I Wish Life Had A Backspace Key

I wish I had more to say but I don’t. Just a bunch of disjointed thoughts that don’t really float. My notes won’t connect. Does this even sound correct? I’m having trouble finding the right words to write. I keep hitting delete, delete, delete. 

I want to write about a boy I like, but the timing isn’t right. Too soon to say what there’s to say, don’t want to scare him away. Instead I let a sad song repeat, though it doesn’t seem to keep. 

I’ve done things I’m not proud of, but self-loathing ebbs and flows. Sometimes I feel brave, other times I feel depraved. Should I trust my decisions or wait for my wavered precision to pass before I do something repulsive? “Impulsive,” my mother would call me. 

“In life there’s no such thing as mistakes… only stupid decisions I cannot undo.”  The seemingly sweet somethings I mutter to thee… No, that’s wrong. Thee means you, not me. Delete. Delete. Delete. 

Redo. The seemingly sweet somethings I mutter to me. Better. Now it’s perfectly imperfect. That’s poetic, right? Let’s play pretend it’s poetic. 

I’m thinking of all the conversations with all my fleeting bathroom relations. Me [never thee] and Valaniece. Office bathrooms. Public bathrooms. My parents bathroom. Estranged apartment bathrooms I’ll remember fondly. The best are bar bathrooms, scribbled with poems of strangers I’ll never know but wish I knew. I steal their words, their emotions, their desires, their pain, their love, their absence of love and make them my own. It’s not really stealing. They’ve always been my own. Reflections of ourselves graffitied on bathroom stall walls. Read [past tense—always past tense] through that hazy drunken mystique of nights spent running from our collective grief.

I like bathrooms. A friendly reminder we all shit from the same hole… That line doesn’t rhyme but I do like the way it chimes (Note to self: revise that chime so it rhymes). 

I smoke with men twice my age on the streets they seem to repeat. Fishing for flattery of my feminine physique. Picking up daddies and dead buds off the ground. Taking notes of their wisecracks and spontaneous raps for essays I simply can’t hack. Talking ‘bout politics and economics like that stuff clicks. Like I have a clue. In them, those men, and their drunken bar friends, I look for clues to you [for thee but not for me]. 

It used to be weed, lately it’s been cigarettes. Men and men-children love to offer me cigarettes. “You’re so mature for your age” they say as I procure one smoke more. Always one more. They love the precocious 23-year-old who puffs cooly and inquires of their many fine wine wives. Counting on three hands those beautifully bastardly children they have and the romantic comedies they were named after…

“There’s little Polly and my Jenny. Little Holly and my Annie. Baby Dolly with the strikingly green eyes of her mother Mary…” 

I’m addicted to that late night blissful daze of poisonous cigarette haze. I’ve always romanticized the image of the pensive writer lurching over his typewriter, swimming in poorly lit rooms of dancing smoke reflected off the ash stained formally white walls. Reclusively breathing in and refusively breathing out pontifications of all the love they never received and all the love they never perceived, puffing intuitively from their Marlboro fuse. How poignant.

“Disappointed,” Dad would say to me [and maybe even thee] if he knew that I’d been smoking more than I should or need. Dad knows best. Perhaps progress is moving from one vice to the next? Tell him I like to feel something rather than nothing if he asks. I swear, it’s those pesky September blues. I’ll quit once November comes through.

I’ve been losing weight. I love the way I look but I hate the way I feel. Other times I hate the way I look but I love the way I feel… This is irrelevant. I digress. But from what do I digress?

None of this is making sense. I’m having trouble typing. The words won’t spill. I keep hitting delete. The words spill with no flow. Delete. The words spill, they won’t flow? Delete. Where are my words? Delete. Where is my mind? No, no, no, those words aren’t mine. Delete. The war of the words of the world? That doesn’t make sense. Delete. I’m still having trouble. Still hitting delete. I’m in trouble, I’m not thinking, I’m starting to… fumble? Wrong words. Delete. Delete. Delete. I’m thinking of the refuge of art. Not my words, not my remark. Delete. Delete. Delete. 

I want to hang our love up on the walls of these sad, fume-filled graffitied bathroom stalls. No, no, no. Too dramatic, too fanatic, not poetic. Delete. Delete. Delete. 

There are no stars hanging above these smog city skies. I like to pretend that airplanes are shooting stars. No, no, no. Rihanna sang that song. Delete. Delete. Delete. The person who wrote that must’ve felt that.

I wish the sky would feel as sad as I. No, no, no. That one hardly rhymes. Delete. Delete. Delete. 

I’m sitting on the floor of the apartment I can barely afford, writing the words I can hardly record. No, no, no. There’s nothing inherently poetic about writing on the floor. I’m trying to make it work but honestly what for? Delete. Delete. Delete. 

I write to boys who won’t listen. No, no, no. Too much too soon, remember? Delete. Delete. Delete.

I wish life had a backspace key… Delete. Delete. Delete.