From Hakim Bey's "T.A.Z."

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Chaos Theory & the Nuclear Family

SUNDAY IN RIVERSIDE PARK the Fathers fix their sons in place, nailing them magically to the grass with baleful ensorcelling stares of milky camaraderie, & force them to throw baseballs back & forth for hours. The boys almost appear to be small St Sebastians pierced by arrows of boredom.

The smug rituals of family fun turn each humid Summer meadow into a Theme Park, each son an unwitting allegory of Father's wealth, a pale representation 2 or 3 times removed from reality: the Child as metaphor of Something-or-other.

And here I come as dusk gathers, stoned on mushroom dust, half convinced that these hundreds of fireflies arise from my own consciousness--Where have they been all these years? why so many so suddenly?--each rising in the moment of its incandescence, describing quick arcs like abstract graphs of the energy in sperm.

"Families! misers of love! How I hate them!" Baseballs fly aimlessly in vesper light, catches are missed, voices rise in peevish exhaustion. The children feel sunset encrusting the last few hours of doled-out freedom, but still the Fathers insist on stretching the tepid postlude of their patriarchal sacrifice till dinnertime, till shadows eat the grass.

Among these sons of the gentry one locks gazes with me for a moment--I transmit telepathically the image of sweet license, the smell of TIME unlocked from all grids of school, music lessons, summer camps, family evenings round the tube, Sundays in the Park with Dad--authentic time, chaotic time.

Now the family is leaving the Park, a little platoon of dissatisfaction. But that one turns & smiles back at me in complicity--"Message Received"--& dances away after a firefly, buoyed up by my desire. The Father barks a mantra which dissipates my power.

The moment passes. The boy is swallowed up in the pattern of the week--vanishes like a bare-legged pirate or Indian taken prisoner by missionaries. The Park knows who I am, it stirs under me like a giant jaguar about to wake for nocturnal meditation. Sadness still holds it back, but it remains untamed in its deepest essence: an exquisite disorder at the heart of the city's night.

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