why I can’t focus on anything

It would make sense, these days, for me to be writing. I am so full of love, filled up with companionship, my larders stocked with beautiful things. Sleep is furiously regular, easy, and alarmingly restful- the dark of my shack, my ten hundred blankets, the long-bodied cellar spiders that leave their dim corners and dance on my chest- mysterious spiders, shy and pale, and if you put a finger in their webs they spin, and spin, and spin, like a gyroscope.

I do not know where I have been. Where, where, where have I been? What have I done? I pulled a mattress to the curb, today, I pulled the bones from the beefstock and put the beefstock in the freezer, the beefstock I cooked all yesterday, skin of tallow on the surface like cream, gelatin at the bottom. I ate goat cheese and bacon for breakfast. Yesterday I looked up spiders at Powells- put names to my bedroom spiders and also the yellow garden spider, simply named Yellow Garden Spider, sentinel of the backyard, builder of eye-level webs on the path to where I put my bicycle, I am clawing him off my sunglass lens on the daily, he is screaming, I am screaming. Yesterday I also made a pot of mung beans and danced alone in my room, rode my bicycle three times around the circumference of the earth, and attempted to read a book from my stack of unread books that have gone so long without reading that they have begun to seem like props. Oh, but it’s the thought that counts. Isn’t it?

The day before yesterday I had a dance hangover, not enough sleep and my whole body sore besides. The day before that I had danced for twenty-four hours straight, alone and with friends, in the living room, at a birthday party, uncaring, in a long run of dancing that climaxed at two a.m. in the club with a feeling of such pure, beautiful, unselfconscious fun that I realized that I had transcended cynicism entirely and suddenly knew that from then until the day I die I will never feel cynical about anything, ever again.

And other things have happened, incredible things, none of them writing-

Like the bluffs, at sunset! Eating concord grapes, whole clusters, ripe and dusty purple, plucked from the vine that grows up the telephone pole, and there is no elegant way to eat them, with their little seeds! And the orange sunset! And the new hipsters in their flowered dresses drinking wine on picnic blankets and pulling cheese from wicker baskets, or the old hipsters (us) in our many variations- drinking beer from bottles, taking photographs, swinging on the rope in the apple tree. And the sunset! Turn away for a moment, and you’ll miss it! And night will come, and all the glittering lights of the west hills, and the shining Willamette, and the thundering trainyard, the reassuring heartbeat of commerce.

I left my cynicism in the ocean, on the equinox. We put our fingers in the tide and we felt it sucking the sand away, the tiny crustaceans that burrow, the clear bodies of jellyfish which are not like bodies but more like auras, and I wished that I could be a jellyfish, I wished for home, I wrote the word HOME in the sand and let the tide swallow it. And my hands were in the sand, my fingers were in the ocean, I was listening to its steady heartbeat, more steady, maybe, than anything- and the ocean said This planet is your home. You are home.

I have many feelings about Portland, but the dominant one is currently this:
My friends are all brilliant and none of them have their shit together. And I am just one among many.

4 thoughts on “why I can’t focus on anything

  1. I’m so excited you are back! I checked your page, just hoping to get a bit of news on how you are. I was rewarded with knowing things are good for you, and to bask in your wonderful writing. You were sorely missed!

  2. adoring adoring adoring.
    and…. adoring.
    favorite: rode my bicycle three times around the circumference of the earth.
    runner up: Eating concord grapes, whole clusters, ripe and dusty purple, plucked from the vine that grows up the telephone pole.

    let’s make a writing date wherein we will write til we puke from satisfaction.

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