VOLONTÉ



I’m writing again.

My professors seem to have more confidence in me than ever.

I think it’s time for me to start using some of that confidence, too.

I haven’t felt this low in a long goddamn time.

Nothing seems to be getting done. Nothing moves, nothing persists, nothing happens from nothing to nothing; nothing has meaning.

Rei walked out. I guess I walked out a long time ago, maybe before the whole thing started. I’m weak, that’s the only thing I learned in the last year.  There’s nothing left for me here in this town. I don’t know if there will ever be anything for me at all. It is how it is. I’m too picky.

I like to think back when I was excited to do something with my momentum. Before the drugs and infectious relationships. Before I started seeing myself as given up. Empty memories in a warped living room. Pictures soaking in panged nostalgia. Everything adds up to this. Everything burrows into isolation. Everything and nothing, side by side, locking hands like dweebs; isn’t it a sight.

Annie Oakley by Miniature Tigers

Looking forward to see these fellas tomorrow night.

(41 plays)

You stopped by today, hung over with pigtails.

I packed a bowl, and we talked about the correct environment for music, your choir career at Georgia State, and the stacking of journals. I like the dizzy spin everything around takes whenever I meet your eyes listening to the pleasant husky tone of your voice. Call into work; tell them you’ll be running late.

Everyone falls in love with you, and you pretend not to notice. What a flame, those forced expressions and fluffed bravado. I’m the same as the rest. So I laugh, and the heart shaped scab on your temple lives only in a dream.

Get to work. You have a long way to go.

Am I ready to start over?

Love seems to be a lot of empty notions and idealistic pushing.

There needs to be pages on the desk,
and You left me with writer’s block.

What a waste. What a terrible waste.

You left your toothbrush.

I use it now. It’s not that I miss swapping the bacteria of our mouths or the countless times we stared at each other, jaws ajar, while we moaned sudsy quips before class. When you left, I realized how feeble my own toothbrush is. There’s no grip, no direction; it only rubs the wrong way. I just needed a better toothbrush, and I don’t feel motivated to go out and buy another one. You can’t simply buy a new toothbrush; it must mold to your mouth. Everyone develops varying pallets. We all have a flavor to get off on. It remembers you, and I am slowly beginning to see those verdant eyes beaming across candlelight, red hair floating beyond tender shoulders in that black dress, fade into the surrounding darkness.

Your toothbrush does the job.

I read somewhere over a year ago in a sensational Daoist text that there are micro-cosmos within us all. A balancing act between the forces that hold our bodies together and the energies that dismantle them. Original thought, like breathing, a byproduct of this clashing energy. Lao Tzu pressed that our bodies are the reflection of the chaotic universe. What can never be full will always be empty, look into the stars and view the engulfing black; we, a well of bottomless ideas, must accept our emptiness as truth.

I wake up from mixed dreams: fairies dancing on butterfly wings, rough girls with matted hair, upside down faces whispering in marble art galleries, a home. I study the way light squeezes through the silver sliver and wonder the same for myself. Where am I seeping into?

Am I the light or the darkness?
I know the answer.

Has it been a month since she packed her bags and left for Indiana? It’s funny sleeping next to someone one moment, and when you wake up a year has vanished. Everything fades in slumber: the passion, the words, and knotted feelings who show themselves around whiskey and water. I am wrung out, scrambling up an old ruin of myself hoping to find something familiar. There is nothing left whole.

An old favorite said, “I wanted the whole world - Or nothing.”

Where is that one I love,
She’s gone back home to the ones she loves;

Why do I waste all this time waiting

I’m sick of myself.

A suicide at Holiday Inn Express in Hinesville, Georgia

The cleaning-woman knocks on the door, breathes in, and finds the suicide tangled in candy-cane bed sheets with his disheveled head facedown, so she lingers inside with the door shut, air conditioner wheezing from the opposite end of the room, and mumbles a small prayer to Mary that begins her vigil into the bathroom where the trail of crimson droplets were left like sticky breadcrumbs from a porcelain bathtub stained with soapy bourbon. She takes in the pool of water and blood, heaving oxygen inside quivering lungs, intending to find the blade left in its depth, but the cleaning-woman pivots her head to the sink, where thin stubbles of hair are still clinging against the side of the basin after the last shave, trailing her eyes to comb, to toothbrush and traveler’s toothpaste, to shaving cream with dried foam excreting from the nozzle, to glasses case, to unopened bar of mint soap, to bloody handprint squeezed by the suicide trying to support his weight, and the cleaning-woman stares through the mirror seeing not herself in its reflection but someone younger, another world away, whose caramel skin so unlike the tanned leather of her mother and father, and she stares into the reflection until she forgets there is glass, a bathroom, another suicide, a hotel upon this rock in drift within emptiness. The cleaning-woman presses her eyes shut, the pressure of swirling purples and panged reds within black melt all vision, and smells the moisture in the air, musk, mint, the stale shaving foam, and rotten meat; she decides it is time to leave. On her way out the cleaning-woman does not look back, entering the off-white hallway with burgundy carpet, forgetting her cart and taking the stairs, saying with surreal ease, like in a dream, there is another suicide in room three-forty, announcing she will not clean the candy-cane bed sheets, waiting for the police to arrive and then giving her statement, until she is finally home at her apartment to cook promised hamburgers when her husband arrives from the fort, and when he strips out of the janitorial uniform they only discuss his day, and when he asks she replies, “Nothing important,” and the dishes will soak overnight in the sink to loosen the grease, and when they make love they are both quiet and firm and alone, and when he is asleep the cleaning-woman mumbles another prayer to Mary before releasing silent beads of tears.