What lies ahead of you? As you consider this question, do you think of all that you think you have to accomplish in the near and far future? And, should you think that, do you decide to click on Netflix or burrow under the covers on your bed, or suddenly have to clean out every drawer where you live? Or, do you turn away from the screen and look at where you live? Where you live? Where is it that you live?
These days, I turn away from where I must live again and again. I look at the document on my screen named: Falling and I don’t open it. Till just now. Here is what I find:
Falling Toward the Moon: a novel of hungers and mercies
When the frijoles in the breakfast burrito
are black beans,
you know the town has gone to hell. —Sadie
Jaco was gone, in raw bliss, then death. No more 3 a.m. phone calls, his smoky voice like a lost and forbidden lover’s touch, his stoned logic somehow impeccable. There will be no more of his panicked texts, “I. I. I am all alone…are you there?” No more pounding on his door, dragging him out of his room and driving him, gray-faced and near-comatose to the Desert Dream Urgent Care. No more telling myself he deserves another chance.
No one texts me with the news, or calls. Jaco and I moved in a friendship more like the collision of particle and anti-particle. A week ago, he went off the downtown radar. I haven’t heard from him since. I tell myself that he loses his phone an average of three times a day – and anyway, we don’t have rules. We don’t have agreements.
*** So, what lies in front of me on this cool, gray-green afternoon in a mountain town I am watching being devoured by various human hungers, is writing a novel about a little Mojave town being devoured by various human hungers. Insatiable hungers.
But, there is a new episode of New Girl and I really need to make the bed (It is 5:59 p.m.) and there have been spilled coffee grounds in the silverware drawer for at least three damn years. (Check in next week to find out what is about to come next.)
Here is Lynette Sheppard:
In this 21st century, we have been deluged with choices, options, possibilities. 100+ cable channels, dozens of streaming services, social media scrolling, and texting at all hours. Festivals, sporting events, parties, vacations. At times, it really has felt like we were forced to drink from a firehose. Then that firehose valve tightened down. With the onset of the pandemic we didn’t dine out, visit friends, or travel. We shopped rarely, and only for necessities.
A new firehose soon took the place of our old one. Our inboxes were crammed with invitations to Zoom meetings, virtual concerts, online learning opportunities. So many of these were free, at least of monetary charge. The cost was only measured in time. How to choose? If I don’t take these classes, am I a slacker? Shouldn’t I put this homebound time to good use?
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