standing on the edge of a precipice looking down. m. told me i should jump, over a decade ago. nehal, carpe diem, she said. i’ve never met anyone who needs to jump as much as you, she said. i’ve never jumped, not then, not now. i’m just standing here, looking over the edge and seeing the bottom. zoning out, playing fantasy house in a safe, locked room, separate from the real. the real’s down below. anticipating the vertigo build-up, waiting for it to hit me so i can jump back in a sketchy panic. like that time i went on a journey with you in another plane, woke up disoriented not remembering where i was, and the claustrophobia shoved me out of the car trunk so fast, i think i kicked you in the stomach trying to get out. it’s like that again, and just as metaphorical. this time though, the pain from the blow to your gut isn’t going to fade in a few minutes.
the scar on my psyche is a keloid tattoo. a scratcher job done in a living room somewhere out west, one november many years ago. it hadn’t started snowing yet. last night had it flaring up again, and speaking of pain, mine hasn’t faded. i can’t do anything like that again, burned once and fearing fire. air feeds the flames and i don’t have the reserves to put them out.
i get dodgy when i’m afraid. pattern-making, nervous irrelevant gestures start controlling my life. i had to stop myself from counting birds, i had to step on pavement cracks on purpose. working it out through writing. it feels weird to be writing like this during the day, this should be for the night.
everything else apart from yesterday’s pain and today’s whimsy is irrelevant. i thought my memory was an unreliable narrator. oh lordy pick a bale of cotton, oh lordy pick a bale of hay. getting on my knees and picking that white oil that grows in the homeland. but chocolate-covered cotton balls are still indigestible.
it’s hard to zip one’s self up in a straitjacket – i’ve been trying for weeks. came to the frightening realisation that i’m ready to sing jennifer lopez tunes for the rest of my life. except her duets suck.
bang bang he shot me down
bang bang i hit the ground
bang bang that awful sound
bang bang my baby shot me down
– bang bang, nancy sinatra