Saturday, February 06, 2010

In the Still of the Night


I suffer periodic delusions of grandeur. I move in nighttime spaces, blurry spaces between grandeur and despair. This despair comes to me in colors I cannot name.

I ask why. Often. I suppose grandeur weighs more heavily after one publishes a book. But after that? I didn’t know. Don’t know. Self-accusation. Doubt. When I began to write it was out of love. How do good things go bad? Acclamation. Artifice. America.

It’s that night-space between, lingering, interminable, that makes me want that sleepless, dreamless night to end. I drink to close out the dark in-between. Drink shuts things down.

Sometimes (rarely) I cry. Anxious moments instigate tears. On those few occasions I do cry, that surrender means I’m on the edge of some annihilation. I feel unstable. Vacuous. Afraid I’ve never lived. Bravado slips off night’s ledges. Fear inducts tears that cling. I can’t even ball up a fist to shake at God. I’m a poseur. A dilettante. I go limp.

Nothing has ever come easily to me. Only this mask. I am Mask-uline. Ha-ha. I drink. It helps me every bit as much as it kills me. It helps me because it kills me. It helps me. It kills me. It is killing me. Help me. Don’t.

You see? I am beyond delusions now. I am only sharing feelings, feelings like rose and indigo inks drawn and set down on paper. An image from another time. Ink is no longer “drawn and set down.” I don’t know if the past was any better. It was another time. My gut has history. My sense of things has been forged over time. In the end, my feelings are tied to the past. My life. A history of wasted time. Of not knowing. Dreamless life.

That sounds terrible, doesn’t it? My feelings. Very Dr. Phil. Very Dr. Joyce Brothers. Lost in an age of celebrity shrinks. And for all of it, I no longer feel. This is the extended irony that runs this narrative.

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