Monday, July 19, 2010
Putting Things in Other Things
I suppose everyone puts things in other things to some degree but for me it's a compulsion. Not a sickness so much as a way to push through, to belong, to get on with all those people who walk and work and play and touch my life in random ways, completely unrestrained. I dread the mornings, that moment, the very second I'm awake when thoughts and dreams remain, not yet reconciled, scattered on the floor. "I'm in my room, in my bed, behind the door," I think to myself and then out loud I say "snakes eat mice" and it's that advice that allows me to sort my life into folders. Trapper Keepers for things to do, for feelings felt, for ways to start the day. "I'm okay" I say as I put my legs in underpants, feet in socks, then in sneakers, cereal in a bowl. Sandwich in a bag. Body in the car. Now I'm the buttons in a jar that I used to collect when I was two. The coins in a box, or found feathers that I stuffed in a pencil case, zipper closed to keep them in place.
But the containers are dropping, they're falling, now spilling, I'm spinning out of control. The mouse has escaped, or been set free by the snake, oh my snake is a girl. I know who she is, and I am the mouse. Still, I'm falling, not floating, closing in fast on the ground. I'm not in my car and my stomach is dry, no shoes and no pants, no time to ask why. I can see my house now down below, no roof and no walls, a sound I don't recognize. This is nice. The zipper is opening, the feathers have spread, the girl, she is my wife, waiting naked on our bed. Hovering just above, my thoughts are now clear, nothing in anything as far as I can see. She's saying something, my wife from the bed. "Put yourself in me," she whispers and I will. She's the only thing I want or need to fill. That night my dreams and all those random thoughts, they converge and intertwine, neat but not sorted into files. The next morning she rolls over and touches her fingers to my eyes. "Go back to sleep," she says and I do, for once knowing that everything is fine.