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All lights have changed to yellow today. Numb fingertips, high fidelity. Chapped lips. Today's the day where all I want is a cigarette, but I don't smoke. Extremities like ice. At the end of the day, what I really need is a pair of clean socks. Vaseline in a tube. Procrastination, as per usual. "I am in bed for good." Magnetic poetry stuck to the sulfuric yellow refridgerator. Sun through the windows. Squinting in the morning. I hate getting out of the shower in wintertime. No matter how hard you try, you always start to shiver as the water evaporates.
Worn-off patches on the underside of my wristwatch. A long scar down my left calf that will never fade. Socks faded from brilliant white to brown from times when shoes just seemed superfluous. Subtly mismatched eyebrows. A slightly raised beauty mark on my collarbone that I reach up to rub every once in a while just for the knowledge that it's still there. The newly discovered knowledge that if you look carefully, my front teeth aren't aligned with the center of my face.
Someone must have taken my mouth and shifted it to the right when I wasn't looking.
Familiarity. You can run but you can't hide. Your face is just as easily recognized as the consistent pitch of your keys hitting together as they dangle from your hand.
Today: the electricity won't fail. Today: the bath water won't get cold. Today: every joke will be funny. Today: the traffic won't jam. Today: the clocks will all tick the hours away in unison. Today: the flights won't be delayed. Today: the coffee won't be too weak or too strong. Today: all horoscopes will point you towards immediate success. Today: nothing will go wrong.
I can feel it.
"Color my life with the chaos of trouble, 'cause anything's better than posh isolation..." Belle and Sebastian.
October is nostalgia. Used tissues, old floppy disks. Rediscovered genius. Dust-coated photographs. Pins and needles. The quiet drone of the television in a room where a man sits, sipping white wine and folding a basket of laundry.
Hush. Tiptoe up the stairs. Whistle as the dusk unfolds. Laugh as the wind picks up your hair and tickles your neck. Cry as you examine the books of your childhood. Smile as you crawl under the crimson quilt. But don't leave. Don't ever leave. Never.
Time consumption. Light pollution. Exhaustion, frustration, desperation, desolation. Blinding neon overrides. Pupils shrunk to the point of invisibility. Block out the unwanted. Yank the shutters closed. Keep the curtains drawn, the door shut, the lights off. Don't bother me, I'm breathing. Don't come near. Do Not Disturb. Give up right here and now. Turn back. Don't bother; it will come to naught. Your efforts are pointless. Anything you do is unneccessary. Superflous. Unwise. Foolish. Detrimental. Stupid. All of the above. And leave with the derogatory notion that you have been left behind. Leave be, was all she wrote. Leave be.
You're smiling. An inside joke, except better. The sun was shining a minute ago, but now everything is pitch gray and you're smiling. The rain comes down, a huge, raging emergency sprinkler system. You run outside and dance in circles and laugh because everything is stand-up comedy, and it's hysterical. You open your mouth and little cartoon musical notes come floating out and bounce purposefully on the breeze. The rain is coming down in diagonal lines, rubber boots haven't been invented yet. And you're smiling.
You're smiling. And you know that wherever the world goes, you're going with it.
I love you I've a drowning grip on your adoring face
I love you my responsibility has found a place
I wish that you were here with me to pass the dull weekend
I know it wouldn't come to love, my heroine pretend
A lady stepping from the song we loved until this day
You'd settle for an epitaph like "Walk away, Renee"
The sun upon the roof in winter will draw you out like a flower
Meet you at the statue in an hour
Meet you at the statue in an hour
[Belle and Sebastian, "Piazza, New York Catcher"]
Adagio for Strings
makes me cry. Goosebumps. Crying equals itchy contacts. I had a pleasant time. I ate a pound of Belgian dark chocolate. It's best if you break it up into the individual squares and leave them in your mouth as they dissolve on their own. I hate tacky Halloween decorations. This includes plastic skeletons. Carving pumpkins is heavenly. I need to breathe through my nose more. This is a plan for self improvement. Harper's Magazine is an endless source of interest. I feel a slight migraine coming on. Inhale. Exhale. Tomorrow will be productive. Not today.
The Philosophy of Waking Up in the Morning.
Waking up when you know you have to get out of bed is the worst possible sensation.
But waking up in the early hours of the morning when you know that you can doze forever if you so wish - this is an entirely different matter.
However, this only happens to fully apply when it the sun has not come up yet. The point is largely moot if the sun is up.
It is probably a better idea to get up and make yourself a cup of tea, or take a shower.
It's beautiful. Shivers running through me. Mood swings and meditation. On the edge of tears, mixed with a half smile. This is hard to describe. I am sorry, you know. I didn't mean to. I really didn't.
It's inconsequential, I know. I promise I'll try harder next time. I promise I'll try harder to make it mean something to me. But it doesn't. You know that. You know that.
What did you think I was going to say? I'm all arteries and veins. I'm all false emotions. I'm all ungrateful matter.
I didn't even bother to remove my shoes first.
