The Body Is A Robot: Elsewhere

I am waiting on the stoop for a sunrise to appear.  I hardly know what to say these nights when I aim to be so occupied that the words in me dry up.  My thoughts are singular, not kaleidoscopic as the work demands.

Where does the need to write go when it goes, if it goes?

It goes in a scrap heap, with every other sort of faith and belief in intangible things.  Go to work, press the start button, buy the coffee even if no one particularly likes the coffee – it’s too bitter, type the emails, remember to check the mailbox, follow the steps, twitch and snort when out of view, taste the salted flesh preserved and simple, and constrain your metal heart.

If it goes, you go, really, with it to the scrap heap.  And the robot runs the work, while you nestle without pain into the witch jar of rusted nails and half-broken thumb tacks and sharp memories claimed to be forgotten.  You dream in the lemonade, you start floating around with the chili pepper, you burn and reformulate.

We do not say I love you afterwards, but it hardly matters when everything is kind and soft and urgent and sincere.  Sometimes I almost do, and I stop myself. We do not say the name so we do not conform with casings and shells and polymers and masks.  But we are somewhere while the body is the robot.  We are somewhere and we are there together.

I find it difficult to remember because I am trying so hard to recall everything about it.  Every breath and the way the voices sound as I make them, the one I lapse into without trying, this coquette, this flirt, this woman I never knew I knew so well.   I want to name her, this persona so casually undertaken, but already she feels like dream dust.  All of this feels like the sort of thing I would make up, with the bends in it to make it seem real even though it’s all a blue caravan trundling through the dark trees along the mountain pass.  Steady and not stopping, no matter your curiosity as to the nature of its contents.  It whirls in my head, that this is happening, and it’s heady like a drink first feels when the alcohol sets in.  It is chemicals, the scientists say, and I say, but the body is a robot. This is me and I am elsewhere.

Today has been marked down as Friday and perhaps the world will end soon.  Terrible things are happening – hate is just spilling out like so much acrid, poisonous sulfur bubbling up from caverns we had long held to be sealed.  So sealed as to be forgettable, paths forsworn, unnecessary for any travel reasonable souls would undertake.   Terrible things and as one of those things, we are given to watch from our robot eyes and these arms so new with such shoddy articulation that we have yet to finesse our grip.

Meanwhile, we are not there at all.

 

 

 

 

How Curious

the silence that is broken by a stream of sincere compliments.

How curious the place that such a stream meets its source.

The things you say when I least expect them.  When I’ve sorted it all out and you come along and flip the apple cart. My voice is the most beautiful voice. Warm, bubbly, no, not bubbly.

Effervescent, you clarify.  That’s what it is.

And whatever agenda I had resolved over pancake and egg is lost.   If I hadn’t been halfway into another story  – one I was sharing with friends, a bit of time travel I was taking part in with them – I would have been putty in your hand.

We talk about ethereal and astral planes and formian creatures and bestiaries inaccessible.  I say I can’t keep you.

We need to get together.  We need to figure it out, you say.

We should talk more about that then,  I reply, encouraged by how endlessly earnest he is, and hopeful that sleep doesn’t make all this a memory.

 

 

 

Moonache

The bad habits.  The bad, bad, bad habits.  You give one inch to one of them and down the hill you roll with them all.

Now, I have some ice water.   It seems to be a medicine and I can think again.

Tomorrow: brunch.  And then, we have an order of groceries that does not give a centimeter to the plots of bad habits.  Back on track because failing this has been boring and bothersome.  A sugary slurp, a salty grind, a belly ache and a delirious desire to pay a ridiculous fee for the opportunity.  I feel the reasons out quick as ever as to why a woman who eats out for her meals at every opportunity might feel ill and ungainly.  I lose one wagon, but I know where I can find another one to climb upon.  The path I chose is the only one that will improve my lot.  Out, out, damned spots.  Let me have the future I desire.  Some slice of it, the parts I have my will to alter.

And I hope to find the words tomorrow.  Tell me what we are.  Tell me what you guess we are.  Tell me that this is not the most painful sort of game.  You call yourself single.  Outright.  For all the world.  While an hour later, you say, stay with me.  Just stay with me.   And I do, because where else would I go, and you hardly mean anything more than stay on the line.  Stay attached to this very long strand that clutches around my throat, the one you’ve tied to some bedroom door so that every time you enter I feel a gentle choke.

Because it can’t be real.  Me here, you there.  And as soon as I am the one who begins to believe it possible, as soon as I swear on stones that there’s some grander scheme at work, you go and say, I am single and things are hard being alone.

