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The Weather Diaries - 4. Rocket Silver Symphony

September 30, 2018

 

 

Sun is up and the day goes right for me
I'm moving up in a way that's rightfully
Ringing out yeah, your day calls out to me
I'm moving up, can't contain the light I see

All around me the air sings infinity
Chin is up and the scene is on to me
Coffee cup and I'm sailing out to sea
I'm moving up in a way that seems to be

 

 

 

This is not a sob story. It's record keeping, I guess. Enough people had said, “You're a writer, why not write about it?” In most ways, I'd set out to prove it couldn't be done.

 

And it couldn't be done.

 

I'm a fiction writer. We’re an indirect bunch. We tinker behind made-up worlds rather than ever facing our own. Doing the unflinching work of looking at yourself in the mirror and reporting back from the crash sight. That’s what memoir writers are good at, poets.

 

But when you’re weaving fiction, you imagine yourself like the gods, so you’d never have to acknowledge their non-existence. When you’re trading in hard truths for pretty wisdom, it’s possible to scatter old bits of yourself throughout your labor like compost, fertilizing the soil to make room for more work.

 

Fiction writers. We pour our inner lives into ink, so when you ask who it is that we are, we point to characters, fake towns, and bossa nova records. What exactly, did that add up to be?

 

*

 

Fired from my mind

Like a silver symphony

Out of my mind, rocket silver symphony

 

“Just tell me something. What are you even trying to do out there?” he said. He wouldn't allow me to answer before he bulldozed along, “You know what you're turning into?”

 

I squeezed my eyes shut for a moment, thinking he would mention my brother, who had sent himself into an exile in San Francisco.

 

“You're trying into a gypsy,” he said, “Rootless!”

 

But Romanies, Ramblers, sojourners, for all intents and purposes, were a nomadic people--the tug of the road called at their feet regularly. My roots were just never strong enough to take hold, that was the difference. I’d resigned myself to accept that eventually, picking up and leaving would get easier each time. I’d pack lighter and leaner, to get to where I was going in half the time. 

 

 

I felt the strength to talk to my father flagging. The whole sum and substance of the past week, all I’d done was explain myself to people. And it had just reached a critical mass. If I took him up on this, it would spiral into another fight, and prolong this argument about leaving, about my rootlessness. If I took the time to explain myself--we'd be there for another hour.

 

“You can either support me on this or stop speaking to me altogether,” I said, keeping my voice steady.

 

I’d been twenty-one and displaced before, with a seventy-five pound dog and no credit. I’d rented my first apartment after five months of searching. I carried my tips home from waiting tables, hiding away the bills when I walked home at night, so I wouldn’t have my wages robbed off me. They hadn’t cared about my capabilities, then. Or that I was making ends meet on my own. 

 

“I’m an adult, and have been for a while, I have the right to make reasonable decisions--so let me have that. Or, if you want to go back to not talking again, we can do that, too. But I’m here, and I love you for when you do want to talk.”

 

I wasn’t going to ask anyone’s permission to be anymore. Because I was already here. I’d gone through so much and pulled myself up so far--if someone couldn’t see that--it would be a long time yet. But for now, they were hurting, angry, and confused, and I understood that. I’d been there myself.

 

The problem was that I couldn’t fix anyone’s problems. I couldn’t do it in my relationship, I can’t do it with my parents. I could only try to start tilling the soil of my own mess. It was time to start terraforming a whole new brain, to build a whole new colony on the clouds of all my former dreams.

 

You know, New York State has this motto: “Excelsior.” Ever upward. I’ve been liking the sound of that.

 

Fired from my mind
Like a silver symphony
Out of my mind, rocket silver symphony

 

Here it comes like a silver symphony