May 2009


Compulsive overeater. That’s what the doctor called me. She called me that right to my face, and I couldn’t respond, I couldn’t say one tiny thing in response, because I was too busy being stunned by how wrong she was. And wondering what she had on under that white coat. I mean, I could see her pants and her sensible shoes, her beige blouse, but what I was wondering about was what was underneath that. Not so far under that we’re talking about her bones and organs, the way her blood flows, not even so far that we’re talking about skin. Just one layer under the beige and the brown. I was wondering if under that was black and lace, and I have to admit that I was hoping desperately for the answer to be revealed and be no. I wanted the answer to be more beige and more brown, huge beige panties and a tiny brown bra that I could make her leave on while I was fucking her. I could just bunch the beige in my hand and shove it aside as I shoved into her. 

This is what I was thinking when I was busy being shocked that she, a doctor, could be so wrong about me, a patient. My mother says they call us patients because we have to have patience if we want treatment. That seems like assigning them a characteristic that they do not have, a sense of humor. I think a lot of what we call paranoia is just believing that human characteristics can be applied to something that is not human, which maybe they can, but then you add believing that you know what character traits they have and why and nothing makes sense anymore. That’s what I think. My mother says a lot of things that I think this about, but instead of telling her I just hug her yellowed paper skin to mine and say something soothing, and I don’t let on that I am also thinking about what is going on under the nightgown she is always wearing. I don’t let on that during the touching of my skin to her skin I am wondering if she still gets wet, if that is perhaps the one part of her body that I could touch and not think about dead leaves. 
You asked me what the doctor said. That is what she said. She said that I am a compulsive overeater, and I was too busy thinking about her bent over the table where I am sitting in a too small paper gown, bent over and waiting for me, bent over and spreading herself open so that I could see that she is ugly, too, to realize that this would be my only chance to tell her that she was wrong. I am not a compulsive overeater. I am constantly eating food because if I don’t, I will eat me. The only way to make sure that I don’t is to make myself too large to be consumed so easily. 
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It’s only three AM, but I’m considering staying awake forever. Not just for tonight. Sleep and I have this love/hate thing, it’s the kind of intense you know could be for real. We could go the distance, fists flying, fists fucking, fisted flailing. We could be real. I don’t understand it when people tell me you can’t love what you hate – how can you love what you don’t hate? What do you hold on to in the middle of the night when your lover is still gone and the light left hours ago, and they don’t answer the phone, and you call and call and you call and call and you call and call, and at some point you stop leaving messages but then you start again, and you try not to sob too much, but then you end up screaming and you can’t for the life of you figure out whether it is better to threaten or to beg, if you can’t hold on to hate? What do you hold on to on those long and ugly nights if you are not holding on to hate to hold on to sanity to hold on to this stupid relationship with this person whose face you just want to break into pieces, you just want to shatter, you just want to slam into the concrete like it was a pillow while you fuck them from behind? If it isn’t hate that makes love possible and tangible, I don’t know what it is. 

 

 

Anyway. It is late here, or maybe it is early. This is one of the many things I have never been able to fully understand, like if you should tell people your horror stories so that they will feel sorry for you, like the one about the time when you were so, so young and so, so trusting and then your dad threw a huge marbled glass ashtray through the window, the noise it made was obscene but kind of perfect, and you knew you would never be quite the same again, you knew you would always know that there was something violent right around the corner, or if you should keep them to yourself so that people will see you weeping quietly once in awhile and they will think that you are perfect and mysterious and so, so strong, and they will want to be like you but they will also not want to be like you because really they will also be thinking that you are so, so cold. Like that. I do understand whether it is early or late like I do not understand what to do with my horror. 

