The Space You Left Behind
Fiction from Friction
Most of my life I was unsure that I was necessary. I thought life’s disconnections less and impressions and the processes of my perceptions. I stood tall but was barely an onlooker gazing at a meaningless game; distantly I theorized all over it and defined nothing, and as my repetitiousness faded, I titled myself an Indirect Object.
I clearly recall the moment your zen evaporated and I wanted to tell you; unable to remember a suggestion with any purpose, I said: It doesn’t matter.
You moved your lips but silent sentences met my eyes and I wandered to the next idea that my words would shuffle into incomplete sentences and sort of collapse, like a song that ends abruptly and leaves you feeling slightly violated, in a way that makes you think you may have just been had (I wonder where that “been had” expression originated).
You watched me stand up and walk out the door; you were now left to repair your balance as I was going to hope for mine. I felt the late evening burning dread down the hillside.
I am a very good fiction writer.
September 18, 2009
“No Accidents Permitted.”
The tin sign in my mother’s guest bathroom still cracked me up whenever I read it. But I was long gone well before then; I laughed at everything those dark days.
“Your dinner is at the grocery store,” I read the sign on the mirror which sealed my agonizing fate: I was probably going to starve to death. I tore the note down and flushed it down the toilet. I giggled and remembered how this was going to be the summer of my liberation, reinvigoration, inspiration… and god dammit! I was going to make a big deal out of it.
Of course I did not know how I would execute this fluffy goal. I used my new dance technique and waltzed the hallway pretty well all the marble floor was covered with my shoes and ended up I the kitchen. I grasped a butter knife and imagined myself cutting an onion loaf, then gasping as I cut the bread while it shrieked in agony. I said softly and condescendingly, “Bread. You are food and you shalt not scream,” to which the poor loaf replied, “Take the margarine! It isn’t even real butter!” I roared madly and swayed over the cutting board dizzily contemplating my state of mind.
Man, do I need a plan.
I need a plot: A sketch, a motive, an order; a lot of rich ideas in a conscious and chronological structure to guide my inattentive idleness in a clear direction.
I tossed the fake loaf into the trash and headed out the side door for a morning stroll through the swampy, wealthy, expensive, gated neighborhood. I headed east with my pocket compass functioning – I tended to get lost with or without it – but I had it so that this way I had something to blame for my directional mishap, should the case come up.
The deep south had a strict manner of informing and reminding one how unnatural the great outdoors were when one found oneself outside in the thick of it. I sweat like the born northerner who I was while the bugs of impossible shapes and sizes collided with each other in midair trying to bite, sting, kill and who knows what else they had on their dirty little cell-sized minds when they hissed and spit at me. From the moment I had shut my mother’s screen door to when my new Converse touched the asphalt of the sidewalk, the waves of buzzing tore at my eardrums. The nagging lack of stability and my unusual equilibrium was a growing concern for me as I grew older and less balanced, but today’s disconnection I encountered in the southern heat was all too much for me – every time I staggered towards it.
Centuries later I was at the end of the driveway, I wiped the sweat off my brow with the back of my forearm and gazed at my mother’s house reconsidering my walk and other life decisions that only I could remember. Instead of going on or turning back, I stretched my arms in front of me my hands facing outward in front of my chest and I fell straightforward, down into the thick swampgrass of the lawn – a move of nonstrategic condemnation – where I expected nothing else but my mind to take inventory of my intentions.
“Don’t sit and think, sit and write.”
The desert in AZ driving with my dad (2009)
The weather inside was as bad as it was outside. I found the last of the coffee and set a pot on the stove to brew. I could hear the wind in the windows seeping into the living room and I sat in the old oak rocking chair and waited.
I raised my tired eyes to my dangling bangs. Mom told me to get a hair cut before the funeral but the consequences never crossed my mind. The mirror was behind me, so I stood up and watched myself carefully. I used to trust mirrors until I saw other people’s reflections in them. Everyone trusts that the mirror reflects the image one sees, but not me – not anymore. Episodes of false intent made my heart pulse sickeningly and reminders of the images long gone were not to be tangled.
How can you validate/verify/trust your existence?
