Fossil leaves

Thursday, October 6, 2005

This has been a difficult caffeine-free day. I had hopes of putting words together for a story, but after free associating a bit (see below), nothing stuck, and now that it’s after 11pm with only half the Goal finished, I’m not sure any story moving will get done today. I’m comfortable with that (as usual).

The autumn rainstorm blanketed the graying city that morning. But by the afternoon, the clouds gave way to a crisp day. The shed leaves had covered the ground when I toured the grounds on the previous day, but after the storm, only the leafy fossils remained, brown imprints on the concrete along the walkways leading to the hospital. I knew the marks wouldn’t last the day. By evening, a light rain fell and washed the dark gray sidewalks of the morning evidence.

This didn’t start out as I had hoped. For reasons I can’t fathom, I feel like I’m squeezing the words (even on the redraft), trying to make them fit in sentences that are too small for them. I’ll keep whacking at them in the hopes that something will fall out, hopefully not a tooth, and if it has to be a tooth, then hopefully not my tooth.

Rain drenches the wet ground. The grayness makes me sleepy. The weather has driven the Seattle residents insane, and according to the traffic map, I have a long drive in front of me. My excitement doth runneth. I’ll pick up last year’s rainy driving descriptions here. I still can’t understand how a city that receives as much rain as Seattle can possibly have drivers that are more timid in the rain than Southern Californian drivers who receive rain only a handful of days each year. Seeing as it’s always good to mix tenses, and how I write this both before and after my drive, I can report that the drive was as bad as I expected. Thanks to a caffeine-free day, though, I was able to keep my cool through most of the drive, and except for a slight unexplained pain in my left clutch leg (probably not that mysterious, as I’ve been driving in too much traffic lately, and started running in the evenings), I relaxed through most of the crawling traffic.

Trains choo choo across the late night roads and I wonder what ever happened to the things that shivered and hid from the onslaught of everything that wasn’t. I stare into space looking for something, maybe an idea that will describe the ideas that are hiding in the recesses of my brain, the areas peeking out from behind the walls. I come back to rainy raisins on days like this. My heart is always with the wet raisin. I guess the child in me always hopes for a mystical re-hydration so I can pound them back into the bits and pieces of wine.

Looking back across the expanse of the broken horizon, I wonder when the night’s sky first broke across the griddled backs of the men who walked the earth in large shoes that protected their feet from the industrial giants they created.

We will live in a place where the nanochip they implant in your brain will power you all the days of your life, where, and this is where things get scary, the nanochip, once it enters your bloodstream provides you the choice of ultimate pleasure at no cost. It regulates all chemical and electrical signals, destroying the feedback loop that drops you like a rock on a volcano after the chemical and sexual induced highs. When that happens, and the happiness machine is a reality, will there be anyone left, anyone able to resist trying and finding pleasure in its use? There will be religious folks who will not allow the device implanted. Perhaps it’s them who will inherit the race.

Momentary ideas flirt with my brain and I want them to take the next step. Exercises in babbling do nothing for the ego.

Tiger is his name. What type of mother would name her son after a ferocious animal? I never did get a chance to ask her that before she ran out on my brother and me. It’s fitting in a way that she would give me such a ferocious name.

I’m drawing to the end here, and my thoughts are on sleep and not on pushing the words anymore. I keep hoping for the newest inspiration, for finding the longest moment where my concentration hones in on the idea and takes me places I never expected but am dreadfully desperate to approach. I hate watching from the sidelines and having others take me there, take me to those places where I know I can find without their guidance if only I can get beyond this concentration, this ADHD of adulthood, where every minor thought, every minor distraction takes me further away from the goal (if not the Goal). How is it consternations are so easy and writing is so hard?

Don’t answer that. I have always known the truth. The good thing about consternations—and this is something I point out too often—is that you can only do them for so long before even the poetic moments vanish and leave you (me) with the sour taste of repetition and boredom. My brain feels slower now, as if I’ve finally hit the pinnacle of what it can offer me, and everything from here and forward will go down the hill, until it reaches such speed as all I’m left with is the politics and motions of my job and the holdings of Doolies, which, by itself, should be sufficient to make me happy for the days of my life.

Tomorrow is another day, a caffeine-filled day, and I hope to make the best of the beginning of my last week with the Doolies in Seattle. I am not looking forward to her leaving. This has been a terribly short month. I keep telling her that she can’t leave, that she promised to stay for a year, and we are nowhere near the end of that year—especially since that year starts anew each day. I’m not going to think about it now or even this week. It’ll only serve to ruin what time we have left before she returns to her residency and I return to my lonely evenings and weekends.

That depressing thought pushed me over the Goal. I’m at 1,136 now. Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow I will say something—assuming I don’t shake my head and find my marbles dropped out and hit the concrete with such a loud thud that the echoes will reverberate the entire day until I just want to drill a hole in my head to repeal the pain. With that happy thought, good night.