I went home early as promised and I called my mother and aunt and the timing was wrong and I went out to eat by myself with my red composition book and ordered what I liked (no soda, we don’t drink formaldehyde anymore) and I made notes on my story. I’ve made a lot of notes over my lifetime, but I was alright with these notes. Not that they’ve clarified anything, but I was there and I did it.
I didn’t feel strange to be alone. I didn’t feel overly hurried or even distracted by the environment out of my norm. It was a nice, brief walk there and back, too. And then I sort of dissipated. I played Civilization 5 until I got to that point, about four cities in, where I envision the future. My future. At a reunion or something and a panicky, terrible feeling rises and I can see old classmates smiling, leaning in, asking the cliche question that makes my whole generation panicky (though we each think we are secretly the worst offenders) and they ask “So what have you been doing?” And my truthful answer would have to be, “Well, I’ve played a lot of Civ 5. You know. Songhai. Pillaging the pixels until the barbarian hordes got too thick and I got bored and then I was on Tumblr a while.”
It’s not the whole picture at all, and I don’t know that me putting my poems on a sheet of paper for purchase would somehow warrant a feeling of self-satisfaction that might impress people I haven’t seen in nigh about ten years, but sometimes, that feeling makes you feel like you’ve been dipped in acid. So pressed up against the two way mirror, observing a whole world that would never let themselves live like you do.
Sometimes it amazes me how we can be in such pain, such dry rot, such states of disrepair and we can walk about as if we’re completely well. That the social compact is that powerful that we dare not show this weakness. We can completely It amazes me, but I suppose we construct these rules for the corsetgasm we are treated to when we take down the walls and play at being free.
“But the truth is, you never needed someone to comfort you.”
I’m alright, though. One day in your own head is enough to give you a shock and a shot and a shake, but it’s not enough to start or end anything. Which I guess is a good thing today. I guess. It’s all guessing, anyway.
So, here’s how it goes: stand up. Take a breath. Pull back your hair. Quit with the self-deprecating remarks you only use to, tragically, try to insinuate your intelligence with. Open the poem book. Fix a poem. Open the where to submit poetry book. Pick a place. Print the poem. Send the poem to the place. Feel an honest rejection instead of the celestial rejection of moon from sun, of known from unknown, dusk from dawn. Watch a cat play with its toy, wholly inconsiderate of the fact that she hasn’t been to Nairobi.