There are days that ache for greatness. Ones where minuscule souls of blood, water and flesh aspire to transcend their expiration dates. Ones where these souls smile at weakness, exhaustion, frailty, practically bemused by mortality and age. Ones where humanity finds itself ever more intoxicated with itself, ever more self-assured, self-reliant, impenetrable, capable, sure.
Why the gods have become men today!
And there are days with no aspirations, no pretenses, but oh so many soft breezes, furry petals, pollen messes and floating—dreams, ambitions, laughter. They drift, practically melt, in naïve, spring air.
These lukewarm charmed souls glide towards the deities, an unbalanced equilibrium of devil-may-care and divine, the sun shines on my neighbor’s face, I observe my grin in his sunglasses and there’s a hotdog bun in between these fingers, ketchup splattered too, and I’m squeezing my niece’s hand and look up to footfalls, stare at them all chiseled, pounding the pavement in such mechanical and graceful pulses that when I’m not choking down my lunch, I’m imploring “Come on! You’re more than halfway done!”
And for everyone that does not pin the God-bib on for the day and labor for twenty-six miles, mirth and satisfaction abound in the oxygen. For the rest of the God-bibbed and twenty-six mile laborers, mirth and satisfaction abound in the oxygen. These days infused with greatness and happiness, may they not be just the stuff of my youth but the fiber of my American identity!
And so there are souls that violate these days, that betray the greatness, that deceive the simple, that move with such ruthlessness as to pillage a moment in time so that it will never resemble itself again.
That horror cannot be unmade. The giant white spaces where your legs once where cannot be unseen. The bed that you slept in on April 14 still is unmade and I cannot nag you to make it again. The finish line, Copley Square, your identity as mantle of human accomplishment now must make space for a mantle of all of this blood and the fact that I just made an offhand comment to you about how the sun was in my eyes and drat my sunglasses were in the glove compartment and then you were gone. And then you were gone. And then you were gone and I had no idea that you were gone but how was I to know anyway?
The Triumphal Entry, yet 45 seconds later and forever the Corridor of Lost Innocence, the Hallway of the Assault on Camaraderie, and yes there I heard about those that ran towards the shrapnel and noise, but did they tell you that in years to come it was sobering stuff, like men with guns all over the place because people bought an allusion of security even though they knew its fraudulence.
And the fine spring day was raped. And reckless abandoned cracked in half. And there were no gods, but only women and men and babies. And I ached not because greatness did no flourished (oh no, police and fire and paramedics and doctors and nurses and oh no, heroes were made that day too) but because we had been floating and now we had not even feet to plant on the soiled and defiled ground.