Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Houses of cards.

When the Soviet Union collapsed they possessed something like 20,000 nuclear warheads and 40,000 tons of biological and chemical pathogens. Powerful.

A couple months after their collapse a leading nuclear scientist was being paid in vacuum cleaners. Another was being paid in pickles. Another wrote to a colleague in the West that he was "down to his last sack of potatoes."

I suppose you could marvel at the suddenness of this implosion. But I don't marvel. I worry.

I worry because in the final throes before collapse all resources are spent on propping. But what the proppers are propping is too far gone to be propped. So once they stop, it's not decay that sets in. It's complete nothingness. Boom.

A sand-castle too close to water's edge. A balloon let loose amid a herd of charging porcupines. A house of cards.

I worry about entities that seem strong and vital but are really just holding on. I worry what happens when the match stick that's keeping it all in place is removed.

I can feel it coming, my fourth night in a row of insomnia. And so far it's been resistant to Ambien.

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