It starts with the head roll. Sliding, like my joints are unhinged. Oil, drip, glide, repeat, repeat. I climb with the music; the pulse is in me. My heart is dancing and I can’t feel the soles of my feet.
“I like to pretend I’m making the music, if that makes sense.” Our fingers are tapping imaginary drums, we’re waving our hands like we are drawing, milking the music from the air and I think: don’t we all? We see beautiful things and think: I wish I created this. I wish I made this. Where can I praise the creator? The one who made this possible. I thank God for ears that spin waves into a tapestry of colour.
We’re staring up at the rippling lights, as if they’re breaking the surface of the sea we’re immersed in. And our arms are a colony of weeds pulled in the current, magnetic. I’m drowning- in the best way. It’s good to drown in something you love, to escape your petty self, your petty worries. How people see you, whether or not they like you, it all doesn’t matter in an atmosphere of appreciation and you’re with people you want to smile with. Ah, if only others could feel what you’re feeling. But it’s incredible because they do. We are all of one mind, so similar in place. Synchronised, sharing, feeding.
We get a glimpse of heaven. A pathetic imitation by comparison but such an intensity of high in this life. A congregation of people who are in the midst of loving. The joy of loving.
I’d like to dance to this.
I crawl into the cove of my blankets, scared to face the world. It is morning but I prefer the shade. Where do I find strength to stand when I am crippled? Another day, a new set of worries. I have a fear of life. I have a fear of fear. I have a fear of weakness.
Make me brave, despite knowing that I am weak.
“My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death”…
‘The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!”‘
“For you, Lord, have delivered me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.”
From the little daily deaths, you save me.
Feel the tangles of my heart, how your fingers are caught in the sinews.
I cannot express how crumpled I feel in the palm of your hand.
Don’t tell me that I’m a book that you haven’t yet read. Don’t talk to me as if you’re trying to get under my skin, manipulative in you words, attempting to predict my behaviour and thoughts. Don’t make known your impressions as if you are right because you know nothing from talking to me intermittently for the summation of less than half an hour and being around me (if we count our physical proximity) for another three hours when I’m not even in the right state of mind. My quiet moments don’t make me a Quiet Person, just as my tendency to talk and sing doesn’t make make me an Entertainer. I am both, I am neither, I am many things. It’s a shame you crave control (we all do to a certain extent) and can never see the bigger picture; you see people confined to the lines you have drawn.
You’re right, you haven’t figured me out yet. I wonder if you ever will- I surprise even myself.
“We are nothing like we were a second ago,” he wrote.
Not only are we incomparably and utterly different from who we were, we cease to exist now as we were seconds ago. We are continuously nothing, transitioning from being to non-being. Just as quickly as we began, we ended. Just as quickly as we were something, we are now nothing. Just as we were nothing to begin with, that transient state of existence presented itself and is nothing now. Created and discarded, lost, gone, replaced by the new. Quickly does the future take place of the past, so quickly as though they are one.
I try to define myself and my identity when it is impossible. How can you pin down something that changes? When taking a photo of flashing lights in a darkened room, trying to capture the way the lights line the faces of your friends leaning against the wall with the bed post inches above their heads, it is a magical moment that cannot be caught the way it is. The shutter is always a little too late. Labels are temporary. ‘Favourites’ are temporary. Everything is TEMPORARY. The fact is: I am changing. I am new. Again and again I am new. I multiply. Or there are multitudes in me.
“There is infinity in everything”, I say. Infinity is too big, too heavy for my understanding. Eternal God, you are in everything.
You beam at me and I can’t help but return the grin. It took us one exchange of snaps to get straight to the ugly selfies. We took that walk to get Boba and you told me about your best friends from back home. We loaded our straws and shot tapioca balls as far as we could and gave each other looks as a muttering homeless man slowed by our bench. Maybe we’ll start a monthly tradition; buy food for the homeless in Westwood.
You’re brave. Creepy doll in the Halloween store? You batted the shit out of her hair. Hilarious. First time on a penny? You slid backwards and met the ground. But you did it again. You’re put-together and I admire you for that talent. I admire you even more for being what I am not.
You have an uncanny ability to bring out the best in others. I don’t understand how you see me the way you do, how you talk about me to the people you meet and even to your friends. I don’t get it but I am thankful. You are a certain kind of exquisite- it’s easy to be shrouded in your radiance. Your energy. Your acceptance. Thank God you were in the ice-breaker circle at an early orientation session and thank God you like my accent.
I have swallowed you, love.
You are not a part of me
but of my very person,
so that it is more fitting
to say that I am a piece of you;
I love you more than my self.
My thoughts are a spectacle in a glass tank. You can see me but I can’t see you. You know me but I am deprived of you. That’s not fair.
This is what I choose to share: it’s not fair.
How does one say goodbye? Should it be implied in the slow turning of the shoulder? In the shy glance away, the delayed response? In paragraphs typed and deleted. In the way a mug is moved, never to be seen again? In the careful stashing of memorabilia; a laundry list in my writing? Here, hold onto that.
Maybe I’ll run into the night, like I never existed.