Wednesday night I fell asleep with the skin of a bear’s head draped over my hair and face like a mask and bodies sprawled at my feet. I was an urban medieval Frezetti painting. All I needed was a grand gold spear in the hand that wasn’t sleepily curled around one of the black fur ears.
Last night I didn’t sleep at all. Instead I held someone and let them come back to life. We’re damaged people, love. Yes, I know we are. That’s partially what holds this part of clan together inside our tribe. Family words, meaning country and lover and home. Parents, holding hands. The two of us writing words in the sand, the light off and my glasses by the side of the bed.
When I’m here, so are you. Everyone reading and here I’m sitting, thinking “what is that sound?” It’s people, trying to find themselves in what I write here, as if it were important. Until recently, I wasn’t aware. I’ve become used to being put aside. The world goes around without me, I think, it continues and carries on. I am the merest drop of rain and the rain will fall forever. New creatures will be born, they will have stories, they will stop and stare at the enormous sky that birthed them and think in tones of wonder long after I have passed my way.
I should be at a party right now. David Bloom sent out a mass invite to celebrate the fact that it’s not New Year’s Eve. No resolutions will be necessary, bad behaviour will be accepted, but I’m feeling a little lost for some reason. Alone and not a little intimidated, I want to leave the house and instead I’m thinking softly in excuses, It’s late. I hardly know any of his friends. If Bill is there, I’ll make him uncomfortable. Most of all, it’s late, as if they were real. Yet in denial, I still want to have my shoes on. I will leave the house, wrapped in this feeling of abandonment of not. This is what I want to believe. Make myself over into someone who can be brave with this strange cowardice bubble of uncertainty encasing my heart. (This is what I horribly suspect that other people might feel like all the time.)
Instead, my arms are stretched out, trying to hold onto something beautiful and failing. I’m scanning every face now, trying to see into the future, trying to see who I might encounter as a friend. This city is full of strangers, they look at me sometimes when I walk by them as if I were unexpected, but rationally I know that some of them I will talk to. We will meet some day and speak together, they will tell me they saw me with that hat or the ferret or in bare feet. I’m the red head hippie that girl hated or that boy couldn’t get over. A tragic figure they saw crying. I stand on the street corner like a door I’m looking out of, the traffic a heavy silence, wanting to see that perfect memory unfold before me. The one that I haven’t had yet, because it’s still in front of me, as far away as falling stars.
Before dreaming starts at night, there’s a time when you close your eyes and pictures begin unbidden through all the caring cells in your body. Mine have been providing me with the sensation of my hands on a piano, my body held warmly against the length of a stranger in time to old familiar music. Behind my lids, it’s not my hands I’m watching, it’s not my feet, the pattern on the carpet or the length of the room between me and that place to stay. I’m not re-evaluating my choices, my flight, my desire to meet those eyes across a room again with an impossible question. Instead, I’m trying to explain with equal grace to those images how much my strange days mean to me. It feels impossible, like climbing a rainbow.