Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Already it feels like it isn't working.
Already it feels like a big wide, white, empty abyss.
Already it's a mountain laughing at my broken legs.
Already it's everyone from junior high school taunting me, terrorizing me.
Already it's a wave that knocks me over and somersaults me under water over and over and there is no shore.
Already it's a barker on the street corner, convincing me it's a sure thing.
Already they're coming and telling me it was all a big joke.
Already the dogs are calling the police.
Already I'm running away from myself, because my self has a huge knife and a maniacal laugh and is coming for me, and I know that I can run, but I can't hide, because wherever I go, there I am.
Already it's hopeless, and already in this moment of utter darkness, a sliver of light appears, and already I believe in it because I'm such a hopeless sucker.
My dog is invisible, but he follows me around wherever I go. He takes invisible pisses on the lawn next door and my neighbor never knows. He takes a shit in the middle of the sidewalk and nobody sees and nobody cares and nobody notices when they step in it. He barks and only I can hear it. He does incredible tricks that only I can enjoy. He eats invisible food that I buy at the invisible supermarket with my invisible money that I make at my invisible job, where I sit at an invisible desk doing nothing all day. When I come home, my dog wags his invisible tail and showers me with invisible kisses, and I love the odorless smell of his invisible dog breath. My invisible dog is very, very, old, but when he dies, it will be basically the same as it is now, as if he were still here with me.
If I were suddenly to adopt an imperious attitude, I would expect that many things would change. Some people are born to follow, and perhaps I would find that many people who used to think of me as something of a joke would suddenly bow their heads and await my instructions. Others might take on the role of toady, and treat my every word as if it were infinitely wise and true. I could decide that the chair I am sitting in is a throne, and I could clap my hands three times and call for my Foole, and he would be dressed in motley and have one of those staffs that jingles, and I would laugh at his jests and perhaps chastise him for his impudence if he steps over a line. He would know that I could have him killed, but he would bravely make fun of my bald spot and my pot belly and my family history. He would tell the story of how my mother worked as a secretary for the CIA and cheated on her husband by fucking her boss, and that that's how I was born. Careful, Foole, I would say. And he would laugh and dance and sing a silly song of Martians made of marshmallows and I would forgive and forget. Then the entire court would sing a song to me, their king, and then we would all have a grand feast where I would eat no meat and drink no wine, and then I would sleep a deep, deep sleep and dream of being the real me once more and then I don't know. I might wake up feeling even more imperious than the day before, or I might find that I have grown weary of imperiousness, and decide instead to adopt an attitude of sniveling, craven, servility. I could wear a hair shirt and walk the streets with a beggars bowl, and when I spied the Foole on his way to the castle, he might remember yesterday's mercy and put a scrap of bread in my bowl, and I would thank him sincerely and then sit down and eat like a king.
August 30, 2016