We keep here

Stream of consciousness effervescent. Ever flowing. Manifestation of thought into word, into sound, into feeling, into everything that ever overwhelmed me. Every stoplight I blew bubbles through while it gleamed red. It glowed with all of its might and warned me to yield, but I did not. I left candy crumb amounts of myself at your door, under your sheets so that you wouldn’t feel them right away. After a while you were bound to wake up, panicked and senseless, wondering why your thighs itched and quivered at the touch of the mattress. It was me, all of me. Unfolded and split open underneath the nylon lining. Yet, I could no longer last one more night under those mattress springs, waiting for you to heave your entirety and might onto my fragile frame. I clawed through the bottom and parted the golden threads of your cotton rug. I admit, I hid in the bushes by the back door in case you decided to take out the trash, just for a quick glimpse of the mistake I had made. But you never came out, and I fell into step because I never went in.

Muddled under my thoughts I pass down the alley. I skip water droplets with a kick of my toes surrounded by boot. The boot kicks and kicks. The other boot kicks as well. I am a kicking, water splattering, toe surrounding machine and I have only reached the end of the alley by now. The horizon is now at my dispense. I suck in oxygen which has just finished mingling with strange forms of carbon. My body doesn’t understand why the air feels so obstructed from purity, yet it as no choice but to breathe in. Soak in the undesirable. I fall into step the same way. Mind wandering to areas it should not. Feelings running away from me like they are children playing a game of tag. I tell them I am not in the mood today, not feeling up to playing the seeking game today, yet they still run. Emotions galloping fast and far and I catch myself chasing after them amidst my prior apprehension.

Buildings twice as tall as I remember greet me with an ominous loom. As I lean my neck back to survey the cloudy night, a muscle retells its painful experience from yesterday. Eyes blink heavily, breath flows steadily, head tilts horizontally, and puddles mirror vehicle headlights. Although I am downtown, there is something in the air that is lifting me up. A tinge of excitement left over from hockey fans smothered by a homeless man’s final requests for spare change.

I am here for neither entertainment nor survival. I am just here. Perhaps time will ask more of me in the upcoming hours, but for now I roam streets like it is a full time job. Bus numbers pass like floats of a parade. 21, 63, 16, 74… It appears as though they will never return down these empty streets again, but of course, another one shyly hobbles up to the stop. Forever subject to the trickery of potholes and leftover ice mounds.

Life precedes in a business as usual fashion while I internally combust. My external composure proceeds in a business as usual fashion. I think about thinking. I say to myself that perhaps I should really start doing something. The trivial question of what to do stumps my stream of consciousness. I realize there is really no use in lying to myself in order to physically act out a lie to everyone around me. I might as well embrace the pleasure I feel when I do absolutely nothing. When I think thoughts that are absolutely nothing. When I pass by strangers and say absolutely nothing. I love it all because there is absolutely nothing that I am pretending.

When I turn the corner and trip on a discarded Styrofoam cup, I laugh. When I miss the last bus, I laugh. When a passing car sprays stale rain water all over my socks, I laugh. When I am mistaken for a child wandering these dirty streets alone, I laugh. I laugh and laugh in order to forget that I know how to cry.

Finally, I reach the stoplight where it all began. I step off the curb and meander into the road. It is 2am, and the city feels as though it belongs to me. I inhabit it and we agree to look out for each other. It is no wonder that I catch myself sitting in the middle of the street, looking left, looking right, and then laying down on a luminous yellow strip. A gentle click is heard as green turns to yellow, and yellow to red. I adjust my gaze and follow the light photons with an intensity that drives my vision’s clarity into a fit of blur. Before there is time to speak, there is time to hear. Small vibrations tremble the drums of my ears. Before I can look, I know.

Before I know, I knew.

And before I knew, I could only guess that it was you.

Published by Anna Buck

"everything was beautiful and nothing hurt."

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