I want, as I swallow back this sugar once again, to be altered permanently. There is something about pen on paper that demands my attention in a way that typing on screen cannot. It forces me to slow down and comprehend all the shorthand running about in my mind before I transcribe it. Just that extra little step.
I had my night off. And now I am entirely alone with a hand-written list of all the things I aimed to accomplish in these twenty-four hours of isolation. I can at least report that I am up and away from the black hole of that twin bed. I am actually a drive away from home, sitting at a restaurant with a chocolate souffle cake to be eaten after my vampire tacos I’d been craving wildly which only met the bare minimum of my expectation. However, I am here. It reminds me, yet again, of Florence. Of attempting to just write, just exist past the calls haunting you, everything that suggests that you are just a hack. That you do this out of ego and not for skill. I realize now that I know, essentially, what happens in the book. I know it all and I am willing to write it all.
So I didn’t get done everything I wanted. But I did manage some of it and the rest will have to be taken up on some other day, with some other mission charged, because instead, I ended up going to see some relatives I haven’t seen in years and felt the holy fire of being childless without prospects at a family gathering. It was lovely because they are wonderful people, kind, gregarious, providing firepits and smores to make over them and mostly, you’re adult enough to recognize that none of these people are responsible for the state of your heart.
You stare into the firepit and you think inane things, as acid runs through your veins, that you, Mr. Confusion, are missing out on being here with me and meeting these people I love and respect. You would be able to talk to them just fine and they would respond kindly and I would be right rather than wrong, in, not other. And then, the parasympathetic response: he doesn’t care about meeting your family, he hasn’t written you back, he has left you for a console or another woman or another possibility and you are entirely alone, invisibly being eaten away, while your mother, three glasses of wine to the wind, explains the universe, gently, to everyone else. Appositives!
But the sunset was beautiful and the watermelon salad with mint was delicious and a stranger turned out to be a copywriter who approved of me and even though I burned hotter than the tiki torches surrounding us, flapped faster than the gathering bats, I saw the beauty in it. I was both at once, a part, and apart.