So I, not wishing to look a fool, say, with delicate darts to keep the truth hemmed up, pinned in, I, too, am looking for the sort of man who…the kind of man who is…the wistful dreams of my heart have yet to be requited in any mortal form and I am amongst ye, oh, walking and wakeful damned who have found your hearts cleaved in full from that of any others.  I share your fate.  I have no answers.  I have no claims.  But no, none of you dare approach me for succor or support, because if you do I shall be forced to drive you out of my presence.  For what manner of villainy would allow for me to idle for hours in some communal, if imaginary bed, and reciting any manner of romantic assertions, cooing and giggling and playing the part and then, wordlessly, doing the same with someone else?  How profaned would I be to learn that he might afflict such an act upon me?

So I have nothing.

Give me the strength to take my nothing in one lump, one gasp, one shot.

 

 

 

Sparkle

Watching:  Tried Ripper Street and it was a bit too straightforward for me.  Fell in and out of a couple of MST3Ks and Rifftrax episodes which I love but don’t require anything from me beyond that.  Have wound up watching Edwardian Country House/Manor House which I watched when it was originally out on PBS and probably have watched again and mentioned here at some point or another.

Doing:  Not so very much doing today. I do need to sort out how to get myself exercising – I’m getting to that point in the dieting cycle where there’s been a bit of weight loss.  Just enough that I can feel a difference in some places,  while not in others.  Just enough where I see a trajectory.  The way to work on this belly is to get myself moving enough that there’s any hope of it melting a bit.  Right now, I don’t have anything happening that is intended for that purpose.

Thinking: We talked three times today.   Once whilst laying in my childhood bedroom. Strange how he can say a thing like how he misses me and I can feel it at so many different layers and points of meaning at the same time.  He misses me and I miss him and it is a patent fact given our closeness, given everything we’ve shared over the now going on eight months.  He misses me and I miss him and neither of us has any real, specific clue as to what exactly we are missing.   How can we, living so far apart, a photo here, a video there.  He misses me and I don’t know yet about what missing entails, what that longing that comes coupled to knowing.  I’ve been through the painful stretching process of missing things that were half-invented anyway.  I’m only just learning what is to connect to someone deeply.  There are no watermarks, no tracing lines.  We just do what we do as we do it.  Still, I thought with yesterday…I’m afraid I have to be vague here for my own sense of propriety…that we could just sail along being in that delirium.  That particular brand of delirium that I seem to crave of late. And today, there was kindness and sweetness and being called beautiful even without makeup, and I am glad of all of that…but…well, I suppose it would get old in its way if you just…

Still.  It is all these things at once.

Eating:  the low-carb continues.  I thought that there might have been some pizza thrown in my path this weekend, but there was not.  So I now have kept going, and I do feel endlessly better when I am eating this way.  It’s situated enough now to be able to tell the significant difference in just…brain function.  I feel more able to sit down and write a page up, I must say, than I do when I’m swirling through sucrose overdose.  I’ve felt alright, and I don’t want to give that up, so the hunt for the next two or three pounds of this weight loss continues.

 

The Raven Took My Eyes

Watching A Very British Romance documentary with the adorable and quite capable presenter Lucy Worsley and this is impacting my mind as you will see below.   I learned about Pamela (or Virtue Rewarded), which I had certainly heard of, but not how much it had changed the landscape of literature.  I never fully grasped Samuel Richardson as a key player in the same way that Austen was, so it was interesting to see it framed so.  Completely enjoyable and I shall be putting the third one on – modern romance – once I finish up my holy obligations here.

Feeling a bit winded and worn in the sort of way that one sleep might not improve.  Feeling a bit exhausted in the bones.  The day was okay.   The weight I lost is not truly lost yet. I am petrified about forgetting shit, but here we are, facing Wednesday, and the fact that things are going to have to be alright regardless of whether or not we know how to make them so.

I am also a bit keen to have my conversation.  I need just a bit of a moment to understand this.   I can’t…wait forever.  Everyone reminds me I can’t wait forever.  All of the historical romance documentary tells me so.  And if the hold up is simply not being understood, well, that’s something I can effectuate change around (there’s the corporate world beginning to slip into my vocabulary.)

Because I am thinking about the RP’er again. I can’t help it.  I’ve glanced back at those final, closing emails. The ones that said the door was open.  A door I’ve shut because I thought that I was starting something legitimate and and tangible and sincere.  And it is those things – in one sense.  On some days.  I can’t help but wonder if regardless of what either J. or I want, there’s no feasible way for us to have this happen.  The distance too great, the issues too large.  The height distance notwithstanding.  If he doesn’t want to figure out how to see me, if he doesn’t want to say it, if he doesn’t want this to check that box.  If that’s how he sees it, then why am I not available to other people even in limited ways?

I don’t know.  I am so willing, but I lean forward and he pulls back. Then I have thoughts like this, thoughts that question whether or not I am just some Mary Haskell-type figure, worrying over and wanting to help him and support him rather than a true fount of flourishing romance.  Though, who am I to say what Mary Haskell and Khalil Gibran were really truly all about.

