Roses are wood
Violets are stone
I wish I could save you
From dying alone
Roses are wood
Violets are stone
I wish I could save you
From dying alone
Such a fool I am.
I don’t want to be a fool.
But I guess I am
She said, “That’s quite a rut you are in.”
I said, “Thank you. I made it myself. I guess ‘make’ is probably the wrong word. I dug it myself makes a lot more sense. But actually I was hoping you would not even notice it was there.”
She sat there, in the armchair. Staring back at me. Impossible to read.
I didn’t know what to say. “I don’t what to say,” I said.
She continued staring. Or gazing. I guess it was gazing. Gazing continuously for a moment that lasted forever. It was a moment that passed and it made me sad that I would never get it back. It was gone. Gone for good.
She finally said “Why do you look so sad?”
That made me feel so self-conscious. “You’re making me feel so self-conscious,” I said.
She looked away, downward towards the carpet. And she said, “I think I’m beginning to feel self-conscious, too.”
It’s kind of like we’re out on a date, I suggested.
“But didn’t you just tell me you’ve never been out on a date? How would you know?”
I had to think about this. But for some reason, I was having a hard time thinking. And an even harder time pretending I knew how to think. Something about it felt disingenuous. Well maybe not disingenuous. But it didn’t feel authentic. And that made me feel inauthentic.
Finally I said, “I didn’t mean to imply that I’ve never been on a date. But I don’t think I’ve ever been on a date with you.”
She didn’t say anything.
“Unless this is a date,” I added. “Is this a date? Are we out on a date?”
She looked like she was about to answer. But then I was compelled to interrupt. “I guess we are not out of a date. But all of these “is this a date?” “Is this not a date?” questions seem so antiquated, don’t you think?”
“Outdated?” She asked.
“Yes, it seems like we are not out on a date. But it does seem like we are a little outdated.”
And then I said, “I don’t mean that you are outdated. I only meant that we are outdated. But then again how would I know since I’ve never been out on a date?”
“You know more than you think you know,” she said.
“Well, at least that’s reassuring,” I replied. Because it was.
I’m not sure what the deal is with the past 2 weeks, but I have been in the foulest foulest mood. Irritated at myself. Irritated at people, places and things that are not myself. I just want everything to move as far away from me as possible. Just a few minutes ago, while waiting for the train, somebody stopped to ask me if this was the line for the train to Providence. But I could not hear him very well. Because I wasn’t wearing my hearing aids. Because I was avoiding hearing people. Which can be problematic when I do want to hear people. But I had no idea if I wanted to hear this person or not. At first, I thought he was going to ask me for money so I just shook my head ‘no.’ Then I actually did hear him ask someone else if it was the Providence train. But instead of feeling bad for not helping a stranger, I thought, that’s presumptuous. Don’t you think it’s presumptuous for a stranger to presume you can hear them or understand their language? Muttered English is an entirely different language than spoken English.
And then there’s me. I keep dropping things. And then muttering “fuck!” to myself. If someone made a recording of me in my apartment these days, that would probably be the only word they would hear me utter.
I’m so glad you’re not around to hear it. I hope this is not really me.
This woman named Fatima contacted me about a possible apartment share. I’m not sure how she found me. Oh yes, it was probably Craigslist. The apartment was in In Arlington. Everything is in Arlington. So I left the forest and drove to Arlington to meet her and her room-mate Paul who actually was the first occupant of this apartment… of which he modeled on an “intentional community.” When I first arrived, Paul was not there and I was chatting with Fatima, who seemed nice enough, as they say. But then Paul arrived and he was chatting with Fatima and his daughter Yuni or Yooni. And I was listening and after about 10 minutes wondered if Paul would ever speak to me. Finally, out of nowhere, he asked me to describe my “eating style.” I pretended like I knew what he was talking about before I eventually realized he was asking me about my diet. And I guess he was asking because he is a vegan and Yuni or Yooni has only eaten macrobiotic foods since she was in the womb, and was highly sensitive. So they use separate plates and silverware and pots and pans, which makes sense. I said I did not really have a style, but if I did, I would probably be a pescatarian. I think that may have been the wrong answer.
Then Paul asked me what I could only label as a trick question. He said, if I were to get up in the middle of the night to walk from my room to the bathroom, would I wear slippers or go barefoot. I thought about this very carefully because I knew there was a correct answer. I just needed to find it. But then I said, “neither.” and he gave me one of those quizzical looks, the kind of look that founders of an intentional communities might give you. So I explained that I would probably be wearing socks because my feet get cold at night. But this was the wrong answer because socks are more likely to spread dust around than slippers, or something like that. And I don’t think he understood why I would have cold feet. even in the summer. It’s something I’ve never understood either.
