Against Loneliness

Each morning on my days off, I listen to Sinead O’Connor sing “This is the Last Day of Our Acquaintance” and I shower and shave my face and whatever other part of me that needs to be shaved. I brush my hair into a pony tail because it’s not quite long enough to braid and I haven’t learned how anyway. 

If it’s Sunday, I’ll go to lunch with my sister who has always called me bro and I have always called her Rob which is short for Robyn. We might check out a few stores but not Ross because in Ross you have to try things on and spend time looking and she hates that. So maybe we go someplace that sells good art paper or oil pastels, or just drive around in her Nissan SUV with the sun roof open in February and it’s 40 degrees which is warm for Salt Lake City. We surf the radio for music from the 90s and sing along destroying the lyrics and remembering the language we made up as kids, and how we’d go grocery shopping with mom, our limousine driver, and on the way we’d make a list of what we would by, and going down the aisles at Food 4 Less we’d say “I’ll take 12 of these” and “ten dozen of those” and by the time we left we’d agree, with an air of importance only the childishly wealthy can express, that we’d just buy the whole store, because we might as well. 

That’s on Sunday. 

If it’s Thursday, my other day off, I listen to Sinead and shower and probably shave and leave my hair in peace. Sometimes I let the cats into my room and pick up my colored pencils and continue where I left off on the birth of a new star. Sometimes I drink coffee until my head hurts. Sometimes I sit on the flattened futon, pillows piled against the wall beside the only window and stare at my email filled with new advertisements for Nordstrom and Rebels Market.

Sometimes I listen to Sinead’s song ten times before putting on my coat and chaps and leaving the house. 

Sometimes I listen to the song deep into the afternoon, until the cats get bored and I let them out, and shut off the music and stand in the middle of the room wondering what happened to the stores I bought so many years ago, and what did our language sound like, and wasn’t I married once, and wouldn’t that mean I have loved before?  Then I take an extra Clonazepam, shut of the light and lie in bed until my brain closes its doors and the dreams come. Not the dreams Hamlet wondered about. These are the disappointing dreams of a mind that won’t sleep.  

Transient dreams.  Dreams that don’t stick.  Dreams I believe in, until morning comes and I get dressed for work and leave without even touching a brush, or feeling the sharp growth on my face.


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