Saturday, November 07, 2015

I Drove All Night

Dear Garrett,

We haven’t spoken in many a long years and I have had a life in the meantime, etching out what little I could find to make me happy and focusing all my strength on it. I have always lived a solitary life, only coming to meet others in words- rarely in actions. There are ants infesting my home these days, armies of marching menaces angrily approaching anything that seems edible. I see them in places where there is nothing to eat, collecting their dead comrades and carrying them off to who knows where? Seems like my kitchen. They wake me in my sleep sometimes, crawling along my arms and legs and I rise, rattled- slapping myself wildly before I remember- only ants.

I have tried, in these intervening years, to write something that counted, to attempt to create something beautiful outside myself that I would be happy to stand beside, years later. But, that has not proven entirely, or even mildly successful. Instead, I wither away my days eating and drinking, walking and pacing. Sleepy, I rise from bed in the late afternoons and wander about my house, absent-mindedly knocking things around. I imagine how I would feel in a different house, in a different time. I pretend at philosophizing but I always found rote memorization boring and I feel like I need to do a good deal more of that to get even a slight grasp on the history of philosophy. Hypotheticals just don’t grab me. Pontificating about what life is and what it should be without metaphor, without adjectives, with the weight of this wordy, heavy text- it’s hard for me to appreciate. I try, though. To be more knowledgeable about the people who said things before me, and likely said them way better, without the anchor of emotional excessive attachment.

An ex of mine came to visit whom I hadn’t seen for many years. She was my first love and I fell back into her like one falls off a cliff- weightlessly plummeting towards an inevitable crash. It wasn’t my intention. I had tried to be guarded, for a second anyway. Before I realized that I have never been good at being guarded, in hiding my feelings. I may attempt to tell a lie but I don’t often succeed. She went back home to her husband and her garden and now I write her pining love letters and hope her husband doesn’t read them. I hear he’s a bit controlling and keeps her under close wraps. How, I long to give her the things he can’t. How arrogant of me to begin to imagine that I know what he can give her, but I do. I imagine him as she described him: somewhat cold, distant, facing a desperate loss. What we once had was so brief and it was I who ended it, running off with her best friend. It’s a miracle she even speaks to me at all, honestly. But, she did speak to me. For the short visit we had, she was mine. And I rekindled all the singular emotions that only she has ever inspired in me, and I remembered them, sunk into them and floated down a rabbit hole of memories. She told me she still loved me before she left. I didn’t expect that. And now, I am attempting to climb my way out of the hole I fell into, thinking only of her and of how her breath felt on my neck, how she told me how different I was, how sophisticated. It was funny, that. The idea of someone thinking me sophisticated. I, who blow my nose on my clothes and pillowcases, who use my dirty underwear to clean up piles of dead ants from my nightstand, who gets so wasted sometimes that he falls down in the street. It’s interesting to view myself from that perspective and to bask in her adoring gaze almost makes me feel like I’m the person she thinks I am.

But, she’s gone now and the momentary self-assurance her admiration leant me is quickly fading with the daylight as the season shifts and the sun falls down into the Pacific at such an early hour. I feel the heft of the upcoming winter and the darker the days get the more I fear I’ll cling to this for salvation. I know I need to look elsewhere, but her presence inspires in me such a wealth of words.

Tell me how you are and of your own loves,



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