This I Believe

Alice - Evanston, Illinois
Entered on January 30, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50

I believe that if I move quickly enough I will set something turning. A potters wheel: clay molded in the middle, waiting for the thumb to open a new bowl or (and here the word escapes me as I move against it) the old-fashioned playground equipment that circled and circles. I remember holding onto the warm, somehow scented metal of the railing. Dizziness claiming me there and then.

I believe my backyard is my graveyard. Having spent so many of my best hours here when I die I will migrate beneath the earth’s crust and perfectly distribute my atoms within the rectangle. I believe metaphor can be seen as the distillation of greed. My proclivity, my poet-ness that falls so easily into seeing the raindrop slipping down the window pane as a cold and exiled tear—this urge and talent is in some way a wickedness: an impatient draining of the real into an adjacent world of metaphor—a systematic way of choosing inner over outer, me over them.

And I believe it is boring that people I know are beginning to die. I would so prefer the opposite: cronies allied in impervious good health, forested in by whispering envy and the sweet shock of doctors. When I close my eyes I see my dead and ill friends strung across the map of the US like little red stars like hotel markers or airports.

I believe metaphor is a balm and also cold snow after a sauna, a re-boot, x-ray vision. The clouded, mottled red globe grape which I just ate is my infected left breast— a breast with no reasonableness, a breast endowed with such a memory that now almost 10 years after nursing it decides to welcome infection, now that I am closed and intact, now that no one draws from me.

I believe when I open my eyes I will see this bowl of grapes—little green still-moist beaks piercing the air to mark where I just plucked the fruit away—I will see that my mother’s detached retina, my dog stalwart and lame, my dear grandmother beset by pain, are a bowl of skin and flesh are just what I want. The word I was looking for earlier is roundabout and it is turning even now.