I nearly said “wall,” I swear. I wanted to say “wall” and truth be told, I still do, in a way. “Fence” is maybe the right word here and I know this, but when one cannot see through, what then? O, to have reached this age without knowing the difference between a fence and a wall!
It’s the other side that concerns me anyway. Of this fence, I mean. This wall.
On my walks, it bows out and across the sidewalk almost. I cannot see through it. It’s twelve feet tall so I cannot see over it. It is wicked. It is tempting. It is wicked and tempting.
Bamboos peer out over the edge of it, the top – you should see them peer! – along with preternatural light and there’s something about the way sound carries. “Preternatural.” I chose that word, instinctively, just now, without a care, and I’m really having second thoughts about it. I’ll leave it.
What’s on the other side of this wall?
I checked it out on Google Earth and I was not satisfied. There’s just a feeling I get. It’s a mystery and I’ve got to know.
When I was a kid, thick-headed as I was, I saw high school boys wearing their Metallica t-shirts and their Iron Maiden t-shirts and their Pink Floyd t-shirts, and I knew those were bands but I wondered what they sounded like. I had no way of hearing them, you see. It was a mystery and so I’d lie in my bed and imagine how a band with a t-shirt like an Iron Maiden t-shirt might sound.
And I was wrong. Wrong every time. Eventually, I heard Metallica and I heard Iron Maiden and I heard Pink Floyd and I was wrong. They sounded nothing like the sounds which I’d imagined in my bed and to be perfectly honest with you, the mystery was better, I believe, or often better, there’s Pink Floyd sometimes but for the most part.
I’m doing it again, I know, with this wall. This fence or this wall, whatever. There’s nothing on the other side. Just a yard. There’s no semi-organic statue gods or exotic-looking women, alien flora or enlightenment-inducing stain glass windows there.
I need to stop trying to peer through this fence because the mystery is better and there are so few good mysteries left in this world so leave it be, Harry. Leave it be.
You want a mystery for solving? Solve what’s the difference between a wall and a fence, anyway.