Still.  I…this halfway ain’t enough.  But is it halfway forever or just halfway and all I have to do or say is that I need more and I’d have more?  But I’ve asked and the feeling was quash it, kill it, suffocate it. Maybe that’s not what was intended.  That’s what I’m supposed to do – find out what was intended.

 

 

 

 

How to Make a Mental Leap

It’s the title I’m putting on this post and I don’t know how to do it, but maybe if I assert that I already do know, I’ll figure it out.

I know that I have to suddenly become prepossessing.  I have to be able to be in charge.  I can’t dither, or dally, or leave a comma where it need not be.  I have to move mountains and light years and I’ve been given the direction that I should really have already pulled Fuji a few feet to the left.  Bare minimum.

I know this and I know I do not know how to do it.  I have been given kindly words by kind souls who believe or purport to believe in my skills, but I don’t know that those skills actually exist.  Maybe all of the lead-up to being in this job has been some sort of fever dream and I am awoke, ass on the pavement, blinking myself awake as though I’ve just been born.

What I thought was simple is not simple.  What I think is complex is meant to be the mental calculation of a moment.  It is humbling.

So I sat in a room and described how I felt I could do things better and one of those things is improving my connection to this level of work by improving my wardrobe and getting my hair cut.  I said I would do that, so I trotted out and spent a lot of money to have hair I like (though not the sort of hair that were I financially free I would choose.) Tomorrow, because the places I went today seemed to have inadequate quality fabric (though the sort of things I’d be perfectly happy to wear were I not shopping to look like I wanted to be employed where I am currently employed), we will go out into the world and buy something that upgrades some bit of old awful that I used to wear.

In the middle of this, J. is drifting in and out of consciousness on the phone with me as I encourage him to both sleep and eat at the same time because he hasn’t been doing either in a consistent way.  And he sounds pitiful and endearing and maybe a few hours earlier he’d told me I was beautiful so I think this is a good time to ask him to Thanksgiving.

I’d been thinking about this a while, but I still couched it in tentative terms.  Like, I know it’s forever away, and it’s so unlikely and dumb, but I wanted you to know that…like, the holidays are awful and hard and I don’t even know on the getting…but you’re invited to Thanksgiving.

An immediate thank you returns my volley.  An immediate “But I have to work the day after Thanksgiving.”  I say oh, okay.  There’s a few more encouraging blurts before I hang up the phone to go find the confident clothes that are going to transform my life.

I end up finding nothing.

The Whirling Fan

Don’t waste my magical writing time with nonsense.  Go to work.

It was a terrible day.  I screwed everything up. I forgot everything.  All my training evaded me.  All my plans fell to shit.  I got yelled at (or the disappointed, I told you, don’t do it again conversation with sternness enough that I am still quite quivery about the whole ordeal) and I am, ultimately, alone.

I mean, I have someone, but I can’t figure out how if this is the sort of having you have with someone who just happens to be taking the same bus you are.  A conversation that intimates nothing.  I want to know, to ask some authority, is this working or not working – what is real and what is just linguistic jiu-jitsu?  And are we all that safe either way?

Instead, I do what I do when I don’t know what to do.  I go and see my mother.  We don’t really talk about the events of the day because as soon as I come in the door after letting her know I needed to come for dinner because it had been a hard day and I had nothing really low-carb to eat, she says You Need to Be More Prepared!  And I won’t argue with the sentiment, because it’s true even if I find myself quite unable to knuckle down and open a laptop after a 10 hour day and face even one email with a questionably aggressive tone.  And they all feel a little bit aggressive these days.  Oh, gosh, it is just the wrong thing to say to a person after a day like this.

My mother.  I will not complain about her, but report this happening with more of a wry attitude rather than one of the usual frustration.   So of course, after feeding me the chicken and green chile and some jello with a heap of whipped cream and giving me her last two shakes in the whole of the world, she begins the quiz.

How long has it been for the diet?  How much weight so far? My answers: a week, and four pounds, six if you go back a bit, are satisfactory.  She gives me the rundown of how to do low-carb for the ninety-thousandth time.   This is not so much wry, is it?  I watch the news with her as we contemplate political eventualities.  I say I have to go.

She has no interest in J.  I have to bring him up if there’s to be any discussion and the discussion is more me venting about the surreal and frustrating nature of the thing.  She is both suspicious and entirely nonplussed.  Who he is and what he wants with me are of no import.  She’ll wait for me to sigh and offer something up, otherwise, it is entirely illegitimate and hell, she may be right.

Still, I leave, and the last thing I hear as I cross the threshold is “You’re getting your waist back again!”

Sigh.  I don’t know.