Tuesday, March 24, 2015


The deadbolts in the place are installed upside-down. Considering that they act as both door latch and handle, each opening and closing takes some thought. Some mental reorientation. Some conscious override of a lifetime of repetition and acquired muscle memory. Clock-wise is close, counter is open, unlike everywhere else. Everywhere else, that is, to the north.

Things change as you move into the tropics. The physics of objects get nebulous and conventions get slippery. Hot is cold and cold is hot in the bathroom sink and broil and bake are somehow reversed in the toaster oven. Here and there, odd things turn around. Thank God there’s no ground plugs in the electrical outlets, no forced right way in the wiring, or some things might simply not work.

But experience tells me that that’s just about right for this latitude. That as you draw near the equator, the rules get erratic. More is different and nonstandard. More is unpretentiously whatever. And it’s not all mechanical or angle of sun or direction of spin in the toilet. It’s the essence of things. The clock slows down and calendar speeds up (if you happen to worry with such things around here). What was important is no longer.

Does it continue towards chaos as you sail further south? Does this inversion of norms become a toss-up at the equator? And, once crossed, will things begin to stabilize, 180-out, as you move towards the opposite pole? When you cross the earth’s midpoint does your stomach turn over, black become white, and white fade to black?

Will all this weight that I carry turn to blissful relief? How nice that would be.

The deadbolts in the place are installed upside-down. But I’m getting used to them now. I just don't think too hard, turn them both ways, and open the door only when the time seems right.

And I’m feeling lighter by the day.

No comments: