A new unhappiness

Posted in Uncategorized on November 4, 2011 by tortiloquy

I came back from the Mayan Riviera

a tan, Alejandro, and nothing to tell

going to Manihi at the end of the month. Dropping flesh like it’s next to nothing, but nowhere close to that winter of misery spent curled up on a filthy bed. feeling my fingers wrap around my thighs. Or so it seems. Photographic flashes rekindle the silent comparison

while he puts a hand on the hollows of my scapulae, calling me his skeletoniki, dead-eyed and limp limbs

I feel the incipient chill in the air and Manhattan is best sighted in its autumnal finery

while my fingers twine beneath the tablecloth like restive larvae

I’m already planning to powder my nose and quietly throw up my osso bucco.

There’s time yet for more honest means, and I mean to take them one day.

Weak ends

Posted in Uncategorized on November 30, 2009 by tortiloquy

It drifted down like a maundering dream from the heavens not so high above; a certain time of year when the afternoon disguised as dark lowers itself into a hollow and downturned pair of hallowed hands, pinprick punctured with the light of stars and flaring into the rim of sunset, now several hours gone.

It crept up my right arm where it landed and crawled across my shoulders, pausing a while to breathe on the torque of my turning neck, tiny handprint upon my nuque, and died below the left ear, leaving a love letter addressed to one who had not seen fit to witness this.

And the colors, there was light enough to see by, but not the details—proof lay caught in the silhouette of the bare-branched trees. Dead kites, both the feathered kind and strung, among the spidering reach of leafless fingers that make strange shapes in the water of the dying weekday. It is not even a place I recognize.

I have waited here ten thousand hours, in all moments just like the one in passing. And I have been laid claim to, by you if you could just believe it—lifetimes before I even remembered I was supposed to be alive.

Now there’s a thread; toes among the frozen grains of sand.

Before this weather turned stubborn, sterile, there were the rains. Days upon weeks of wet. We won’t fish for the antediluvian friends of the song and season that makes our hearts ache so. We won’t look at the happenstance patterns that our bodies made in the dear old damp of summer, dewy smiles and all. Precipitation was a method of cleansing, and forgetting, and letting go of the growing back. Lining our borders with blue geraniums: who had seen such things! And cockleshells in plenty. We were rich then, wealthier in reckless indiscretions.

And prosperity lay upon her gluttoned side, exhausted from the thrill of attainder (there goes malcontent, and with her, skinny miseria) and for the sake of satisfaction, to give slavish devotions to our most beloved.

Was it a joke then, silly laughter notwithstanding, to sit at the writing-table and dictate correspondence addressed to you: ten minutes hence: in the upstairs sitting room? Guess again—the floorboards ached at such churlish flights of fancy. They knew that such soap-bubble hours would leave us, and quickly. Hemisphered upon the floor, how could they have had a chance?

Perhaps they would have lasted longer in the humid echo of the tiles, where drops of water joined to form cross-cut puddles, reflecting the bathers chastely covered by their brothers, the virginal white frocks of foam that we had attired ourselves in for the evening. I imitated the dessicated sea-creatures, demonstrating the death of the mollusks upon some foreign shore, until you tired of teacher and pulled my foot toward you. I was afloat in the ocean then, at one with the cadences of the season, just me and ancient tides until my eyes were suddenly underwater, and I sat up and cried. Just a little, to make you take that smile away from your reluctant lips.

But you promised that you’d make it all better!—and this little sheep was foolish to believe it when no change would arise to result in this fortuitous alteration of circumstance—but I was always, tenfold and two times over, a little short in good judgment when it comes to you.

The story has grown and been added to, taking out the unnecessary and clipping back the parts whose fruit grows small and pale, and giving forth large opiate blossoms in the discontented season (the best of us for all year ’round).

Now it’s cold, just like you like. Or would that have been a fancy of mine? You’d always feared to free me in December’s heedless diffidence.

And then we begin

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on August 31, 2009 by tortiloquy

If I’m going to do this right, I’ll have to start by being honest. You see, I spent so much of the past nine years perfecting the art of concealing and deception and I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be simply myself without the endless masquerade of shadows.

