Location: Absence Aerie, Braddock Heights, Maryland
I thought maybe I could return to Twitter today, but, I might need a little more time for quiet rumination. I am fine, though. Fine. Really and truly. Fine.
When, late afternoon yesterday, I first through the doors here at Absence Aerie toddled, my right shoulder was weighed down by the ever-present and presently overstuffed for a week-away-backpack (a gift from sister, Debbie) which held books I am currently reading (five), the two Moleskine notebooks I always have with me — one of which is full of sticky pads and sticky notes and sticky arrows of various colors and sizes, my correspondence clipboard/folder, the Clairefontaine-top-spiral writing pad in which I am trying to find the mystery-meld of the three-short-stories-one-novel which are all currently singing out to me a Rickie Lee Jones-esque “We Belong Together” without telling me HOW to achieve this; also right shouldered was my computer/writing briefcase (a gift from dear one, Andrea) with my persnickety ASUS laptop, three more Clairefontaines, correspondence address book, password and code journal — inside of which I have special letters, cards, photos of dear ones as well as show/event tickets of meaning; all this while my left shoulder struggled to stay in-socket bearing its burden of Grey Gardens tote (bought on my birthday visit, third row center, April 2007, a week I saw the show so many times, the ushers came to know me) bursting with the seventeen books I could NOT fit into my backpack but thought I might either need or wish to have while I was away; and slung round my left wrist, two cloth-bags of refrigeration or freezer required food I brought along for my stay, those bags being from Country Meadows, the senior living center from which we, this past summer, moved my Mom, relocating her to the Record Street Home (Why, I continue to wonder, do they still insist on using “Home” in its title? A word with now unpleasant echoes of a time when we warehoused the elderly, the infirm, the insane, the inconvenient, so that we might go on with our lives unburdened by their care or, well, presence? But that’s another paragraph — oh, this parenthetical digression is a paragraph long, isn’t it?) from which I now pick her up a few times a week for jaunts out into the unfiltered world, that I might benefit from her wisdom, the sort of wisdom that might — had I bothered to listen — taught me I did NOT need all of this baggage to get here, where I am, going, or, rather, here, where I am staying, for the next week anyway.
Toddled through the doors, yes, because I was, as I said some long four-hundred words or so ago, weighed down by my baggage. And, in truth, there were a few more bags in the car: clothes to wear (honestly, I didn’t pack, I brought my laundry bag from the last four days, because, if it worked for the last four days, it would work for the next seven during which I intend to leave Absence Aerie as infrequently as possible), a gym bag (although I honestly don’t think I’ll be returning to the gym for a while — last night I had a dream I went early in the morning — which I never do — in an effort to avoid the fellow who dumped me before he even really saw me and, in the dream, there he was in his flourescent three-hundred-dollar sneakers and shirt with wings printed on the back he always wears — it was the wings that convinced me to trust him because it is that sort of stupid detail I think would look pretty in a novel that makes me do things and decide things in life and holy shit I am a fucking idiot — and in the dream I panicked, ducked and left the gym, so, well, I think I need to stay away for a while if I’m dreaming about such things), two more cloth-grocery bags (of no particular provenance worth mentioning) of non-perishable sort-of-diet food (although, on another aside sort of note, I might also need to stop dieting because it has been suggested by someone I trust and I think it might be a little true that I have a touch of body dysmorphic disorder — so I did NOT bring along my scale, which, confession — I usually take with me everywhere I house/pet sit) and, finally, an overnight size case of ablution solutions, toiletries, razor/trimmer, over-the-counter drugs, and my three variety of wet-wipes — face, body, and bathroom use — and, see parenthetical about maybe suffering a tinge of BDD, there might have been a package or two of laxatives in there until I flushed them down the toilet — fitting, yes? — late last night — very late, because I was still sort of thinking that the fellow who dumped me before he dated me would maybe call and say, “Look, so sorry to eviscerate and humiliate you in the way I did, but you are such an authentic person I was drawn to that energy and then I panicked because I am tortured by internalized homophobia and so cannot bear to actually feel anything for another male and thus pushed you away because I could see — when you told me your real name — you were going to tell me truths just by being with me that I did not want to know so please forgive me and can we have a do-over?”
Needless to say, winged shirt aside, that didn’t happen.
When I began this post, it was simply to say “Good morning” and post a few pictures of the beauty here at Absence Aerie, where, when I arrived and toddled in, weighed down as I was by all this baggage I feel needs must accompany me everywhere (not to mention the weight of my faux-Balzacian-Proustian rambling, discursive sentences – “NEEDS MUST ACCOMPANY” — which I blame on my aunt, Sissie, who told me I was a writer from the time I was six and wrote a story about an evil Elf who stole all the hamburgers in the world and kept them for himself, too afraid to ever eat them though and so came to a bad end, starving to death — oh shit, somebody should have known THEN I needed help — jeesh, I had forgotten about that story, I have been THE VERY SAME KIND OF CRAZY since I was six — but, I don’t just blame Sissie, it’s also Bart Yates who taught the workshop I took at Iowa and told me I had a uniquely baroque voice I should not lose) I asked my dears, D and B, how it was that there is still a coating of snow here when the rest of this little world in which we live, just a few miles down Braddock Mountain, is now snow free?
D said, “We are above the tree line.” I nodded and ahhed. She continued, “You used to live up here, don’t you remember?” I answered, “No, I’ve blocked all that out.” Except, I haven’t. And, I had no idea what “above the tree line” meant. So, this morning, wakened by the backache of first-night in a new-bed syndrome I have most every first-day of a house/pet sit, and urged out of bed by Nate, the elder-statesdog here, who was very seriously eager to have a pee, I noted the beauty of the approaching dawn through the trees and took some photos to share. I thought I might be ready to head back to Twitter, but, not quite, yet, I know I can post/message my blogs without seeing my timeline, and I can get and send DMs through my phone without seeing the timeline either — I’m just not quite ready for my timeline. I’m angry with myself for ever having talked about winged-man and the possibility of a date — which I thought was a definite thing — and I am just, well, I need to get better control of my narrative before I go back to Twitter, which I love, and my dear ones there, who I love, but, I feel disappointed in me for not having known better than to talk about something too early — when I learned long ago — back when I stopped trusting (not as if it happened overnight or all at once) to shut the hell up. I talk too much. (I know, if you’ve made it this far, you are now either laughing or saying, “YOU THINK? GET TO THE POINT!”)
Which means, I need, I think, to let go of some of this baggage I carry that makes me toddle rather than strut. And, turns out D was joking, we’re not really in air and elevations so rarefied here that trees can’t find oxygen enough to grow. The temperatures are not so frigid, there is no lack of moisture, there is plenty of air, plenty of water, there is more than enough support here for things to grow, to thrive, to flourish and bloom and blossom and then shed and shelter and hibernate, to burst forth again, renewed. This happens. There are seasons.
Trees know to let go of their leaves. Trees know they will re-leave each spring.
Re-leave. Yes. That. And, relieve. So, here, at Absence Aerie, un-winged but much baggaged, below my own personal tree line, wending and winding and toddling and tripping and tearing-up (as in, both, torn and weeping) through this baroque, Balzacian bumbling, over-burdened, tangential, excursive, prolix babbling of a sentence (as in, string of words meant to mean something and term of confinement) that is my life, with all that overcrowding in my brain, tormenting of my spirit, and beating at and in my heart — my recently “yes” shouting and thus bruised just a little but mostly because of memories heart — here I am, going and saying, fifteen hundred words later, “Good morning, dears.”