Some days I find it very trying to collect myself, to find all the different parts and put them together in an orderly, functional way. I spend an hour just looking for glasses, going to the shower is too much effort, and then off to search for some wearable clothes, sorting through the mystery of never-matching socks, (they really should be selling three socks as a pair), and who is ever looking at your feet anyway?
Sometimes my eyes just refuse to open, they seem to have been glued as if to say to me, “Life is a cruel violation of sleep.” I couldn’t agree more. The morning headache is simulating a hangover, except I am not hanging-over from anything – only from my own refusal to greet today, to try it again, to start it all over.
I guilt myself upwards and wander aimlessly from one room to another, trying to recall what it was that I was looking for. (Wasn’t that supposed to be the privilege of the elderly? Maybe that’s why they say some souls are born old.) And how one decides what’s the next task to do – making coffee, staring into the empty freezer, avoiding the guilty look of my dog, then thinking – why is my dog acting guilty – and sniffing the air for some missed evidence?
Sometimes the different parts of my body just don’t stay together, they fall apart. To tie the sneakers – a wasted effort – I may as well just stay inside, I may as well go back to bed, my bed: the constant that’s always welcoming.
I fall asleep. I wake up again. It’s late afternoon. Now I feel ready to collect my thoughts. Feeling suspicious of all early-risers, I am secretly envious of their routines, their inner-clocks. My own clock was broken long ago, I live in a perpetual home-made jet-lag, in a twilight time just before the nervous breakdown.
(No, I don’t need stress to fuel my writing. Yes, I could certainly use some flow of cash.)
I finally finish my coffee around the time when most people are ready to go to sleep. My day now starts. The piano is beckoning with silence. It too feels untouched and craves caresses. I pet it passingly and close its lid – too late to play now, but I hear the music swelling up from its guts.
I imagine the sounds. A gigantic treble clef unlocks my troubles, pours them onto the page. I organize them by color: pain, unbearable, this way, please, you shall fit very nicely with these howling trombones; the deepest desire I shall save for a violin – its seductive tremolo is twisting my heart; the melancholy is draped in the velvet of the cello, its darkening purple blackens my soul.
Writing for the orchestra – I am again a child, with an army of coloring pencils in hand, a forest of wild harmonies growing from my ears and eyes. And all night I am coloring paper, the desk, the walls, the dark skies beyond. My own body is covered with black, round note-heads as if plagued by death.
When the sun hits the window I’m asleep at my desk, head on my elbows, hearing in my dream all of the music that I couldn’t capture last night; music free from my ink-covered fingers, free from my unmatched socks and clumsy attitudes, free from my learned limitations, headaches and fears, free from my memories, free from the sleeper, who smiles so blissfully as I never could.
Listen: Symphony No. 1 "Chimera" [by Lera Auerbach]