The man stood before the mirror and after a while then began to speak.
I have long had the idea in mind for some time that I could collect knowledge through amassing a collection of unread treatises. And that the act of gathering same from a multiplicity of remote happenstance sources that I would stumble upon provided me with a higher status of understanding. In truth of fact in terms of rational considerations the best this ongoing process could provide is a series of interconnected buzz words. A butterfly collector. The whole thing a self-delusional facade. My intelligence suspect as a pretense of possessing a lexicon of ideas by others that provided ammunition in didactic with others. Vocabulary versus comprehension. To find the self subsumed in a growing unconscious that demands the extinction of all thing past along for any continuation of it in the future. A nihilist! Caught up increasingly in a frenzy to supplicate the impossibility of a whirl wind of desires. A closed case long emptied of a fit cello to fake harmony upon. Unfocused desires obliterated in stagnation. Demoted by circumstance to an intellectual housekeeper. That unconscious death wish to suffer so many types of pain to justify persistent immobility. The world and being in it. And the world through an upper story window wholly removed from all but its persistent fantasy captivating one’s consciousness. No solid ground to rest on despite the illusion. Swinging past the handle bars arm over arm of vouchsafed quips and splintered phrases posing as knowledge. That dark ugly taciturn side within while resting calmly admitting nothing. Loss of memory an empty question somewhat like a half filled jar of sour milk.
It was dark. Somewhere between midnight and bewitching hour. Alright! I had to admit it, I couldn’t sleep. Who could sleep anymore at this age? You are more restless at night than you are during the day because you have to deal with yourself. Your desires and urges and failures. There is nowhere to hide. You can try to dive deep within a dreams but you know it’s only going to last for just so long. And then you are back, just sitting here, antsy and disturbed by what you cannot recall left with nothing to satisfy you. And so I found myself back once again. Resting up against that point of nagging fear of not being ‘right’ trying to propel myself forward. Loss. The loss of illusion with unerring fatal constancy. Perpetual whims followed up with momentary joy. Over ebullient words knowing a frailty from from those others that are no longer around. And how tenuous it is to know from point on that they can never be ever again. That was why I lived to complacent within this cold kingdom of stone and ice. Relying on the solidity of emptiness where nothing can be any worse. How can the seeds of a new love be found with anyone within this depleted universe?
Unfortunately I had been here before. And to my great shame shivering like a coward as before. I would not take up that challenge for fear of losing someone so wonderful. The silence spiriting them away into ether. To call it anything other than my own fault was ludicrous. It was after all my decision to not try again. All those kisses and the ocean of tenderness that had been missed. All the bliss of forming hopes that would not be shared. And the dreams that could have been enjoyed in mutual without grousing or grabbing. But now withering away somewhere sailing constantly along without me. I was a fool, and feared that I would always be such unless I could stomach change. What else is there in this world that has majesty but those feelings of being at peace with one? All things to all people. Everything wrapped up in asingular ideas, and desires, and hope.
I was a short unwanted misfit looking to love who he could. A Golem of sorts afforded rare opportunities that fell in-between. Too may fallow dry spells of periods of long solitude and being alone. How far from his ivory tower he looked down and wished for the warmth of the grass? For the sake of simple pleasure alone, what could have been? Brief in duration like grains of sand spilling from the palm of a hand. Only so long as one is note carelessness. Or as stable before an ill wind that will steal it away. Only empty sweaty palm memories of what might could could have been. “Oh dear! such passion and pain can be recalled!”, sez I. Passion is pain ever masquerading as happiness. Desire unsteady upon a tightrope always over a chasm of wait amidst mundanity. Things as they should be. But things as they never are. How can one find the tipping point of one’s sorrow? How can one suppress one’s temptation to joy? How is it possible to not float away from all this indifferent like a soap bubble? Uncontrollable and unrefined is there no solution to this shifting dilemma? Or is this walkway just froth upon a storm crossed sea? Battered up high in the expected conclusion. It seems a fair response to this dilemma that its experience known as involvement is an idea long devolved and totally disappeared.
How often those women I have known have frivolously tossed my affections into the grass! All those boyish enthusiasm’s often gone awry. That I have to sit upon this cold stone of sadness too long and then hoisted it up to rest it on my shoulder so as to carry it around. Then after so many years to complain about how to find a fit way to cast it off then begin again. This lodestone of love. This journey of a stubborn Sisyphus. Up the hill of desire for so simple a something as the brush of a touch. Some simple passing embrace. And yet that kind of warmth goes far beyond the ages! Sensation perhaps, but divine when meant? Shared molecules rubbing up against each other superficially exchanged. Yet, seemingly never lasting. No static implying stasis allowed in this universe! Only a want to drive forth, each in our own way, to bridge it again. Two ships scraping brusquely past, having collided unwarily within the empty night. Perhaps a full view of the deck of the other from the bridge? That single momentary instant surrendered to long memory. How sad, and yet how magnificent! No, I would not talk this sort of tragedy away, or try to explain it. But just hold on to it as long as possible. That is the beauty and genius of it all! To hold on before the freezing water pulls you down the surface disappearing slowly far above still posed up in that direction. How the moth loves the flame! And yet how the flame cannot help itself but consume the moth. Is this love? Yet, this is exactly how I have always lived my life.
