There’s a Myna Bird in the tree across the street, looking for a mate. He calls for his love all night. I lay in a dark room listening to his lonely song. There is a crack on the wall that grows one centimeter a day. Below it is a picture of Buddha. Some nights it’s hard to believe it can get so hot when the sun is planted on the other side of the world. Some nights it hard to believe there is a world at all. The window allows thoughts like these to enter and stagnate in this little apartment of mine. The fern droops but the aloe plant refuses to bend.
Nothing can solve or salve me at this point.
I lay in bed thinking about what to wear tomorrow. Then spend ten minutes contemplating my vanity. I’m a punk. Not like a mohawk-punk, like a coward-punk. Beautiful memories fall through my ugly mind like painful confetti… “Curbs are great for kissing tall guys.” Her blonde hair draped across my pillow. The reflection of blood red brake lights on wet asphalt. The confetti piles up. The bottom of my brain needs to be swept. I have no idea what that broom would look like. My brain looks like a sloppy jack-o-lantern.
My fingernails are too long. I dig them into my skin to make sure I’m awake. I then imagine my dream girl I haven’t yet met looking up from the book she’s reading in the coffee shop we haven’t yet been to. When we do meet, it’ll be like surfing one long wave back to shore, back home.
If you made the soundtrack to my life it would be the sound of a truck backing up.
In the morning I get up and place post-it notes around my apartment — on the TV, on the refrigerator, on the mirror — instructing me to do everything I’m terrified to do.
Follow your dreams…
Open up your heart…
Write that novel…
I’ve never had a child, never held him/her in my arms, but I imagine it must feel like that moment when you kiss your love for the first time and your heart does the cha cha and the future is projected on the inside of your eyelid. Not just because of what you’ve created, but that you weren’t alone in the magical process; you are not alone, not now, or anymore, and the rain cloud of separate-ness finally clears. Like everything, it doesn’t last, and you’ll essentially be alone again, but for a few moments you experience shimmering joy. You feel connected. Maybe that’s why some 16 year old girls so desperately want a baby despite economic realities and why some 35 year old women yearn for their fifth or sixth, in spite of everything.
I walk to my car thinking about a tattoo I’m going to get. The Northern Lights radiantly coloring the sky, a snowy Earth below, a Caribou trampling through the white, a Viking ship funeral pyre, ablaze, the fire dancing on the sea — painted across my arm.
Between the here and now and your dreams is a place called doubt.
I unlock my car door and crumple my body to get in. Already the things I have to do today weigh on me. Finish the scripts. Go to the grocery store. Do the dishes. Call the cable company. Plow through another day. The drudgery of it fills the car. I turn the key and start the engine. A plane traverses a blue-as-fuck sky. The sun shoots out fireballs. A man with a dog waits for it to shit on the lawn.
We all have work to do.