Sunday, September 14, 2008

these words are my own...


i flip through my notebook looking for ideas to write about. Yesterday morning at 5:43am i finally decided to sleep. Right now it is only 12:21am. i have plenty of time. i read this:

____ALL my tiny days,
____(ask me again
____these moments that we'll forget
____(the real me's gone to the beach
____each morning the curtains remind me who i am
____(the sheets have stolen my dreams:
________some things we cannot trust to starts
________(fate has never run on time.

____i am only love left (thus am invisible)
____(ask me again:
______(i have no answers but the shape of my name fading.

there is no date. But i remember writing it. Those words are my own.

When i was much younger, perhaps 17-18, something like that, for a year or so i wrote this stanza into almost every page of my notebook, all my lecture notes, simply wrote it onto every piece of paper i could find:

____a cast for an outcast
____the die is cast,
____all that's left is past.

It meant nothing to me. i had no idea what it was, where it came from, other than it was perhaps something to use as a mantra. Eventually i studied it long enough- like an organic chemist trying to sense the structure of a molecule with experiments and notebooks with sketches and formulae, to pin it to some meaning.

The reason the title of this post is these words are my own is because that song makes me happy. and i want to write something happy. i want to be miraculously, purposelessly happy. i think tomorrow perhaps i might be. For no reason other than no-reason (which has historically not been a good enough reason).
____it is an odd thing, i'm not really sure if anyone has noticed, but... when i want to write about happy thoughts i make them up. Usually i write about little girls. i imagine them with light brown curly hair. almost red. (though that reminds me that it is genetically near-impossible for my children to ever have red hair, and that then makes me sad). in tutus. a mild belly protrusion- that's key. Also the word koshtee, which in Farsi means 'wrestle', and which is a game i play with children who will indulge me. In fact, to most parents' irritation, no evening is quite complete without a full-scale koshtee-session. In Haifa, we would sit around the living room eating our dinner, plates on our laps, the nine-year-old would eye me sharply, mouth: just you wait. To which I'd respond: it's your turn to die tonight. To which her sister would laugh and say: ha ha! it was my turn last week. 'To die' is not that bad. It just means you get more bashed. (to 'bash' is not that bad. it just means that i will pick you up, throw you around a bit, then pretend you are stronger than me, let you pile-drive me to the floor, where i'll make agonizing moans, before lifting myself back onto my feet- usually with you hanging off my neck reciprocating my agonizing moans, while your little brother bites my knees (because that's how tall he is) and says haaaa-yyyaa about three pitches too high to be anything other than adorable) while your parents shake their heads at me and say: aren't you tired yet?, which is an idea they have because of the beads of sweat on my forehead. Usually i'd signal that it was koshtee-time because i would take off my tie. (and my watch). (these are some of my happy thoughts). (but i do not want past-tense happy thoughts).

So i venture to make present-tense happy thoughts.

12:44am. Monday. This room has no air. never ever did. It is a double bed. I rather dislike double beds if i am sleeping alone, exaggerates the fact i am sleeping alone. and i hate sleeping alone, it is much too quiet. there is too little movement. In a corner of the unused territories of my much-too-large-double-bed lies a grey zip-up hooded jacket. the Consolations of Philosophy lays half open to the chapter on Seneca. An empty bottle of water on the floor. a brown plastic garbage bin that i remember being around when we moved from Africa to America in 1989 (seriously). Why it is still with us i cannot fathom. The lamp besides my head is on, there are too many books cluttering the switch to turn it off so i don't try. the Art of Algebra __the Best Australian Poetry 2005 __How the Stock Market Works __Rabbit, Run __A Very Short Introduction to Economics __Ulysses __the Scales of Justice __Kafka on the Shore __the New Poetry (an Anthology) __Nowhere to go & other poems __SELECTED POEMS of Christina Rossetti __Revolving Days (Selected Poems of David Malouf) __the Autograph Man
i am not finding non-reasons here to be purposelessly happy. i am troubled by this (since i have clearly decided to be purposelessly happy)

(i close my notebook, there was nothing useful in it for tonight). (i sigh- partially because there is no air in this room). (the Consolations of Philosophy wants some attention). then it occurs to me where a happy-thought can be found. If you are alone at 12:58am on a Monday with no foreseeable life-altering event to be welcomed with sunrise, what do you do? (only Ashley would know the right answer) Make a bowl of cereal, and crunch away some of the darkness in the kitchen, where at least there is more air. And in any case, i claimed to Golriz last week that i was the Resurrection of Ovid; who was exiled. and Seneca was asked to kindly off-himself at the request of Caesar, which clearly is a little worse. Both were wise enough to know the benefits of a mouthful of crunchy-nut cereal and a lungful of air.

i am to find my happy, present-tense thought.

i am sorry this post sucked soo bad.

[shrugs. looks away a little awkwardly. then, realizing no one is going to say anything, gets up from the tangle of wires around his bed, and walks towards the dark kitchen]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite posts to date.