Friday, October 16, 2009

late at night in his hotel room, the beleaguered tv executive jots off an extempore letter


Panache is just something that I’ve always had in spades. So what? Big deal. Right? It’s superfluous enough not to matter in any but the most inconsiderate and multivalent sort of way. Midges swarm my head at night sometimes, like they would when I was a kid playing soccer under the sodium lights in a warren of grassy fields, like dewy nights, you know, where the air has that misty heaviness that seems to jaunt and loop and meander. Places with welt-like pockets of oozing conferva flanking thick grass and dandelions and scrubby brush and thorns, prickles, and spines of plant life that seemed weedy and ominous and drew strange whirring insects with serpentine flight patterns of circuitous intent. It always seemed as if something lacertilian was whisking its way along by my feet, horrifying me into not looking down at times, and this would lead to many errant passes and cockeyed shots at the goal during practice. There was always a slight shush welling about, an eerie scoop of sound, almost tintinnabular in its rhythm, though it was light and drowsy too, and it made me less spooked, more aware, though dreamy in a way that’s hard to describe except to say that it was mushy and whimsical without being too sapping on my physical actuality. There was a certain something in my movements. It was sprightly I guess, fluid and somewhat insouciant, like I was floating along just over the tops of the grass blades with my rubber cleats gliding and maneuvering in a slick, if not lithe and buoyant, reverential flow. My speed caught fullbacks napping. It just came on before they knew it, quick and darting, and then I was by them chasing down a pass that a midfielder had kicked way ahead of me, said fullback screaming that I must’ve been offsides, for how the hell else could I have got to that ball before him. It was wonderful fun. The ball would often be wet, shiny, almost candescent, and it would slide easily from the top inner arc of my right foot, looping, aloft and dreamy, in a sudden sweep like a boomerang, seeming to hang motionless for a moment as it topped out, reaching the acme of its flight, and began its smoothly parabolic curving descent into the left corner of the goal, just below the crossbar, where it swished into the net making a very satisfyingly sweet, crunchy sound as it plunged and was blanketed by the loose rope. These were ecstatic moments for me. Generally these were the times when my panache was most apparent. Times when I wasn’t worried or over-thinking my motions, when the lull of the field at night would make my mind warp and gently tumble my thoughts like clothes in a dryer. My quickness came on like a sneeze. Everybody was taken off guard by my sprints, which were at once loose and compact. But still many was the time when, the ball taking an awkward bounce from a slight indentation or hillock in the dirt, I’d shank it off my shin guard and send the ball flailing off into the darkness of the unlit country behind the field, and I’d have to go off chasing it down among the creepy vacant world of mysterious flora and dank swampland and possibly wild unknown beasts who might be lurking in wait of some evening prey. The smell of damp mowed grass still brings back memories of these nights of preadolescent soccer practice. My verve still hangs around. I still have a sense of style that is preternatural, that suits me in strange ways, but it’s nothing to go on about. People will pick up on it, intuiting a certain √©lan or luster emanating cologne-like off of me. Sometimes I’ll get darting smiles or flashings of unsteady eyes that drop suddenly with a wink’s quickness from people treading by on the street. It might be merely an unconscious twitch that strangers do, a knee-jerk type of thing, when passing on the street. A way to not give too much away with a glance or a hurried ripple in the cheek. But I notice it in others. I see them take a fleeting gander at my odd zygomatics, at the exciting chance of pulchritudinous musculature that gives pleasure to the observer. I am noticed. I know this. It is part of my personality. There is a convex/concave allure to the swimming dimply whorl of my face. This might sound vain, but it is not. I assure you. It is just the way things are. I am replete with this ebullient panache, that gives light to my being, meaning to my days, and brings wonder to the souls of many. In essence, I am a syncretic medium that gives light to their darkness. During commercial breaks, winking at the synecdoche that is TV, the volume insipidly loud, blaring, almost like a warning alarm gone off, a switch thrown, a channel change, and then whammo, you know, there I am to compensate, to make up for all of the gibberish, to reassure them with an eternal temporariness that is at once soothing and entrancing. Nothing makes more sense to the one who is doing the consuming than to base their sense of themselves on the things that they consume. I am just another product to be had. They take without having to give. It is an apotheosis. Not even God can do for them what I do. I massage their dreams, give their meager lives a little meaning, and make the mundane stuff of their lives exciting for a moment, a moment that is gone before they ever thought to know that it existed in the first place. To be loved and reviled, to be an association and an addiction, and to flow inconspicuously through their lives like the atoms that make them up, that is the substance of my life. There is nothing else that matters. Who am I to make such a claim? Where do I get off? The nerve of this guy, right? No. I argue. I am nothing. And what the hell have you done with your little life, besides try to get laid, to get a little money for yourself, to hide away and play games and be entertained and selfishly try to manipulate the world into doing what you think is in your best interest? Have you ever thought about that? Of course not. Because you are nobody. You are nothing. You do not matter. And there’s nothing you can ever do that’s going to change that.