Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Everything you can imagine is real...

This has been running though my brain... reading the séance chapter in The Magic Mountain. Of course, the reality seldom--perhaps never--corresponds to the form it takes in the imagination. Much that is real is not true. But the claim holds. Everything that is, is real.

The question then: what sort of reality are we dealing with?

My father had buttons from the '52 and 56 elections.

"I like Ike."

I imagine they would not sell well in Texas now.

My imagination on this point may well be both real and true, do you suppose?

Galveston Bay is vulnerable to storm surge. Not only because the surrounding land is low, but because of the shape of the bay... do you remember letting yourself slide back and forth in the bathtub when you were a kid? In no time at all the water is rushing out over the ends of the tub onto the floor. So a ten foot storm surge becomes a 40 foot surge, multiplying in volume and force as the waves return and cross in a bay like that.

Ike's weakening over Cuba had the effect of making it a much, much larger storm (apply the law of the conservation of energy). It made landfall as a powerful, but small, compact storm. Now it's fucking HUGE.... and the way the pressure is dropping, it promises to become both large and powerful.

Exciting things, these big storms... my fascination with them crosses the limits of decency. I have a Category 10 tornado in the pit of my soul, the size of a pinhead: the conservation of energy again, in reverse. My TORNADO has become a black hole.

Come right in, it says with a beautifully symmetric smile, a kind of twist of the lips, corkscrew like, like water going down a drain, plunging over the falls in a barrel, back into the mouth of that abyss that spewed us out into the world in the beginning, the black womb older than death.

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