Give me something. Anything. There seem to be moments when I am so empty, like there is nothing there but hollow, wandering thoughts and a non-stop parade of memories I would rather not relive. My life, it hasn’t been all bad, but then, there’s not been that much good has there, or I wouldn’t be laying here in this bathtub wishing for nothing more than the courage it takes to scream aloud every frustration I have. And I have them, to be sure, plenty of them. Who doesn’t anymore?
That’s the thing, though. No one seems to care about anything anymore. We’ve all got our own problems and our own worries. Who has time to check on their friends or their family when they can barely see above the rising tide of all the things they have to take care of, all the things they have to worry about, and then some that maybe they don’t need to worry about, but do anyway. I know I don’t. Have time, I mean. I don’t have the time to think of all the people who might be worried about whether or not I am doing well my first time out on my own. Likely there aren’t many.
Certainly not my mother. My selfish, annoying mother, who would forsake her own children for the love of a crack dealer who has no intention of taking care of her or thinking about her future. Only thinking of spiriting her away from her miserable marriage with promises of change, Tantra and other things I can’t bear to dream of. No, somewhere, she is in a cramped apartment, living with him and believing she can be happy if she just tells herself she is, the same way she always has, the same way she always will. God will make it all better eventually, she’ll tell herself. God will reward her for her patience...
God my ass. If there is such a thing, it’s a huge cosmic joke and the laugh isn’t on God. I’ll tell you that. Imagine for a moment, if you can, that you are all powerful. You are all knowing. You are all seeing. And you can do anything you like. You created the world, everything in it. Do you really think that you would take time to check in on each of the workers in you cosmic ant farm? Because I know I wouldn’t. I can barely be assed to keep up with people I like, let alone all the people I have ever met. No sir, if I had created the universe I’d be in Tahiti with a lovely woman on my arm, and handsome fellow feeding me fresh fruit and marveling at all the lovely things I can get people to do, all because I am God.
I pick up the soap and have a little laugh to myself, for a moment, seeing that God [if there is such a thing] and my mom have just a little in common, too much to do for themselves to check in on their own creation. She’s like that, my mother, being compared to God. But not a Goddess, mind you, that’s heresy.
The soap feels strangely cool tonight as I wash myself. That may be that the water is a lot hotter than I normally run it. Its steaming tonight, nearly boiling, and my neurotic masochism has turned my skin a bright pink already. But I don’t mind it so much as it feels different, and as lonely as I am, and bored, different is alright. Either way, the soap is delightfully cold. I am using a bar tonight. Not one of those fluffy things that I get in gift sets every year from people who have no idea what I like or who I am, nor one of those gels that you can buy even at the local grocery store now. No, tonight I have a plain, boring bar of washing soap. And it smells clean. And refreshing. And different. I am afraid I haven’t really got the energy to do what I have to do tonight. I don’t feel like going out, being pretty, being charming, getting people to want to be around me or be with me. No, I don’t feel like that in the least. But old habits die hard, and I will go, same as I have, night after night for nearly a year now, and I will laugh. I will talk and I will dance. It will be alright, once I make it to the dance floor. I always manage to forget how terrible things are when I am dancing. I feel better, freer. Happy, almost. You know that song by the Eagles where they say some dance to forget? That’s me they were talking about.
So to forget, to be beautiful the way only I know how to be, I have to be here, in this too hot bath, listening to the echos of the people in my apartment, chattering and flirting and laughing below while I get ready. I suppose I ought to hurry, someone might have to pee. But you know, I can’t be troubled by it. Its my place, right?
So I pick up the razor and I move my candles a little closer and I lather the soap much thicker than I have been. My legs are long, I know this, and I am blessed with a nice complexion, but it still means that shaving is both necessary and a nuisance. I was never much of a shaver, blame that on my mother as well, not letting me start until I could nearly drive a car. So I have to take my time, running the razor over my leg gently, in slow strokes I make as steady as I can.
Its about the only thing I make steady in myself. Sometimes it seems to me like my spirit is slamming up against the inside of my body, trying desperately to find a weakness in the fortress. One day I fear it will, and I will finally go flying out of my body and away from everything around me at last. It won’t come soon enough, if you ask me.
There was once I felt it, when I was still in high school. There was a guy who worked with me at my after school job, and he was a witch. Or a male witch. A mystic or a warlock. Whatever you wanted to call him, he was a lot like me, and he knew things he shouldn’t and he sensed things before others could think or say them. I felt him, a presence, long before I ever met him, and once I did I took to spending a lot of time with him. I would bring him home with me after work, and we would sit in my room, all candles and heavy scents, and we would talk about things I thought were deep or spiritual.
Once, at his apartment, [he was much older than I was] we sat, and he lit a stick of incense and brought me in front of him and took my hands and with his soft calm voice he put me in the deepest meditation that I have ever been in. And softly, slowly, I made my way out of my body and walked about without it. I could see him there beside me, feeling the things I did and seeing the things I did, even though we were far from where our bodies are resting and where we should have been. When we finally came crashing down into our bodies again I was exhausted. I slept there all night, before going home the next morning I told him I enjoyed myself, and maybe we could do it again sometime. We never did, but I have been looking for a voice or a way out ever since then, and I can feel it in myself on nights like this.
Unfortunately, its not all I feel. All of my daydreaming has caused my attention to wander and I’ve managed to nick myself on the top of my thigh. I press my hand there to stop the bleeding and look up to the top of the cabinet, crawling out of the bathtub and reaching for a band aid, cutting of the sticky part to cover the cut. See, this is where I get, when I dream. A cut on the leg, another inconvenience and a stinging reminder that I can’t go back and I can’t quite make things the way I’d like them to be. So I am here, sitting on my floor, the cold of the tile against me, and I am empty, hurting and frustrated.
Fill me up. Give me something, anything, to distract me from all of this. To distract me from what my life has become. To distract me from the things I wish weren’t real, and the memories I can’t seem to escape. Distract me from myself. And give me something new.