The painters came while I was asleep. Their brushes thick and fast, like yocto-practitioners, like insistent exterminators. While I dreamt -- a languid lapping of tide against pier, the swaddling gravity within that tide, a continuous and forceful Yes, a vast rippling of Yes to the horizon, the obvious implication that fits perfectly in a dream because it thus comforts without words: Something pulls me, desires me, will provide path for me, once I allow myself sink into the water -- the painters erased every trace of me in this place.
Behind the television console I had been writing poetry. It had been my secret. This small little space that I had to crawl into. The pencils were weak and I would laugh more often than not when I broke a tip and had to stop to sharpen. It would've been easier to sharpen several pencils but I came to enjoy the unexpected pauses almost as much as finding words. And I liked the jaggedness of it all. The occasional slopes. The brittleness of some lines resembling only scratches. Or words so small I had to get the magnifying glass to see what the hell I'd written.
The Box Room walls were almost covered with ink. Up one side and down the other. A jungle of thought, much of which should've been kept to myself. But there it was. A record of my struggle with me. Several novel starts and one finish. Stories. How many stories! An almost fable. Questions I had about the particular works and questions about the process with the occasional untested answer, which I suppose makes it a hypothesis. I hadn't yet begun filling the baseboards, nor the ceiling. I just now consider the door. I don't know why I hadn't thought of the door, it might've been first, the metaphor almost insultingly obvious.
Soon my brain will fill with questions about the painters and how they even knew about my walls, why they felt it necessary to come now, so soon -- I had plenty of space yet to fill. But this morning I struggle to think, I only feel: Loss, great loss, unbearable I want to tear at myself loss because without my wall etchings, what is left? Of course I remember a girl and how I felt when I was we and after when I was again I. This feeling is much the same as that feeling. Such a gaping space now exists. What is this space? Is it even a part of me? It feels so unfamiliar. Do I fill it? How? With what? I won't be the same if I fill it, or if I don't. The best is lost. All is lost.
But that is not all that I feel. Another feeling exists along side the first. Everywhere is white and here am I, quite in the middle of it. Like a beach without footprints or litter or the acrid smell of suntan lotion. I can watch the tide work from here, can feel it in the breeze even, and the uneven patterns of the seagulls.