Transit of Venus
Wolfram Alpha (see A New Kind of Science) says I was born 10,941 days ago. Almost almost 30 thirty 30. The beginning of my ministry, chuckles says the narcissist.
The Transit of Venus — a once in a life time event. Sort of. It happened four years ago. I missed it. So — not really a once a lifetime event — only if you missed it.
It happens every 243 years, a pair of transits, one crossing and then the other. This pair of star crossed lovers, first and second, occurred first on June 8, 2004.
Wolfram Alpha says that that occurred 7 years, 11 months, and 27 days ago. 417 weeks. 2919 days. It was a Tuesday. Today is a Tuesday.
Where was I?
About to leave for Bonnaroo. Living with my parents at 1323. 722-6212. Oh, oh. The numbers. The numbers. The essential tragedy of all mankind, of all passing of time and people and love is captured oh so equally in the passing of a telephone number, my childhood telephone number, amazing that number, opening with a strong 7, and then my other favorite number, 2, and then another one, two 2’s, and then a soft 6, just one less than 7, easy to remember, soft rhythm, and then another pair of 2’s, separated by a 1. Perfect. Safe. Ensconced like a pig in a blanket. Some pig, a spider says, all nonchalant. SOME PIG! the spider says, teaching us about grammar. Some spider, says the wag.
Some sadness, whispered to children, wrapped up in strong sevens, soft sixs, two pairs of twos, and one one. 722-6212. Perfect.
The transit of Venus. The crossing. The viewing. Everyything we know we’ve learned from looking. Everything we love we love from touching. Organized cyclone. The mind cannot know the mind because the mind is all we have to know it with. We can know our hearts but do not want to — the rage of Caliban – the Blood Meridian by CC McCarthy – the boy – and the judge – and the old bloody pain and darkness – dark digression – I relax and let the mind course where it will, led by verbs and words and sounds and visions, and it goes where it will and it goes where it will round and round the mulberry bush to fetch a pail of water
stop stop stop stop
About to leave for Bonnaroo. A Tuesday. Who was I in love with. CAlberto. Had a boyfriend. Did I fall for that stupid trap again? Silly Lancelot, Sloppy Seconds. Better to be Last than be First? Sequence doesn’t matter.
I was in quite a bit of depths of despair. Graduated from college, no idea what to do, what my life would hold. The fruit of writing was gone. The mission, the quest, failed. Just life. Just keeping on keeping on. I was a man of 8022 days, and now almost 11,000. Time again and half, almost. [what are these strange forms I shove my thoughts within, these rounded guttural IndoEuropean soundshapes — the Economist had an article about fluid dynamics and the use of sound to shape little globs of liquid — Dan Joseph would have helped with that, the Smart One — ]
The Transit of Venus. I will only see it once.
243 years. It is nothing special at all. Just a coincidence of motion. Still. It happens like clockwork, and the clock it sits on ticks in sequence every 88,756.9 days. Sounds great to live that long.
The last sequence before this sequence was in December 1874 and December 1882. At that last second one, James Joyce was eight months old. I was born in 1982. The next Transit comes in December 2117. It will be 135 years after my birth.
Perhaps my goal should be to see it.