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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Memory (07/10/08)

TITLE: Perplexed
By michael CERZA



Yeah, not sure about all of this. inside the loop, outside the loop. Outside the loop thinking you’re inside the loop. Losing the loop altogether. Beats me.

I’ m talking about that insidious entity: the mind.

He likes to play games. In fact he excels and revels in their quixotic nature. Games of all sorts: games that play on your emotions, games that stretch the limits of your stamina and thin you out to the point of exhaustion, games that just last forever and tests the very metal of your will to bother living.

He wheedles and wends his way into every aspect of life. Insinuates every aspect of his being into your breath. Each time he stretches, winding his arms around his dark torso, you feel each crack and pop of his sinews.

He walks into your life like a slipper-clad nymph, cooing promises. He knows. Beyond any doubt he knows. When you move, he moves; when you sigh he listens intently, waiting for his opening. Smiling to himself, he bides his time. Waiting.

Patience is his middle name. He knows he has you. It is a fait accompli. You have no choice but to listen. Listen and identify. And that, my friend is when he knows: knows that he owns you. Lock stock and widget, head to toe, first thought to last he owns you.

Years do not matter. As they pass, he only grows stronger. With each passing day. Each year. Every breath you take and every pass you make. He’s there. Watching. With patience. Always patience. Boundless, easy patience. With every blink of your sightless eyes, his patience feeds. Feeds on the inevitable. He owns you and he is yours. For as long as you draw breaths, he is your lord and master.

Insidiousness begins at the age of awareness. When you become self aware, he trembles. For one fleeting instance, his cockiness wavers, his knees shake. For that one brief moment, when you become of a sudden, conscious; that is to say aware of awareness. The pencil writing itself, the hand touching the hand, the mind observing its thoughts. For a split second your head is like an airplane. The instant its nose breaks through the ceiling of a cloud. In an instant, the light replaces the gloom of its interior. Your head pokes above the clouds for even a brief snapshot of clock time. The mind’s eye blinks and catches a glimpse of serenity. If for only that brief thought-second, the mind loses its tenacious hold and you can see clearly.

He quickly points at the nearest shiny thought; and tempts you back. Back into the fold. He sticks a point in your side. Doggedly he pursues. Clawing at your ears he produces siren like amusements: not particularly funny. They urge you back. Back to the familiar. Back to the usual. The banter. The self talk. The internal dialogue. His voice. His voices. The voices of the Committee.

Your mom, your dad, your teacher, your brother, your sister, your lover, your boss, your priest. Waiting at the entryway of little mind, shoving their membership passes under its nose. The long line of bona fide card carrying promises: corroborating their affiliations with the master: Mind. The Committee (not-so-secretly) in cahoots with the master: Mind.

It’s a pity really. He works so tirelessly for so long. Never sleeps. Not once does he fail. He arranges and conducts. Directs and insists. Reminds and corrects. He is the teacher. The omnipresent guru of tedium. Always and never at the same time. Good while bad. At once a comfort and a torment. Deliciously deadening.

His mannerisms are not altogether hateful; he never disobeys. Whatever you give him, he gratefully accepts. Always the polite visitor, he knows when to take his leave. When you finally see him to the door, he politely steps outside. Never venturing off the doorstep, he patiently waits until you leave and then slips around to the back door.

The Members of the Committee

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/17/08
You have presented some interesting thoughts about the mind.
Elizabeth Hexberg07/21/08
Now I am perplexed! Good writing, much left for the reader to think about.God Bless. Elizabeth