Playthings (audio)

Supple peach light drapes itself along the infinite length of soft sandy beach. As I walk, my shadow stretches out like a gray shaded sail. The breeze coming off of the ocean is sliding small loose grains of sand across the hard surface of the little sandcastles, slowly eroded by the incoming tide.

I watch the sky turn pink with the kind of sunset that rings through your body and aches in your soul, and try not to think about you.

Which never works.

Your scent is in the wind, in my hair, on my skin.

The various manic thoughts that regularly scatter across my mind all clear themselves away when you appear in my daydreams, so often from out of nowhere. If you knew how it was for me in my head, I am sure it would please you.

But you are not the one who has to live this life I’ve gotten myself tangled up inside. The only person who knows me is me, and the only one who can get me into or out of anything is myself. It’s funny I have to remind myself of this. The things I write are not wise advice they’re just the things I need to tell myself to keep any kind of faint grip on reality.

Whatever that even means. What is real is so surreal anymore. What you can find pure enough to cherish is running thinner and thinner all the time. There are cracks in the dead parched earth. The chasms are widening without relent and fracture is the only way forward. The fires are already burning. You can feel them, electric, penetrating, though distant, licking at your skin.

I imagine you holding my hand.

I imagine you tracing my lips with your finger and then pushing your finger inside my mouth.

My tongue soaks with the honeyed nectar of desire at the mere idea.

Mostly, it just feels like heaven to feel anything at all besides whatever it is that makes me grind my teeth all night. Been doing it since I was little. Ever since… well, ever since.

They will try to convince you that it’s just a matter of time before the world ends. As if that hasn’t always been true. But the ways in which we inflict such sick and violent ends upon ourselves are truly breathtaking. Even now, feeling the cool, glassy sea water lapping against my feet and ankles as I stroll along to nowhere in particular, I am distracted by the idea of possible pending nuclear annihilation. That would be the easy way, wouldn’t it?

Generalized anxiety. As if the trouble was me. As if they haven’t dumped on us an impossibly bleak and oppressive existence and then twisted it all around and gave it all my own name. I smile because it’s all so drastically, devastatingly, hilariously absurd. I smile the way one does at a funeral and can’t explain one’s giggles. Won’t look you in the eye and won’t explain anything.

Back at the house, I pour a glass of gin from the bottle we keep in the freezer. He is out doing heaven knows what as I sit overlooking the beach, the blood orange sun sinking low into the fizzling end of another day. Just another day. Drowning itself in a fading, though shyly persistent, glow.

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