I've developed phobia of contact: the greater the distance, the greater the anxiety. Phone and email have become Derridean monstrosities. It's not that I don't want to talk to you. It's that I am terribly anxious to touch the phone, to place receivers to my ear—to feel the soft pads of the buttons. I don't know why.
For long stretches I'll wait to dance with you, my friends. I may even dream about you. Perhaps I am worried that you'll talk for hours on end, keep this body awake, all of it after I've asked one simple question about Mookie Wilson's lifetime batting average.
Since falling ill I've stolen away to a single room for most of the day. 2 liter Pepsi bottles are neatly lined against the wall, forming a perimeter within the perimeter of the space that houses me. That unhouses me. Andy Warhol's.
It's not that I dislike the outdoors or fear that you, of all people, would forget to can me with the beans, pack me neatly in the freezer, and be the wind for the flag I made from your unnecessary clothing. This body shrinks in contracture whenever confronted by something it desires. The neck, the arms, the chest, the back, the first cranial nerve that wraps round the face, the eyelid, the chin, the left leg, the adrenals. All are action potential, their frequencies tuned to the relative distance I am from semen stains. Therefore, often, I am absent.
Then I should just come out and say it. Despite it all, sometimes I'm simply too goddamn tired to talk. I'd rather watch Nancy Grace. And I do, almost nightly. The girl’s dismembered body dredged from the pond of sensational retrobutionism.
My mother died a week ago and a student said yesterday, marveling: "you leave it all outside the classroom." I think she used the verb "to push." I didn't respond as I wanted to: "that's because I'm hiding something." But also maybe this fence keeps me in my world? Or this fence keeps you in your world? Unfortunately, once you hear that the word "pig" comes to mind.
I haven't driven at night for 3 years. I haven't gone to the bank in 2 years. I haven't got a clue what the cable bill costs. My partner's an honorary Jew! Possessives are hard to shake! I haven't returned to earth a fancy-tailed goldfish. (Secret wish.)
When I DO talk to you, such as now, there is a myofacial sensation of having caught fire in the face, which is very distracting.
Secret wish: the heart sutra blossoms and that famous nothingness unfolds so that I can, in the onrush of darkness, use the phone and send a few emails to dear friends. In those moments I could frantically ask if when the unitary being of the self is exposed as a cruel joke, whether the imminent ripping and shredding into a calm continuum is anything like approaching an event horizon from some ship held up by strings on a TV in my soda bottle abode...
I google myself on average once every 2 weeks. Part of this is vanity. I am, as you probably know, an oil man, VP of Savage Industries. I've had a good year watching the tides recede and leave behind layers of evidence of all my hard work. (Faceless date on pg. 72.)
I have to go now. It's dusk, and if there is one thing I can stand it's the view from my 2nd floor condo room window: the angels and the tall Northwestern evergreens trick you into the sensation of living in the forest. The highway is on the other side of an open field, a field which is mowed once a week by seasonal workers who ride tractors more reliable than the cars they use to haul them. To listen to the trucks go by is to wish for a charter. So I put earplugs on and stare into the blue-green for about forty minutes.