I washed my sheets yesterday. I moved my bed a foot. I cooked for the first time in two months-no, three. I threw away one more useless item.
Good night’s sleep by my standards means that I woke up fewer than ten times and fell asleep again before the night clerk at Hotel Anxiety rang the bell. I had a good night’s sleep.
No clean sheets, though. They are drying now. I slept on a bare mattress, contrary to every tenet of home training I had. I did drag the covers off my absent roommate’s bed (she’s temporarily in a nursing home. I hope.) and her cat immediately found a corner of the blanket to knead and suck. That poor feral baby slept against my legs all night, her delicate ethereal weight letting me know that she exists in a sad, grieving place of confusion.
Two cups of black coffee have a sedative effect. Feral kitty and and Black kitty settle in: her at my calves, him down my back. I think they like this routine.
Lunch is leftovers. I wanted a fish sandwich. I’m lying. I wanted two fish sandwiches. The echoes of depression voices channeled by my mother, filtered by my guilt, amplified by my depression keep me at home, in slippers, the clothes I’ve slept in for four days, and well, shit, it’s Monday.
Tomorrow might be better. I might be able to slog through the mud and fog again. Today, today continues.
it makes for exciting scenarios, heroic actions, perfect endings with perfect partners
perfect skin, perfect teeth, perfect body
And just for that while, that vivid, fantastic dream period, the smile in the mirror contains all the wisdom that unlocks every mystery, answers every question that my fevered mind shouts into the void: Two nights in a row,
My lost love reappeared to let me know that all those feelings never left completely
that what we’ve built separately could have never been accomplished together, because
Together, we were complete. Together, we reached the pinnacle.
There would have been no need to strive for more, to engage every ounce of energy in creating a place of serenity, for we were already serene together
And for a few minutes, I embrace the wisdom of dreams, the divine message of meaning and hope
that I cannot fathom when I am awake
And it feels quiet and good and perfect for a few minutes.
This morning, I arrived at the intersection of mortality and denial. The past, present, and future sat at a cafe table, sipped lattes, and watched as my steps became hesitant.
The past delicately placed a five on the table. “My money’s on knowledge. She’s seen this one before and chose–well, if not wisely, then correctly.”
Present added a fiver. “I don’t know. Lately, she’s been just waiting and not doing. I’m going with what I see now.”
Future smirked and placed a ten under the cold candle. “You all know I have to cover both positions.”
I looked both ways and sighed. There must be a third choice I cannot yet see. Frost may have gotten it wrong. I took out my notebook and started writing down the possibilities.
Wings sprouted from my shoulders and lifted me up, over the intersection, over the obstacles, away from the cafe. From above, I could see both roads. I clutched my notebook to my chest and smiled. So, the writer’s way, then.
A passing waiter collected the money off the table and smiled at the trio staring openmouthed as I disappeared.
I sling words with feeling without skimming on the surface like a cockroach across a puddle.
I get drunk and cry with my pen instead of writing about my tears. Anyone can do that.
I drag myself through a slimy alley of darkness and live to keep it a secret.
I don’t have time to spout pretty words and platitudes and cocktail party phrases.
My life, my existence is this: every word counts.
Every stinking drop of sweat on this table is a poem. Every lamentation for lost vices pushes a limit. Every painful sunrise is a testament to being laid bare every night.
Every click of the compressor motor on the refrigerator counts down to the end, closer than the beginning, and I am alive to feel every second of it, taste every bitter dreg of it, lose myself in all the places where I don’t matter.