Sunday, September 19, 2010
In Order To Cry
In order to cry, think of the lover that left you without a home. A lover that came back from the far off beaches and mountains of Costa Rica, all the while sending notes filled with love and the promises of kisses in a soon to be future. In order to cry, remember when he looked at you with a distant eye and those kisses turned strange and full of salt and he didn’t seem like familiar skin, but something that only housed the shadow of old laughter. He came off the plane with dreams of walking through Mexico hand in hand, but in days, as leaves fell and marked the beginning of fall, he took the keys to the trailer and didn’t help carry your clothes and books to the sidewalk. He pulled out of the driveway, taking your home and smile, driving off into the mountains without a kiss or a soft glance backwards, driving as fast as he could to avoid the sound of your tears as they fell, crashing on the worn hardwood floor.
In order to cry, think of the night when you slept alone in an unfamiliar room, the only familiar tattooed flesh a few miles away behind metal bars and thick glass. The walls of the room were pale white, but covered in the blue dawn light of morning that came seeping in through the bedroom window. Remember looking around, feeling the floor below the thin mattress just a few inches thick, and then, oh yes, it all comes back, the horrible twists and turns of the night before. A convulsing 90 pound teenager, the sirens, the police handcuffs and a ride to the station. The interrogation and then walking free while some stayed behind in orange jumpers and the promise of long, noisy days and anxiety-filled nights and court-appointed lawyers in wrinkled suits. Think of your impotence, the jewelry you wore for good-luck as you watched the court proceedings with a pained heart and tears and a wet pussy, since your man still looked hot in the orange jumpsuit.
In order to cry, think of your missing dog, the one you walked on warm summer nights through the gentle fog of misty marijuana and fading orgasms. The dog that was your link to human connection, for people dared look at you and smile while you held a leash. Remember the soft brown eyes you still dream of, fur clinging to the lint of the sliding glass door is the only remaining physical manifestation of the thick fur covered body. In order to cry, think of the restaurant, sitting with your parents and sister when the truth finally came over appetizers and ice water sitting in wine glasses, when their lies finally spiraled in on themselves and you realized with one quick tear that Blackstar didn’t die, she was killed. And you know that she was old and could hardly walk and you knew every time you walked out the front door of your parent’s house that it might be the last time you saw that graying black fur, but still, they lied, letting your sister come home for Thanksgiving, looking around the house, opening every door, calling, ‘Blackstar!”
In order to cry, think of your young sister, growing older, growing more jaded and contorted by the day. Her smooth pink skin turning into wrinkles of worry, her mouth producing only complaints and concerns. Think of her all alone after you left for college, that poor skinny body starved and stressed while your mom’s concerns about weight seeped in, finding a home in the fabric of her muscles, taking the place of any fat; and now, when she eats, she talks about calories every time she moves in with a spoon on a mound of whipped cream. Your sister, who wants to give facials and mud masks, but your parents ‘spent too much money on college for her to be a beautician,’ so she stays in the suspended Bardo, caught by invisible strings that pull on each one of her fingers. She wears all black and helps rich women pick out sunglasses that could pay your rent.
In order to cry, remember all the things that you have lost, that pink and white batik shirt that disappeared in the wash. That 500 year old piece of turquoise that was stolen right out of your own jewelry box in the yellow-lit bathroom. Your vinyl records taken by the same mouth you had fed spaghetti two weeks before. The friends you left standing at the altar without a girl in green to clap and cheer. The friends you just stopped calling. The people you wonder about, but you cannot call now because it’s too late and too much time has passed. The family that you can barely visit and talk with, the potted plants left in the care of others.
In order to cry, think of yourself. Turn your attention inward, as has been advised in the manual. Focus on your skin, your breasts or penis, whichever may be the case. Think of the ache of your skin, the unfulfilled desires that call your name.
In order to cry, stand in the corner of the room with your face to the wall. Stand there till the feeling of isolation grows, until you begin to chant the phrase, ‘I am alone.’
Look at your missteps, your sidesteps, the sadness that just needs an open door, the failure of the sun to grant every wish and orgasm.
In order to cry, think of your tears, ready at the waiting, waiting to roll down your cheeks, eager to take the ride they were always promised.