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.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink--and live--what has destroyed some men.
Edna St. Vincent Millay, shared by Mike Stevens