Cry of the Heart
This is what it’s like to go insane.
How do I say it? Not really possible not at all possible because it’s not really real not really real not really real because it’s not possible not possible because it wasn’t possible last night and it wasn’t possible this morning and it’s not possible now but now it seems real and still can’t be possible and I know I have to say it can’t say it have to say it how do I say it?
Crazy crazy crazy. Crazy crazy crazy. Crazy crazy crazy crazy crazy not crazy not crazy very real but can’t be real doesn’t feel real the images don’t fit together. Toast this morning, cold to the touch because I got up late but toast this morning with butter sitting hard on top like a corpse. Like a corpse? How the hell can I say like a corpse? A corpse? Not a corpse, it’s butter, dumbass, and toast but the toast was cold because I didn’t get up with the alarm and there’s a schedule to keep places to go people to see things to do and so it’s all about that cold toast with the dead butter lying flat on top like… like… So it can’t be real, but the cold toast was definitely real this morning it was real, really real like all the little things before have been really real because they sometimes leave a bad taste in the mouth like cold toast washed down with coffee sitting too long in a cup. Bitter bitter bitter bitter way too bitter to wash down something that hard needed something warmer something softer like hair to make it taste better. Like hair? Not hair to wash it down that’s stupid but hair that’s soft to the touch and real, really real like all the little things that connect you to a single moment, a special moment, even if that moment’s happened a bazillion times before because there’s hair right now and the promise of cold toast and coffee tomorrow morning if I wake up late.
Up on time up on time never up on time and she’s always waiting, waiting waiting waiting and what the hell was I waiting for? No harm in waking up late should have gotten up on time what’s the problem with getting up on time I had plenty of sleep last night no dreams but got up late because I’m lazy. Just a fat lazy bastard with no reason to stay asleep but just needed those ten extra minutes just ten extra minutes ‘Just another ten minutes’ like I have all the time in the world to spend breathing into a damn pillow with my fat gut hanging out of my shirt when I could’ve been up I could’ve been should’ve been up and now those ten minutes are gone completely wasted absolutely spent never coming back because I just needed ten more minutes of sleep for no damned reason whatsoever. Dumb dumb dumb stupid dumb lazy fatass needs ten minutes to get up won’t even get up to the smell of hot coffee and warm toast and who knows what else after she was waiting if I’d only dragged my ass out of bed just ten minutes sooner.
Just another morning just another morning it was just another morning and how do they expect me to get through it all the doctors in white coats and nurses looking at me like ‘Why isn’t it you?’ when they should really be asking ‘Why isn’t it you?’ Not the way they’re thinking it but I can’t control that can’t control that lost all control not in control no control it was taken from me the moment they gave that idiot a cell phone and a license to drive and I just needed ten more minutes to wake up wake up wake up oh, please God just wake up.
But still the nurses are looking at me and the doctors shuffle around pretending they know what to do when there’s no way in hell any right-thinking person would have any idea what to do because it’s too much it’s too much it’s all got to be too much if it’s too much for me why isn’t it too much for them? How can I say this I can’t say this they expect me to say this but they shouldn’t be done yet I know they shouldn’t be done yet there’s no way they could be done yet and they all deserve to have their heads cut off for walking away like that chop chop chop chop chop because they’re done too soon and they don’t care like I care like I care with an ache in my marrow they should care more like I do like I do and they don’t. They work and they work but not long enough not nearly long enough and they don’t care like I care and they fling pretend words at each other in a made-up language that only doctors and morons can understand so they can all pretend they have access to some secret store of knowledge the rest of us don’t and all the while they’re just thinking ‘holy shit holy shit holy shit’ because the images aren’t possible not possible but it all seems so possible from a distance, all the blood and the slackness and the bones poking like broken wet sticks through flesh that isn’t perfect but is perfect was made perfect it was perfect and how the hell am I supposed to say this there’s no possible way I can say this because there was cold toast this morning and a slab not a slab not a slab never say the word slab again of butter sitting lifeless and salty on top of a crust that didn’t want it and coffee who the hell decided coffee was good for breakfast that stuff’s way too bitter and the whole freaking world knows it that’s why we need so much crap to make it taste better and that’s the first thing we want to drink in the morning? Taste taste taste I can still taste the blood in my mouth because there’s still blood in my mouth and the nurses are watching me like it’s my turn next and the cut in my mouth is all I’ve got I’m lucky lucky lucky just one lucky little cut in my mouth and the taste of blood and cold toast and coffee and the doctors have already moved on because there’s nothing left to do but the paperwork and the memory of hair on a pillow and the lucky little cut lining my tongue with blood.
