Gray Area, or Purple Cats

October 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

I know what they’ll tell me. They’ll say it’s just that fire in your belly, that electricity in your mind, it’ll pass, don’t worry, just a phase, a season that’ll bloom and fade, and they’ll clap me on the back with worn hands bearing faded rings, dull diamonds, while they toast, toast something like another birthday, another sure sign that things are ending, coming to a close, cut the cake, pass the wine. Youth, is what they’ll say. Oh, youth. I remember reading Jack Keourac myself. Live it up now. Soon you’ll be taking out a mortgage and taking junior to his physicals and spending half your life in the frozen food aisle.

Just a burst, a chemical exchange. It makes me want to be sick to feel it, to know I feel it, and I wonder if I should start wearing plaid and wearing glasses again, if I should say, hey college, fuck you, I’m going to go travel across the country drunk as all hell and trying to find the “it” like the great poets and say screw you, suburbia, screw you all the rest of ’em. Oh, God. No. Never. Don’t ride on the spark and land in the dark. I crack my knuckles and call my mother. She asks me what color I want my new comforter to be and I tell her I have to go, have to my essay for Victorian Lit, have to go cook a lasagna, have to go light myself on fire. Well, alright, remember to mail that birthday card to your grandmother.

Can’t even write, I think to myself now, can’t even fricken write. And if you can’t write, what’s the point? You’re only allowed to travel across the country drunk as all hell and find “it” if you can write well, write something people put on their bookshelves and never read but dust occasionally. If not, go take out that mortgage, go join the rank and file, or hang yourself in your closet. Or no, scratch that. Because you’re only allowed to hang yourself in your closet or overdose on sleeping pills or put a bullet through your brain if you’ve written tangles of thought down on paper and someone with a name plaque on their desk nodded approvingly at them, or someone raised their hand to discuss them in a book club that dedicates half the reading list to novels about the Holocaust.

My therapist tells me, believe in a gray area. It doesn’t have to be either or. This or that. Life or death. And so to that I say, but the commercials will tell me buy or die. The boy who sits next to me in class will say yes or no when I ask him to coffee, the election will be Romney or Obama, my mother will glare or she will be silent, and there will be a God or there will not. And to this she will nod, she will write it down in the notebook, she will file it away in an alphabetized drawer covered in magnets and stickers of purple cats. 

Car dealerships and vacuuming and a Master’s degree or roads and oceans and people you meet once and never again. Somewhere, definitely or nowhere at all. And here, I realize, is the problem. Here is the gray area. Here I will reside.

I hate them both.

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