Saturday, June 23, 2012

Larger Lives

Take heart while you sit in the corner alone and wait for death. Your life has stretched larger than you see. In a place you've never seen some friend you knew in elementary school uses a line of yours that used to be your favorite. Twenty years after your time has passed your kid recites that limerick you shouldn't have mentioned. You were patient zero for that one meme that spread across the landscape of people you knew. That little thing you do with your lips, that catchphrase we all hated, that tune you used to hum, the panoply of malapropisms that showered from your dumb mouth, the ketchup on your eggs, it's all out there. Pieces of your personality occupy far more than your one body. It's a shred of immortality. Not the kind you wanted, but the kind you got. No one asked you.

That thing you do that you picked up from Dad, that thing he said his old man used to do, how far back does that go? Was there some ancestor of yours seven hundred years ago who made that jerking off motion with his head tilted and one eye closed? He had your nose, why not that? The genetics of expression. Did the Great Khan make that same farting noise with his lips that you do? Did some poor Egyptian bastard slap his belly while he was lost in thought like Uncle Al? And will there be someone on Mars two hundred years from now who does that dance you do when you smell your favorite foods and your mouth fills with thick warm water?

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