Saturday, January 15, 2011

where to go

out of lincoln & the first morning this week where i woke up and was able to breathe, & the racing, tumbling, out-of-control cursing rabid screaming demon thoughts had slowed their circuit to a manageable degree.

i dreamed the francine was one of those 3-sides-of-a-square apartment complexes with a gated courtyard in the middle. we managed to flood the courtyard with warm aquamarine water and swam like mermaid children, waving to those in the windows of the first floor who cheered and came running out to join. eventually myrna came, she'd brought a boy i went to school with who later joined the army, she stood and crossed her arms while he yelled at us and the pool drained through the gate.

i dreamed then of being cursed with knowing everyone's secrets, sifting the scraps of lives and words said and written. i was born a vessel and a human lodestone. i cannot know anybody because i then know them too well, can't look at their faces/eyes because i will See Everything and it will overwhelm, obsess and crush me. the lines of intention, chance, and ambiguity web out from them, stringing occurrences and other people in an intricately plotted graph. the graph is laughing and flings wide as a tuna net.
the balance can be maintained but is fragile; often one must detach.
i'm on the floor of my childhood neighbors' house, having broken in. i didn't know they were home. i grip the wainscoting and scoot like a penguin across the tile, silent.

in the final chapter i am on a cruise ship, gleaming and brassy like a steampunk titanic. all of the other passengers except for a handful of us have mysteriously vanished, and we are adrift, free to roam. in the mahogany dining room with gilded cutlery we feast on fruits, meats, and cheeses from the stainless steel kitchens. there are ballrooms to dance in and massive presidential suites but after days we find ourselves clumped socially in odd places, the gift shop, small alcoves. The mood is uniformly relaxed and festive. looking at a map in the captain's office, a line leads up into the mountains, then snarls into a black illegible spiral. The novel ends when, while sitting on a chilly upper deck sailing the arctic sea, the generators flicker and cease to hum.

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