And I started to say “fine,” and I meant to say “fine,” but I ended up saying that I felt my life was filled like a big jug to the brim with almost indescribable joy, so much that I hardly knew how to handle it. That was how I put it, what I said: “I feel like my life is filled,” and then all the rest of it, one big exhale. I am not an eloquent person, and I was surprised to hear myself talking like that, but only a little surprised, because it was exactly the feeling I had in my heart.
So anyway, the party was terrible so we left and kissed a little bit more on the street outside her place, and for a few moments it felt like nothing had happened and that we were still together and happy. Or at least still together. But then she pulled away and adjusted her wig and looked at her hands and I looked at my hands and in the silence of the moment I stared at the pink scar on my knuckle, the scar from scraping my hand on the bottom of that pool in Puerto Rico the day she told me she loved me for the very first time on the side of the road while the guy from the tow truck place was jumping our car, whispering it quickly and urgently like a spell that could destroy the world. I kissed her and she laughed and the engine turned over and the tow truck guy looked at us like we were crazy.
I look back up at her and now she’s looking at me like she wants to say something and that’s when I know why I can’t come up to use the bathroom, it’s because he’s up there and has been and if it’s not him it’s somebody else and I finally understand, I finally “get it” and it’s all finally clear or maybe it was always clear how finally everything was but now I’ve actually got it through my big thick dumb head, finally, so instead of trying to kiss her any more I stick my hand with the scar on it in my pocket and give her a nod and say “Okay” and turn and start walking away. I want her to call after me but she doesn’t so I keep walking.
I walk and walk and walk and later I get in a cab and months later I am standing outside a karaoke bar talking to a girl while she smokes her last cigarette and I say something that makes her laugh a big throaty laugh and I look down at my hands and the pink scar on my knuckle from the pool is gone like it was never there at all.
God damn it Aaron, this is too good.
David Mamet in “True and False” (via balltillifall)
Okay, I feel okay.
I have been reading a lot of poetry by Tony Hoagland and this one I keep coming back to so here it is for you to read too.
Don’t take it personal, they said;but I did, I took it all quite personal—the breeze and the river and the color of the fields;the price of grapefruit and stamps,the wet hair of women in the rain—And I cursed what hurt meand I praised what gave me joy,the most simple-minded of possible responses.The government reminded me of my father,with its deafness and its laws,and the weather reminded me of my mom,with her tropical squalls.Enjoy it while you can, they said of HappinessThink first, they said of TalkGet over it, they saidat the School of Broken Heartsbut I couldn’t and I didn’t and I don’tbelieve in the clean break;I believe in the compound fractureserved with a sauce of dirty regret,I believe in saying it alland taking it all backand saying it again for good measurewhile the air fills up with I’m-Sorrieslike wheeling birdsand the trees look seasick in the wind.Oh life! Can you blame mefor making a scene?You were that yellow caboose, the moondisappearing over a ridge of cloud.I was the dog, chained in some fool’s backyard;barking and barking:trying to convince everything elseto take it personal too.