Monday, November 11, 2013


I twirl the Baoding balls in my hand, faster and faster, until they no longer click together and the chimes are the only sound in the room. Zen, and all is alright with the world. I repeat the mantra a dozen times without pause until I am almost convinced. I think of sublime moments and unexpected delights. Anything, everything, to halt the babble of nonsense between my ears.

I don't know what the hell is going on. Methinks it could have someone to do with the changing of the weather; the first blast of winter temps hits tonight and this L.A. boy can't stand that shit, it makes me cranky and creaky. It also reminds me that Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming. Last year I held onto a glimmer of hope that things would eventually right themselves — a stupid mindset, as it turned out, but you couldn't fault a girl for trying. There is no such delusion this year. I am numb through and through, and I no longer have the problem of trusting too much. I don't even have the energy to scream.

Zen, then. The chimes inside the Baoding balls remind me of bells, but they no longer hold me in thrall. Truth: I can scarcely remember what the bells sounded like. It almost makes me sad, forgetting. But it's just one of the many things that have gone black in my brain, like old photo negatives left too long in the sun. I miss that sound. But I cannot rouse myself to care. That makes me sad, too. Some things that should have lasted a lifetime die prematurely. It happens. But forcing myself to pretend that it never mattered in the first place — that the bells were nothing but cheap imitations of true chimes — that is an obscenity no one should ever have to hear, much less accept. And me with huge ears. I hear it all.

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