Myths of Stillness

Is this the best atmosphere to write in? I don’t know. It’s so lively. My drink was taking long. I had to go to the bathroom. When I came back the brunette behind the counter exclaimed, “Oh! That’s where you went!”

*

It is alien here. At these tables I realize home is pleasing: waiting until the dog is calm, Lisa asleep, staying up ’til two, inhabiting the empty cluttered basement, the page. How did I find this routine when I worried no routine would come? I thought this house so haunted I’d be chased into the night. That I would dream ghosts I’d burp up in my sleep.

*

The corner of this chain café is extremely moody. I am there, and this kid I’ve seen before. Pensive. Thoughtful. Too thoughtful, maybe. Insinuating. He doesn’t even have a book. He’s always asking the girls questions. I think he goes here to get away, and because he likes one of the girls.

*

As exciting as new bodies are and as curious as the mind always is I must resist or perhaps save my indulgences for the page. Yes, but satisfaction (even illusory) does not necessarily lead to good writing.

*

I am thinking of the brunette I see always working here. There is no connection between us, I just enjoy watching her operate. It feels creepy but it is the privilege of the still to watch the active. I have always been this way. I wonder if she lives in Orangeville, what life in this place is like (as if I’m elsewhere).

*

The teen sports queen continues to glance at me. I see her out of the corner of my eye. She has a funny busy life. On top of her school sports she plays some sport whose name I cannot pronounce. There is no team in Orangeville, in Caledon, in Inglewood.

She’s done it now: she laughs and turns to share the joke.

But I’m not watching her.

*

I wish I was asleep.

*

Is that J— L—? Maybe I know somebody here. These bodies are so familiar but I did not think I knew any one. Maybe I know one. It is maybe her. I have not seen her in some time. I do not know if her family still lives here, if they are even still alive. I do not know what she is like. I do not know if she will recognize me. I do not know if it is her. It is not her. It is not her.

No. It is really not her.

*

The other girl behind the counter is slim and slightly angular. There is a masculinity in her features, not unattractive: she looks like a pioneer or a Twenties flapper. I can see myself with all women: that is imagination. But I can see myself with this one sincerely. The other I do not think I could stand. But I do not know either of these women.

*

I hate to overhear petty differences relayed in great detail. With spouses, parents, siblings. Talk to them. And if that doesn’t work talk to yourself. This is perhaps not a charitable or even realistic notion.

*

It is my nervousness that causes me to act hard towards others. I wish I could excise that from my soul. If I want to change it perhaps I can.

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