Words || Howard Choo
We’re not where we should be, that much is clear. Holding on to what we believe has never been more important, but K is wavering, pulled in other directions, and soon it will be too late.
It’s not that I don’t feel those thronging possibilities myself. I do. I see them arcing into so many possible futures. The idea of seizing one is seductive; the idea of action always is. A clean stroke, a confident stride, and then you’re someplace new. Much harder to stand still, feet planted as it all moves around you, trusting in this heavier, messier thing that you’re carrying inside yourself to continue taking its shape.
Am I too in thrall to this old idea? Has it become a kind of revenant, tracing long-worn paths that never lead anywhere? All I can say — in response to K who is only, fondly, worriedly, asking the same questions that I’m asking myself — is that the moments of arrival, when they come, are still as piercing as they’ve always been. All I can say is that deferral is not the same as being on the wrong track. I know she doesn’t disagree.
This is a time of drawing near. A train speeds up as it approaches its station: last chance to change lines for a long while. Energy hums in pulses through nerves and synapses, swifter than you can feel. Satellites blink and murmur to themselves. It’s funny what goes through your mind, a time like this.
We’re on a train. Side by side. Or maybe it’s the carriage of a fairground ride. Either way. Pulled onward by forces larger than ourselves. The landscape is filled with wrecked machinery that I almost recognise, piling up behind us in a horizontal sprawl. Red dirt stains everything in sight.
What had she said? We can’t keep waiting when we don’t even know what it means. We have come, unexpectedly, to a place where it has a cost, this long-standing belief of ours. Where a crisis is impending, its signs now vivid and impossible to ignore.
The intervals between the metal ruins grow shorter; glints flash rapidly between them. The carriage vibrates with increasing intensity, as if it might tear apart. K is gathering herself towards a decision, and I know the time for speaking has passed. So instead I close my eyes and imagine what comes next, as things telescope inwards and the wheels begin to lift from their tracks, and light spills slowly, heavily in from all directions.