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.