11 p.m. comes in just as it’s expected to and I meet it hazy and a little disoriented, ready to let go and grant my subconscious free reign over the next eight hours of canvas. I’m going to listen to a little bit of music and drift off, and when the first couple of songs don’t do it I’ll just skate through a couple more until I’m sliding out for the next morning. Maybe it’s the exhaustion, but something about the way the melodies and lyrical execution are moving feels as satisfying as the way my bed is curving in to my yearning-for-rest body, so maybe I’ll be a little late for my scheduled check-out.
Somewhere along the one song-to-the-next I rediscover some old favourites like an amnesiac finding out they’re older than they thought, and here are the teen years I thought I had mapped and recorded like a cartographer suddenly discovering new land. Not new land though but old land with my boot prints in the mud fossilized and clearly a size or two smaller from their eventual full growth. I’m comfortable though in pants, socks, and a long-sleeve and buzzing just the right amount to slip those old fits on and walk around down the lane to revisit some of those landmarks again.
It’s a little past 11 p.m now, but oh wow it’s really not because despite my eyes being centimetres from a clock it’s really free-fell hours and is sitting at 2 a.m. I should have known from how many times I’ve re-filled my water and emptied my bladder that this little detour has become a full-blown press tour for teenage-me’s autobiography. I don’t want to waste tomorrow though, so I’m going to put the orange-glow of my night-mode phone down and head to sleep now.
The light was pink this evening. Pink in the sky but hitting the water in accordance to the International Law of Colours and Blending to make a body of magenta, with a face blemished by the darted sparkles of the light falling of the flash rain. I thought of it as I hit every dip and bump along my trip peddling my purple mess kit home. It’s always when I’m cycling or walking, but not just traveling because I also free-form my thoughts freely when I’m showering or making it through a day of work, and it’s for those reasons that I choose to step away to try and nourish that perk. I feel like myself trapped inside of somebody else when I’m following and clicking on one thing after another, but the freshest air pushes hardest against my chest. The freedom to turn the world down is the exact amount of rope needed to hang-oneself. That hand on the slider of a screen moving up when it could be turning a dial down shows a contrast in use of muscles: a flick of a finger gives more while the twist of two gets it. Decades of buildings convenience up haven’t earned anything for the hands that built it so much as it has for the ones born now and reaping the benefit, but that’s not where MY inspiration comes from. The freshest air pushes hardest against my chest, and it’s not plaque or tar or layers of fat causing resistance. It’s the kind of love-hate push that rewards a deep satisfaction, like the kind that goes to bed with you at the end of a productive day and doesn’t just tell you but simply shows you that this day was yours. It’s the kind of love-hate that builds a couple of hundred words in to 12 000 and climbing because you take 20 minutes to add 200 words of your 100 percent to this 1 goal. It’s the kind of love-hate that you find sitting at your computer when it’s late and paying attention to what you ate because you care more about what’s coming than the struggles you’ve had as-of late. The love-hate of spending time alone but finding your best parts there.
The light was pink this evening which usually means a tomorrow of clear skies.
They drip like shadows of light, orange and red, a long way down like running spills of oil on the water. After the dark, so early in arrival now that I almost don’t notice the sunset, comes the water-colour rippling in the dark ink of the canal. Not exclusively though. The asphalt, dark and slick yet illuminating the bleeding mascara off its recently washed/not yet dried face, takes the monopoly out of the sky and crashes the board in to an extra dimension: under our feet to join the sides, eye-level, and up high.
I made my bed as soon as I left it in the morning. Remember morning? When you leave the bed in which you slept in? Looking at it as if it’s permanent and there isn’t any other somewhere else that you’ll one day cover, in your fully dressed frame, flopping down hard in a scatter of blankets and pillows. As though the four marks they make in the floor will always cradle the never-aging baby.
I made my bed as the first act of cleaning that would organize my home. I covered the wrinkled sheets and faded outline of myself under the smooth and curt tuck of a black and grey blanket. It’s smooth, presentable, and dropped the stone in the pond causing the rippling wave of washing away. Of tidying and chiseling; of organizing the things gone astray.
