Without Intention


There’s something terrifying about staring at an empty page you don’t have any intentions for (of course). There’s something terrifying about living without intentions, feeling empty and undernourished, waking up in the morning and spending hours coming into yourself. Anything else right now would be a relief. When a day off isn’t a day off but a kind of necessary reformation, when you’re stringing yourself together after a long time of having come apart… When you have to string yourself together mindlessly to embark in any direction.


The Grey Tiger must be a disappointment to its owners—it has so much potential, but it’s never full, and the man and woman who own it always seem in a dark mood. Or rather the woman is always bright and cheerful when you say hello, but the man sits darkly at the counter, reading a newspaper, or stalks back and forth behind the bar, occasionally walking up to the woman while she is in the middle of some task. Bending over her. Putting a scowl into her. His body language suggests correction—somehow she has wronged him. Both proprietors are tight, coiled, but the man is like a cobra waiting to strike and the woman is like a tensed fist waiting to relax. If you startle her she might break down in either tears or laughter.


I’m on the verge of something and I’m not sure what it is—in a couple months I’m returning to school. Soon I will quit my job. Perhaps very soon. I’m exploring new relationships. But it’s none of those things. There’s something flipping inside me, something that can’t be expressed or addressed. It’s nothing I can say. But I feel as if I am mounting a cliff. I feel as if I am slowly coming to a new vantage… And that whatever it is that I see will change me, in a way I can’t yet understand. I want to relax in something. I am eager to. But I also know that I won’t be able to relax—I want to feel charged and excited. I want to feel alert and vital. I want to be focussed and expressive. And right now I am none of those things, except in an imagined future or the distant past.

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