itinerant miscalculation…

I woke up thinking everything was OK. The feeling was so persuasive that I didn’t want to move. For whatever slice of time elapsed while I lay still in bed and felt good, it might have been heaven. Until the moment of inspiration, I hadn’t realized how badly I wanted some kind of proof that everything that had been torn up and thrown away was in reality still in one piece. The whole scene felt so good I didn’t want to open my eyes for fear of losing the fantasy. Somehow, my eyelids overpowered my restraint, and the morning broke down the walls of my waking dream. The sheets were balled up on the corner of the bed with one pillow on the floor and one crammed between the bed and the wall. I couldn’t remember tossing and turning, but from the looks of things it was a full on jitterbug. Fucking A.

I should get out of bed. There wasn’t really a reason to get up, but what else can you do? The comfortable and lackadaisical approach to the morning ritual was gone, and even if this was just another in a long line of days to get through before passing out tonight, I may as well do it clean shaven. A hot shower never hurt anyone. I tried to psych myself up to move, rolling off the bed onto the floor. Yesterday’s t-shirt and cutoff’s were puddled on the floor next to the bed, and I made a mental note to get laundry done. Hooray for repetitious and mindless tasks. There is nothing so easy on the dispirited mind as movement without the trouble of thought. Catch as catch can is another way of putting it.

The bedroom and bathroom weren’t dirty or clean, just somewhere in the middle. Nothing like laundry day to inspire the will to clean up what could be easily cleaned. No reason to delve any deeper than the job required. In this case, the shower seemed like the best place to start, and the hot water might even offer a brief respite from the ache in my lower back shooting and burning through my hips drawn as if by gravity towards my ankle. Sometimes the hot water loosens the muscles, sometimes not. OF course, my injury isn’t muscular or skeletal, so there is a certain element of damned if you do, damned if you don’t to most of my movements. Mostly, I try to stay out of the way of the world for fear of moving too slowly and being passed right on by. A low probability event to be certain, but black swan’s are everywhere lately, and you can never be too careful.

Movement through the morning commences, a stream of bleary eyed events of no particular note. Another trip through ritual that requires only to follow that internal schedule from dry, to wet, to damp, to dry. Now, we’re right next to godliness. If you stop to consider it, I suppose a lot of us start every day a little wet behind the ears. It certainly fits in with everything else. The march of progress stops for no man. Suitably cleansed, I wandered over to the closet to find today’s t-shirt. With such a small wardrobe, selecting most of my outfit is another of those rote, thoughtless tasks, but the one thing I have too many of is t-shirts. I hang them all up in the closet divided by color because I enjoy the effect, but there is always the option of finding a new system. It seems like it would be a waste of time. On the other hand, there isn’t much else to do. Maybe later… or some other day. Anyhow, my choice is easy today, because all of my favorites are already dirty and waiting to be laundered.

The whole ordeal only took about an hour. Like most mornings, it leaves me feeling shiftless, but there is laundry to do, and some light cleaning. Truth is, it hurts so goddamned much to bend and twist that even these kind of bullshit household chores take a lot longer to finish than they used to. Even something as simple as emptying the dishwasher feels like a major accomplishment by the time its done. Whenever I think about a day without this fucking consolation prize, I get a hard on. I’d hope this ain’t taken as a complaint against fate or god or nature, that kind of thing. Shit happens, and whatever the reason for the occurrence doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. In other words, the pain may be a constant reminder that my lumbar vertebrae is generally fucked up, but the pain is all mine to do with as I please. There is very little in life that can be so totally owned. That it is generally a hassle and brings with it much misery doesn’t change the fact that it’s mine. A small thing perhaps, but another part of taking what comes my way.

And so I shuffle around, trying to get as much done as I can while moving slowly, hunched over and clumsy. In the midst of cleaning, I can feel the common dissatisfaction building as I look around for nooks and crannies to clean. It feels like there are so many broken things around here that need fixing, and I don’t even know where to start. Light bulbs to replace; holes in the linoleum on the bathroom floor; friends who’ve been hurt by own reckless anger; air filters choked with dust; doctors who ignore pain they are paid to treat; even the rug needs to be shampooed.

Sometimes it’s so overwhelming that I can’t help but feel like the battle is lost long before the troops even take the field. The only thing I’ve found to combat the emotional fatigue is poetry. Poetry helps the mind, and lately I’ve been clinging to it like a life raft, trying to make sense of the words that take my mind off broken cars, dirty floors, and busted friendships. My slow shuffle is as much a reflection of my bent frame as it is an admission that things are always moving too fast for me to keep up. Does effort even mean anything these days? Did it ever?

Instead of wallowing in the stew of self-pity and miscalculated probabilities, the truth is I can only stay on this path with the hope that all of these vagrant thoughts and irreducible mistakes are just more steps on the way towards something else. I’ve got a story, and I’m willing to give up the little I have to tell it the way I think it should be told. Is that a declaration of war or just a stubborn jackass who doesn’t know any better? Sooner or later, the answer will arrive.

After wrestling with the changes that need to be made to better tell the story, it would appear the time is perfect for a run at a second draft. I had thought there would be more to it than simple consideration, but since the beginning of this strange project I have altered or let go of a stunning amount of preconceptions. If there is any hope at all of this whole situation bearing fruit beyond the painful silence of kindhearted souls, I have to do my part, no matter how absurd or illogical it seems. Luckily, one of my talents is making sense of the absurd. I have a lot of practice. Snicker snicker…

What I need is trust, both in my choices and in my companions. Right now they sit silently on the shelf, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t more to say and do. It will just have to be said tomorrow, when I won’t forget to keep daydreaming. Somewhere, somehow, it’s going to be OK. I can almost feel it.

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