The first day of spring

Why do the worst things always seem like a good idea at first? As if the subconsciousness overcompensates in guilt. The subconscious knows all and only in hindsight can we admit this – I admit it now the first day of spring and the innocent birds are serenading this new phase of the world; I sit with cigarette in hand beginning to see through the veneer of delusion I fool myself into when night falls. The sun hasn’t risen yet and I savour the last moments of the darkness. I feel safer when I can’t see things so clearly. My derided delusions protect me but they are as fickle as these swirls of smoke, when the light catches its writhing ribbons it seems so solid, so real, but nothing could be less perennial.

God, why are the trees so sure of themselves in unmoving indifference of the world around them, why do I get caught like a seed in the wind, unable to resist the torrents of life? Someone please hold me down and tell me that everything is okay; or at least cling to me and freefall through the air with me to my certain demise – that ugly truth Allen Ginsberg spoke of, it is mine too, and at least I share this sadness with someone. I can’t feel arms wrapped around me, a heartbeat against my own, a breath in my ear that breathes in and out with me in the drowsy passing of life but at least I have my own sporadic heartbeat, my own shaking hands and my own unsure breath that will be with me till the end, and at least the earth is disdainful of the hopelessness in me as it continues its eternal cycle. The sky is still beautiful when I feel sad and the birds still sing when I am silent inside. The ground, it may shake and shudder and threaten me but it is always beneath my feet.

I can hear distant sounds of the world waking up from winter hibernation: cars and trains and all the people in this city still asleep. I hope their dreams make them smile absent smiles as the heavy arm of a lover cradles them. If I can’t be sure of my own goodness or the purity of my thoughts or of who I really am, I at least wish this certainty upon everyone else. Because when I see a stranger I am sure that they are a god, and it is only me who is shrunken and damaged and hopeless and alone. After a night with someone I can smell their scent in my hair, on my skin; I inhale it, with closed eyes I become the god I see in them, the release of being someone else for just a second. But like everything in life this doesn’t last.

Maybe someone once inhaled my smell in their skin and closed their eyes for a moment to savour knowing me, maybe strangers see me and believe I am good. Maybe these doubts and yearnings and staring up at the sky for an answer to this jealousy of the trees and their purposeful lives, this observation of the earth and its ceaseless continuation, this need to connect but not knowing how, maybe they know the senseless fear, maybe I’m not alone. But now only the birds and their calls and the morning sky and the silhouetted trees keep me company. It will be enough. I will call them my own and feel their limitless acceptance of me and my soul, gnarled like bark. The purity of this sunrise will cleanse me and I will be okay. Everything will be okay.


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