A nice studio in a city – the city – of angels. It has wood floors. They creak when you walk on them but they are wood floors. The space is tight and that means the furniture will not fit so well, a fucked feng shui, but it is space and it is yours.
According to a man named Gary, the windows won’t always open so pretty. That’s because the building is older than the mosquitos found in those golden globs, y’know, from Jurassic Park? Those golden ember bugs? Those things? The building is older than those, even.
But it has a kitchen so that tea can be made when the nights get cold, and remember, it has wood floors.
When you walk outside there’s a fountain that doesn’t run. It ran once, maybe, but only once because its pool of water is strewn with leafy muck at the bottom. You press four numbers to get inside the building (pull) and when you want to get out, the door feels your essence and your vibration and your humanity and it automatically unlocks for your convenience (push).
When something breaks, fill out the handy repair request form and slide it through the ghetto slot fashioned onto Gary’s office door. He will tend to it when he feels like it. His eyes are deep cocoa, and he has one daughter whose vibrant youth guffaws will trill loudest on a cheap cell phone’s speaker.
Take the bus to work. You don’t have much money. Take the bus and take the compliment when the homeless woman, the one with wild hair, smiles her toothless smile at you and calls you a ‘beauty.’ She means it. Of all the people on this earth, she’s the one who actually means it.
At night, strange figures will show themselves. New bedrooms, new energies, new stressors tend to manifest as the stay-still shadows of little girls in little nightgowns standing in the dark, little teddy bear dangling from the little right hand; your own laughter, to your own surprise, cawing at midnight, still blanketed by sleep. You don’t know how to pray, so just hope that these night terrors are swallowed back up by a hungry, forgiving Universe.
Sleep is for the weary but it is also for people who work much too much.
Alone, you feel helpless and empty; baby bird sans worm. Alone and without internet, your brain doesn’t know what to do, doesn’t know who you are, who you want to be. But you look at your wood floors and feel a selfish pride.
You did this, you think.
You did good, kid, the others say.
And you did.
Someone beautiful and warm has entered your life.
Eventually this someone will pass onto you a blissfully diseased euphoria, the result of dopamine reactors in the brain hopeful for a darwinistic, reproductively beneficial attachment.
Some people call this “love.”
Try not to fall in “love.” That there thing has only ever been elusive, an illusory wisp, and, as your therapist will mention, you have only ever known artificial wombs of toxicity created by people who did not mind your tears. Not this thing, this “love.”
You have never known it. Don’t try to know it now.
Please stop crying.
On sunny days, you can go to the corner Starbucks. They sell mug ornaments there for something like twelve dollars. You won’t need them.
Sit at a table bordering the cafe so that no one can see what you’re writing, and so that the homeless men asking for ice water don’t bother you. They like to sit at border tables, too. One is finicky about dirty countertops and talks to himself at length about it. Another owns an iPod and listens to something that is either horrible music or just a haunted screeching on repeat. And another is an Asian boy who nervously looks about the place and then buries his head into the crook of his elbow. Sometimes he resurfaces to swipe a palm across his forehead.
You’ll have an Americano, please.
Gary will take a while to get back to you about the clogged sink.
You write a lot but the words look jumbled after an eon of typing. Insanity itches to convince you it’s got you but you can hold out a little longer. Pinky-swear.
Oh, and the tea cools down rather fast. Keep the water boiling. That’s it. There you are.
Some day, when the get-going is not as tough as it is in this moment, this particular moment of your small existence; some day when you are drinking tea because you enjoy it as opposed to drinking tea because it cures goosebumps; some day, some day soon, you will be okay.
Some day will happen some day but for now you have wood floors. You have potatoes, and soap that smells like Yosemite pine. You have words that can be hammered into better words. You have you, even if you do not know who you are. The ‘who’ does not yet matter. The ‘where’ is more important.
A nice studio in a city – the city – of angels. It has wood floors. They creak when you walk on them but they are wood floors.
And you are here.
Here you are.