blog’s gone cold, hasn’t she? the pulse of a once beating heart; i’ve killed all my darlings and nothing remains.
kill your darlings. a foreign phrase brought to me on the soft lips of a stranger [i killed him, too. but that one was an accident]; originally uttered by a Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch:
“Whenever you feel an impulse to perpetrate a piece of exceptionally fine writing, obey it —whole-heartedly — and delete it before sending your manuscripts to press. Murder your darlings.”
i’ve been steady writing for these some months. about living, about loving; losing and learning. writing, and writing with so much to say. i’ve been struggling. sitting in front of strong beginnings with no clear ends. waiting for muse to take hold. tooling and changing. deleting. desperate to blow breath into bodies. pressing my ear tightly to chests and listening to hearts. god damn you, words. come out or i’ll fucking shoot.
and i did. firing repeatedly into the flesh, i killed my darlings dead. except their ghosts haunt me now. keep me up at night; follow me into the shower and accompany me on my commute. they linger in the office after everyone’s gone and they don’t leave until i do. these lost souls nobody knew were missing.
so, i’m digging them up, my darlings, and i’m leaving them here. giving name to set me free? doubtful, darling.
“despite an early recognition that i likely won a pretty significant payout in the DNA lottery, i’ve also an overly developed intuition and respect for that other shoe and its awesome dropping capabilities. when life is really, really good, i am never surprised; but always suspicious. i know that on the heel of my unrestrained joy, is the promise of crippling pain. and my penchant for overstay, either way. a monitored heart beat reporting the jagged, pulsing duality of a dynamic life that i love — i’ll seek enlightenment when i’m dead.”
“i spent a long time avoiding the reality of this man. watering fantasy like a Farmville crop, i contrived fearlessness via bed-headed, mascara-free video chats; then allowing the excuse of business and circumstance to turn my in-person backpedal. architecting intimacy on a brand of vulnerability that comes easily to me; i placed bookmarks on the pages of my boldest prose so he couldn’t put me down.”
“i was nervous when we finally met for pizza and snobby beers in the Mission. we had connected so beautifully on paper and phone — i was really hoping for the hat trick here. when we hugged, i got it. he smelled so damn good, i hugged him twice. so enchanted was i by the handsome creature touching me, i didn’t even mind his tardiness. of which he blamed on family-related fire extinguishing. a few cryptic remarks about their instability, and a disparaging couple of comments about his mother over the course of the evening, called for some concern. i did not press for details, though i was curious about a man who held unfiltered contempt for the woman who bore him. but there was no time to dwell; he casually abandoned his seat across from me, choosing a spot on my side of the booth, giving him freedom to meld the entire left side of his body to my entire right. he did finger drawings on my thigh to punctuate his points. and as he spoke, his lips threatened to brush mine, should i endeavor to bravely meet his gaze. i don’t remember what he said over that last beer, because i heard nothing. too busy trying to put out fires of my own — on my body, in the wake of his touch.”
“caught daydreaming again. it’s always the same: i’m in my car, except my civic has become an old mustang. the windows are down; the warm sun illuminates intentions. and my wife-beater. i’m steering with one hand on the wheel while my other arm dangles freely out of the window, siphoning air through my fingers. all around smells like indian summer and kicked up dust. there is music playing on the radio; something dirty blues and soulful. i don’t know where i’m going. i just drive.
that’s right. i daydream about a goddamn calvin klein ad.”
“while the dogs busily catalog every inch of unfamiliar scent, i take in the celebrated diversity of each passing home. Cotswold Cottage arm in arm with French Eclectic and Raised Ranch. Spanish Colonial breaking bread with Neo-Classical and Tudor Revival. each flanking garden, each pathway, each porch light: a unique expression of self. but there is one feature they almost all share in common: a great big picture window. i delight in that picture window. some are cloaked in privacy, but the majority – they are left brazenly bare. surprisingly open. naked. issuing this voyeur an invitation into worlds within. so, i RSVPeep.
“the wind was strong and the kite was higher than my 8-year-old mind could measure. i considered climbing up its string, and looking out over the river hiding behind a row of lanky pines. maybe i could even touch the clouds! i let out more line while speculating whether clouds might taste more like cotton balls or cotton candy. caught up in the finer points of my analysis, i forgot about my kite. the wind picked it up and I absently released more of the line. suddenly, my hands felt loose. I looked down. i saw an empty spindle. I looked up. and I fucking ran.”