Saturday, January 7, 2017

I woke up early. Across the way a carpenter was hammering nails into boards that made up a small house frame. Just as I was to speak to him-- tell him to respect my sleep, a robin landed on my window sill. The bird walked nimbly and then quickly took to the morning sky. I knew then that I had to rise before it was past my time. So I dressed in worker's clothes and held a hammer and took a couple of imaginary swings. I walked across the way and told the carpenter: "Here I am." He handed me a bag of nails and together we built a home where the robins would stay.
The Realist
With a wooden spoon I stirred burnt oatmeal.  Most of the large flakes had turned black and stuck against the bent aluminum pot. I cursed myself because it was the last of my food. Breakfast was the large meal that would keep me going until the afternoon.  By then I hoped to beg or steal for something to eat.

I was a realist. I knew that my near future was bleak. I knew that in two days it would be the end of the month and I would be tossed out from my apartment because it was the third month in a row I couldn’t come up with the rent. I knew that the last scoops of the unburned parts of the oatmeal could be my final unholy breakfast. I knew that I was banned from the food bank as I could be an out-of-control madman who caused a ruckus with staff and clients-- and I shouldn’t have taken a swing at the director because I thought he was calling me names when all he was doing was trying to calm me down. But there were those Christmas carols singing in my head; cursing me, threatening me, making me hear the voices of devils. The cops never should of beat me like they did, their night sticks cracking open my skull and their boots kicking me along my legs. They shouldn’t have let me bleed in the cell and make me clean up my own wet blood before they sent me out alone into the cold morning.

The weatherman said it was going to be below freezing and I had no place to sleep. No family, no friends, no homeless shelter worker to take me in. Once I had all of them, but I caused a ruckus in their lives too. I knew I was unemployable, because I had bad posture, bad clothes, bad teeth and I carried myself like some sort of distorted, twisted lunatic.

I hated everything. I hated my life. I was mad, like in crazy angry. So I hit myself with my wooden spoon. The hot oatmeal burned my face and the top of my head. But I wanted to hurt myself some more and more. So I hit myself again and again. And I poured the pot of scalding steaming oatmeal over me and I felt the stinging bubbling welts on my blistering skin. I placed my right hand over the red burning ring of the stove till I couldn’t bear the pain anymore.

Let the hospital take care of me. They bandage you up. They feed you there. If you don’t cause a ruckus they might find you a place to live where they can feed you. Maybe they can even stop the devil Christmas Carols singing in your head. Otherwise I’ll starve and freeze to death during the first days of winter, my last meal the remains of burnt oatmeal

Monday, January 2, 2017

Critical Thought
I left the left side of my brain in the middle of a quarrelsome night. We argued for hours on how it's logic was pressing me at the pressure points of my wanting life. So in an act of wildness I left that part of me behind. I heard it cry and wail. I heard its rendered accusations of betrayal and how it's synapses had fired the best thoughts of its life for me, the ingrate. I looked back with a smile to show I was not pained by its words, even though I feared greatly beneath my insouciant mask. For I had given that grey matter much as well, like my passiveness, my yearnings, dreams, and fantasies compressed into a fine point of logical oneness. Now I moved with trepidation in my heart. For being unshackled can be imprisoning as well: when the newness of choice can be like carbon steel bars of indecision. But I will take my chances with the right side of my brain. Let its music guide me, even if it is atonal. Let the abstraction of its twisted, broken lines colour me with joy. To the left side of my brain, I say: we will be better off apart. Give it time, critical thought will rein in your hurt, you will move on.