this is a current work. it goes on for awhile, but i will slowly add pages as i feel comfortable putting them here.
I shook the night off my shoulders. I am pretty certain I can live on sunlight alone, the type that floods through the gaps in my curtains. Now I don’t think I’m the last person on earth but sometimes these mornings feel like it, and maybe that’s what I love the most. If anything I am very certain that time moves just a little more slowly, it creeps along and it isn’t until I look at the clock again and the hands jump forward just to catch up. I appreciate these moments because in them, I look forward to nothing except the moment alone. This is prompted by something a week ago, but hold on, I’m in the middle of something here.
So I was saying how I’m simultaneously repulsed and jealous of those people (those people) who say things like, “I love the feeling of running; I think I could run forever.”
Escape. I mean, I can’t run two blocks. Not even one block. I feel measured by what I’m tethered to. I can only seem to write sentence in between many other things:
putting a kettle on the stove
the bathroom (a line unto itself)
staring at walls
clenching my hands in hopes of bringing warmth to my fingers
In many ways my hands go through motions of being. The fingers, when warm, will trace over a book, perhaps poetry, and suddenly I feel my neck adorned with silky scarves and my body moves in slow-motion and I put on certain airs – pretention, elitism – and I articulate and enunciate with a paradoxical uncertain certainty. I’m just kidding, just look at me, this body was not meant for a poet.
Let me tell you a story about childhood:
It is the first day of school. Sort of. But I mean, first, not like every year that Tuesday after Labor Day but really, I was on the bus off to kindergarten but this is the first day ever practice, and we are piling ourselves onto the bus as every little five- and six-year-old is getting weepy but the little kid weepy. You know, red-faced and bawling and wailing, the sort of wailing that elongates vowels into entire paragraphs. “Maaaaaaaaah-meeeeeeeeee!” Hands, grubby, making fingerprint marks against the rectangular schoolbus windows.
And I am just sitting there, excited. Very quiet.
You’re not supposed to write about writing.
I imagine most everything to be a series of non-sequiturs. I learned that from my mom, the art of non-sequiturs. That’s mostly life, right, to be fumbling awkwardly from one scenario to the next. For example, this morning I was at the store (I say this with provincial cuteness, but by “this morning” I mean a stumbling 2am actually last week and not even this morning, and by “store” I mean that A-Plus shop attached to a Sunoco gas station, and you hadn’t asked for the what but it was a last-minute 6-pack but it was those 16 oz. cans like I’m so greedy and the 12 oz. simply can’t quench the thirst enough) – so where was I, I was at the store this morning and there’s a man behind me in line and trying to make casual conversation like this isn’t the A-Plus at Sunoco and it’s not 2am and I wasn’t at a bar all evening trying to forget something that now I can’t even remember (yes I can remember). And he tells me how people are never okay with the Right Now; I can hear the capitalization in his voice. He says that we always have to be looking forward to something, and then suddenly, time passes us by and we’re wondering how we got to be here. In my mind I am picturing ants following one another. I’m not really sure why.
This is how the conversation went:
He turns around and sees me.
I say: “Hey.”
Now he looks at me.
I say: “How’re you.” A statement, mind you. We ask questions when we want to know, but now I’m thinking that in some languages there’s not really a familiar “hello” greeting, so the way to learn how to say “hello” translates into “how are you,” which is only just to say that “how are you” is now a statement of existential acknowledgement and not, really truly not, a question. I mean, in my actual saying it, I don’t really sound like I care how you are at all.
He says: “Finethanks.” As a statement of existential acknowledgement, certainly not of feeling or even as a remotely adequate response. Then he says, in all attempts to be casual: “Having a party, huh?”
I say: “.” The look I gave should be punctuated.
This is when he says, prompted by nothing more than a punctuated look: “You know, people are never okay with the Right Now.”
I think: Is this a public musing? I say: “How’s that.” This isn’t really a question.
He says: “You know, people always have to be looking forward to something, and then suddenly, time passes us by and we’re wondering how we got to be here.”
I think about ants.
It’s summer and still warm in the evenings. I appreciate that.
There is still that 6-pack sitting in my refrigerator. Again, that was a week ago. After that scene, I went home, put my face into my palms, and cried. The really ugly, unpretty, sobbing, messy and snot-dribbling sort of crying. This lasted hours. And in the morning, I think I heard the cogs of the Earth slowly turning, cranking and creaking as the sun slowly appeared, just a little bit of light beyond the buildings because there is no horizon in a city; the Earth groans as it moves. Then morning.