Monday, February 11, 2013

The Cashier

Before I go any further, I have a Statement to make to that cute Cashier, which may also be of some interest to the general Reader. I freely acknowledge a Self-Interested Motive in turning philosophickal here. One turns thoughtful toward the End of Life. Sometimes at the Beginning. Occasionally, too, in medias res, while buying Condoms at Duane-Reade, one looks forward toward the End. Sometimes, also, the Register closes, and the cute Cashier suddenly steps out for a Smoke, or a Trip to Taco Bell, and one is forced—along with hundreds of other Customers—into another Line—the only Line now open—the one manned by a nymphomaniac Gorgon—and a Return to the Beginning. This last Circumstance is what the bony Indian Fakir regards as his Reward for a Life of patient Self-Destruction, Reincarnation. This is what we in the more corpulent Lands of Christendom presently call, Hell. It is this Hellacious Present that I am most concerned with Here. The Present is what makes me think that my Fifteen Seconds of Fame at Duane-Reade might be the ideal Juncture in Time to interject a Detail—relate an Anecdote—tell a Story—that will illuminate—I hope not as an Epitaph—one or two Aspects of the Chaos which orders Human Life. From one Angle, I know, the following Remarks will read like a Fruit Salad. From another, they will appear as clear as Clotted Cream. I am coming to Terms with my Limitations. I am over 40, and the Truth of the Situation is hard to bear. As Mr. Eliot suggests, we cannot endure too much Reality. And the Reality for me is that I cannot endure too much Mr. Eliot. I know that eventually I will reach the Cash Register. Despite the best Efforts of Mr. Pound, “The Wasteland” will forever remain mired in the miserable muck of Passchendaele, a hopeless Mess. So, we shall pass over “The Wasteland”, as we pass over the Twentieth Century, as the Fragrance of Mountain Sage passes over a Prairie Cowpat. How do I justify this Journey? Easily. Time passes. Or, in the later and more learned Words of Mr. Eliot, “Time present and time past / Are both perhaps present in time future…” They are indeed, Sir. Because, you see, that Cute Cashier only popped out for a Pee. He actually returned from the Toilet to this Poem about 150 Words ago, not long after the Gorgon arrived. They are now standing side by side and things are moving in parallel very fast. I would have told you earlier, but I had to finish my Thought: all parallel Lines converge at Infinity. And the next lucky Customer in one of those Lines is you. Or me.

No comments: