disappointment as a theme

I’m standing in the backyard when something catches my eye– what is that– a squirrel?– in the tree… no, it’s bigger… it’s still for awhile and then it moves again– it’s an orangutan! standing there in the tree– hiding, lost.

and I recall that recently there have been other strange visitors, exotics in my yard, and I wonder if there’s been an escape from the zoo– and I decide to go investigate.

I start out walking around the lake the house backs up on, but then I hit a stretch where there is no path and the shore is too steep, so I start to wade. almost immediately people begin to descend on me in anger and righteous agitation– apparently this is the one day of the year when everyone has agreed to leave the lake alone to give the small creatures like frogs peace for spawning. I didn’t know! I’m on a conscientious mission myself! and I tell them about the orangutan. someone mentions the circus pitched on the lake shore a ways down, and that seems to be the obvious solution– there follows a whole segment with boats–

I’m put in a little tub with insufficient room for all the people who intend to ride together– and then we get separated from one another in the course of ferry and locks– I’m walking at one point through the dry reservoir of the locks after my little tub gets beached on the concrete– walking toward a tower and observation or passenger platform and only reach it just as the water begins to fill.

I’m standing on Western Ave. looking at the shop windows just as the blinds on the print collective begin to lower from within– I realize I’ve missed the glimpse of the inside and go up to the door and catch the eye of a guy inside– I ask how I can get involved– apparently I’ve just missed a big induction, and there won’t be another one for awhile. I’m feeling this enormous craving to get in there and work on those presses, and I’m swamped with disappointment.

I’m in my parents’ house– sort of. I’m in that space, but it’s free of the shadows and clouds. my parents are away from home, and I’m cooking a delightful meal with and for a friend, laying out the dining room table with best china, lingering together long over the gorgeous meal, sun coming in the windows, smoking cigarettes where we sit. I’ve acquired some asparagus for planting in the garden– it seems we’re (or at least I am?) leaving the house, and this is to be a parting gift. I take the bunch of aparagus out to the old vegetable plot, but there’s still snow on the ground– so I set it down gently in the garage to wait for a thaw and go back inside. my parents come home while the table is still covered with dirty dishes– my mother looks at the scene with disgust, like there is something shameful in the spectacle of me and my friend. I cannot believe how small she is. she’s angry that I’ve used her dishes, angry that we’ve been smoking in the house, and more than anything revolted by the thought that I have a girlfriend. she’s blind to the degree of my happiness–I feel like it should color everything, trump everything, dwarf every other consideration– for her as well as for me– I feel like it should be obvious and saturating, and I cannot believe how immune to it she is– how actively she clings to her prejudices and narrow, claustrophobic house regulations. and I tell her I am happy, and I laugh, though there is a note of disappointment in it for her. I am not ashamed or sorry– only sorry that she is so lost to every good feeling.

who is my mother in this dream? she is nearly entirely emblematic.


and so it’s ending.

none of this is new. I’ve simply held on too long once again.

so he read that last entry in my journal, lying beside the bed, he told me– what did he say about it? nothing that seems to make any difference.

I hate being slow to let go. I hate being the kind of person who goes more than halfway and then more and more and more in an effort– a foolish, losing, vain effort– to make up the distance between.

it’s unacceptable to be so little valued by my lover. to receive no welcome signs or tokens or gestures of affection– and then to try to compensate for it.

how the hell did I get here?

it’s simply not acceptable— the only word that works– to adore someone else so much you don’t take care of yourself.

the crashy parts of the roller coaster are exceeding the bits in the sun and speed. it is entirely untenable, and it is is ending, and I hate that.

I hate him for squandering me. for failing to meet me in the marvelous… but apparently he is not there, simply does not feel it as I do– that’s a hard fact, no one’s intention, just the way it is.

L had it right: I am the cup of coffee.
the only choice I have is to unpour myself for him.

I fucking hate being here. I cannot believe heartbreak again. I am so tired– sick— of trying and failing.

I had a moment in the the stunning warmth when I thought, oh my god. finally. there you are.
I thought, everything is fine, manageable.
I felt some sort of grateful perspective– the give and take of being in relationship, being in it together– for almost five minutes. and then on and off with diminishing returns. is that the way it is? perpetual xeno’s paradox?

this life is a pain in the ass.

my fortieth year.
who do I think I’ve been fooling?
what is the purpose of all this brittle optimism and bravado?
it’s a cruel ride.

I don’t know if someone malicious sits at the controls and enjoys the spectacle… I do not enjoy the spectacle.

maybe there really are lots of gods, including the ones who fuck your shit up for sheer amusement.

another alternative is a pseudo-scientific version: methodic conducting of experiments, observing our reactions under different types of pleasure and duress.

another way it could be… is completely meaningless. that’s the one that terrifies me. nihilism. I can’t deal with that worldview– that it all just happens for no particular reasons or intention whatsoever.

I simply cannot believe that consciousness and the ability to question were given to us for no purpose. there doesn’t seem to be any evolutionary value to that that I can see– maybe there is one, and I just can’t make it out.

from my perspective, consciousness implies and entails consciousness– intention, will. toward some purpose. that I’m supposed to keep knocking around in this life and to listen more carefully– act with greater intention and energy and openness– that I learn not to squander myself for a few moments of feeling– or tasting or smelling– good.

that I learn how to advocate for myself more faithfully and powerfully and beautifully.