Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

Rabbit hole vs. the dragon.  §

So where, exactly, is the rabbit hole? And am I in it or not in it?

These are the sorts of questions that can drive a person mad, particularly when they’re still at issue after many years.

Are they the sorts of questions for which answers grounded in relativism are apropos, or are such appearances merely artifacts of, and evidence of, a perspective from within said rabbit hole?

Life, life, life, you are a tiring sort of thing. Or at least, you have too frequently been thus for me. I sense that there are others to which you have given boundless energy. So come on, level with me—what did I do wrong? Is it because I didn’t fully appreciate your generosity as a kid? Let me say—for the record—that it’s not that I didn’t appreciate your generosity so much as that I was run over by its—I’ll say—splendor.

— § —

“Hier ist alles unverändert
es sieht aus wie überall
die ganze Gegend liegt nicht auf meinen Wegen
und so komme ich eher selten hier vorbei

Hier sind die die gingen
und gegangen worden sind
hier sind die die bei denen ich vorkam
im letzten Film im Flug im freien Fall
die meisten sind immer noch hungrig
dabei gibt es nicht einmal mehr Zigaretten
so halten sie sich fest an den Ideen

Manche gehen spazieren oder denken nach
fahren schwarz mit Bus und U-Bahn
oder stehen einfach da und warten ab
auch die die nicht mehr warten konnten
haben hier nichts anderes zu tun
besonders nachts plagt alle Langeweile

There’s a place around the corner
where your dead friends live.
There’s a place around the corner
where your dead friends live…”

— § —

The first novel that I ever read in the middle of the night, cover to cover and under bedding with a flashlight (as goes the classic trope), was “Harriet the Spy.” Until then, I’d presumed that reading was something that one did only during waking hours, while sitting on the sofa.

The fact that I didn’t stop reading when I went to bed, and didn’t stop reading as I pulled the covers over myself to stay warm (necessitating the use of a flashlight), and in fact was still reading at three o’clock in the morning, came as a complete surprise to me.

— § —

On my office wall hangs a small dry-erase whiteboard on which I’ve given myself, in black marker, “grades” on my progress in various projects.

It shows a grade of “C” in recent progress toward the completion of my dissertation, which I have now not only completed, but in fact defended as far back as early 2014. It’s a dry-erase board. And the marker is as black as it was on the day on which the grades were written. Whenever that was.


— § —

“I could not become anything; neither good nor bad; neither a scoundrel nor an honest man; neither a hero nor an insect…”

— § —

Whatever. That’s what they say, isn’t it?


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