Here is the law, here is the windshield. Open it up, and see all them PHYSICS.
Them bones them bones them–hard facts.
Flying into a windshield, bouncing down to the ground.
Seeing dripping red, dripping, seething red. Rocking back and forth.
Spilled the water, broke the pitcher. Spent minutes paralyzed and many more weeping, worried about myself until the universe gave me a good shock, something to reel me outside of myself, and my worried weeping over water on the wooden floor. A friend is shouting in my ear nonsensically from New York as I am about to swallow a pill.
I noticed the tree, its bigness, my littleness, for the first time that night. Babbling to a friend down Old Milwaukee Avenue. Babbling to him, too–before I gave him a push. It’s physics, see. Dead man swings into me, and I send it to someone else, the live man who would have stood beside me but I took one look and knocked him to the ground.
Hysterical streaming, breathing, reminding myself to breathe. I furrow my brow at the underlined words in the greeting card I’ve received many times and shudder to think I might get it again… but how much have I left to lose? How many more cars? How many more contusions?
But never again another man until another man buys a rope. This time – next time – it will only knock me down and not the one beside me. I’ve walked away from the Domino stack, leaving a blank space, sending last-minute regrets.
The trouble with technology is how easy I can relive those breaking moments and I do, again and again. Keep myself perpetually on an edge. Forget and feel an uneasy calm til something, some fuzzy reminder, reels me back into it. Then I look, and puke.
And I’m breaking again.
It could go on forever, like some terrible made-for-TV movie rerun, re-run. I have lost forever my right to run by very little fault of my own–or maybe…
See I recall writing a little fantasy, an ending to my sorrow. It was going to swallow me. I wanted it to. Being in the hot mouth of the dragon was too stressful. I was ready to be burned in the belly, to be digested and shat out and scattered. The unholy but too true way.
Sitting at pitiful cafe where the cupcakes were only okay, loading up on cold press and trucking these bleak thoughts. Like rats they chewed my wires. I let them. I let it all.
I even pictured it – before it went down – I pictured it gruesome, but quick.
It was gruesome.
[And the chances I had! The opportunities! They were rich, ripe, ready for me, but I closed myself off I could not taste. I shut my eyes to all of it. Squinted, looked the other way, feigned oblivion, lay prostrate and helpless. I sat on my ass and stared into space and saw nothing until it had passed.
Every shot. I heard nothing but now I know what I missed.
More than a man.
Ever so much bigger.
Ever so much brighter.
So my gloom is twice as galling.]
My edges are scary they are yours. That is what frightens me about them. I’m a square among many, I’m but one on a whole page of perforated squares, SHARING EDGES.
So when you folded
and tore yourself away
we all SCREAMED
we screamed as if our arms and legs were being ripped from us.
Maybe you did not see what I see: that you too are one square on an infinite sheet of squares, sharing your edges, and when you folded, silently, along the perforated lines, and tore yourself out of the page, you stole some of our edges and left a vacant square, so all the cold could get in, and all. The night, and all. I know you saw it.
I dreamed of you and forgave you, thinking you’d reneged and come back. But opened my eyes and opened the book and saw the page with the square missing.
YOU CAN’T RENEGE.
AND I CAN’T RUN ANYMORE.
Ice cream man comes to save the day
and I SCREAM
but cannot run.
The dragons have left me behind.
Is it a simple physical disability
but no, it’s tied to a thousand disappointments–it’s greater than what my feet can’t, legs can’t do, it goes back to the quiet nervousness that always there.
Not from some broken home or childhood trauma – though, leaving childhood was itself a kind of trauma – but a sense of something out of place, a disturbed feng shui, or one never actualized.
It’s the pattern, it’s disturbing, it’s the images of broken glass and exposed bone, it’s the reverb of pathetic moaning – my own – and frantic screams, breathless, automatic, is that me?
Or maybe more that too much loss all at once is like a bucket of cold water thrown on you in an ice storm. You stand still for a long time. You’re certain you will die and you want to.
The good news is, we all get to.
Perhaps that’s too morbid for this night, this cause, this expedition. I set out to find edges and be assured of their smoothness. Only they are jagged in places, blurred in others, ill-defined where I most need assurance of their firmness. I want unwavering edges, neatly drawn borders, lines, lines, lines! And corners.