We all play the game
and when we dare
to cheat ourselves at Solitaire
inventing lovers on the phone
repenting other lives unknown
that call and say come dance with me
and murmur vague obscenities
at ugly girls like me…
“At Seventeen.” And now. Jesus, I’m such a cliche. Janis Ian sure can write a song. I’ve been singing these lines over and over just now…I’ve a pretty voice. Did you know that? Only my oldest friends and my ex know, have heard it. Now it’s the kitties and I, maybe my neighbor, who listen whether we like it or not.
Like writing, I need to sing. God, I sound like some dreadful teen sensation’s biography. Wanting, not much. It hurts. I’d rather do anything else than those two things. Most times. My writing’s been for shit since I left the hospital. Maybe that’s why it comes more easily.
Last night I laid on my side on the bed, ice pack balanced on incisions. I’m not well, fever, sweats, dragging, drained, that well. I hum, “You Are My Sunshine” to reassure the kitties, myself, with traditions. The phone vibrates. Mom asking about me. Loaded tears collapse, my humming quieted by them, quiet themselves. For one perfect moment I am impenetrable sadness.
Lying alone in bed, tending new scars, family, sick, empty, heart fissures, with song. One I attach too much meaning to, as I do all songs, with a pretty voice no one hears.