Outside is the grim thistle. Through streaked-fly window the dull bisected horizon. A blue foil with cloud-like melt. That remains till dark and then falls away from me. I see the stars on nights when it is clear. I see the moon. There are nights when I think the moon is close enough for me to reach out and touch. I could stroke her cheek. In my eyes the moon is a woman. And she smiles. I would like to think her smile is directed at me, but I don’t know.
Now it is dawn. I stew low in the kitchen. It is a sparse affair, a table, a single chair, a cupboard inside of which are the following items: one bowl, one plate, one cup. What did I say? Simplicity is fierce like a potato. I am unworried by this isolation in which I live precisely because it is so simple, and in that lies my sense of a being who is supremely secure. In his own protected world. The water has boiled so I pour it into the French press. And that is how my day begins. With the simplicity of a pot of coffee. Is it simple? Well. The smell is one thing that you would notice. That earthenware aroma of bean treated by flame. How could one not like coffee. I suppose some don’t but I don’t know if I could like anyone who doesn’t also enjoy coffee. One moves in lesser realms.
My days are unlikely. They strike me as days drawn from another century. I hardly strike myself as modern in any way. My temperament is slow-moving and inclined toward what is wet and gloom-filled. Those things make me happy or happier. I think at times that I am not entitled to one moment of happiness, and this does not bother me in the least. I move. I rise. I get up. I brush my teeth. I come out of the bathroom into the kitchen to make coffee and this is how my day begins. I apologize if this strikes you as dull. Because it is. This is what being human means to me, because this is how I live my life, like a hog opened above a drain.
The phone rings.
Why are you calling me?
I didn’t say anything of the sort.
You’re a liar!
This conversation. Kaput!
I put the phone down. I hate talking on the phone. I hate the intrusion it works into my day. For in spite of what you might think I’m a busy man. I work hard at my job. And I do not like to be interrupted by the distractions the day might bring. Oh we go toward the day.
I trundle these here sliding stairs.
One foot preceding another. I could tell you about the climbing of stairs, how the weight shifts, how the heart floats inside the rib cage, how the teeth rattle against each other and how one’s eyeballs slosh about in the cavities that hold them. The sensation of climbing stairs is familiar to you because you are human, a monster like myself. If we share nothing else, we share a common combustible fear. When I get to the top of the stairs I will sit at my desk and open my notebook. I’ll begin.
For now, though, I climb the stairs. I notice my right hand hurts. The hand that serves me throughout the night. For that reason alone it would be my favored hand but it is also favored since it is deeply scored like the field-stones leading to the water pump hidden by an overgrowth of wild forsythia and where another new growth, something vine-like and thorny, seems to have established itself. This scoring is quite beautiful. I don’t mean to brag. But it seems so to me. As for the new growth, I noted it in my notebook only yesterday. Using pencil. Held by my right hand.
Small details reveal much about the person who remarks upon them. A pencil, for example, that is specified in a certain way, for example. A subtle unveiling. You have learned a little about me. And I might not have even the slightest clue. In fact I know I don’t. You should feel proud of yourself, for your alertness. Your eyes are working fine. Behind your eyes there might be secret plans for riots. And devotion to a merciless insurrection.
There being no greater heresy than love.