 

It is whatever it is, and I am not sleeping. I started out not sleeping because there was work to be done, but then I didn’t really do all of the work and I am still awake,  not doing the work, and the work is still not done and this is a thing. It might be a good thing and it might be a bad thing and it might just be a thing that is, but it is, undeniably, a thing. Instead I am listening to noises and drinking a beer that someone put coffee in (bless that person, I could not decide if I should have coffee or a drink, but then I found this in the back of the refrigerator, it may not have been mine originally, but it is now and I am grateful for this as I am grateful for anything that takes a decision and makes it something I do not have to make) and I am that kind of tired that is not tired, that kind of tired that wants to pretend that it is really not at all anything, not any kind of thing, it wants to pretend it is the opposite of tired, but it can only do that if the eyelids will sign a pact and keep to the treaty, and they are considering breaking it, the tired can tell. 

 

So I am almost sort of tired, and sleep is a long way off, because there are so many things that need to be done, besides the work. There are so many things to read and write and say and do, so many people to greet and hug and fuck and punch in the face, the gut, the groin, so many apologies to make, so many thanks to hand out. There is always so fucking much to get done, and it is this that makes me lie in bed for hours, staring at the ceiling and thinking about the way light works, because if I don’t think about that, I have to think about all the things I should be doing when I am lying in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about the way that light works.

 

When I am doing this I am feeling like I am 14 years old, and then I realize that I don’t really recall being fourteen years old, and I don’t really recall being fifteen or sixteen years old either. It isn’t that I don’t remember anything that happened when I was that age, it is just that I don’t remember what age I was when the thing I am remembering happened, and even when I think I do, I am later proved wrong. Time went non linear on me so long ago, and now there is no lucid chronology I can use as a point of reference. Even saying that time went non linear so long ago  feels like it could be an accidental lie, like maybe it was last week or a month ago or two years ago that it did this thing to me, and then I have to spend at least an hour (I think, who knows?) knowing that so long ago  means something different to everyone, or maybe it means something different only to me and I do not know that it means the same thing, a set thing, a set amount of time, to everyone else because this lack of chronology extends itself and becomes a lack of language to describe chronology, becomes a lack of everything everyone else has where time is concerned.

 

So it is what time it is, here, and it is what time it is, there, and the two are different things but also I am fairly certain that they might really be the same thing, and time differences are just a trick played, a lie told, a practical joke. I was in bed staring at the ceiling thinking about the way that light works, when I remembered the way that light worked when you were lying in the bed with me. It was exactly the same as it is now that you are not in this bed with me, and just there, in that moment, in that one uglydumb moment, I knew that I never loved you and I never hated you, and I think my heart might actually be broken forever just from knowing that.

 

I thought you should know, too.

 

That might seem cruel, but it is the only way to give myself a tiny piece of hope, you see. When I realized that I never loved or hated you because light worked precisely the same way without your presence as it did with it, I also realized that you might be lying somewhere, or maybe sitting, or maybe standing, and realizing that light was not even one tiny bit different without me, and then you would know that you never hated me and so you never loved me, and that is a thing I cannot bear. I simply cannot bear the idea of you knowing that, and so I thought if I told you this, that I never loved you and i never hated you, never, no matter what I said or did, the times we fought and fucked like forever, like forever and ever amen, the times I fucked you in the street, the times I held your hand and bought you ice cream, none of those times, none of them meant nothing but none of them meant three little words, I thought if I told you this then you would hate me and you would hurt and you would reach out and lash out and you would try to hurt me, and maybe then I could hate you. If I could hate you now, maybe I could love you now, and maybe loving and hating you now would somehow get lost and tangled in my lack of understanding of time, and I would believe that it was then that I loved you, then that I hated you like a thing I wanted to kill, and everything would be okay again, and I could go to sleep. It is the only thing I can think to do for us. 

 

Do you understand? I want you to.

 

 I hope this finds you well.Good night. (Is it night?) 

I just want to be more than a haunting to you. Remember that? Remember those days? The days and nights where we were something solid to one another?

 

Maybe you don’t. That would be worse than this, I think.

 

I’m supposed to tell you that I want you to be happy, that I want you to have forgotten me, or to only think of us once in awhile , to pause with a sweetly wistful look on your face before continuing on with your grocery shopping, your phone call, your fucking in the back of a tiny car, your drinks with friends. I think that that’s what I’m supposed to tell you. It might even be what I’m supposed to want.

