I don’t know what I’m supposed to write tonight.
I’m just sitting in grey sweatpants. They were sent to me in my first quarterly prison box, which I received on my anniversary. I suppose they’re my anniversary sweatpants, my prison sweatpants, a tiny thread to the life that was.
I could tell you about quarterly boxes, and how we wait for them. I could tell you about the watch that Dave sent in one, and the little earrings. It’s such a superficial use of money but they were so dear to me. I could tell you about the bunky I had at the time. The one who went through my letters and told everyone else that I made Dave up, and I could tell you about all the silly petty stuff that happened while I was there.
I could talk to you about walking through the halls in these sweatpants, feeling at home, and how the girls always commented on my walk. It’s a free walk when I am at home. (I could tell you how rarely I walk like this now.) My hips move, my arms swing, my chin stays parallel to the floor, I walk like I am going somewhere.
I usually am.
I don’t know what I’m supposed to write tonight, but I know how I write, and so do you.
There’s a pattern to it. It will end soon.
… and this is where I say,
But what if it never ends?
I like to balance my words as often as I like to topple them over. Sometimes you say, nice poem, but really it was prose. Sometimes you say, great essay, but really it was poetry.
I am a creature in the habit of words, a reader of words in the habit of creation.
I know how I write but, right now, I don’t know what to write.
I’m not wearing a bra, and the gray tank matches the sweats. I asked for prompts at the beginning of this month and a friend said I should write something erotic.
Breasts are erotic.
So I titled a post “my breasts”. (It hardly seemed reasonable to write about someone elses.)
I couldn’t steal packets of peanut butter from the prison kitchens because my breasts were too small and the square plastic edges would protrude obviously through my shirt. It was a blessing. I didn’t want to be responsible for stealing. I didn’t want to be responsible for feeding girls who were hungry.
But that wasn’t erotic, so I erased it, and googled erotic writing. I like prompts. They tell me what to write when I don’t know what to write, which happens far more often than not. Even when I’m exhausted, though, I don’t fall out of the patterns of how I write.
And you know how I write.
You know the patterns of it.
It is tumbleweed, circular, lost.
Sometimes it seems like it’ll never end.
Sometimes, it circles back to a point.
My breasts have a point, which is different than a purpose. I’m supposed to tell you how they feel, but I imagine they feel like most breasts. Like ziplock bags full of pudding and meat fat. I’m supposed to tell you how they feel, but I don’t imagine they feel anything.
They’re heartless, soulless.
If they had eyeballs, they’d be beady-eyed and blank. Carnivorous cannibals, probably, why would they care about life?
Is this erotic yet?
When I say my full name fast, it sounds like ‘rotica. It is worse when I hesitate. (My names are so cumbersome that I always hesitate.)
What’s your name?
…. Ah, Radhika.
Sure, let’s go with that.
I’ve had stranger things written on my coffee cup.
Last week there was a series of digits.
I asked him what it meant, and he said, it’s a phone number. Mine. Call me.
I asked him what I would say, and he laughed,
what would I say?
I don’t even know what to write most days, but at least I know how I write. I am tumbleweed, going as much forward as I go backward. I am purposeless points, and squishy bags of inedible combinations. I am prompted, but I never answer the prompt, I just let it blow down the empty desert streets of my mind. I don’t dial numbers on coffee cups, I’m too busy drinking the coffee inside. I’m too busy striding like I’m going somewhere.
I usually am.
But not tonight.
Tonight, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to write.