Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yes - Owner of a Lonely Heart

I've been waiting for the hormonal siege to provide me a respite so I could trust my reporting here. And while the armada of little estrogen bitches have not provided me with any material relief in the form of the dreaded red wave, endorphins from an hour of sweat seem to have shown up bearing a white flag for a moment. I take this opportunity to escort you back to Monday evening. 

I took myself into a room full of people. Surrounded by stomachs grumbling, blood rushing, stories evolving, and time passing for each of us, I did my best to settle in. I stared at the ceiling, slowly arriving in my body, scanning the thing curiously as a kind of emotional itch pricked up. Something familiar, but uncommon.  Something rising up from just above my hips, a low rumble, a current gathering itself for a whitecap. 

What is that?
What IS that FEELING?

I Top Ten catalog the thing:

1. Location: Rising in from below belly to chest.
2. Register: Like a bassoon.
3. Texture: Wool. Herringbone. Vintage and thick. A lined winter cloak.
4. Color: Aubergine. But greying.
5. Expression: Bored. Boring. Pained.
6. Velocity: Looks slow, but the long stride of it fools you when it overtakes everything.
7. Theme Song: Hope There's Someone - Antony and the Johnsons
8. Meal: Celery sticks
9. Age: So small
10. Best quality: Honesty

Oh. There you are. 

It's been quite some time. I am such a social person, love people. Enjoy my time alone. The nature of time passing, the world searching out freedom, time and again. Tension, peace, commencement. I like watching the world, like the passing badlands by the window on a road trip. I like being here, alive in the world. And after so many difficult years, I even like being here in this body with its problems and disappointments, and its attendant wonder. I suppose I tricked myself into thinking I had outgrown this particular feeling. Outgrown it or reserved it for massive occasions like death or betrayal or profound illness. I don't expect it to just mount me in a room full of people like a rude dog, panting, frothy fur in the corners of its mouth, lipstick out. I don't expect it at all.


I felt lonely. Out of nowhere, right? But then you realize you'd heard it following you for quite a stretch, maybe even miles. You saw shadows out of the corners of your eyes so you thought you'd sing a little louder, fix your coffee darker, pull out old photographs. You realize maybe you'd ignored the emails you got from it regarding its impending arrival, your spam filter set to denial, filing away polite warnings and alerts into a dusty folder. Then you remember that time last week, the knocking at the door and how you were so tired. Who knocks at this hour? Fuck it. The outtakes of the week's nightmares revisit you while you stare at the ceiling in your room of folks, the feeling named and alive, back of your throat, tickling your stupid tear ducts by your conveniently blind eyes, no need for old Doc Freud to figure those out. 

And even in the silence of your own mind, you feel embarrassed by it. The loneliness. Your own fragility finding its way to your waking mind so easily. How have you done this? Managed to leave yourself so alone? Are your friends with you? You have chosen them each day for so long, and have they really chosen you back, or are you just a bad habit, a boring cigarette dangling from their pretty lips? Is this the voice of your ovaries? Isn't it enough to just feel the thing, but now you have to berate yourself about it as well? Buddhists call it the second arrow, because the first one killing you just wasn't enough, right? Gratuitous misery.

It happens fast. The arrival to the realization. Or slow if you count all the signals I ignored on the way. Or right on time if you believe in that kind of thing, which I do.

Anyhow, I thought I'd tell you about it, because that's the scary part, once you tell yourself.

Sara Elise

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