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.

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