i have my mother's hands. they're aging. dryer, darker, sunken with harder more severe lines. what is the function of writing? do we write to face our battles? if so, i have long since faced them and perpetually lost. they become more self-effacing when transcribed. at least in my journal. history chronicles the fool. not because she's grown so in the decade between entries and therefore can't believe she used to speak that way, use those words, praise that god. no. it is because she has changed so little and now merely has a record of it.
"hope, strange beast, what have you for me?" September 1, 2002
i'm immobilized. paralyzed by... exactly. if i knew that perhaps the battle would at last commence. instead of the undying picture of rusted soldiers still standing in a lonely valley with cobwebs clouding their guns. i can see them so clearly, because i have been standing amid them for countless years. the grey scene under a blistering sun. men at the ready, yet frozen solid like the tinman without oil. row after row of corpse after corpse. positioned at attention with comatic constancy. not a fly buzzes. nor a branch sways. clouds hover in eerie expectation. it is as commonplace as a suburban culdesac. there is not great threat, for all are certain that no battle shall ensue. for none ever has. it is the same nameless, faceless beast.
imagine a bride waiting behind the doors of the church, full of pink anticipation and flowery wonder. now imagine she has been standing there for twenty years. it's not that the anticipation has lessened, it has just been stretched thin, "like butter spread over too much bread" (LOTR, Bilbo). but, does it follow that knowing the cause of a thing can eliminate a thing. no more question marks. that querie doesn't deserve to be asked even once more.
rest surfaces toxins. they never tell you that. sleep, you'll feel better. retreat and clarity will come. purging is an ugly business. a rash on my face, my very pores bubbling with rejected bile. my urine smells like a plaque filled mouth in the morning. before health can be restored, these fleeting pestules of disease ridden reveries surface from their hiding places. i didn't recognize myself in the mirror today. all i can see is unhealth.
these words are my vile erruption of stored death. i am supposed to tell you not to fear the vulgar smear of my present insanity, for they will certainly lead to path of well-being. the way to wellness is paved in vomit. which is why we sugar coat it with positive affirmation: to alleviate the smell. fear not reader. all will be well soon enough.
i think i'll make some more tea. "tea is a good drink. it keeps you going" (The Shipping News, Dame Judy Dench).