If the memoir is a mirror you cracked it (for Alan Turing)

We bunker down between the bands of snow on the radar and the news cycles. The squares on the calendar pages where you get stuck waiting to roll again, to advance. A clipper is coming from the west, to meet a low off the Atlantic. The snow is a form of magic hard to predict, but you can feel it approaching, it changes the air. It makes people go funny when they’re inside too long.

The actor plays Alan Turing, the mathematician. The mathematician is a kind of magician but there are no lies with numbers.

The actor is a magician who can fool you to believe it’s real when it’s not, but the fooling part is the magic that makes you wonder. That we are all fools and I just saw something of myself in him. A photograph on the wall spoke to me in black and white.

I sit here next to Bob Dylan’s face on my phone Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again. If you sit in a place long enough you can feel the ardor of it, you realize you are a part of it too. You can watch the hands move on the clock face, imagine the pictures on the wall have mouths with secrets, that secrets are better when you don’t know them. That the artist is in there, he gave his body in scraps taken apart and hung in dens and living rooms, packed in boxes, sold for a dollar.

The actor cries for the camera, goes deep inside himself to become someone new. We never would have known Alan Turing were it not for the writer, for the actor. Secrets inside of frames in boxes is all we are, waiting to be shown or taken down. The imitation game is not with machines, but the life we pretend to understand.

Categories: writing

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4 replies

  1. yes. and i have been wanting to see his story –


  2. “If you sit in a place long enough you can feel the ardor of it…” I really like this phrasing. Getting ready to hit the novel here shortly, so it’s nice to start off being inspired by a little artistry. Thanks Bill.


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