I made my bed this morning right before leaving for a bus when my health rejected cycling. I made it because there was time, and because it would be a win to come home to at the end of a day of tiny losses. There were no clothes scattered on the floor to line up with the scattered thoughts, and me from the morning had a defiant something to say while keeping the present me standing while I violently sway.
I’ll make my bed tomorrow morning a little later, at least that’s the plan. It’s soft the sound of a blanket stretching in the air, a fistful for two hands. What’s not soft is glass breaking or the confusion around it, like the pedestrians running from a fire and the crash that caused it. That was Sunday though, maybe even a month ago, and the days and their schedules came normally with little but a tiny mark of confusion as a reminder: a small green car, a sick sort of green, there at a light while you cross-walk. It’s also parked, by your side on the highway, and cruising slow down a one-way.
I made my bed none of those mornings, but I started to recently. I started to when the glass broke, and in the confusion the bullet went through my heart swiftly. It died after bleeding out for weeks. I didn’t know it was happening but it did. It did. For better or worse: it did.
Tonight, I’m going to bed like many of the nights stacked up behind me. I’m not sad, glad, or frustrated. I’m in my bed to sleep, and there I’ll be to reach tomorrow.
Little egg in the nest; could be any color or size in any roost for that matter. What’s forming in that thin shell as tough to the brittle beak as a roof to an axe when the water is flooding in? Will you take to the skies, when those wings unfurl like sails and beat against the wind, or will they be the black, scaly rutters in the freezing waters on top and beneath the globe?
Will you age? Age comfortably in a cage, warm and safe on the scorching and snowy days? Are the rocky porches to the salty ocean where you will lean back-and-forth in motion? Scavenging on what our narrow-minded kin discard and dis-regard?
What things will you sing? Sing when you wish you could be widening the scope of your life or flying through fatigue until your time of dying? Calling out to the sun that’s rising and scratching and laying, all the while mystifying over classifying yourself among others of your kind.
I could barely make a mark, with my substitute for talons and hyper-active mind, on the way you differ or even how my own do. Sometimes, we both make beauty by accident and do things that shine; both of us in deserts and by wide water under an expanse of sky. We can be found picking out of the gutters, flocked in popular squares, and emerald hills of fog and rain: impaling our prey to eat them piece by piece.
I like to think you easier to make sense of, as you probably do of us, and if I never do you justice at least you did me some.
The sun doesn’t rise quite the same when the rainfall of fall welcomes us all instead and slows the start of the day to a crawl. Has the sudden briskness not been enough? Can that jolt not, at least, come with the energy of the bright sunshine? Must we receive only the intense, nervous rush of a beating heart without the boost of caffeine?
It’s not for us, but shelfing our selfishness makes room to see who benefits. You can see and almost hear it when the water drops from the air: the world around us, opening up its pores like ours do in welcome of a hot shower, except for her it’s the dark earth, the blades of grass, and the bark-clad trees we’ve grown accustomed to. They exude life and step apart from the grey sentinels we’ve normalized to remind us just how un-alike they are.
The morning is no less inverted by the half-light or soaking the skin in a layer of ice-water, sensitive an extra measure to the thin wind cutting like razors, but it’s not our turn. It’s not our turn to have everything for a morning or maybe a day, but in a world shaped, labeled, and re-formed by us this seems fair.
Floating but like an illusion echoing the way frost coats the green to blue at dawn, they sit and tread as the numbered days count backwards until they go forward south. Every early dusk, getting earlier by the day, has something new and a fraction more urgent to say. They honk, for lack of a pretty word, back where they wish they had something prettier to share out on the water, and they do so loudly where their charming cousins play more pleasing notes on their syrinx.
They don’t watch for the palette to change on the fingers of maples, or for the children to prep to dress up for candy, but they still know when to take flight. On their dark feathers and down they’ll head up and leave us behind with the lasting thought that the summer has firmly and truly died.