It’s times like this when I wish the light had a name, the bookshelf had a face, the overgrown lazy chair said a thing or two.
It’s times like this I wish I weren’t so alone.
Loreena serenades in the background. The whip of the ceiling fan curdles the air, heaving on my face like so many damp sprinters. I’m leaning against the window sill, eyeing one of eight stuffed animals, propped against the door. His penguin feet are curved inward and I wonder about his pronation. Must see a podiatrist.
There are some today who said I hush the noisome silence with a frantic busy-ness akin to bureaucratic paperwork: it seems there is progress made, but really, just stacks of empty work. I would make a good politician’s wife, I think, handing out smiles and shaking sweaty hands. I wouldn’t like it, but it’s business, and something to do.
In between Enya and Loreena (I imagine them clasping hands on a castle-set stage), I sip crap wine. Some nights, it’s more the idea of coming home and relaxing with a glass than the quality of the wine itself I enjoy. And that, I believe, is the American way.
Someone asked me today what I thought, and the question ruptured my rhythm. Because I never know how to answer simple questions: I make them complicated. What does it matter what I think anyway? Does it matter to a lemon tree what a lemon thinks? It just grows, and, when too ripe, falls. Peter, Paul, and Mary will tell you: that is the bittersweet way of things.
But all of that has me wondering why I’m lying here, writing down the Kerouac’d thoughts that ride the road of my mind, when it matters not at all what I think. Not even the penguin cares, staring at me with wide-eyed cotton balls and webbed feet. The shaggy brown dog on my lap is not much better. Spineless fop.
I write, I guess, to be alive. Isn’t that why we get up in the morning, race to a job we hate, finish with a jaded glint in our eyes, and plop on a couch somewhere begging for whatever-and-tequila, no rocks? Yes, I think it is. We job, as I like to say, because jobbing is what we do. To feel blood in our veins, to be a part of things. To make money we hate that stretches the pockets of those we bear no respect, to sometimes sweat the small things like birthday presents and Christmas which demand from us ever more money than ever we have.
I guess, to be honest, I left work today with a glint in my eye. I biked to church, where I sang a hymn and told God personally I would do things—everything—just a little bit better this week. I said it with a kneel and a cross made of water. He knows better than all that, though. It’s just that … I don’t. Nobody does.
This, my friends, is a day in the life. Sad and disjointed, eh? How did Jack every make it straight down the road with so many side streets beckoning? For that matter, why the hell do we care Frost didn’t go straight? I’ve never gone straight, and look at me. Nobody buys my poetry.
To bed with me. And with you, probably. Stop reading drivel and find a laureate to coax some inspiration out of you. There’s something to be had in each of us, but there are times when our own searching never does us a bit of good.
Good night, then. I’m off to enjoy my inner sexual struggles and catch the last wail or three from Loreena’s sad ballad. I’m half sure she’s singing about me.