December 13, 2011

raised by wind


You don't have to show me the end of a rope to know how it's hung. I've picked apart sailor knots to see how they keep, working my fingers almost to the quick, but I have never bothered to learn how to tie them. The quicker lesson is always to deconstruct. Having never quite reaped the benefits of a wholesome challenge, I can at least share a quiet appreciation of its humble law.

I found myself tightening his knots the more he prodded at mine. He handled me. I knew it was only in return for my insolence, how I used every code of decorum to upstage his affection. I knew nothing of fastening them, but only the maintenance of tension-- if there were strings to be attached, they'd be just about taut as a drum right now.

"Someone said to me that I didn't get enough affection," he tells me. He means in general, since the past. I think it a bit odd that he chooses to say so now, as I've relented in letting his six foot frame occupy the left side of my twin bed. It's a small bed and I'm rarely keen on sharing it. Anyway, I'm unconvinced.

"That's funny because I was just telling myself that I don't get enough of a break," I retort. It's an easy quip, too easy and even a bit too sharp. I've just proved his point, but he still wraps his arm around my neck.
If you don't get enough affection, you must take it. It is perhaps the reason for his success and his misery. It isn't always easy to accept. I take most of it with a grain of salt and give about as much as I take. He kisses my shoulder and I think to myself, 'atta boy.

"You and I will be good for each other," he said several days ago. "I'm home before 4am and you need to get out more. We could help each other." The pitch smacked of sponsorship more than romance.

We often discuss parodies of romance and the bleak nature of human connection and our experiences with alienation and disappointment.
"You should date women your age or older," I tell him. He gives me a piteous look and I know he's right-- they're all quite taken at this point.
"All the good girls get snapped up around 25-27," he says, averting my eyes as if to say yes, you too will die. "I think I need to find someone young and kind of raise them in a way, you know?"
"To love you?"
"No, just to raise them. That's just how it needs to work."

I don't know if he means he wants someone to take care of or just someone to absorb his methods. It's so important, looking after. Everyone needs looking after. Too often, you raise a thing and it just runs off anyway. Domestic rebellion. Unlike the both of us, we did not so much run wild as lurk towards dreams. It's more than survival, it's a separation of desire and instinct. If he raised her would she tame him, in turn? It's a nice thought but I know better.
To be raised by wilderness implies a sharper instinct than reasoning. And what's reasoning against the instability of human nature and its arrogant expectations?

I think of his raising and of my own. Careful owls perched over coyote dens. Watchful and camouflage. Were there ever colorful deception, it was the fault of the prey, never his. It's just as well I'm underwater, well beneath the island he fancies himself. We meet at the surface, tethered to the element of our own familiar solitude. It's murky business, trading these wanton intervals.

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