Sunday, May 24, 2009

silence: a jeremiad.

untitled, .littlegirlblue

but the quiet is another thing altogether. i cannot bear that moment. i sit a moment with the stereo still on. look outside. dark grass is an inimitable color. it has been raining. the air will be fresh. take consolation in that i tell myself. finally, i turn the key in the ignition counter-clockwise, click, and silence. there's no point making excess noise i get out, it's the wrong kind of noise. it's a... the sound after the end credits. the nothing. i stand on the street, my feet in a thin layer of post-rain wetness. steps. keys in locks. the house sleeping, it won't face me as i walk in. my room is just a big shadow. i always turn the dimmers down low before i turn the light on, the last thing i want is some bright surprise. you scare away the shadows too soon you piss them off. they just sit and wait, when they come back they're meaner and spiteful as all hell. so i'm carefull with them, don't scare them all away with too sudden a move. when i step into the room i make sure my footsteps are smooth and gentle. i'm scared of my own damn wood floors. the dimmers are set the light comes on gently. just a glow. the shadows recoil but i can still see them huddling together under my coffee table, behind the books on my shelf, on the far side of my bed that's reserved for inexplicable loneliness (i won't go near there it's my bed i still only sleep on one side). i undress. slowly. all i can hear is myself. steps. clothes. the wardrobe sliding on its rails it makes me sick in my stomach i don't know why. for no reason at all, in my underwear i pull out the piano stool (clenching my teeth and making a perturbed look ahead of time i hate the noise of the stool when i move it). i sit and it creaks. ruffle of papers.

Erik Satie, Gymnopedie #3.
you don't have a moment like that, something soo extraordinarily out of this world that when played angels feel their feet sink deeper into a cloud and they're pulled down momentarily because even they can't escape the gravity of such beauty. nothing like that. predictable. it meanders. just steps lightly (1, 2, 3; 1, 2, 3) from chord to chord. but my hands love it. my hands look back at me in the backseat shutup stop being such a kill joy, we're enjoying ourselves here i nod, yesyesyes, no problem. maybe carpenters understand. bassoonists. professional hand-holders. it is a sort of dance. the hands prefer certain motions. certain positions. there's a moment where the right holds a D-natural and the left plays a chord around it (my hands feel soo close, soo intimate when i play that part). yesyesyes they say. just kinda strolls along. kicking a rock here and there. a steady rainfall, stands for nothing. finally it ends. a lower chord than one would intuitively expect. i push my hands into the keys a little too hard, i like it, it turns it into a 'moment' (i hear the piano exhale a little uah). it's one of those moments... you've been talking all night, finally somebody summons the courage to lean in for a kiss, something like that, one of those moments. you can walk away and say, yesyes, something did actually happen, i felt something in my chest, i am (despite contrary evidence) alive. i stop.

quiet again. relentless god-damned silence. how will i escape you? i stand. dress. lime-green Calvin Klein pyjama bottoms with a sweater my friend gave me in Madison.
"keep it."
"what?, why?"
"i want you to have it."
"dude, i'm a guy, i'm not your girlfriend."
"no-homo, i promise... i just... i don't know why, i want you to have it."
"will it make you feel better?"
" ... yeah; i can't explain it ok?, "
"all good bro. no worries."
i've been wearing it ever since.

in the back of my mind i hear all the blahblahblahs. my own. i've been sidestepped out of one conversation. another group stands silently. a guy has his back to me. i'm uncomfortable a moment. then a latino girl looks up at me. i'm two feet away from her. she looks at me. i look back, nothing comes to mind. "you know, this is that moment where if no one says anything it gets really uncomfortable." (she smiles)
"what should i be saying?"
"don't say anything about the weather."
"what about your sweater?" (my sweater says 'I [adidas symbol] Adelaide')
"i'm repping my home-town. kinda." (and we're off).

half a dozen conversations later: a drunk girl with freckles and gorgeous blue eyes i can't stop looking into sits on a chair opposite me. i like her fingers. her fingernails. they're small. childish. she reminds me of child. i watch her hands move around as she gestures. she's drunk so i don't care what she thinks of me staring at her eyes and hands. the blue of her eyes is a little too dark, it makes no sense. i don't understand. in my head i keep thinking: faded orthodox church roofs. salts in test-tubes in chemistry labratories. the dark clouds approaching. i am unsatisfied. what color is it really? i get up to leave. i'm hesitant, i know if i leave there will be a silence waiting for me at home. it's an ocean. soo large. sometimes i sit at the beach, and i hear nothing. i don't notice any sound at all. just weight. the weight of the stars. the weight of the future. the agoraphobic tremors the ocean induces. is there a name for fear of infinity? for fear of eternity? for fear of asymptotes? endless lines that never reach anywhere. for fear of everything that lies beyond my nonsense blahblahblah and my stumbly uncertain hands gesturing wildly and my eyes hoping to see you look past the act.

"well, next time."
"next time in France."
"in 2 days i return home."
"oh my, well then. safe travels, it's been fun."
she gives me a suspicious look. i've only spoken to her twice. (by now i've left the girl with the freckles and the Sinatra eyes. i've shook some hands, and had a laugh with the boys, and left my pint-glass full of water by the sink).
"it's been fun?"
she doesn't trust me. she looks at me intently, like she's waiting for me to turn into a dragon or something.
"we've only spoken twice, but i have enjoyed both tremendously. and i genuinely wish you a safe trip home, and i hope that these few months will be beautiful memories for you always."
she's taken aback. she had expected something more sleek. more... charming than honest. she smiles, she's happy with my response. she puts her arms out wide for a hug. i step in hesitantly, but who'm i kidding i haven't been hugged in three days and i'm dying for it. i hold her tight and notice she won't let go either. i have taken to squeezing women in tight, right into my torso. trying to merge into them. finally we let go.
"i needed that. thankyou."
(there's someone standing besides us. Ms. If No One Says Anything it Gets Really Uncomfortable. she says:
"why did you need that?"
"my sister lives in America. i don't have a girlfriend. i'm lacking in the affection department."
"you don't have friends?"
"yes, i do. but i've been studying this weekend. haven't really seen anyone."
(she shuts up. my hugging-partner smiles again, poor baby, come here (she's read me perfectly, knows just the right tone. i melt. completely melt). i get another hug.
it echoes in my body and rings in my ears as i step into the car.
it echoes in my body and rings in my ears as i step out onto the wet street out the front of my house.

here it meets head on the dead-silence. limp surfaces. inanimate books. flaccid, cold pillows. the moment is a car accident. it physically hurts. i know my bed is waiting for me. an unwanted date. sharing the night with a corpse. cold, motionless creature in my room. two rival armies, the front lines collide. the rest is the massacre. when i finish writing this, a second after the last word, it's waiting for me. (and the shadows too, they sharpen their teeth with it

god help me here i go.

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