Monday, September 25, 2006

Is this the magnet?

Another notch in the post at the crossroads. Again the anniversary of my coming passes like leaves through a narrow alley. These are days of beginnings, of frustrations. Of failed attempts and machinations breaking down. It is a time to enjoy the smaller things as those mediocre disappointments multiply in these autumn weeks. Small beacons of joy remind us to look for microscopic, not planetary peace. Now is the moment for unfair comparisons, how am I not her? Where is my alliance? How are my convictions so fragile? This is familiar ground. I know the road paved with pebble sized successes. This is the bend where only survival is the titan act, that one thing that anyone can say they have done. There are other times of flying when we can compare notes and ask each other how high. This is a moment measured in inches above the waters’ edge, and how often your chin bobs down in the riptide.

The road signs are tiny patches of crabgrass in otherwise green weeds. Barely noticeable, they seem to snicker as you pass them wondering where the next meal may be and who will offer safety overnight. There are always patches where an arrow may have fallen. There are small gardens between pieces of bread; there are tickets and scarves on loan from friendly closets. These are the tiniest of kindnesses that must be recorded somewhere, in even smaller crossroads along neural pathways, chemical light reminders. If we don’t know how to mark these passages, or have lost our cartography, there is simply nowhere to begin. These things fuck up sometimes and finding the end is a lot of string tied together wrapped around itself. Ever looked for the end of packing tape and you tried and tried and tried and finally you got scissors or a knife and made another and pulled it off and it’s only about 4 inches because that’s where the end was? Once upon an ending I found a piece of panic stuck uncomfortably in the toe of my shoe. It pushed against the top of my foot and my focus on it slipped my ankle around the pavement of the underwater sidewalk. I got deeper and lower and still my ankle turned around each milestone until finally my head was under and I couldn’t see the rest of the way. There was a small rest stop in a bed of reeds, so I paused to take my shoes off and wiggle my toes again. The shop was tacky and sold sweet confessions. I got a hot chocolate and four minutes alone with a listener and then moved on my way. I’ll get there someday, but perhaps not from this trail…

I’m close to one third as old as I will be. There is no significance to this number. There is no social importance placed on it, there is no personal meaning. These ones are the worst ones as they are always the least expected upset. These are not achievement days or times of great works. But I can burn my lips with scotch from a raised antique glass as the sun sets on what was a rainy afternoon: I survived.

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