I find that when I write I often keep a layer of remove from myself, reworking, remolding, analyzing as I go. Each sentence loses a little shimmer from this process. Like every thought must be handled by rough, appraising hands.
Ideas like produce at a supermarket. Once bruised by a cold, appraising shopper, then forever damaged and left to be poked, again and again, in the side of the bin. Its destiny: the silence and dank, fetid cover of a landfill, in an unknown land, miles away from where it began.
My ideas are scattered in this way. A thousand pieces of rotten fruit sleeping under the artificial blanket of someone else’s conceit. Toys not broken but unwanted. Clothes fit for wear but unfashionable. Fifty thousand dollars of Italian porcelain dumped in a trash can at midnight, the maggots unmoved by their new, posh, neighbors.
Trash can be jagged or mundane, spiteful. Avoidant. He ducked his pursuers for years with boldfaced lies. Looking someone in the face and saying: “No, that’s not me.” “But sir, I have this photo matched with your name and it sure looks like you.” “Well, it’s not.” What can you do in the face of this level of deceit? Questioning your own reality is the natural conclusion. The most ridiculous lie, taken at face value.
You look down to see a new bruise on your arm.