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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4536 - 4539

 4536. The thought of the imaginary elevator in the imaginary cruise ship suddenly seemed even more terrifying that an attempt to get back into the little plane with the evil pilot.


 4537. So Coromo, our hero, sat at his little table in his small room with his head in his hands and his imagination tortured him for no apparent reason.


 4538.  He could see himself in his mind's eye, stuck in the little elevator in the ship. The elevator got smaller and smaller until it was hardly bigger that a coffin, and still it continued to rock back and forth. Then it stopped, and began filling up with water. 


 4539. It filled with so much water that there was just an inch or so left at the top for him to breathe. He thought about the broad avenues of New York City, with their traffic and crowds; it was such a contrast to his plight, alone in a casket sized room filling up with water, somewhere in the middle of a storm tossed ocean. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4532 - 4535


 4532. He decided he was never going to get into a plane of any kind. How he was going to get to New York he did not know. The desire to go on his trip did not abate, but he began to imagine that he could simply purchase a ticked on a cruise ship.


 4533. When he had been researching his trip in the travel sections of the New York Times; the Sunday Times he found in the resort guest's reading room, he often noticed the advertisements for cruises, but he had never read the ads or thought about them.


 4534. When he got home he pulled out an old copy of a travel section and began to read about the cruises. How much did they cost, how long did they take? But the first thing that caught his eye was a cross-section drawing of a cruise ship, which seemed to indicate that the ships had millions of floors navigated by elevators.


 4535. Fear is like a contagious disease, and it spreads through ones mind bit-by-bit corrupting all ones plans and schemes. He tried to picture riding on an elevator down into the bowels of a huge ship. He imagined that the elevator would be especially small and rocking violently back and forth.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4528 - 4531


 4528. That was the state of mind of Coromo, as the plane flew into a cloud bank and everything disappeared from view. The pilot seemed to be tense and upset, and was looking ahead as if he could penetrate to gloom with his eye.


 4529. The pilot did something with his controls, and the plane started to fly sideways, after than it leveled out again. He did this a few more times and then the plane came out into the clear blue sky and down below Coromo could see the airport, but it was the same airport they had taken off from.



4530. The pilot tried three times to penetrate the fog over the ocean but each time he turned back. Finally he gave up and landed the plane in the same place they had departed from. The pilot said, "The fog is too thick, we will have to try again later."




 4531. Coromo got out of the plane and went into a little building that was used as a waiting room, to wait until the fog cleared. He was not there long, but picked up his bag and headed for home. His mind was disturbed with his fright, and he kept saying over and over again "Never again, never again." 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4524 - 4527


 4524. When riding in a plane there is nothing so upsetting as a disturbed look of the face of one of the attendants. You are sitting in your seat trying to get comfortable, and the hostess walks past and on her face there appears to be a look of fear.


 4525. "Appears to have a look of fear," consider that qualified phrase. You do not actually know the hostess is fearful, perhaps she just has a toothache, and it got much worse recently.


 4526. Perhaps the pilot complained that his coffee was not hot, adding is an undertone, "Third time this week." On the other hand, perhaps everyone on the craft is going to dies in about 12 minutes, and that was the reason for the hostess' apparently fearful expression. You are never going to know.


4527. If you were to ask you would never get a truthful answer, this you know. So you feel nervous, and after the passage of a small amount of time, you think to yourself that it was just nothing, you are nervous, you can't help yourself.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4520 - 4523


 4520. That was why Coromo used the phrase, "Time has slowed down," as he sat in the passenger seat of the little plane. Down below him was the ocean, and it was gray. Straight ahead were the sky and the horizon and they were also gray. He could have sworn that the craft was not moving.


 4521. He could not tell how far away the water was down below him. There were patterns on the water, but one moment they looked like they were miles away, and at other times the ocean looked like it was a few feet below him.


 4522. The patterns on the water were distinct and exact for a time, but then the water began to go out of focus. The water would be out of focus for a while, and then become clear and distinct again. Finally the patterns on the water disappeared altogether, and everything became a dark gray turbulent nothingness.


 4523. They had entered a big cloud, and the pilot, seeing Coromo's terror explained, "Its just a cloud, we will be out of it in a minute."

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4516 - 4519


 4516. This is what Coromo overheard, "When Galileo was old he was asked to explain the tides. Why does the sea rise and fall, people wanted to know. Galileo thought for a while, rubbed his chin and said, the sea is like the tea in a teacup. The teacup is the earth that is spinning around. The sea sloshes around in its tea cup, and that is the cause of the tides."


 4517. "But," continued the man who threw stones at the monuments of famous men, "Galileo was wrong about the tides. But everyone though his answer had to be correct because he was the famous Galileo."


 4518. "So too," he continued, "Einstein, in his old age, was wrong about time, but he is always believed, because he was Einstein, so he had to be correct."


4519. That was the conversation Coromo overheard, as he served the two professors their deserts. The last thing he heard when he went to fetch the wine was the other speaker who replied in an aggrieved tone, "Now that you have dispensed with Galileo, and Einstein, what do you think of the later etchings of Picasso?

Friday, April 24, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4512 - 4515


 4512. Here is the entire segment of conversation Coromo overheard, and partly remembered. "Einstein says that as a moving object approaches the speed of light, time slows down." The other person at the table replied, "Did Einstein say exactly what time was going to slow down relative to?"


