The result of a pot of coffee and a weird night.
Baptism And Drowning
I've passed the point of over-caffination where you're merely shaky, and ended up somewhere between the sickly shudder of euphoria and the gripping melancholy crash that is inevitable, and I'm not going to sleep tonight, I know, for to try will invite all the thoughts I've been carefully poisoning with increasingly chilly coffee to sneak back in on me and they will line up, orderly in their well-plotted and efficient break-down of the inhibitions I have painstakingly trained to protect me from memories of tortured passion or bitter-sweetness, all the things I don't want to crop up in my dreams, if I don't have to see them, they can fade into the wings, and maybe in years to come I'll take them out like battered photographs and examine their dusty lines, tracing fond faces with my fingers, at last learning to smile at the thought of a long-gone caress, or a conversation where the words have been forgotten.
Until then I will poison them, sitting still and shuddering while my eyes drift off and become delirious hazy blue orbs, bobbing along in a sea of dark, hot liquid, slowly wending its way into my body and singing, soft and dark, of all the electric crackles along my nerves, humming, humming in the dark. I sit and smile and hum in the dark, humming jazzy little snippets to my cooling coffee, riffing on the higher, paranoid notes, dropping into a deep mahogany anxiety, rising to a tinkling schizophrenic interlude, and all the little out-of-tune violins inside of me sway, and they become louder, more insistent, and they shriek with broken strings, and rise to an unhinged chemical crescendo, before they glide like paper swans back into my own little tenuous vocal cords, humming, humming, humming in the dark.
I'm smiling, and my teeth clack together like yellowed castanets, a frantic rhythm that compliments my demented humming, clacking like my fingers as they dance jerkily across the keyboard, tap tap tapping away like fingernails drumming on a skull, tap tap tapping like mice behind the wainscot, tap tap tapping like tiny dancers on a stage that insists upon moving about at random, as if the feet upon it make it uneasy. I become obsessed with the spelling errors, and the words sit and stare at me, daring me to strike the wrong key and render then meaningless, they threaten, they cajole, anything to retain their purpose, for within my convoluted syntax they must function, these little black and white miracles, and I feel at once paternal and vindictive, for I dictate their existence on the page, and even as I long to jeer as they scream for mercy, beg for a reworked sentence, demanding punctuation or another syllable, it occurs to me that the modern world has robbed them of their potential substance, for they may never exist in ink, perhaps they will remain mere lights on a screen forevermore, and I pity them, my little creatures, I brought them here, and now I sit and play God, I am sorry, little words, little souls. And I pity them, my little children, little beings I have begotten with my tap tap tapping on the dingy keyboard.
It's icy cold in this nondescript room, full of books and simple furniture, where I sit and twitch and smile into the walls, imagining my thoughts spewed up on them like bile, a stinking mural of love and death and words and responsibilities and sex and curtains and all the other ineffable things littering my draughty shivery mind like discarded bits of string, they creep along and form funny little shapes in the insides of my ears, and sometimes the strings creep down my neck, along the veins and into my lungs, and I cough them up like consumption, when they leave my body the strings become bloody. Sometimes they crawl along my arms, drawing intricate patterns on my goose-bumped skin, and they raise welts, and I have to get them out, so I tenderly coax the shining silver blade into my service, and I delicately open the skin, so the strings can crawl out, but they become frightened and move away, so I must open it again, and again, until the strings are encouraged and thread their way out, and they drip drip drip into the sink, until I wash myself clean.
I fill the sink with water, submerging my head like a baptism or a suicide, the purity is the same, so cold, so clear, and there is nothing that can touch me here. Perhaps it is salvation the strings try to drag me towards. The remnants of their exit shine at me in the dark, gleaming white, like smiles, like the porcelain of the sink when my eyes are open under water. The shaking slows as bubbles escape my lips, taking the shudders up to the surface where they dissipate into the indifferent air over my head, and the strings are gone, I got them out, and the humming has stopped, I am quiet, I am pure, white like the tracery of hurt on my arms, white like snow, like cold, like paper, and white like skin untouched, virginal, I am virginal for this moment, this second between baptism and drowning.