for goldilocks, an entry of three bears

I was waiting for a grand proclamation, a visitation of word to download some meaning into the withering hardware. I was waiting to want you, to let the barrier blocks fall so that I might stand free of them and that other person. I was waiting to understand the fundamental attachments that I formed in my absence.

I’m beginning to.

Under the main process, there’s wheels spinning, creating thread out of the morass of fluff that passes for thought in my brain. You helped me by being angry at me, upset that my twists have always ended positive, that every fairy tale disaster has been paid off with joy. You echoed years in that voice, a handful of fingers all pointing accusatory. I remembered being younger, shorter, less prone to speech yet talking in a rare moment of surety with someone who used to be my friend. “You just have to wait the right away, there’s a presence of mind and a shut-down. You can’t help me, like I can’t help you right now, but we’ll get there. We’ll find it by walking into it, like we need our eyes closed to walk into a wall.”

You don’t remind me of him, he hurt me later, crossed lines that grown men should not with little girls, but rather of what I said. What I began to try to say again, with as little eloquence as years ago, I’m sure, to you in the kitchen. That there’s ways and then there’s ways. There’s action in inaction and misery as debt. I don’t know how to convey how I know things, and I’m sorry. I want you to know how to survive in joy, but I don’t carry the work with me as you do.

I was twenty minutes late for work today.

The minimum wage in 1938 was 25c, a number inconceivable now. I was considering it yesterday as I finally walked up to the shop for groceries. The street is lined with windows and nowhere on any of the numbered price tags could there be a number less than five dollars. Industrialization has created a world with such mythical numbers, you read of billions of dollars being dropped on a project. How is it that exists? Digital editors are sitting in darkened rooms with sickly green text scrolling past. Math as myth. Arithmetic the new alchemy? When pennies can add up into a heavier weight than an office building, I wonder. Pennies are the small change that isn’t worth picking up from the sidewalk. It’s a copper gleam embedded in every intersection. Even in Hollywood, where there’s glitter in the very pavement, I could see them there, pressed in by countless daily tires. I remember children being impressed by the colour, the metal the colour of fallen leaves. I had a penny collection, I started my bank account with one. One Hundred and Eight Dollars, counted out cent by cent into little brown paper rolls printed in blue with FIFTY CENTS. Sadly, the attraction has darkened to a commodity wholesale, every celebrity a symmetrical face, a stamped out piece of Too Little To Count, in spite of the newspaper obsession. I still pick up pennies, and I look at the Queen, thinking of wishes and luck, and I question, “How could anyone count out a million in these?”.