City of Loneliness

19 08 2012

I cannot tell if that tree outside is dying.

I was a study in ash

Today I revisited Morocco on Google Maps —zoomed so far in and to the east so I landed on a dune in Algeria’s desert.  This is in the place I looked towards when we stood at the edge of the Sahara having driven all day from Marrakesh over the Atlas mountains.  I remember the gem sellers on the sides of the road and the truck stop high in the mountains.  I could imagine myself in the truck stop but I didn’t actually go in.  This is not the City of Loneliness but I visit it because I am alone.

I long for you.

I’ve been hammering at everything, my work and such; I’m tired.  Sometimes I talk about things and I feel as though I am on fire and I look at my companion of the moment and there is a blankness in the eyes.

I had finally gotten accustomed to those.

There are many forms of loneliness.  I’ve visited the La Ciudad Íngrima and entered some of the houses.  One has sterile landscapes and studio portraits of children on the wall.  I’ve been in that one and in one where the walls are yellow.

there is something queer about it

The yellow walls or a yellow dress I’m wearing.  It is possible that Charlotte Perkins Gilman has polluted my memory and painted yellow walls in a room that might have had walls of a different color.  The wooden chair in this room and a girl that was me.  This is not a real memory.  I may have had a yellow dress. The thought of it makes me ill.  I know it’s not real.

en la ciudad hay mucho tribu…aves de paso que se quedaron

I am writing about loneliness, though, and about glazed eyes. Writing around things as usual.  But writing around does not mean writing absent the emotional content of these things.  The emotional content of being a forty-two year old woman trying to create a sustainable way to exist in this world through her passions.

The world is everything that is the case.

I do believe I expect too much.  I’ve been so lucky and so supported.  This is not pablum; nor is it an attempt to spin what is real fear into something Hallmark.  It’s just the necessary statement of my fortunate circumstance as I, in turn, note with my fear that my expectations and desires far outstretch what is fair or conceivable.

One day I appeared to have finally stopped looking, in any event.

I’m sometimes afraid of death also.  It is about loneliness and time.  Do you ever see that place where it is dark and tangled?

The doors will close.   Over and over. There isn’t really anything else they can do

I need to strip more away. I do the Buddhist meditation to practice death.  I envision the burning away of flesh and bone and then the burning away of my attachments.  My slaves to fortune, so to speak.  I don’t actively burn my attachments but I imagine burning what connects me to them.  Imagining my flesh burning is easy; it is a relief despite the fact that real burning is deeply painful, in my minds-eye it is just dissolving.

The flesh is bruckle

While, in my mind, the flesh melts without agony, imagining the burning away of my attachments really hurts.  By attachments I mean those I love.  What I have to do in this imagining is let go of them.  I have to stop clinging.  I have to imagine never being with them again.  I have to release them.  It’s brutal but on the other side I’ve come closer to nothing.

the Feynd is slee:–

I want to bathe in this nothing, to become the opposite of agitation and to be utterly removed from loneliness.   I want to escape time and be in the nothing without the yellow.  There is no yellow because it will have burned away.  That yellow wall and yellow dress in The City of Loneliness with its rooms some of which I inhabit.

If I had no thistles in my heart

Inhabit even with your touch—especially with your touch

(I would put out the sun)

If I could set fire to that city, I wouldBurn that loneliness until it is ash.

I am restless

Loneliness, I’m told, is a valuable space to occupy.  I’ve heard it said before.  I’ve heard it whispered by my own self in my own ear.  Even when you are breathing into me or touching me—I’ve told myself this loneliness is part of being and of finding what I am being.

Fuck it.  I don’t care—I’d burn it if I could, that whole city, those rooms.  The occupants and their sad photographs.

I’d burn it all even the adobe on the end of the street with the banana plant in the front, the coolness upon entrance, the smell of wax, the floor of clay tiles.  If I lie down on them it feels like those blank eyes.  The blanket and the fireplace with the logs no longer burning.

He forgets them, he “burns” the memory of them

Nothing here to give me fire.  I’m the fire.  I’m the one to burn it down.


Quotes are by David Markson, Mircea Eliade, Paige Ackerson-Kiely, Amparanoia, Ingeborg Bachmann, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Dunbar, Ludwig Wittgenstein