Separation Anxiety

I separate myself from the others again tonight.  Familiar faces, going nowhere…I’m off kilter, but I don’t want to leave.

Like a broken record, I must go ‘round, obsessed as I am with music and seeing life as I do through crystalline Bogart & Grace glasses.  Oh, maybe throw in Hepburn’s sunglasses, too.  The facets distort, but they fascinate.  Demons, monkeys on my back, with faces I recognize, gape and stare.  I wear a mask because it’s who I am.  I think back; it was raining in the parking lot.  I had to run across in my heels as a man with a familiar solemn face and large gray car splashed near me as he passed.   

“It’s who I am,” I say aloud toward the smoke of the air, at the familiar face of the bartender that smiles, the face that smiles from the piano, the familiar faces of the two women who stand there beside the music man, the two men I know standing there by the bar.  I’d forgotten the beauty of the yellow dress, the young girl carrying the notebook, the package left under the chair. 

I separate myself from the others again tonight.  Familiar faces, going nowhere…I’m off kilter, but I don’t want to leave.

 “Can’t you see?  I’m not after anyone.  I’m waiting, but I don’t know why anymore,” I tell the young couple sitting beside me.  I roll ‘round, like that tiger blindly chasing its own tail; grabbing it with teeth that tear. The pain is mixed with the shock and absurdity of the taste of my own blood.  I put my head back and laugh at myself, at the world.  Mamu will show me out, I think, at the very moment he carefully takes my arm.  Instead of out, he shows me to one of the back rooms to gather my senses. He doesn’t say get yourself under control, but it’s in his eyes.

             “As if,” I say up to him as he smiles all one-sided and wise. I go beyond the velvet curtains as he holds them aside and lie down on the plush couch, waiting.

  “Thank you.” I say to his broad back.  He simply nods.  He knows me too well. They all do, but I’m safe here.  Safe, I think as I watch him turn toward the bar and the music beyond; his broad back the back of Jesus tonight.  Yes, it was me that threw my diamonds away, put them in the ashtray.   It was time to go on with life.  What do I have to lose? 

“I must go on with my life,” I say to Mamu who isn’t listening.  Shutting my eyes, I hear the piano man playing his songs for us all.  The fusion of jazz and blues that he chooses soothes my angry burnt mind, as I slip into a light sleep. Someone covers me with a jacket.  No doubt it’s gray.  I think, “Thank you”, I know I’m safe.  For now, I’m safe. 

I separate myself from the others again tonight.  Familiar faces, going nowhere…I’m off kilter, but I don’t want to leave.  It isn’t them that’s going nowhere, but me.


7 Responses

  1. Familiar faces, Mimi… and even though the girl with the notebook is not around much anymore… those familiar faces will always swim around with giggles and moments of ‘ohhhhhhhhh’. This was like a warm hug – it really was and such a poignant reminder of, not only how well (bloody well) you write prose, but also of how strong those friendships are. This is exceptionally beautiful. I’ll line up a drink for you for when you wake up. xxx

  2. Thanks, Narnie, for the kind words and the drink lined up and waiting! Big hug. – Mimi.

  3. I see her disappear behind the curtain and I wonder. All this activity and yet I think she may be the one who has it right. I wonder.



  4. Wow! What a time loop perfect prose voyage through your eyes that is. Right from the start of the first Last Time Machine through to right here now where the same confusion reigns joyously over us, the fun, the adventure, the gradual learning, the whole thing has been tremendous fun and incredibly useful to me (and I hope some others) in improving my skills but most of all fun and amazement at the creativity and imagination and skill of the people around me. Mimi, you have been there whole way and consistently amaze me, woohoooooooooo rage on, I say,

  5. My own work has improved since the first steps into the Time Machine. Thanks to the high mark you set with your own writing & that we all strive for in the backdrop you set for us. If your writing and encouragement weren’t there, I know personally, I would never have reached beyond my own limits. Thanks for that, Paul. I’m still polishing, reaching, hoping to improve. Thanks for offering the medium & the challenge as well as the encouragement, xx – Mimi.

  6. Mimi, this is flawless writing and makes me tingle to find it.
    familiar faces ~ tiny demons playing a dance or just us, or both or true long lasting friendship
    The Last Time Machine focused my writing too, still is. don’t search for levels enjoy the journey

  7. Lovely, lovely writing…..

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