When I got back to my apartment I went into the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. There was reflecting water screwed to the wall. How did that get there I wondered. The idea of suicide tripped lightly in my mind. I turned on the sink’s hot water and washed my face and the steam rising became an echo of a poem that I had written for Emma. She had asked me who I was and I could hear her virtual voice. It was vulnerable and small, with just the right touch of hopelessness.
I answered her with this:
For some, not all, down upon our minds everything and nothing falls. It comes in wisps that move across our skin and in the way our lungs fill and cry. We think we are alive, but always we wonder: Is this enough? Is there no more? In the night as we toss the dark lines and look into the back of eyes, there, in the white reside of day’s light; we wonder, and wonder still, and we ask, am I really alive? Our time is short, this I know, as the clock ticks and glows by my bed and because of that I have stopped to hear and think and write my words, but I am lucky and I have lived, and now I want only to write and when what I need to do is silent and complete then I will die. I want to write a love that covers me with two doomed lives who together wander a burned-out town as they watch the armies ebb and flow into each other’s broken lines, broken walls, broken world: a whole love upon damaged ground. That is off the heart, and that is who I am Emma. Who are you?
I got the answer a few days later and I didn’t like it. Who knew. Who knew.
(Living and Dying with Dogs: Turbo Edition)