Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mismatched Belongings : A Short Story

Paul :

I should have been an architect. I should have pursued a career that had something to do with math. Something measurable and calculable. Something you could take apart, make sense of and put back together. Not poetry. Not the irrational matters of the heart.
But here I am. I write constantly. On the computer. At home. At work. I type and type and type. I text message and email myself words and more words. Attempting to save and catalog everything. Like math.
Like the heart is not something breakable, too.
I scribble on bar napkins. I pretend that their bleeding inky letters do not accurately reflect how I feel most of the time. On the verge of tears. Slipping. Wrecked. Running out of paper. Space to breathe. Space to exist--
but... that's not entirely true. (Writer, stop exaggerating.) MOST of the time, I am fine. I am so "fine," in fact, that no one would even notice the exact brink of catastrophe toward which I loom. I hide well beneath a highly-trained facade. Performer extraordinaire. I watched my father fake his way through every social interaction of my childhood. While he turned his real face, his depressed face, toward me.
Most people will not see my own.
I write. I scribble. I draw in the corners--cubes and three-dimensional triangles. Shapes of containment. Boxes to trap in whatever it is that I am feeling. Overwhelmed, mostly.
When the pressure is soothed by neither fuel nor fire, nor drink, nor pen, I wander down to 8th Street. Corner apartment. 4th floor. Crossing is the only one who understands.

Alison, aka "Crossing" :

She was tired of his rough drafts. They always seemed too rigid. Too impenetrable. Like a kid with his fingers stuffed in his ears, singing, "La-la-la, I can't hear you !" What good would it do to edit and proof someone's work, when they never planned on changing the stuff in the first place ? Just going through the motions. Him, writing. Her, reviewing. Him, unaltered. Her, frustrated.

Why do we do this to ourselves ?