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The Museum of Vestigial Desire

The Fool

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By Nachiket Joshi

Even a short journey can appear too long to accomplish within a single life-time. Unless a life-time lasts two days, like that of a dappled butterfly, here now, only to disappear amidst the shrubs forever. Then, one may commence over and over again, the short journey in twenty-one steps. The steady putrefaction of a flickering soul, goes through the same cycles as the return of spring, only it does so in reverse. Memories dissolve, dissipate, dissimulate, crowding behind each other, like commuters pushing their way onto a local train. They are packed in, and sent off to their fates, and we remain on the platform, picking up the pieces, stuffing some into our pockets, discarding the rest. Meanwhile, The Wheel of Fortune turns on and on.

It becomes apparent, that the journey has to be undertaken, when newness appears only through the veil of older frames, recurrent images, and forbidden motifs that trace themselves over your face. A thing recognised, is twice archived. What has the dust of childhood, the masks of adolescent flowering, and the terror of sleepless nights left accumulated in your skull? Little memories, printed in the small presses of the mind, disseminated across the furthest reaches of your consciousness, will forever be elusive to the present. They return only as synchronous bursts. Cherish them in forgetting. They are the heretics of the remembering self.

But all the rest, those commuters, their faces flashing by like fairy lights, are now wasting away, providing only the false succour of recognition, emptied of their forceful vision. Discard them, as you discard a broken shoe. Feel the mud clasp to your feet, the dog barking at your heels, the fading sun casting a panoply of visions into your eyes. And then, when you are ready, cover your scalp with the preposterous hat, greeting the reaper like an old friend, and walk over the cliff’s edge. The fall is an illusion, the bottom endless. But you will emerge renewed, and stand revealed as a fool. And then, perhaps, you will be twice removed from the gnawing presence of obsolete variations, on what happens to be an eternal theme.

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