Drowning in the Shallows

I wished for a simple peace of mind.

It came to me on a street corner in New York City in the middle of the night as I was walking off a bout of insomnia and getting nowhere with it. And isn’t that the way it is? That you find somewhere in the middle of standing still.

It happened suddenly, like a lightning strike on a still night. It was a loose thought that got away from me. This thought that we’re all gonna die and that I might as well gain peace of mind before it’s done. It was taking me on this hopeless fucking trip, as if I’d just shot up Bukowski. You can overdose on bad shit like that, which is where the wish came in.

Wishes are crazy things. There’s a sanctified applique to wishes I never have been able to understand. They’re made of air and treated like Sanskrit. Wishing? It’s like popping coins in a soda machine and expecting holy water. And yet, that’s just what I did. I made this wish as if spinning freshly culled wool from a crescent shaped pasture in some odd sounding place. I made this wish with the very same intent . . . to chase away the cold fisted melancholy. To brave the chill with warmth. It seemed poetic.

There was an abundant quality to the wish, to the way it made me feel in that moment. I felt as if I was standing in the middle of a field dripping with orange blossoms. I closed my eyes and I could find those velvet eyes slinking their way into me with their honeyed seduction. Those crooked stems, making it appear as if they were kneeling into a prayer with my name on it. I could even taste the perfume, and it was busy shaking loose a brilliant fever dream. A dream that spun on fiery coils, rousing bonfires in the dying night and willing the sun to feast on the desperate clutches.

The hunger in my darkest thoughts began to wane. The science in its talons wavered as if a crumpled paper airplane falling short of the make believe parapets in a war of toy soldiers. Inside the shallows of kismet and all their spent catastrophes is where I found my simple peace of mind. Borrowed from a wish whose equity was a quiet roam in which I put the moon to sleep.

The morning sun splayed through the stalks of steel and concrete and glass, birthing archipelagos of crimson and sienna across the yawning streets. The skyscrapers, still nestled together in sleep, like shipwrecked boats. Their deaths borne of the mighty reach, like spells upon the wishes thrown.

Wanting too much of that thing forever sells.

50 thoughts on “Drowning in the Shallows”

  1. Marco,

    I do love these posts of yours that I find myself re-reading immediately so that your words can swirl about before settling in, touching me in some way.and making me think.

    What is it about peace of mind that is at times so aloof and feels so fickle? It comes in, teasing us into believing it will stay then flies away to another host when some new issue pops up in our life, forcing us to search for it yet again.

    Peace, of mind and spirit,

    Dale

    Like

    1. Q,

      This is why you my peep. You get me! And you understand how the idea of peace of mind gets bandied about as if it’s such an easy find, when in reality, it ain’t. At all. Which is why the pharmaceutical industry does a gang buster business. Because talking a good game as far as peace of mind is concerned and actually having a peace of mind . . two very different things.

      Ironically- because there is always irony with me- I had zero peace of mind whilst writing this. Bupkis. I was cranky and immersed in curse words and I was talking to myself. So much so that my daughter threatened to record me if I didn’t shush. I don’t believe in shaming usually, but I gotta say . . I did pipe down.

      This was a true story. It was on my trip to NYC in October of 2001. I had a shit ton of different things going through my mind as far as my health was concerned. Add to it the backdrop of the terror attacks, and I was just in a very not so good place. And I do remember a street corner, but it wasn’t where I grabbed peace of mind. It’s where I watched a silent exchange between this kid and a police officer. He nodded at the officer out of respect and I wanted the world to stop right there. Inside a moment where things could make that much sense again. And so I asked for peace of mind, and I found it sometime before the sun came up. After which I grabbed a bagel with cream cheese and lox and an extra large coffee.

      Peace, love and daisy chains

      Liked by 1 person

      1. B,

        I had trouble writing my response because I didn’t want to come across as flippant.

        I totally believe you were having a hard time writing this because it came out so well (we have mentioned the more you struggle, the better your writing).

        I find those little seemingly inane moments are exactly when it comes. That peace. It almost makes no sense to anyone else but to us, exactly what and how we needed it.

        Peace, love, ramblings and amblings

        Liked by 2 people

      2. And another interesting “behind the curtain” note about this post. It was the original name of a blog I started back in the day.
        Well, the blog name was “Drowning the Shallows”. I wrote a couple posts but I found them weepy and depressing as fuck so I changed it up, after which the blog name didn’t fit what I was writing so I ditched the name.
        Yes, it IS that way. I struggle, tinker, change, change again, and then I REALLY get into it! lol.
        And it’s funny how I never like it until it’s up and I can exhale and go, yeah . . yeah, that came together. Albeit, I never give myself an A. I am the toughest grader of my work. But you’re right, and I am getting that into my thick head more and more That’s because it matters. That much.
        Peace . . that peace. You get it. And me.

