July 7, 2013

Recalibrating


 
 
 
A week before I left for the States I got lost in my own city. I was headed to a party, at a house I had been in before, and I miscalculated some train stops. Had to take a turn, and a longish walk back, and some winding streets among some looming buildings in the dark before I found my way. It was a good party, with wine and guitars and dogs running around and just the right ratio of cool vs. annoying people to keep you on your toes.

 

I am back in my home city and, again, I am one of those people.

 

People who get to work when they want, and play when they want. Who show up at parties alone, the lover overseas and six hours behind, and get to stay out as long as they want. Who take cabs home, and mind their drinks because there is no one to say “My baby’s tipsy” and take them safely home and tuck them in. Who live on the other side of town, and when it’s time to say Goodnight hold no one’s hand walking back.

 

At sunset, when decent folk scurry home after picking up dinner at the grocery store, I drag my feet because home is elsewhere. I am one of those people again, that get lost in their own city after living in it for thirty years. I take the longest walks and have time for all my errands. I write letters, stay up late and early, and bury myself in work. Sundays are lonely and the weather doesn’t mean anything.

 

I check my complexion, my weight, the look in my eyes in the mirror, as if I had just returned from the Moon, as if gravity were somehow different overseas, and scales and mirrors and human eyes registered different values. Funny, it seems that nothing has changed, even though I am a pumpkin again. Pft.

 

I have everything I want, only slightly misplaced and mistimed. I am happy, only dissatisfied. There are not enough hours in the day for all my projects, yet I wish I could go into hibernation and wake up a year from now, just in time to watch the cherry drop on top. My heart is contracting with this tough-love anatomy of longing.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

July 2, 2013

You keep it.


 
 
 
He sleeps, and I roam.

 

He rests in restless dreams, and I walk the house and its perimeter.

 

I would go farther, but the skeeters and turkey buzzards might get me.

 

I put away dishes quietly [damn that pot lid], drink beer on the porch, stomp on a disoriented centipede. I think. I let my imagination run wild. I cry. I get scared. I make amends. Watch sick movies. My silence is broken by the occasional pick-up truck or the neighbor’s air conditioners.

 

So I sat on the side steps last night. Facing the water. Bug spray wafting off me like smoke off the factories across the Bay, skeeters feasting on my flesh nonetheless. The Feel Good Inc. tower blinked as it always does. Airplanes blinked above. The wind kept blowing in something putrid from the water’s edge. I was exhausted, and could not sleep. Sad, and could not help my sadness.

 

I looked up into an unnatural night sky, tinctured by industry and Babel-like tendencies. The few mutant clouds looked like the ribs of a fucked-up god*.

 

A shooting star somehow found its way through the brown and grey, fading as quickly as a firefly’s butt before it could stab the fucked-up god in the ribs.

 

Make a wish.

 

And I thought.

 

Here’s what I thought.

 

Go fuck yourself.

 

You are bearing down on my man, rattling his cage just to see how much more he can take. You are sending me home, taking away his touchstone. You are waving senseless beauty** and the quest for love like a rag in front of our noses. Playing Cat’s cradle with time and space, closing us in and keeping us apart. In whose name and for whose benefit?

 

Am I being ungrateful? Never. You will not find a list keeper more meticulous in counting her blessings. And you would be pressed to find a lover with a more acute sense for the minutia of intimacy.

 

Can I stick this out? Yes I can and yes I will. I know what I have, and I know what I want. Screw you if you ever thought otherwise.

 

But do I owe anybody patience, and should I take it with a smile on my face? Fuck no. I have been a good girl. I’ve done my penance and my homework. This better be good. This had better end with rainbows and unicorns and chocolate bunnies jumping out of a Hershey Crème Pie the size of Lake Baikal. And a shower of royalties – music or writing, it’s up to you. I’m flexible.

 

So you keep that wish, mofo.

 

You choose what is right for us, since you seem to be so good at setting terms for others’ happiness. You decide on the next step. 

 

My love is bigger than that.

 


 

*Yes, that is a reference to the road that “looks like a fucked-up face” from My Own Private Idaho.

**Full credit for that phrase goes to Murdoc. Just sayin’.