Between black tusks the roses shine. - Hart Crane
And then the black wave surges through the body. Palpable. It comes in the aftermath of that horrible experience Saturday. It started in the parking lot after loading the groceries in the car. Panic is not the right word. Terror is closer to it. Not attacked so much as seized. Stricken. The world seems a most dangerous and unfamiliar place and there is nowhere to go, nothing to turn to except a pill that will eventually provide calm. Meanwhile the desire for something, anything else as reality. Death seems preferable. Sitting in the passenger seat, the ride home is horrific. The light outside seems to have been turned on too brightly. It is a screaming, tormenting light, ugly in its fierceness.
What to do? Scream? Cry? Bang head against the dashboard? Pray? Clutch cell phone. Don’t look up. Don’t allow thoughts. Don’t wonder or imagine. Focus on one thing. There is the thought that this state might be permanent but it is too horrible to entertain. This has to end. This. Has. To. End. There must be relief. Bedlam awaits.
Want the hospital. Want an injection. Want to be cured. What’s next, the straight jacket? Hospitalization? Insanity? Why do I feel as if my soul is about to float out of my body? Why do I feel unhinged? As if my internal mechanisms have blown out. Why, why…why; why: why — why! why? “Why.”
Home to hyperventilate. This is new. This feels…hmm, I wanna say: bad. Very. Awful. Drink water. TV put on. Stare at The Simpsons. Pill starts to get into blood stream. Calming. Its over. But not really. Now there is the fear. The humiliation. The horrible memory so fresh. It happened again. It was the worst one yet. It can come again. I will anticipate. I will have anxiety. I will have fear. I will feel, I do, feel helpless, vulnerable. Sad about something, a thing, the “attack.” Hate it. Hate it. Hate it.
And so later when the attack is firmly a memory, the black wave comes, envelops. Can feel it coursing through my veins. Making every thought tinged by sorrow. All is bleak now. No anxiety or panic or fear, just flat sadness. No joy anywhere, in anything. Best to do is distract it. But you always come back to it, it’s there, waiting. You can go out for awhile but its in your home. No avoiding it. Sitting on your shoulder blowing a black dust of misery into your ear that clouds your brain and makes you doubt that such a thing as happiness can ever exist again. Woe.
These are the days that try the soul and stomp on it.
Boogie woogie I shuggie shuggie. Gotta move the body and soul and race for the elusive answer to all these plagues and rages and pains and ermine lined pinafores of anguish that ramble through my soul. Not defeating it yet but will quell it and spell it and not dwell in it. Then hell it.
I stamp on the mustard seed and watch the ogre bleed but there is nowhere there, just the care. Anxious and anxiety and awful wrenching worry for no reason other then body chemistry and brain malfunction. Not fair.
Should have spelled myself more easily in the dusty days of yore when I pushed inwards to the neck of…
Ecclesiastes is followed by the book of Esther but before Esther gets her due, we read the words of the teacher son of David, King of Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!”says the Teacher.“Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”
And later: “All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there they return again.”
I burn eternal and don’t know why. I suffer badly but don’t cry. I reap what I have sowed but wasn’t there for the sowing. Black, inky, ebony, darkness swallows the reaper.
More from Ecclesiastes: “What is crooked cannot be straightened; what is lacking cannot be counted.” Harumph I say. But I agree. Groans and lamentations but love and indifference. So true to the few.
And in the waning twilight my mind dances, thrilled by the pounding of my soul against the shores of misery. I recover only to stumble and tumble and then to grumble. Such a wearying fate it is to not control -- fully -- one's emotions. Cannot dawdle as the mood sways lackadaisically in the hurricane winds. Perforce to run asunder of these variable moods and feelings and pains and the sudden horrors that make life a waking nightmare. I cannot lie to myself or the self that is outside watching my cries and hearing my tears and feeling my frowns. The bitter Spring will have its way. Cry no more sweet prince of pain and rail at the tumult.