Thursday, February 21, 2013

fumes

Went to see a good friend on the microphone tonight. Felt the way I always felt when I see someone dear to me doing something they are exceptional at--a mixture of proud, awe, and giddiness...how wonderful to be fortunate enough to witness others doing what they love. It is a beautiful, important thing to observe.

My intention was to go straight home after the reading, but I didn't. Instead my car found a parking spot on Baum and I ran all bundled up to Ava's door. I paid the cover and tried to ignore the fellow who immediately started insisting I let him buy me a drink. He kept asking, "what are you drinking? On me. What'll it be." I didn't know. And I told him that, "I don't know." I curled up on the barstool, nodded along to the band and pulled out my book to read. This is typical of me. When I'm not ready to go home, I go somewhere loud and familiar. I feel strangely safe shutting down here. I curl up, sip my drink and read. When B comes around with the sign-up sheet for the open mic I tell him no thank you. Feeling kinda down, not feeling it--reasons I give with a wave of the hand to the stage. This is not normal and I know it. I suck on my straw until only ice remains in my glass. I pile on my coats and I leave, feeling ready to face an empty apartment, the cold bed. A heat is building up my back. This heat I know is a weird kind of fury.

I am not one to get mad. Or at least not one to show it. I drove home tonight with that strange agitation rising and rising along the spine, heading straight for my brain stem. I'm not sure why. Life sometimes is overwhelming. Sometimes even piles of the good stuff makes me angry in a way I cannot define nor point to on a graph or map or artist's rendering. I'm restless. I should've scribbled my name on the paper and waited my turn on the microphone, perhaps. I don't know. One moment my heart feels swollen, ready to pop and drench the ribs in downpour. The next I feel embarrassed for being so red, so slick and exposed, hunk of meat that will rise and fall with pure want. A want of what? Again I don't know. Sometimes I wish someone would stitch me up. Sometimes I wish there was another body to fold into when I come home, an understanding where nobody has to say any words, as if words never existed. As if we drew ourselves and in this way we are real. As if the threat of erasure hovers always at our shoulders. I smiled at someone on the bus today and they looked away. Just meet my eyes and curl your lips in return. Be my mirror for a moment. Respond.

Tonight I'd draw a horizon and walk into it. If only life was a Peter Gabriel video. Or Petty, with his Alice missing hunks of herself, handed out in slices of cake. Or my lovely girl huddled in the belly of a playdoh bear. It's Thursday. I truly expected to feel little or nothing tonight. Instead all my nerves arc out like grass gone wild. I feel everything, love. Everything.

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