It is one of those days. Miles Davis playing some reedy notes, wailing at me, phone calls going wrong, people calling me old, or commenting on the fact I have an accent, or reading about anti Asian sentiment in my beloved San Francisco. I appear to have irritated the Boy somehow, and he is staring at a page of math trying to work out how to raise his grade to the A that he covets. I have no seed butter for my gluten free bread, and the hospital kicked out Billy, saying he was stable and uncooperative. He is confused, stroke-addled, booze-soggy, he has no capability of making sensible decisions by himself and is now in a church parking lot calling me plaintively crying that he has no idea where he is or what is going on around him, nor of how to get his meds or to appointments that he needs to go to. He needs to be in a care facility, desperately needs looking after. I just can’t. I can’t.
Which brings me to that which is left. The remainder. The uneaten part of the pie. What remains after the phone calls, the insults, the othering, the abuse. What is left of me that is not yet used? What rotten part of the apple isn’t showing tooth marks and scars and open flesh decaying in the oxygen and light? Trying to grasp onto it all and not to sigh, “to hell with it then,” tossing the lawn-mower into the ditch, and letting it all go to seed and rust.
What is left after the everything removed is considered, an empty body, a Gollum whose sole purpose was to produce and protect then conveniently fall to dust once the paper is gorged out of clay mouth, fingers down animated throat, digging in the mud until scroll is retrieved and conveniently, made to order, burying itself into which it was raised. It cannot be, that seed, that pin prick light, that something that wasn’t taken, that was not for sale. My second hand crown. My dignity. My strength and my demise. Oh to be born again! Not a Gollum-mother the clay of my body straining against the leash and crop of my biological destiny, then discarded as unimportant, superfluous, used, reached the conclusion of my destiny and thrown on the trash fire of life.
What is left is not what was before, not as the iron and carbon sitting impurities not driven out are not steel. Not as a tree isn’t paper. Or sand is not yet glass. Not refined by heat, and pressure, water and sweat. I’m not what I was, and it was not worth the price of admission. It isn’t worth the ticket at the gates of Hell. Oh to live in blissful happy ignorance! Bad knowledge, cruel wisdom and I am still nothing but a fool, dancing out the tarot card, jester shoes capering down the road shouting “to be free!” To be free. To be free. Quite the clown. Almost the joke.