Saturday, January 9, 2010

particularly this

It’s thought provoking. Always creating more “whys” to take the place of what might be missing from the whole scheme of things. And she would be careful to step on the parts of the floor that would make the least noise. Always walking around barefoot. Avoiding soft spots. Because. Well. That floor was somebody’s ceiling too. And she didn’t want to bother anybody with the substance of her own life. It does make one think. It doesn’t always inspire. But. But. But. It does do something. Something. Maybe. Like to the innards of what it means to live in a place. To be in a place. To occupy space with one’s body. With one’s life. Even her laughter became dulled. Muffled. Tame.

She was always on her guard. Somebody might be listening. The walls were thin. She could hear things. Small things. Bumps. Clacks. Wondrous stifled moans. Slidings or scrapings or the push of a cushion. Thoughts come and go. The radio changes stations. People stomp. Doors open. Refrigerators sigh. She would put on different outfits. She would look in the mirror and frown. Nothing. Everything. It was all the same. Sleep was just another thing to get through. Make it through. Even the light switches had their own secrets. Stepping softly. Chewing up meals with her mouth closed. Blowing spit bubbles while lying on the couch and looking out the window at the spindly bare branches of that tree out there that seemed like it was supplicating to the sky. To something. Playing the stereo on a very low volume. So low it might as well have not been playing at all. Talking to herself quietly.

The wind jabbed and hooked at the windows. A starkness overwhelmed her. Nothing was taking up any space here. Nothing moved. She was so still. Like she wasn’t there at all. Not this body. Not this person. Just a wash of shadows playing a few tricks on disinterested objects. A feather’s weight would be too much and not enough. Lying there. She was. It’s thinking without trying to. It is in the ideas that leak from the holes she’s punched in her dreams. Going lightly from here to there and back again.

There was something slightly crestfallen about her. A sense of desperation. A lousiness concealed beneath a swell veneer. She invited guys over to spend the night. They often called her an asshole at some point. It was strange to her. Being called an asshole. You meet some guy at a bar. You’re both drinking. The next thing you know you wake up in the middle of the night. Terror is all you’ve got in your head. And some strange body is lying in bed next to you. Being alone was an art form she was trying to perfect. So. She was an asshole. So what? Who cares? It makes the thoughts come. The churning of things in her head was not something she could control. They’d get tossed. They’d scramble and chase. There was no stopping it. Every new thought was a new obsession. She’d kick guys out at 4 am. She’d scream. She’d throw toasters at them. She’d wail and cry and bark like Hecuba going mad. Anything to be rid of this other body. This other thing. Anything to be alone. It was the only time that anything made sense to her. Alone. The world outside was just an illusion.

She washed her face with cold water. She threw hats at the ceiling fan. She rubbed her knuckles hard against her forehead when the headaches came. She blew out candles and lit them again. Thoughts were coffee beans being endlessly grinded to no avail. She thought about a butcher cutting up slabs of meat. The meat was rancid. Tiny worms were embedded in the withering gray flesh. The worms were getting sliced by the butcher’s cleaver. Their blood was green. It smeared all over the countertop. The butcher was not smiling too much. The pieces of meat were filling with the green blood. Expanding. Growing into bloated green-gray pus-filled sacs. They floated away like balloons. She wanted to pop them. To gawk at the slimy explosion.

The pipes in the walls groaned and wheezed. A cop siren burst like a piccolo pete from somewhere close by. A somewhere that was also too far away to imagine. Outside. Outside all of this craziness and mush that was her head. She was keeping things neat. There were no crumbs around. No dust. No grime. Everything was clean. Orderly. Nice. She had a way of making time go by.

The couch was too comfortable. Too soft and easy. And then she was lying on the hardwood floor. Supine. Her knees up in the air. Her eyes closed. She felt her moods like cobwebs spreading over her. Tickling her. Growing. Fleeing. It was all a distraction. Everything.

The lights were off. The sun had gone down. There was no reason to be alive. It was cold. Her toes were frozen stiff. She brushed a few strands of hair from her face. Plucked a few out of her mouth. She thought about god. There was nothing else to do. It was something to think about. It provoked thoughts. It made its own “whys” to replace the empty chatter that had become her life. It was just one more thing.

She arched her back. She put her palms to the floor. This was being alive? This was something. The dishes were not rattling. The mice were asleep.

She pretended she were in a field. The grass was golden and it was being carved up by a giant gleaming silver scythe. She ran. The golden grass was soft and it made her skin warm. She wanted to fall into it. To be lost in it. To let it envelop her. To take her in its arms and hold her there forever. It felt safe. The scythe was getting closer. Its long curved blade swept and chopped. She lay down and rolled and tumbled. It scared the thoughts away. She nestled. She floated on the air. The sound of the scythe came closer. It was a slow aching swoosh. A careful slip of sound. There was a distinct purpose to it. It made her flesh quake. She turned a somersault. The golden grass parted. The gilded stems brushed against her as she rolled away. Her life was this thing. It was all she had. She held onto it with every atom of her being.

A few papers rustled on a table. The bottom of her left foot started to itch. She opened her eyes. Dark was all there was. Something stirred in the kitchen. A creak happened. A Gliding. A Going. Back. Here. She clasped her hands together. She rearranged everything about the way her body was taking up space. A curl. A quick bent gasping. A clutching and then a sudden unclenching. Thoughts were a dime a million. Love was a universe to be never traveled beyond. Gladly. She smiled.

Nothing was never always what it was.