If you were to ask me what I wanted for Xmas, I would say that I was very wise to choose vitamins, or something else completely unexpected. In fact, I would write my request for what I wanted on a piece of paper and place it on our tree, like a good person, and then I would thank you for all the blessings you’d brought to my life. It would look good on paper, I’d say, and then there would be less difficulty between us and less things, in general, to worry about. So, you were saying this thing to me. At one time. And I was less and less fortunate, at that point, I thought. It really was something that might have been breaking me, though. In fact, there wasn’t much time. It was clear, you were going to get to me, no matter what I did. No matter what I was going to do.
It would be great, I’d often say to you, so that when the sun came out and when we would get up in the morning there would be something extra for us to do. A simple tarantula, for instance, could build something, and then we would find out what it would be, I’d say. That there is something to do, is the point, I said. In fact, it was the perfect answer to the question that I was going to ask you that day. It was a rainy day. But how could I be sure, I asked? And then, just like that, there was something. And I could see that thing very clearly, at that point, I thought. In fact, it was certain that things were falling in place. You could feel it.
It was in the way you moved around the room. I could see you very clearly, and, frankly, it took my breath away. My jaw, as you might have said, once, was on the floor. Totally on the floor. But I was in a funk. I needed to go home immediately. It is the middle of the night and there is nothing for me to do, I said. I was in a panic. I stood beneath the spotlight. I announced myself.
It was a show, I said. But what I really meant to say was that I stood in your way. I was on the street, which, incidentally, is nothing at all like the back of the room. Bombs away, I yelled. It was funny. I supposed, at first, that you felt the same way. The things we do, I again announced. And to think that I was just getting my feet wet. And all of this was supposed to have been done on a lark – we thought it was funny. Remember?
Putting things in perspective. I would say this as I ran around the room, as the clock continued to move forward. It was true, at that point, that I couldn’t believe my own good luck. A fortune in feeling, I sang. Why, relay this good news to you? Why, yes, I certainly will, I agreed. But can anyone really compare to you, with the way you go about your business? I wondered. I could see the water from where I was standing on the street. It was a night like any other. In fact, there was still a lot to do, a lot to consider, I thought.
One time when I was looking at the things I had to do, I came up with something I wanted to say to you. It was fun to think about. I was, however, feeling a little bit under the weather. So I was looking for this particular book. It was funny to say that I’d started from the very place I’d previously left off. It’s the order of events that haunts me. How we will have to choose how to house and store the things we have, I said. We have so much, I said to you. It’s perfect. I was thinking, nothing haunts me the way you do.
But putting things together in such an obvious way was kind of a drag, I thought. Which was not to say that it was in any way different from anything else that had happened up to that point. I didn’t have to tell you that, but I did tell you that. I told you what I wanted you to hear. I told you what I thought I wanted you to hear. So, you tell me that we are going to be taking a walk. I laugh because it is like you hold an x-ray over my heart, over my thoughts, over the way I feel. I hold my hands out to you. It is like you have something over me, I say. The morning was bright and sunny.
However, this fear of the way I breathe, of my own respiration, always seems to take place at night. There is always something pulling at me, I think. I wake up in the middle of the night, and I have to fight the feeling that there is something coming over me, that I am coming apart. I want to call you on the telephone, but it is too late at night. I can hear things. I am feeling, at first, that there is something important that I am about to remember. Things are quickly coming to the surface, I think. Suddenly, I notice that there is a little tear in the fabric on the couch. You are someone I think about often, I say. And, what’s more, there is a dial, and a cup, and other things that I find flawed in the kitchen.
At some point, I decide to tell you all about the way I am feeling. I want to put myself, my personality, everything I feel, before you, so you will see me. I met you on a Sunday, and the day was warm. It is true that there was something in the air. In fact, it was a very beautiful day. There is something in the air, I said. And it was a little bit funny, in a way, to think about. I was acting a little bit foolishly, at that point, I thought. And, really, there could have been anything there, at that point, a totem pole, or another world, or a new you and me, anything. I work a lot and talk to you a lot, I think.
Once it was a very peaceful place to live. There were flowers, and trees, and birds. Then you were on the corner, waiting for me. You was waiting for me, I would say. In fact, I put the color back in my face by doing a lot of exercise, by breathing in and out, in a nice and easy kind of rhythm. I have the whole world in my hands, I sang. I have a lot to live up to. In a lot of ways, it was already a really good day. And, after awhile, I would tell you how I was feeling, I thought. But, at that point, I was surprised because the whole neighborhood was up in arms, like a five-alarm fire, and there were trucks and cars and sirens, and we had to get out of the house pretty fast.
Harold Abramowitz is a writer and editor from Los Angeles. His books include, Blind Spot (forthcoming from Les Figues Press) and Dear Dearly Departed (Palm Press). Harold co-edits the short-form literary press eohippus labs, and writes and edits as part of the collaborative projects, SAM OR SAMANTHA YAMS and UNFO.