PLACES DON’T EXIST: 1. Sand Dune

Background Image by Francesco Conti

They’ve spotted footprints here.
 It’s the aliens, they say.
 
My pennies are lost somewhere in those sands,
fallen off my pockets,
camouflaging beneath the grains of silica (or if
we take away poetic excess from that phrase— 
It’s just there under the sands).
 
There are guards around the dune;
they won’t let me dig.
No, not guards. Just the sand.
I say — ‘my pennies are important’
and they won’t let me dig.
 
‘Importance is a matter of political discretion,’
they say, ‘in times of such forecast.
Don’t you see? It’s planets, galaxies 
And flying saucers. Science awaits us all.’
 
I’m left waiting too,
waiting for science and the concerned officials
(at least, if not the actual aliens) to arrive.
I’m left waiting in the queue.
Oh yes, I forgot to mention –
by then, there’s this queue
of people curious to learn ‘bout the footprints,
of people curious to learn ‘bout people curious to learn ‘bout the footprints, and
of people curious to learn why they aren’t feeling curious at all.
And I’m left waiting too.
Waiting in the queue.
 
The concerned officials are akin to Godot
Yes, that’s Beckett and his Absurdistheatre and I wonder how it works
when you call it absurd in the very first place.
Place. That reminds me.
So, the officials are all Godots. They don’t come.
Their absence is a plurality, which makes them just like my pennies,
and right now, I’m grieved by the absence of both.
It’s just causal principle, silly. Cause is that which precedes
what follows it and on being followed is called effect.
Science awaits us all.
 
But I can’t wait any longer.
I’m not feeling too scientific anymore. 
Although I try to trace my mood swing to some scientific explanation,
like all other explanations that helped me in being patient,
I’m not feeling too scientific anymore. I say to myself –
Breathe in. Speculate. Breathe out.
That’s progress in science. Just
Breathe in. Speculate. Breathe out.
There are no inventions otherwise, but
Breathe in. Speculate. Breathe out.
 
And that’s when the feeling dawns on me.
A feeling that also makes me realise that
the diameter of the queue is exactly double
its radius and therefore, you may cross it only once–
on your way out — to the point of no return.
A feeling that tells I must let go of my lost pennies forever,
for waiting is all that matters in science
and all that survives in history 
once there are aliens on the sand.
 
But I had to go.
Walk away from science.
For we aren’t yet programmed to deny nature.
Aliens or no aliens, 
Pennies or no pennies, 
I had to pee.

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