Charles Lamb Imitation Essay

I have no mind.-

Mistake me not, reader- nor imagine that I am by nature destitute of that sacred inner sanctum, that illusive concept of self, and (artistically speaking) that gray matter of personality contained within my physical form. Better to not be carried by my family from suckled infancy to protected adolescence.- I am, I believe, rather basically than abundantly provided with those simple human conduits; and I feel no inclination to dispose myself to envy the brilliant for their plenty, nor the toddler for their rudimentary, in those genuine personhood factories- those indispensable thought-creators.

Neither have I brought upon myself, or done anything in the slightest to incur, with medical accident, that unfortunate hidden disfigurement, which constrains one to a bed drawing existence from a sanatorium machine to feel life, filtered, through that article. I was never, blessedly, down on my knees upon my carpet thankfully, nor if I read my destiny in my first world country right, is it close to within my calculated future that I ever should be.

When, therefore, I lay claim that I have no mind, you will understand me to mean- for study. To say that this person had not turned to jellified goo at the text of abstract concepts, would be a cruel self-libel. Sentence constructs never fail to move it somewhat. So does long division. But they were built to be written upon blackboards by a teacher (written with thick markers that make you light-headed) within a school- a school that impresses fundamental skills for working -merely the skills- should I name the school?-, once the artistry of the comma so impressed itself upon my very being, small child I then was, that my innocent self placed a comma of passion every which way, having not gained the sensibility of where commas belong, and it was only much much later, some time towards the end of my middle school years, that I discovered with some chagrin my improper usage that colored my stories in a juttering manner.

I feel that I am, to a degree, mentally inclined to study. But emotionally, I feel no proclivity to that pastime that indeed fails to pass the time- truly, I am incapable of remaining seated for an extended period of time observing the black ink upon a textbook page. I have begun practicing, however, since middle school and have since attempted to hone the skills to focus upon a single page of essay rules, an illiterate gazing upon a lost language. When I employ my grand interpretations of the glyphs, I am told, to my utter dismay, that I have yet to grasp the proper structuring of formality, my essay being several hundreds of degrees away from what is considered acceptable.

I am not oblivious, let it be known, for once; I do immensely acknowledge my singularly underdeveloped skill of study within my mind. For sitting upon a chaise-longue, the television set quietly rumbling and my dearest Friend A methodically turning the pages of a text, I find that my mind does wander and what was originally to be a thought train on french verb conjugations quickly derails itself to the question of what the french word for gecko would be. As I later discover, it is “le gecko,” an uninspiring answer to a prevalent question within the high school walls.

Yet, it is to my consternation that school study is not the same as these fluid questions and ephemeral fancies. I, my own personal turing machine, click in ones and twos, not within those hallowed– dare I say blesséd -chainlink fences, but rather, instead, within the protected fortress of a Snapple cap fact.

Free Writing Exercise #2

The power goes out.

Harvey’s computer powers down, the blue light closing into the center. He jabs his fingers against the monitor’s power button for a moment, unaware of the utter darkness within his neighborhood.

He gives up, turning his hand-me-down office chair around, hands holding the worn and hole-y armrests. As he spins circuit after circuit, his eyes catch glimpses of his uncurtained window.

The stars wink. The light pollution has disappeared, hiding the rickety buildings in a shadowed cloak.

Kick from the ground, spin, catch the North Star. Kick again, pick up speed, follow the Big Dipper as it melds into the Little Dipper. Kick once more, speed ahead, and catch himself on the cheap carpeting with a soaked foot.

Light-headed, dizzy, slightly floating from the foam poking through the chair.

 

Jesse stops to gaze upwards as the streetlight goes out.

He had moved to Manchester from the lakes in Michigan, and the light pollution pervaded through the sky, even in the more rural neighborhoods. On afternoons, sitting on the hot curb, he’d reminisce about the grass and his family’s sagging porch stoop.

The stars flicker faintly in the night. Blinking once, twice, three times with Mars shimmering on the horizon.

They’re nothing like the stars from his hometown.

They’re nothing like home.

But even so, walking on the pavement at night, he laughs a little, holding his head up with his neck craning, cramping, stiffening. He jumps a little bit, stepping on a crack in the pavement, his feet hovering just a second long.

 

The neighborhood begins lighting candles. A dog barks in the background. Someone bangs a table, yelling about “the damn electric company.”

Then, the lights blink- once, twice, on again. Stars fade away, Harvey’s computer glowing blue as it powers back on, Jesse squinting as the streetlights shine their harsh yellow.

Jesse continues walking aimlessly.

Harvey begins a new game of spider solitaire.

The night continues…

Date Preparation

The cell phone alarm trills.

It’s seven thirty, Saturday night.

I sit up from my bed, wiping the drool from the side of my mouth. Rub sleep from my eyes. Stretch. Consider getting a day job with normal hours. Dismiss the notion. Turn off the alarm.

