No line breaks this time. No attempt at metaphor. Just this room with its queen bed, Venetian blinds pulled down, a particleboard bookcase, five-drawer dresser, folding door closet, and a 90 gallon fish tank at the foot of the bed. It’s half filled and blue lit because it’s evening, and because I was going to sell it. For the second time, I thought I would sell it. Instead I have removed most of the lava rock, replaced all of the plants with lily bulbs and a plant from Petco that comes from what they call the “assorted” variety. I will go to Smith’s grocery tonight for another 10 gallons of purified water. I want to bring the water level up to about half. I like having a “below water” and an “above water.” For now, it doesn’t matter why.
The fish tank’s blue lights are bright enough to color the walls and the ceiling blue. Even the bed sheets emit a dimly blue glow. I could change the light to any color – red, purple, green, yellow, brown – but I like blue the most. The fish are black in the blue light. The four giant danios are always moving around, going one way, then flipping around and going another way. This way, no, that way, no, towards the top, no… It’s like they’re lost or can’t decide where to go. Exhausting. Mesmerizing. How will I sleep with such restless room mates?
So much for the fish tank. I’m wearing my favorite outfit: green tights and an orange tunic dress from India. It has little round mirrors sewn across the chest and all down the front. When I walk in the sun, the mirrors cast white dots that gather into shivering bunches. Such a selfless tunic, sharing its beauty with the parking lot pavement. Today, in this outfit, it is good to be a woman. But let’s not debate what that means. Tonight, all of today, I am, I was, I feel, completely woman. And it is good. I keep touching the make up on my chin and cheeks. I look at my long fingers, white tops of my feet, curving thighs, even the lump on my kneck that is like an historical marker retelling the history of my boyhood.
If I had a harmonica I would play the gospel blues. If I could play the guitar I would sing with the Irish. I would fill, to myself, what they call “The Parting Glass,” and it wouldn’t matter if the “parting” is death, or if it means to leave the home you loved. Leave what you loved to find what will love you. It wouldn’t matter. I would fill my parting glass and raise it in memory of the old loves, and drink to the new loves, new passions, new beauties, new joys jammed between the toes, stuffed in the ears and mouth.
But enough metaphor. I said I wouldn’t go there. A foolish thing to say, really. What are we without metaphor? What is love or contentment or hope without metaphor. How can I understand what love means to you, or how you despair. And what is joy to me? It is a 10 watt light bulb, just bright enough to illuminate the end table it stands on, and my right hand that hangs over the armrest on the couch where I am dozing. And so much more. But my writing hand is tired and it is getting late…
I write in spite of everything that has already been written, in spite of the feeling that everything to say, has already been said. But everything has not been said. I like to think each one of our lives is more than anything anyone has ever written. More than every poem, every story, every word, every painted cathedral, every thought, everything ever expressed in any language, sculpted, preached, sung, anything, absolutely anything and all of them combined. And still, our essence stays half a step away. Like a teasing lover, laughing and leading us on. Leading us, wa hope, up the hillside, to a grassy opening in the trees where we have space and peace enough to sleep, side by side, and still out of reach.
*sigh* I don’t know what any of that amounts to. It’s almost 10 PM aid to late to get water for the fish tank. At least the fish appear happy. Even the tire track eel has come out. And I’m still in my favorite clothes and touching my chin I can feel the hair pushing through. I should wash the woman from my face, shave, take my legal drugs and go to sleep. I hate to sleep when it’s time to sleep. I’d rather nod off at the computer at work where I’m supposed to caption phone calls for the deaf. There’s been a few times I almost did. Well, this is nothing new.
I’m rambling now. I don’t know how to end this one.
But then again…