River Soul

When I met this guy on Friday, I could easily imagine the aftertaste of our chemistry: tragedy, heartbreak, and another eclipse of souls. I know that I fall in love too easily, and I also know (now) how dangerous love is, so I excused myself upstairs, crawled under my covers, and listened to the distant sounds of an open mic night: two guys sharing a microphone like they didn’t care at all.

I slept for sixteen hours straight, without meaning to, and woke up disoriented — a German Shepherd dozing on either side of me.

A friend caught me at the cafe around three that afternoon; I told her how long I’d slept for and laughingly mentioned that I’d briefly wondered if I was dying.

“But really — are you okay?” she asked, looking in at me.

“Oh, I’m sure I am,” I answered quickly, shifting my eyes toward the window and murmuring something about an iron deficiency, but I really wasn’t bothered by the idea of falling asleep and never waking up again. It would be so easy — so much easier than all of this. I stirred my latte with a spaghetti noodle and looked over at my book on the table, her Pokemon bag on the table, my backpack on the floor…

 

***

Sometimes, I’ll let a comment slip; a dark wish or insight of mine. I’ll laugh about wanting to die, hoping I’ll die, hating that I can’t control when and how I die… something of the sort. And then the other person will go, “How dare you say that!” or say something similar. They’ll make me feel bad for not wanting to stick around for the 4% of their lives when I’m in their presence — and then I, in turn, can’t help but feel exasperated with people who, in truth, care about me very little yet dare to profess that they care very deeply and assume a sober expression of extreme botheredness when I’m simply being honest about feeling bitter about having to stick around so they can see me sometimes. It’s like, if I am exhausted by loneliness and animal cruelty and the terribleness of human beings and I really, consistently am not enjoying this at all, why should YOU make me feel guilty for wanting to throw in the towel? You don’t see me trying to make miserable old YOU stick around against your will… although I probably would if I thought you were considering not sticking around. Anyways, that’s beside my point (meaning it’s irrelevant).

As a coping-with-living process, death-therapy exercise, whatever, I pretended I was interviewing myself on the day of my death last week, and in the course of the interview, I wrote this down:

“So… it’s your last day.” Interviewer smiles kindly, pen in hand. “What did you enjoy the most?”

And then I – the interviewee – provided a list in response; I can’t remember everything I listed, but these are some of the things that – already looking back – I know mean a great deal:

  • Colors (I’m picturing the shades and hues of my favorite blankets and scarves)
  • Rivers
  • German Shepherds (they’re better than we are)
  • Sunshine (specifically, how it feels on your skin)
  • Storms
  • Food (particularly: cilantro, cumin and curry, avocado, and cardamom)
  • Lattes
  • Sounds
  • Microphones (I love how they interact with voices, changing them)
  • Autumn (everything about it)
  • Rabbits (they’re better than we are)
  • My bicycle
  • My backpack (it carries the little things I love most)
  • My guitar
  • Holding hands (not being alone)
  • Hugging, and being hugged (not being alone)
  • Falling asleep beside someone (not being alone)
  • Wind (I want to be a ghost)
  • Words

 

And despite the grand shittiness of feeling alone and misunderstood and boring and (irrationally) disliked by everyone in the world, I think I will stick around, because I feel bad about making other people feel bad and — who knows? If karma and reincarnation are real, I don’t want to intentionally hurt this soul of mine and thereby lessen its chances of coming back as a rabbit (which is strongly desired).

 

***

Another friend and I were messaging earlier today; he’s working through his weekend while I’m whiling mine away.

“I’m at a cafe now — going to lose myself to reading and researching rivers!” I shared.

“Why are you researching rivers?” he asked, and I smiled when I pictured his face.

“I feel oddly called by them recently,” I said, knowing it sounded new age-y as hell but also knowing there was no other way of describing it — that strange pull. 

So after researching “rivers in birmingham” (AL, not UK — had to be more specific w/Google!), I’m now off to one with sandaled feet and a shot of caffeine swimming through delicately thin veins. I’m not sure what I’m looking or hoping for, exactly, but I believe that being with a river today will at least be peaceful.

Before I go (bc I might get eaten by a freshwater alligator while I’m out and about… those DO exist, don’t they? A girl can dream, ha!), I’d like to share a short poem from this morning (I originally drafted it in Spanish but have translated it into English also).

 

alma del río 

yo puso mis ojos sobre el río
imaginé el frío, el movimiento, la vida

así yo puso mis pies bajo el río
sentí el frío, el movimiento, la vida

Y entonces dí mi alma al río
y me puse el frío, el movimiento, y la vida

 

river soul

i set my eyes on the river
imagined the cold, the movement, the life

so i put my feet down underneath the river
felt the cold, the movement, the life

and then i gave my soul over to the river
became the cold, the movement, and the life

IMG-3316
my new friend, Azul… you can hang out with her more in my next book: when you’re sad (Charlie and I are currently in phase 2/5, so it’s coming soon-ish) bc I’m mostly staying alive to write books, travel, and love animals
Still here,
Aun Aqui
Update @ 2:28 PM: No alligator incidents (or sightings).

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