a dirty room

Please be forgiving I am writing in a haze and I am not thinking. I hate it when I do this I hate me I am so tired of me I don’t recognize me I cant live with me. Overwhelmed and ashamed by the mess in my room, I do not know where to start. I’ve been trying to clean it for more than a week now, and still no success. I remember Anne Lamott and how I should take things bird by bird. So I start with one soiled shirt. A dress, turned inside out. And then, a skirt that no longer fits upon inspection and bodily trial; the skirt hitches on my fleshy thighs and stays there, unwilling to go on further. My body wont stop expanding and expanding, I am ashamed to say. My book towers are everywhere, precarious and teetering. I have far too many shirts and dresses. I don’t know anymore which is clean and dirty and what can still pass off as clean. A long plaid dress that looked perfect from the thrift rack lies balled up on the corner of my bed; it makes me look like a milkmaid. I’ve never worn it, but i wish i could. I want to see myself in it walking down the street; but i cannot carry it, i think i look wrong in it, funny in it. I contemplate if I should get it tailored to fit better or I should starve myself to lose all this excess. Perhaps the latter. it is always the latter. empty water bottles. Old readings that I’ve since unearthed from my drawer whose contents haven’t seen the light of day since my freshman year. I am graduating college in two months. It has been that long. Slowly making their acquaintance once more. I find a copy of Hemingway’s A Clean Well-lighted Place and feel overcome with shame because my room is not a clean well-lighted place at all. Joyce’s Araby, Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s In a Grove, and Doris Lessing’s A Sunrise on the Veld. There are various papers and index cards (i remember Anne Lamott again) and post it notes with scribbles of my own that I cannot read. Ideas. Some workable, some have potential, some are just futile in its rushed existence. My book towers are in various heights. there is a book tower on the left side of my desk, and two smaller ones on the right side. Another book tower on top of my shoe cabinet, a smaller book tower on the right side of my turntable, an even smaller one beside it, and just a heap—not even tower—of books on top of the turntable itself. they resemble jengga blocks on the brink of crumbling more than book towers. a plastic bag full of trash. hangers everywhere. my bathroom. notebooks and journals scattered, more paper asunder. drawers left gaping, my closet doors flung open, i can see the sleeves of my jackets peeking at me, jackets of yore, jackets I’ve failed to warm with my body. it is a reciprocal service for jackets to warm me and i to warm them in return. it is a damn shame that i am making them useless by rejecting their purpose. there is an empty mug on top of my desk, lined with the remains of my coffee from two hours ago. my eye drops and sleeping pills that I’ve been abusing. a sharpener. my jar of paper clips. fallen hair. i have so many things and waste. my book tower from the left side of my desk gives a little wobble as i type. I’m afraid of its collapse, the thick Les Miserables book the first to make contact with my screen if ever. i do not move to fix it. i should be cleaning my mess, but instead i am writing about my mess. I’ve been bitten by two small red ants on my forearm. i’ve created so much mess of things and of myself i do not have the heart to clean anymore. i remember my philosophy professor saying cleaning my room is like cleaning my psyche. perhaps this is why I’ve been so out of it this the past few weeks. my room is the chaos in my mind. I’m trying so hard, but i do not have the strength inside me to look after myself. i think of Socrates and what wisdom requires: gnothi sueaton (know thyself) and epimeleia heautou (self-care). I think of how i will never, ever be wise, because the latter has always been absent in me. the care of the self. i have never known it, i think. I am drowning. i feel crippled. cut at the knees. i want to lie down and sleep away, but there is no place in my bed for me. It wont make way for me, it hurts me. my lights are too bright, they blind me. my mess is pigheaded in its manifestation. i am pigheaded in my refusal to clean after myself. how much of myself have i compromised? my box of seeds lies on the floor. i think of my tomato plant, my lettuce plant, my chili plant and my mustard plant that have since germinated. i think of the world and how kind it is to my plants. i think of the world and how it cares for my pottery. why is it not kind to me, me specifically and respectively? it shines and rains for my plants, it upholds the laws of chemistry for the glazing and baking and bisquing of my works, but it cannot get me up from my chair, out of this snare. i cannot do the most simple thing. i feel tired to wash myself, to wash my soiled feet and my greasy hair and it’s 3 pm in the afternoon and i am disappointed in myself. and i think of my bathroom that i have to clean. and the many other things that i have to clean. my tub that needs scrubbing, my sink that needs washing. empty bottles to be thrown away. tiles to be mopped. towels to be replaced. my pregnant laundry basket. i do not have the strength to heave it out of my room for washing. i think even if i scrubbed myself red and raw i would still be dirty, and i will still be filled to the brim with all this mess. i try not to be angry at myself. when i said I should write for catharsis less, and write more to think things through and mull things over, i am doing the opposite. i am not thinking much about what i am writing. when i said i should write more formally, instead i am failing to pull myself together again, i am failing to be wise by being all over the place with all this stuff and lacking discipline. i am being ridiculous, it is laughable, that i cannot exert control on my own self. i feel insane writing this way. i feel like i should go back to every sentence, every word, and capitalize what should be capitalized, fix what should be fixed, and think things through. but a small part of me whispers let me, there is wisdom in this chaos and havoc. but it is making me hate myself, writing this way, unstoppered, ungraspable, incomprehensible. i am not making any sense. fragments of sentences. i cannot even string one that is complete and logical. feeling this jambalaya of feelings all at once. i would still hate myself, i think, still fail to recognize myself, even if i scrub myself and weigh myself and skin myself and devein myself and flay myself. perhaps if i lie on my floor and forget everything else (except my grammar), mold would manifest on my sundries and eventually, manifest on me, pull me under, and allow me to be quietly effaced from the face of the earth. this body, this body, perhaps cold, insentient, someday, one day, this body, lifeless, one day.


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