Half thoughts come to me as I waver between sleep and playing word games. I have been left alone. No one is coming to find me. I will stay like this.
These tiny bits percolate from my subconscious – or so I decide – unbaked nonsense. My foot twitches, a muscle in my left shoulder. I am still on the dock, the paint can hot in the sun. I am watching Maude and then a Japanese superhero show. The color goes in and out.
I am asleep for the briefest of moments and trying to remember. You’re jealous. You hate it. Phrases like that by an odd voice in my head. Who is that? It isn’t me. My thumb gets tired. I text badly like this. I am falling asleep again. I almost drop my phone and type that. I should do something. I really should.
I dive in, immediately nervous, thinking of doing a hard turn back, but I force myself to drift, my nose just out of the water, and look down at my feet dangling into the murk. It is thick with sediment, shafts of light trying to break through and failing in the deep, deep brown.
White smudged lines appear, a birch tree that fell into the water last year, a nightmare place made worse by the fish that drift past. I pull my feet up and clamber onto the raft, and I am on it and then I’m not. It sinks and then shoots out to the side, breaking the surface like a shark, leaving me to sink back into that awful abyss.
I have my moments in writing. I can see something and even feel like I know it. And I write that down. The opening of Anori is like that, with Dee looking out over Battery Park as Hurricane Sandy arrives. The cremation of Apollo is real. As is swimming in cold dark water and hiking across the barrens and ice. These moments come clear.
Then there is the in-between, the narrative connecting these scenes. I plod through this, repeating actions and images, forcing the characters to say things not because that’s who they are but because they have to do what I say. I lose their voices and the life of the work then fades into a morass not worth reading. It’s exhausting.
I had gone for a long run, almost 17 miles, through the forest, and had come home exhausted. My wife was on the phone with no interest in talking to me. I had done something wrong but I didn’t know what. I found out through snippets of conversation that a barbecue was being installed on the fire escape and asked why she hadn’t told me before. She shrugged, angry, feigning indifference. I was exhausted and went to sleep. The spare bedroom had been rearranged in a way I couldn’t understand and had to pull the bed against the wall to get the door closed.
I slept on and off until it was dark and she came briefly in the room and said, “I am watching Iron and Blood tonight” and left. I was disoriented. She was talking to her niece who was staying with us. They both ignored me.
And then it escalated. I asked my wife to speak alone to understand what was going on. She resented this request. She didn’t want to speak, saying she didn’t have to bother with that. It came out that she thought I had organized a series of parties for my students.
I didn’t understand the accusation. But it was too late. She was furious and now engaged with others, the accusations getting worse. It was because I smoked. That was the last thing she said. I didn’t see her again.
I zoomed last with the guys in the band. They had decided to see if they could get back together; they looked relaxed, ready to go. Charlie was there too, even though he had only played bangs with them once. I don’t know how he does it, but he’s always there. I made a joke that The Hothouse Flowers were reuniting with The Black Crowes for a gig in London.
The guys all did this gag of rushing to leave, climbing and falling over each other in a massive comic wave. I couldn’t stop laughing. I knew I’d have to write all of that down, and then lost the signal. When I finally got them back, only Charlie was there. He had lost his coat and needed to go find that now.