Prose and Cons (Another Sleepless Night)
by Charlotte E. Wilde
As I’m writing this it has begun to pour, the city is hot concrete and shivering wind and the smell is making me sea sick, thick with memories of the sea. I’m hiding, then standing with my nose to the window and back again. I think I’m afraid of storms: partly terrified, partly hoping the roof caves in, partly just wanting to walk outside exactly as I am, barefoot as you please and hold the force of this driving rain right on my skin.
It’s 4AM again. It’s perpetually 4AM, maybe, and chewing my fingernails until they bleed doesn’t negate red w[h]ine reminiscence, pacing, or wondering at replacement. Everything is cyclical these days, everything brings me back to you. I’m not keen on cold shoulders nor do I dwell on such page 6 indefinites, but I’ve always known something good when I [read] it. And it was– better than 21 days of love lost, better than anything I’d wrung out of fingers or eyes in months, better than the sum of us, certainly.
Part of me, most of me, wants this storm to whisk me up and away like Dorothy—a red heel-less, heedless Dorothy with no dog, no song, only a cowardly lion heart.
Sometimes in life we come across people who are not lonesome, merely think themselves to be. At night they pull loose threads in their relationships just to prove what they always thought they knew eliciting a continuous unraveling where every tiny falter serves as gavel to the sentence they’ve already written in their head. Some people can withstand this sort of thing, this sort of scrutiny, but Plato aside, I was never one for limbs.
I feel a vast aloneness in this wallowing city that seems to want to turn in upon herself; I wonder actually what will happen if a tornado runs a stripe right down the middle of her, filleted to the gills like Haussmann did Paris. Is that what it would take to remind us we’re alive? Unspeakable, but perhaps a little tragedy isn’t worst thing in the world. The concept of death doesn’t phase me but I’d just like to see it coming– a morbid curiosity that has always kept me in its graces, no different now than ever before. I’ve been told a tornado sounds like a freight train and if I listen carefully, I wonder that I can’t make it out rumbling heedlessly along. Trains have always soothed me, there is something about their iron-sided regularity that is just so reassuringly grim, still it’s hard to tell if the noise ringing in my head comes from within or without.
I only wish I was brave enough to blink, not to not watch you unfold, but blind eyes were never mine to keep and curiosity has always killed for softly shutting doors, no less closed, no less divisive. This is my punishment, a self-inflicted penitence like a coyote in a trap. The leg has got to go but the phantom limb, that will take time.
Heaving silence and sirens, the calm after the storm is anything but.