I took up my chisel and spent decades learning to sculpt. I watched masters and amateurs, stopped and started, erred and marvelled, sometimes channeling the divine and sometimes chipping it astray. Often, I would simply look at the flecks of my efforts strewn to the ground. Often, I would cry for these scrapped carvings, wondering if my work would ever be done, my mind’s eye always in defiance. One day I showed you my labours, not exactly satisfied but contented by my efforts. ‘I love what you are making,’ you said, ‘but I really love what it’s made from.’
I have to say it while she’s calm so I might get heard. You make me feel disentitled to my opinion. She doesn’t look at me, ‘Is disentitled a word?’ I think so. ‘And that’s your opinion?’ That’s condescending. ‘No sweetie, that was patronising. This conversation is me condescending.’ You fucking strip me of my humanity and then blame me for being a zombie, like a proper voodoo puppet for you to play with. I feel like I’ve been shot and asked to pay for the medical expenses. ‘Oh, sweetie,’ she says, ‘we both know you couldn’t afford that.’
I keep dropping your brain on people that don’t even know you. Yeah, I say, you were telling me about that the other day, or showed me this article, or read it, said it, did it… All the things you know and do in my conversations; depth, breadth and dimensions, I only wish it were truly you and not just your thought. Actually, I was telling my friends only the other day about how you’d said that or something similar, I think. Funny, I can’t quite remember now, I’ll have to ask you next time I talk to someone.
I cried myself a river and floated bodily down it. Occasionally I would reach into the brackish wake, hoping to steer by manipulating the past. Of course, I hit every rock I could, lamented the rest, and yearned for the coast. Though I found the tumult quite comfortable, as my journey lengthened I wondered to what end I was headed. The more I thought about it the more the river receded. Eventually I found myself beached, standing upon a raft of experiences and wondering what next. I looked to the horizon, saw a mirage and decided it was real.