I was tired. All we have is this moment, and, at times, I was sick of more or less mechanically asserting the liberating quality of this fact, each time proffering it as something new, fresh, vivid, like a sad small town huckster, which I suppose was due to the default sense of that fact’s terrifyingness as much as to my own sense of diminishment.
I was tired. What I lack in specificity, I often make up for in exaggeration. Only with the odious gift of hindsight, for instance, could one posit the ineffable presence of an itinerary where each stop or station is re-analogized from existing upon a trackroutepath to the quaint proverbiage of rungs on a ladder or steps on a staircase. To success, heaven, Atlantis, Pittsburgh, elsewhere, wherever. There’s no trajectory, though, only a theme, if singularize we must. And that theme is growth, because I’m saying so and in the so saying I’ll also say I like to think the “journey,” whimsical as it sounds, is more about expansion than some absurdist ascension, but, then, I like to think, broadly.
Speaking of thinking, I was tired of carrying Bellow’s There Is Simply Too Much To Think About around with me like some Rust-Belt Bible-thumper with his King James. Saul was helping me, though, and the act of carrying him around like that felt as if it were an absolutist sort of answer to questions I wasn’t being actively asked. Another year had passed without publication and I was attempting to muster the nerve to wax philosophic. Something will stick soon, I kept telling people. Strangers, mostly, because I knew they didn’t really care whether my optimism was feigned or not, as long as I didn’t make them uncomfortable by giving them something too much to think about.
I was tired of the desire for total intimacy, for revealing and sharing it all, everything down to the last murky, troubled drop, for an eschewing of otherness such that only belonging could result. So I let it go. Let us attribute this loss to age and experience. The freedom, oh the freedom of being alone, together, foralways, for love.
Speaking of freedom and being, I was tired of being gone, of being here, of being tired, of being anything. The relief of not maintaining any mental narratives or format requirements, liberation for the first time in months—this is where I am today, in my beloved Chicago, to put a map on it. I’ve been “away” for a spell, and while I like the implication of magic, it’s just a little bit of talk. We all know magic isn’t real, at least not till we feel it, and, mentioning it, I’ve got to say I think I maybe might have a stomach-pitted inkling of something borderline magical coming round the way. Words are fun so let’s call it hope and tell each other some stories.