Tuesday, November 14, 2006

That Thing




So, I thought about this thing while I lied there in the dark, feeling the skin of my bare thighs against the soft cool sheets. The first time, I never wanted to do it. I was just coming of age and he was already ripe. I was clueless about the whole thing but I convinced myself that I was all about him. I wanted to ignore what I really knew, which was that if there was some convincing to do, then the situation ain’t right. But I did it anyway. The next day there was a fuse inside me that blew and I wanted to blame him. So I said something to him, and he took it, bounced it on the concrete street courts where he played with his boys, shot, and scored two points. I left defeated instead blaming myself for playing alone against a winning team.


I don’t know why I kept at it. It developed into this relationship with the whole thing regardless of who I was trying to love. It was a reoccurring way for this thing to happen. Pretty soon, I began to think of it as a given. This was just what it was. Its not what people said it was cracked up to be. They just like to talk. On the stoop, on the phone, with the girls, all talk. Each time I fooled myself into thinking that there was something else happening along with this thing, that there was something to be excited about, that it wasn’t just about reaching the top, that there were no bounds. But each time I was forced to remember that if there was some convincing to do, then the situation ain’t right. I did a lot of convincing in my time. It never surprised me each time, no matter how hurt I was. I had to allow myself to discover that something real was hard to come by, that I was at odds with coming by something sustainable at all.


So I began to function this way. I let the falseness devour me, and at least there was no more convincing to be done. There were plenty of open invitations and falseness was everywhere. Everybody was involved in it and each time I made it clear that I wanted nothing to build. They were thrilled at building nothingness, too. This became a thing for cheap thrills and nothing else, nothing real, nothing solid, and that was the norm. Everything about life was somewhere else. My work. My family. My intellect. My creative endeavors. Those were the things in life that mattered, but this… this was just a side of unseasoned lettuce, or something more like fried platano maduro because there were times when it actually tasted good.


So everything about building life was moving fast and life was a good goal to have. I felt like a shooting star that never disappeared. Everything I did was building fire to cook feasts and I became too full for side dishes. The world was opening itself up to me and I had more and more to build with. The work became demanding, but all the realness I wanted, was there. I was finally on a winning team and there was no more convincing. This is how I came to know myself and the way I wanted to build life. I wanted nothing that wasn’t real. I wanted only things that could help me build higher, and whenever that thing came around I steered clear watching where it swung because it was only proven to knock things over, having me pick up pieces over again.


After some time I realized I was faced with the temptation to convince myself that the other thing, that side dish, was something I didn’t need to think about. But I didn’t want to fool myself again. I was confronting a challenge. I had to find a new way of thinking about this, of facing this. It was the hardest thing to admit to myself. I wanted somebody who could validate my most inner self. The strength and beauty of sharing the struggle with a devout warrior was an empty lot I happened to have stumbled into. I didn’t know exactly how it came about. Maybe it was the sudden feeling of the cosmos moving between my mind and my womb counting time. But there was also a profound sense of wanting to share a mutual understanding of life with someone committed to live by realness. It was an inconceivable thought I was thinking, that intimacy was not only something that could be sustainable but also nurturing. It was the craziest thought I’ve had since coming to understand what my life was. I felt trapped. I left this kind of desire never knowing how to shape it, and once I came back to it, it was splattered on the ground in some shadowed corner like soft clay left unsculpted, but it was still there, existing. I looked at it with a new set of eyes, though still afraid of it, for it was the one thing that had proven to bring nothingness into my life, and somehow I was compelled to build something of it.


So there I was back in the game. Since I’d been in this new space there were a number of people around me who were building with the world like I was, and one of them took a liking to me. Of course, I was cautious at first. I had to think about whether I was really seeing this or convincing myself. He spoke of, lived, and breathed the struggle. He was mind-fire for others who were building with the world, and so I told myself that the chances of falseness in this, for once, could be at odds. Even if it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be because of untruthfullness, it would be because we disagreed on one thing or another that couldn’t be compromised because some things are just too important in defining our realness. So I made it clear I was done with side dishes, and he talked all about making feasts, and my appetite was whetted. We spent some time cooking in big pots full of ideas, visions, memories, and dreams, but I was hiding somewhere behind a bush trying to strangle to death this cautious feeling that kept trying to creep up. It followed me everywhere. It was sprinkled into every embrace, behind each rousing thought, heightening itself with every physical contact that came with tingles, fireflies, and rising full moons. Again, I was facing the battle of hope.


Soon enough there we were. We moved in the dark creating sparks in the empty cosmos and I wanted to believe that connection was something that was for real and not just talked about, dreamed about, and hoped for. I’d been holding out, trying to move slow because I wanted to sift through every grain of realness in this, wanting to become acquainted with it, feel its texture, recognize its scent, know that it was really there. But we were at the top of the universe and he wanted to show me that there was a sky above that too. Our bodies were on fire, and for a moment I stepped into the black hole of my mind and there was caution, waving red flags everywhere as I stood with arms crossed, looking indifferent but reading the signs. I decided to side with hope, and desire helped me decide. My open body was present in the dark matter of his sheets, the moment feeling like the universe was sprawled across what was his bed, feeling like we were about to manifest the big bang. I closed my eyes and let my body dance with the stars. His body moved with a graceful fierceness, and I was catching fireworks. My mind became blinded by the flame so my spirit could see what it was like to move without resistance. It was a moment of eternity, but it took place too swiftly. It left me wanting to move towards a new journey in this space we had made together, this time having us take off for light years into climax, but he kissed me, and the sun came up. There was a day to begin and a night to end.


The next day, the image of shaping a new universe was on my mind, but next to me in its physical form was caution still as real as it had always been. And I came to know caution once again, this time at a different place in my life but still with the same message: if there is any level of convincing taking place when it comes to this thing, the situation ain’t right. And I came to know that hope and desire were not enough ingredients for a love recipe. Regardless of having traveled a long distance from the past, the chances of walking into the same old room are still the same. Realness is still hard to come by, and even those who seem to be building with the world allow their realness to become interrupted by desire.

1 comment:

fiercelyfab said...

Powerful, poetic, and universal in the regards of hope, desire and trying to stay close to realness.

Beautifully written.