There is a landscape I return to once I’ve been let down by every last body. Not a horizon, but a fully fleshed out three dimensions— with the topography of a furrowed brow— my gaze is the unadulterated sun ready to burn skin. My papers— technology— sobriety— and intoxication. After the second heartbreak I called my desperate list: always to do. Snap back to my personal pleasure texture™ with a change in body temperature, submersion in water, or words: that letter— reservoir dive— riverside run. Started from the bottom and now it seems I am poised to pay less in taxes than I did last year.
I may have systematically compromised my hire-ability by not giving a fuck. Dad cautions be careful about what you put out there— on the internet e.g.— which he should have thought of before idolizing David Bowie in front of me. Honesty is a person’s own treasure. She protects it when she is at war. She is generous when she can be.
The oral steroid has me susceptible to oscillations in mood. Small lies bother me— my persona is lost in a sea of jobs— violence proceeds throughout the city. Days do not end— my friends are under institutional scrutiny— racist appointees hold their hands to our inspired tyrant— the solar eclipse left us mad.
Dismiss upset as a severe teacher would. Despair wears the face of every new person I love. Forever shift between desires— solitude and dependence— unfold the list and identify a neutral act. Fold laundry, always. Always read a devotional text. Bathe. Anoint with whatever oil. Burn an herb, any local herb.
I asked for a sign knowing full well I wouldn’t recognize its appearance. I prayed. You know what— a sign was sent. As a book, actually— a novel, with its inanimate guarantee: 200 pages of good company. Sustained attention. The generosity of its preparation— development— the physical act of typing it even— devotion over time— my most poignant reference point for the idea of marriage. From the couch, the promise of literature furnished momentum to open a reluctant emotional door. After functional days on end, I finally put away the cleaning supplies— crossed the polished threshold. This being the first time the full house was ever mopped.
Back within the interior thanks to the holy book. Optimized despite underachieving in the sleep department. Please consider Sunday for the most valuable player award. Things will be sad and complex forever— I surrender to fiction; the dispersoned to-do list supersedes selfhood. Just bobbing in a galaxy where the force of gravity is directly proportional to the intensity of my focus. The generosity of libraries moves me.
When I learned the vocabulary word miser in middle school, I pictured a very different man than me. I smile sometimes and will give it away to a stranger at no charge. But save the fine slice for myself— the most gratifying moment— a carry-on suitcase full of secrets— that I will never divulge— or only if my judgment is compromised— rent open by dentist drugs. I will bury the secrets bestowed to me in inscrutable text— ornamented and sealed like ancient royals in their tombs.
Trolls out there defy ethics. There are colossal repercussions to honesty, is what my dad and the news said. He prays for one single peaceful day— and knows a little something about losing almost everything, including his ALWAYS TO DO list. Sometimes the least life-ruining act is leaving the land line off the hook while haywire functions reset and recalibrate. If this seems vague in a poetry type of way, it is and is not. I’m comparing the breakdown of a human resources department with very clinical ruptures. That young child mediator tends to reproduce the new chaos I live and write today.
When all the inputs pile on one another, it seems the only thing to do is find somebody else to tell me what to do for once. You heard right: seeking a boss w4w.
A ripe prince saddles the Honda and speeds north. My Element. Ask how I will be trained, how I will be valued, what aspirations, what client, the gradient of my personas. It is useful to externalize these questions.
When a pop star rips off her tuxedo to reveal a bathing suit shaped costume, that is an escalation. Generally a tuxedo ups the ante, but a bikini is a trump card in almost any setting. This moment calls for a different transitional outfit. Something like pajamas in disguise. Some kind of robe that keeps personal contours under wraps. Fashion hair is only as sustainable as one’s patience with regime.
My suit is hearts— cups— and my earthly vessel gilded. With capacity for full or emptiness— with a functional pulse. My element is water— my Honda is hose-able— the qualities of liquid I relate to include that it takes the vessel’s shape— that it freezes in conditions of cold— that its vapors penetrate the caves behind one’s face— that its molecules subdivide into ions, positive or otherwise.
When darkness is incomplete clouds absorb street light like a couch in the rain. Tonight anxiety is matte. A desperate earplug limits the circumference of my mind to the inside of my skull. In New Hampshire I got a lamp for a quarter; that lamp is tonight’s midnight oil. Arrange a pillow. Take whatever medicine. Hysterical prose. Anticipating sleep with nothing between the two of us but a book.