The Usual Crises and Boring Shit

by Shaina

In a room of talking bodies–I am one of them–I’m looking at the
rest, each glance sounding off a little wish in my head.  I wish I were…
that lazy looking, low-belted bro, the girl that subsists on just coke, the now-long-sober dude, the girl in the either ironic or stupid-sincere t-shirt: I wish I were anyone.  Even as I’ve come to suspect A Body Can Only Know Anyone Besides Itself, I’m bound by the perception that everyone here defies that notion, wrapped up in their enigmatic but clear designs, and the bindings tighten around my regret for my choice of pants.  If I could tell anyone about myself beyond the basic physical and occupational facts, I could hardly think of anything more than a list of things I am not.  And because people these days have eyes, half my potential parlor conversation is obsolete.  I Am A Cooking Person rarely makes the cut unless you’re talking to someone incredibly narcissistic.  Where do you work?  What kind of food do you cook?  What’s your specialty (the worst question)?  It is difficult to steer a conversation less than by saying “I don’t currently work, the only major cuisines I don’t cook much at all are Japanese and Ethiopian, and I don’t really have a specialty unless fried bologna sandwiches counts.”  Out of context, I guess I sound like a real winner.  But context is just that, and long ago I lost a spark for the type of varied inflection that captures an audience as well as anything to say that might call for such melody.  A joke on myself, I might make, and then make a joke on that one.  Something like, A Real Winner I Am, See?  And then something like, Well, What, Haven’t You Ever Had A Fried Bologna, Jim?, Tough Crowd, Jesus.  And just flat like that, unyielding, boring music.  Like a song you turn off when something fun comes on TV.  It’s the sound in my head, too: when I see, read, hear such things…flat footnotes loom up in each pause in whatever medium, mad at the similes I used to like, bored at almost any poetics, mostly Romantics, like “Oh, but was it as vague as etchings on glass (one I understood and nearly liked–sorry Patti Smith, who I adore–I also mocked)?”  It happens with most work: by writers, chefs, artists, politicians– I gnaw it all away and rarely find a strong bone beneath all the rotting flesh attached: their respective masturbatory description (somehow always full-hearted and VERDANT), cabbage shoulders and onion crumbles, obtuse color blocks, jargon and lies–and I make myself out of what I won’t be compared to what exists, and I don’t have attributes but I can sure say what qualities cancel out those in anyone else right back down to rot.  But often there are bones enough to hold them together, and that point thinks at/on/in me enough to want some flesh on mine.  Sardonic skeleton, depart.  Let me codify as and name myself as anything, maybe a series of 1’s and 0’s rather than “not 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9,” maybe a seer of true flesh over an exposer of the rotten.

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