Monday, February 15, 2010

Into the tunnel

Seven a.m. and Georgia rain says Good Morning, rapping relentlessly on my hood, seeping deep into my shoes. Yeah, well, fuck you too. Steam envelops my glasses and I greet this person I bump into, accidentally touch her breast to steady myself. Ha, ha, it’s all right, she says affectedly, and I’m sure she’s making unflattering remarks about me on the inside. Of course we can never say what we mean.

So, what do I think about when I’m swimming? Nothing in particular. I move after dictation from the clock, a prepossessing supervisor really, more a foe than a friend. Speed is distance over time, I tell myself while wheeling my arms backwards in continuous motion. Whatever the result it’s not enough, so I smack my lips in dissatisfaction, spit the pool water out of my mouth and fasten my seatbelt for godspeed. The woman in the other lane is hefty and breathes hard. She smiles at me from a distance, I only see a fuzzy spot where her face would be, the pixels slightly shifting. I smile back half-heartedly. Maybe she wasn’t really smiling at me.

And as I amble to the cafeteria to be fed I can only think of one thing. A fifty page endeavor that’s still in embryo. I’ve foreshadowing promises of pride about it, as if from a child I’ve spawned. But not yet. Now there’s only the idea, like the potential energy of an object that has weight but doesn’t do anything. I predict nights of feverish writing in the night, the rush of caffeine already placebo to me, given that energy from ideas and prickly fingers on a keyboard is so much more nutritious than any energizing drink. This is me being positive. An angle I’m not used to.

Is this treatise going to be ready on time? The devil sits perked on my shoulder, the other shoulder angelless, and whispers all sorts of discouragements in my ear. His lips tickle, suck the sleep away until there’s no serenity left. Four in the morning comes, worries haunt me and I’m nowhere near action. I’ve potential energy, you’d argue. Thus hopelessly stuck at cathode, say, where’s that positive angle when I need it? Why doesn’t optimism visit more often? I’m not old and smelly. I don’t talk too much. I don’t understand. I crawl back into my cave and wait.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The rush or the patience

"I’ve been blinded by glitter and gold
My eyes need to rest from this light
And sleep well at night."

If I could get drunk every day, I’d forget a little. I’d loosen up, you’d say, but with loose not being my manner at all, I’m not entirely sure it would be a good thing.

Too many ideas and too human a body, not even fit to grapple with sleep deprivation anymore. Getting old, is this what you were talking about? Perhaps it’s abuse taking its toll, a visceral reaction to this Poker I’m playing with my future. “Going for a straight?” he asks tentatively, nudging me with his elbow. I’m not that lucky, I whisper to myself. “Come on, girl, play,” they beckon. “It’s a full house in here. “ Give me a minute, I can’t hear myself think, I plead, flushed. There’s too much noise here. Perhaps I should step outside, I whisper to myself between swift hands exchanged.

Perhaps I should step outside, I goad myself in the rear-view mirror as I sit in my car clasping the wheel. Ready to take off. Destination irrelevant. Into the real world, as she and I chuckle between bites at lunch. Our lives are makeshift, insubstantial like bubbles of soap. Only time is real and inclement, like an ice storm beating you up after you’re cold and wet and hunched with the weight on your shoulders. Target nowhere in sight. Or, maybe, somewhere beyond the fog, beyond the manic suspension, maybe it’s there. We’re creatures of hope, after all.

They say, life is what happens while we are busy making other plans. If this is life then what is living? Is it flurry, Brownian movement? Is it the rush or the patience?