At that moment it occurred to me that maybe I was not an ideal fit for an intentional community. I mean, I can’t think of one thing I’ve ever done in my life that was actually intentional. I live in a world of happenstance. Perhaps I should found a happenstancial community. I bet there would be a lot of interest.
Have you ever noticed that when you take CBD oil, you get this floaty feeling? Sort of a feeling that you have already died, and now you are ghost hovering the body you once inhabited. Sort of there and not there. I do think about this a lot. That I may already be dead, but there’s a ghost that is trying to correct my many past mistakes and transgressions. I can’t tell if it’s a Holy Ghost or even a friendly one.
*I just discovered that the auto-correct on my ipad insisted on capitalizing Holy Ghost. It just did it again.
****however. Auto-correct does not have any issues with hungry ghost. I’m sure there must be a reason for this.
But what I’m trying to describe is how CBD definitely does not get me high,, and it’s best it gives me a ghostly floating feeling with a calm acceptance that my life does not seem to be going anywhere. And it can probably accept that I will never leave my apartment, or never speak again, or never feel desire, nor ever feel not lonely. CBD just sort of takes the edge off.
I’ve been sneezing all day. Like every 10 minutes. Precisely. on the clock. But then I turn on cable trump news and I get sucked into it. And I forget about sneezing. Although I continue to sneeze. I’m just not as conscious of it. And I am grateful for these days where I do not have pneumonia. So grateful. But I sneeze a lot at work and since I work in an open office, there’s no hiding it. Once in a while someone will call out “Bless you!” which is always a surprising because somehow I’ve never connected office work with any higher power who could bestow such a blessing. I just read that “bless you” may have originated in Rome during a time of bubonic plague… and I guess the plague caused a lot of sneezing. I never knew that. Did you? Pope Gregory suggested that a tiny prayer after a sneeze would protect that person from death. So the next time I sneeze at work, in a few hours, and someone says “bless you!” I will send them a thank you note for protecting me from death. Maybe I could add “I hope I did not put you out of your way. Sorry for any inconvenience.”
Today’s the day. The anniversary. 3 years. 3 years in exile. trying to remain hopeful, but so far i don’t see any concrete signs. i see lots of concrete but none of it speaks to me. But really, how much longer do I have to live this way. I want to live a long long time. but not like this. some humans are not built to be alone.
If I could just see a flicker of hope for better things ahead. i don’t even care if it’s a false hope. why nitpick?
The thought of you on another train on Christmas Day in 2018. A solitary resident of the Quiet Car. But it was never your intent to be so quiet. It was never your intent to be alone. Never your intent to fear connecting while at the same time yearning for it. What happened? How did you become the way you are? How did you reach this place? What trickery of the universe brought you here?
You’re not sure why you are going to New York. To reawaken something dormant perhaps. To shake up your infrastructure. Possibly. For someone apprehensive to leave the cocoon, it’s strange that this is where you are going. Or maybe New York is the perfect place. So many others living in so many other cocoons
You carry this hopelessness on your back. A weight you are trying to shed and you’re not quite sure how you will shed it. It needs shedding, doesn’t it? Hopelessness. If you were not alone you might feel differently. Or you would have other things to think about. Anything would be welcome. when was the last time that happened? Probably a month ago. In Chicago. When was the last time you actually laughed? It must have been in Chicago, too.
You worry way too much. Oh how you worry! Especially about being forgotten. Everybody you know is preoccupied with something or other. How much do they think about your existence? There may be 1 or 2. You may be thought of nostalgically. Reminding people of a time and a place that reminded them of you or that you reminded them about. But that time and that place are not you. That’s the big fear. That you will be completely forgotten until it’s too late.
Gosh you wish you could think about something else. You wish someone would write something else about you. But that will probably require a little research. Because you’re difficult to track down. Predictable but unfindable.
Sometimes I feel like my neediness will swallow the world and there will be nothing left but shadows of crumbs. And then my neediness will sweep those up, too.
It was freezing today. Not outside. But inside. I couldn’t do anything. I started out with good intentions. Well maybe not that good, but definitely intentions. I thought I would venture out to one of the 2 new ‘recreational’ marijuana stores that just opened in Massachusetts. I had what I thought was a simple goal of buying CBD/THC oil and THC pain cream, but neither of the stores had any in stock. Or I would not know for certain if they had it in stock without waiting in line for 2 hours since no one answers their phones. I then spent 3 hours at my computer researching the differences between CBD and terpenes and if they were better in combo. I realized that I really needed to find an authority on this, someone other than a stoner 20 year old working the cash register. So my quest for a store that was not a smoke shop took another 1 or so of research before I was overcome by a heavy fatigue. And took an hour and half nap.