A hand tightly clasped on cold stone. From anyone’s position on high to look up and down, and outward. The farther one sees the more one feels the majesty of the outside world. Yet one rationalizes the fact of how really small they are. How strange to be so small and yet see things so large? And then that desire to climb upwards ever further to attenuate that feeling. A need to touch, to embrace, to feel a blending into the other and then to feel that overlap within. How happy and yet so distant! For like everything, it is only a monastary desire. A momentary impulse. For one must ever move on. Perhaps we are all within an ocean of out own indeterminate proportions? And as we float by each era we touch and embrace and ever seek to find some stability. That, which of course, is impossible because like any other molecule we are all eternally destined to be bumped along a little further. One bump after another. Grasping at hopelessness and having it speed through ones fingers like froth from the waves. Again and again to rediscover happiness and then lose it in the next instant. Too damn hard a burden to bear! How solid one feels in one’s own arms? How solid one feels in another! And yet, and yet, and yet the story will go on.
This fiction of change layered upon that which one is compelled to learn and accept. Cessation and renewal. How wonderful to pass the torch and then realize that might well get passed around again. And all for what? To relive and live out yet another day of meaningless purpose driving one forth blindly to substantiate vague memories and loose impressions of a past that one has to struggle hard everyday to regain? Something to call one’s own. Something to stand beside and claim ownership of. How foolish is this man? How persistent, this woman! Of all things that one could have deigned to pursue within the mortal boundaries of this bi-polar world deferring to left and right, and up and down, and forward and backwards? Of cold and hot, and old and not, of few and many, and pinch and penny. And genius like pearls yet to be found. How silly and stupid it really is! I have to wonder what sort of bones I will leave in this strange amalgam of a chaos that I rest within?
The dream began when my ‘girlfriend’ of the time had asked me to take a short walk with her heading south down a major boulevard. We walked several blocks. After a while, the several blocks soon became a mile. Then the mile was a mile and a half. and suddenly we were south of the expressway by another mile or more. I began to feel queasy about the fact that given the persistent weariness that I had as of recently become accustomed to that the return journey would test what little physical reserve I had. I turned an eye to the neighborhoods now surrounding us. They were of a culture that I had experienced as a very young child. An ethic considered more stubbornly European especially in its residual hostility to outsiders. She kept up her end of the conversation without a pause or any regard for the possibility of unexpected random acts of malevolence. Now she was urging me on even further as she continued her one-sided discussion. I distracted from the ideas elucidated by her voice now plunged deep in the dilemma of how we would get back to home base as I had little money if any for a cab.
The sidewalk ahead was now old and broken large portions subsumed under muddy water. The largest swamp ridden depression carrying on for a half a block of sucking mud that would most assuredly ruin shoes or much worse. Instinctively I looked over to my left past the curb spying a gap where very small rivulet presented itself that was a mere step over to find solid dry asphalt. And without hesitation I made a bee line calling to her to follow me. I hopped over this insignificant obstacle expecting her to just behind me following suit. The dry pavement of the street was being ever more encroached upon by an ever larger puddle forcing me towards the median in the middle of the street where, my subconscious nagged, impatient traffic might recklessly come too close. Still believing that she was just behind with no traffic still nearby I crossed the street to the opposite sidewalk assuming that she was still dutifully in tow.
Paranoid of traffic overtaking me craned a glance over my left shoulder and darted across the street. All the while in terror that I may have led my companion into a fatal situation of being hit by a vehicle that might be a hair’s breath away from snuffing out me. A foot from the opposite curb I wrenched around just at the exact instant that she disappeared straight down into a hole into the sidewalk back over on the other side. She had been walking forward through the muck by herself and had incautiously stepped upon a clear plastic tarp that had masked an opening. I couldn’t tell from t he distance but I could envisioned her clearly in my mind somewhere in that pit so grievously injured that she couldn’t get out. My heart stuck in my throat I caught sight of another figure come up to help. The man first kneeling then flat upon his stomach reaching out to help her struggle out of the hole. With one mighty heave he hoisted her out. I ran back over to the other side and noticing as I ran that the opening was in the midst of a makeshift scaffold that was over a set of hidden stairs of a house. The set of same originally leading down underneath the street level. This situation suggesting that the adjacent two story frontage dated way back to the century previous before city streets had been raised to avoid constant flooding by lake. She seemed fine but now I sensed that because I had not been their there was now an emotional gap that had formed between us.
She pointed to a house across the boulevard and now she took off on her own expecting me to follow. There was a gravel driveway that led a short way back to corner angle of the one story flat where we entered. An informal party was in progress and it seemed as if it was a group of people familiar to themselves but still accommodating to our sudden appearance. My girlfriend sat next to a small table off to the side now somewhat aloof. I made the best of this development an was talking alternately to different members of the group yet always pointing my thoughts toward her. The more I did so the more she seemed less interested in the party and more indifferent to me. At one point I had walked into the next room to carrying on my part of a conversation briefly sitting upon a recliner. When I go up a few minutes later my girlfriend had unceremoniously departed. I felt a sensation of panic searching inside myself as to what I could properly say or do to get back into her good graces. But it became clear that she was gone for good. And I was here marooned in a room full of strangers and too soon become a ‘smelly fish’ without the fact of my girlfriends absence. So now with an ache in my heart and too extremely far south many miles away from my home with nightfall approaching. One less person that now knew me or cared the slightest about my prospective fate within an indifferent part of town. I felt crushed by a sense of profound yet very extremely familiar despair. “Not again!“, I sighed as I blacked out.
“I woke up this morning to find myself again still there looking in the mirror thinking, “When in the Hell will he get the fuck out of there?“