I'd gotten very used to the humbling bit until one day I turned around and I could barely see my shape up against that of the moon. I looked at my shadow in the sun and there too, I could barely see what I was, and less of what I had become. I called a lover but he was not there. He texted me he'd be around later and absent-mindedly I emailed him that I wouldn't. Would he get the email instead of the text, how exactly had I screwed up this attempt to connect? It's all going through one machine these days, so one malfunction and all circuits are crossed. It doesn't really matter, I walk along the numbered streets where only a delusion would make me lost.
I turned to see the buildings of youth, the ones that stand in the middle of the city, but they were obscured. A little by clouds and a bit by scaffold in the foreground, it's not so much the height as it is the abstraction, that made it harder to see that which I sought. And so I thought that lines had replaced real shapes. Skies, murky with heavy lidded clouds and tight lipped winds were no longer offering much light, but pylons and safety netting were decidedly easy to spot and bright. My tenses were blurring, along with my sight. I followed the construction.
I'd left this place as humbled as could be, borrowed pieces of paper stuffed into left-over clothes. I saw a system come after me with upside down pyramid teeth, stalking me for several months whenever I'd sleep. It wore a blue suit and it went to organized prayer. It spoke with the tenor of an ugly giant while it smelled of small-batch perfume. It said things to me like "Only you" and "I want you to understand how much..." You need this, I love you...? No those are words of a different world. Passion now pathology, I understand now, the giant in the suit was looking to give me a pill.
And so I looked along the road. I was following the pylons and the comforting shade of orange that had been with me everywhere I went. "Stimulus package" they said in the desert as their red sands were being crushed by the robotic yellow ants, the operators inside smaller than grains themselves. While uranium waste made me feel light and made me smile, I looked at the compromised frontier and realized there's almost nothing left that is wild.
It might be untouched or unspoiled to the eye, but it breathes what I breathe and I know that is soiled. It's 287 new chemicals in today's baby bodies. It's nuclear weapons so old that to throw them into a dumpster they've got a ceremony to hold, so they can pretend that we didn't get ourselves into this mess. Of course, I didn't write the treaty and I never held an important pen but I'm willing to take the blame alongside those who did. They did it in my name, they say and with every election I am culpable, too. My guilt hangs around my neck and reflects in the eyes of tourist passersby.
When I woke up today I was sure I had nothing to say and the more I type the more I know it could be true. And if that were the case, I'd be free and that might be nice. So, I might give up, just to get in some good practice. Today, I have decided I am no longer a writer. And it feels...good.