you don’t know?” He asked the question without any real curiousity.
He was a just a happy little worker.
He didn’t care either way.
“Why did you just disconnect…that thing?”
“I don’t know.” He scratched his belly. “I just do whatever I feel like. Whatever feels right.”
“It’s my job.”
This was the most amazing thing. I’d never heard of anything like this before.
“What’s all this…about?”
“What! Murphy’s Law?”
“Sooner or later, if something can go wrong, it probably will.”
“Well, someone’s got to do it.” Perhaps for the first time he sensed my disapproval.
“But…but…that’s just crazy! Where is this place, really?”
“The only constant in the universe is change.” Then, he reached out and grabbed the end of my line, or whatever. “If it wasn’t for Murphy’s Law, the whole cosmos would grind to a halt. That’s what makes everything go around!”
He did something funny with his tools and he sent me right back here.
And now, of course, I don’t know what the hell to think.
I don’t dare tell anyone, or they’ll send me to the loonie bin for sure.
I don’t know if I’m going crazy or what.