only only makes sense if there's nothing else

taka kono

may 3, 2021

It makes sense that when the new language arrives, we’ll soak the old language in it. We’ll wring the damp rags and write down what’s wrung. It won’t be the new language, but for the time being, it will help us feel closer to color. Before the color is turned to dye, it will leak in a pool. Before it leaks in a pool, it will be mixed in a conversation. Before the conversation is reanimated in person, it’ll happen over the phone. Before the call terminates, we will have substituted the words for one another. We will have strung these words into our palms, like strands into a head. This will occur in the relative absence of one another, but for the time being, we will have our telegraphy. 

 

I dream alone. The dream houses a heart. The heart houses a truth. The house feels like a game. The game feels like hide-and-seek. An argument, by the bridge. The bridge is not here, just later on, longer down the road. 

 

Just north of Haiti, there’s an island named Tortuga. In Pirates of the Carribean, somebody—Jack, maybe—describes it as a place you can’t find unless you’ve been there before. Nobody else seems to remember this line from the movie. The pirates were right. I remember for the rest of my life. 

 

It’s architectural, always. The interior space of imagination. This room is also me. Smaller details. Units within the larger unit. A room with drawers; a drawer with cabinets. It makes sense that I already know what’s inside them. They should stay closed. Danger again. Up, maybe, the staircase. It worked. It worked last time. Do I need to go where the doors are, because that’s where the table is? I need to sit at it, with the other two that are stuck there. If I don’t, I’m stuck in this room. I remember that I already know the words. I can still climb, I think—now I’m climbing. Because I’m climbing I forget the staircase. Outside. Of course! Mere moments ago, I was saving the cats. They were stuck in the two-story house. I’ll go back. I know trouble is on the way. I remember where I am; I sense the rules. I realize they’re the same.

 

Relief. So that’s why I’m here. 

 

The only way out is to make sure all the cats are in the basket, where I can see them. I’ve got two out of three. I saw the last one just now, by the stairs, when I was climbing. That was before I knew the rules. If the silent man returns before I get the last cat, that’s the end of everything. The third cat has to be black, because I can see the tabby and the siamese. I need to find the room before I’m found. Moving quickly, I circle past the center of the story.

 

text by, Rohan Mills