This reminds me so much of myself.

I know the future is open and unpredictable. My style, though, is to want to close it — to make it predictable — at least the immediate future (3 months, 6 months, a year) or the longer future with respect to my most intimate relations. A completely open, unpredictable future makes me horribly anxious. I can’t imagine how I will function (because I assume functioning in an effective, creative — not blundering — way entails making plans). Of course, I’m fairly confident that I could function somehow — but on a lower level — even if I have no certainties before me. But it has never really occurred to me, I now realize, that this is anything but an undesirable (and, in the case of love, extremely painful and destructive) limitation. It’s as if I’m supposed to walk through a forest without being allowed to inform myself whether or not it’s full of wolves. Sure, I’ll cross the forest anyway— but it seems just stupid, a pointless risk, that I wasn’t allowed to inform myself first, when I know the information is available.

[There are two vertical lines next to this sentence in the margin.]Only now do I see the limits of my view of life — how carefully I limit surprise, risk-taking, unanticipated sources of change.

The fact is that I have been unusually loose and open to risk-taking in matters of work— tolerant and relatively anxiety-free in work situations that seem to arouse intolerable amounts of anxiety and insecurity in most other people. But I have been so damned cautious, self-protective, uninventive, anxiety-prone, and needful of reassurance in matters of love. I am so very much more cool, loose, adventurous in work than in love. So much more inventive. So easily convinced that if ‘this’ doesn’t work out, something else will — that there’s always ‘more.’ Just what I don’t feel about people — whether friends or lovers.

[In the margin:] ‘scarcity economy of love.’

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Let us say Goodbye

Let us say goodbye then,

You and I.

Let’s walk away, and begin to forget.

The kisses, of course,

And the remembering -of firsts and quirks, a handful of dates.

Let us put behind us our secret knowledge,

And all those times you dropped a kiss on the tip of my

nose.

The first time I ever wrote a love letter, I titled it ‘This is not a love letter’

And put it in caps, to emphasize how much it was not a love letter.

Let us obliterate the memory of that;

Leave it to the impersonal web of pixels and circuitry,

And the people who will stumble upon it one slow afternoon at work.

Let us erase the last traces of

That feeling in my chest when you laugh,

And how you call me ‘bitch’ with great affection.

Let’s rub away at the kisses

Till their last vestiges are wiped off the corners of our lips.

Let us kiss strangers till their tongues take away the electric of

Your tongue on my lips

And my lips on your fingers,

And your fingers playing a riff

In the dark.

Let’s forget the time you kissed my damp eyelashes (surprising yourself),

And pulled out the sting.

The world will not cease to turn,

And nothing will have been lost.

Except- a few brief hours

Where my hand on your chest was yours.

Nothing except laughing hysterically as we plotted murder,

and talked over each other, trying to win.

Nothing but staring at pixelated smudges on screens

Till our heads ached.

Nothing except the wind on our backs as we ambled home,

A happy tangle of limbs.

So you see it would be easy.

Let’s not make a fuss now.

Let’s not ascribe this affair undue importance

So the stars did not align for us

(They don’t align for anyone, you fool.)

The gods did not send any angels our way

(We never prayed for them, you see.)

Everything fades after a while,

Even memories, even pain, even something that came very close to being

Love.

Postcard Evening

It’s like there’s a part of my brain that always has you on its mind. There’s a corner that’s always tuned to you. Once in a while I remember it, and I look at it, and there you are. Right now, typing this, I’m sitting curled up beneath a red rug that I have ‘borrowed’ from the roommate for the time being. The roommate is hardly ever home, and her cat is beginning to love me more. Already he follows me around instead of her (it’s because I actually feed him). Anyway, I’m curled up on the air-mattress, as comfy as you can get on an air-mattress. The giant tabby cat is curled up, pressed against my feet with his back facing me. He’s quiet, satisfied, and he flicks his tail from side to side, erratically, like he’s keeping time with the music. I only just realized that the tail is a muscle a few days ago. It’s one of those things you know, but don’t know. So the tail is a muscle, like certain other things are muscles.

Here is what I do sometimes: I go to Grooveshark, and I click on you, and I click on ‘play station’. It’s a comforting thought that I can play you like you’re a radio whenever i want. Right now ‘Crush on you’ by Springsteen is drawing to an end, the tinny sound through my speakers, turning my room into an old-time cafe with a jukebox. I like having this option to play your station. It makes me feel safe, and warm- the way a fire in the fireplace makes your soul feel warm, as the flames leap up and lap at the wood.

I want to write you a letter. “Dearest”, it would start. I want to write it in curling handwriting at the back of a post-card. but i won’t because I’ll forget, and we talk too much on the phone anyway, and where’s that letter I was promised?

I’m reading ‘American Gods’; it’s interesting. It’s nice, this feeling of being wrapped up in a story. I’d missed it. I’ve missed you. I’ve forgotten how to kiss you, but maybe I’ll rediscover it when we meet. Through the prickliness of your ‘stache, or perhaps not.

‘Whiskey in the jar’ is playing now. I’m going to get back to my book.