Because summer crawls away from me
My friend Marissa sent me this earlier this week in an email, and as I read the poem, it reminded me of how ephemeral everything really is, which sounds maudlin, but I don’t really mean it that way. Like the way summer slowly turned into fall this weekend, but I hope summer comes back, and maybe it will, but that’s not the point. The point is: some weekends summer turns to fall.
A friend from another lifetime called me on Monday from her pocket, and I was so excited to see her name on the ringer, but when I answered, it was static. We were friends once ten years ago. Close friends too. But still, not the kind of friend you expect to see on the display screen. And when I called back, hoping that it was a missed connection, a poor connection, a misconnection, she didn’t answer. They never do when you really want them to. And I thought about all the laughs we’ve shared and the times we didn’t hold onto, because, hell, who really who holds on to anything anymore… I wished she’d answered the phone. Maybe I could google everything about her I’ve forgotten. Maybe it’s cached somewhere for me to find.
But the moment passed, and there’s no sense in calling again. Calling, like falling, like walling, like wailing, like failing, like it all is just an intermingling of consonants, like people pass through our lives like vowels in a Wallace Stevens’ poem: melodically and temperamentally, nonsensical and rich. Like an uncle.
I remember discovering Wallace Stevens. My Freshman English teacher, a woman whose daughter would witness my first kiss, passed out “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” and being thirteen and full of wonder, I understood it. Don’t ask me now, but that day in Freshman English, Wallace Stevens understood something basic within this world that I felt in my bones — That the only sovereign is the sovereign of impermanence. There is only ephemera.
There is no rational meaning. There is only this.
I’m sorry, I guess you could say I’m in a mood today. A friend called me from her pocket two days ago and didn’t answer when I finally rung back. Sometimes, I don’t handle rejection well. Sometimes, I want a snowed-in life, a life lived with a blindfold.