:: Article

Ahistorical

By Fortunato Salazar.

in the lagoon. Not true. Can’t disclose fact about the actor, can’t disclose fact about the young husband. No lagoon. The lagoon absent from the facts. There are the facts, then there is the lagoon. The lagoon an unreal locale among the actual features of the actual property. Carved out as a space where immersion is possible because the space is absent from the features. An absent space. Not banned. Swimming in the nude permitted, encouraged. The Expositor lounging at the edge of the absent lagoon, observing the young husband who conspicuously lacks a

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quote from the agreement? “The agreement covers all information exchanged between parties in any and every form and medium (e.g. at personal meetings, via email communications, text messages, etc.) and is not limited to information bearing directly upon the endorsement or any exposition related to the endorsement but extends to all information of any kind exchanged between any of the parties.” All information exchanged would include the agreement, so it would seem, but the Expositor, a layperson as regards the law, wouldn’t wish to presume, overreach. In referring to information exchanged, does the agreement situate itself as an entity separate from the information it refers to? Can the agreement both “cover all information” and be considered to be included in the information it defines itself as covering? Given the minuteness of detail in the lengthy agreement and its thoroughness in addressing unlikely contingencies and the nuances of criteria for inclusion and

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information exchanged regarding such: e.g. the passage in Galatians 6:15, “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” Cf. Galatians 5:6: “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.” Cf. the commentary on Galatians 5:6: “The rendering of our versions as by or through love confuses faith with love, as though faith was the result of love or worked through its instrumentality. But the clause really describes a combination of two distinct graces: there may be intense faith without love; but faith ought to work in love, i.e., in a spirit of love. Love is the atmosphere amid which faith should put forth its energy. The force

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day after day. Weeks and weeks of intimate conversation about spiritual matters of the utmost importance in the bedroom?” asks the young husband, eager to compare notes, already comparing notes in his imagination. “Ask a friend,” says the Expositor. “Read a thread.” “But,” says the young husband, “I sell houses for a living. I don’t have friends.” “Ha ha,” says the Expositor, who’s heard this quip from other clients who are actual Realtors. “I imagine we will have made a close connection by then,” says the young husband. Still hasn’t seen the Expositor in

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to the lagoon every other day midway through the session with the actor, when the actor goes down for her daily nap. Has yet to shed his jeans and tee and join the young husband in the filtered saltwater inlet that does not exist. “Paul says,” says the Expositor, “that sensual fulfillment in the bedroom begins with recognizing what it means to be close. How do we define close, how do we assess distance? For example, that horse over there.” The Expositor nods in the direction of the horse. “Is the horse near to us, or is it far away?” Such an exchange easily might take place between any two interlocutors one lounging fully dressed in jeans and tee and sipping from a glass of lemonade garnished with a sprig of thyme and the other in the buff up to his waist in filtered salt water. One aspiring to gain the endorsement and the other with no need for the operation. One with a make-believe job selling houses and the other who is not conspicuously lacking a

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which paralysis produces a deadening effect on the whole spiritual nature, and results in the continuous craving for legal justification

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any harried actor running late for Easter Vigil. Any Expositor who grew up off the grid just outside of Soquel and whose off-the-grid community tradition did not include going under the knife within the first fortnight after birth. Any actor of a certain age who married young and notched husband after husband and currently is on husband number six or seven and does the thing that actors do, actors love their exit lines. Any of a number of actors of a certain age who were already off and running in their careers at the time their future husband number six or seven dropped, in a hospital or birthing center tied in to the grid, not off the grid. Dropped and soon thereafter (is a decade soon or is a decade far off) began to explore what would ripen into mature bedroom spirituality and sensuality, explore via fantasies about the very actor who in the unforeseeable future (couldn’t possibly foresee the eventuality) would become the fantasizer’s actual bedroom partner, fellow explorer in mature bedroom sensuality and spirituality. Any number of actors who might abbreviate a session because it’s Easter and they’re running late and must shave, shit

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of young husbands who return home mid-session, interrupting, and maul their soulmates with a distant peck on the cheek before retiring to a far-off bedroom where within minutes they begin to snore, thunderously. Or instead lie in wait, wide awake, daydreaming of a future of being unbenumbed. Endorsed. Restored to the condition of their first few weeks of life. Wide awake because in their imaginary open houses where no potential buyers line up in a glassed-in foyer they sprawl on the opulent no-slip tile of a poolside deck in the filtered sunlight and grab a quick nap. Not so quick as to preclude a wispy dream of

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rivet the yoke of Law about their own necks.” The Apostle finds it necessary to express pointedly his own personal judgment on the effect of circumcision in consequence of false reports which had been circulated that he had given sanction to the

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possibly without an endorsement.” “Stop right there,” a hypothetical young husband might say, sunning himself unclothed on a rustic chaise lounge, tall shot glass balanced on his abdomen; he could stand to lose a few pounds. Would silence the snoring, possibly. Vodka in the shot glass. Stillness of the body of water that exists only in the imagination of the Expositor. “I would never consider a surgeon who reverses the benumbing without requiring an endorsement,” no real young husband would ever say, but it’s pleasant to imagine a stolid young husband not without power in domestic business dealings and not without a problematic volatile dimension to his personality who might tacitly consent to a quid pro quo arrangement involving progress toward an endorsement in exchange for reconsideration of certain key stipulations in the

