Friday, November 20, 2015

Parallel Lines

Parallel lines were brought into your life to stay at about the midpoint of your venture into middle school.  You'd surely heard of parallel lines before that, what with your grammar school education being an evolutionary introductions to painting, drawing, and some hints at geometry.


But it remained for Marjorie Parcells to bring parallel lines him to stay with the announcement, on one Wednesday's art hours, that parallel lines meet in infinity.

You were already into reading novels that would be roughly classified as Boy's Adventure, from which you understood that parallel lines were just as often to meet in the penultimate or last chapter,  Marjorie Parcells seemed to understand that your boyish drawing skills had pretty well exhausted themselves, particularly since you already knew they were several generations from the process known as rendering, by which a more skilled drawer than you could cause things to resemble their actual counterparts.

"How about we just stick with parallel lines," she told you, indicating how those, when used with a certain attention to concept, could produce dimension of a significantly greater quality.  Much as you admired art and Marjorie Parcells, you were already setting off on your own mischievous ways. 

 "Some characters in books follow parallel lines," you said.  The look you got from her was one you still remember.  "Nicely done,Lowenkopf."  You like to nurse the belief that your observation to her was the main reason your grade in Art was a C+.  Most boys were lucky to get Cs in Art.

Some years later, when you were enrolled at the university, you began using the parallel lines approach whenever a paper was due, whenever a test asked for an essay, and whenever the muse appeared before you with news that she had bright a short story into your life, you relied on the parallel lines approach to composition.  The more you did it, the more you became aware it was being used in authors you enjoyed.

When you find yourself immersed in a novel where the first chapter has ended on a cliffhanger and the next chapter begins with a different point of view, perhaps even a different locale and time frame, you are on your way to becoming impressed with the skills and daring of the author; she or he means to bring this material together in one or more scenes where the reader will be able to see how the parallel lines jump over the art boundaries and into some serious dramatic interaction.

This brings you to your latest encounter with parallel lines.  As a general rule, you get forth most days with a cheerful, dare you even say chipper attitude, aware as you go that there are a number of slight distractions from the goal of getting your in-progress book finished.  Classes to prepare for, clients with work wanting editing, and the job you could not say no to, Editor of the Cafe Luna Literary Review.  This is a parallel line of some concern to you.

Set in motion against this parallel line, notwithstanding you had the super powerful flu shot, is a mean spirited strain of the influenza virus that beggars any past experiences with flu.  Some but by no means all symptoms are a woozy, light-headed feeling, balance difficulties, various internal throbbing pain, a serious, unrelenting thirst, and a need to make sure you can bridge the gap between bed and commode with all deliberate speed.  This last works in the face of you having been able to contemplate eating for the past two days.  

The battle lines have been drawn.  The battlefield is your body.  You are already reciting Harry's magnificent panegyric to his troops on the eve of the day of battle.  Of course, Shakespeare's poetry will work on these parallel lines.  But just in case, "Fuck you, Influenza."

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