When the spirit thing leave your body it's so sad.
The first show I went to after 9/11 was of an indie rock band from Austin called American something or other, at the Knitting Factory, and it was literally like the Friday after that Tuesday, and the Knitting Factory was like, a fifteen minute walk from ground zero. I think about what the fuck was going on in my head that going to this show felt appropriate or needed or whatever. My friend Andy wanted to go because they had opened for Wilco once or something like that. We’d both just moved to NYC a couple weeks before the thing. I don’t even like Wilco that much, to say nothing of upstart versions of them. I can’t figure out why going made sense at the time, but I think about it a lot. Mostly I am trying to recall the name of the band without looking it up or asking what people think it might be. Was I compelled by morbid curiosity or empathy? Maybe it was just delirium.
Anyway, I share this anecdote because I feel the exact same way now about being in the world in general. What the fuck is going on in my head that any of this feels appropriate, needed, whatever. Why am I so close to the epicenter of so much destruction and disease and disaster? Curiosity, empathy or delirium? Everything feels like a middling concert in the proximity of genocide.
You’ve seen me write about love for a month straight, and look, I felt good too. I felt my fucking strongest when I was writing those love letters every day, and I became consumed with its power, but the second I stopped writing them, omicron took over my timeline and I felt the spirit thing of love…leave.
The spirit thing has left me. It feels like a plug has been pulled.
I described to some friends recently, how awful it is to air travel with an infant—the anxiety, the crying, the inconveniences of being a parent in any kind of infrastructure system—but what I neglected to convey was that as a one year old traveling to Japan, my son insisted on sucking from my breast for almost the entire duration of the 15 hour flight. For those who may not understand what that means—it’s like having bone marrow extracted through your testicles.
That’s how I feel today.
I do not want to read anything. Or maybe I don’t want to read anything that is not poetry, but mostly because I do not want word counts. I do not want to read anything that isn’t mine, frankly. I want only to wallow, and consume pithy observations on my phone. Mine are the best. What the fuck is wrong with me.
There’s a little silver: I have a new insight on an aspect of love I had not considered until very recently after spending upwards of a week searching for that which had suddenly disappeared.
[Suddenly. Is anything sudden, actually? I could probably have predicted this would happen, felt it happen, watched it transpire. The suddenness was just in my recognition of the departure of the spirit thing. Over time it dissipated but it was suddenly, on a particular day, that I noticed it was gone, and missed it.]
I look back on my journal and discover many instances in which I swore that the spirit thing was gone, like an addict promising to my family I was done with smoke, drink, drugs, gambling. As if to say that the thing that made me only marginally magical and maniacally harmful, was gone. As if it was unhealthy, because I’d convinced everyone I didn’t deserve to feel good, and now I believe I don’t deserve to feel good either. Shadows bla bla bla I know I know.
So I have a new insight on the aspect of love that created the spirit thing that led me to this place. The mania of it which is now noticeably gone from my body—and I know it because every time I look at my hands I see decaying flesh, and no longer instruments; every time I wake up I want to go back to sleep; every time I think of something to tell you I decide I’d rather eat till I throw up. I’m back in hiding.
Sorry if you thought this paragraph break would indicate that I was going to reveal what this spectacular insight is. I am not. I am not going to share it, because sharing it would be a cruelty. My insight would hurt your feelings. But boy am I glad I can hurt your feelings, if that’s the only power I have left after the spirit thing leaves. So maybe there’s a little cruelty in this after all. You deserve it. Look at how awful I feel.
Sometimes I think it would be much easier just to do all of the drugs and ask for compassion when I ruin everyone’s lives. At least then we’ll have had some fun on the record.