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more often its readjustment, e.g. of the human body and of the universe in 2 Corinthians 8:13: “I mean not that other men be eased and ye be burdened.” Here it indicates the correction of an offender with a view to his restoration; and the need of meekness and forbearance for the due execution of this delicate task is enforced

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lagoon, the lagoon reserved only for her, were joined, that the two bodies of waters became connected through a conduit, or channel, or canal, and that each of us, she and I, could freely swim back and forth between the two lagoons. The suffering inflicted on me was an action that the righteousness of faith working in love allows me to undo. Similarly, the stipulations you’ve been lobbying to change inflicted suffering on you, and can be undone, should be undone, in the righteousness of faith working in love. Will be undone.” “That’s kind of you,” says the Expositor, “and genuinely insightful. In the language of the Epistles, the agreement would be restored to its rightful state of unbenumbedness.” “Yes,” says the young husband, “suffering was inflicted upon you because of the stipulations, and the time has come to reverse that suffering.” “That’s kind and exceptionally generous. In the language of the Epistles, the agreement took from me something that was not in my power to prevent being taken. And now you’ve recognized that it should be given back.” Dream

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in its original sense of a space left intact, the result of a deliberate human action—the decision to withhold action—a gap that exists by virtue of retaining its original form of water occupying space as opposed to water removed from space, the marker of an absence of labor performed that defines the space as present in its original shape and nature; versus the lagoon in its sense of no specific lagoon in the here and now but an example of any number of actual lagoons in the here and now in which the filtered salt water has been dyed to turn it an unnatural and eye-shattering shade of

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of the context suggests or warrants such a restriction.” says the attorney. Boutique firm, high floor downtown, sweeping views of commerce and poverty, affluence and desolation. The Expositor’s old stomping grounds. Then he became an Expositor and clients beat

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not under the circumstances, let’s err on the side of caution, okay?” says the Expositor. “This is caution,” says the young husband. “This is what caution looks like. We couldn’t be more cautious. I’m telling you definitively, officially, on the record, that what we’re about to do is not an exchange of information.” Young husband sips from the tall shot glass. “It doesn’t feel like an exchange of information,” says the young husband. “We’re not working, we’re just talking about what it would be like to work together, to move forward. We’re not moving forward. It’s all prior to moving forward.” “It’s an exchange of information about the possibility of moving forward,” says the Expositor. “I would agree,” says the young husband. “At the same time, I declare that no information is being exchanged.” “The stipulations seem to cover conversations about moving forward,” says the Expositor. “Not if I declare they don’t,” says the young husband. Sure of himself, ten or fifteen pounds over his ideal weight, stolid, volatile. Sips again from the tall glass balanced on his midriff. “The information falls outside the boundaries of the stipulations. I declare it to fall outside. I wave my hand and—” He waves his hand. “Now I can speak openly to you and you can speak openly to me and exposit for me, frankly and realistically, what my chances are.” Drains the tall shot glass. Lake Champlain drains nearly half of Vermont. The Expositor has never been to Vermont. Never ventured more than fifty miles from Soquel during his first decade of life. Is fifty miles near

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is a happy metaphor for Christ’s death to sin (Romans 6:10). Myer’s objection that it is inappropriate since Christ endured actual circumcision is not serious, for, if sound, it should have excluded the choice of these ambiguous words altogether, which naturally suggest a circumcision suffered by Christ. The phrase, however, is so strange, that it seems imprudent to adopt it. It is, therefore, best to mitigate the difficulty by the view that Paul interpolates, in a concise but obscure expression, a reference to the great fact which underlay the sensual and spiritual experiences

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never expected that his progress would be as rapid as yours,” says the Expositor, “because, you know how it is, you and I, we’re just turning pages, whereas he and I, it’s a matter of winning him an endorsement. No doubt he feels pressure to move the work along, and naturally the pressure gets to him. He’s not used to working under pressure like you are. He’s been assigned, I’ve assigned him, let’s say, a tough couple of passages, and it’s daunting for him. He should buckle down, focus on the challenge, but instead he procrastinates, escapes, runs off to one open house or another. Understandable. You know how difficult it can be to make sense of some of those passages.” Speculation. “They’re not difficult at all!” says the actor. Big smile. Speculation. Big radiant smile. The actor sometimes will turn on the big radiant smile and keep it turned on and just let time go by, one whole minute go by, the Expositor’s last exposition hanging in the air. Speculation. Sometimes the actor breaks the spell by summoning the housekeeper in a throaty bass voice that can’t possibly emerge from the actor’s throat but does, without disturbing the smile yet at the same time breaking

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Fortunato Salazar lives in east West Hollywood and has recent writing and translation at PEN America, The Atlantic, Tin House, Guernica, The Brooklyn Rail, and elsewhere.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Wednesday, July 24th, 2019.