I was planning on leaving the middle-of-nowhere until I happened upon a shed this afternoon. It spoke to me. “Stay and Die,” it said. “But Die slowly, like a Buddhist, and know that there is nothing else to attend to.” Inside the shed, rotting furniture, an old iron bed post, broken dishes, a child’s wooden rocking horse. Snow melting through a hole in the roof. I thought about the Cabaret Symposium at Yale, my novel, my bank account, my ego, my aging, still smiling eyes. I felt my strong, healthy body moving effortlessly as I pressed through deep iced snow, a crunch and a crunch, in the still air. I peaked through broken windows into old lives. No ghosts remained. Just the message: “Stay and Die” or “Go and Die”- but know about death and the heartiness of life, and as Beaudelaire said so magnificently, “Drown yourself in it, whatever it is. Whatever moment of your life it is, drown in it.” Take it in fully and dont think about the Yale Cabaret Symposium, or the novel, or the bank account, or your age, or what you can accomplish if you just, if you just…. Get drunk on everything, every moment.
And I did. I got drunk in the shed, because of the shed and because my body took me to the shed without a hitch. In the shed, the rusting, irretrievable, useless past. Useless, like memories and manufactured yearning.
I must let go and be. I fight it, because I will not be able to make the authorities happy. My reviews will be small, on page 12. My gifts, supressed and shaped to entertain the targeted mob. Oh, I am alone. Will they take my home away from me if I become myself? The shed offers itself. I will accept.