ESSAYS & SHORT FICTION
Just for the record I haven’t taken LSD more than 6 times and I’m not on any psychotropic drugs, but I am about to make a confession that should only be vocalized within reach of a licensed therapist. If I’m lucky, sometimes I can see faces in objects.
I don’t mean like Jesus’ face in an omelet. That’s just ridiculous. I mean outlines of faces contained within a thing in a place. I fully realize that unless my name starts with F and I somehow seem to be stuck on a long three-part journey through Middle Earth with a bunch of marginal dudes trying desperately to keep a Ring safe, that these sightings might not be the healthiest. But in any case, I’ve had a fuckload of them.
I’ve seen Serge Gainsbourg in a plaster wall. I’ve seen my ex-boyfriend in Italian marble tile. I’ve seen an old wise man in the wood grain of a floor. And I remember each one perfectly. Yet, every time I returned wanting simply to look at the thing in the place, I was never able to see the thing in it’s organic state again. I was only ever able to see the face contained within it. My perspective narrowed into a singular view that transcended the things purpose.
Unhealthy situations find the best culprits in parameters. Once we’ve decided on the parameters of how a situation fits into our life, the delicate risk of redefining them becomes scary. It’s overwhelming to accept the alternative perspective, even when you know it’s the right thing to do to find the better you.
When I first saw the statue of David, I stood with it for 2 hours. The soft British voice of the oral guide recounted that in every immense cold rectangular slab of marble, Michelangelo saw a sculpture that needed to be set free. If I had chosen to chip away at those faces, their parameters would have changed. The faces would have been restored to their organic state - to just the thing in the place - and the faces would have been set free.
Goodbye Serge Gainsbourg. Goodbye my Italian marble tile ex- boyfriend. I’m chipping away at your defined parameters. The expected outlines that seemed to be set in stone. You no longer deserve to be stuck on account of me wanting the comfort of knowing that you are there. I’ve enjoyed your company but now you need to be set free.