First of all, you must admit that you are going mad. Loco. Insane in the membrane. You must shatter that mirror, stomp on your shadow, suck helium from an innocent child’s birthday balloon, where your bra or underwear outside of your clothes, drive your truck from the backseat, eat bugs, smile all the time even though your face hurts and your friends have written you off, read the paper upside down, chant in squeaky one-syllable throaty grunts, declare your royalty to your friends and enemies – you can probably conjure many more extreme monsters than you want to think about.
Shall I stop here?
Consider this story.
(Remember – if you are trying to find yourself, don’t do it here.)
Something was missing.
I untangled the telephone cord from my arm and I watched the distorted reflection of myself in the glass of the China cabinet; my eyes glazed over and my lips curled dryly against my teeth, possibly as an expression of suspicious hesitation. I glared at the mouthpiece of the phone and I was nodding my head as if I might be acknowledging the end of all calls – forever and ever, amen. Blinking slowly, deliberately, and knowing my lack of focus would be nonexistent if I had slept longer – or gone to bed earlier – or could decide if I was a night person or a morning person – or neither, I instantly changed my mind again. I would never make another clear decision as long as I should live. That was a stupid decision, you are thinking, for a person who, only a few words ago, declared she would never make another decision. Pensive and perplexed, I knew something was missing.
My mom told me that my writing often started with the pronoun “I” and I considered this her way of telling me that I was a narcissist. But I am not.
I may be a narcissist but at least I am writing in first person. Pronouns are nouns of perspective. They also help one to not repeat the nouns they represent. AND writing in second or third person would be ….. nevermind. Wendy is not finished here. Pronouns versus antinouns.
Back to my anti-story.
Something was missing. I slid away from my claustrophobic non-reaction and I started all over again.
Do you remember the day you finally called me back and forgot to tell me how you finally remembered why you forgot the reasons which caused you to forget to call me earlier?
I don’t recall reminding you to rehash your reasons. You were too much to take and I wouldn’t take much more than you had to give because I am forever broken with inhibition. You are too much for me to absorb and too much to take and how much I wouldn’t take than a few more of your giving me that much more passion of the lack of what I didn’t miss in on the out.
This ain’t no story. This ain’t no goddamn coffee house. This ain’t you and it ain’t me.
This is not your favorite summer. The smile of the patio furniture and the unbending smirk of the tattered lawn chair reminds you of the birth of your words, echoed in silence and magnified by the PTSD you will never recover from because your mind reminds you of how close pre-traumatic stress is blazing through the drawn curtains of your shaken heart and jittery pulses of neuotic blood pumps normally but your synapses won’t let you interfere. But you paid a lot of soul cash for these moments – you wouldn’t change a thing anyway (would you? could you?); your life is about to begin – any second now – you can feel it…
The air suspiciously reeks of cherry wheat ale and fresh factory plastic; winter is far away and so are you. Like every sunrise you slept through. Like each bad habit you enjoyed. Like me.
The time arrived again. You vill sit and you vill enjoy it.
You will mind your manners just like I told you.
You can’t seem to get out of your head, even though we told you, “There’s nothing to worry about.” Or when we said, “Relax, just calm down.” Or your favorite, “Don’t worry. You worry to much. You need to stop that.”
You wonder why you didn’t tell them the truth. Your truth is that this is not your favorite summer. You aren’t worried about anything and no one gets it because they are not aware that their wise words will change you. If one more person tells you that you’ve got to stop worrying, you may not be able to explain to them why because they are ignorant and self-righteous – they are not not not trying to help you – they are saying those words that make you want to die because you are anxious and you live with it every day and every moment you pray to be calm (even for ONE day), but you nod and hope you will die because you can’t survive surrounded by fear. “Don’t worry,” and you say in return, “OH! I will stop worrying right now! Good idea, fcuk-face! I forgot that I could just turn off chronic anxiety disorder! Silly me!” Of course, then your heart would palputate terminally. That will teach those calm assholes.
Your friends didn’t call, text, email, didn’t leave you a message in a bottle, didn’t meet you by the rocky beach. Seismic waves.
No smoke came from the chimney.
This is not your perfect weather. Please hold your breath as the thermal nuclear radiator opens its doors.
Um. It really depends on whether there is a change in the weather. Take a seat. You are brilliant, except today. Today your brilliance has been replaced by radiance.
