It’s 3 am, again I’ve crawled back to the pit where I’m supposed to sleep, listening for sounds from a deserted dust and dark, hoping for something more than the sporadic crickets and cock crows hollering like broken jingles in the night; never escaping my perpetually recounted mind, the noises soothe these hands tired from tapping, float as faded memories through lonely scribbled time. I’ve felt the unconditional dance, heard and sang its wandering music, yet (still) I cannot understand one beat, one note — I attempt belief in beautiful ideas: rhythm resonating between two dying words, dusty moonlit shoes chasing and fleeing one after the other, my yellow flickering ghost that hums, hums and hums.
Archive for September, 2011
Having insomnia is is like having Tourette’s — your brain races, appraising the world after the world has retired, touching it here and there, everywhere, refusing to settle, to join the collective nod. Your brain becomes a sort of conspiracy theorist as well, believing too much in its paranoiac importance — as though if you were to blink, then doze, your world might be overrun by some encroaching calamity, which your obsessive musings are somehow fending off. 3 am knows all my secrets.
The role of the historian is to catalog and interpret events which have occurred in the past and to weave them into a meaningful narrative for people in the present. Typically we think of history as the broader story of a nation or of a people. But history is made up of minute interactions between individuals on an everyday scale. And it is these everyday interactions between people which forms the basis of police work.
As we are taught by countless television crime dramas like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, police try to solve criminal cases by looking for perpetrators who have the means, motive and opportunity to commit crime. What this means in a broader sense is that police investigators are a type of historian. They look at events in the past (crimes) and try to explain them in a meaningful way. We call the conclusions and meaning that they derive from their historical investigations “justice.” Justice is a genre of narrative or story-telling in which a person (or group) is victimized in a crime, and in which the person responsible is found and punished appropriately. If the plot points conform to this narrative within reasonable parameters, we say “Justice is served.” If not, then we worry about things like a “miscarriage of Justice.”