I think this isolation is really starting to get inside my head.
It seems to stick there indelibly, like that unseen masticated chewing gum clinging annoyingly to the soles of my best pair of shoes right before that hastily planned and spectacularly doomed blind date that I just did not see coming. Intrusive. Frustratingly unsettling. Cloying. And, just a little bit gross.
Strange thoughts here on this nervously quarantined night in the high City of Wayne. And for some reason, they just won’t stop.
The adulterous temptations of an Alice’s deceptive muse calls out her siren songs of mixed metaphors and intentional dishonesty, enticing me with her seductive rabbit-holes, so temptingly approachable in their comforting lies. They promise me the benefit of a better understanding of the underlying madness. They solicit themselves brazenly to the fateful rhythm of the playlist’s last dance. They bombard me with tantalizing brief images flashing from a bygone childhood, carefree and devoid of any pandemically mandated limitations. Anything, and everything, at their disingenuous disposal they throw at me, pulling me in deeper and deeper until I become hopelessly trapped in their bottomless void.
And tonight, it grows so very dark.
Because somewhere out there, tonight- right now, is a chunk of granite, or maybe limestone, forged millions of years ago in violent geology, but ultimately created to bear my final name. Or maybe it is to be a hunk of rapidly tarnishing bronze, or brass, recycled from throughout the whole of antiquity in a never-ending cycle of rebirth and repurposing, ending one day in my final unremarkable maker set stoically geometric amongst a sea of other strange names.
Maybe the ornamental tree that is to help form my final resting spot has not yet sprouted up green from the cemetery grounds. Or maybe the metal required for another pointlessly over-indulgent sarcophagus has not yet been mined so rudely violent from the heart of the Earth. Maybe I am simply currently benefiting from a temporary reprieve of conspiring events, while behind me the mischievous countdown unceasingly grows shorter.
I wonder if the nurse has even been born yet, the one destined to give me my final dose of medication, to either ease my last sufferings, or to make some valiant, last minute heroic stand in some infectiously unwinnable battle. That battle we all eventually fight and the battle we are all destined to one day lose.
Are they even in school yet, cramming hard and burning though the nights while simultaneously attempting to hold on to youthful carelessness and unaccountability? Are they learning to be rigidly compassionate, or callously cautious, with their scrub-covered heart? Have they perhaps already graduated and are already out there working the floor, tonight, through the overnight hours of yet another pandemic symphony of rhythmically dependable ventilators wheezing out the shift?
I wonder endlessly about all the little puzzle pieces that ultimately must come together to eventually form the picture of my last day. I ponder the astoundingly complex tapestry the fates must constantly weave. And not just for me, but for every other living soul as well. Every soul is a uniquely interesting story and every story is filled with countless little details that all inevitably form seamlessly together on a pointillism canvas capturing a mutual humanity experienced.
I find that fascinating. I find that endlessly beautiful. And, somehow comforting.
These words here tonight are not intended, or designed, to cause alarm or concern in anyone who might be unfortunate enough to find themselves reading them. They are just a few of my ponderings, the many rigidly orphaned children of my too many nights caught inside my own head, pinned down honestly onto a once blank page, just to help pass the time.
For sixty fucking days.
For sixty days these words have been my constantly annoying companions, tagging along uninvited on this unwanted journey through a world caught coughing itself apart at the seams. For sixty nights I’ve sat alone and stared at this typewriter, and the accompanying accusatory stack of blank papers, just aching for the touch of ink and the first tickle of a good story.
And I have tried my best to tell that story.
Sometimes, the words are patient and calm, describing rare moments of unexpected beauty in the midst of the Covid storm still raging hard. Sometimes, they are a bit comical, or maybe even whimsically lyrical in their nature, designed to tease a smile, or a laugh, from the reader. But admittedly, more often than not, they do tend to be brash and unfiltered, if not outright offensive.
And maybe a bit dark.
Despite what I have been endlessly taught to avoid, and constantly cautioned against actively seeking, I am still a firm believer that there is always some beauty to be found in the darkness. It just sometimes takes longer to find it.
And I’m a sucker for that story.
Because that beauty is still out there, even if it remains temporarily unseen. It still exists, even if eyes haven’t yet grown accustomed enough to the dark to see it and fingers remain reservedly hesitant in their touch. It is still there and it can be just as meaningful, and just as inspiring, as what can be found in the opposing light. I know that beyond any doubt.
I have seen it, firsthand, every single sleepless night of my life.