I make these gasping attempts at doing what I know is me: writing small bitter poems, rantings at the world, singing full-voiced Opera that bursts through my apt windows...
But then what? I get sucked down into nowhere land of TV, of trying to manage the clutter that grows like nail fungus over my countertops, my fridge, every available table is ugly with loose toys Chinese from Egg Chocolates, a million post-its: one recipe for play dough, one post-it with a grocery list, one small starting of a poem I'll never finish.
I start to crack under the bits of nothing that I never can get rid of but that somehow ruin my self worth.
With shit like this to distract me, how can I write? Sing without clenching and knotting my jaw? How could I write a song again like I did so many years ago? How was I ever that brave and stupid to wring out my ugliest insides and present them to all?
Those poems and all that music poured out of me in, yes, great storms. The ions from the lightning kept me up late and shivering.
I painted on my walls and my arms in deep red oil paint. Woke up the next day and went to school like that.
I walked around my high school singing to myself. In my broken mind, this protected me from stares, this was my shield against all the slow-headed kids around me all day. I must have seemed crazy. Of course I did.
Shit, I wish I had pictures of myself.
I went to my prom as a silver alien: bald head, silver shiny miny dress, huge silver platform shoes, sparkly tights. My date: Zaq. His shoe soles, flapped as he walked. He wore a small red bow tie, impossibly crumpled.
Don't we all want another better version of ourselves? We fixate on that one year we were the perfect weight, had the perfect lover. When were you your perfect self?
I was my perfect self when I was most unhappy. When I spent hours and hours scratching poems into my notebooks, when I would sing just for sound.
I had this friend, Zaq. God, he was lovely. Had those glossy eyes of a Krishna devotee and just KNEW me. From the moment I saw him playing the pots and pans with old pencils outside the Wendy's on the 16th St Mall, I knew he would bring me joy.
So I joined his band. All I did was shriek into the microphone. I would trance to the shitty electric guitar and awkward bass line and brilliant bright light of his metal drums.
Eyes closed, I entered the dark place and tried to piece myself back together by singing out the confusion.
Now, what do I do to build a more perfect me? I am thinking of the Obama sticker I got in the mail: Working toward a more perfect union. I dream of a more perfect me, one that finds who she is and can translate all that I see into words and song.
God help me if I continue to fail.