Monday, August 03, 2009

Dear Garett.

Dear Garett,

Some time has passed since we spoke last but I do not feel as though anything between us has changed. I remember when we used to correspond regularly, when our ideas and phrases used to bounce back and forth between letters. Now, I am sitting alone in my room, listening to the distant sounds of a train passing in the night. I think of you often in times like these, when I am left to my own experiences and I am lost somewhere between the present and the past. The things I used to know haunt me and I ache for them long after they have vanished from my life. Sometimes I believe my memories of you are something I made up to convince myself that someone else could possibly understand me. But, then I laugh because I see you in my mind’s eye- shuffling through papers on your desk and looking up at me over the tops of your glasses.

We used to speak in poetic riddles, quoting here and there within our words, begging each other to find the poems within the sentences. I haven’t had a drink in months and things feel a bit foggy. My senses seem dampened by the lack of contrast, they are so often the same, so often still. And yet, I see things daily. A lemon tree, a brick building, a small bird landing on a sill. I know these things are as real as I. Yet, it is only when I am experiencing them that I feel truly alive.

I used to imagine that I would grow out of this benevolence. I used to sit back and daydream about a life full of action but somewhere I would know that it never would come to pass. Often, I hide from myself- drowning in a swell of images, of words, of distractions. But, I come back to this form- these letters- so that I can somehow get a grip on what I want to say to the world.

If I did more, if my courage could somehow outweigh my cowardice, then I might be able to finally make a life for myself but I spend so much time thinking of how things can go wrong that the time to do them fades farther and farther from grasp. Yesterday I took a run through the city. I watched the people moving past me; I thought of how different I was from everyone but also how much the same. I rode the subway and sat next to people who I wanted to speak to but somehow couldn’t find the words.

It was then, on that subway, with the squeal of train brakes screeching in the distance and the pressure popping in my ears that I remembered how truly alive I am in the heat of an interesting discussion, when I am drinking whisky and wine and feeling carefree and yet still so focused on arguing my point.

Unseen, I pass through these streets, a ghost to those among me. I drag a heavy past behind me- as if an empty coffin in a melo-dramatic Western. Perhaps I should shed the skin of my older experiences- take what I can from them and move on. But, it seems the stars themselves do not wish for me to begin anew- to find a fresh start in this world of worlds. Maybe that is why I still wander aimlessly through the desert- not even knowing what I might put in my coffin but always imagining that it was filled with something I could never have.

I keep dreaming that I am someone else and I know I am not myself but I do not fear for who I am because it is, at least, new. I am subservient to a master I do not know and do not see. Walking around in a repeating scene of perfect joy- I suddenly realize that this can’t be real because everything I am seeing- I already saw. My body shakes and I quiver to be rid of this thing which I do not know. Upon waking, I lose sight of who it was and my suddenly submissive self shrinks off into the early morning sunlight.