58. Violence

There’s this wriggling thing where I shake a trick and bustle a grapefruit and walk three times and shake my hands in the air like the branches of a tall tall willow tree, and there is singing and dancing and a bonfire and marshmallows toasted on pointy sticks and cider and the wind is brisk and filled with purpose and everybody puts their hands up in the air and waves them like flags waving over the battlefields and the sinking ships and the cemeteries and the halls of power and the used car dealerships and the schoolyards and the front lawns and the embassies and the U-ass-nited fucking Nations, we’re talking U to the N with all the hope of the world squashed into a manila folder and left on your desk while you’re on vacation and maybe you’ll go to the west coast and put on skimpy swim-wear and hold still while the sun darkens your skin and that night in the hotel bar you’ll meet someone who makes you feel ten years younger, like you felt when you were in college, but then you remember the file and you fly back to New York desperately trying to get there, striving, striving, and there’s this sense of being forced to try even when you know there isn’t any hope and it won’t make any difference and you’ll still maybe never fall in love again and you’ll die alone clutching a grapefruit against scurvy in one hand and a baseball bat against the oppressor-intruder in the other hand, and the oppressor-intruder comes anyway even though they know you have a baseball bat and you’re fucking ready, man, like you’ve never been ready for anything before, but now when the oppressor-intruder comes and rifles through your belongings right in front of you like you’re not even there and you’re too scared to use the bat just like they knew you would be, but you didn’t know it, and the sickening surprise of it poisons your blood and your heart chokes and your guts spasm and you go, man, but where, man, where?

I want to talk the walls a symphony of crying. I want to slither the minivan a waffle of blather, I want to use words that aren’t words and still convey meaning, I want to be a whole person, I want it not to hurt just to be alive, I want there to be a time when I can draw breath and have it not sting.

Because. Because of your indecision. Because of the United Nations. Because of the highest court in all the land. Because that’s what Aunt Ruby said, and she taught us to listen. Because my skin is bubbling like boiling mud, and my eyes are steaming like piss-holes in snow.

About When I Woke Up