Wednesday, June 22, 2005

the grave of my 20s

I keep a photo diary, but can't find words.
The joy in language, and hence in witnessing my own existence, hasn't been there for years. Since I started feeling real pain, real loss, real confusion, the words went. Or is it the other way around? I don't know.
I haven't written anything real in over four years.
I am beginning to doubt I ever will.
I suppose it doesn't "matter".
As my thirtieth birthday gets closer, I think of the quotation

"I piss on the grave of my 20s"

Talk about wasted years. A decade of false starts, bad decisions, giveaways, and loss.

Should I mourn?
Should I piss on the grave of my 20s?
I like who I was--she was fucked up (is) but had a vitality, and a kept a kind of faith.

Now I have better taste and I am wiser, but the juiciness is gone. A friend of mine told me that "mellow", as a cooking term means a step away from rotten.
There's ripe, and then there's mellow.

sometimes I look at my life one way and it seems really meager. Then I look at it another way and it's sort of ok.
But my work--what is it, where is it, how do I find it? My spiritual life, ditto. And let's not even talk about love, family, stability, structure. I keep getting wiped out and starting over. Sometimes I knock the shit down myself. Sometimes it just gets snatched away. Sometimes it mellows, rots, and turns to dust before I even realize it's gone.

So what now?
I find that i am haunted by my own past words--phrases I came up with in writing now are lodged in my head; nothing new comes. Other peoples' words, fragments of songs, or my own ghost voice, but nothing new-- and this is incredibly scary.

Writing, identity, work, love, an inner life.
All these new beginnings, all these losses, and a new decade coming on.
I haven't accomplished anything. At all.
Not forged a real partnership, not done significant work, not had a child or created anything, and this feels, at times, unbearable.

I don't know what I've gathered from the last decade. I can only see the erosion, chunks dropping away into the sea.

I guess I am not as stupid about men. And I am more willing to be a bitch. (Is that even a good thing?) And I am a better reader.
I miss my sister.
I miss my dog.
I miss Tassajara.
I miss all the boys and some of the men.
I miss jangling all over because language is electrifying me and coming through me in torrents.
I miss that sense of being in love with myself.
I miss feeling like something good was up ahead. Something immense.
I miss my younger body. I thought I was ugly,but you're never as ugly as you think, and you just keep getting uglier.
I miss walking all night through Bloomington following the track of the moon.
I can't piss on the grave of my 20s. I was going to make a cake with a gravestone on it, bearing that slogan, but I can't. Unless I made a demon cake, with all the bones and photographs and hanks of hair and old wounds buried in the sponge, and then devoured it, bearded with blood and howling---

I don't know what I'm saying.
Yorick's skull. Cap and bells. The vanishing of a foolish girl. A second decade eaten. Mellowing.

Time is different as my twenties close. It dilates rarely now. Things don't penetrate me as they used to. I was up with the moon on solstice night and I felt coated like the bottom of a nonstick pan--nothing touched me to the quick. Is this a function of ageing? Probably, and god I hope not. I feel like I've been broken, and had my innards scooped out, and now, often, while I can feel affection and minor tenderness, the heart is a rubber ball and the nerve endings are capped off. The last four years have brought such loss and disappointment and unless I regrow my emotional body somehow, I worry that I may be dead for good. In spite of the beauty of Big Sur, in spite of everyone. Fuck, I don't know.

So I am turning 30 soon. Big deal.
I wish I could write something like Dylan Thomas's "It was my 30th year to heaven".
I remember when my boyfriend read that to me on my 21st birthday, I cried. I couldn't imagine turning 30.
I felt like I had all the time in the world. Bathed in time, like asses milk--thick suds of it, turning my skin smooth and white.
Perhaps I did, then.
But not now.
Time is going along at a pony clip. And I am not as green.


Blogger Jonnie 7-11 said...

I think it would be funny to make a cake with bones in it!

5:43 PM  

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