Daniel Adler Alone

daniel adler alonei cannot bear it sometimes. sometimes it’s everyone i want to rid so i can fight through the unknown alone because i am all i have, and even my body and brain will deteriorate so that now it is only me in here at this instant and all i wanted was to be happy, futile tries, and become a better writer so that even this is an instance of something i will look back on and want to edit.
you can edit your memory too. when enough time passes it becomes rosy-haloed and golden and youthful without uncertainty and worry–that we like to forget– but i’d like to show that it is that that keeps us going.
until we reach something that allows us to look at the sky and want to share it with her or him if they’re there, physically or technologically. then we want to get a drink or eat something or go somewhere, nomadically.
that girl, pretty girl, she said artists have to be alone. i have always preferred it, it is so much easier, for even when you want to be with others you can, that is simple. as simple as making friends or falling in love, be it for a desired eternity or a single night, the latter is so much better because there’s no ugliness for memory to hide, it is pure and remains so in the lack of expectation for more, the finality of it is so much easier, so much easier than determining character worthiness, which can drive one to be alone again.
social beings sure but one first.
i just have to be alone sometimes, that’s why i’d walk away, because it’s so much easier than breaking the bricks of experience and memory and upbringing that rise between us. and if you have a pickaxe of love, that can be fun, for a while, but when alone the longing is easier to manage and control, and that is a more tangible happiness because there is no one there for you to convince.
it is so much more effective to end sentences the german/latin way with a verb at the end, but it can be powerful to end a sentence with an adjective, if you want to give that adjective import.
i feel almost all better. but why is there still the pain even after the hundred dollar dinners and the shots of bourbon and the puffy joints, why, even when i uncrease my brow and look at the pulsing skyline, is there something inside that ebbs forward and says in unconscious draws “dissatisfied.”
is it a phase? probably? and yet i must work through it in ways different than the habits i know. because i cannot look at the light skin of the plane trees until then without thinking, the plane-trees are shedding their bark for the winter, how glorious that they know to do that, and then the darkening draws.
or look at the leafed branches incredibly still, stiller than the lights on the towers across the river, how special that i can witness them, without settling back into displeasure grooves? have i not been laid enough lately? no, that is not it, that is just the same as the drunkenness the drunkard seeks. it is a restlessness in the soul that comes from being thought of as everyone else, from becoming everyone else, it is that i must change, so i can reinvent myself and think of myself as different and snowflakey.
and that will not come with travel, but travel may usher it along so it becomes inspiration and direction and passion, the same passion i had when i rushed into tyler’s apartment screaming i love life, and seeing john who i had hated for so long become a friend, and i spanked him trying to throw the love into him, not so he could see that i was different or anything as superficial as that, but so that he would know my love, which is very very powerful, more powerful than most people’s which is why i need to share it in writing because it overflows from a burdensome cup, heavy and irascible.
that passion has fled in recent weeks, it has turned into darkness and become the easier yang, hate, so much easier, easier to condescend, to laugh at, to furrow brows at, to scorn, to despise. loving is so hard. not the love that i mentioned above, not the pickaxe love, although you do have to work at it, this is a harder love because it must be built.
some have stronger foundations than others, i like to think i myself have a strong foundation and a few good bricks already laid, but then there is also the remedy of continuing to build every day for every second and not letting the hate crane tear them away one by one.
but no one else can build this with you. other people can give pointers, say you should really lay some extra cement there, but you have to do it yourself. and tonight i am laying a brick by reminding myself of it, although in recent weeks it has fallen into disrepair and just clearing away the fast growing weeds is preparation enough. prepare then build, and then they will gather to see the tower in the sky.
but worse it’s a habit because the hate inspires hateful memories, not worry memories which are easy to rid, but hateful memories which fester like sores and grow and grow disgustingly but i am sick of metaphors, and the hate has infected my writing now when i say i am sick.
instead remember the purple light in the snowstorm and the brick building behind the house, the purple light of the sky and the yellow gold city light shining on the snow-covered brick. that was beautiful and you were in love. think of that when you go downstairs to face what you hate. then feel better.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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