Taste Bud

Muses, Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Eat Pray Love, Divorcees and check boxes that let me know I was here.

I don’t like what I’m writing lately, and that’s not a great feeling. This place (yes, this substack thing) is the one thing I feel I have some creative mastery of, but I’ve felt a leak of motivation from my liver for a few days now, and have been looking at the empty checkbox on a survey indicating my appetite. The survey has been sent back to me as incomplete. My brain refuses to process my application. How can I possibly check that box again, brain?

What am I saying. I don’t like the way I’m writing about it. In simpler terms, I think I’m saying I’ve lost a muse.

I don’t want you to picture a person/goddess/Greek goddess or person. It may be more beneficial to think of my lost muse as a taste bud. One that was super attenuated with exotic spices, and now so calm, dormant even, withering under the plaque of silence. I’ve clenched my jaw for so long but now that I’ve relaxed I’ve realized my tongue is dry. It’s a disgusting image, I know. I mean it to be.

I also realize the last month has represented a fairly intense sequence of personal triggers. Family drama parts 1 2 and 3. Of course I’m feeling low. Maybe I really do need to learn to be bored, if that’s what this is.

You need to take a vacation, and I mean, vacation, Anne. One where you aren’t trying to figure out how to turn what you’re doing into art. Just go veg out and watch TV and read some shitty book.

Irma and I have decided to book club Eat Pray Love. I’m not saying that’s a shitty book—though I’ll say that it’s overhyped. We’re reading it because we’re literary snobs who’d rather talk about Lyudmila Petrushevskaya. EPL is how we vacation.

I do not realize before starting EPL, though, that it’s a love story. NOW…BEFORE YOU CALL ME AN IDIOT, let me say in my defense, that I knew the basic premise of the book but thought it was actually about food and religion and sex. What I didn’t quite realize was that this is a personal memoir about the author’s actual ass divorce.

Divorce is such a fascinating word. Like the word pregnant, I love seeing divorced to describe non-marital situations. The word is related to divert, which also gave us words like diversion. But the hollow force of the sound of divorce is so strong.

I know more divorced women than not. I don’t envy the procedure but admire the outcomes. Divorced women have an infinite grace to them. Boundless. I have no intention of leaving my husband, but the transformations I’ve witnessed in these women are extra-fucking-ordinary. I dare say I’m completely bored by happily married women. Oh god, I’m boring.

My distance from my craft today feels like a minor divorce. Yes, that’s it. I’ve divorced a taste bud, a sonic register, a cone in my eye, a nerve at the tip of a dominant finger on my non-dominant hand. The disability represents a transition but not a tragedy. The empty check box. I may not want to fill it again, and its emptiness may convince me that it was never there, but I know better. I know that I, too, was the check box, and mutual blindness won’t change that I’m going to keep searching.