 

I can tell you that, and sometimes I do. I tell you a lot of things, so it’s really not that surprising that this one makes it into the rotation. I tell you that I hope you are happy, really happy, I tell you that I am lying in a pool of my own sticky blood and I hope you know that this is all your fault, all your fault, all your goddamned fault, I tell you that all I want is just one more filthy fuck in a place where fucking isn’t supposed to be going on, I tell you that I think of you often, I tell you that I never think of you. I tell you a lot of things with my hand on the little button on the phone that makes certain that no matter how many times I dial your number, you never answer.

 

I want you to still love me, I want you to still be here with me, burning down churches and staging hand holding sneak attacks. I want you to be hurting, I want you to fucking suffer with wanting me, I want you to feel my name in each of your veins, and I want you to call. I want you to call. I want you to call me and call me and call me, I want you to panic about how many times you have called me and swear to yourself and whoever you call your best friend now that you will never call me again because only creepy stalkers call people that many times in the middle of the night and fail to ever say anything.

 

I want you to never call me again. I want to hear your voice in a bar and spin around with such speed that I nearly have whiplash, only to see someone that doesn’t even vaguely resemble you and feel something that isn’t disappointment but is the closest thing to it I’ve felt in months. I want to see you on a street corner and race after you, heart pounding, trying to look casual while wiping the sweat from my brow before realizing that it wasn’t you, again. It wasn’t you this time anymore than it was the last five times I bolted down the street trying to look like I wasn’t chasing anyone.

 

I want to find a way to move backwards in time, and spend at least a day or two locked in the night that we sped down the hill in your car, taking turns screaming with our bodies bent through your sunroof, screaming blindly and wildly, screaming nothing, screaming song lyrics, screaming screaming screaming, all because it was possible and if something is possible then to not do it is a crime we are not capable of committing.

 

I want to commit. I want us to commit to one another, to commit to not doing this anymore, whatever this is that we are doing, that we are almost always doing. This is what we are doing every time we are not being something, but somehow we never get around to being nothing, and I want us to commit to not spending one.

More.

Fucking.

Instant.

being something so vague. I need us to decide and then stick to that decision, are we something or are we nothing, are we here or did we vanish somewhere along the way? Anything is better than living in a shadow play where all the puppets are us and all the puppeteers are us also but we can somehow never figure out how to untangle the strings and figure out the trick.

 

Do you understand the things that I am saying to you? Do you? Can you even fucking hear me? I’m yelling in your ear, I feel like I have made a very successful megaphone and am holding it less than one inch away from your face, but something tells me that you are still not listening, that you are still not listening, at least, for comprehension, and that you are just waiting for the right moment to slip back into being the thing that isn’t something but isn’t nothing and I tell you now, I will not stand for it, I will not allow it. I will simply not let this continue to be the case between you and I, and I do not need your permission to make this decision. My decisions from this day forward are going to be, above all, like a decapitation, one swift strong blow or the head will never roll.

 

I want you to say that you understand. I want you to say something that leads me to believe that you understand at least the underlying ideas of what I am saying to you now. Of what I have been saying to you since the beginning of time, it feels like. You are older than me but somehow I feel as though I have been saying the exact same tired words to you your entire life, and I do not think you have heard a one, not even the times you’ve responded and we’ve had entire conversations like this. I do not think you heard even those words.

 

Can you begin to understand how I feel at times like these? Half drunk on whiskey and painkillers, well on my way to being an irrational being, if such a thing can exist where rational beings don’t (I do not know – is it possible to be the opposite of a thing that is not?) I feel as though I am the only one feeling anything here.

 

This is what kills me, the idea that this is not killing you. Why isn’t this killing you? Why aren’t you dead yet from the pain of knowing that I do not want you anymore, that I do not want you to stand near me, that I do not want to harass schoolchildren by your side, that I do not want to drink too much and run into the street half naked and screaming with you just to see what might happen? There are so many things that I do not want to do with you anymore.

 

Don’t you hurt over any of them? Don’t any of them make you want to lie in a pool of your own sticky blood and call me and tell me that you hope I know this is all my fault?

 

Oh god. Is this all my fault?