In a fit of having very little to actually say, I've retreated into gorging myself on other people's words. I've been scavenging them from the meager countryside as if they were morels in season: plucking them from the hand-hewn artisanal bark of upscale hipster bookstore shelves, tucking them down into my pockets with a slightly guilty look and pretending that they are to be shared with a friend and pretending that both the salesclerk and I don't know that they are all, unabashedly, for me to consume, quiet, on the couch cushions later, the whole mess of them, swallowed whole and wholly and holy in the night. I can't get enough of them. If I devour enough of them perhaps I'll find my own again.
It's not that I'm not writing. No, that doesn't let up easily, like gasping when your throat closes up in the middle of slumber, like coughing against the spasm of lungs, forcing the hot evening air up against you. It's full-blown summer here in Tennessee and it can't help but creep into the bed at night and so I've been hanging back, finding excuses to stay up late writing, trying to put polite distance between me and that needy, clingy heat. Scant breezes curl up against my bare ankles, purr all up on clenching toes. I'm picking pieces of the wind up out of my drink, shooing it from drinking the condensation off my beer bottle. I'm eyeing the bed as I push the weather off my lap but I'm choosing to write instead of laying down with that fragrant July. Too many words snagged up inside, making things difficult to keep down.
And that's probably the problem: an overabundance of things tangled up in the trap, clogging the gullet from having been eaten too quickly and not passed on. Trying to pull out the right words today was watching nasty dishwater glut itself on the expanse of the sink, take its sweet time making its way through the drainpipe of trying to articulate myself to another human being and just like that, the moment is gone and all that is left is debris hanging up on the metal sides. I'm poking the whole of it with a spoon, trying to get it to go down or get out, one or the other. Maybe it's the heat; maybe it's the hotness of everything ripe to the touch and swelling up as those otherwise tiny molecules of importance get agitated and bloom. Maybe it's my own head all full of heatstroke and temporary gasping, like a big meal digesting right before bed, like getting buried under the blankets in the middle of a dream and finding yourself swampy and distraught as you fight your way up and out. Maybe it's just poisoning, like something soured and you'd already had half of it down in you before your brain connected the dots. Maybe Maybe Maybe.