Sunday, September 18, 2011

Deadly As Life

Her screams finally stopped. Nothing dire from the sound of it. Maybe sex. Stubbed toe. Anger. Not that I would or could protest. In this joint, minding your business is the safest option.

The guy she's with hacks a lot. Deep bass coughs. They make a grumbling racket. Booms on the floor. Hitting walls. Slamming doors.

If they were permanent, we'd have a problem. But like me they're passing through. Transitory. You can trash these rooms and never leave a mark. New day, new ghosts.

Mornings before dawn, cop or ambulance lights flash in the lot. Some people are always in trouble. Many end up here.

I wonder when my turn will come. When my liver bursts. My heart explodes. My isolation drives me to destructive stupidity. Stay here long enough and your number gets called. A deli of pain. Rotting meat under dim yellow light.

I should be grateful. I have time to finish this manuscript. Too much fucking time. Every hour of work, the fear roars back. My life's been defined by fear. The emotion I know best.

Tracing its origins is difficult. Impossible to find a starting point. My teen parents were afraid before I was sentient. As their first born, I inherited their fear. Made it mine. We've run around and away from each other ever since.

I better understand my parents through this project, yet feel further away. Anger is now empathy. Hatred mere sadness. No blame. No grudge. Little remorse. Forgiveness helps. Letting go even more.

Late night hotel silence. Scent of desperate people. Scrawl, drink, smoke. Dig so far into your mind that another reality emerges. Being broke strips away useless noise. But failure frees you only so much.

All that is left is me. Aging, emotional, frantic. Tender, too. But not crazy. I've seen crazy point blank. Been attacked by it. In the madhouse. As a teen. I've used the word carelessly, but know its true range. Crazy is for those who don't know what crazy is.

Fear remains the vital nerve. I've wrestled with it. Broken parts of it down. Turned some of it to my brief advantage. Fear haunts and fuels this project. Until I finish this, everything else is pantomime.

Back to the notebooks. Maybe someday you'll read them.