It builds slowly

AUGUST 19 03

Spent today throwing things away and sitting, I suppose thinking. About nothing in particular, perhaps whether there was anything else I could chuck away right now. I usually build up slowly, a few magazines I kept for some reason, four years old, a few books, jars I was keeping to put things in. It builds up, there comes a point where I just wipe everything off a shelf with my arms and onto the floor in a grand gesture, I roll my sleeves up, I fill bags, I stamp on things and break them before I decide I like them again. It builds up, something in me that doesn't like having too much, that needs nothing, more than something or anything, and I have to get it out of my way.

I started with an old notebook, going through it, crossing things out, tearing out pages, reading through notes from months ago, all taken care of now because I've grown beyond those notes to myself, except for the odd one or two I re-write in another notebook, and so the process will continue. Phone numbers of girls I've lost touch with, flashes of inspiration, passwords to things I can't remember any more. I double up some of these old notes as new notes on a fresh page before crossing the old notes out, because it's easier than thinking if I don't know what to do with them, perhaps I'm only saving them to cross them out again later, maybe without doubling them up this time, because it's done before I have a chance to not know, which is knowing.

Dwindling leapfrog notes.

If I need that woman's phone number because I am to ring her one night when the intention not to has faded, it's there, until it too leapfrogs into the void on my next discarding of notes. Things seem to hang around waiting for me to decide, which I never do, it's either blind rage or nonchalance that just screws them up into a little ball and away. How much could have been got rid of so much sooner, just sitting there like a koan waiting for me to solve it. Tea dust on the return address of an envelope in the kitchen for two months, a sample of handwriting lounging on the floor of the living room for as long. What may be my mother's last letter to me, three lines saying nothing of importance, saying 'Wait' before I tear it up, there may be no more. Why so long to make it to the bin these things? Paintings only kept these days because someone may be fool enough to give me money for them, and even they I may destroy any day, gaining something better, though there is no recompense for regret. People should take them off my hands for a fair price, before they bring the world bad luck.

I am perpetually checking out, and my luggage is always too heavy. So I tear out the pages of the notebooks that I've checked through, checked through just in case there's something I need, and when I'm sure I rip the pages out and tear them up into tiny pieces and put in the bin.

It builds slowly.

I haven't wanted to be a part of anything, I haven't wanted to go out today, save into the garden, where I stood for over half an hour keeping my eyes trained on a large green dragonfly swerving about the garden and next door's waiting for him to come to a rest so I could get a good look at him, a real beauty, half an hour and longer I stood there watching his meaningless flight following him not losing sight of him except for one moment when he suddenly reappeared again as if helping me out and I followed him with my eyes nothing else was important to me just keeping my eyes trained on the green dragonfly flying like a wound-up elastic-band glider that never wound down humming like a comb and paper in figures of eight and back again but never once did he rest never once did he alight, once he came within inches of me I thought he was going to land on my shirt a monster of a dragonfly so beautiful I wanted to see it and so I stood there doing nothing but watch him never slowing never coming to a halt.

It builds slowly. Peace little by little reeled in on a double-hook with fury.