they weren’t under the black table standing guard in the middle of the living room. i checked pretty thoroughly. they weren’t under the cushions of my red couch. i couldn’t find them in the coffeepot or the bathtub or the drawer full of things i had forgotten. i didn’t find them in photo albums of a life i never had, smiling faces in the middle of nowhere. they weren’t bequeathed to me in my dreams or nightmares, or if they were maybe i just forgot. i found a man who had lost himself but he didn’t know where they were either. he searched for other things, like his soul. some people search for their husbands or wives, their mothers and fathers, their future children. i couldn’t see them in the sky, i’ve looked quite a bit and sometimes forgot what i was looking for. a boy once searched for balloons, they had flown away too far for him to see anymore, but he kept hoping they would come back. my cat searches for a red light that siren-like lures him to the edge of danger. they weren’t under the bed, nothing there but dust. i should clean soon. they weren’t in the poems i’ve read or the movies i’ve watched. i thought they were in the music once but they never sit still long enough for me to see them. i thought they were in your eyes but i was wrong. will i recognize them when they come? i wonder sometimes. what if they came and left and now it’s too late because i missed my chance to find them? some people look for their shoes or their keys or their sunglasses or their noses. the right shade of lipstick, the perfect ring. some people look for comic books or chinese food or little pieces of cut fruit. some look for the right answers or the winning numbers to the lottery. some people search for truth. i searched for truth once too. it was everywhere and nowhere. i’ve only just begun my search. i searched the empty cases that contained my memories. i searched my mother’s cooking and lessons and letters but they weren’t there either. i searched on an island, in fact i’ve searched a few. i searched where the bending backs of women made my own ache. i searched in the church down the lane from my pink house by the beach. i looked in the coconut trees in my backyard when summer didn’t exist. the man in the blue hat searches for the tune of the universe. i hope he finds it. religions search for god. i don’t think they found him yet. i searched in a book with all of the answers but they weren’t there. what if i never find them?
Monthly Archives: September 2013
Here are some things you should know. You should know that it hurt when you left the first time. I don’t remember the details but I remember the pain. You should know that I remember more than you realize and less than you imagine. You should know that I had much love to share but you didn’t let me share it with you. You should know that I cried every night because of you. You should know what it feels like to be me. You should know my anger at your selfishness, my terror of your hatred, my hope of your love. You should know that I tried to forget the bad things that happened, the foul words that scarred, the broken bits of my heart. You should know that I love you still but hate you just the same. You should know that I forgive your trespasses, will you forgive mine? You should know I have no companion in my solitude, you should understand how that feels. You should listen to me sometimes, then maybe you would know.
I was long once. I flowed to her waist as free flowing as feathers, as expansive as the sea. I curled in some places and stood straight as wire in others. When she was little I was clipped, and tied and twisted and bundled up. I was prodded and teased and pulled and harangued. I suffered from many things: knots, lice, gum, the occasional fire. I was braided for school, tied up in ribbons, swished around in a ponytail, but rarely hung loose. She soon forgot how to brush me and her fingers became clumsy without help. Her mother was gone and she couldn’t take care of me. So she neglected me for a long while. She washed me everyday but let me roam wild and free after that. She cut me once. I lost myself and my remains clung to her nape wishing to stretch once again. I was colored and snipped and bleached and harassed once more. She grew up a little and let me live once again. I broke free from all constraints and unruly flowed with the wind, cowered in the rain, and danced in the sunlight. I am becoming gray. Now I am two colors. Soon I will be one again.
I decided to be a caterpillar today. I slept a lot, encased in the cocoon of my blanket. I slid out of bed mid afternoon and began the tedious journey towards the kitchen. It took an hour. I crawled through my bedroom, the hallway, the living room, another hallway, the kitchen. I almost got attacked by a giant fly but he appeared confused or drunk and flew away. I felt warm and elated. I crawled up to the counter top. Another twenty minutes. I fell into a puddle on the way to the coffeepot. I was thirsty anyways. I crawled up the coffee pot. I wasn’t sure what to do after, had only thought this far. I had no leaves lying around. What do caterpillars eat? I was confused and didn’t like being a caterpillar anyhow. No hands and I didn’t much like the crawling around on my belly. Tomorrow I’ll be a kitten.
I don’t remember what happened after the first day with you that summer. I don’t remember your words when we said goodbye. I don’t remember the pain I felt at parting. I don’t remember ever having breakfast together. I don’t remember the way the sun lit your hair on fire that morning we talked on the front steps. I don’t remember the first drink. I don’t remember the very first kiss or the second or the third. I don’t remember crushing your ribs as I hugged you goodbye. I don’t remember your eyes, your nose, your chin, your smile. I don’t remember your breath on my skin or the way you held my hand or the way you made my flesh ache. I don’t remember the way you looked at me from across the room full of strangers. I don’t remember the nights we never wanted to end or the days that came too soon. I don’t remember the death of love. I don’t remember you.
Don’t let me fall,
Amongst prisons and prisoners,
amongst broken bottles and broken dreams,
amidst creatures of the dark, and shadows in the daylight,
Don’t let me fall,
in the hallways of Erebus, in the endless maze,
like a trapped rat, running along the path headlong towards death,
tempted by the odor of love, and riches, and cheese,
Don’t let me fall,
between hate and love, darkness and light,
outside of happiness, and comfort, and presence,
inside wells, and holes, and hell.
Do not let me fall,
without trying and failing first,
without the optimism of hope, and the lightness of love,
without friendship and respect, and freedom,
without the riches of equality adorning my life.
In sooth, I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you,
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff ’tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me
That I have much ado to know myself. (Act 1, scene 1, ll.1-7)
I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,
A stage where every man must play a part,
And mine, a sad one. (Act 1, scene 1, ll.79-81)
The man that hath no music in himself,
Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds,
Is fit for treasons, strategems, and spoils;
The motions of his spirits are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus.
Let no such man be trusted! (Act 5, scene 1, ll. 90-95)