Monday, April 11, 2011
Today was 80 degrees. This was a big deal to some people, who lived in this farcical little post industrial city, which had been trying to function, despite the cold and the wind trying to blow it down every day for the last six months. I had forgotten what it was like to not be cold. I too had rejoiced at every little 45 degree break that winter sometimes throws at you, but the thing that hadn't changed was me sitting in my still running car, after driving home late at night, not wanting to leave because the car was warm. At one point, 3am in the morning, having refused to wear a coat that night because goddamn coats damn them to hell, I remember having the thought that maybe I would never be warm again, because I was no longer capable of being warm. My nerves had deadened, and I wouldn't recognize being hot, if it ever came again, which it wasn't going to. Desperation leading to acceptance leading to death.
But then the strawberries came back.
We walked around the park, and it was full of people. Not attractive people. Not rich or successful people who liked their jobs and had found the love of their lives, or any kind of affective shit like that. Just the people of Cleveland who couldn't stand it anymore, who didn't give a fuck about what they wore out of the house, just as long as they could actually get out of the house. They were fishing in a river that was too cold for fish, and breaking in the grills, and following their dogs and children around, who were all slightly dazed as if they had just broken out of the egg and were seeing the sun for the first time. Some of those kids and dogs were pretty young, so that may have actually been the case. New things.
So we walked around the river, and got around to the other side, away from the crowd. We did the first careful climb of the year down a muddy steep hill heel to heel, little slide here and little stumble there. As our reward, there were flowers and clover and sprouting things, which, fucking A, is pretty amazing. Is pretty miraculous every time it happens, even though it's happened 31 times for me now. Then we wandered back to the group, and ate food outside, and sat, dazed ourselves, in the heat and light. Urban lizards, and I got reacquainted with that sweat that comes not from exertion but just from above, like the sun's version of rain. I felt my skin burning, the old worn out cells that had done such a good job protecting me from the cold and ice, and now they are going to sizzle up like tiny little Phoenixes each and every one of them. That's their reward.
Later, as the sun drifted down, I drove home and started throwing things away, just everything I could come up with any reason to throw away at all. What I really want is an entirely empty place, where I can just sit in the middle of the floor and do nothing. I cleaned up the back porch, where I had forgotten a carpet I left out there over the winter, and it had rotted to pieces. It fell apart in my hands as I tried to stuff it into bags. There were large plastic looking brown folds of mushrooms all over it. I stuck both of the cats on the porch when I was done. Eddy was all about it, probably cause she's as sick as I am of living and breathing and sleeping in her hair. Nina was a little freaked out, which is fine with me cause I'm sure one of these days she's going to end up on the roof, once she figures it out. Stray cats always hate being put out of doors again, like I'm just going to change my mind about keeping them and never let them back in again, where the food is. Abandonment complexes. I haven't done it yet, even though the fucking garbage bag with the cat litter broke TWICE on the way to the curb, despite being triple bagged. I still have cat litter in the hallway outside my door, which I will vacuum tomorrow, and litter in the front yard by the sidewalk which I am honestly just going to leave there until it rains and hides it. Tonight it was more important to just get the shit out of my house. I put out 12 garbage bags of stuff, and still didn't go through my clothes.
Then I watched Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf by myself, and spent way too much time on Twitter and Facebook in this odd head space. That's sort of like smoking an entire pack of cigarettes in one go, you come down and vow to give it up completely, never do it again. Especially when you're watching a movie like that, a movie that will remind you of every demon you have ever seen in the mirror. You will catalog them, and then feel even worse because you know when you inevitably go crazy, HI: Historical Inevitability, you will not be hot like Elizabeth Taylor, you will instead just be the wild haired wide hipped middle aged drunk woman, rejecting reality out of a misplaced sense of safety and security in love which will be your punishment. Ending up with a guy just like you, who tears people open and rips them to shreds to see how they work, and between the two of you there will be so much blood. I emailed Don "It wasn't my parents that soured me on marriage, it was this movie."
Watching that and going through all my stuff and things and stuff and junk, made me realize how much there is I don't get to say to people, because they are what? Dark thoughts? Mean thoughts? Crazy sounding? A friend asked me yesterday if I just spent all my time getting fucked up and posting on facebook, and I was like, "dude, I'm not usually fucked up." Dude, wait till you see me actually fucked up, like bleeding and maudlin and desperate. Then my words escape me in waves. But you can't be honest on the internet. You're not supposed to, because it's just like the outside world. No sweety, instead you are supposed to be writing that shit down into actual stories. Remember, that thing you love to do and also hate? That doesn't involve dissecting each thought for mass consumption, separated from it's context? You know, I don't really miss having a boyfriend most of the time, but there's that thing you can do with someone you fight with and fuck with, which is telling them everything. However sometimes, when you're me, you actually tell them everything, the way you see it and try to communicate the entirety of your world, and it's a massive failure. Usually the parts that apply to them. Oops. I wonder sometimes if I write just to keep throwing myself out there into the void, hoping someone else gets it one day. Not just the pictures and the pithy diary entries, but the enormity of it all. Like, this is me! I'm shouting! Somebody love me for realsies! Be somebody I can love too! Be dirty and weird and enormous! Martha's a romantic at heart. Wild broken Martha.
Mostly I'm just whispering things to myself and writing memos on my phone I can't use till later because someone will recognize themselves in it. I have some good memos though. You have all been stars lately. Please don't mistake my holes and rips as having anything to do with my love for you, oh general life and face of the universe whose name I probably forgot at least twice. That lives strong and quarantined in the seat of my soul.
It's dark now, the wind is picking up in the trees, and I want the rain to come. I want to go to sleep tonight with no covers on, and wake up cold with all of the windows open and the rain blowing in and the sunburn on my skin. And tomorrow (today) is going to be wonderful.