I suppose I could tell you this was going to happen easily. My qualified experience
has been full of lies like that. I go to the grocery store and the sign says SALE by the
peaches, so I get a bag of peaches to the check-out clerk and the check-out clerk is an older woman with a mustache. Nice though. Respectful. But she charges me the normal price for the peaches, so I tell her the sign said they were on sale and she calls the manager who claims the sign was over the nectarines, not the peaches.
That’s part of the reason I left my husband.
Like yesterday when the bottled water guy delivered three bottles to 2C and one bottle to 3D. 2C doesn’t even drink water, but that’s another story. So I tell him on the phone about the mistake, nice, like it’s understandable even though it’s really pretty stupid, and the hairball wants to fix it next week with extra water, won’t even come back and move one of the bottles. Wants to know why I can’t do it. Doesn’t believe 2C won’t open the door.
My son used to be like that. The truth is I get tired when I know what’s going to happen next. I get cranky. Still, something has to happen next. But I don’t. I don’t have to happen before I decide to happen. Except when I have to not happen anymore when that finally happens.
So I remember something else about behavior and tell the clerk about it and she listens. But it wasn’t about her, oh no, it wasn’t about her. It wasn’t about her even one little bit.
I used to be loud and proud and think thunder could speak for me, having no reason to explain, only an emptiness to fill, having no purchase on that heaven but my body’s evaporation. You could hold on to that passing if you lifted and fell, the way weather does. You could go there for a reason if there was something more than yourself on the other end.
I’d been here before and I didn’t know which one of me was speaking. There’s a bit of something very much like it attached to each of us before we become attached to it. Before it goes away with us. Which we don’t notice. Not knowing who that is that’s leaving because it couldn’t be us, couldn’t be anything singular departing in such a generic manner.
Like we could have been there inside ourselves and not ever guessed it wasn’t who we thought it was.
You take this out of the place it was in and it becomes something else. I figured that much out already. Maybe it’s even over another time now. Over another you.
Rich Ives is the author of Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener’s Book of Days currently being published in serial @ Silenced Press everyday in 2014 and forthcoming in paperback. Begin from the beginning, catch up, read daily. Just refer to the Burrow Guide.