Charles Freeland

Axiom for Let

Every endeavor leads to failure, that madness you refer to as mundane because you happen on it with such regularity it becomes like the sun. Or the soil beneath your feet. Something to be remarked on occasion, but otherwise so much a part of the background, the texture, it's easy to forget it's there. Even when it does stand out, it has lost all power to astonish, no matter how virulent or odd its formulation. Just like those newspapers that sweep along the ground in fragments when the wind picks up and a storm is coming and people scurry for the doorways, hoping to find there not just shelter from the coming inclemency, but companionship. Maybe for an hour, or a week. Conversations that start with inanities and finish in grunts and monosyllables, sighs and unwise declarations. Instinct becomes something grotesque then. The spawn of those brought together unnaturally. By the sound of the symphony coming through walls. The bassoon turning into its opposite. Cold mushroom soup. And any reassurance to the contrary settles to the floor like a tin can to the bottom of a lake, revealing itself only after the passage of millennia. After the monkfish has succumbed to its cousins. You get enough spite stored up like that and there's no end to the good you could do, even if only accidentally. As far as mottoes go, that's a good one. But even better is a saying of the Aztecs. It has something to do with serpents. How they rarely change the color of their plumes.