Pain is never what comes with trumpeting hellfire and groans of the last flood and eternal torment. Pain never comes with flashlights and blue pencils. At least not the kind of pain that sits across the table from me today, and stares at its chipped nails, and then outside moodily, at the windswept gentle sunlit trees.
Pain has frayed jeans, and wakes staring dilatedly into the eyes of a paramedic who claps his hands in its face, and stares without human light at a body that’s bruised with memory and noise, and notices not the skin, but the shivering body that is a sign of life just returning from the OD sigh-post. Pain shivers, whimpers and wraps itself in a white bed sheet, hoping for death which means to be silent, quiet. Pain was born blind, and wanted to try meth instead of plasticine and prom nights to fill the empty draws that love left when it moved houses. Pain is then wheeled into a darkened room in the ER… and in a day, or two, or three, pays a bill, and walks through automatic doors, lighting a cigarette in the 4:23pm sunlight.
Pain will often go to the bars and restaurants and cd racks where memories of how things used to be still live, and will poke around in old bills and passwords now changed looking for what it cannot forget, and yet cannot feel anymore.
Pain stands under ice cold showers, and is ruthlessly efficient with toilet paper. Pain will recite “now is the winter of our discontent” and “aye there’s the rub: for in that sleep of death, what dreams may come when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause”- And will always skip the remaining part of the Prince’s soliloquy till the line “thus conscience doth makes cowards of us all”. Pain will mutter this, and climb up over grass, and down hills.
Pain stands still when people cry, and will not run if its shoulder is made damp by someone who for a moment cannot see its funny-scary face, because of the power of that someone’s own grief. Pain will not cry except during La Amistad, and Braveheart. Why? Because once pain used to be like that, chained, and yelling for something worth something more than a credits roll.
Pain will in the middle of the afternoon like a scratching old man, remember scented hair and soft touches and jokes and pictures. And like an old man, will wonder where the cleaning lady put that album, or maybe the kids took it with them, or maybe its in the basement and maybe if I try going down the stairs alone I will fall and then maybe at least pieces of me if not all of me nose to chin to gut to groin to knees to toes will be with that album again... and peer for faded dates through faded eyes, and sleep in dust and a night where the cockroaches sniff and run by worried, knowing things will change soon.
Pain will even take phone calls, answer mails, and refuse to argue. Pain will remember numbers and will apologize like an awkward child standing alone after being hit by a Frisbee and the accompanying laughter.
Pain will then pull off sandals and run like a wet wild intent animal swift over a deserted playing field in the warm spiced mud and rain, lightly, only on toes, through driving water and lights made woozy by the curtain of water, running till the light but remembering that this night, this darkness will stay forever like a naphthalene ball among cuffs and tail-end buttons…
Pain does not remember what Shakespeare said about spring.
Pain will consider disconnecting the phone, finishing a bottle, picking up the receiver, quitting forever.
Pain will then check for its keys, push back the chair, and get up and walk away.
But only to wander in wet wild intent swift circles, with a cold long tooth of an iron comb spiked into its heel on every step down and forward.
And then maybe, like a dog at night after many circles, it will lay me down, lay you down, lay us down…
To die. To sleep. Perchance to dream. Or perchance, to not.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Posted by The Wizard of Odd at 11:08 PM