“Little darlin’, it’s been a long, cold, and lonely winter.”
Fog settled in sometime last night and blanketed my town. We weren’t supposed to get rain until later in the weekend, but recently nature’s been showing us the lengths it’ll go to prove us wrong. It was an unexpected but appreciated change from the constant snow showers; it changed things temporarily without the frustration of rising snow mounds mixed with trash and gravel. Its affects are immediate; erasing entire houses, buildings, worlds from their present. A lot of people I know have compared it to a horror story; they focus on the anxiety, fear, and temporary loss of knowing that wraps around them in a field of grey. Strange, it gives me comfort.
I took a drive in it, I’ve been feeling on tilt lately and wanted to try and relieve myself from some of the building pressures of life. Since I’m already without clarity, driving through it couldn’t hurt. At first, I almost took a trip past the veterinarian office where I put my cat down almost 3 months ago. I don’t know why I wanted to pass it, I never intended to go inside; I just wanted to see what was further down the road my cat and I watched 2 nights before I put her down. Maybe I was just trying to replace a memory of loss with one of continuation. Whatever the reason, I drove in that direction anyway.
Halfway there, I shifted course and decided to drive to an affluent neighborhood in Bergen County and write without the potential of running into somebody I know. I’ve eaten in this town before, some really good local places, but never felt this strangely while here. When I walked into the Starbucks most people were wearing luxury brand clothes, rain boots, and umbrellas; I clutched my pea coat close to my body hoping nobody would notice the missing top button. My messenger bag has ripped at least 3 times, I’ve had it since I was 16; the clasp is held into the bag through the second hole I’ve made with scissors.
Nobody here seemed to notice me, my bag, or my coat. Ordered my iced coffee, got a strange look from the barista,
“Nothing in it?”
“Black’s fine, thanks.”
I’m not sure why, but when I first sat down I imagined every person in here discussing the floaty sweetness of 19th century romantic poetry. Maybe it’s the faces they make, their hand gestures, their guarded and crossed body language: a dissonance between them and myself. Made me think about why I don’t write too much poetry anymore, it used to come out more often than any story. Before this blog, in fact, I had never finished a single story I began. My poetry, though nice, usually needed a dictionary’s companionship to wade through it. Maybe it reflected a different fog I was in during the time, something only accurately shown through post-education language and heavy handed symbols. Since then I’ve tried hard to simplify things around me, including the words I use. It’s why I’ve been writing prose lately. I’m still fogged over, like outside, but the words make a little more sense to me without all that sugar. I feel strange in here, an outsider. I’m more comfortable in the fog; it gives me a greater sense of closeness with the world I usually feel somewhat separate from.
Meter’s almost up (30 minutes for a quarter / 2 hours max), so I need to head out from here and head further towards the end of the day. If I stop somewhere else today (most likely), I’ll add to this post. For once, I’m not sure why I’m posting. This has nothing to do with waiters, or modeling, fiction, or fragments of embellished life. Maybe that’s exactly why I am; some people have the moon to make them feel a sense of self — I have this fog. I should use it for everything I can while it’s around.
As soon as I stepped outside thinking of fog, it had all cleared and magenta spread across clouds while the sun humbly bowed for night behind them. I stopped at the meter and looked towards the color, watching it manage to evaporate the fog and my mood. I drove away watching it, thinking of the heavy-handed symbol I’d been thrown in and thinking about all day. Maybe my life is more like a poem than I’d like to let off, I like looking for symbols meant only for me. I like incorporating them into my stories, even if sometimes they’re meant only as a road map for me.
My relationship with foggy weather is harder to explain than I thought; Gina was a bit worried about a tweet I posted about it. It makes me feel a certain way and I think that might be most important, important enough that I need to write honestly about it and share it with whoevers willing to read. Fog will always bring me to a place of memory, and these days there’ve been some rough ones, but it also represents something new. I can create anything if everything’s foggy, there aren’t any parameters set up. I don’t need to worry about watchful eyes; I can’t see them through it, they can’t see me. If whatever I create in the fog is good enough, maybe it’ll break it up and set up where I stand. I won’t have to move towards some constant; if I fail in the fog, only I see it.
I’m not afraid to be in my fog. I don’t necessarily embrace it. I just take it as I do, for as long as I will, until either I walk my way out or it dissipates in front of me. I’d rather the later; I’d like to come to terms with my own thoughts and build foundations where I stand. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and all that, but it was those steps that brought me to the fog. It’s time to stand still a little and think. Christ, there it is, the heavy symbol for the piece — I can’t get away from poetic influences even when I try …