The palimpsest

The past written on the present. If the present is a block of events, things changing at different speeds, in relation to other things, and each in relation to itself, then written on the present is everything that is past, a palimpsest, a martingale too; everything already written; and all possibilities, all potential.

A grey waste ground where I used to go. A Saturday afternoon, young men, after the pub, play football: a tennis ball. They still wore dirt of their jobs; coalmen, laborers, firemen on steam trains. They come suddenly; after 3. Others exit the stage. And the players scurry and sweat and mutter and pant off their beer; raise dust on the damp, charcoal earth; concentration, more intense than I have ever seen. Then they go, suddenly; sleep the rest of the beer off. Now the place is manicured.   Boys kick a ball around. Children play on a slide. Take a picture; I see the young men still playing; ex army conscripts; now mobile conscripts. All futures are written there too, still.           


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