The Toad Woman
I saw the toad woman yesterday. I would have said I met her, but I didn’t really. She didn’t talk. In a way I guess she presented herself to me. I had never seen her before. Something in me knew she existed, but either she was buried too deep to come out or I was avoiding her. Probably some of both. In any case, I can’t figure out what her appearance means. Hello or goodbye? She only faced me for a few moments. I was so startled by the charred skin and coal eyes that I almost turned away in that kind of instant forgetfulness one achieves when one chooses to ignore that which is suddenly clear. Then she briefly showed me her back before moving out of sight and I realized who she was. Continue reading
It’s hard to speak, here, with the business looking over my shoulder. I have so much to say, but unlocking it is difficult. I need space. I need time. I have both, but they are stolen, like sips of whiskey from my parents cupboard. I need space and time of my own. I own so little these days, or is it just that I feel poor? Continue reading
I cannot exist at my job any more. There, I said it. My ability to ignore the truth for long periods, even after I’ve recognized it, stuns me. Why am I still here? I don’t know. The part of me that takes definitive action seems to be asleep. Why? I don’t know. Even in the face of all that I have learned my legs are frozen. My heart is frozen. My face is frozen from my constant, practiced neutrality. Continue reading
I am not what I watch on TV. I am not which toothpaste I use or which magazines I read. It doesn’t matter where I heard about your product. I don’t need what you’re selling. I don’t care which famous voice tells your lies. I’m not interested in your low, low prices. I am not your customer. I will not ask my doctor if your side effects are right for me. I do not accept your planet-killing sandwich. I am not a consumer, but a creator. An investigator. You can not imprison my imagination in your top 100 list. Or limit my choices with fashion. I am capable of more complex thought than your latest blockbuster, your hit series, your online poll could ever hope to inspire, even in your wettest marketing dreams. I am not a demographic. I will not give you my money. I will not give you my time.
I am. Not. Listening. To you.
I know nothing about myself. In acknowledging this, I allow myself to change. You’d think having a definition of yourself would be good. A stabilizing thing. Most of the time it feels that way. Good and stabilizing. Secure. But more and more I understand that I shift and blend like sand and the patterns I draw on my beach cannot be permanent or I cease to be a beach and become more like those strange lacquered sandcastles that populate gift shops — frozen and removed from my source. Continue reading