Advice to Somebody

When you find yourself punctuated at the far end of a sentence, begin again. When the words have not been summoned properly, fill the lungs with air as warm as lemon water in the mornings. Climb back onto your gunning cowboy perch. Swallow that slippery pride. When the dead-end of day has been reached, go the other way.  Take a cold splash and damnit just do it. There is no easing in. Punish yourself just a little, then dump those thoughts beneath the bed of indulgence and take the light to your shame. When it sees you coming, it will no longer hide.

Other Lives

Other lives are lived before floating back up into rumple of covers, Saturday morning remembers other occasions when light threw the same hue onto bedspread, the hundreds of occasions of waking up wiping dust from the eyes and head, the world blinked back slowly into intermittent existence, the underworld snatched at in puzzle pieces soon disintegrating, dissolving into the blanket’s floral pattern. The cats of Saturday morning, the quiet feet and play of shadow on walls, window weather and clink of coffee vessel, browning toast. Life on pause. Liquid languor. Knots in wood call the eye — here is where you fall in to those other, less obvious places. Doors to protect spaces, drawers to siphon away what the every day proffers to the occupied self. Occupation of the self as hazarded by hapless entities, those contending you’s emboldened, embittered by the secrets of autonomy. The cat cleans herself in quick motion, noises from the outside from disembodied neighbors. Alone-ness like a well, sprung from darkness and water and wishing. All the Saturdays spent content within the cloud of thought, fields of words by windows looking out. All the lives lived by being, all the spaces inhabited by the traveling mind, wanting always to be just, wholly, one.

Bibliotherapy at the Book Doctor

I need a book, a very specific kind of book, for my ailment. I can’t put my finger on it — perhaps you may help me with a diagnosis and a literary cure. A sinking stomach, glazed eyes which light from one shadow to the next, undiscerning and undecided, a dry mouth taste and lack of satisfaction when eating certain words, and certainly not helping to spit them back out. Listless lingering in the spaces between conversations, nervous and inappropiately-timed laughter. A longing to step into paintings which contain cypresses, paths, and bushes. The insistence of two voices — one declaring what one wants to think and the other insinuating what one really wants to think. An obsession with cats. The desire to be alone and seeking that which is in accordance with the silent world. A silent, man-made, carpeted world.

Treatment: a long and winding Murakami novel, with unreadable characters, vanishing animals, strange and foreboding occurrences, and journeys towards something to be found. Every night for the next two months, an hour a night, until the adventure has been seen through to the end.