Where then are the Reins? [a Flaneur recollects]

Sitting quietly on a train, as I have, as I do, will do, repeatedly the things we do day in day out the same way we never notice, creatures of habit. Here I am riding clink-clank across the bridge, Manhattan Bridge spanning erect across the waters, the East River flowing mutely in my eyes below, the lower Manhattan night-time skyline, undulant dots of light off each wave, an incandescent sonata with light layered in form, cream, I recall, in a Napoleon in a shop on Amsterdam, yes the pastry ripples, I remember una sfogliatella open cut, warm and  flaky on a plate next to espresso after Easter lamb, I liked Villabate better than Alba’s . . . what else is there to say about one or another revery of times gone by, the past is the past someone says–another says that the past is not past, that it doesn’t even exist except in how we remember it. Do we remember? What did we remember? I remember you, your skirts, your legs, your eyes, the world itself unbearable sorrow. What is there that I could or that I would say to you, other words for you, suiting action, you know–the words I say about what was are the only was that is. Words and actions do not meet; we must try desperately to make them so. So with the words I use say tell you, you could conjure for yourself something of what was but not for me but for you, how it is for you when it is for you, always this is in the remembering. To remember, to recall, to recollect, all of them–each one of them different from the other, related, but not mutually interchangeable in every context of use.

I never explained to you why the reasons of course why I did not could not speak to you after or again, and how I left you without so much as an appeal to destiny or vanity–you were the world for me that night into early A.M. over the latticed shadows of the blinds across your breasts I lay my head down to sleep, I prayed–what did I pray for, could I have prayed for that night that room your room from which I left for good for once for all to come again another evening, a cab home–and I wondered why I got fat with you–the cabs, you know–but you have since insisted that we walked a lot more back then, I think it is true, nothing I could have desired above all else, what else was there, there is no was only what is this was, neither flesh nor blood  nor the bones shaken to the marrow, yes you shook me to my marrow I did not tell you, you were too fucking haughty for me to tell you how I felt, actually–virtual reality has been our modus for a long time, but then, these recollections are not exactly in tranquility collected. I have lost control? Have I ever had control? What is the necessity of control? Control is not what it is misunderstood to be.

If my soul is a chariot, where then are the reins?

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