It has been so long since I felt I had something to say, something to write about, something worth writing down. I know the dangers of writing about writing and the self-negating spiral of writing about having nothing to write about, so I will avoid those pitfalls as deftly as I can.
I am on the verge now, having to some great degree shaken off the chains of my self-imprisonment at the hands of an almost innocent woman who spends some of her time wrapping my wrists in ribbons, convincing me they are chains. This evening she did it again and I, right-sighted, laughed at her and shook free my hands from the fabric of her magic.
Standing finally alone (having for so long attempted to live in someone else’s skin) is reassuring and fabulous. To have returned once again to this old accustomed melancholy is something of a victory for me, for the feeling I once mistook for loneliness is in fact just sadness, and it does not come from being alone (though it is certainly exacerbated by it), but from some other unknown source.
I stand alone (again) triumphant on the shore of a great purple sea, vast and unforgiving in its reach, menace encrypted carefully into its otherwise placid posture. I do not know why I am here. It is a place I am intimately familiar with, a place that I used to live before my time in prison. The beach is made of pebbles and small stones, the kind that Molloy might put in his pockets or set upon his tongue. I have lived for long periods here along the short, listening to the mermaids calling (each to each) their quiet mournful songs, writing them down and reciting them to those that might sit awhile and listen, on this chilly windswept beach, without fire or shelter to keep us warm.
And I realize, writing this, that the sea is not purple, but the sky is, a thick purple stain (a bruise? A drop of wine?) spreading across the sky, and the sea is but a reflection of that color, that robe thrown across the space separating night and day, the trailing cape of God.
I sit down amongst the stones (so glad that they are not sand), wishing for a fire. I take a deep, deep breath, the air thick with brine scraping against the skin inside my nose, against the soft pink flesh of my lungs, drawing blood like a drag on a cigarette full of crushed glass. And I cough. I cough it all up, the muck, the mucus, the crud, the shit that’s choked me for five years. The fear, the cowardice, the neglect all come up, pink stained, and I spit them out, gagging near to vomiting on my hands and knees on the wet stones where the tide is creeping slowly toward me as the purple drains from the sky and only the blackness of night and the sparkling stars scattered haphazardly across the velvet, like ashes from a crushed glass cigarette are visible above me.