Sometimes it’s a dilemma, the kind of choice that leaves you gnawing your nails to bits beneath the bedsheets. Sometimes it’s as simple as walking away, knowing that you can’t carry everything. If only the road wouldn’t keep splitting, if only your head didn’t split along with it. (You’re wallowing now and this realization snaps your shoulders back in reaction, leaves your jaw aching and a wind in your belly.) There are days when you wake up, last night’s sour taste against your teeth and your pants missing. Again.
Your mother called last night. You turned your phone off, knowing how she gets after three weeks of silence. You’re afraid to speak, afraid to derail the line of conversation with another confession delivered on a choke. She brings it out in you with her sodium pentothal sympathy until you’re stammering and embarrassed. Secrets can’t keep themselves, and you march into the backyard, shovel in hand, and proceed to bury the phone.
You didn’t go to work the next day, and the next, and the next, and that weekend you met your coworker at the bar, who then divulged that you were fired. You drink some more, consider the idea of sticking your tongue in her mouth, for you more exploration than conquest. You content yourself with what you hope is an appropriately mysterious yet vaguely regretful look before you stagger into the bathroom and hang your head over the toilet.
It’s been one of those nights. No, give her a day, too. Good, long, but at the end of it all she’s insomniac and maybe a little bit wretched, more correctly, wrenched. A lot like the awkward aftermath of a fat girl joke only the girl in question is sobbing mightily in a nearby corner. She wonders if she’s getting somewhere, wonders how the drunk people in the next room really feel about…anything, really, only it’s as if they’re playing a game of irrelevancies in their dance away from the centers of themselves, this spiral (out to) petit mort, to death of self. Unsure. But she suspects that what one person shares reveals just as much as what that person takes. We are how we give is what she thinks before she drifts, settles, and sleeps.
“Get the fuck out of here! Get THE FUCK out of here! Dallas killed Kennedy! Get the fuck out of here! We’re escaping this shit!”
“My friends all think I’m on suicide watch but really I just go downstairs and throw my phone at the dumpster.”
“we the unwilling”
“I went to my friend’s house and he had this gigantic flat screen tv and this stereo system and all this STUFF, you know? And I was thinking about how much stuff we own and how it traps us in these lives that are built around the accumulation of all this stuff and I thought about what it would be like to Throw It Away. To just live simply and it all just seems so…freeing. All these things we don’t need that we feel we have to live with to be happy.”
“This bookstore is like a sanctuary, something to do in a town full of nothing to do. This is a safe place. Sometimes I think of how I left this town and how I came back and I wonder if I shouldn’t have left. But I’m back.”
“Do you have money to live? Do you have a place to stay right now?”
“I’m so glad I saw you. I knew that you were the only one who’d really understand what I’m saying.”
“I know. I love you.”
I am zero. I am the open mouth and the orgasm, the end-less line of existence and the void, the everything and the question that answers it all.
I am zero, exclusive of illusion and expectation, inclusive of that most valued resource, possibility.
I am beginning, end, and neither. I delineate the lie of absence and the ever presence of the preterite. Naught I am, alone, a round company to be ciphered.
al-Khwārizmī with his kept rows, his cifre en algorisme (I) divisatory, letting kha and kamil reside, yin and yang, full and empty
the paradox of binary in our crippled machines, calculating one and everything.