A Move to Stillness
So I’m back in Berlin and have been back for a bit. It is so dreary and rainy but at least not freezing. My first German winter was horrible. I felt like I was dying. Not having any sun affected me so much. Now it’s calm. But for how long?…
I’ve been staying with my friend Mary. We’ve spent days just talking about being disappointed in men and art and music and being strange. I feel like it kind of sucks for strange girls. Especially when you are nearing 30 and not very much a girl anymore. Even as a girl I lacked that “girlishness” that made a female cute and innocuous. I had it at first but then after awhile it was always “she scares me sometimes…”
I don’t mind being scary. I actually quite like it. But it’s just so disappointing to always have to…it’s like walking around in an unmarked box with the lid on. It’s so easy to find out what’s inside. Just open the lid and see. But that’s too much of a problem for some people. They’d rather just take a glance, make their deductions based on NOTHING of relevance and then move on; clinging to their shallow judgements as if it were actual fact.
I don’t like wearing everything on my sleeve. I think it’s boring. Or it can be. I like reservedness and propriety. I enjoy choosing not to do things and not saying other things. I feel power in silence and being in control of myself is thrilling. And choosing to let go of or give up that control is just as thrilling. I dunno. I’m always much more impressed with people who could but don’t. Not because they can’t, but because they’d simply prefer not to. I used to not be able to. Now I can and more. And sometimes I do. But as a general state of being? I’d just prefer not to. Yes, it’s cleaner. Safer. You only get your hands dirty when necessary, but also, it’s my defiance. I was always surrounded by people that just compulsively do everything all the time. Compulsively say everything all the time. Everyone always sees those people as confident but I always saw them as the most frightened people in the room. I didn’t buy it.
I still don’t. I will walk into the room, neatly and conservatively (yet colorfully and stylishly) dressed. I will sit down in the chair, straight-backed, cross my legs and neatly clasp my hands on my lap. I will say hello, maybe with a smile, maybe with a nod, be polite and say excuse me, please and thank you. I won’t get drunk, I won’t get high. I won’t even raise my voice, if I choose to even say another word. And the seas will crash and the tornadoes will come and I’m not worried. Straight-backed in my chair. Eyes ahead. Maybe a smile, maybe not. With a heart on fire, prose in my pocket and eyes as wide as the first day.
THAT is my defiance. And I will not move.