Secret Pop

May 29, 2002

"Have I told you about the ice cream vendor I'm going to assassinate?"

What's there to say about the month of May?

Some days, my brain is filled with what feels like poetry. Other days, it seems to be dry as bone, and it causes me to crave inspiration or influence or escape. And I can't see clear of the expectation. A grid with spots on it. Arrows pointing upward. Like waking from a dream you can't quite keep. I did that this morning. Awoke knowing I'd dreamed something very important but lost it instantaneously. "It was something outside," I thought in the shower. But I could only see a window and a door and a porch, maybe. But I don't know what was happening out there or why it meant so much to try and remember. Everything -- everything -- is always just slightly out of my reach. I say that with absolute conviction. The rabbit on the treadmill chasing after the carrot dangling from the fishing pole attached to a harness it's wearing. Unknowingly.


I am not about what I have done or where I have been. I am about what I am becoming. And what I will have left behind.

Couldn't I spend hours just arguing the merits of various necklines? Scoop. Vee. Turtle. Mock. On any given day, I am a staunch loyalist. And on the next day, I will be a traitor.

My hair is more than three feet long. I just measured it. I couldn't find a ruler or a tape measure. So I used the side of a piece of paper and measured eleven-inch increments.

I am trying not to forget that everything about a day like this was once exciting and foreign and exotic and unfamiliar to me. Once, everything that ever happened to me here was worth writing down. It all felt like part of some great, grand excursion. An adventure with a new backdrop and new characters playing new roles. I'm as fond of the familiarity as I was of the unfamiliarity. It's like the trade-up of the thrill of the new for the security of the verified. I no longer feel at risk or lost. But I'm tempted to ask why this town never brings me flowers anymore.

What is artificial is at least dependable.

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