Dispatch From The Mundane 015
The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost
The springing of the yellow line of morning out of the misty deep of dawn, is glory enough for me. I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms. When the consciousness we know as life ceases, I know that I shall still be part and parcel of the world. I was a part before the sun rolled into shape and burst forth in the glory of change. I was, when the Earth was hurled out from its fiery rim. I shall return with the Earth to Father Sun, and still exist in substance when the sun has lost its fire, and disintegrated into infinity to perhaps become a part of the whirling rubble of space. Why fear? The stuff of my being is matter, ever changing, ever moving, but never lost; so what need of denominations and creeds to deny myself the comfort of all my fellow men? The wide belt of the universe has no need for finger-rings. I am one with the infinite and need no other assurance. - Zora Neale Hurtson, Dust To Tracks
Pumpkin, a cup or two, peeled/cubed
Sugar, maybe brown
Salt, maybe pink
Nut butter, maybe tahini
Citrus zest, maybe clementine
A cup of rolled oats (let them sit overnight in cold water)
Take your shoes off before you come in. There are a few hangers in the closet. Take a seat. Have you eaten? I don't have much. I've got this pumpkin. I've got some oats I'm draining from water, and they soaked overnight. I'll peel the hard skin of the pumpkin. It's dense with nutrients, but that's just the wisdom of something that was freshly unearthed instead of being buried. What if that's all there is to food? It's just a memory of gestating in dirt. Rich in vitamin A.
I'll peel the pumpkin; I'll cut it up. Oil, sugar, salt. I put it in a pan. Roast it til the tips brown. Add spices if you want. I add 4 cups of water and blend up the oats. Oat milk is ready. I drain it again, and the pulp remains. I mix it with tahini and a little oat flour. I throw it in a skillet on low hit and let it dry and toast. Flip. Sometimes I cook the pumpkin in oat milk. I crumble the pulp on top. Sometimes I pour the cold milk over the hot pumpkin. Sometimes there are more spices. Sometimes I make nothing. Sometimes I don't have much.
Pondering my immortal soul and longing for motion. My skin hurts because I feel I've betrayed myself with a human desire to sit and think. Oh, my stars, I'm a child of Jupiter, and all I know is that my spine crackles with electricity, and my legs beg me to find somewhere else and find it soon. Say I'm just a child of God, and even then, it's all thunder, it's all fire. There's something about sitting alone for so long-- I imagine that I will tell myself a story for the company.
I will pass the time.
Perhaps that's all this is, time passing like a stone through a kidney, and if I'm lucky, very heaven-kissed, someone will hear the story. It's a story of trying to escape yourself, or maybe that's what change means. It's a Houdini trick. I'm drowning and picking a lock that will let me self-affirm. When I first got into this tank, I was just a man who could die and when I ascend to the top, liberated, I'll transcend and become a bright light under a blue sky. Put your eyes upon me. I'm radiant, and I have solved the problem I arranged. Please pass it along. I've got the baton, and this is the relay, take this from me, go on.
I'm running late for a train. I can see it approaching as I'm running to the gate. A man is on the platform, and just before I get to the door, he grabs my arms. He says, "Don't you know me? It's me, Angel, the warden from home." I say I have no idea what you're talking about, and I want to scream, but I'm not afraid of anything except that he can see me. No matter what I've done, I'm still a child whose name he calls every night for room check. He says, "Don't you know me? I'll always know you. I'll see you no matter how much you change." I take my arm back and get on the wrong train, but I get away.
Somewhere in Austin, Texas, I am listening to "Peacebone" and walking through the downtown area, lost and sucking down thick tapioca pearls and sweet Earl Grey. I am the protagonist in a blurry-eyed sleeper movie, and I have fringe and Pantone-colored hair. I'm not in this movie because I like the genre, but I like what the genre says about me: seeking nothing4nothing, no point, no matter. I'm in this movie because it's hard to see brown skin in pointless films about how hard it is to breathe when your soul wants to kick-flip from your body like it's a bank wall.
Despite the fact you have everything, you are the empress of the void. I'm a hunk in the movie. I'm a jock. It's the only time I'm considered strong because of what I can bench press and not what I've endured or the capacity for suffering. The movie ends, and I've sucked down all the sticky sweet pearls. I want more, but I accept that I have to go home. I wipe my feet at the door. I take my shoes off. The camera pulls out. The lights come on, but there's no more me. Just the city remains. A car drives by with teens laughing—a dog barks. Like a vampire given eternity or a super-powered orphan sent to Earth—you want that basic ass life.
Where were you before? Before all this?
The meme on Instagram means pandemic, but I am thinking about yesterday eating cold clementines barefoot in the kitchen at cockcrow and shivering. I am thinking of all my friends falling asleep in my house on my 30th birthday. I woke up, and they were still there. I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe I was finally old enough to have company over. We never had house guests growing up, and I suppose it's remained.
I'm listening to Andre 3000 recount his years of isolation with Rick Rubin. He's opening up about his reclusion and anxiety, and a tear falls when he says he's alone a significant percentage of the time alone. Me too, Dre. I desperately wanted to go out and see others, but I couldn't until I sat alone. I was overthinking every interaction and all that I had consumed the last few days—people, music, news, life. I keep trying my hardest to be around, but I can't change that I needed to spend several hours just scrubbing the tiles in my bathroom to feel safe. It'll never make sense.
I was in a twin-sized bed listening to SpeakerBoxx/The Love Below in 2004 on CD. Saturdays were for cleaning. Every Saturday, we woke up and cleaned the kitchen, bathroom, and rooms. We finished. They were out, and I was alone. No one was screaming at me and I could get up and pee whenever I wanted to. I share a room with three girls. I am not allowed to go into the refrigerator without permission. I am not allowed to eat what I didn’t pay for. I have treats hidden in an old shoebox in my closet. I don’t have friends who can come over. I won’t have that until I’m in my twenties. I am happy the tiles are clean and that I sit with my CDs and magazines. I am always hungry. I missed morning cartoons but not Beast Master which is something. I'm going to go to the library and check the forums, look at RPGs and talk to people quietly online about the logistics of being a half-elven dancer mage. I have a picture of Utada Hikaru I clipped out of the newspaper on a jewelry box. There's a journal covered in handwritten nu-metal lyrics. I am thinking about growing up to be someone who doesn't know their shit stinks. I am hopeful I'll become someone songs are written. I hope I can change.
The pumpkin is best a little charred. I cover it in honey and ground clove before turning off the light.