To plainly speak the facts, anonymous as I am, and to slowly let go of – of everything.

Nothing is too precious, I told myself some time ago, to sacrifice for my sake at the hour of my need, never mind that very forfeiture would cost me and harm only me.

As a little girl, I never thought myself exceptional or even reasonably capable of attaining my high-flung dreams. Teachers, bless them, tried to convince me of my ‘potential’ but to whom are my limitations most familiar if not myself? As I shrank away from the urgings of accomplishment and success, I subsequently warranted less attention until I was grown enough for them to think, “Well, if she doesn’t care, why should I?” And they stopped. Finally.

It wasn’t just school. I was no good at making friends either. Some misaligned permutation of childhood awkwardness and introversion was always interpreted as aloof disinterest, which I in turn interpreted as a lack of notice on their part. Well I for one am not going to make an effort to ingratiate myself amongst people who don’t want me: if there were any options, I always preferred to opt out completely.

So it was no big adjustment when I started to become sick. In college, my acquaintances had (in my opinion) dim views on mental illness; it was either something that, since borne out of your own thoughts, able to be extirpated that way and thus not afforded any significance – or it was not a malignant disease that required treatment but something that made me special and interesting.

I disagreed with both and decided to just carry on as usual and omit select details.

Of course, I found I had a vested interest in keeping the truth hidden when my illness intensified to the point about four years ago when it became clear even to me that I needed help, although of course I wasn’t ‘ready’ to get better yet. In fact, being sick had successively alienated my friends and driven me further into the dark. It became the only thing to count on to keep me company when everyone else had fled and as much as I hated myself for it, I could not let it go.

Also necessary was the construction of a fictitious world which I could inhabit at will when observed by others so they would never begin to guess at my terrible secrets. The effort of maintaining this artifice is immense. It snatches at any serenity that might drift by in moments of forgetfulness or candor until I am frantic with despair and resigned in misery, a slave to this repulsive disease forever.

So you see I am not used to being entirely present, as it were, and it will take me a while to disabuse these old habits of mine, as I inch towards healing myself again and becoming whole.

Sometimes I become angry with God for creating me thus, cruelly flawed and fragile, without giving the capacity to help myself. But it isn’t my nature to stay that way, and anger soon turns to sorrow, for I’ve started to the separation from God more keenly now that my illness can no longer succor me. I’ve always wanted to be like those girls whom everyone likes, for other people can see how effortlessly satisfaction and contentment is handed to them and think perhaps I could have been one as well, if I didn’t have to fight against myself in order to just to keep crawling forward.

But I feel perhaps I will be surprised by joy someday, and it might be much more dear, to finally touch something I have never felt before. To everything there is a season, and all seasons must run their course.

First is the end

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 30, 2009 by tortiloquy

It somehow seems appropriate that I am started a new blog as the summer wanes and dies outside my window.

There have been too many days spent hiding from myself, shrinking from scrutiny for fear of what I know to find. And even now it feels the same – how I resume my ‘real’ life (as a working professional) after five long months of willful self-destruction.

Strange, that. How I need the veneer of a white-collar job to maintain the patina of normalcy that would otherwise disintegrate because I… because I cannot persuade myself that I, too, am a human. A cloud of thoughts does not constitute a mind any more than a cluster of ravening thirsts and appetites do not compose a body. I’ve always had a notoriously poor instinct for self-preservation, always searching for an opportunity to take flight. In fact, I can’t honestly recall a day since I left childhood whereupon I have not fallen asleep discreetly wishing for a failure to awaken the following morning.

But this is untenable. I must accept that I’m here to stay, and somehow have to cobble together the semblance of a functional life while it lasts.

Today is Sunday and as such I should’ve gone to church. I didn’t. I’ll write more about that another time. First I have to tidy up my house and clean so that I can start afresh when I begin at my new workplace on Wednesday. How else ought a 23-year old woman get back on her feet if not scrub the hell out of her domicile? I can think of few better ways.

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