Saturday, March 6, 2010

Morning After

I am not getting dressed today. I've been awake for three hours, but the day still hasn't convinced me that time is moving onward. I did take off the giant t-shirt and old shorts I sleep in, hours ago. But I couldn't bring myself to put on the constraining uniform of stitched fabric and seams that opens the door into the external world. I can't stand the wires and zippers today. Denim would be a straightjacket to me today. Even a t-shirt has too much shape.

Instead, I am wrapped in a sarong, folds that drape around me and a knot at my shoulder. A few tugs and the whole thing will dissolve into a pool of green on the floor. I can escape any time I want. To get out of a shirt or pants, I would have to remove myself from their shapes: squirm and pull and duck my head and bend my elbows, step out of the pant legs, ease the waistband past my hip bones. The clothes, thrown to the floor, pile up, as though they are trying to stand on their own, manikin-like. Oh, they definitely have their own agenda. They want me to fit into them, to fill them out, to be the right proportions, to distribute myself into the right places.

The sarong, though, moves around me. It is content to become the garment I want. If I ask it, it will be a simple blanket. It would be glad to be a curtain for me, it would be honored to be a veil for me, or even a shroud, if it came to that. The sarong conforms to what I already am, and if I want freedom, it will unfurl from around me and fall away--

and I will stand alone and bare--

my hair falling down my back, uncombed--

I wish I had wild curls like a waterfall, not this clean, straight flow of hair like a smooth river. I am wishing, today, for hair that tumbles and quarrels and can't make up its mind, hair that fights itself and refuses to be untangled, hair that shapes itself and becomes a sculpture.

I am a mess. Hair is sprouting from my legs, like the first grass growing in the spring. My armpits aren't clean and bare like a marble floor, but fertile like a stone grown mossy by the river. I am a meadow of weeds and wildflowers, not a garden with paths and flowerbeds.

Rain, fall on me. Sun, let me drink you in. This is where I am right now--sitting aside for the moment, just being what I feel. Just being.

Remembering: I am alive.

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