        Thank you for getting me, Q.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. B,

        That does sound like a downer of a blog. So very glad you ditched that. Otherwise you might have ended up with quite the pharmacy…

        All I can say is we benefit from your suffering. And for the record, I’ve never even given myself an A. Maybe a B… not more.

        So glad I do…

        Q

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Oh me God, it sucked balls. I created it post breakup, which wasn’t my best idea ever.
        And yes, I am glad I ditched the blog AND the mother’s little helpers. Ain’t easy sometimes, at all. But worth it. Totally worth it.
        If you ain’t suffer for your art, try harder is what I say.
        B is good! In the immortal words of the Black Eyed Peas . . . Imma B!

        You rock the casbah

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I’m also my harshest critic.
        Some days I am brutal, especially since I threw out the depression pills.
        Then I back space and backspace the lot, or sometimes I password protect it and send it hurtling into cyberspace.
        Sometimes, I am so relieved to be alive, so grateful that it comes across.
        Some days are dark too. Take care
        Kavita
        Sunshiny South Africa

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Kavita,

        Welcome! And yes, I do believe it’s a balance we’ve gotta achieve. Some days just seem impossible, they really do. But it’s the better days we have to always be looking forward to.

        Peace and light

        Liked by 1 person

  2. . . . “as if I’d just shot up Bukowski . . .” is just beyond brilliant. Your writing is such a pleasure, truly, as Maurice Blanchot tells us : Writing begins with the stare/look of Orpheus. I get that when I read these entries. Bravo.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Billy!

      For you to comment, and to comment with this? Is a WOW for me. I am truly humbled and touched. And smiling. Very much smiling!
      You made my day. Weekend even!

      Peace and love

      Like

      1. I have studies Writing and Reading for many years now. I have been fully immersed in French Theory, since I attend the Université de Strasbourg for many years, and then working in Paris. That also said, I only comment on writing that truly says something to me, to be pedestrian. Reading and Writing are sacred to me, and one of the main reasons I study writers like Marguerite Duras, Albert Camus, Jean Genet, Patty Smith and Susan Sontag, the foundation upon which I hope to construct a stable thesis, but these are all writers that truly struggle with the idea of Writing and what that actually means. When the aforementioned write, one knows that they are actually writing and that underneath it all there is always present the question, What is writing? What is a writer? What is reading? What is the reader? The answer lies in that consent questioning, not in something concrete and empirical.

        Thank you, again, you are a pleasure to read. I do not, truly, evoke that sentiment to just anyone, and I was a book reviewer for an LGBT paper in Kansas, for several years and many know my feelings when I have to discuss bad writing. Live is too short to deal with shit! An old prostitute in Paris would always yell at me : Don’t let the buggers get you down !

        Peace and Love back. Too, so glad that I have gotten to know you as well.

        B.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Billy,

        I know you don’t just throw around bouquets. In fact, I was chatting with a friend of mine when your comment came through and I was ecstatic! I told her how much it meant to me that you would comment on a piece of my writing. And it does. Mean so much.
        I was also just talking about what a struggle it is, to find the words sometimes. But it’s a fabulous struggle. It is my church, it really is. To which I abide. Indeed.
        So needless to say, your praise is inspirational and joyous to me. And it’s one of the reasons we write and why we read. To be touched in this way, To fill the void with a better understanding of ourselves and each other.

        Peace and Paris

        Like

  3. Marc. Where do you find these words and where did you learn to put them together so beautifully? When I read a paragraph like this it brings tears to my eyes. “The morning sun splayed through the stalks of steel and concrete and glass, birthing archipelagos of crimson and sienna across the yawning streets. The skyscrapers, still nestled together in sleep, like shipwrecked boats. Their deaths borne of the mighty reach, like spells upon the wishes thrown.” You are somerthing.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I know exactly what you mean, John. I always read each post a minimum of three times. The marriage of his words and phrases leave me spellbound. I wish I had a third of his talent.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. John,

      You always make me smile. And I am forever thankful to have made your acquaintance. Because your praise means the world to me.
      As for the how of it all? Imma have to just blame it on the mystic Because I really do not have a clue.
      You are something else.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I can understand what you are saying. I don’t think mystic. Must be your deep understanding of human emotion. I did not put this in my original comment but when I read that paragraph I wanted to board a cabin cruiser, pour a very large drink, motor to the twenty mile trough, and toss my laptop off the back. The writing is that good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Jesus! When you say this, I just . . THAT’S when I have no words! lol. You know how much I think of you John, and I know you always tell it like it is. So I will say simply, thank you. So much
        And mystic . . . okay sometimes?

        Liked by 1 person

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