The Barrel of My Pen

June 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

It’s not until I get a dirty look or a snub from a coworker that I realize the extent and tenacity of my paranoia there. At the time of writing this, I hadn’t published anything in more than six months, yet when I get that look or feel that snub, I begin searching my memory for my recent writing for what I’d said and how it might have offended. I’d written but I hadn’t published. There was no snub, no glare. Whatever I interpreted that way could not have been about me. Did I want it to be? Am I still feeling that guilty? Not caring what others think of me–or even that they do–requires an indifference to them, or at least an admittance that I am not on their radar. It requires no small amount of compassion, too, but that is not a tool always at hand, nor its utility readily apparent. I am not used to positive attention. I feel invisible when I’m not stirring things up. But there’s nothing cooking. There’s not even a pot. The fire’s blazing, but it’s only keeping the ink from congealing in the barrel of my pen.

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A Dimension Imagination Can’t Fill Out

June 27, 2012 § 1 Comment

Wouldn’t it be nice if I could make do with a celebrity crush? You know, roll out of bed and pad to the sofa by 7 a.m. to gaze at Genie Godula on France 24 until she signs off twelve minutes later, blow a kiss to the tv and leave for work; come home, plug in a Vaselines CD and stare at Frances McKee on the cover as I eat dinner; then a nightcap of Gillian Anderson in anything but How to Lose Friends and Alienate People. No commitment, no responsibility. No contact, no conversation, either. Only a me entirely bereft of hope could moon and sigh over an unattainable woman with any semblance of satisfaction. However much I might read about them or experience their work, those women remain two-dimensional. I don’t want to know their flaws and problems, but admire the woman, and that’s not a relationship. I am enamored of them, but I have never loved them. We will never touch, but I had not thought to hope to. What they do for me is useful but lacking a dimension that imagination can’t fill out.

Will You Believe Me This Time?

June 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve never convinced myself I’d been writing about Herself–or that I hadn’t. I’m not  sure I’m not doing it now. I never said I wouldn’t but I’m trying to respect the way I think she feels about the words I’ve put down since I met her. I can not say her name; I can not speculate on her actions, emotions, motivations, or character. But I do. I do not write about her “like that!” (her words and emphasis). The rules are not just for her sake. As much as asking forgiveness, I am protecting myself. Legality is not a stout enough barrier against workplace injustice, which if it doesn’t shut me up, puts the fear in me. I write to finish the process. I’m not looking for a fight. I think of her often still, but keep the specifics to myself. That’s my business. There are safer places for my feelings than on paper, but most of the those feelings should be in no  danger of censure. Most of them can’t hurt someone else. I’ve been told often enough to shut up. I want to keep those mouths shut while I do the talking–with all the respect due my willing readers and prospective censors alike. I refuse to have enemies, but I reserve the right to be bitter or incredulous. It is not an attack but a self-expression. Will you believe me this time?

Staring Into the Moat

June 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

The pairing of soulmates is one of the rarest of things–of that I’ll brook no argument. True love cannot be a commodity of much greater supply. That two people find each other with open hearts I can only guess to be a not uncommon thing, but are their hearts open to each other or to the idea of being in love? We each qualify love differently, define it personally. Is it “true love” when definitions are mutual? If it’s found to be otherwise between two open hearts, it is up to that initial openness to either close the gap or move on, to work toward a compromise or continue the search for a better instant match. Or pretend, satisfied or not, weary of the search, that the search is over. Twice I’ve taken the last option. The first time resulted in a marriage. The second time began with only one hopeful heart beating for the two of us. Hope overwhelmed futility, but I could not find stones big enough to cast against the drawbridge–if not to break it down at least to sound an echo into the fortress’ recesses. I doubt my heart remained open for the entire battle. I doubt that it’s open now, when I’m still staring into the moat.

Resent It, Then Give Up

June 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

The things I wasn’t taught, the things I grew up not knowing how to do, are the secrets of clubs from which I’m excluded. Children walk right in, through what I see as a wall. If I had ever learned to look someone in the eye as I spoke to them, I would know still. Instead, only with a Sisyphean effort of self-conscious will can I achieve it. That I practically celebrate the achievement is a testament to its difficulty and rarity. Among my coworkers are some of the most timid people I’ve met, people who fear being openly noticed by (much less have to speak to) more than one person at a time. They are also people who look you in the eye when they speak to you. It must be the most basic of skills, yet, to me, it’s a language I can’t speak and no longer have the child’s capacity and openness to learn. My small achievements are not stepping stones to success, to that moment when it clicks, becomes natural. They are without a definable reward to motivate me along a continuum of success. And there is no motivation whatsoever in seeing someone achieve unconsciously what I can’t do without exhaustive effort. It mocks me. I resent it then give up.

Close Without a Scar

June 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

I expected to be able to tell my tale from the garrison of time, but time has had better things to build than walls, especially when the walls are Babel’s. I can’t abide time’s pace but by babbling. Time knows best; I can no more cajole or flatter it to favor me then I could Herself. Neither can I stop babbling, though I give time (and her absence and my intelligence) credit for quieting the rant. But what would a brook be without its babble? It would still exist, but it would bring no notice to itself–but, then, it doesn’t ask it. Time can’t also ask anonymity of me. I’m invisible without my words. With them I might not be much more, not much more than a buzz in the ear, much less than what I want to be. Time will tell what I’m to be, though it might not tell my tale, unless the tale is simply a wound to heal. It seems much more. Or I want it to be. Once a sharp pain is now a dull ache. I pick at the scab to feel more pain and to ensure it doesn’t close without a scar.

Struggle or Let Go

June 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

“What’s in it for me?” is a question undeserving of an answer, yet it’s the only question I ask, if in a variety of ways. I want what I can’t give. I want to give, but don’t know how. You first–show me how. Every day I see what I should be learning, in nicer people than I who don’t think of themselves first. Instead of trying to understand them I am jealous–not just envious–of their natural ability to care about someone else, and I am bitter for the want, for what comes naturally seems impossibly obtained otherwise. That leaves me with what I have, and I can’t pretend that that’s enough. I am in a nether world between compassion and a cold hardness I don’t know the name of, unable to reach the one and unwilling to return to the other–the climb or the slide, struggle or let go.

Where Am I?

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