Last night was warmth and bonfires. Pink Floyd's
The Dark Side of the Moon
. The Perfect Marshmallow, lightly toasted. Hugs. Break dancing. Cuddling. I laughed. The stars and the sky, both surreal. The moon over the edge of the treeline. The smoke blowing all night long. I couldn't breathe, and it was perfect. The funniest joke in the world, but I can't remember. Standing ovations. Walking over the flames. Kicking the embers. Sparks floated endlessly. Picking ashes out of their hair. Moderate temperatures. The rain had passed. Forget about what has happened. Forget about what's to come.
I love you.
Another year. Shhh. Can you feel it? A kiss blown, but never caught. Waiting, but not with bated breath. Never so frivolous. I'm caught between slate grey and indecision. I'm branching off into new categories of evolution. A distraction. Keep it close at hand. One and a half. Two and a fourth. I'm tired of skipping in circles. Leave the tundra behind. Come down below sea level, the water's just fine. I know you are, but what am I? Keep it inside. Don't shake the bottle. Perhaps you only whistle to stop thinking about things.
I'll see you next year.
Sun shining in odd patches through the window. Rain falling at night. The shower running in the next room over. Feet on the radiator. Cars stirring the leaves on the asphalt into tiny whirlwinds as they pass. Eyes closed, head back. Strands of hair brushing against shoulders.
The sky is cracked today, and I have to remind myself to breathe. Everything makes me feel like shivering. I feel like a living cliché. I want to shift into fast forward. I want to skip the present and move on.
I don't want to look, because I'm afraid of what I'll see.
It smells beautiful here in October. Even after the leaves have discolored and fallen. I'm in the mood for a monologue. Perhaps some Low and a serving of
The Interpretation of Dreams
. Maybe even mint tea and Dostoyevsky. I'm open to new possibilities. My teeth are chattering, but I can barely hear it over the clicking of the keyboard. Nothing will come together in my mind. I can't get it to come out right. But I can settle for wrong. I don't mind: just don't let me look back from next week. Next month. Next year. Never. I'm begging you.
He can, but he won't. You would, but you can't. They will, because they can. I can't and I won't. I wouldn't even if I could. This is how the world keeps turning.
Pourquoi? Parce que c'est essentiel.
Il peut, mais il ne fera pas. Vous feriez, mais vous ne pouver pas. Ils feront, parce qu'ils peuvent. Je ne peux pas et je ne ferai pas. Je ne ferais pas si je pourrais.
Yawning is wonderful, but I never quite understood it. An involuntary, yet urgent need to stretch one's own jaw. Often occurring when tired. I just say, "Huh."
Abjure, abrogate, abstemious, acumen, antebellum, auspicious, belie, bellicose, bowdlerize, chicanery, chromosome, churlish, circumlocution, circumnavigate, deciduous, deleterious, diffident, enervate, enfranchise, epiphany, equinox, euro, evanescent, expurgate, facetious, fatuous, feckless, fiduciary, filibuster, gamete, gauche, gerrymander, hegemony, hemoglobin, homogeneous, hubris, hypotenuse, impeach, incognito, incontrovertible, inculcate, infrastructure, interpolate, irony, jejune, kinetic, kowtow, laissez-faire, lexicon, loquacious, lugubrious, metamorphosis, mitosis, moiety, nanotechnology, nihilism, nomenclature, nonsectarian, notarize, obsequious, oligarchy, omnipotent, orthography, oxidize, parabola, paradigm, parameter, pecuniary, photosynthesis, plagiarize, plasma, polymer, precipitous, quasar, quotidian, recapitulate, reciprocal, reparation, respiration, sanguine, soliloquy, subjugate, suffragist, supercilious, tautology, taxonomy, tectonic, tempestuous, thermodynamics, totalitarian, unctuous, usurp, vacuous, vehement, vortex, winnow, wrought, xenophobe, yeoman, ziggurat.
Pains, but they're only psychological. White flags. My eyes are swollen, I can't help it. The aftertaste of chocolate. Long days and misunderstandings. Harmonies and circles. Lights and mysteries. That's all there is. Everything feels like the fourth dimension. You will go down underwater, and you won't be coming up again. Orchestral melancholy. It hurts, but it sounds prettier than you'd guess. Keep blinking. Sit up straight. Don't slouch. If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands. I don't mean any of it. I don't mean anything. Wait until the sun sets. I'm only feeling sorry for myself.
I always capitalize my onomatopoeia, he tells me solemnly. I can only respond with silence, because I know it's true.
I'm painting the house, canary yellow. There is a cornucopia next to the front steps. It is filled with fruit. Larger than life. I've been here before. Later, there is a party inside, but I don't recognize the inside. I walk into dark rooms and switch on the lights. Everyone is there. I walk through parallel hallways. They are bare, but there is an empty card table in each one. Rickety, they stand crooked. Take a load off, I whisper.
Today is the start of a new beginning. Today I followed you, and I'm sorry. Dramatization. Realization. What was it in the end? Certainly not the muffled screaming that blew over the treetops. My indecision. Was it suicidal? No, it wasn't even detrimental. How was I to know? If you had been dying, I wouldn't have been there to save you. It's all over but the shouting. My face in my hands. Hoping I wouldn't take the wrong route. It's a dead end. And to you: Are we friends now? I hope so. But I can never tell these days.
