How I’m Doing Fall 2017

In the middle of the room is a stack of cafeteria trays. A placard by the stack explains that the trays represent Aboriginal men incarcerated in Canada. It also says that if you look into the middle of the stack, you can see a film playing.

People gather around the stack of trays, looking into it.

“Oh,” they say, and nod at each other.

Every few minutes, the security guard approaches and tells them that there is only one hole in the trays through which you can actually see the film. He sounds exasperated. I look into the wrong hole. He is right.

I am not sure if I am more critical of the modern art because I am with my grandmother.

*

Sometimes I have a snack when I get home not because I’m hungry but because I’ve had an evening that was lacking, that left me feeling like nothing important is happening to me.

Walking home from work in the rain, I text a few friends without much enthusiasm. All of them are working or on dates. I go home and make a frozen pizza. I stand by the oven while I wait for it to heat up.

I talk to the pizza as I am cutting it up.

“You are too hot to eat right now,” I tell it. “I am going to wait to eat you because I know you are going to burn my mouth.”

I bite into it immediately and spend the next day walking around with a mushy, hurting palate and the satisfaction of knowing that I chose to be like this.

*

I see my best friend two weeks in a row, which probably hasn’t happened since we lived together in the same apartment in the same city.

When I leave most people, I feel a revolt inside me immediately, a heaving in the pit of me that reminds me that I love people too much, talk too much, laugh too hard, want too much from them. I have to stop sometimes to stand still and let this feeling pass.

When I leave her, I feel whole and happy.

*

I am writing a story that is coming quickly, practically telling itself. It is easy to write, but feels like it’s passing through me with no regard for me. When something hard and sad happens, it splits me open to make itself and I feel myself resisting and letting it at once. I start writing it on a bus and usually I write in coffee shops, but as it keeps coming I find myself needing to be alone to listen to it. I wonder if I am an artist now.

My hangovers have become terrible and I wonder if I am a grownup now.

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