Wednesday, December 23, 2009

details of a relationship. from a year ago.

There was a fold in her closed eyes from drowsiness. We had boarded the train silently, and had remained silent after I had given her my social status update. She had her way of skewing stories and asking irrelevant questions when she did not know how to relate. Or perhaps it was her way of averting confrontation. I was still learning how to make small talk. She liked to imply that my problems were trifles, and I would learn she was right in doing so. I looked over at her. She opened her eyes and stared back. She always knew when I was watching, whether I had eaten, and when I was struggling. She had taught me slowly to limit my trust. The train crept on.

When we reached the lobby, after having climbed two deserted flights of steps and passed through empty, empty hallways, we sat and read. I felt a crippling numbness crawl through the veins in my right arm, as if it were trying to slowly secede from my body but was stuck. "It's a good thing you're scared now," she said, "you wouldn't want to be overconfident." I was not, and I did not exactly feel comfort, but knew it was there. The interviewer called my name as she entered the small, silent lobby. I was ready. She smiled and let me go.

I talked as we headed out into the newly November air. Thick asian noodles sat between us as she listened to every detail of the interview, interposing now and then to ask one of her badly-crafted, badly-received questions. The thing was over. We smiled.

The subway train lurched forward, and we moved on to a new adventure. She was wearing tapered khakis that hit above the belly button, Dad's sweatsocks and sneakers. On top, a thin, see-through beige shirt with metallic gold stripes and a khaki faux suede blazer, sleeves tinted with age and wear. This was all I noticed when she told me my car had been hit while it was parked on our street and that if I had taken it into the house as she had asked me to do before, she would not have to pay for the damage. Human error. The train stopped for whatever reasons trains stop when we most need them, and we lost ourselves in thought. I wrote her a message with my naive hands that even if she lost it all, I would still be there for her. There was a way to feel something when it was written down and could be seen for what it was.

We got to the train station, and she stared in blank indifference at the train arrival times. We were being plagued with bad luck, and we knew it. "It's not that I don't care about your problems," she said, "but these are adult consequences." I saw her eyes but this time they did not stare back. Her nose was puffy and red, but I couldn't tell if that was from inner turmoil or her sinus infection. She took a receipt for the MetroCard she had just purchased, crumpled it, and threw it at the small black hole in the big trashcan. It hit the lid, and fell down against the floor. We walked on.

On the train home, I wrote. She asked if it was in my secret language again. "No," I said. "I think that habit is bad for me."

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

retina detachment.

she waited around all the time for the moment when she could start seeing spiderwebs in her eyes. for she'd been told, warned, not to be what she was or it would go to her head and come out her eyes. oh she valued them. and from then on everything was spiderwebs. words became thin lines that forced into one another and stuck together like strings of glue. like the hair of a mammal that did not unstick itself. like the little strands of a spider. like that. she would have to watch out for a sudden lightning bug that was really her vision playing tricks on her. she had to learn how to breathe better or it would surely happen. surely. the words were thin and spiraling down the page. was it beginning? she tossed her fingers through the lines and they did not dissolve. stupid, stupid girl.


"It is awfully easy to be hard-boiled about everything in the daytime, but at night it is another thing."

-ernest hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

inspiration comes like a disease.

in the way you catch it. in the way it grips you and refuses to let go. you have it and you want to capture it so that everyone will know, everyone will feel some portion of what you felt. so you let it smother you and eat your brain and you believe what it tells you. because, after all, it's there and you need to remember. need to understand why you have been chosen to receive it rather than the innocent ones. you need to understand why it bangs around inside you. but to do so is to control it, to channel it, decide what it can be. the only limitation is this: once you are in control again, healthy, it has fled. and that part of you has gone missing, too.


we chose our proper dimension and abandoned it.
every buzz i hear reminds me of that old feeling,
the time i lounged on a stiff bed,
begging the stars that you'd please fall in love with me
and i woke up dreaming faster than i ever could
donating my coins and my time to your eyes
in hopes that they would not forget--
but the thoughts are not cohesive
the next dimension is unfriendly,
the last was gone too soon.