Tomorrow will be better, I said. You told me that listening is just as good as sleeping, but I could never decide if I believed you or not. Standing at the end of the driveway. A movie pose. Better than the last time. It's always worse in retrospect. I am squeakily superficial. I am beside your harsh honesty. This could become a good thing, but then I think again. You're waiting on the street. I remember I dreamed of that elevator. Someday. I'll dream about it again tonight. You're listening in on my wavelengths. What are we getting ourselves into?
I'm scared. What's happening? Why can't I understand? The ship is sinking. They're waiting on the other side of the ocean, but we'll never make it. You're in love; you always will be. You're down and out, but that doesn't matter. There are lives to be saved. I can't stop listening. It's too much to ask. I'll tell you all about it. I'll tell you all about it later. Just keep doing what you have to. I've got no plans. Tomorrow, she'll keep telling me she's running out of time. She'll keep telling me to experience everything. Maybe I will.
Orange juice. In bed by nine o'clock. Chocolate ice cream. Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies. Cookies. Awkward. Never. Curls. Did you forget something? It was cold. Save the crying for later. Scientifically, there's no such thing as crying from happiness. Maybe it's just on the inside. A half hour of sadness, then back to business. Ensconsed. Forget about the others. Dipped in milk. Walking home in the dark. Green over gray. You don't make me cry. Confidence. Surefooted. Trying too hard. Then I passed out. I couldn't help it. You were right. It makes falling asleep so beautiful.
"Stay sweet, okay?"
The lethal text. Honey plus nothing. The perfect combination. Inevitability. What are
studying? Dim the lights. Don't scare the neighbors. Don't disturb the wildlife. On the subway. Claustrophobia. Feeling left out. Morals and ethics. Speak to me. Keep quiet. I can't hear your heart beating anymore. Just like the real thing. Surreally. Paradoxical. Neverending. Looking in the window. Looking at the window pane. Pushing a shopping cart through an empty lot. You're a city girl; you don't belong here. Fluorescent lighting. Migraines. Welcome; how may I help you? Brussels are sprouting everywhere. It's getting late. I'll race you there.
I'm not progressing. I'm not disciplined. I'm quite simply unable. Am I moving, or is everything else? I'm beginning to suspect the latter.
There's just a touch of vertigo in the air this morning. I'm sorry, but we won't be able to make it to the gala. I know we've had it penciled in for months. I hope that someday you'll begin to forgive us.
The dynamics still aren't soft enough; the tempo isn't slow enough. The pitch is off. The motions aren't emphasized adequately. Someday it will be the way you always wanted it to be. But not today.
Retro style. Disobedience. Who's up for a taste of rebellion today? It's sad, really. Nothing to brag about. Tomorrow morning, I'll share it with you. If I remember.
I can't get it right. Reflections make it subjective. Waiting for the shimmer on the water, but it never came back. I was looking forward to two days in a row. But weather didn't permit. I almost wish I was at a standstill. Why don't we argue? I hope you don't know what I'm talking about. Curled toes, stiff joints. Food poisoning. A nervous breakdown.
I had it all planned out.
I thought you'd passed me by, but I underestimated you. The second attempt will commence soon. Unless it rains. Then I'll wait. I can wait forever. Accomplishment is underrated. I should do this more often.
She can't write with a steady hand anymore. I wish I could pray, but I can't. The heart she drew is pathetically crooked. I started to cry when I first saw it. How much longer? Hang on. I'm no good at mourning.
Afternoon walks. Candy corn and Chee-to binges. The trials and tribulations of vegetarianism. Wholesome scheduling. Spontaneous breakdowns in odd scenarios. So it goes.
Apathy is working out quite well, I must say. But I'm running out of time. I'm not sure if I will make it. Where's the drive? Where's the motivation? I'm not up to par these days, but then again, was I ever?
The atmosphere is getting to me. I'm feeling out of touch, but give me a few minutes; I'll be fine. New Jersey and permanent marker. Mildew and yesterday's celery sticks. Moths sizzling on lightbulbs and the uncertainty of tomorrow.
I let it all out when no one is around. It's easier that way. No pain. No shame. Simple.
Why is everything moving so fast? Virtual motion sickness. Blinding sunsets in the late afternoon. By the bridge. I wasn't thinking. I didn't realize. Rocks on the water. The shattered images are instantaneous, but only for infinity. It will all right itself when gravity finally fails. Broken wineglasses and merlot stains on silk. Humming as the buildings fall. Scraped knees and soggy cigarettes in the gutter. Looking upwards as the world turns upside down. And then the ripples fade away, and everything is perfect again.
Remember: I'm saving you a seat on the other side. Don't make me wait forever.
Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 16 gives me an indescribable feeling. It's beautiful, that much I know.
"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
The Little Prince
, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
Anxiety. Unexplained. I wish I didn't feel like this; I'm going to overflow. It's tiring. Give me your best shot. Speak in silence. Explain without words.
It's Halloween. Carve a few pumpkins. This is the end of an era. This is the witching hour. Watch out for the little skeletons. Where have you disappeared to? Round the bend.
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