I twist my ankles round once, twice, thrice to encourage circulation then I get out of my twin bed and pace myself awake. The afternoon sun is giving way to an evening glow, and my blind date is an hour.

I glance in the full body mirror propped up against the wall. See my unbrushed, unwashed hair and droopy eyes, jewish nose and blowjob lips. Give me a fan and an airbrush, and I could almost be on a Playboy magazine.

Walk to the bathroom. Turn on the water, feel it… Cold. Turn the knob back.

Slip out of the crusty t-shirt I’ve owned for three years, the college shirt I wore on Friday nights in my room. Slip into a slinky black dress- definitely almost Playboy material.

I brush out the mane, but it still flies up. I beat it off, stave it off desperately, with a can of hairspray and bobby pins.

Half an hour to the date.

I’m not desperate. I’m just… Unique. I spend Monday mornings reading Irish poetry and Friday nights correcting the translations in blue ink. At night, I work the graveyard shift at my office, cashing in the extra dollars for pink razors and more blue pens.

The blind date thing was a friend’s suggestion. Something about socializing, getting out there, opening myself up to vulnerabilities. The typical cliches from the caring friend trope.

I open my makeup drawer. Riffle through. Pull out my favorite lipstick that over-accentuates the thickness of my lips. Rouge.

As I rub it on, moving my lips to form a small oh, I wonder if we’ll kiss. Me and this faceless boy that probably doesn’t watch soap opera reruns on Sundays, critiquing them on their storylines and developments, yet still crying at each overdone betrayal and each pointlessly twisty death. This boy that doesn’t go to bed at nine in the morning and sleep through the harsh day’s light.

I imagine him coming to the table for our dinner, arms that imply health, legs that suggest confidence. Him speaking and me speaking in a conversational duet. Me pulling out my purse, him intervening and us going dutch on a receipt neither of us could afford alone. A charming joke. Us leaving, together, him walking with me under the light pollution that covers the city’s stars. Then us a block from my apartment, me turning and lying and saying “Here’s my stop” and him chuckling at my weak attempt at humor and then us leaning into each other with my slinky dress and his cotton shirt between our throbbing skin. Our lips meeting, my rouge rubbing off in a perfect impression of my lips upon his. Him going home, me standing, watching his back as he leaves, waving.

I rub another layer of lipstick on. Pack the stick in my purse.

Just in case.

The Alchemist

She was an alchemist.

She could transmute love into hate. She could draw her alchemic circle and perform the laws of equivalent exchange and change a lukewarm relationship into a lukewarm ex.

She could change worries into calm, by changing his feelings. She could sacrifice time for lifespan. She could transfer love from one man to another.

She was an alchemist.

Each day, she’d impress her friends with the calm she exuded and the control she took. She’d amaze them with her transmutations of emotions, from hot to cold and from passion to opposing passion.

Each day, she’d shift some feeling and balance the scales of control in her favor. In return, she would lose something, as ordained in the law of equivalent exchange. A lover. A friend. Warm afternoons and library whispers and midnight talks.

She was an alchemist.

And in the end, it didn’t amount to much.

At Midnight

She sings in the shower at midnight. The running water carries her words away. They blend together as they go down the drain.

She only showers at midnight. Purges her body. Rubs her fingers until the skin peels and scrapes her feet until only the softest skin remains.

She’s awake all nights. Sleeps in the morning under the blankets. Drowns out the morning with the sound of falling water playing in her head.

She sings only sad songs in the shower.

She only sings in the shower…

Her eyes bleed water in the shower. But they blend in with the songs and the water and escape down the drain.

She has depression. She lives alone and eats alone and works alone. She climbs into her narrow shower at night by herself. She is an island in the running water.

She sings softly in the shower at midnight and hopes someone will hear. Know.

Loving Depression

My lover, Deirdre, has been depressed since childhood.

 

She would look into the mirror and see depression staring into her. Vacant eyes gazing into an abyss which, in turn, gazes into her. Depression accessorized her; making bracelets upon her wrists and purple necklaces around her throat. It wore her nights down until her eyes constantly drooped and her mouth constantly hung. Her reflection was Depression.

They had grown up together… It was a bond I could never hold with her. They were with each other through everything- thick and thin. Mostly thin.

Depression wore her. He made her thin and made her insecure and made her observe the little things with care.

They had a sick relation with her twisting around him, answering his beck and call. Laying awake at night to hear him. Sleeping in with him. Talking about the future in the afternoon- the unimaginable and inevitable death that awaited. They made funeral plans together. They went on walks together. They stared into the infinite cosmos together and thought about nothingness together.

I was almost jealous of them. Angry. At him consuming her. At her letting herself be consumed. At me, for watching.

But… But I was also in love. With him. With her. With him for making her herself.

It’s hard to explain.

The lines between her and him blurred. Were they ever clear?

I adore Deirdre. I would build castles out of glass and wire for her. Make cake out of fire. Travel to the edges of this two dimensional world to give her something in 3-D.

She is depressed, and I am in love with her.

Her and her depression.