Dark Recesses

3 August 2013
9:25 AM
Manila

M.–

1.
It’s a curious feeling when I’ve finally found my feet again. I look down and I discover: legs, feet, ground. I can’t recall ever having them before, or if I did, the memory is faint at the moment.

The hours before this: I was fading. Have faded. I was air. Or: nothingness. I was there, and yet not there, I was in between spaces, I was not myself.

2.
Yesterday I gave myself a time out. I would have sat and faced a corner, but I was already hunched around myself in the dark. I was like that for twelve hours. Probably more.

3.
I was just–I was so angry, you know? And I totally had no filter. I was hurting, and hurtful, and I had to pull back, I had to contain it, before I cause irreparable damage to others.

I did the only thing I knew: turn inward, and turn some more, until the only thing I can rage at is myself. It’s not the best solution, but it’s all I had, and my heart–my heart can take it. I think. It has before. It will again. I mean–it should.

So I sat in the dark until I can’t feel anything anymore, until I forgot my body, until my troubles seemed far away, until I have vanished in the present, and all there was is a shadow.

4.
It’s easy being a shadow. I could do it, be that, for a long time. It’s like living underground. Or underwater. In the deep, dark recesses of everything, where nothing hurts.

5.
Today I woke up, and–well, I suppose I’m back. Or a version of me is.

It’s as if someone cast a net in the middle of the night. I was a fish, lots and lots of fish, and I was swimming, and I was caught by the gills. The trap was so thin, I swam right into the meshes. I was collected, and pulled up, and I looked at the hand holding the net, followed the wrist to the elbow, the shoulder, the neck. I found the face of this person: I was staring at myself.

6.
Now it’s learning I have feet again. This is the ground. This is a pillow. This is the bottle you almost broke yesterday. This is a pen. This is a notebook. This is a utility knife with a number two blade. These are slippers. This is the bed. This is a desk. This is a letter. This is your life. This is a book. This is a flower. This is your life.

7.
I have to be better at this. I mean–I can’t keep on doing this. I have to be tough. Tougher.

8.
You said, the waves keep coming. You said, stand behind a window.

I have no windows. I only have this room, these blue walls, and my other selves. We’ll make do. I will keep on trying: legs, feet, ground. It is 10:37 in the morning, and I am myself. I am strong. Unyielding. Tenacious. Tough. Unbreakable. This is a letter. This is my life.

9.

Bluebird
Charles Bukowski

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be sad.

then I put him back,
but he’s still singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

T.

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