…so I can stop saying I.

25 August 2011 § Leave a comment

This summer, whose decline has followed me south (I will continue to elude the autumn!), I’ve learned a lot. And when I say “a lot,” I mean I’ve grown and learned more about myself than possibly any single and consecutive four-month period in the last 25 years.

Just to be clear: I’m still six-three-and-and-half-or-so, and probably around the same weight as when I stop weighing myself every day in May (181.5 pounds, 13 stone, 82 kilos, etc.).

Right, so now that’s out of the way.

There’s a bit of ant problem in this place, a perfect little cottage on Whidbey Island near Seattle, with a perfect garden with lots of flowers, a deck on top of a bluff about the height of the one in Kenai. I can see the whole Olympic Range from that deck, and the main sea-shipping route for the Port of Seattle. I’ve seen some big fucking boats in the past week or so. Behind the house sits Mount Baker, some ways back over Puget Sound. Deception Pass, so called because some idiot probably thought Anacortes and Whidbey were in fact one island until he came up to the cliff that divides them, isn’t too far to the north. The very boring-yet-very-often-photographed engineering feat that bridges them is now a very popular place for jumpers to meet their god. They usually just become fish food.

Like I was saying, this place is perfect. Too perfect. It’s where people who heal other people with crystals and fingersnaps come to live in solitude because the energy feels good. There’s a three-foot-tall Hindu god sitting outside the front door. Every time I take off my shoes in front of him (which, for all you non-northerners, is the polite thing to do when you walk into someone’s house), I wonder who hired him, and where I can hang my socks. I don’t dare ask him, though. The economy is tough, I understand that, but I don’t want to offend his dignity. Anyway, this is a peaceful place. I was even offered a landscaping job for a few days. Fishing calluses faded from my hands, in an hour I had four blisters. Damn it.

The ants just keep coming, no matter how many I smush with my thumb. Some species just never learn.

I’m getting off-subject. People. that’s right. They’re important. And how we interact is important. I’m reasonably confident that’s where emotion started, people interacting with other people. When it was just people and dinosaurs, there were no negotiations – one killed the other, and humans usually lost. I’m okay with that, too. But have you ever heard of the Christmas Day truce in 1914? One of the bloodiest wars the world has ever seen, and a few German and British troops had the cajones to jump out of the trenches near Ypres, Belgium on Christmas and trade cigarettes, play a bit of football, and do some caroling, where on any other day, they had strict orders to shoot, shoot, shoot. They even gave each other the chance to recover the corpses of their buddies.

So you see, how we interact with one another is important. And I’m realizing that those moments in which I thought my cynical and tactless (albeit true) comments – opinions – made to a boss or an ex-girlfriend (god forbid they be one and the same), would be ignored, dismissed, or on a good day, acknowledged silently, were moments of gross misunderstanding on my part – me, who is always right and logical…and on my less-than-good days. socially inept.

(Let me indulge that habit for a moment, as an example: if an apology is an affirmation made to assure you that I’ll never do it again, this is no apology. I am sorry for those moments, but how else could I have gotten here? Yes, it was at your expense, and I bang my head into a brick wall daily for every time I fucked up (and if I can’t find brick, trust me, I find some way to feel bad about it), so I’m sorry for the pang I may have caused in your heart, aaaannd it’s probably why we don’t talk anymore.)

See what I mean?

My point: I don’t want to be a parenthesis. Usually, I make sure that when I go to sleep at night, I’ve wrapped that curvaceous figure around me like satin sheets and cellophane. I remember looking at the cabin door thinking I shouldn’t be here –  I’d rather be a temporary exclamation point, an inspiration found in an Alaskan Poet’s Cafe, near an elevator in New York City, outside an airport way out in the bush. Those are my comfort zones, and don’t you dare push me out of it. That’s my job for you. I’m not supposed to last longer than it takes for your heart to beat faster. That’s my exit sign. Usually.

A bottle of cool-label–yet-cheap-tasting cabernet sauvignon and a few popped blisters later: sunset seas, mountainsky breakup jazz beams in through slug-smudged windows. my head’s in the clouds, and I’m never comin’ down. pop goes the snare, goes the e-lec-tronic synth, fake that piano ‘verb like the smoothest choircompanion around. ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone, but it’s streaming through the windows something ferocious. I’m repulsed, and the liquidlove slithers like red cancer to my heart. I’m finally finding me, and this is just the start.

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