“The meaning of this signalling will have to be clarified. Can it preserve a relationship across the break of the diachrony, without, however, restoring to representation this “deep formerly” as a past that had flowed on, without signifying a “modification” of the present and thus a commencement, a principle that would be thematisable, and therefore would be the origin of every present, every representation, and thus a past more ancient than every representable origin, a pre-original and anarchical ‘passed’?”
Take what meaning you can son, for meaning, like oil, is a finite resource in this world. Had his father been a more articulate man, this is what he might have said. Instead, he helped load the truck in silence, pausing only for a moment before opening the driver’s door.
“You’re sure that’s everything?” he said. His breath was heavy, serious, like a horse waiting in its trap. He was in his sixties. Worked as stubborn men do. Jamie opened the door next to him, climbed onto the worn upholstery. Smell of pine forests, of sodden earth. The clouds grew into a singular mass upon the horizon. The engine started with a jolt.
There are songs of forgetting, and songs for passing time. The engine was no longer tuned the way his father had kept it when Jamie was a boy. He remembered sitting next to him, barely up to his father’s chest, smile content over the humming machine, thrill of gleaming pistons in his mind.
There are moments when you realise there is no one there to protect you, moments as unforgiving as railway steel.
His mother made lasagna for when they got home. Cut three uneven slices. On the television later there was a documentary about the yeti seen again in the Canadian mountains, the Russian steppe. Grainy footage of men in suits that held his father transfixed.
“Some things just aren’t meant to be,” his father said later, emboldened by his beer. Then in the fading light, like an image from a painting you suddenly realise was always there, a group of deer bent their heads to the dew-licked, evening grass.
Brett Darling is a writer from London. He is a graduate of the MA in creative writing programme at London Metropolitan University. His ekphrastic writing is forthcoming on the Institute of Contemporary Arts (London) blog. This is his first published work of fiction.