I fell in love with stream of conscious writing when Albert Camus barely paused in pace to posit to me that an addiction to silk underwear did not necessarily imply dirty feet. It may have been a character, in his book, uttering a thought that millions would read, but in the moment– in a relentless flood of thought, it felt personal. Others may have read it, but I heard it, with my own two ears. (Non-literal ears.) I fell in love with Camus that day, and again years later, and again years later. If a year has passed where I didn’t fall in love with my favorite authors all over again, I don’t remember it.
My non-literal ears are blowing off metaphorical steam right now, like a cartoon character who accidentally poured Sriarcha over her fries instead of ketchup. I don’t write when I’m steaming because it passes so quickly that I wouldn’t even understand myself by the time I re-read.
Sometimes I spin, and sometimes that spinning goes too quickly for anyone to make sense of it at all.
I wish I had headphones in. When they’re not in my ears, I am tense. Someone will interrupt. A sound will interrupt. A color or light always interrupts. The world is clinging to my face, pulling at my coattails, pinching my arms. It is commotion, noise, clatter, and jazz. Life is a cacophony of sound and motion and it makes me sick, like a rollercoaster ride that’s gone on a bit too long.
It’s gone on a bit too long.
I had a dream that Perdita died, and it made perfect sense. That’s what happens to people when their heart is broken, when the other half of it is burned to ash. People and cats, and other things that get more second chances than they deserve. It’s just another second chance all over again. Their love died, and they get to stop.
I don’t get to stop, or pause, or breathe, or think. Continue on, continue on, says the noise, says the jazz, says the clatter and commotion. This too will pass, everything passes, nothing lasts forever, not the good or the bad, or the years that started with slaps and never stopped pummeling you into the ground. Does it stop if you give up? Does it ever stop, or does everything keep rolling into the next thing?
We drag our dirty feet from one room to the next, but there’s pebbles between my toes that no one sees, that no one should see, that no one wants to see. Even I only notice them when they break my stride.
Broken is a word I’ve worked fully into my vocabulary over the last year. It’s like safety, something I never thought about before, that I can’t stop thinking about now. It’s part of the new world. My phone is still broken, so I am afraid to go out.
Luckily, I can stay in. I have a working computer now, thanks to AntoniusRex, so I’ve been online for an hour without anything crashing. I blogged through NanoPoblano on phones and 15 minute bursts of computer time, and though I am proud I made it through, being able to actually stay online makes me feel connected again, and connections make me feel safer.
I put a UFO sticker on the computer, a gift from my girls Behind the Willows, because it fit perfectly over the brand and it struck me as fate. I give way to fate because I trust her. I object when someone says I didn’t look before I crossed a street or jumped off a cliff, because of course I did– I looked her straight in the eye. Fate is like the pebble in my shoe, like the sound outside my window that I can’t block out with headphones. She is a fixture of reality that I am not intended to shake.
And everything is good. It is. I am lucky. I hear some people don’t even know what it is to walk without pebbles in their shoes. Some people have had their silk underwear judged by all the world, all their life. The world is connected now, and a little cramped. No one walks around without a wire anymore and the wires all plug into the electricity born of stories shared.
It’s important to share stories, and to write them, though I wonder if I would undertake anything else so lightly knowing the impact it could have. Maybe, in the future, a father will press my words into the hands of his Little Foot, telling her that everything she needs to know about human redemption can be found there– and maybe when she tastes a sentence, she’ll feel what I felt, reading Camus. Maybe the one sentence that I didn’t mean anything by will cement itself into her head and she’ll explain it for years and years. Maybe one day, she’ll pick up a pen or a keyboard or a thought-translating robot and write a thought rooted in my thoughts.
Or maybe no one will read it at all.
Dave sold about 10,000 copies of his memoir-turned-novel. I read it over and over again, and fell in love with him– as the author– over and over again. He wanted to be an author, and so he was one. I only ever wanted to be a reader, but that was the one thing I could never make into a living. I never wanted to be an author, and yet, here I am, surrounded by notes and sheets of typed pages…
though I am well aware an aversion to becoming an author does not necessarily imply one’s feet are clean.
My own are evidence of that. There’s pebbles pressed into my calluses, stuck between my toes, and I clank everywhere I go. I’m part of the noise, the clanks, the clatters, the commotions, and the jazz.
I’m part of life.
I am alive, and today– for the first time since I heard Dave died– I became a reader once again. I picked up a book, lived through its pages,
and fell in love.
I’ve tucked away my notes, and brewed some more coffee. Tomorrow sounds like a wonderful day to become an author, but today…
Today is a good day to read.