Thursday, September 2, 2010

Bodies and Balloons


Tonight I was smirking to myself about all the talking about relationships, relating, understanding…

Tonight, at 8 pm this evening, I am thinking only about how alone I am. Tonight I feel heartbreakingly lonely, especially after to listening to the podcast you sent me from This American Life. The episode where the young Latina is so lonely, that despite her yearning and dream to have a vibrant, creative life, a dream of an office and a career in animation, she releases that dream, a luft balloon helium shiny pearlized pink helium balloon an airbrushed unicorn prancing…


I sometimes think that the only romance I can have is with loneliness. How hard is it to strike up a conversation in a cafĂ©? Somehow for me it seems impossible. Not that I do it much anymore, try to converse with strangers. The only ones that seem to desire my conversation or company are visitors from another planet. Here’s the rub: they recognize me. Oh to be recognized by people who yell into your face and ask if your tattoos hurt and tell you that they are also getting tattoos, but the ones they are going to get are going to be able to move and speak.


I fantasize Paris where I too can be a crazy alien and so my lack of balance (both physical and emotional) will be recognized as proper for someone from my planet. Paris because once the art created there suggested my fat was beauty.

What is this recipe I have concocted for my loneliness? One part age, two parts body fears issues? Being fat is no picnic in this culture. Neither is being fifty-eight. But those are only the beginnings of my sense of isolation. We would need to speak about class. I have none. I know that you can hear me laughing, but how often do I make a joke, self deprecating or not, only to be met with that lead balloon response. I seem to be working that balloon metaphor overtime and yet the image is so compelling for me: to float away able to transcend, to inhale some of the helium and crack myself up listening to my voice.

I am really good at entertaining myself, but tonight I am not amused.

I have said here before I am not at home in this collection of water blood and bones. I am always at war with it, and yes, I agree, I am my body. What the hell else am I? This is where all of me lives, happy with it or not. I cannot separate my mind from my body, and yet I suppose I do in conversation, but honestly I don’t even know where my mind is except in my body. Sometimes I love this body, being fat, proud of letting myself go; there is power in it and sometimes I am aware of that power.

Sex. Yes, I suppose we need to break that open. I can only start with this statement: I have not had sex in ten years. That should create a hush yes? I am laughing trust me.

It’s been so long for many reasons. I have told you how I lamented to Karen about it and she said that she didn’t know what could be done short of my wearing a sandwich board that said:

Hi, would you like to fuck a fellow American down on her luck?

How hard did I laugh that night and since in the retelling? For some reason I feel that I am supposed to be ashamed of my lack of sex, that I should apologize, or at least explain. I can’t do either.

Having a body that is not the ideal makes me an alien, being old makes me an alien, having a low income makes me an alien. But I think I must love being an alien because in my mind’s eye I have seen me deliberately stopping by that road less traveled and feeling ownership for it as I laugh. I took that damn track and it did make all the difference: it hurt, it cost me, but I did learn exactly what I am made of.

Am I even saying anything that makes sense? I will continue as I have; I am waiting to see where this all goes and for that to happen I have to stay right here with as much courage as I can pretend to have. To be real.

Bodies of Water

A child’s body is more than eighty percent water (enough for a globe)
A man’s body is two thirds water (enough to bleed)
Half of my body is water (enough to support a new life)

Can water be touched?

I have cupped water to my face
Drank it
Poured it over my neck and hands

I have lain down in water
And on water
Supported by the tension of its body

The tension of one half of my body does not allow touch

Water is contained
Yet water will always join with other water
If it is allowed

Half of my body would join and touch

In stillness
Water always finds its symmetry
Always in harmony with itself

As water meets substance
It polishes and smoothes
Shaping it anew

Half of my body is perfect

Water in the body diminishes with age
Or fat
Or starvation

Half of my body is water

The ways of water must live in me
Enough to be touched