Something short I came across in my old files. Written last June here in Suratthani. One of those pieces that I'm sure at the time I thought was nothing, but finding it again now, I want to know where it was going, where it came from. It's nice to see one's own writing in this light.
when the pin drops
He said to me, it has always been you. Different chapters, different books, call it what you will. You did not materialize at age twenty-whatever, you do not get to shed that skin, you are a human. You have always been. And I said to him, you are right. Like you have always been, or usually are at least. How is that you see me? So truly, and so deeply?
Like everything else that has ever existed, we started as a mere possibility. One that I may have glossed over in my peripheral, unknowingly, and let go of immediately. But a seed is a seed, and this one was buried deep. So deep that I didn't feel it growing in me, not until the days turned into years and our circumstances, winding around the world like vines, once again brought him into my life. Sometimes you don't realize you have been sitting in silence until the pin drops. Suddenly I heard music.
I don't remember the first time we kissed, or who initiated it. But what ensued. What ensued shook me like an earthquake, it shifted my plates. My foundation would never be the same. From the inside, I watched the egg break.
This is a short story that I wrote many years ago for a fiction writing course while studying at Columbia College Chicago. The piece was published in Hair Trigger 32, an award-winning literary anthology published by the college, in 2010. It's a story that I come back to occasionally and think, "Wow, where did this come from?!" It's a bit dark and twisted, and perhaps part of what will one day be a longer story. I hope you enjoy!
For an unprecedented series of moments, standing in the warm shower stream, I felt a sensation that is fairly foreign to me: I felt in control. This did not equate to knowing, to being right, to doing all of the things I deem in my head as being good to do. But it meant that, regardless of what was happening around me, everything that exists does so as a result of a choice I have made, a decision I have come to. Whether I wake up and drink water before an intense workout, or linger in bed reading a book that even upon reaching the last page I am unsure if I like or not - I am in control. Of my actions, most obviously, but also of my emotional reaction to the results of these actions, to the changes in my context that ripple outward, indefinitely. With such power, comes fearlessness. What reason is there to be afraid, when I am the one directing the traffic of my life? I am building, destroying, rebuilding. I alone am doing this. It is glorious and intoxicating, especially in these early hours of the morning, when like my body, my potential is shaking off the darkness of night, is coming alive again. Simply because I have allowed it to.
I wasn't here, but I wasn't there either. I wasn't anywhere my body was. The ethereal me was floating, watching, feeling deep pangs of every emotion known to man. I was exploding with them, their ashes burning holes into the place that claims to be my heart. Not the one that beats in my human chest, but the one that remains with me, even when I fly away, in a dream or into the depths of my waking mind. Never aimless, but unsure nonetheless of my direction, if there is such a thing. It's a wonder I don't disappear into the vastness that surrounds me, warm and humming with vibrations that emanate from the center of a hole from which it all originates. Time ceases to exist as we know it, and with the release of that pressure comes only bliss. Everything as it is is as it should be, and will always be. I am awash with understanding on levels previously unreached, and in this state of total faith, I let go. Aaaah, I exhale a phantom breath and bask in an infinite shower of love and light. I am not asleep. I am not awake. I do not exist as myself, an individual, but as something incomprehensibly greater. If I could cry, I would, out of pure ecstasy and for the immensity of my gratitude for this experience. I float like this for what may be seconds or even days, measured in Earthly terms, knowing the imprint that it leaves in the valleys of my soul are eternal.
Eyes wide open
Stare down into
A part of me I had
In a space where
And curled up in
The essence of
Our veritable selves
We relish a connection
Of cosmic proportions,
To something far grander
Than what is possible
For our human minds
But we feel,
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.