A sort of life

A return to a stupid strategy

RICHMOND, Va. — We’re six months in and I don’t know what I’m doing. Surrounded by hope. Always that bastard hope. And yet no action. None. Ideas float. Nothing is decided. No action had.

I find TBS a compelling companion for a weekend. Olivia Benson, Stabler and the rest. Maybe the Chinese man that brings provisions. These are all things.

I used to sneak away for a smoke. This was a good way to spend lost time. But however weak I find myself, for whatever reason, I have not picked it back up. A month now. WTOP time twelve thirty-eight.

I don’t know guys: I have moody aberrations. Listlessness. Resentment of those that no one should ever resent. I have thoughts. Thoughts I do not share. Thoughts that, when spoken, would not be heard.

I feel like I’ve been sent back through time. Ten years. Twelve years maybe. Two years is the answer. I was caught off guard. A hard jibing. There was land off the port bow. And then we lost it. And now what?

We did not move on. But people do. And I guess there’s a lesson about swimming somewhere in there.

She said she’d “like to see me soon, if it’s amenable.” What the fuck does one say to that? A while back she yanked the boom tight. Possessions divided. Lives parted like the Red Sea. It was not my choice. But it was the only choice. And even then, it was a decision she forced me to make. And to the end she said she did not want it to be this way. What she did not say is that this was the only way it would be.

So I said: “Why?” Why now?

And she said: “Because I want to remember what kindness feels like.” I didn’t say anything back. There’s nothing to say, really. And yet, of all the thoughts on my mind tonight, none of them begin with what I know to be true. It’s only what ifs? Every one. And that’s it.

There’s an absence here that is a tough thing to fill. I really, really hate myself for it.

And what does kindness feel like? I don’t really know anymore.

“A return to a stupid strategy” is from Volume Three: Rock and Roll Part Three (2015–).

Showery Wednesday afternoon in the Wildflower State

Showery Wednesday afternoon in the Wildflower State

Andrzej Jalowiecki grips an umbrella during a rainy winter day in Perth, West Australia on June 11, 2003.

And what does kindness feel like? I don't really know anymore.