outwait outrun outwit


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this is not a happy ending

So far, I ride the newly foaled year on equally wobbly limbs. Too cold to simply dream; act. I play pinball badly, paint angry horses stampeding across the canvas, yodel early Madonna for a birthday girl at the Mint while strangers lift their diva noses haughty at our laughter-choked howls. Balance dare-bedeviled bare feet on a beam quaking over space vast and empty.


In late December, I negotiated a certain peace with a childhood of terrors now rendered minor, a burp in history, or, more appropriately, letters to the child now grown, smudged and creased with much caress, carefully wrapped together with twine and shelved in my memory-house. Perhaps I will run my fingers over them, in wonder: This was mine?


Now an unequivocal statement that astounds, since it drops from the lips of a pessimist, however reprobate: Iíve committed myself to joy. And that vow to joy isnít at all about waiting and dreaming idle, wildly; critical of sentimentalism masquerading as epiphany, this impetus requires new strategies, adventures plenty and solitude nightly, necessary experiments in living alone in a city suddenly too small for my feet.


Perhaps the closest I ever gotten to this vow was last late summer, when I stood atop the dilapidated parapet of a fortress overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, blowing dandelions bald with Niva under a sky burnished sweet peach. There, our words tangoed limber as we meandered over space and place and the oppressions and repressions that occur within them. Standing somewhere between the unfamiliar and home, my agoraphobia, the bed-fellow fear of being public, seemed foolish, the deeply interior and hysteric parts of me unable to contest even the phantom of freedom.


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