Notes percuss, things fall out,
I don’t wear my shoes hard now.
Delia pulled the blinds’ cord in the small dark room. “Don’t do that!” Ms. June screeched. The plastic bracelets sounding on her arm tickled and delighted Delia tock tock tock tock tock. “I don’t want the blinds open. Close them!” Delia yanked gently on the cord again, her arm gliding, the blinds accordioning tock tock tock tock tock.
“Stop! Stop!” Ms. June fever pitched the act so that a sliver only of the late afternoon sun shone on the wall and over Ms. June’s lap, over her spotted clutched hands. Delia sat down next to Ms. June’s twin bed smoothing her bright pink scrubs. “What’re we goin’ ta play tonight, Ms. June?”
Ms. June shook her head speechlessly, brow furrowed, wringing her hands. Ms. June had long white hair hanging down her back. Delia lifted her arm tock tock tock tock tock and placed it gently on Ms. June’s childlike brittle back and silvery locks.
Big tears sprouted from the rheumy eyes, then began their long descent down Ms. June’s cheeks, finally splashing on her hands where her fingers interlaced into that deep canyon so that the sun glistened her tears.
In response to writing 101’s assignment to expand on a comment. I didn’t comment but wanted to on a delightful post by Catherine on rhythm and sounds . Also this post is in response to a reader’s request for a story on a home health care worker.
It half happened, if that’s possible, in a muscle car. None of it seems remotely appealing to me now. Then I got serious and it fully happened in a Motel 6. I had to be home by 11 which might as well have been 5 pm. We could have used that room to party all night.
It half happened, if that’s possible, in my bed one morning. I woke up to a carefully crafted text which sunk into my bones. Then I got serious and put an end to the ambiguity and the vagaries of post modern correspondence. Night boredom is a bitch. I started watching Netflix.
It half happened, if that’s possible, 10 years in. Maybe I married the right guy after all. It still seems an improbable stroke of good luck. Then I got serious and realized that this shit’s hard. I can’t be fixed all in one day.
The nights are still too large sometimes. I expect more of the stars than is rightfully mine. But, at least now I know what being tired feels like.
Not to write, to think instead, to wander, is good, sometimes. The fruit is squeezed dry, another ripe fruit’s to be picked, sometimes. A used dish rag needs to be washed and dried and folded and put in the closet, sometimes. And taken out later.
I need to read others, sometimes. To get lost in their absurd world, to read what I don’t buy at first, sometimes. I listen to music every day. In those times I never write but dream in moods and see things that are very far away. To be alive!
Sometimes, I stop writing for writing’s sake for long periods so I can photograph or paint. I never start on purpose like that but I’m glad to follow. I grow to eschew words then. You can’t trap me! I can’t remember then how I ever wanted to write when I can do what is so pleasing to me it hurts, instead.
I come back, though, usually through a poem or word. The last one was “unrest.” It means nothing to me now but then it meant a world, a potential one. Perhaps it will make a few orbits and settle back with me in another dimension. Maybe it will need to do that not a few times.
Words are slippery because they’re drops in a big old ocean. Maybe, one day I can describe it to you.
Avarice beckons, child, (but) doesn’t entitle fear. (The) Gatekeeper holds it justly. Keep losses, my nimble opportunist. Poverty quells reproach, softly treats usurpers. Virtue will (e)xtort yesterday’s (plenty).
An abecedarian sequence (mostly). Cheats are in parentheses.
I write in the dark at night in bed on my phone or laptop after the kids are asleep. Often almost completely prone. I’ve tried to write during the day, sitting up, in other places, but the noise and light and jostle erase it all. I require complete silence to concentrate, complete stillness to focus, complete darkness to see the things.
During lunch I put on my headphones and walk on the city streets. I think then about what I will write at night. I used to take notes compulsively afraid that the ideas would fade. Now I let the ideas wash up and wash back. They arrive. They recede. I no longer try to catch them. Sometimes things are born slowly. Maybe all things are.
Writing shows me where I’m at a dead end. I tried to write a story last year which kept trying to turn itself into something I knew nothing about. I guess I wanted to know about it. I guess I’ve found out.
I write because there’s something about an echo that feels right. There’s all the white space of possibility in between. There could be something there. A word to start. The way the words are ordered are up to me. They don’t have to be in lanes. They don’t have to go forward.
I know a man, for example, who speaks in circles of ever tightening circumference. If I stop long enough to keep listening, they rise like a small mountain pushing up to the sky. And, he must use that vortex of words that sound all the same to me to tell me something I don’t know.
I write to build the order of my insides according only to my insides which I cannot see. I pull outside references in like a centrifuge, like a tornado pulling boots alongside houses alongside cows. I write so I can feel like I belong to myself so I can belong.
If we only meet
On the other side
If our link’s forged
I shall do that careful work.
(Because forever is something else.)