Wash It Down

You will want to remember the day.

You will want to be able to scroll it back up.   You will want to know the words you used.  You will be curious about the thoughts that wrinkled through your mind.  How suddenly the bravery appeared.  But, you’ll recall how sensitively you reminded yourself as you wrote this post, that there was no bravery required.

This agonizingly slow process has made it entirely possible to be bold in the context we’ve built between us, nine months later. Nine months of feasting on famine, starving on gluttony.  These are the saline-laced shores we have been sunning on and now the moon grows heavy and the sky grows dark and but the water stays placid and warm.

Should I know better?  Only time will tell if I will regret what I have so long assumed I could only regret given my imperfections and the imperfections inherent in the world?  As for now, I will take the compliments,  I will take the long-distance resolutions. I will take the way it feels to satisfy, to deluge, to surfeit, surely, a desire not of my own making.  To matter this much.

I liked it.  Twas good at it.  Will do it again.

Goluptia

This is two weeks or so, maybe more, maybe less, of playing Wil E. Coyote, suspended in mid-air.
I don’t like the part of my brain that keeps clipping sentences.  That doesn’t want to sit and luxuriate in the possibilities of the white, blank page.  I don’t like the part that is mired in so many jutting, stuttered, action items that it can’t conceivably settle down and contemplate a wider world.
It feels safer just to not speak than to say something that might insist on being mentally accepted through the process of having said it.
Sure, I’m freaked out about the unknowable future.   The future that is reliant on me becoming more of this professional, be-yoked person with more of this tunnel-vision, more of this aggressively tight style of brainwork that I don’t like, that demands it else the bottom falls right out, but the future that presents me as a stronger person, a person who might have the strength of will to achieve some of the objectives that me, myself, and I have agonized over for millennia.
Essentially, they are keeping me on for now.  The for now of this for nowness is wildly fragile.  It’s ultralight glass.  I am to serve others, like some sort of chattel servant, until they find the next lord or lady where I may be installed as seneschal.  Or, deemed unworthy of service and shunted to the side, unceremoniously set out on my ear while some more polished and bold chambermaid takes over my duties.
A fellow from work was asking me about my future the other night at the party where we said the first of the long series of goodbyes to my current boss.  I said I didn’t honestly know.  He said, well, you should be fine, so long as you keep adding value.  And I nodded, lamely, subserviently, meekly, distractedly.  I nodded because what do you say to such an earnestly provided and frightfully mechanical statement as that?  Is my printing that email providing value?  Is my wiping down that white board value.  Yes.  On some level, it rolls up into the larger ability of the organization to function.  But the corporate speak, the sense of yourself as a unit, a cog, an ox at the mill, that’s so demoralizing.   Harder still to know how I once idly craved it.  Thought it would protect me from attempting to step out on my own as a writer, from walking against the storm. The storm comes with the fear and the fear comes with me.
But that’s not precisely right if we do care about the precision of language.  I am not a cog now, or I am not meant to be.  I am in the forefront of a lot of people who doubt me at the same instant they are required to trust me.  I am a name that is attached to other names, an engine of emails.  I warm a seat, but it is a well-known, important seat.
My boss hugged me at her party, after she’d had wine and there had been memorializing videos and technical difficulties on some of the videos and whispered “Thank you for everything.”   I said, “Thank you for everything.”  Meaning her basically not letting her doubt overtake her trust, at least so far as our short seven months together allowed.   Who will the next boss be?  What will they expect from me?  What will I provide them if my brain is half-hopeful that I can just write my way out of these places that I’ve always had to walk out of before.
So, one says, go follow thy passion, thy bliss.  Put your feet in the cold river, wander around in the dark, singing to the trees as you go.  Fear nothing, grasshopper girl,  Winter, as so many say, is coming. But winter only comes but once.
You’re supposed to have saved, one says, by 35, double what you’re making in salary.  That.  Will not happen.  That will not even be close.  We will be playing catch up to this benchmark until the end.  Greedy, fearful ants, burrowing in the heat of the lightless earth.
I say these things not to provide clarity of meaning, but to say…damn.
What a fretful, frightful time.

Phlebotomist Joe

What is passing for thought these days:

The way the silence feels when it feels like a physical weight, held against the tongue, that is a burden to move.  That the words had better be worth the strain and generally, never are.

Being told thank you.

What enormous anxiety and suffering and self-inflicted psychic wounds can be endured until the moment it all cannot.

The tailings left behind in the name of survival.

Why anyone should trust anything at all when no one is really willing to let their hands off the guardrails in someone else’s name.  Or those people are too few to truly be a significant segment of the survey.

The ebb and flow of desire.  The exhaustion that can pull my heart so firmly in one direction or another.

The need of the mind to work and feed and churn and devise stratagems and observe and list.

 

 

Two-Minute Conviction

I am in it for the titles, baby.  The titles and the glory.

