Memories are recalled in long lines. ‘When I think back to that night,’
for example, or when the prosecution lawyers introduce a ‘timeline of
events’. Then we’re really talking about a longitudinal study, isn’t that
so? A chronological profile as much as one that’s psychological. The whole
picture shot through with irreducible lines, as Aristotle might have said
of arrows, with just a little irony. But what’s just? Justice rests on
lineage: where were you during that time? Where was your mind? What
position did you hold to in the night? Did you cross a line? Did you even
know it was there?
It’s not only memories, of course. It riddles the future. A ‘line of
enquiry’ follows a set path, unless you get crossed lines. And the present.
Take part in a line up if you want to feel ‘in the now’. Forget that
Buddhist mindfulness crap. They’re trying it on the Green Line this tour, I
heard. Some federal funding budget got disinvested for that.
We’re made up of long lines. Arteries, veins, capillaries. And things
smaller than that I imagine, in my chest, a network of artilleries,
intricate, outrunning the sodium thiopental, the pancuronium bromide, the
potassium chloride—now that’s a mouthful, that’s a last supper. A last
thought. How long are my artilleries? How magical those blooded
ever-afters? No time. Here it goes. Line after line. Sounds like lying when
you say it quickly enough. Long enough. Just the length of a sentence.
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