Sunday, September 12, 2010
Waves of Truth
Moving with a rhythm, a disordered rhythm of contradictions and divided impulses, Dorian made his way down the hall towards me, his fingers lightly brushing the wall, a neighbor’s door knob, the molding around the doorway. Every gesture conspired to create a chaotic rhythm that was somehow harmonic in the purity of its chaos.
Even his hair moved as if electrified, swaying in black ringlets atop his head, and his shirt sleeves seemed to breath as if drawn by an unsteady hand as part of some sketchy animation. Blue gray eyes with a halo of yellow ringing the pupils erupted from his anonymous face like a burst of noise hiding a carefully constructed melody of microtonal intensity.
The small soft looking nose, round cheeks, and unobtrusive chin were all so perfectly shaped that they melted into the back ground like a ghost and only those wild eyes remained.
Any person who tried to recall his countenance would have difficulty in restructuring the details of that face, but the eyes would haunt them. They would remain in dreams, integrated into the structures of other easier to conjure faces.
He seemed to bounce, erratically from wall to wall, then hover in between, then zig zag. The shiny black shoes thudded on the thin tan Berber as if each foot strove to walk independently of the other, as if these two feet belonged to two separate men who had been tied together for the sake of a novel race.
Even the legs bowed and squiggled as if they were involved in a mutiny against the feet, while the arms aided the hands and fingers in conducting their senseless groping. Somehow all these many singular movements, all these many notes and sounds produced by uneven footfalls and rustling garments and finger nails on plaster, they all added up to one very distinct and clear beat, something so polyrhythmic that it couldn’t be measured by me, and yet it was there. I could hear it.
Those quivering shirt sleeves were fashioned of black Italian silk, the slacks were some miracle blend that appeared either gray or silver depending on the way the light hit them.
How many times had some fool mistaken him for a billionaire’s retarded son? With a gait like that. It was easy to assume that he wasn’t all there, but it was a terrible mistake to make, a mistake that Dorian would make you pay for, mustering all his considerable mental ability to the task.
A mind like that. How does a genius perceive the world, how does his mind unfold? I imagine the inside of Dorian’s mind to be like jazz, waves of truth wrapped in disorganized bits of light and sound that collect around this or that nexus, all suspended by his attention like stars in the night sky.
As always, the nearer to me he came, the more confused my senses grew. Was I repulsed or attracted? My skin would tingle, every inch of it, the way one’s flesh crawls when in the night one awakens and sees by moonlight a spider crawling along the window pane.
It was like that, but also like when a very attractive woman is so close you can feel the heat from her body before she is quite touching you, and maybe she never does.
I stuck the needle-like tip of my mother’s broach behind the night light and was electrocuted when I was six. Being within yards of Dorian was like that. I am never sure if it is a proximity to life or death that induces these sensations. I have long suspected that they are, in fact, one and the same.
When he was a few feet from me he said,
“Remembering itself as itself. From the inside, yes. Everyone is an Observer of themselves, but who can process this reality? Are you ready Billy?”
His voice was always a little raspy, like autumn leaves scratching along the concrete, propelled by a breath of wind. In it you heard both the breath and the scratch and it made him seem both frail and boundless.
“Sure thing boss.” I told him and his hand made its way from the wall to the front of my shirt back to the door jam.
“Imagination is more important than pure knowledge. If you can't see through the other one’s eyes, then you’re blind to the oneness. Lets go bird watching Billy boy. I’ve left my cane. Lend a hand?”
I offered him my arm and he leaned on it trembling. I’d helped him this way before, but it was always startling to feel the storm of tremors that was the body of Dorian Finch.
We strode together back up the hall to the elevator and rode it down to the garage. Horace was there in the black Jaguar waiting patiently behind the wheel. Dorian lifted his hand in a gesture similar to a wave. It looked as if he were caressing the air, feeling it with his finger tips. Horace nodded.
“Not my car Billy. Your car. Separated individuality collected in the uniqueness.” Dorian explained.
“Should I get your cane?” I asked.
“Won’t be necessary. I’ll remain in the car. Image making. You brought the camera?”
“Yeah. I got it right here.” I said giving the camera bag a tap.
Dorian leaned on my battered Corolla feeling the rear windows as I unlocked the passenger door for him. He slithered in touching everything as he moved. Once installed behind the wheel I asked him.
“1491 Jamestown Dr. to deliver us from SIN. From IGNORANCE Billy Boy.”
With his legs and feet at rest he was almost still. His hands caressed his own pant legs, the door, the upholstery of his seat while his wild eyes were glued to the road ahead. We waited at lights in silence, passed down the thoroughfare watching the golden dusk yield to darkness while the shop lights glimmered into wakefulness. Restaurants and nightclubs let lines of people in evening dress hang out of their doors like long tongues out of small rectangular mouths.
When we arrived at 1491 Jamestown we were submerged in suburbia, mid sized residences surrounded by manicured lawns. I had turned off the head lights seven or eight houses away and we eased up to the curb across the street from the house. The lights were on inside.
I took the camera out of its bag and fitted it with the telephoto lens, then waited. Soon I got my shot. The woman in her red underwear and the man smothering her with kisses by the window. It took me a moment to zoom in on their faces. A moment longer to recognize the woman. I slowly lowered the camera.
“So THEN all things CAN change.”
“That’s Bettina.” I said.
“Precisely.” he breathed.
Bettina. Dorian’s girl. And my girl too, though I hoped he didn’t know. It would break my heart if he knew.
“Dorian.” I turned to him and his wild eyes met mine.
“We hope yes, BUT when THIS particular timeline ends THEN all these things ARE FULFILLED RELATIVE to the people and individuals aware of it. I am the one who can’t follow and I am the one who leads the way.”
“Dorian.” I could only repeat myself, could not fathom what he was saying to me.
Bettina seemed to be making the deadly mistake. The unforgivable mistake of underestimating the mind of Dorian Finch. Had I made the same mistake too? Was this the web? The web wrought by Dorian to ensnare us both? Did he suppose that I would kill her out of jealousy? Or was it that man in there that he wanted to see wiped off the board. Or did he know me, really know me? Did he know that I could not be jealous for myself but that I could feel jealous for him? That I could feel for him possibly more than I could feel for myself?
How many times had some fool mistaken him for a billionaire’s retarded son? Moving with a rhythm, a disordered rhythm of contradictions and divided impulses, weaving his webs without beginning or end, every gesture conspiring to create a chaotic rhythm that was somehow harmonic in the purity of its chaos. My betrayal of Dorian, Bettina’s betrayal of us both, this probable politicians betrayal of a wife and his constituency, Dorian leaning on my shoulder in the hall, that camera revealing and capturing the truth. All these many singular movements adding up to something so polyrhythmic that it couldn’t be measured by me.
I am the one who can’t follow and I am the one who leads the way, my hands cleaning my 9mm colt semi automatic deftly while my mind churns through the options and the photos dry in the print tray.
Which is the one that he intends, or which of those possibilities that he foresees does he prefer? Waves of truth wrapped in disorganized bits of light and sound.