Yesterday, I really did just sit on the couch and start crying. When I told my old poetry professor about it and he asked what my family thought I just told him the truth, and the truth is that I didn’t let anybody notice because my crying while sitting on the couch on a perfectly regular, American, suburban southwestern day is not about being noticed. And it is most certainly not about having someone asking you about why you are crying or what is “wrong” with you.
It is about having a disconnect in every part of my body, especially on the outside. It kills me to imagine the “remoteness” of a “real” “connection.” What really kills is the perception that in order to “have” (here: posses, experience) something “real” (what, is this capital T, Truth? Bullshit.) an inordinate amount of distance or pain is required by the person wanting and the desire itself. This, this perception is in itself, fucking stupid. The truth is I feel lied to. And now, I’m writing about either as a way to test myself or as a way to maybe lie to myself further.
Now this is just an ugly sad letter with illusory breaks between points because I want to be the one that gets to say when someone else gets to breathe. As the author I get to do that. I get to abuse the power of language and keep my reader from breathing or really from feeling comfortable by denying you a comma or a period. There is that much distance between me, writer and you, reader that the only way you get out is to just quit. Of course, you can also classify the piece itself as just horrendously bad and poorly written.
I want to be the one that gets to measure things and there is a part that want the only comforting pause, the only break and tangibly measurable distance to be the space between words, the white b e t w e e n these letters stretching over the heartbreats and the chasms and all the fucking gasps I’ve been having to let through and go this whole time that I’ve just been waiting to know what’s going on with things that I had previously thought I had established pretty solid connections to. I imagine the voice of an advertisement from the 1960s, the kind with the lovely trained and clearly articulated American/Continental studio voices:
AND NOW LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, A BREAK! BROUGHT TO YOU BY DIPS IN SEASONAL DEPRESSION, REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK AND FEELINGS OF REJECTION!
I thought about it today (after I was asked) and I realized the last time I saw the person I claim to be one of the most important people in my
young (this fact is irrelevant, really) life was in February. And since then I’ve been held off. Either by myself or some series of events but no matter what, I’ve been left with a strange and increasing sense of dread.
Dread that I (quite basically) hoped onto several planes, through several airports, anxiety attacks, estimations, feelings, platitudes,teeth grindings, life events, drunken fits of laughter/tears,generalizations, squat toilets, fist clenchings, negligence, overt approval, neglect, downright inconsiderations, entertained notions of romance, banal platitudes to wind up
It’s really easy to feel like you’re unmoored and floating around on a vast sea, with no stretch of humanity (here: “possible connections”) in sight. An old metaphor, a popular one, a cliched one, cinematic one yes, You say. You get it, move on. Reality is, if you still think that’s the most appropriate one then I’d be willing to push you not only out of my doorway, but off a cliff. You, You have never really been far away from anything, have You?
There was always something to keep you “connected”: there was someone to care for, to talk to, something to look forward to, something within reach. There was a way to measure it all.
But Distance is something measured is it not? Yes, but too often do we assume that measurement ends.
I want to say that Distance, that capital D, Distance is a cavernous, in fact, seemingly vacuous separation between things that makes the last time you were ever alone feel as abstract as the time before one was born.
I’m also willing to say that for the most part, knowing that isn’t really worth much unless you want it to.
But lately I feel like wanting to make learning what it means to be isolated, or learning that that Distance is never going to end has some human value, that in some way that sense of vast Nothing between yourself and something else is ultimately something very human and something very shared and something that brings the Distance together, making it less big and making it sound less sad is really just another lie. We just get to share Distance, if we’re lucky.
Everyone is at the bottom of a well, listening to each other’s echos and mostly to themselves.