I think I’m going insane or sinking underwater. it doesn’t take much after all these years. it’s probably easier to sink. I relate it like this, your enemy approaches you, feigns kindness, and then hacks off your arm. the next day feigns some more kindness and wants to know what the hell your problem is. why the attitude? I think I woke up in a really bad parallel dimension. they hate it when you stick up for yourself.
headache council advises more money, more chatter. I learn to turn my hearing down like I’m twisting a plastic knob. I repeat how it is a complicated world. still, when I talk to a friend and let out some of what’s on my mind, I take pride in getting it out methodically, like some kind of master surgeon. I’m back here with my pride, the listener is way up ahead. let me put my pride down and tell the true story. yes, I think I won an argument and yet didn’t win – the loser doesn’t change. I pray about it, I really do. I pray and say that I think I’m really sinking, that some things seem so much bigger than me that this time it’s too much and I don’t feel like exerting the energy any more. another part of me then takes over and carries on.
I look out the window into the storm and throw myself into the tornado. loft over Route 220, I land hard in someone’s backyard tree, come to and take something from the clothesline. it’s not the right thing to do, to take someone’s old army pants, but it’s as if I’m forced against my will. then I wish for other things, a stable family, an income, what I see on TV. it’s a waste. so much time is wasted when you don’t give yourself good solid hobbies, like getting a few amazing comic books and reading them alone in bed. ponder the deep meaning in them. do as many things as deeply as you can and they actually become a supplement to your prayer life. you can’t necessarily share all of it with everyone else, but it’s yours. the sooner you realize you can’t share your full mind the better. everyone agrees I should get out – the sooner the better. I brush my teeth fervently. it’s been too many years since a trip to the dentist. I take a nightmare trip at night to such places to make up for it. this is what I really fear, for this . . . cut. delete. omit. remove. drain. pull out.
the mind is attracted to different television shows. notice one thing, “oh, that’s coming on this week, I’ll write that down dare I forget.” keep an eye on the pattern of what you’re watching. what subjects are you more drawn to over others? what’s prominent for you these days? what’s on its way out? what are you losing interest in, and why? remember also to take out the trash. it’s different here – there’s no trash pick up. just a set of dumpsters on the side of the highway. aluminum cans, plastic milk jugs, generic plastics, newspapers, all have their separate massive buildings. it’s also important to note this: don’t get too attached to anything. pat down every part of the room. be accustomed to the feel of the right and left walls, northern and southern textures, all the scattered about articles on the floor, pick them up and toss them over there, get into a more organized mess. break it all down. fold the clothes right there in the laundromat and take them home, put them up on the shelf. don’t wait around. what subject matter! next, the lightbulbs are burning out. every single one of them. the girl with her young crush now only gets postcards. she’s writing back about her summer and all the things that continue to frustrate her even though school is out and she should be in a better mood. why can’t her mother figure her out? they put this girl through a metal detector. cops talking on their CBs.
it all moves on and gets recycled in some marketing department down the line, repackaged, the original tune forgotten and ground out of the machine into some 99 cent cheeseburger commercial. little kids will not know who Shaft is, but they’ll know Shaq. they’ll stand there and be jumped over.