Tuesday, August 31, 2010

But the fruit of the poor lemon . . .

I admit, sadly, it would have been complicated. And the jury is still out as to whether it was Allison herself who was complicated or whether the world is, in the end, filled with complications that kill. "She died of complications." It is true, after all, that no one gets out of here alive. Sometimes, of course, only parts of us die, so that a person is no longer fully alive, or perhaps they are still alive but in some way new or altered. I don't know. I'm comfortable not knowing, better off I think. These days my only real complaint is that my hands keep shaking and I do not seem able to steady them.

Though I am decisively saddened by the whole Allison passage, by those four drugged-up fuck-heads, apocalyptic horsemen who trample and who kill whatever and whoever lie in their path (the thing I could not save)--the goddamned sadness feels different than the dreamless dark I have known. It's not the same as the black and incapacitating veil of dolors that wafts over my body unpredictably, that circles my hands and feet and steals the peace of sleep from my baggy eyes. I am much clearer about things now: clear that things are never all that "clear." Rarely is anything ever yes or no. Life events and experiences are more often "yes and no," although more "no," I think, than "yes." No is the operative ingredient of every fatal complication. A friend of mine once said, "the word 'no' has five meanings." He'd encountered that in a dream. To this day I have no idea what it means. The only thing I think about the word "no" is that it is serious. No blood. No air. No voice. No dreams. (that's four; perhaps "no sex" is the fifth). When I'm dead I expect the word "No" will be standing over my body in all its multifarious no-tarieties. No nothing. No shit.

I continue the habit, from time to time, of running my fingers over the scars, my face marked like an advertisement, a scarlet evisceration of self. Effacement. I too am like one of the four horsemen. Lethal. An arm of death. Armed.

As best as I can remember things, it had not rained, nor was the night in any way inclement. In fact, it had been a beautiful night. I'd been out, a dance recital, and beforehand drank wine at supper. The dance troupe, Latino, lithe, sexy, hastened a beauty that rose with ferocity inside my chest. When the recital ended, exhilaration caused me to jump out of my seat. On stage, the troupe bowed in unison and I shouted "bravo!" Vigorous applause all around. Finally, the last chiseled dancer traipsed off into a wing, the lights went up and the curtain came down, and I, abruptly earthbound once again, felt rude disappointment on that point.

The moment passed, transient, impossible to hold, and fending off a sense that I had nothing to go home to, I shuffled back up the ramp toward the lobby with the rest. I felt like an imposter. Poseur. I stepped outside. Cool air. Transition. I took my bearings and began walking in the direction of my car. Approaching the restaurant where earlier I had taken my supper, not wanting the evening to end, not wanting to return to my life, I went in. I remember doing it: Assenting. I still can't remember leaving.

What comes back to me, the thing I do remember: a moment of hesitation. Turn? Don't turn? I'd begun to turn and tried, too late, to pull out of the seconds that had already whizzed past. A concrete barrier. Impact. Initial disbelief. Then acceptance. Airborne. Car flipping. Falling. Spinning. Glass. Concrete. The world all upside down. Then the concrete rejoinder to my face, hands pushing off, scraping. No escape. The side of my head, my nose and chin. The sound of something cracking in my ears. Surrender, Succumb. Overwhelmed. Black. Accept.

No light appeared, no rehashing of a life. Out. Cool nature, plain and simple. Blood. Teeth. Bone. Fleeting experience of an undeniably overpowering fact: the flesh is weak.

Still, I hoped Allison might have been wounded enough to have loved a face like mine. An unfaceable face. I touch its scars, and sometimes the raised flesh that stretches jaggedly around my face feels like a net, a net of voices, of accusations. It is like a jury that has written out a verdict. A judge devises apt sentences. Yes and no. So very complicated. Sad.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's been a while since you posted anything. I still check fairly regularly. This is very powerful.