and sage

There's some fat, nutcracker/Santa-looking thing sitting on the nightstand. I've no idea how it got here. It has some kind of seam circling its middle, and if you open it, there's probably a space for jewelry and as I'm waiting for a conference call to begin, I'm wondering if maybe I should start storing away all my memories into the shiny, ceramic belly. I could use a break from nearly a decade's worth of recollection. Some days it feels like I can see every instant, projected onto a wall full of monitors. There is no way to turn them off, their cords are hidden. I would smash them, but that seems dramatic, and I could not abide the mess. I used to imagine holding onto them as something to entertain me in old age. I had a life and a past and let it preoccupy me from the future, so likely when I've got none, I'll spend my days planning the years ahead. For laughs.

My niece had a baby and at Thanksgiving my step-father's dad couldn't remember me owing to dementia. I am halfway between the two of these people, years-wise, and should be able to walk the line dividing what's come and what's to come, but it's not a line so much as a rope. I am above the entirety of it all, and could just as easily fall onto the canvas or back onto the palette.

I was thinking about prisons. Not sure how universal this is, but the bars always seem to be vertical. People sit around and hypothesize about these things, you know. It is more likely because of economies of scale or perhaps a means to reduce suicide, though it could be a result of how we see poorly through horizontal lines. Maybe it discourages climbing, thus preserving our humanity. It could facilitate cleaning, the oils and disinfectants leveraging the pull of gravity.

In the book I'm reading, the world is overcome by monsters, and the surviving humans are running out of ways to keep themselves safe, and millenia of human ingenuity is reduced to fire and projectiles. But it seems to me the solution is something we are good at, building tiny, self-contained prisons. We plunge into shark infested depths ensconced in metal cages, and that seems to be the best strategy here in a world of zombies and vampires and memories.

Alex is gone for a few days, so it is easy to get lost in running errands. I have spent the past weekend drinking tea and running hot water over dirty dishes and nailing down loose floorboards. I tied my daughter's hair into a ponytail, only to lose the hairband, and we sidled into the bathroom to find another, holding the hair in place. I was making a soup with sweet potatoes and walnuts and pears and the hairband slid down my forearm onto my wrist. I used it to open the lock to my cell.


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