I’m feeling ugly this morning, internet. Everyone’s out here on the subway platform w their red pencils. Editing. Editing pages. Editing faces. Editing life. Making it more readable, relatable, easier to digest. But this morning, internet, I’d like to stick in your gullet. I’d like to stick around a while and make you remember why you usually skip breakfast, and just go for a cup of tea, before a heavy workout.
My mom says I should be less confrontational, oppositional, soften my edges. But this morning I’m all about lashing out. Makes it hard to have a six year old, who counts on my soft edges, makes it hard to squish into expectations.
This morning what I’ve got for you is loud punk rock and failure. I’m trying to be honest w you. But no one really likes honesty, they just like how much they can sell it for.
There’s a kid in a stroller. A boy, if gender norms are to be believed. He’s dressed in brown boots. He’s got jeans and an orange jacket. He’s got a tear in his eye that shines like crystal. He puts his fingers in his mouth but his mother takes them out again. Expectations are a bitch. “Fuck straight teeth,” I want him to yell, “I wanna suck my fingers!” But he doesn’t. Instead he continues to silently weep. Hell, at least it’s silent. Praise the Lord for small blessings.
I think about leaving the City. I capitalize it because there is only one. I visualize where I would want to be. A low house with Windows that all face out the back, into a rippling stream and a deep woods. Hyacinths that breath out their heady odor. And me in the grass. Me being part and apart. I search on craigslist for “personal paradise.”
Stress stresses me out. I think I have an anxiety disorder bc of all the can’ts. Can’t sleep can’t stay awake can’t eat can’t stop can’t focus can’t disengage can’t stop thinking about the abducted children being pressed into service as suicide bombers, like so many bouvier de Flanders dogs sent out to disarm the French mine fields after WWII, in the most obvious way possible. Release the hounds. Suffer all the little children come unto me.
The child’s mother has a concave stomach. This indicator, indicator of what, a good gene pool? Hearty discipline? Lack of appetite? Youth? Physical signs, clues of what a life is like on the inside. Are they clues or are they fictions? Are they indicators of anything other than a desire to meet a given set of expectations? To represent what one wishes reality to be? Or are they nothing? I’d rather not represent my life or my lifestyle in my look. I’d rather my look indicate that I’d rather be left alone, and I achieve that look by looking like nothing, no one, a person to look past, a person to not see. That didn’t used to be my approach. I used to dress in a manner that told people quite directly that I wanted to be left alone. But it was too loud, and I got a headache. Plus others who wanted to be alone talked back, telling me about their aloneness, and then I wasn’t alone anymore, which defeated the whole purpose.
Maybe Earth is the Hell we’re all desperately trying to avoid, with small, beautiful blips of joy, just so we know what we’re missing up there in the great and glorious heavenly expanse. Hell must at least bear some similarities to a local train on a rainy rush hour morning. I can’t always find the out, the resiliency to face the day, the smile for strangers, the turn the other cheek. And when I can’t, well that’s when I rely on my New England upbringing, which tells me “fuck your feelings, just power through.” The fuck is from the midatlantic, but the rest is frigid cold glory all the way, puckered face like life is a lime wo vodka and I’m desperate for the vitamin c.
Go on then, face the day. The worst it can do is knock you down. And eventually something will anyway.