Voice in a jar (it’s not a bell jar)

by Charlotte E. Wilde

Have you ever read a book and hated someone for it, simultaneously reveling in the words as a child’s birthday cake– that first guilt-free high–and despised them, hated them trulymadlydeeply because they weren’t your own? Ever read a word that spoke to you so completely that you were sure you’d already written it, that it was almost certainly plucked up, a few sparse roots dangling, from somewhere between your 3rd and 4th rib bones.

(These hasty fingers. Mother said, “pull gently or they’ll just come right back,” but shoulders too achey, tongue too eager to get in out of the sun, fingers didn’t care)

have you ever read that book?
I have. I have.

(heart pain, a stroke or why does other’s greatness hurt?)

I got the title for this entry from a passage in Kate Zambreno’s Heroines. I think woke up the day I opened it. And strangely, for I’ve been mining passages elsewhere for months now—studied verbiage, hidden messages, jouissance and menopause, long sentences to short. I’ve been analyzing pages. Duras, Ernaux, Bouraoui. All french, all women. I soak their prose like chia seeds and watch it grow in the night. But this, well, this is different.

(you are different. you are only for me. I wont share you.)

If I could describe it, it was like reading me for the first time (terrible vanity). Like finding that first old journal with one page so real it actually remembered you. Or the first time I saw me and didn’t hate myself. Like reading me for the last time, too, something close enough to touch, but an organized version, not these scribbles on paper I keep stacked in a closet, tiny notebooks full of irrelevant notes:

To watch: The Heart of Madness
#37102 on list of things I hate: un-justified text
I didn’t change my name; I’m lazy or I like to remind myself of my mistakes.
This continuous drive for growth is the driving factor of value in our society.
I like girls with weird noses.

You know the sort. Or maybe you don’t and maybe that’s the point. But I suddenly felt for the first time that I could write what I want.

reborn. small revolution. ruined, reunited. restored.

I felt everything

(never more acutely).