Poignant Blurs

Creativity Works

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Location: Florida, United States

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Monday, January 03, 2005

Third Act

Somewhere in the third act, it lost all of it’s meaning. There was just no point in watching anymore. No point in getting up disturbing everyone though either, she couldn’t very well go anywhere until the show was over. He wasn’t going to want to leave now, he seemed to still be entertained, and why shouldn’t he be. Still she felt suddenly stifled in there, knees pressed to stranger’s knees, strange perfumes and people sounds, and she was suddenly aware of a tightness in her throat that would soon give way to gurgling if she did not get out of there now. She tried for one more minute to calm her racing brain and then she stood as quietly as she could and excused herself, down the row, over the stranger’s knees, trying to see despite the blackness and the little flashes of color that were now dancing about in her retina. Outside, a cool breeze and a quick expulsion of dinner later found her feeling much better. She washed up in the ladies room and chewed a piece of the new “fiercely spearmint” gum she kept in her purse.

By the time he made it through the crowds to find her seated on the bench outside, she looked totally composed.“What happened to you?” He asked “Don’t you feel well?”“I’m fine,” she replied “I just needed some air”“Didn’t you enjoy the show?”“Yes, very much, Thanks so much for bringing me out for this, it was lovely!”“Well, you missed the ending, aren’t you going to ask me how it turned out?”“Oh no, it was positively lovely what I saw, I don’t want to hear about it in case I get the opportunity to see it again some day.”The car unlocked with a quick double beep and click, and he held the door open for her to get in. She appreciated the gesture and reached over to pop the handle for him, although it was unnecessary. They settled in and the radio played a light instrumental background for their comfortable silence as they pulled out of the parking lot. It was a good day, and a nice night, and she watched the clouds out her window and traced them in her mind.

Back at his apartment he made cocoa as she undressed, and they sat in the living room holding the warm cups and discussed the next day. There was much to do, it would be Sunday. Laundry, cleaning, paying bills, writing letters, returning phone calls, grocery shopping, a trip to the gym, the final catch up day for the week before heading again into the future. Monday would bring with it again an onslaught of meetings and obstacles and decisions to be made. Sunday was no longer a day of rest, but was respite. A day for unhurried errands and routine, before the new week exploded back into their lives.

The days faded into one another; a flurry of unmentioned mornings after, nights blurred by drink and blended with dreams, until one could not tell any longer what was real. Each day started anew as if there had been none before, only the vague memory that there had been., and the residual consequences followed. The feeling that there was some path started out on which could not be deterred from, an unavoidable momentum, kept her moving, getting out of bed, however groggy and uninspired. She looked for clarity in any form, struggling to see through eyes which would no longer cooperate, drank coffee constantly.

She stopped going out, even to see him. She had forgotten if it even mattered. She spent the nights at her desk, consulting giant volumes of linguistic analysis, dictionaries, thesauruses. The spider had netted her doorway and it's translucent silk had snagged the secrets of her heart as she walked inside one night. She searched for the spider each time she came in or out now, but she was frightened of it and would not know what to say if she found it. If she saw any glimmer as she walked towards the house on the few evenings she had managed in to work, she would peer down in the bushes and stare for long minutes with wide eyes, clutching her bag to her chest. Then she would make the hike around the building, through the laundry facility, and up the steps to the side entrance of her apartment. She wondered briefly what the neighbors must think if they saw her, stranded at her own front door, staring at nothing, swatting at the back of her neck for fear it would drop down upon her and finish her off. It was more important that she finish her writing however, and so she brushed the thoughts away as she could not do with the web.She had contemplated capturing the spider, keeping it in a jar on her desk and forcing it to dictate back to her what it had stolen. When she had opened the door though, she had been paralyzed with terror, and decided instead to consult her old journals and photo albums, searching for the dreams that she used to have. It was that which which had to be done. She had to leave instruction, it had to be clear, it had to make it all ok. The time was slipping away as if steam from her coffee, leaving her hunched and shivering, wrapped around it.She re-read the pages she had managed so far. She cursed the spider and cursed herself.

The wording was over-emphasized, to the point that all the words lost their meaning, relative to the context which was not. The tears were in her coffee before she had noticed them.She wanted to make some noise, some mark for what she felt, but there were no tools; No instruments to blend melody of heart, no rocks to scratch the cave walls with primitive drawings of animals and figures, hyroglyphically; No knives to carve symbolically in skin what can't be spoken because there was also no voice, and no one to hear it. No point in making a physical statement of any kind because there has been no one before and will be no one after. She reached to the ceiling; mute and longing. For what was this tide that creeps inside her caverns, when there is no light or life to care of it? And why alone, must she witness it, with nothing even to yield at her touch, to respond to her reckoning?

Sometimes the words were too much for her, they throbbed and burned. Like knives piercing her brain in frenzied repetition. And then sometimes there were not nearly enough. They were everywhere inside of her, permeating her skin, threatening to bubble over and reduce her to a word puddle on the floor. But still sometimes there were not enough.It is her waking nightmare, the thing of cold wet sheets and nowhere to run to.

She pulls heavily from the damp and tangled bed sheets, as one who has pulled out of the swamp, and does not care where they have landed if there is something solid at long last. The sharp edge of the nightstand where her temple cracks is not the enemy, it is welcome because at last she has made tangible her fear, and there is beauty in the ensuing pain, reminding her of life and a bruise to be hidden in the morning light. Thirstily she gulps last bits of juice from cartons in her fridge, carelessly tossing aside the used cartons and finally finding refuge under the faucet. If only this sleep did not consume her so entirely, as if sleeping were another chore, when all she wanted was refuge, respite, relaxation. In her dreams sometimes she finds herself sleeping, so exhausted by her life and her dreams that she finally recedes from both, only to be teased by the disembodied watching of a self at sleep dreaming of sleep. If this is madness it is certainly maddening enough to bear it's name, but she knows this isn't madness because she is all too aware.Back under covers suddenly comfortable and dry and warm, she again reaches for the unrequited dream of peace. Sleep steals her suddenly, as she if she was being ripped from her world and falling into theirs. They who were drinking her luminosity, blanching her out, making her sallow and moist. She felt the tiny tears between her consciousness and body. Eventually as she weakened, the dreams became more lucid. They were telling her something now, she was learning what it was all about.

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