Listen, I know I have a mouth on me. It’s a thing. Maybe it’s even a New England thing. But if they didn’t want me dropping f-bombs all over the place, they should have chosen phonemes that sounded less like fireworks. The “fff” of the mortar leaving its tube, the hard “k” of the report that echoes through the sky.
Yeah, you can hear it now too, can’t you? You’re welcome.
I checked the calendar when I rolled over in my bed this morning, fumbling with the shape of the phone in my hand. November 14th. Been married five days. Filed the paperwork two days ago. I don’t think you need me to tell you, but it felt in no way different from the days leading up to it… except that we were no longer in the process of planning a fantastical pageant rife with unicorn skulls, rainbows, genderfuck, and peacock feathers. The only real difference I noticed was the annoying increase in people attempting to address me as “Mrs.” I’m not “Mrs.” I’m “Ms.” Same as I was before.
In fact, the one thing that doesn’t conform to the same old same old is the paperwork trickling in bearing his new last name. The last name I’ve always had, but now the one he shares. The desk clerks were kind at the social security office, and with federal paperwork in hand, I’m sure the DMV will be a breeze.
It makes me wonder, for all this sameness, for all this carrying on as normal, why is it such a travesty in some people’s eyes for certain couples to get married? If the idea of marriage is to create a legally defined union in order to more easily accomplish certain (mostly economic, some important social) goals, then I fail to see why certain individuals should be barred from it. It would make more sense to dissolve the idea of marriage altogether and do away with corporations while we’re at it.
When you write, even the time you are not writing, you are writing. The negative space is as necessary to the process as the time spent scratching a page with a pencil. Without those spaces between, there is no time to gather in, to hold still, to sit without doing. All of those things are necessary to the craft of writing in their measure.
This language thing that people do… it intrigues me. Fashionable philosophy has been dissecting it for years, and still it’s our playground. We are vain birds, in love with our own voices, mockingbirds and jackdaws, finding all the surfaces to echo back our calls across the sky.
Names, words writing… not the same but interlinked. They have power. To name a thing is to control it, to speak a thing makes it true, to set a thing in writing makes it unalterable. Myths and words of power. Odin gave his eye for knowledge of the runes.
Words are the poles we use to vault the chasms between minds. That is its own magic. To speak, to say, and then to understand. A miracle.
And yet, words are empty symbols we push around paper, that we cast into the air, and we could fill any sound shape with the notions that we like, and so long as we are in agreement. But we are agreeable sorts.
Tonight? Some of them are simply cries to carry on the wind.
I had a realization today. This is a rather foolish realization, a dull and mundane realization: it is very hard to write, or do any creative work, for that matter, when it feels as though you’ve been hit by a bus. Flus are not conducive to productivity. This is true also of hunger, but oddly not always of sleep deprivation.
Since I am still battling a flu, this is all I have to say on the matter.
I would like to break your heart. You see, I am a nihilist, and I have managed to romanticize nihilism. It is my greatest comfort: that we are small and assured of our smallness. That we have none of the answers, that we are making it up as we go along. How large is the Atlantic? The Pacific? Now think: how far is it to Jupiter? To Bellatrix? And we matter, somehow? Are you sure? I do not believe in love, unless I am in love with everyone, and darling, dear one, I am in love with everyone. I realized long ago, ever since that fifth-grade play, that the girl with the green streak in her hair has always been the boy who never grew up. I am my own Wendy, asking myself, “Boy, why are you crying?” I already know the answer. My shadow won’t stick. None of ours will, casting long looks into an empty future, and finding patterns that aren’t really there. But they’re really pretty. Peter knew it, too. Death is an awfully big adventure, he said, and I tell you we are dying every day. Will you come adventuring with me? It’s all right. You can say no, for now.
I think I know why people get nostalgic. I think I know why the past is so appealing, calling us over the hills, over the water… the past is certain. It’s a stone we can throw, hold in our hands and trace its riverstone curves and call “interesting” when really we mean “biomorphic,” or trace its jags and say it’s “pretty” when we mean “shot through with impurity and inclusions.”
The future, you see, weighs nothing. It feels like a stomach ache, like bad mussels eaten on a bad date. You never know. You can’t know.
Whereas the past, though it hit you on the head and made you bleed, the past you can put in your pocket, lob the memories at the younger generation who will mock you for your poor aim.
At least that’s something.