Every word (sound) is a vibration, every vibration controls and sustains the universe.
Below has nothing to do with the unfinished entry above.
Readers: The article/sales pitch below is __________ and more infuriating than _________ and this dude must be __________ and ____________. Please read it and send me your reactions/responses. I found this site to be as hilarious as it is insulting to semi-educated people everywhere.
Unless it works. If so let me know and burn me a copy. Hehehehe.
Good night, moon….
Spare Some Change?
Changing the first thing you want to say to the world is never easy; it’s not impossible and it is inevitable – if you never try to change anything you want to say anyway, and you never change, do you?
I let it go and then you brought it right on back.
Changing the first thing you want to say to the world is never easy; it’s not difficult either – if you never try to change anything you want to say anyway, and you never change, do you?
Here is a lesson I have been hoping to learn.
I rehearsed for years before you let me audition. I wrote words for myself until I told you I was writing. I want to start over. Maybe get a new job in a new town; maybe the short side of the stick will be the method I take to find the path and I will be on my way. Maybe everything I don’t like and all the wrong I see along the street each day will vanish and anything I say will be the right words and I won’t have to rehearse and all of this will be okay.
My little spell on you that I cast was just a fraction of the world and a decimal point farther than the grammatical issues you all are facing every single day. Don’t be shy; I have the resources and won’t think at all about explaining the correct way – for sure I will ask you something about a problem I can’t solve someday.
I have to be grateful for those who have destroyed me as much as I am grateful for those who have mended me.
Here’s a little lesson I never wanted to learn.
* Random quote from the heart:
“Drink up and be somebody!” – Denver Joe
“You can’t do anything if you’re nowhere.” -Dufresne
Critical Awareness of language -> Connects ->
Extraordinarily tangled language
Profusion of imagery
Repitivie hope – failure pattern of plot
Intense and brooding characters
Moral verus Existentioal
Heresy of – speculation, in terpretation, self0inquiry, theory
existential tension between binaries – pure change and pure continuity
metanarratives (and the social dynamics within…)
Sadly, many – most people will never experience in a weekend, maybe even a lifetime, what I must endure in an evening… or maybe a weekend. Oddly obvious as confusing and after a thought or three, dismissed like you blankly seize the tension, you choke it down and remember that just yesterday you had no regrets, no mercy, and you were okay all along. BUT! YOU were the fastest sperm your daddy happened to be in the right place at the right godamn time; ain’t that a peach?
Some days you are inbetween the other days – caught, like Robert Smith of the Cure made us see more clearly.
I attest that I recognized myself slipping away, and the momentum of the rolling at the speed at which I was slipping downward, that I was in trouble, I was concerned that I recognized that I knew this.
Did I have a choice, or did I have an option; perhaps a window of salvation, a crack in the wheel, or was this simply whatever happened just was what it happened to be, and I was responsible for the effect I had caused.
Now being conscious of your choices was the cruelest of all human intelligence. Especially when you note that the best revenge is the idea that life is a canvas of randomness.
“Most of all, this unclear map is your guide.”
Johnny and I realized that this was yet
another grand opportunity for very inappropriate giggling.
Everything seems (just fine)
Behavior, attire, as much as who do you havehave on your arm
Beuutiful deduction but what is seem how can one dare
I may be grinning this time but axiom’s not clear
Break down (intuitiom) on our kneews
Why much to bargain before I figure out some more
Please wake me up and shake me
Please allow me to please shut my telephone off
I broke into a sweat as I paused and completed my phrase; I sweat because I was warm from my two-mile bicycleride to capus and I sweat from my warm confusion.
When the Dean inquired as to whether I was okay, my perspiration increased so I cautiously bended my interpretation of perceptions of the conventions of any perception that the Dean may have preconceived of my undignified appearance.
I received my Bachelor’s in English that semester. Thank you to the Dean of English for not letting my body temperature warp her perception of my academic performance.
The present has/is intense these past few weeks… or has it been months? I have always desired to be a “cool” soul – a liveinthenow – a prresent tense prophet, but I am occasionally aware of the opposite of the absence of the intensity that surrounds me.
The absurdity needed to stop, for the sake of the astute. I yeilded to the connections.
