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bittersweet symphony
by dan gonzalez

I jog on the treadmill, surrounded by the four walls of my basement. The metaphor for absurd existence itself is not lost on me. I run 2 miles without moving at inch.

To break out, sometimes I run through the neighborhoods under the sun. But the houses that pass by evoke the same strange feelings. Something about the 'No Outlet' sign on the dead-end cul-de-sac is ominous. Is hell really comprised of other people living in cookie-cutter similitude or confined to a solitary wanderer trapped in one's own pathways of the mind?

I pound my drums furiously to escape. As a great one called them, the 'mystic rhythms' are sensible to none and all. But the image of an eight-armed Hindu goddess - she who pounded the surface of some great primordial sea of nothingness to create the supposedly ordered universe - refuses to be suppressed. That the beautifully violent mother-of-all gave rise to the ultimate, inescapable caste system is just a briefly ironic, irrational thought behind.

Rats on treadmills. Same old pathways. Push the boulder up and down it comes. The uninvited thought why visits to taunt me with startling regularity as I walk down that same damnable hill.

I once took solace in the fact that with any luck, some of my DNA and memories of me could outlive me. But the birth of the awesome individual who represented that chance banished the egotistic pride and brought instead stark humility. Minutes after her emergence through the doom-bringing canal, one can clearly see the dilemma in a snapshot:

One can also see that same uninvited thought, not manifested in a little word, but in arms outstretched and soul outraged at the involuntary displacement from the insulating cocoon that was the confines of her being up to that point. Beautiful in most perfect imperfection, welcome to the world my dear, and here is your boulder and there is your hill.

At first, the laugh and the cry are indistinguishable. Smile and grimace the same, harbingers of the exhausting volley of hope and despair that perhaps characterizes a 'life' better than any other notions. The pleasing beauty of it all brings smiles as the painful ugliness that hides behind brings tears.

One is never far from mirrors. The aesthetic symmetry of the face is silenced by the loud glare of every blemish under the fluorescent lamps we call truth. It must surely be easier to dim them, and not to smile while tears fall on the page.


Maybe it's you, maybe it's Dan. Things aren't quite the way they should be. And now it seems Dan's peace of mind has come up for the bidding, and those that he respects and trusts must all have been just kidding. Dan's little world has lost control, but still it keeps on spinnin'...

more about dan gonzalez


killer on the road
by dan gonzalez
topic: writing
published: 5.10.11

singin' dogs
by dan gonzalez
topic: writing
published: 3.19.04


tracey kelley
11.8.04 @ 9:53a

That is a stupendous picture. My God.

The piece isn't so bad either. :P

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