If I said what I have always wanted to say to you, what would I say? Why even bother? My words don’t exit fluidly; they slump against my throat as I force them out with care. The day drags on as time sprints back and forth. Three months have elapsed in an hour, and I still can’t put to words how I feel. I continue to mumble hollow gibberish until I reach a series of self-imposed questions. They are petty at times, no doubt, and the original recipient of each question has morphed into me. So what? My written word is only slightly nonsensical—not nonsensical enough to be interesting, but still noticeable in its nonsense and therefore irritating and without purpose. Who’s going to believe this caked story? I string together a slew of severed grievances, revisit them many times, cross them out, sift them, mix them, laugh at them, cry with them, hide them, then start over. The objects that I reference are bland and unexceptional: coffee creamer, business envelopes, face wash, mud. A few of them are more telling: faulty cassettes, cheap jewelry, missing keys, the Arabic word zift.Literal translation: asphalt. Colloquially: shit. I decide to mechanize my labor for two reasons: (1) to build a relationship between thoughts that appear disparate and arbitrary; to demand a connection between my past memories and present emotions; to establish a web-like framework within and throughout the text; to allow the words to coexist physically and conceptually, and (2) to deal with the fact that I am not in control; to push and pull between acceptance and domination; to embrace the words that spit out; to sleep soundly; to place my trust outside of me.
“As we skirt along these memories, we clothe everything in the same quiet garb, and death looks like a backdrop whose colors have faded. We turn back into ourselves. We feel our distress and like ourselves the better for it. Yes, perhaps that’s what happiness is, the self-pitying awareness of our unhappiness.”Albert Camus, “Between Yes and No,” The Wrong Side and the Right Side.