#503: THREE HOURS
I am on the bus with a computer! This is so novel. Technically, no, more than technically, this IS the Fiery One's laptop, so I have never taken it out with me anywhere before. He went up to Cosmopolis a day ahead of me and forgot to take it, so here I am, his laptop transporter, abusing my position for a little face time with a text document. Such is my addiction to this bright, electric rectangle.
The highway feels wild through the shell of this huge vehicle. The wind is dashing across the prairie, driven by the heat and the freedom of the flat, open land. It always strikes fear in me to hear the wind pounding on the bus windows, because it sounds like crashing water over a falls. It sounds powerful, and I imagine that all our rocking and lazy swerving is a result of its force. I watch the other vehicles passing us to see if their trailers are fishtailing and hope that their hitches have them securely moored.
If I get all poetic on your asses, you'll just have to ignore it and keep shuffling along. I have been living primarily in my own head for many hours now since I last saw the Fiery One yesterday morning. A day-and-a-half may not seem long, but I have a tendency to crawl up into my own brain and forget myself there. The Fiery One manages to pull me out often enough to keep me functional, so in his absence I have been going pruny in my brain juice. Even at work today, I had very little interaction with anyone, and while I was typing and researching and whatnot, my brain was off noodling around with ideas and words. I got thrown off the linear path.
This computer tells me that it has alread burned through 31% of its power. This is ridiculous. How am I supposed to relax and just enjoy this shit when I know, that as of this coming comma, I have used up an additional 2%?
That was a terribly unattractive and annoying way to have to punctuate the end of that sentence, but I'm not going to burn up the power to go back and fix it. I will, though, waste tons of power bitching about it. Isn't that the way we tend to work? Shit starts failing, and we'll spend at least 75% of our remaining time bitching about how the shit is failing and likely less than 25% of time actually concentrating on what we can productively accomplish before it's all over.
I have discovered that I am an idealist and that I want things to be nice and work and not be like they usually are, which is hard. I want people to be kind and thoughtful, and I want food and housing to be inexpensive, and I want communication to be easy, and I want to be able to remember and forget at will, and I want to stop getting this annoying and infected acne under my chin, and I want and I want and I want. Maybe I'm not an idealist. Maybe I am supremely lazy and reproachfully selfish. Maybe I should go the third way and accept this place for what it is and just keep moving through it.
The first day of our move, I approached our new building in order to unlock the front door so that we could carry boxes upstairs. There was a cat outside who looked almost exactly like Oskar, but he was not Oskar. I didn't know that at the time, so I scolded the false Oskar and scooped him up to give him kisses. We are simultaneous love-haters, the two of us, cursing and kissing interchangably. It was only when I scrutinized the false Oskar's eyes that I knew it was not him. If I had not noticed the subtle difference between their eyes, I might have taken that false Oskar upstairs and chalked his odd behaviour up to the trauma of the move to a new apartment.
And then, just now, I was noting the shape of the silhouette of the guys's neck in front of me reflected in the window. Before reason kicked in, I thought, Oh, there's the Fiery One! If the Fiery One died in some horrible accident and his features were obliterated, would I be able to identify his body beyond the shadow of a doubt? I don't know. I might not.
Even these warm bodies we inhabit are objects. They are objects like a chair or a cup or a stone. We are, to a certain extent, the unluckiest of objects, because we are aware of both our thingness and our not-thingness. We do all sorts of exercises to try to bring these two things together, the body and the spirit, but I don't believe it is possible. This body is a suit that we must wear until it wears out or is otherwise destroyed.
Those two instances in which I could not properly differentiate between a familiar body and another I did not know snapped the thingness of animated bodies into focus. This comforts, because I like to think that this body is but a short-term loan, but it also casts such an impenetrable pall of isolation over everything. My object-self might touch your object-self, but as much as the flesh is a vehicle for togetherness, it separates us.
Don't you just love my bus self talk?
Luckily, my existential funk is abating. Holy crap. Who's getting her period soon?
Shortly, I will get off this nauseating bus and there will be the Fiery One to greet me at the bus depot. Our thingnesses will get to hold hands with each other and make out and shit like that. These bodies are good for something.
When we were dating and living in different cities, I used to take the bus for three hours most weekends to be with him. Near the end of the trip, I would comb my hair and powder my nose and even use the revolting bus toilet so that I wouldn't have to leave him for even a second to pee when I arrived. I just found myself doing that again. Now I don't know if it's this weaving bus or the overwhelming schmoopy crap that's causing my stomach to toss around.
I like hour three. The sun is doing that long, evening, golden stretch across the thick prairie grasses, turning the whole world a warmer shade of yellow. It reminds me of old photographs.
Next stop: a visit with the in-laws and my parents. The stop after that: the pub in Cosmopolis with the Fiery One and Starcat, and maybe a Batty and a Frances and a K.
And now, I have used up all but 3% of the juice. The Fiery One will be so thrilled.