Friday, July 11, 2008

the first line drawn

i'm prone to nightmares.
things have a way of staying on my mind and multiplying in my sleep and that's why i don't watch horror movies, talk about growing old or read the toronto sun.

the littlest things...

i have this recurring one that never feels very nightmare-ish at the time, but when i wake up from it my heart is constricted from agitation and my hair feels softened and damp against the pillowcase and i am utterly terrorized. it's the kind of thing that she warned me wouldn't cease without due attention to the issues from which it stems- but as ever- i would rather chainsmoke and talk about something else.

it's the middle of the night- but i'm somewhere so far north that those rays of seemingly perpetual sunlight fall down all around me, in their perplexing unnaturalness. i am so caught up by it, then when he first sits down next to me i don't notice that he's wearing the wrong glasses. not the semi-rimless ones that i flicked cigarette ash over when i was leaving but the thick-rimmed ones he had when we first met, the really expensive ones that benny later chewed the left arm off of.

i'm never upset that he's there, but i do generally say something like, "i always knew the english were bastards." and he is never really offended by that because he secretly concedes that it's true. and he always says at some point that he's a "philosopher". and i laugh so loudly and outrageously that people stare and mumble about canadian manners and i think to myself about how sick i sometimes am of europeans. and he says, "economics and philosophy aren't so different..."

and i am incredulous.
and i am laughing in a way that makes me think that i will never stop laughing, but then he grabs me by the wrist and says, "i've said a million times that the opposite of love isn't hate, it's indifference. but you never get it, little girl, and you never see it coming. i'm not the last well you'll fall down, i'm just the first line drawn".

and i say, "those aren't your glasses..."

and i wake up.
and i hum the live version of 'out of range' by ani difranco.
and i write down what i remember of those incongruous statements and stick them to the wall and pretend that later i will give them some proper consideration because i know that they're really my own incongruous statements but like so many ostriches before me i just bury my head in the sand and return to bed.

it was around this time last year that we had a conversation about bad habits. about why people continously subject themselves to horrible situations even though they know that they're resigning themselves to a life of misery and insecurity. he said, "pain is intoxicating. destruction is intoxicating. and once you're wrapped up in it, it's harder than it looks to downshift back into normalcy. people sabotage normalcy because madness makes you feel so much more alive".
and i disagreed vehemently.
and i was oblivious to my own adherences to that philosophy.

and now, for all of the time i spent convincing myself that it was an anomaly and not a life long addiction, it just seems all the more tragic that i'm continuing to usurp myself in my sleep.


just like a siren singing me to shipwreck, there is something about that kind of chaos that is both seductive and hollowing, even i can admit. but at some point, we have to decide to wake up.

when i say that i know
about indecision,
frailty and unease...
it isn't permission.
it isn't an invitation.
it's a warning.
just a claim laid
to understanding.


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