© 2010, 2020 Walter Carl Becker. All rights reserved. International copyright secured.
Walter Becker (2010)
Whatever "we" were now that we'd been living here and eating the food in the house, here where the fungus ran itself onto and right through the skin of the cheese for example — it caved in the sides of blocks of the common sorts like edam and cheddar — whoever and whatever we were now, living here in the house, we were confused and dislocated and we were most definitely scared.
Delia lay sleeping heavily in the bed next to me, but I was three quarters awake and yet halfway stoned to the gills, and you could easily hear the unknown “insurgents" out there on the streets of the neighborhood, thinking their angry thoughts of extravagant reprisals, of justice-plus-10, dreaming their unknown dreams and making their plans. They played their weird jam-in-the-park style of slow groove music all night, compositionally loose and telepathically tight, all of it closely based on something they knew from down through the generations but you, the interloper, had never heard at all before now.
...and yet, however scared, however certain of being caught far off base in a supposedly familiar yet utterly strange homeland inflamed and possessed by the certain knowledge of crimes and cruelties for which we were certainly not "been there done that" responsible, which had happened while were we gone, while we were out, we were now just as certainly going to be held to blame simply because we had come back and dared pretend that the place was still or ever ours — even here in this worst case scenario.
For in the end, here as elsewhere, there would be a final reckoning devoid of any attempts to settle with clarity what had happened and who was responsible, who could have done what more or less they actually did, to make it possible for things to have turned out a little less bloody and fucked — because it was always ever going to be this way and no other, and no effort or abstention on our parts were going to change any of that. The horrible progression and the ghastly climax was all written long ago, with no help or collaboration on our parts, except that we too were written into the as-yet-unforeseeable final reckoning, while writing ourselves into an inconceivable larger sense of the thing.
We thought: was this not the case where any and all places we go back from or forward to — was not the whole world now a killing field, and were we not at least guilty of having known the kinds of things that were being done while we slept and sea-gazed and ate our tainted foods, wondering idly about what walls had been collapsed, about what deep holes in the landscape filled with fetid rainwater of many seasons, trying to conceive of what had happened here and why, in the time that we were gone… and what it would cost to set such things right?