tonight i am thinking aloud

The time has come to put the garden to bed. Have you finished yours yet, neighbor? The trees are dusky where just last week they were ablaze and the cold at night has acquired a piquancy it did not have before. I keep my windows open with two blankets on my bed at night because I like to sleep folded, drawn in on myself like a hibernating bear. I wake up with icy fingers sometimes anyway.

Two years ago I was writing treatises about the ephemeral nature of my own memory from bed in Brooklyn. And then, a year later, considering the weight of taking out a loan for the camera that would bring me to this place. But it wasn’t the money that sagged — and so I said yes in the face of such murky heft. My bed here is wide as it is long. Despite this I still owe the government thousands of dollars.

So here we are, then. A new season, a year gone: I would like to report that I have changed in a fundamental and irrevocable way, but that is not really the case. The best part of 23 is that thinking of the life, whole and unyielding, that stretches ahead is too abstract to make it possible to live in one exhausting span. I have made it here with handful upon handful of memories notable in their brevity. I don’t mind.

And so two years from now, what will mark this place? It is funny that my job is literally to make permanent what is not because I have an awful time holding onto these strings. Not that I wouldn’t like to. I hope that, years from now, I will pause to consider the sound of the river in the morning, the way the chickens run to my feet at the gate. The muted roar that erupts from within the field house after helmets have come off, the exhausted drive home. The blood on the butcher’s floor. Whiskey’s soft buffer against the cold, the way you kissed me on the street that night and how I pressed my face to your chest after. But mostly I would like to remember this youthful frustration as it rises in my throat and hold it away from me, mold it into something immense and terrific once I am able.

I think I will also recall how the moisture hangs in the dark here. Week after week, the fog making everything so bright and opaque at once.


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