There is no life in thee, now, except that rocking life imparted by a gently rolling ship; by her, borrowed from the sea; by the sea, from the inscrutable tides of God. But while this sleep, this dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch; slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror. Over Descartian vortices you hover. And perhaps, at mid-day, in the fairest weather, with one half-throttled shriek you drop through that transparent air into the summer sea, no more to rise for ever.
Chapter 35, The Mast-head
So this is my current concern. I have drifted so far out on the inscrutible tides that I have lost all grasp on this world. I fear that at any moment my identidy will come rushing back in horror and when it does it will slam me me out like an oncoming truck to the pavement.
Time slows in the moment of impact I recall years ago when I was rear ended at a stoplight. The car which burst into the back of my tiny turtle-like hatchback propelled my little shell clear across the intersection and even in that end of dusk light which filtered down through the tall shadows of the downtown skyscrapers–details rushed in through my eyes—as we slid, my head was thrown back with such force that my earring flew off and ricocheted off the back windshield and I know this because I watched it fly. I watched the stoplight, still red, as it inched in slow motion across my view, then I noticed the fibers of the grey ceiling above–each thread in impeccable detail from the front edge where the rubber seal of the windshield held the glass . . .back. . .back. . .back, what an expanse of a ceiling there is when your mind slows down to take in every thread, and, oh, look–there is a spot, a scuff mark–bike tire would it have been?
We used to lie on the grass on summer nights and throw sticks into the air to watch the silhouettes of bats swoop toward them against the dark night sky. Looking up we were, with heads tilted back. . .like this.
My car, my first car, grey and small–and why have I never taken so much time before to look at the details of the ceiling? And then the earring clatters and bounces and my body, as if pulling its tired self from bed in the morning begins to shift again, this time moving forward. And in a slam of a second time snaps back.
So, I am familiar with the sensation of oncoming annihilation.
I am staring at the words, all words, only words, and, yes,you know when I say “only words” I am speaking tongue in cheek because
is more real
I am suspended between two incompatible truths.
Two truths, which, were they ever to cross, would annihilate me.
You say it is easier for me to lie,
but what you do not understand
is that , hear me: I am incapable of lies.
I am incapable of lies.
Even when I was an actress on the stage, I never told a lie.
So hear this, and see if it does not make your brain hurt as much as it does mine. I am not lying.
Rather, there are truths which cannot co-exist.
So I try to weave displaced truths.
which do not seem far enough apart to
exist on far ends of the same rope? But–
They cannot be on the same –not these two ends.
They cannot be.
Without looping around into a noose.
Somewhere I along the way I
lost myself in the words
and found myself in the words.
Disembodied I have
finally re-entered my body,
And found it occupied.
So sorry, this body has already been taken. This body has a heart, a life, a garden, a home, love. This body has love–so where is this place you, you this mad and consuming other girl have returned to? Yes, you used to live here, but we had given you up for dead and sold that lot some time ago.
To say there is but one truth,
To say that we ever know for certain what is true,
To love, truly, according to the definition in the script, is to slam and lock every other door. It is to pin into place your one and only and then pour onto them the incalculable burden of
And time and again. Love fails.
We fail the ones we love.
Which is the lie?
I swear to you, I am incapable of lying, and so, in the spirit of honesty I must confess, as I
ponder the repose of if,
as I try to
grasp every strange, half seen gliding beautiful thing that eludes —
my spirit ebbs away to whence it came; becomes diffused through time and space;
And truth? Faithfully? Who will judge what is true?