“These sequences were not chronologically driven,” I told the class, and I could honestly open a release.
Clean Livin’ (part iii)
This morning I chose to picture that my life was fine, and mentally, medically, for the purposes I sought, I made an impressive impression on my outlook from this insight. So I skipped, hopped, and flung myself and my newfound portrait of purpose to the bus stop, disregarding the waning that came with my prescribed medication which read under the section titled Possible Side Effects, “to call your doctor immediately if you have an exaggerated sense of well-being.”
But I was busy being happy and feeling quite well, I blatantly neglected my brain’s activities and festivities and thus arrived at my place of employment and pursued my daily ritual of being the best webmaster in the state of Colorado and I could pay my bills.
But later that day, I looked around and I was missing.
We weren’t ten minutes into the movie when Also’s date, Carla with the pink Cadillac, began screaming and kicking her legs against the seat in front of her, kernals of her large popcorn exploding and floating lightly in the space around us and the bad shade of purple was deeply etched in my mind while Aldo stood and asked her, “are you okay” and I reached into my vision to seize this flurry and invent the event with some significance. I restrained her until the staff took over and shortly after came the paramedics. The movie theatre staff manager thanked me and I huffed and said “no sweat” and I wavered, stepping backward and downward on the slippery painted concrete steps.
Ambiguity and Madness
I sure wish I had something to write about
I wish I had something to say
I wish I had a little stability
But what good is stability anyway
Do you think as you see yourself thinking
Do you think you like what you see?
I’ve been way long gone for a long, long time
Please don’t tell me where you’re going
I won’t ask you where you’ve been
I’ll come back as fast
When I’m unbroken
These days meander empty without you
These days wander lost in ambiguity
To hell with possibility anyway
“Can’t you see that I am in peril?” I knew all eyes were upon me; expected that my nerves would cool and I would totally break this recognizable yet unusual entanglement and I cursed under my breath, but that action tickled my throat to no mercy. I got the hysterical giggles at our Lucky Strikes show in the middle of “Stars Go Blue” which is a hilarious song to begin with.
Everyone should enforce good manners.
Everyone but you.
Anyone but me.
Back to the story.
Sometimes its the story starts right smack dab in the middle.
This is where I would like to begin. So yes, that is agony without the delightful hope which is sometimes a denotational intentional noun – intangible. I am on Mark’s laptop and I am unemployed but that is just twice this month… I feel shame. Peril. No hope. Happy to be alive and scared to the living end to be alive. Keep in mind, I can’t control my head’s little mental _____ but I sure as hell am feeling that this is no time for me to think, my love. I have to be a player and I am not savvy to advice but I suggest that a sound judgement of me that would be adorable to boucily resonate around my head while I pace about and my stupid stuborn brain is thinking that maybe my bad luck – MAYBE – “How am I living?”
Now I am having a Class C panic attack.
I have to do what I have to do
Because it is what it is and
I can only do what I can do
If the universe ….
NOT EVERYTHING is PARALLEL!!!
Not on my time. No way.
No one deserves the right to make you feel like a bad person.
Dear Reality Show Television Recruiter:
I accept the challenge to audition for your show. And yes, I do know a bit about videos.
Not only do I own quite a few of them (both Beta and VHS) but I also have cable television at my house and I have seen movies on a drive-in screen while passing through town on Santa Fe Drive; I rent to own and have credit at blockbusters, and when I blink rapidly, I can pretend to be watching one on a film projector like back in elementary school.
I would like to be a big shot rock star and occasionally make appearances in major films, documentaries, and music videos.
I may start my ideas and paragraphs and topics thus:
But that forecast was the same:
Or that one blog on livejournal; some college kid who just starts each entry with “Today I realized….” and explains her day. I think that it is quite smart and may actually try to do that exercise here soon – that way if it doesn’t work for me, you may judge my results accordingly.
After blinking involuntarily for the creeping recognition of the totally obvious, the most simplistic answers begin to noticeably affect our effect.
This was the same lack of coping skills.
Fall: (noun) to pass from one condition to another.
“Tempting,” I said.
“You must be crazy, I say to her,” Cece is always on top of those old brownstone steps waiting for the moment to come alive.
Today and yesterday won’t compare to next Friday.