It begins to feel amiss once you walk inside it. If one of my students had written this sentence, I'd write: who or what is "it"?
It is this election-aggression, this chaos of season change, shift in age bracket from young to invisible, status of single shifting to a bit more traditional.
It can be racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamaphobia, transphobia. All the isms and 'obias plaguing us too loudly these days.
Hélène Cixous wrote, "In the beginning, I adored. What I adored was human. Not persons; not totalities, not defined and named beings. But signs. Flashes of being that glanced off of me, kindling me."
I'm just/looking to be/kindled.
Instead, I feel like the residue—the ash, the dust, the remains of what was but no longer. Our climate is changing or we are and perhaps we need to pay closer attention to the scorch of storms clearing us out.
I send a message out to my friend out west, "I am failing at being an adult."
Cixous wrote, "Perhaps being adult means no longer asking yourself where you come from, where you're going, who to be. Discarding the past, warding off the future? Putting history in place of yourself?"
Replacing it, I guess, with thoughts of things:
Accessories, adornment, matching placemats, furniture upgrades, grocery shopping, electricity bills, daily selfie uploads, health care coverage, car payments, doctor appointments, pap smear, teeth cleaning, arnica, paxil, lithium, clonazepam.
We are I am so deep inside the distractions of external, that we are I am forgetting to work on within.
Yesterday on the 4 train headed uptown at just before noon, I hear a woman (out of eyesight) yell at a man accompanied by bike. I am standing, suctioned between the other commuters, trying to balance book in my hand. I hear her yell at him for being in the way, "you should ride your bike, not take it on the train," and so on.
We (fellow travelers) do not repsond. We don't react. Until. She says. "Go back to where you came from."
Suddenly, a chorus of gasps fill the 4 train mixed with how dare yous and eye rolls.
Two stops later, I get off at Fulton Street and climb away from the anger fuming through the train like a smoke bomb. I feel hurt and disappointed and very, very tired. I am worried I will be coupled with this person. This woman. This white woman. Worried I look too much like her and people will assume we are the same/feel the same/act the same.
Which is what we all keep doing: assuming those in particular groups, similar genders, religions, ethnicities, races, sexual orientations, ... are all the same.
We. Are. Not.
The climate has changed and I am manically purchasing rope. Everyday, five block walk to hardware store, buying out their stock until the next day, when I go back and purchase more. And with this rope, I make knots to add to its length. Longer. Longer. Create a noose. (This is not what you think.) And when it's long enough, I aim this lasso toward sun, and bring it closer. Force its light in. To lift us out of all this all this dark.
Read more Aimee Herman in the full-length collection, meant to wake up feeling