speedy and dumb (or infinitely numb) – Elizabeth V Aldrich
October 8, 2020
i snuck out of bed, i couldn’t retire into myself any longer. it’d become inhospitable; cloying bedwarmth as remonstrating disconsolate and forbidding as anything else. so i got out, i tried to let the cobwebs of sleep in my brain be. they’re the only kind of company i know, you know, and when they glitter i can almost dream i’m home. but no.
i limped to the shower and pulled myself to a stand, with some difficulty; i gripped my shoulders and started talking to no one. i moved my lips, no, that was enough. i moved my lips, i lifted my arms, i looked up, they were there. i stared blankly at my hot and dripping arms.
i wished i could close my eyes. i remember, so help me, i wished i knew i could close my eyes, i remember, i wish i still knew how, when it was simple as catching your nose in your field of vision to affect a total dislocation of consciousness.
unfortunately somewhere on my wayward path i’d picked up the notion of integrity, and this integrity introduced me to Death at a culture circuit junction somewhere. i was never the same again; enamored of dying, in its enchanting abstract and physical implications… something both potentially immediate and unknowable, i was sold! but, to be sure, i did a background-check on this shady mutual friend…
life is too short for regrets, and disillusionment is forever, it’s unforgettable. i learned that death was a fraud, that nothing dies, that souls are recycled; not reincarnation, but the universe itself is an equal-opportunity perpetual motion machine. the dance continues, shoe after shoe, slip after fall, another abominable helping hand. and you start again.
i blame Shiva, who keeps the time, but never gets around to ending the world. i beg him every day. i begin with apocalyptic thought-experiments, i remind myself, unfailingly, that all the world could end in the next 15 minutes. so i put everything off, hold that thought. i start my stopwatch, and i go for a walk, hoping to hell i can never come back. everytime i do, and i weep. i’m not loving the suffering of humanity like so many others, i just want another chance. i catch myself in the act, doing it wrong. i drop the dish and feel my soul shatter. i envy the dish.
/my favourite dream is when i reach out and choke the lifelong sigh./
Shiva’s fatally incompetent though; he’s taken his role as ‘the Destroyer’ so absurdly and un-ironically, he’s become a self-saboteur. is that the so-called cosmic joke? somehow it seems to sum up the essence of life.
not being able to die, truly die, really end, except in mind, i tried to make my outward character amorphous and indefinite, i tried to charge my words with so much ambiguity and subtext they’d implode under their own weight; i tried to betray all my intentions, spontaneous.
i said things i didn’t mean and didn’t believe because i didn’t know how they worked, but it was no use. everyone’s understanding of me was predicated on my understanding of them, and thereby my understanding of myself. i held both ends of the conversation strong, until one day something fell, suddenly and slowly, like a leaf in the mind.
the dubious naturalism of the earth took me into its arms, it dried my tears and made me dumb with awe. (there are certain inalienable physical realities…)
but i broke out of the trance and ran, i caught this train of thought and found one of the back unoccupied cargo cars i fear soon this sentence will end, everything is closing in on me now, life is trying to smoke me out; i know because i reached for the cigarettes and i smiled at the blacklung sometimes everything is so full of meaning