—–“You’re missing out, man,” I said, “you don’t seem to realise that you have to work on being immortal, or it doesn’t happen.” And you might not have all the time in the world for it, either–I continued thinking, for audiences in general. Though if you do, if you do work on your immortality, I mean if you get somewhere, in your focus on the job, then you have precisely that–all the time in the world. “But the point is, my man, you have to work on it,” I badgered, though he was already distracted, “not just wait and see if you qualify!”
—–Well, here we go. There are thoughts that are half-formed and require expression to even exist, that is why you are always rushing, stepping over yourself to get to writing them down. When you say it is because you don’t want to lose these thoughts, that isn’t quite accurate. For they don’t even fully exist until expressed. It would be accurate instead to say you copy them halfway, and write them in order to help them. Then you have them, and naturally you may ask if there is a further step that will guarantee them further, these ducklings. So you get mixed up with the notion that if they were published, and others could lay eyes upon them, and were made into staples of literature, became public truths–that would secure them, like forever.
—–But this isn’t really the right trajectory, nor is it your concern. I am talking to myself, but it’s a dialogue alright. Your real concern, I say, is a stronger, collateral issue. It has to do with the existence of yourself as the caretaker and author in the life of these thoughts. You want these thoughts to be famous on high, that’s the real story! And I know this is true, you bypass completely the notion of worldly success for these thoughts, and want them on a plateau that is secure from all threats and challenges. You want to lay them at the gates, they are your timber. You want them as part of your suit of armor when you step into the land of immortality. They are what you have gained that in fact prove you to be immortal, and I don’t mean some historical immortality like we give to dead authors, when we say glibly their glib words live on. I mean immortality in company with . . . what? Here is where it may look like I falter–but not so. Here is where I reign.
—–“Now that sounds like an interesting project, securing immortality!” someone drawls. “Yeah” I say, “it really is.” First you think, well let’s be systematic about this . . . interesting project. Define your terms, and spell out just what immortality is, before you run off to find it. For some reason, I recall that we used to play Capture the Flag, in the long hour of dusk, before being called to dinner. Lord! I am helpless in the throes of this atmospheric, otherworldly memory. That was so exciting, and still that twilight beckons and it begs for description yet, as if it hadn’t happened yet, or in the right and permanent context, ever. So, here is one of those images that I call a thought, the very kind of item, precisely what I am talking about! If I can get it, latch onto it, it’s a ticket. A ticket to immortality, it’s a bought and paid for entrance fee that gets me into some kind of, I don’t know, ultimate show I guess. The point is, I don’t know. And I think I have immortality sighted and in my grasp, as I configure and stay with this blanket power of summoning images. When you ask what immortality is of course you immediately realise that to know what it is, would be the same as getting it; that these are simultaneously, the gift in what is given. Copy that. That is the familiar sequence of thought itself. Do not doubt it, stranger. Maybe only those who accomplish this actually do get it, and everyone else–or what appears to be everyone else– fails to exist. The faces in the pasteboard crowds. They will not rush the field as the game ends, but I have my head in hands, and when I look up I am sitting practically alone in the stadium. It is windy, isn’t it?, my friend. I can tell by the look on your face that you have forgotten practically everything that ever happened to you. Yet, you know alot of ancient history, and through a keyhole, what worlds are ready to come back.
—–Thought is large and encompassing and can entertain almost anything in its manifold folds and ripples and undulations. Well! I say, the world of thought is larger than the brain–that is what I said in life, until I was blue in the face. I mean we were out on the playing field, when my mother in her skirts came running, to tell me someone had died. No, it must have been my father, walking slowly with his large steps, because it was her father who had died. I am still wrestling with this memory, and I defy anyone to tell me where it is located. In what workshop, on what workbench while I study it in the leisure I surely have like built up on credit, for all my serious awareness. You surely can’t contain the world represented by my awareness in the nutshell brain, I don’t care how many ganglia you cram in there. I mean I don’t think the brain even produces thought, actually. Rather the other way around. Rather run the other dread serial away. That way, round and back to the sandlot in the twilight.
—–“What? So what does produce thought, if not the brain?” she said.
—–I don’t know what produces thought, I said–and this is going on too long. I don’t get into these considerations in order to find out some absolute applicable truth, and make it my doctoral thesis. I am looking for immortality. Get with the project. And, my precious moonface, if you say it is the brain then we just have an even more complicated question to answer. “What?” she said. She wasn’t even listening, probably. I went on, for the fourth reader in my brain, I mean my mind. Well, I said, then you have to ask what produced the brain, which produced the headache of thought. Well, she must have said, we know what produced the brain. The way she pronounced the word “know” echoed in the halls of immortal gods and all heroes of fiction. Apparently she thought this was self-evident and didn’t even need an answer, because she just smiled. Like we don’t know where ectoplasm comes from. Smiled a kind of deathly smile that said, the brain grew out of physical stuff like a gooey mass. Thoughts emerged like electrical currents, sparks, whatever. Thought itself is one of those thoughts, you see–but I don’t think she got that far in her thinking–which, you’d have to say, was only a murmur.
—–So, I said, since she was still an angel, I guess it is a matter of ownership. Who takes ownership of this production line, the interesting project I spelled out–I guess that is the question.