things that happen

by uzwi

A woman walks up and down the street asking everyone she meets, “What’s going on? What’s going on?” Emphasis is on the last word, as if they already know what she’s talking about–as if she wants further news of some event so large no one is thinking about anything else. “What’s going on?” Sometimes, when there’s no one to talk to, she seems to be asking it of the street itself. “What’s going on?” This is not an illustration of a facet of her personality, or the basis of a Dickensian one-trait character paradigm. It’s an event. I think: a book is a container of events like this, as well as other types of events. Meanwhile, that noise I heard in the night, in the fog, a couple of days ago? (It sounded, I wrote, “like a digital imitation of a bird”?) I hear it again, in the street on a Saturday morning. It’s a broken starter-motor. Does the street now have a character? By combining these two images, have I characterised it as the sort of street in which these sorts of things happen? My idea would be this: human beings–readers–of the world & of books–are so used to interpreting events as carriers of a causal narrative that they don’t really see them any more.