Published: December 7, 2008
Maybe nothing will come of this. Maybe I won't actually write anything here. Maybe it's impossible to recapture the old moments and even if it is possible, you still shouldn't. Don't mess with the space continuum, Time Machine Girl. But I ventured into the darkness of the downstairs just now, where the ghouls and the haunts and the grudges wait, to retrieve my laptop and settled on the floor of my bedroom (strange to call a borrowed space such a thing) now I am trying to say and trying to mean and finding, maybe. Maybe. It feels strange to write like this. It feels old. It feels young. It feels like two years ago, names ago, lives ago. It's a verse of old friendships and past (passed) loves and a time before. Before. Before before before. But see, I was sitting on the floor with papers all around me, reading and rereading old words of mine as I am wont to do when I am alone and restless (so restless, beloved!) and it struck me. Oh, it struck me and I felt such a wave of nostalgia and guilt and grief and love that I found myself floundering, nearly drowning, and was then deposited on some far sandy shore.
What is this shore? Don't look for metaphors, and don't ask for them. These papers are proof of what transpired and what is now long gone. Lost turned found, or at least drifted away to be Lost in some other place and time, and I know I will receive no answers if I go calling upon them. There are letters here, too, addressed to a name I no longer recognize, but the idea is much the same. I feel old and I feel a little off, but I know nothing of the world but what I know of myself.
I'm rusty. This isn't quite what it should be. I digress, but there never was a course for this and I never could follow one anyway. It is a bit of a returning, I suppose. Maybe a metaphor wouldn't be so bad, if I could craft it right. Something about sand and waves and ruins, vines covering a broken gate and maybe a tree that used to hold a rope swing. This was never home anyway, but it would still be nice to know my footprints weren't the only ones to grace this soil in so many years.
Not what I wanted to say.
No one listens. Maybe that's it? The restless and the aching and the wishing for the before time, when you know you can't go back. I have patience, to a point, and I keep a tidy altar despite the lack of offerings, but how long can a religion last with only one follower, shepherd and sheep in the same? I can only tell myself stories for so many hours before my fingers ache and my head hurts and my words fall silent silent silent and I trudge to waiting bed. I have no one to tell my stories to anymore. Argue if you like but it is a truth I face and a truth I accept and a truth I know like a sharpness in my chest. There is a weight to a gaze, after all. There is a meaning to words left unspoken. This weight, this meaning, is like a burning coal in my chest. It is like every metaphor compressed to one moment, one word, one understanding, and cradled within my peppermint porcelain ribs. It is a love like no other I could ever experience and it leaves me breathless every. single. day. But with no one to tell such tales to, no one to captivate or enchant, it is a poor religion I keep. Messages in bottles never reach the shores of dark continents.
This isn't anything, really. Maybe the NyQuil has already kicked in and my brain is asleep while my fingers keep clattering at the keys, comforted by the lullaby they tap. I'm not sure enough of myself to be sure. There have just been so many days I've been trapped before a blank computer screen, waiting for something to show itself when all along I've known there's nothing unless I breathe it into being. But love, how much breath do I have left? Does a mortal girl have air enough to stir both Moon and Sun? Dare I risk a final burn-out to give one last farewell performance? A Sun dies and only so many, many million years later do we know, do we care. Do we care?
Twice now I've dreamed of Them and I their creator, or something far more grand than ever I could reach. I dreamed once that I was the Allmighty, the Lord God himself and I touched the Sun gently and I told him not to fear, that I had created him in My own image and that everything would be alright. I dreamed once that I stood in an icy lake, and all was dark and quiet. The Moon stood before me and I took his face in my hands, so much like a carving from alabaster it was, and dipped him beneath the cold waters in beloved baptism. He came up all pearls and silver, milk and honey. I felt once that I should not think these things, but now I understand this love and wish, oh wish, only that I could share it with others. Make someone understand enough for them to feel even a tiny, inconsequential fragment of that love as well. I could bless a soul-kin with no greater gift than this small piece of myself, and of something that is more than we could ever be.
A shepherd and sheep both. Maybe they'll call me crazy, muttering stories beneath my breath because no one will bother to listen if I speak loudly? I'm not the street corner type anyway. No flyers, you know, no parades or signs or threats of eternal damnation. No, such techniques wouldn attract unwanted attention, and never draw the eyes of those I truly seek. All I can do is this, write messages in bottles and throw them into rivers and oceans and lakes, library books and letters and tea leaves.
Old words. Old words. The good ones get better with age, and you can tell them apart quite quickly from the ones that have gone stale. Don't know what these will do. Don't know what bottles will come floating my way (maybe one of my own, just returning thanks to wind and tide and twisting current?). Don't know how I'll feel about this in the morning, either, after the darkness of feline ghosts and rainy bus rides has worn off. So what am I left with at the end of this tirade which may be only one or may be many more in many days? Old, but a little less guilt. Love, and a little more time.
I don't expect much from much. Perhaps I should for the second time tonight demand that I turn off this infernal machine and finally crawl into bed. Maybe the dreaming will clear away the lingering weight of too much silence and too much hoping and the absence, always the absence, of his touch and his voice and their--
Oh yes. Time to drag my stubborn self to bed, and leave pacing to another day (there is always time tomorrow). Goodnight to those who do not remember me, those who do not wish to remember me, and those who are kind enough to keep me in their thoughts (however brief). I'm off to dream of skyscrapers and cat kings and islands on the backs of giant whales.