…And then came the awful moment last week when I realized I didn’t belong anywhere, to anyone or anything.
Not to Sterling…not to Fitz…and not to any of you guys out there…
I put my heart in my shoe and came out to stay with my mother, in the suburbs.
Now I ride the commuter train in and out of the city like a chump.
These commuter trains don’t allow for lots of people watching. The backs of the fake leather seats are too high. You can only see the people directly and diagonally across the aisle from you. I think that the setting gives people a false sense of privacy, just like the suburbs give them a false sense of security. I feel compelled to remind them that they’re going to die alone like everyone else, but I’m not sure how to do this in a way that won’t get me thrown off the train.
Today, there was a well-dressed lady with chic short hair across from me reading an international biz mag…she dug a manicured nail around in her ear for a good long time, and, as I watched, proceeded to stick the finger in her mouth.
Outside we pass row after row of filthy, empty trucks, air ducts like bellybuttons on the side of long, anonymous brick buildings, electrical generators like giant robot beetles, glowing red radio lights reflected in the yellowy march of the meadowlands…the skyways, highways, overpasses…
(I’ve got, one lonely life to live…
…white walls like movie screens…the city rising up in the background like a pasteboard pull-out…
(I’ve got, one holy life to give…
I hear one woman telling another:
“…you go home. Shove something down yr throat. Go to bed. Get up and do the same thing again. And again and again and again.”
I get off the train and I walk and I walk, sometimes for hours…up and down one street and then another, looking in the windows and peering into parked cars like I did when I was a little kid. This is not where I grew up but there are things that are similar. A lot of the smells are the same. Honeysuckle and rag weed and lawn chemical and barbecue…
…the smell of my joint as I look for the inbetween places to disappear into…
like a vacant lot…a rusted tent with a path behind it…a gravel trail leading into the trees behind the houses where the air smells like animals…
I step back out and admire the beauty of a cul-de-sac: how it perfectly illustrates that what we perceive to be the rising arc of our lives is really a glorified dead-end.
(I wish I had a bike, I’d ride it around and around and never stop)
I am not a cold person. I was born with ice in my veins, but I am also extremely sensitive. A ying and a yang...a white hat and a black one. The sensitive side has won…for the time being, anyway. I still reserve the right to turn myself off like a switch. I don’t know how much I believe in genetics but just given the historical facts it is safe to say I have bad blood on both sides. Murderers, to put it simply. But I’m not them and they aren’t me. I’ve tried to be good.
I didn’t ask to be born.You told me that I wasn’t tender enough.
You told me I didn’t know how to believe that someone could love me.
These are true. These are both true things.
Desire is not the weed in the garden. It is the garden itself. The neatly cordoned off bed of flowers. The plump, brightly colored vegetables.
Desire knows exactly what desire wants and it knows what belongs where, when.
Desire gages how high the vine should climb--
Our grandfathers could see the enemy—
A great tide of men coming straight at them, while they marched forward, at a brisk pace.
They heard the order “fire” and felt the blowback of the explosion, as their packs were thrown off them and their bodies were covered with a black dust.
Our grandfathers could see the enemy—
And in the inner cities and in foreign lands there are those who can see the enemy still.
But all we see out here is ourselves.
And people on tv.