I have just driven home at 1:30 in the morning. Long story. There was, along the way, this combination of mist and fog and roiling, rolling moisture obscuring the landscape, blurring my vision through the windshield.
I am distracted, as always, by discursive flights of metaphor and symbol. I don’t so much live, anymore, as I do narrate whatever this plotline into which I’ve fallen is – or, rather, I see it written; the pages of this novel called – On The Way to the Use-By Date or, no, that’s too – I don’t know – fey or something, so, perhaps, Looking for Mr. Kit-Kat. No, too derivative. Too confusing, don’t want Isherwood’s hated adaptation of his I Am A Camera (otherwise known as Cabaret) mistakenly referenced. This novel has nothing to do with musical theatre.
In any event – so not the point – back to the mists, the fog, and the way I keep imagining I am seeing people or spectres or just – things – these, just THINGS in the fog, in the mist, always ready to jump into the road – and my mind starts leaping. To a Bronte. Of course. Which would make sense could I tell the whole story, which, I cannot.
Wuthering Heights. Kate Bush. “Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy, I’ve come home. I’m so-o-oh cold, let me in your window-oh-oh-oh. Oh, let me have it, let me grab your soul away. You know it’s me; Cathy.” Heathcliff. I once told a man who I thought I loved how much I loved Heathcliff, and, typical of the men I have thought I loved, he missed the point ENTIRELY, and mistakenly thought I meant the cartoon character – a possibility that had NEVER even occurred to me as I’d been speaking to him – and, he bought me a stuffed Heathcliff. Which I did not get at all as I had never seen the comic strip. And so he explained it to me and I pretended that it was – in fact – what I’d meant all along. I hid the truth from him. The truth that we lived in very different worlds with entirely different languages and realities. I hid the truth from him: that he was an idiot. And he hid me from the world. He made me promise never to tell anyone about us. He said to one of my friends, “Would you want anyone to know you were sleeping with Charlie?”
He chose the wrong friend to tell, because, in fact, she WOULD have liked to sleep with me. Still, it was cruel – I think – of her to rush to tell me what he’d said. But we were all young and – well – cruel. In fact, years later it was suggested to me that perhaps he had NEVER said that, that perhaps, just perhaps, she was the kind of person who would tell a lie like that to get me away from him.
You see where this goes, right?
Actually, you don’t. Because, I don’t. I have no idea how I got here from where I meant to be.
This was going to be about how I can do whatever the hell I want now, how I no longer have anyone to take care of, no one who depends on me.
This was going to be a blog-entry about having the freedom to be on the road at 1:30 in the morning.
This was going to be about having the freedom to fill my days with books.
This was going to be about having the opportunity to read Lucretius‘ The Way Things Are and the National Book Award winning study of the way it changed the world, The Swerve: How The World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt.
And too, this was going to be about how I just this week got around to the January 14 issue of New York Magazine in which Elizabeth Wurtzell’s article/essay My One Night Stand of a Life, moved and frightened me and prompted me to re-examine what I was writing and reading. And what I was doing with my nights. And my ones. And my stands. And my ridiculous fucking screaming shouting out loud keening wail of a “WHYYYYYYYY” existence – from which I keep chasing people away. Or, rather, by being ME – I somehow manage to lose them – because ME is more than they can handle. What? Right, Ms Wurtzell talks about being born unhappy and she speaks of her disdain for the empty and unexamined trivialities people call “lives” now – and she sounds an awful lot like me, except, of course, she has managed to turn her despair into some measure of fame and limited fortune.
What the hell was I talking about?
Here’s the thing this was going to be about: A half block from the home where I am staying, I again thought I saw something in the fog, the mist and said to myself, “STOP IT – THERE IS NOTHING THERE!” At which point, the deer jumped out in front of me. I slammed on the brakes. We stared at one another. She slowly walked away.
It is all fog and mist and misunderstandings, my darlings, but you must hasten to remedy, to fix, to forgive, to finish, because soon enough there will indeed be something in the shadows on those moors, waiting to jump out, beating on your window, beckoning, wakening the past, begging to be let in, haunting, it’ will be me, Heathcliff, I’ve gone home.
(OH MY GOD – AS I TYPED THAT LAST WORD AND STARTED SPELL-CHECK, UP CAME THE INFORMATION THAT THE POST WAS 666 WORDS LONG. MISTS. FOGS. OR THE FIRES OF HELL?)