Tuesday, September 20, 2005

From Anna.


I will write to you now because I've finally discovered something, buried beneath years of your weighty words. I too have had words all along but I put them in the closet for you. Do you not remember all the times we spoke and I kept tight lips and only looked at you, your own lips wagging away at whatever? You get so wrapped up in your own speech that you don't see anything around. What do you think it means to be a genius anyway? What do you even do but scribble some odd fragment every day or so. They don't even begin to build up to anything. They don't even have any way of ever being anything but exactly what they are and that's why you keep writing them, isn't it? That's why you push them out by two's and by four's and you dislodge them from wherever they seem loose. It's not as though you work on them even. You just dump them out and live by your rereading. This was who I was. You think that if you can be accountable for each day of the life you've lived, if you can look at each day closely, beneath the microscope, remember it in words, than each single day will be distinct if even just for sentences. But that's not the way it is Fernando. Things just happen and you can't record them because they move too quickly by you and they suck you up into them. It's so evident in your expression, too. It's one thing to be something, to know that's what you are, but it's quite another to lose yourself in that, to live for what you will be when it's all over for you. What's the use of living and making when no one looks at what you make? How can you continue this wandering and undirected gaze? How can you look at me with that eye that says, "I will make you something you never could make yourself. Immortal." and then not do it.

You always told me that you'd draw me but I knew you didn't know how to draw. And anyway you'd already made me in words. What would pictures do? You just imagined what those pictures would look like. You just drew them in your mind, only looking at what they'd become but never knowing how they'd get that way.

Some people don't make things Fernando. Why can't you understand that? Why do you want to teach everyone to make something? Some people just don't have it inside them to come out. I stared inside myself when you touched me, and tried to find something to match your words. I remembered being a kid in art class. The way I'd always search for something, always try to think of something when all the other kids just jumped into it. I always tried to be so calculated and could never do anything naturally.

You forced me to take a long hard look at my own mortality, that I would die one day without anything ever escaping from me. I lay beneath you and stared up into your full lips and half-shaven face and I knew that you would be remembered, even for those few words. I knew that you would be remembered for the letters you write to me and to everyone else you've ever walked past on the street. I needed to make something. And now I have. I'll tell her that you say hello.



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