Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Continued To-be-continued...coming soon...The other side...thanks, Jane

He sat in the family room, computer in his lap, in the aftermath of another conversation he had chosen to detach from. She had accused him of being depressed, although he knew he wasn’t, yet he did understand that there was something different, incongruous to his essence. He was not unhappy, or rather, he was choosing to cling to those things that made him happy, peripheral things, not her, though he was not ignoring those things that made him sad. It was if his brain had split, not into the natural left right, almost like the way a dried log splits when struck by a maul; it was split along some desiccated grain, ancient throughout rings, but shrouded in bark about to separate from the still moist cambium; it was here that healing occurs, the healing of the first axe blow, the first to or fro of the saw, healing internal and external both to the living wood. There was some element he could not grab a hold of, unctuous and slippery, like sap rising from the root, yet that, of course, was impossible. The wood of his life was already dried and stacked; whether in cords or in bales of two-by-fours; burn or build were still untenable, unknowable, unfelt, unthought-of. It was as if the next moment could not potentialize, probabilize, in the dry tinder/timber matter. Yes, that was it, he thought, the purgatory of burn or build, held fast, locked in the compressed rings of the tree of life; if he could only push through the phloem, the periderm, and emerge through an unseen lenticel, he would be all right. He was held fast, locked on an uncleared path, silent, unable to hear the crows.

He understood that he needed the key, the ax, the saw, to unlock, and he knew that the key lay within the language of the trees; language inaudible to him, spoken in the inert inner rings, at a frequency too low in the spectrum to be perceived; a language likely inaudible even in the quietest of quiet rooms. He understood that he needed to find the slower, natural pace of things, of thought; the tree-like simplicity of existence; to detach from the rapid fire thought process of self debate; to root, and stand alone; to listen to breeze, to drizzle, to flurries; to shut out the louder voices of crows and jays, and listen, as his synapses fired gobs of dopamine and serotonin, opioids and cannabinoids, for the clarity of quiet; to simply feel what he felt silently, until all desire liquefied into a singular, fluid understanding. He needed to escape the didactic, the diametrically opposed arguments of ‘I want her to be happy’ and ‘I want to be happy’ that quarreled when triggered by dangled expectations, or overly long phone calls filled with laughter, or the slap-in-the-face time she spent cloistered in the room they used to share. He wanted to give her that room, but it was if that gift was ideated suicidally, or, at least, self destructively. He was, in an act of generosity, injecting his own venom, his own toxin, into a thinking mind already too saturated with retrograde agonists; a mind that raced with conflict when confronted with his new reality. He needed to brush the intrusion and fuzziness of pedal-to-the-metal, internal dialogue aside, and parallel the natural course of to and fro, the way crows alight on trees, and trees dismiss them with subtle quivers. He needed to take what she offered, acceptance, but it was that very thing that eluded him. To simply accept that he was now her best friend and that alone, seemed like a step backwards. Yet it was backwards he needed to go, he thought; backwards to the man he was before he embraced the dream of a life together, or, at least, an entirely different life together.

He’d had not time to adjust, to get used to the thing he did not want. It all happened suddenly, and it seemed that she expected him to drop it, as simply as a flying crow drops shit on your head. He felt like she saw him as a big enough man; a big enough man to accept what no human male had ever accepted before him; that he was some sort of evolved man, who would simply be glad for her happiness, and not write a book about it, or seek psychiatric counseling. She seemed to discount the irrational side of him; assumed that he could make it balance, like a linear equation. She knew he didn’t work like that. He wore things on his sleeve, and she’d left him with wife-beaters, with no wife, or capacity, to beat. No wife…no drum…just his head, and the strain of the irresolvable. And the truth was he didn’t want the struggle to resolve. He simply wanted to reach inside himself, and pull out the handkerchief with the answer; not sleight of hand, more like an act of faith, but he did not find the cloth or the faith…just the struggle.

He had moments when the answer seemed near at hand, but it seemed to taunt him by dangling just out of reach. The dog waiting for the fat from the steak. The crow waiting for the hawk to ignore him, so he could steal the offal. The lack of reward, the joy of solution, cast him into a pall of self doubt. He did not know what to do. In fact, he no longer knew how to talk, to touch, or to do. The stream of instructions, the data stream, was interrupted, had stopped flowing, bits and bytes of lost directions, or lost on him, at least. He felt like a sailor, standing in the crow’s-nest, staring down at crest and valley, salty answers in the vastness of water, perched high aloft, without wings to carry him.

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