I stopped writing last fall around Thanksgiving. I stopped having sex too, mostly. I made a promise to the only thing I could see in the sky that I would stop living toward my death. I never stopped smoking, but I don’t do it to die anymore. I do it because I don’t think I ever will. Or—scratch that. I do it because I don’t ever think. I don’t give myself time to think.
I wonder what happened to that cloud I made the promise to. Or, actually, I don’t, because I know what happens to clouds, because I know some basic meteorology. I read some parts of a book about it when I was waiting in line at the library. Clouds spend a whole lot of time coming together and then they fall out of the sky in little pieces. You know. Rain.
Leaves are sort of like that too in the fall, except trees spend way longer putting themselves together and way longer falling apart. That isn’t a metaphor, it’s just true. Don’t think about it too much—trust me, it’s better not to.
I don’t know if you remember, but I saw you last autumn one night when you were drunk. I can’t believe a whole year’s passed since then. I still think about it every time I can smell the leaves. Last week I started fantasizing about moving to the seaside because I thought the smell of salt would overpower the leaves in the fall. I’m not really sure if it would work, but I’ve been trying to stop fantasizing anyway. Fantasizing is just another word for thinking.
Before I started actually doing things I had this theory that thought is just a way to fill your life when it isn’t full. My dad told me a story when I was a kid about a man with two sons. He gives each of them a hundred dollars and a house and tells them to spend the money filling it. One of them fills his with hay because it’s the only thing he can afford so much of. The other one buys a Neil Young record and fills the house with music. My dad thought the second kid was better, but I’m not convinced.
I’ve mostly been concentrating on keeping the fridge stocked since last Thanksgiving, because that’s enough to fill my life. I wake up every morning and get a coffee from down the street. Then I go to work. When work ends, I go to the library and then the grocery store on the way home. Sometimes I get a drink with a friend after dinner.
I’ve been finding it hard, though, to keep myself busy since it’s been autumn again. I’ve called in sick every day this week, and I haven’t been answering my friends’ phone calls. It’s hard to say why, but I’ve been feeling really contemplative, which is bad. I don’t like thinking, obviously, especially since you did what you did last year. I haven’t gone grocery shopping this week.
Things don’t have to be good or bad. They can just be whatever they are, but what they are is how they make us feel, and I’m trying to feel full on something other than ideas. You can’t get full thinking about recipes and my fridge is pretty bare now, like I said. I keep trying to get started on a grocery list but I’ve spent the last week daydreaming of a place where the air smells like salt.
we’re living in the end times
it’s going to be okay it’s going to be okay
I’ve been wondering lately if there’s a place in your heart I can remove my spirit to that will teach me how to move with consideration. It’s been inside me so long that my body may have poisoned it beyond repair. But still there is a question it finds when it sees itself: are you the holy place you are looking for? I have been speaking to you without intention. I have been scraping at your skin with my eyes closed. I am within myself. No—I am within a me that’s within myself. I have taken a path that meanders through the trees and has no end. And the lazy answer carried back: no, I am trapped in these veins, the unloved slave to a cock and stomach.