I wake up with multiple strings pulling at my thoughts. Some are golden threads yanking lightly, others are thick hemp rope that tug and tug, pulling with the strength of a thousand sailors. A single mind, a single point is stretched, I imagine my head like the dot on a map, a red city with a web of highways emanating from the center. This day has begun under a layer of clouds and I have awoken rested, yet with sore muscles that pinch my neck and upper back. I feel a tug. My dreams stirred me like a cauldron and floating on the top is the memory of a childhood crush. The boy who was beaten by his stepfather, the boy who drew gruesome fish and decapitated bodies. The boy I always wanted but could never look in the eye. What did he do with his past? Has he turned his lashings and fear into a graphic story that lines the shelves of bookstores? Does he smoke away his days in an effort to still his mind? What has he done with his past? The dream lingers, “I’ve always held out a hope that we would be together,” I told a childhood friend. I’ve written it all down and I sit here, my mind moving in a thousand directions, my breath moving in and out, my attention coming back in bursts of self remembering. “yes, it’s time to focus…”
But here I go….down the highway of thought. What have I done wrong? Oh yes… sleep has not erased the contact I muddled. A new day and still, my eyes are a little worn, my body lacks the ability to hold itself straight, so I sit like I always do, like a little old woman who has spent the last seventy years bearing the burden of her family. How many generations do I pile on my back? With whose mouth do I speak? What dreams do I carry with me like a coat of arms? Only, we didn’t have coats of arms, we carried ourselves in secret, only our noses gave us away, that, and the eyes.
Eyes that can be found in any country where our women wander. I remember the long lost photo, the seductive stare of a young woman in Egypt who rests on a marble floor, her hand on the handle of a copper urn, staring up at the photographer with brown eyes that speak of lust, of pure heat that is transmitted through DNA. I carry them all in my cells, every sex crazed woman. Every complaining man. Their teachings, their fears that could topple me if I let them. Their lifetimes are piled on me, my sentence since birth.
Shall I give up the body and focus? Shall I give up the thoughts of children, the thoughts of a monogamous pairing? All the things I thought I never wanted. All the things I did. All the things I have seen while watching movies, while watching my parents, while watching the world go by me in a blur of pairs and extended bliss. I saw the video of the wedding, it was glorious and they pledged it would go on forever. They swore their love would never crumble, that their devotion would only grow, that nothing would change. And I cried while watching them, a set of strangers, a couple convinced of the lie that defies their own nature. The pretty girl in white smiles as though she has never known true happiness before. I was never promised happiness. I was promised work, continuous, never ending work. I was promised it would be hard and I took his hand with a blindfold over my eyes, I took his hand and stepped through the doorway.
I look down at my naked body, I have been pulled again, down the road of thought. Strings pull me in a thousand directions. If I pull back, that only makes them stronger. If I float calmly, then they may fall away.