 4513. "Time slows down relative to what?" Repeated the first speaker. And the man who had made the contrary statement then said, "For time to slow down, it has to slow down relative to time itself. Therefore to say that time slows down can have no meaning." 


 4514. By the same reasoning, space cannot be said to be warped, because it would have to be warped relative to something, and that something it would be warped relative to determines the shape of space.


4515. Later Coromo brought desert to the table of the men who were arguing about Einstein. The conversation has shifted, and they were now talking about Galileo. The man who was suspicious of the ideas of Einstein turned out, not surprisingly, to be skeptical of Galileo as well. He was one of those types that enjoy throwing stones at the monuments of famous men.  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4508 - 4511


 4508. That is how it was for Coromo, he suddenly thought that God, his God, might not actually exist, and so it would therefore be possible for him to be shattered into a million pieces and he would be destroyed for absolutely no reason what so ever. 


 4509. He began to see traffic moving down below. Cars the size of ants were crawling along a two-lane highway. He knew that highway, and so he knew that the cars would be moving along about forty miles an hour.  Slowly the picture of an explanation came into his head and he reasoned like this.


 4510. The cars are tiny and the houses are tiny, the trees are tiny and the barns are tiny, therefore everything has shrunk down. Time must also have shrunk down, and this must be why the cars go so slow.


 4511. Coromo was wrong, but sometime or other he had heard the phrase, "Time slows down." He heard the phrase as a waiter, waiting at the table of some college professors on vacation. It was one of those meaningless things one hears that remain in one's head because they sound intelligent.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4504 - 4507


 4504. It is moving as slow as it is possible for a thing to move on the earth, slower that the slowest of turtles.  Why is this, and how is it to be explained?


 4505. I could explain, if you wanted me to, why the plumb bob goes so fast and the barn so slowly, but I doubt if you would find it at all interesting. What I do think is interesting is what it was like for Coromo, during those moments, as the plane floated along in the sky.  

  4506. He realized that everything he thought about things was somehow wrong, and that the way things actually were was now impossible to understand or figure out. 


"Doubting Thomas," Mark Tansey

4507. Once my brother was on a trip to Los Angeles. He stayed in a hotel on the top floor. He woke up in the morning because the room was trembling. He sat down at a chair next to a table and the room swayed back and forth and the table and the chair moved from place to place. My brother said to himself, as the earthquake quaked, "Everything I ever thought I knew appears to be false."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4500 - 4503


 4500. Imagine a silver thread descends from your aircraft straight down to the ground, and at the end of that thread is a brass plumb bob and its point is not touching the ground but is just one inch above it.


 4501. The ground is level, the plum bob, attached to the plane by a string is traveling along the road. Since the plane is going one hundred miles an hour, so also will the plumb bob be going one hundred miles an hour.


 4502. The farm with the silver roof comes into the sight of the plumb bob and it roars past, it passes the mailbox and the yew bushes to either side of the mailbox so fast that the letters of the name on the mailbox, and its number cannot be seen, they are just a blur.


 4503. So the plum bob goes on its way down the highway still roaring along at a hundred miles an hour, but you, up in your passenger seat in your little plane, see that the barn with the silver roof is going past you as slow as it is possible for a thing to move.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4496 - 4499


 4496. But then there are those like Coromo who face the evil prospect with anger, anger of a hubristic character, anxious to cross the threshold to the other world full of arguments and reproach. 


 4497. The aircraft did not descend, but neither did it speed up, dive, or turn in any direction. The landscape seemed to stay absolutely still, and it was as if Coromo was in a stationary place up in the middle of the sky, sitting in a chair and not moving at all. 


 4498. Perhaps you can recall being in a small plain for the first time, and the transcendent perfect moment when the craft attains its altitude, and levels out, and you can perceive no movement, and hardly hear a sound. 


4499. Let us consider that the craft is traveling one hundred miles an hour through the air. Below one's eye catches a tiny brilliant triangle of light, which one assumes to be the silver tin roof of a barn. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4492 - 4495


 4492. So began a fateful minute and a half during which our hero resentfully began to prepare to meet his creator.


 4493.  It sometimes happens to an individual that because of some completely benign innocent mistake of perception, one momentarily comes to the conclusion that ones life is over.


 4494. In the few seconds that elapse between this perception of the inevitably of death, and the happy realization that it was all just some silly mistake, we can glimpse the fundamental character of a person flower, and their complete world view, or, as the Germans so aptly phrase it their "Weltanschauung," emerge.


 4495. Some persons crumble and tremble at the sight of their impending death, and others are stoical, and feel proud at their supposed lack of fear.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Lost In New York, parts 4488 - 4491


 4488. Just as Coromo decided the craft had stopped moving, the pilot leveled the craft out, which seemed to his passenger to be the beginning of their inevitable decent. 


 4489. Simultaneously, as the landscape was slowing down, and coming to a complete halt, at least to Coromo's observant and artistic eye, attuned as it was, as an artist, to the subtleties of perspective, pressure began to build up in Coromo's ears.


 4490. The engine, which before had seemed so terribly loud, suddenly became quiet, and then the noise of the engine seemed to stop altogether. The silence of the engine was fated to last for as long as it took for Coromo to accidentally swallow.


 4491.  Swallowing would adjust the pressure in his ears and bring on the sound of the engine at its full decibel level. But alas, Coromo did not know he had to swallow in order to hear the engine again.