(Part 2 to Essay 28)
Love is the pass to do stupid things and not be punished for them. An excursion from causation. Beware the fair.
Like anyone, I walk the world in agreement with so many people: a returned nod, a tacit yes, a pedestrian zone, a slip from my bank, I’ll sign electronically, I’ll love what you did to your new home, I’ll wire the GBP, attend the wedding; the numbers one in tears can dial from another city, the right to flat tires. Like anyone, I grew up biting at ties I’d trust were there, not fighting so would have meant a free-fall — and yet my most personal spaces, I find, are free-for-all. It’s soft where all the nicety retires.
With that flesh-wound on my person, I listened to the professional for a few years, hunched up on my prescribed clutches, feet in the air. Then one night on a Skype call, something about it went bust, yes, the verbs had split off their tense, yes, the tale had stopped making sense, yes, I had endured a great loss, but no, it wasn’t one-directional! And I looked around me and a landscape of contracts would light up: people with white threads between them, the lengths sometimes willing, often not, with the children crying for closer faces, and your boss reaching you on a Sunday, the highway system in which our species moves, and loops under and takes over and suffers fatal accidents, but mostly incapable of leaving the concrete, and I understood there and then what ties I had entered or been driven into, I saw what I first expected and what I was given too, how my contracts got upended, the violations, where the itinerary of my old life had ended, but also that I was travelling of my own volition, that if you’re thrust to get lost it is OK to stop, that that’s what breakdown lanes are for, that you can change, you can change where you wish to go.
I’d sit there in that South London room and think of Abraham and the crime, and the slit where all our important things happen, the spaces of silence and roads up the mountains, the pledge with oneself and further; the steps on the edge beyond the good and the evil — beware the gavel — where we’re all ir-response-able, where no humans can save you from trying, where you must do the tying and the untying, where what is due just you know.
We each carry lawless time, the only thing not to share, the private cracks to pass through with no one’s help. I had to learn there’s a distance between contract and covenant, that if you breach a contract you’ll lose other people, but if you break the covenant you lose yourself.