Write something for release. Something to get all the feelings out. Some good angry metaphors and critical analogies. To get you thinking, to stop me. It’s ten after six and the only sensory details I have through the window are an odd rooster crowing at an imaginary sun, a goat kid calling the dark for mom, and bush crickets that go silent the moment I write their name. There’s the big empty trucks driving tired men to work, where their trucks will sit emptier still in a parking lot. They’ll work six months then lay out six, that’s when someone comes and takes the truck. They peer into blacked out windows in the houses they pass with such fierce jealousy and disdain for sleeping bodies. Still not angry enough for how stuck I feel.
Trapped. Used. Forgotten. Lonely. There have to be better words than these. Pinioned. Whorred. Dumped. And honest. Keep the melodrama to yourself, Jeremy, please. My heart is what I named my deepest, most internal, least malleable and consistent thoughts. Right now my heart cries want, want, want. To work my farm from dawn to dusk. To be my very own son-of-a-bitch boss. To finish this book burning in my head. So I can start on the one I haven’t dreamed of yet. I want to be Jeremy, capital Me, I want the last of Mr. Homesleys. There is a gold mine on this land left buried.
I have the shovel.
But not the time.
I can imagine thunder.
Batting my eyes makes lightning.
Yawning earthquakes into existence.
Clearing clouds from my throat.
Raining germs. Puddled teeth.
I don’t read. The fossils that I found.
The washout from the ground.
Where it all got given away.
But I can imagine gravity.
I can still feel kisses on my scars.
Storming out. Desert Inn.
There it is. The wilderness.
Anything I have done.
You can do better.
Here folks is my confession. I am the memories of lots of things I’ll never have the courage to tell you about. I love you all the same. With an honestness, and an innocence, that I don’t doubt could hold ten thousand pounds. I have hated myself. I have hated you. I love you all the same.
I struggle, on a daily basis, doing simple things, like smiling at sullen faced strangers and forgiving my neighbor’s dog as I would my own. I’ve put peanut butter clean through the bread on innumerable occasions. My fault for liking crunchy. When I’m looking hard at something that needs to be done, thinking hard, moving, working hard, I find I start to talk hard to the people I love, like you were a stubborn piece of wide white oak or dried on oatmeal left in a coffee mug for a day. I use the scratchy metal brush on you.
I scrape the fine China of other people’s porcelain feelings.
But I leave them clean. And the white oak planed and routed.
And I eat just plain ugly peanut butter sandwiches with the doughy battered up bread.
And I still lick the spoon.
Bleach and soapy water.
I am a bad person.
The way a dish is dirty. Like laundry. I am ruined. By my very purpose.
I talk hard. I’m way too sensitive and serious. Unforgiving. Made wretched by the wrenching of only all my own devices. I’m biased. And wrong. About a great many things. Yet eloquent. And convincing. I am a talker. And all talkers are sensitive
about being told they’re all talk.
I confess I’m not immune to that.
So I do more than I thought I ever could to stay a step ahead of my greatest fear about myself.
Yet. That is what it means to confess. Not to do. Not to offer. Just to speak out loud.
Memories. Thoughts. Worries. Daydreams. Candy kisses and spellbound wishes.
Saying them changes them. Changes everything. Just saying it.
A good confession. No.
It is not your next hot meal.
But it might be the plate it gets served on.
Look at me. Do not look to me.
Your eyes pass through me.
Not like ghosts, like knives,
parting flesh in furrows, seeding lies.
Not not truth. Just misrepresentation.
Which may yet prove worse.
I am honest to myself first.
While others seek to hurt, pin, nail,
quenching thirst in drought on blood, in floods,
poured over reflecting blades curved crooked,
serving to snag more of my skin,
tear away more at my armor, laid tight,
heavy over weak pale white. Then,
look at me. Not at Jeremiah. At me.
Which, to you, is I.
This idea my work has been seeding.
It is only for you who are reading.
At first, self awareness always feels like the world is ending.
But that is not what is happening here.
We are witnessing the birth of our first population-wide form of self-awareness.
We glimpsed ourselves as a species. And it has given all of us an identity crisis.
This is not the end of the world.
It is the cultural equivalent of what most animals do when seeing their reflection for the first time. These are the birthing pains of new consciousness.
A great reckoning of Man and mirrors.