desert of the real, ocean of the possible
i like that last piece a lot. it captured so well what i was feeling, and i like the shape that the words took. but i had to keep it in the draft folder for a couple months. because it was just too heavy. just too real while i was in it. maybe everything has changed. maybe nothing. life’s funny like that. one day, the sun’s rays in the morning feel like an ugly smolder that you wish would fall upon you like a barrel of coals and burn you to the bone. and the next, inexplicably, your heart lifts up like a flower to drink deep the dawn’s light.
i’m not sure which is more terrifying: the depth of shadow that my soul is capable of drifting into, or just the reality that i can move between the dark and the light so easily; so unpredictably, so speedily.
to be honest, some if it’s just money. i’ve managed to hook up a couple tiny side gigs here and there recently—nothing long lasting or extremely lucrative but enough to enable me to ride the bus, get a slice, pay a couple bills—and also got some help from family. life when you are broke and unemployed is no joke. i want to write out something on that. obviously, the post students is not just about poverty; it’s very much about love and loss, too. but i’ve collected numerous notes in my mind simply about poverty. about why poverty is so exhausting. how your days inevitably become a thread of thoughts that all relate to money (and how you don’t have it, and then come the feelings of shame, fear, anxiety, and disappointment); how this thread becomes a mesh that radiates an aura of entropy that you cannot escape no matter which way you move, or what thoughts you ignore; how this energy exerts a weight upon you that grows exponentially until you don’t want to move anymore, until it feels impossible to budge yourself and you grow so tired from resisting the downward pull. how you just want to collapse inward after a while to ease up on the pain of resisting it constantly.
but i’ll save that. as i said—for however temporary it is—i’m currently enjoying a few moments of relief (and for a few reasons, not just because i can wash the laundry and pay a few bills), and walking around with some good feelings, and i don’t want to dive back into that mess any deeper than i have already with my publishing the last post, and these few paragraphs. not right now.
some of the struggle lately has been about physical pain. the nerve damage (or pinched nerve, not sure what it is)/flare-ups in my arm, hand, and neck that resulted from getting kicked in the hand and arm months ago while sparring (fracturing at least one finger which still hurts deep in the joint if you put pressure on it) can be pretty persistent. some days the pain comes and goes…and i can keep it in the background and think hunh, well. it’s a drag, but i guess i could learn to live with this if i must.
but then some days it’s on me like a wet sweater, suffocating me no matter which way i turn. i’ll get (literally) claustrophobic from my inability to escape its clutch. i feel trapped in my body, squirming away from myself, morphed from my once-lovely pain-free frame into a demon that looks like me but has a rushing funnel of white fire for a left arm. it is a white fire like ivy, with tendrils that lash forth and slither into my neck and around the bones there, and across my left upper back. some days my hand will be singing out constantly, a silvery static twinkling in all my fingers and i’ll look at them to make sure they are still there, that they are holding what i thought i was holding because i can’t feel my fingers. on some days, in moments of frustration, i fight the urge to tear at my own body to be rid of it. on those days i will rush home to drink liquor like i used to for my dying tooth nerve—purely medicinally. sending fervent prayers of gratitude with every swallow, as the pain gradually fades behind a wall of blessed numbness.
after a while, i grow to see the pain as a living thing. an entity with its own reasoning and will.
some days, it fades almost entirely. then, i’ll sneer at its capricious nature. i don’t know if it gets tired and needs a rest, or it grows bored of tormenting me. but on some days it fades to the background. i’ll feel my lungs fill with huge sighs of relief to be let go a little. perversely, on those days, i’ll catch myself rolling my head and trying to bump that little button in my neck that sets it all off. as if i can’t believe it’s not there. maybe i’m hoping it’s totally gone from me. or maybe it’s come to the point where i feel slightly uncomfortable with its absence…as if waiting for its inevitable return is an added torture. this vicious invisible pet of mine, this needy, sadistic electric octopus nestled in my arm.
i still hold out hope that one day it will just leave me. find someone else to ride around with. get tired of me.
and now…i want to categorize and list the things that have happened that somehow have me feeling good, sitting high on my bike as i ride through the sun. in no rush. looking upon the world a bit more kindly. brimming with a feeling of possibility.
but as i think them over i wonder if it makes sense to begin bunching up blooms so very fragile. i wonder if these realities and feelings would be mocked by their wordstick counterparts, which probably could only imitate the shapes in my soul—and poorly. you know. i only take words so seriously. i like their feel in my fingers, but i’m usually ready to drop them in favor of catching a strong wind.
no, i don’t want to declare anything over. or changed. it’s too soon for that. as i said, these dunes are ever-shifting. one moment you are sitting, content and peacefully warmed by the sand underneath you—and the next, you are choking on mouthfuls of it and clawing your way to the surface.
anyway. more and more, as time goes on, i find the best things around me, or inside me, and i reward them with silence.