I have at least four fully-formed posts on here that may never make the light of day. They are long, too, but right now all they have to identify them is a [no title] and the date when I last added something to them. They are filled with words –the best words!– but they are to be considered drafts forever, never to be released out into the wild with the belly fat ads and the insurance commercials.
Sometimes, words are annoying. I say this as someone who is overly fond of words, so I think it should count double. That is to say, you should reread that sentence and go, “Wow. She’s so deep.”
Because I am deep and I deeply want to impress you. You know who impressed me? My 13-year old son. He recently was invited to participate in the citywide honors music and vocal ensembles concert (#proudmamamoment). The theme of their concert was the phrase I AM. They were all given t-shirts that had a little blank to fill, completing the identity thought.
My kid filled his blank in with, “flawed.” I was so proud and touched by his word, I couldn’t say much more than some cooing and awwing sounds while I blinked back tears. Words, you see, were insufficient. Why bother being grandiose and saying “moving” “such grown-up” “wow” “much deep” and risk sounding like Doge, when you could just not say anything and hug him and embarrass him instead? I did. But I guess now words are coming back to me, which is why I wrote that paragraph above.
You know when else words are insufficient? When you miraculously find yourself vibrating in the same mental frequency as another human being. This is a strange and beautiful gift, and it doesn’t happen often. You will try to pretend it’s not happening sometimes, because it’s overwhelming to be there in that same space and time in a place where space and time don’t really work like they do outside of your mind. If that didn’t make sense, it’s okay, I suppose. That’s because I’m deep, you see.
But sometimes, not often, you will find yourself drawn despite yourself and despite that other person, into that space. And when you’re there, all I can tell you is that you should enjoy it because it will not last: Because that space is too fragile and we are all flawed and most of us are unable to enjoy the beautiful, rare presents that life gives us. That space is like spring, bursting with bloom and color and flowers. You will inhale too deeply and your nose will get too much pollen and the sneeze will make it go away.
And then, it will be as if it had never happened at all.
I’ve been on a poetry-writing kick lately, which is the kind of pretentious thing you should really keep to yourself, much like your collection of dolls made out of human hair or your habit of adding umlauts to words like “coöperate.” It’s a known fact that most people hate poetry.
I was talking to a school librarian the other day. She hates poetry, even though many of the best children’s books out there are extended, illustrated poems. I told her most people hated it, so I understood her. She somehow seemed a little sheepish after I said that, but it’s true: Poetry is universally hated. What is it about imagery that makes people so uncomfortable anyway? Do people hate spring? Maybe they do.
Do mountaintops miss blizzards?
Does seawater miss salt?
Do ten-foot waves long for that extra inch
To make them even more deadly
I miss you like a runny, chafed nose misses a cheap Kleenex
Or like Sunday night misses the garbage cans that line themselves up neatly on the streets
I miss you like an accountant misses April 15
Or like a cut, neosporin
I miss you like a bra does underwire
A little stiffness, a little torture, worth the burden
Not a burden
Just something I’ve gotten used to doing being having
I feel like
Cambodian-style pho in need of hoisin sauce
I feel like
A cut of beef that was just fine without that marinade
But it could have really used the kick of flavor
Or like a cloud missing an ion or two to make it rain
Right now I feel like rain
Like a dam waiting for a critical mass of drops to make it burst