Once I believed myself to be quite intelligent.
I wonder now how I ever assumed to know anything more
than what goes on behind
my eyelids, my own little spheres of
What I presume to know may very well just be vapor.
This upsets my entire perception of the world
and at times I have to question whether my eyes are open at all.
I hear it all, and in my core
I realized long ago that I hear things
not really there. Not in the insane sense of the statement, I’m not to that point yet…
I mean I hear words in mute occurrences –
At times I’ve almost decided that the most obnoxiously overt statements I’ve encountered
are those carefully enclosed in tight cubes of
absolute calculated silence.
How horribly we,
as people in the same situation,
can conspire to injure one another!
Life, as a whole, could attain a new facet of joy did we not regard one another so
I only know that I, man alive that I am,
(and only that)
possess the gruesome ability to dismantle another person totally in my mind,
and I injure them so entirely that at times it seems
their blood is in danger of seeping from under my own skin.
Revolting as this may seem –
as my pen marks on the page, even –
your own mind could certainly just now be occupied in ripping your neighbor into four seperate pieces, to be left dripping on whatever ground
you currently occupy.
And us, with our pious eyes!
Looking over the slope of my being, I am enclosed
to my present capability,
and the terror I periodically face
makes me glad that my eyes, from time to time, decide not to see.
“That looks frozen to me. Does it look frozen to you?”
Josh holds up a bottle of premature New Year’s champagne, one that we’d taken out of the fridge because sometimes you just need some bubbly, and sort of points it at me.
“I mean, it’s got alcohol in it, it’s not supposed to freeze, right?”
“It can’t be frozen,” I say, agreeing with him while eyeing the foil-wrapped bottle.
“Let’s just open it.”
Side by side, we stand united against the bottle of slushy champagne. He peels the foil, I twist the wire. He holds the frosty green base of the glass, I aim the cork away from our faces. The cork strains against the wire and millimeters its way out of the bottle………
nope. No POP, crack, or any other indication that the cork had finally broken loose, but suddenly a slushfoam fountain covered the green tile counter. Piles and mountains of snowy booziness greeted us with drippy delight over every inch of counterspace.
This, my friends, is what heaven must be like.
“[Name of business], can I help you?”
“Yeah, do y’all got Chrissmas ornaments with people on ’em?”
“People on ’em.”
“Uh, I think maybe we have some with Jesus on them, but I’ll have to check.”
“Issee black or white?”
“He’s, uhm, Jewish.”
I remember none of Wednesday, save for snippets here and there from the emergency room.
My mind chooses, of its own accord, to select the things it wants to hold onto. It doesn’t consult me about it, it just takes its own notion to do whatever it wants.
I cannot, in any stretch of my vocabulary, specify just how powerless that makes me feel.
At what point did it all turn, did I become ashamed?
Today I turned from a counter at work where I was hunched over a map, trying to find a street I wasn’t sure existed in this city I was raised in, and came face to face with my eighth grade English teacher. This is the teacher that everyone has, the one who believed in me no matter what and vocalized that belief, often. She submitted my writing to contests and gave me assignments that weren’t graded just to “see what I would do with it”.
I saw her, and I suddenly felt guilty for becoming none of what she’d encouraged me to be. I wanted to hide, to lie to myself for just a bit. Not to be a bookstore clerk but to be something amazing. Something people aspire to become.
When did I become ashamed of being…myself?