I can feel the ticking inside. Right in the center where I can’t ignore it. Next to the burning. Next to the emptiness.
It’s only a matter of time before the timer goes off and I explode, a radiant supernova spewing into the universe, giving birth to a new generation of planets and heavy metals.
Damn but it’s dark underneath my skin.
I know a lot of people named Roberta. Funny thing is that none of them go by their full name. One of them is Bobbie, two are Robbies, and one is Robin. Robin is my favorite. What I don’t get is why people keep name their kids with a name that the kids dislike so much they change it to something else. Who does that anyway?
Another funny thing is that Robin in England is a boy’s name but in America it is a girl’s name which is ironic since Roberta is a girl version of Robert, which is a boy on both sides of the pond, as they say on the English side of the pond.
With paint and brush he made a new world of fields and trees on canvas, but the birds arrived to fill the branches and eat all the grain in the fields. So he picked up a pencil and wrote about a new world filled with cat in case the birds returned, but the cats kept him up all night as they mewed to be fed or let out or let back in. So he meditated to find a better place within himself but found a darkness filled with feathers. So he designed a world and printed it on a 3D printer—it took a very long time—but the new world was all the same color and he grew bored with it. So he tried many ways to escape to a new world: mind-altering psychotropics, inventing his own language, time travel—he never got very far, forward a day at a time—staying inside, staying outdoors, learning to play the guitar. In the end he fell asleep—he was very tired—and dreamed of a new world. When he awoke, he missed his dream world and decided he’d try to find it again, so he took up paint and brush.
The waves come, breakers, tidal, to wash over me, cleanse me, take me out to sea, lifting me in the brine.
I used to fight everything: the world, people I loved, nature, my own incompetence. Anger sparked by failure burned in my heart, consuming only me. But gravity and physics laughed at my pitiful efforts. You can’t cheat the truth, only ignore it, run from it, for a while. Eventually it catches up, slices my tendons, knocks me down, crushes me beneath the avalanche of my actions. Now when the waves come, I embrace them, accept them, and I am lifted.
When you eat a dream, a river opens. When you sleep in the river, the current runs deep. Sleep then, in the river, and eat your fill. Take the warmth and color, the remembrance of times to come, the twist of lies and truth. Rise then, in the light you make. Make of it what you will.