Thump. Hair on my hands on her pillow. Thump-thump. Hair over her eyes as I cup her face. Thump-thump, thump, thump. Last night was a moment, wasn’t it? One of those special moments that’s happened a bazillion times before but was special because it’s happened a bazillion times before even though there was nothing special just the touch of her hair and her smile as I kissed her goodnight. Something simple something simple so very common it’s unique to us and our friends laugh at it and strangers smile at it and our kids are embarrassed by it but who gives a damn I’ll kiss her whenever I want to whenever I want to I’ll kiss her and kiss her and kiss her because we want to and to hell with the rest of you. So, so, so simple but we never forget to do it first thing in the morning last thing at night ‘always kiss me goodnight’ it says above our bedroom door, a plaque we bought to remind us to love each other even when we don’t want to love each other and maybe that’s how I can say it? Is that how I can say it?
Just give her a kiss goodnight?
It shouldn’t be real but it is and I don’t know how to say it but it needs to be said and we were just running errands and now it’s done it’s all done and there’s nothing left to do but wait my turn if there’s any mercy in You it’ll be my turn soon and how do I say it? I can’t say it but there’s the proof lying there on the bed and my hand through the hair that’s still so soft but everything else is cold so very cold and all I feel is a terrible heat I can’t purge it won’t purge I’m alone now and there’s nothing left to cool me off I’ve got to say it just say it figure out a way to say it because I’m going to hate myself for the rest of my life if I don’t say it so just freaking say it just swallow no swallow again that lump won’t go away can’t breathe past the lump so swallow again I’m blubbering like a damned schoolgirl I must look ridiculous and now no one’s looking at me at all and I’m really really standing here so just say it.
So now I say it. I say it and stroke the hair and remember this is real because the proof is here and they shouldn’t have stopped working but the proof is here and I can’t ignore it can’t ignore it can’t bear to look at it because all I want to do is look at it and see her for her with that smile and the wagging finger as I finally drag myself into the kitchen and she tells me it’s too late I’m too late and all I get now is cold toast and coffee unless I make something for myself and I haven’t got any idea how to do anything for myself and now I’m going to have to do everything myself everything everything everything and there’s half of me lying stiff as cold butter on a slab because I was too lazy to get up and get it while it’s hot.
“Goodbye, baby.” A whisper not a scream just a hoarse whisper not a scream it’s almost a scream I’m going to scream if I keep standing here keep standing here can’t leave keep standing here and ten minutes is ten minutes is ten minutes is forever now it’s forever I’ll never get those ten minutes back and who knows what might have been after cold toast and coffee. Now give her a kiss just one last kiss and maybe she’ll wake up again there could be a spark in the stories there’s always a spark and maybe this time there’ll be a spark and later some time to heal so it won’t be the last kiss but just another kiss goodnight and there’s no way to say goodnight but maybe this kiss will spark and she’ll wake up again and I can have forever back and where is the spark where is the spark isn’t there supposed to be a spark? If anyone has a spark she’s got a spark and she had a spark there’s always a spark and now there’s no spark so hate myself go ahead hate myself I’ve earned the right to hate myself hate myself hate myself hate myself. Forever.
This is what it’s like to go insane.