Then I decided I really needed to step out of my head rather than work on planning a Montreal trip, especially since I could not even decide which travel guide to buy or where I should buy it. I still don’t know.
I ended up going to the movies, The Favourite, which I did not understand at all. even though my hearing aids amplify the sound more than adequately, for some reason British accents sound all blurry. This is the 2nd movie in 2 weeks where this has happened, the other a Harry Potter spin-off with British actors. I wonder what can be done about this. My hearing. Not the Brits. I think actors should be able to find work regardless of their accents. Don’t you?
I was just thinking about the vanishing point and how I may have stumbled beyond it. And it’s scary to think of how resigned I am becoming to that fate. It’s beyond my control. I can’t get a handle on it. My world I once inhabited is vanishing further and further away and I seem to not be following it. I’ve lost sight of it actually. I’m not sure how I am supposed to feel about this. Acceptance could be an option, if it didn’t feel like death. Death could be an option if I could accept surrender. Surrender could be an option if I could accept defeat. Defeat could be an option if I could accept surrender. So many many things to accept or not accept. But I’ve lost sight of all of them. I guess that explains why I watch so much TV.
On the train home from the holiday party (the theme was “Havana Night”) at work where I endured and apparently survived an hour and a half of awkward meandering around people I see everyday but have never spoken to and I don’t know their names but the music was so blaring that even when I did attempt conversation, I could not hear anything anyway and I’m sure they could not hear me (so I guess I found something I have in common with them) and deep fried appetizers that immediately made feel nauseous, thus defeating my strategy to drink as much alcohol as my body could handle and the only drink I could handle was ginger ale but all of those drinks were successful in leading me to several bathrooms breaks, although the layout of the bathroom was a little too open for me to take a nap in and now on this train, I am beginning to stop visibly shaking.
3 years of what?
3 years of something.
3 years of knowing less and less than I did the previous 3 years
Although aging seems to be objectively speaking undeniable
But it’s all a blur. A meandering, mercurial blur.
Or maybe millions and millions of micromoments of blur that somehow accumulated to form 3 years.
And what have I to show for it?
A new driver’s license in a new state I cannot imaging living in.
3 years of living in such a state.
I’m trying to think of all of things that I could have made happen in 3 years, but chose not to, even when they could have been in my self-interest.
3 years of living in a self I am really not interested in knowing.
3 years of time I could have spent with you instead.
but how would you ever know that?
I feel like I owe the world an apology. I know I am supposed to stop apologizing but I am trying to figure out how to handle the shame and embarrassment I feel over things I have said or done to people I love and admire. 2 of them in particular. E and N., neither of whom have responded to my recent emails. And it pains me. It even hurts to think about it. What could I say to remedy the situation?
It was wrong of me to not write to you in months, or communicate beyond Likes and Hearts. And then to reappear to tell her that my niece will be working in NYC this summer and is looking for a sublet and if E should have a vacancy in her basement apartment and would like rent coming in, I offered to connect her with my niece. It’s so embarrassing to reappear like that, out of nowhere. And then to ask for a favor. But it was more of an inquiry and an offer than a favor, wasn’t it? Because the rent from my niece could help pay E’s bills. Still it felt like a favor. And I’m so embarrassed about that.
And then my email continued with attempts at witty, self-effacing banter. But I added that I hoped that things were getting resolved or were less stressful with her divorce. Maybe that was the wrong thing to say. The last time I spoke to you was almost a year ago. Back then she were looking for a divorce lawyer. But maybe the divorce is not happening. Maybe it was totally inappropriate for me to mention it. Maybe I’ve become an acquaintance to you, and who would want an acquaintance to mention things that a mere acquaintance has no place asking. I wanted to express concern. It would have felt strange not to acknowledge that. But maybe I overstepped my bounds. It’s a big overstep to take when one resurfaces from nowhere, as I have done. What kind of friend is that?
I am confused about my I have not heard from you in over a week when in the past you respond to my messages almost immediately. Was it because I asked you to read a story I had written that was not very good? Was it because I was not completely suppressing the infatuation I am not letting myself feel for you which I am convinced would make you feel uncomfortable? Was it because I asked if you could send me suggestions for zines and publications where I could send my writing? Did you think I was using you? Did you notice a leakage in my suppression container? Really, I hope you would not feel like I would ever act upon it.
If either E or N would respond, my world would be greatly profoundly uplifted. But without hearing from you, I am bereft. Embarrassed and bereft.