Experiments (2014)

I am training for something bigger.

Some string has dropped down just in front of me and I’m pulling away at it like mad.

I’m shaving ice, I’m trimming fat, I’m packing bags.

I’m picking scabs and I can feel my mind talking to itself, teaching itself, as my gunny nerves get ready.

Time is standing still these days, in this era of preparation.

My organs are working on a secret.

I have grown quiet and withdrawn, not as punishment but as a gift, being the way I must.

I speak to almost no one.

Everything I choose is wholly right and I have no interest in other people’s doings anymore-

all is bound to my experiments, my constant remolding and pushing.



52 Flashes of Fiction Week 1: The Trouble With It

The trouble with it seems to me that men always either don’t want to talk to me or they really want to talk to me. But what I really think is that it comes down to me. I’m always the one they do or do not want to talk to, and that’s always the trouble.

I’m somewhat of an introvert, which is true on days when I’m feeling particularly friendly and outgoing. I’m almost never feeling particularly friendly or outgoing, so it’s almost always true that I’m mostly an extreme introvert. The word introvert means almost the same thing as conceited except I really do sometimes feel awful about it. I mostly feel awful about not feeling awful.

Anyways, where men are concerned and where I am concerned is that we can never agree whether I am conceited or not. Men will concede that I am introverted but they will never get on my side about my being conceited. They never think I am conceited because I have a sort-of attractive face and some body parts they wouldn’t mind grabbing, and they think if I was conceited I wouldn’t bother to engage them in conversation about books or praying mantises or that juice that gathers at the top of the ketchup bottle. Also I think they don’t want to ruin their chances of ever getting to grab said body parts by calling me conceited and hurting my feelings. This doesn’t make any sense to me because all of my closest friends that are men and who do not want to grab my parts know full well that I am conceited, and every man I have ever let grab my parts also accepted that fact.

I can tell that I am conceited because it bothers me both when men do not want to talk to me and when they do want to talk to me. It bothers me even more when they do want to talk to me. This is because I have a lot of thoughts. My thoughts are like precious dolls or trinkets that you play with when you’re alone but must be hidden away when other children come over to play. When men do want to talk to me I think they know I have a lot of fun toys as well as grabbing-parts and I think that they must not have a lot of toys of their own and they want to come and roughhouse and break all of mine. If I wasn’t so conceited I think it would probably be easier for me to just share.

When men do not want to talk to me, I think it’s because they assume I have nothing they want to play with, or that their own toys are better. How can they know what kind of toys I have? This hurts my feelings of course because I think I would probably very much want to get along smashingly with someone who was just as conceited as me. But it doesn’t bother me so much because I just end up feeling sad for them because I know what it’s like to be just like me.

The reason I say that the trouble is me is because whether they talk to me or not, I cannot decide whether I really want them to or I really do not want them to. I think I want both and I think that is conceited, although I don’t think anyone else really thinks that. I think in the world of non-conceited people, the world I don’t know anything about, I would probably just be considered conceited because I don’t let anyone grab my parts. But that’s just a matter of flesh and stones; it’s the thoughts that really can break.

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There are things which cannot be written.

They are the things which haunt us, the things we can only try to ignore and swat away like so many flies from diseased flesh.

They are the darknesses from which no echoes can reach, in or out, the sicknesses which nothing but time can fight.

They are the restless thrashings of the mind, though all outwardly be paralyzed and silent, the ghost hands which stretch but can neither touch nor grasp nor make their presence felt.

There are days which begin and end in deadness, during which whatever jolts of further anesthesia can be found are welcomed into apathetic veins.

These are the days when strength is its own reward, when strength is no reward.

There is knowledge that can beat you down like a hailstorm of logic, in the wake of whose stalwart certainty your rebellion is but a soon-exhausted flicker in the tempests.

It is the wisdom of surrender which mutes our cries of injustice, of dissent, of defiance. It is the recognition of our helplessness to do any better than we’ve done, to change any path that we’ve set.

For if there were words to be written that could set things back to rights, apologies that would mean anything, oaths to be taken or reasons to explain, we would give them. But we know it’s futile anyway.

And so there are struggles of which we cannot make an end, have no power to disrupt the laws of reason. There are times which we must feel the fullness of our pain, without recourse to soothing remedies of speech. There are things which we know but cannot say.

There are things which cannot be written.