Friday, December 28, 2012

Poison and antidote

I don’t sleep well here but when I do I dream the thick black outlines of me are being erased. This is a messy undertaking. It leaves eraser residue all over the page. Soon, very soon, I will become invisible.

I only wear gray threadbare sweatpants and write long winded stories on the shower door with a felt tip pen. Then, I stand back and watch the jet of hot water make the ink run until not a single word is legible.

I wake up at dawn without ever setting an alarm clock. Alarmless is what I have become. Mornings hurt, like a dry thud or a weight, despite the clear, white light that streams in through the skylight I have stared up at since I was a child.

I lie there, and know that the routine that engulfs me is a safe haven, necessary. But it’s rubbing me out. The only thing that makes you feel alive is what is destined to kill you; and yet what is safe obliterates you. Poison and antidote, indiscernible.

Before swinging my legs out of bed I wonder if I should examine myself, like one would immediately after a car accident. I assume I’d want to check my most fragile places first, so I ask an expert in crashes if this is what one does. His sensible advice is to start where the pain is. Except, I don’t know where the pain is. It’s a thread, and it’s sticky and thick and black and it runs through everything, and it’s making a mess, just like erasing my outline would, leaving residue all over the page.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


I have a lot on my mind.

I have taken to getting on the bus and staying on it until the end of the line, then getting out and riding it all the way back. Being in transit gives me the illusion of a suspension of time.

While on the bus, I find solace in its uneven movement. I look out into the San Francisco night and its soft glimmer and am reminded just how restorative, how indispensable beauty is.

I eavesdrop on conversations, which tend to cast my own bright life in a different, more forgiving speckled light.

I let my mobile devices take turns and think, think and work in an ambulatory setting with an ever-changing view where I am not interrupted. The resulting, partially accidental productivity settles me.

I am weary of platitudes. I don’t need reminders of the value of life or the importance of love or our lack of control or how change must be embraced ugh bla bla bla I already know. I know.

My role in this bus is that of an anonymous, probably disheveled, mathematically middle-aged woman. I am no one's friend, no one’s coworker or lover or daughter or sister or tenant. I need to do nothing here. I am no one here, just the weak, see-through reflection on someone's large, dark window pane; the high pitched, possibly grating, foreign language phone conversation another overhears, perhaps casting his own life in a different light.

And I have the most beautiful city in the world displaying itself to me, and it’s just a bit beyond my reach because really I am somewhere else right now.  Somewhere that exists only in a girl I used to be.