I am waiting on the stoop for a sunrise to appear. I hardly know what to say these nights when I aim to be so occupied that the words in me dry up. My thoughts are singular, not kaleidoscopic as the work demands.
Where does the need to write go when it goes, if it goes?
It goes in a scrap heap, with every other sort of faith and belief in intangible things. Go to work, press the start button, buy the coffee even if no one particularly likes the coffee – it’s too bitter, type the emails, remember to check the mailbox, follow the steps, twitch and snort when out of view, taste the salted flesh preserved and simple, and constrain your metal heart.
If it goes, you go, really, with it to the scrap heap. And the robot runs the work, while you nestle without pain into the witch jar of rusted nails and half-broken thumb tacks and sharp memories claimed to be forgotten. You dream in the lemonade, you start floating around with the chili pepper, you burn and reformulate.
We do not say I love you afterwards, but it hardly matters when everything is kind and soft and urgent and sincere. Sometimes I almost do, and I stop myself. We do not say the name so we do not conform with casings and shells and polymers and masks. But we are somewhere while the body is the robot. We are somewhere and we are there together.
I find it difficult to remember because I am trying so hard to recall everything about it. Every breath and the way the voices sound as I make them, the one I lapse into without trying, this coquette, this flirt, this woman I never knew I knew so well. I want to name her, this persona so casually undertaken, but already she feels like dream dust. All of this feels like the sort of thing I would make up, with the bends in it to make it seem real even though it’s all a blue caravan trundling through the dark trees along the mountain pass. Steady and not stopping, no matter your curiosity as to the nature of its contents. It whirls in my head, that this is happening, and it’s heady like a drink first feels when the alcohol sets in. It is chemicals, the scientists say, and I say, but the body is a robot. This is me and I am elsewhere.
Today has been marked down as Friday and perhaps the world will end soon. Terrible things are happening – hate is just spilling out like so much acrid, poisonous sulfur bubbling up from caverns we had long held to be sealed. So sealed as to be forgettable, paths forsworn, unnecessary for any travel reasonable souls would undertake. Terrible things and as one of those things, we are given to watch from our robot eyes and these arms so new with such shoddy articulation that we have yet to finesse our grip.
Meanwhile, we are not there at all.
The bad habits. The bad, bad, bad habits. You give one inch to one of them and down the hill you roll with them all.
Now, I have some ice water. It seems to be a medicine and I can think again.
Tomorrow: brunch. And then, we have an order of groceries that does not give a centimeter to the plots of bad habits. Back on track because failing this has been boring and bothersome. A sugary slurp, a salty grind, a belly ache and a delirious desire to pay a ridiculous fee for the opportunity. I feel the reasons out quick as ever as to why a woman who eats out for her meals at every opportunity might feel ill and ungainly. I lose one wagon, but I know where I can find another one to climb upon. The path I chose is the only one that will improve my lot. Out, out, damned spots. Let me have the future I desire. Some slice of it, the parts I have my will to alter.
And I hope to find the words tomorrow. Tell me what we are. Tell me what you guess we are. Tell me that this is not the most painful sort of game. You call yourself single. Outright. For all the world. While an hour later, you say, stay with me. Just stay with me. And I do, because where else would I go, and you hardly mean anything more than stay on the line. Stay attached to this very long strand that clutches around my throat, the one you’ve tied to some bedroom door so that every time you enter I feel a gentle choke.
Because it can’t be real. Me here, you there. And as soon as I am the one who begins to believe it possible, as soon as I swear on stones that there’s some grander scheme at work, you go and say, I am single and things are hard being alone.
So I, not wishing to look a fool, say, with delicate darts to keep the truth hemmed up, pinned in, I, too, am looking for the sort of man who…the kind of man who is…the wistful dreams of my heart have yet to be requited in any mortal form and I am amongst ye, oh, walking and wakeful damned who have found your hearts cleaved in full from that of any others. I share your fate. I have no answers. I have no claims. But no, none of you dare approach me for succor or support, because if you do I shall be forced to drive you out of my presence. For what manner of villainy would allow for me to idle for hours in some communal, if imaginary bed, and reciting any manner of romantic assertions, cooing and giggling and playing the part and then, wordlessly, doing the same with someone else? How profaned would I be to learn that he might afflict such an act upon me?
So I have nothing.
Give me the strength to take my nothing in one lump, one gasp, one shot.
What can be said in thirty minutes while hanging off the edge of the world?
- Forgot my laptop today. Given it’s a 40 minute ride to work, that was a tremendous up-fuck I was luckily able to fix.
- Dreamed just prior to that about failing in work responsibilities – although my dream set it at the clothing shop, safer, I suppose. I just wandered off when they asked me to do something. Not paying attention. A bit frustrating that is my response.
- Reconciling myself to the facts that my choices have consequences. Good and ill.
Watching: Tried Ripper Street and it was a bit too straightforward for me. Fell in and out of a couple of MST3Ks and Rifftrax episodes which I love but don’t require anything from me beyond that. Have wound up watching Edwardian Country House/Manor House which I watched when it was originally out on PBS and probably have watched again and mentioned here at some point or another.
Doing: Not so very much doing today. I do need to sort out how to get myself exercising – I’m getting to that point in the dieting cycle where there’s been a bit of weight loss. Just enough that I can feel a difference in some places, while not in others. Just enough where I see a trajectory. The way to work on this belly is to get myself moving enough that there’s any hope of it melting a bit. Right now, I don’t have anything happening that is intended for that purpose.
Thinking: We talked three times today. Once whilst laying in my childhood bedroom. Strange how he can say a thing like how he misses me and I can feel it at so many different layers and points of meaning at the same time. He misses me and I miss him and it is a patent fact given our closeness, given everything we’ve shared over the now going on eight months. He misses me and I miss him and neither of us has any real, specific clue as to what exactly we are missing. How can we, living so far apart, a photo here, a video there. He misses me and I don’t know yet about what missing entails, what that longing that comes coupled to knowing. I’ve been through the painful stretching process of missing things that were half-invented anyway. I’m only just learning what is to connect to someone deeply. There are no watermarks, no tracing lines. We just do what we do as we do it. Still, I thought with yesterday…I’m afraid I have to be vague here for my own sense of propriety…that we could just sail along being in that delirium. That particular brand of delirium that I seem to crave of late. And today, there was kindness and sweetness and being called beautiful even without makeup, and I am glad of all of that…but…well, I suppose it would get old in its way if you just…
Still. It is all these things at once.
Eating: the low-carb continues. I thought that there might have been some pizza thrown in my path this weekend, but there was not. So I now have kept going, and I do feel endlessly better when I am eating this way. It’s situated enough now to be able to tell the significant difference in just…brain function. I feel more able to sit down and write a page up, I must say, than I do when I’m swirling through sucrose overdose. I’ve felt alright, and I don’t want to give that up, so the hunt for the next two or three pounds of this weight loss continues.