If I didn’t have this impulse that I wanted you to read this, perhaps I would find myself breaking away at top speed to write about all the goings-on of now.  How we have leapt forward into some place new and how this means something I am nervous to decipher.

I won’t let you read it, though.  That’s a silly idea.  Not all the things I think are meant for direct transmission.

What a fumbling, stumbling, space I am in.  My equilibrium is gone.  We now have not only spoken, we’ve seen each other whilst speaking through the marvels of video-to-video simultaneous broadcast.  This has been a generally pleasing development.  But it drops a veil.  It raises a portcullis.  I am known in a way I cannot be unknown, not with him, or anyone.  We smiled, giddily, at each other.  I became, in some ways, a real person. At least for him.  He has always been realer than anything I am used to, but nevertheless, I imagine J. will not actually become a human being until I hold his hand for myself.

I am not complaining that this has happened. I am just mindful that these things – romantic connection, delight in another human soul, caring about someone’s well-being so deeply you shudder with the weight of it – things I have so pondered for so long and been drawn to since I were aware they existed in this wide and often heartless universe are happening.  They are unfurling their crimson sails and the ship is sailing where it is steered.  Straight into the mists where lie rocky shoals or else some far distant land of milk and honey or else just more waves and water until we all run out of food and look thirstily at the salt-sea that surrounds us.

And now, today, I feel softened and urgent and needful.  I put on makeup and set my hair just so in order to face this new reality of being visibly available, not just via voice.  I have let go of security blankets I have clung to for eons.   Negative and sour milk beliefs, deep sincere faith in my absence of worth, shackles of self-doubt to let this little engine that could, do have been poured out and run haphazardly down the gutters and gullies.  All away and not towards me. If I can be honest and analyze this choice that hardly felt like a choice at all when it was posed to me, this is a Tower crumbling to the ground.

This is a level of vulnerability that is profound, visceral, and truly, one I never reckoned I could find a way to evoke.  Now, regardless of what ends up happening in this relationship, this relationship I’m in, I’ve crossed this border.  I’ve set foot here and I can find my way back. Mildred has just been silent, face agog, as I have marched along without her towards a life that can’t allow for her to be in charge.

This is not in alignment with you today.  You want to not be solely these people who hit this pleasure button over and over again.  You want us to have conversations.  Be  edifying and surprising.  Give each other knowledge, tell each other about arenas and universes that are new, that we can be enlightened by, that we can be illuminated.

It is our remit and suddenly, he’s the raconteur with all the cards pre-filled with esoteric knowledge of grand cinematic or epicurean or psychological or miscellany and I hardly know how to take a breath.  The absence of an easy, pat answer frightens me.  I blank so hard I feel dictionaries crack against the front of my skull and break into individual letters.

I know about surrealism.  I know about gardening. Trillium, delphinium, rhubarb, nasturtium.  I know some French.  Je sais un peu de Francais.  Un petit peu.  I know about…the sound my dryer makes as it tumbles on a Sunday night.  I know about the route I take to work that snatches tires with its teeth.  I know about panic, hot air hanging where it shouldn’t in your chest and ballooning until you lift your mind out of position.  I know about feminism or the feminist lens as presented by academia ten years ago.  Cixous.  Rich.  Valerie Solanas.  A bit. I know about the red and the white, Emily Dickinson peering down through history at us.  I know about the sestina, the villanelle, the haiku, the heroic couplet.  I know about the saga and the fabliau.  I know about Wyf of Bathe.  I know about how to read a palm.  I know about David Eddings (only about Sparhawk and the Elenium and Sephrenia, and once I recall the spelling of her name).  I know about the river in the morning when you are the only one awake.  I know about riding with relative strangers through downtown Los Angeles in the middle of the night, falling asleep at four am.   Yet, he asks me for something interesting and I stutter.

I say. I don’t know.  I’m not the kind of person who can talk about things.

Which is such a baldfaced lie and yet it comes to hand so quickly I have to try and swallow the last of it back before I think I mean it.

I like listening to him think aloud.  I like drifting off under the melodic tones of his voice.  I like the trust that means I can luxuriate in his presence.

But there is more to me than that.  And more is needed to sustain us both.  A bore who doesn’t think for herself is a depressing self-definition.  What a grasping, anxious pit gets centered in my chest when I think about myself trying to be a lover who has no opinion but yes.  please.  okay.  Not one of being beautiful enough, but of smart enough and that is a shock to the system.  A piece I’ve taken for granted so long that suddenly my bluff has been called and I’m sweating.

How much has deserted me in this effort to keep myself away from the danger of being known?  How much has been paid to an internet with no vested interest in insuring my intellect is exercised?  How much of a quicksilver facility for fact and fiction has been mortgaged for a silence I did not want after the first day?

More than is fair.

Time to read up, fill this well, and let the awe of being changeable yet still, find the words that match its feeling.