I told myself I would write yesterday and I didn’t.
I told myself I would eat properly yesterday and I didn’t.
I have to imagine those two desires, to eat and to express, are intimately intertwined just as — perhaps — the reason why I accomplished neither.
It is too easy in this perilous time, where everyone seems at each other’s throat and the world seems to be sieging itself — driving up the cost of necessities and respite alike to fulfill some gold rush-styled crypto dominionist fantasy — to forget to eat.
I have learned though, it isn’t quite so unconscious as forgetfulness. When I am staring at the wall, waiting for something to happen, listening to the birds living freely outside my window — I know there is a war happening in my mind.
I am not forgetful, I am frozen.
I stare at the pale green wall before me to give my eyes something to relax upon as I weigh my stomach’s pain with my tongue’s desire to taste the color of life and my heart’s desire not to engage with humans.
A heavy heart is a terrible thing to hold, and so it in the end wins out, the feeling of future regret should I risk my inner peace for something as fleeting as nourishment keeping me glued in my seat, my eyes unseeing, trained on the green of the wall before me.
What does it mean to be connected to another? What does it mean, to live one’s life without having an “other” to distance oneself from?
Prior to this year, I would have an answer to this question ready. In my mind there were golden threads that bind us all together in love and in purpose. We were all one, such that the distinctions between us that breed the distance we must keep for peace and wellbeing were negligible. In the end, I would have said, the space between us is also ours.
We move together as a collective, as humans, I would have said.
And yet now, just a week beyond my 29th birthday, this image has disintegrated. Now I see, each in isolation, the beginnings of a star kept secret in the hearts of our species, and each little star moving quite on its own, each interaction between them entirely irrelevant to the next accidental interaction.
There is no binding, no weaving to speak of.
Humans have broken even that in their quest to dissect the universe to death.
Now, it is myself and humanity. I cannot understand what I am, but I know what I am not.
I may be no one, but I understand blessedly at least that I am not everyone.
I think back to when I found myself crying years ago on the shoulder of the Pacific Coast Highway, my car quiet and cold, the sea loud and crushing. I remember sneaking out of my apartment as though it were not my own, away from my sleeping partner to keep from waking him with the sobs I could no longer hold in.
I remember asking myself, asking the midnight sky, what does it mean to be human in a world that hasn’t believed this body to be one in centuries?
What does it mean for me to be human, when for centuries this body has lived in such torment as to have forgotten the meaning of the word “humane”?
And I cried that night on the side of the highway. And I admitted to myself, that I felt utterly inhuman. How can I claim to be something that I haven’t been in the better part of a millennium?
It must be the most inhuman thing to do, to see eating as a sufferance in a world where to be human is to consume the world into extinction.
I wished for something that night, though I can no longer remember the words. I do recall the longing, how far away the dark horizon felt. How far away I could be if only I were courageous enough to pursue it.
Then I would be free to forget my confusion about things like family and love. Then I would no longer wonder about the quest for wealth in a world stricken by the everlasting war that poverty is upon the future.
What wealth is there for me to seek in a world where I cannot trust the ones I love most?
At least I wrote today. Happy Easter.
~ C. Louise