on closing

When it comes to this, I am not an optimist. In all other things, yes. I can. But this?

I’m just tired.

At the end I take all that love and experience and put it in a box and seal it. How we met, kisses, I love yous, pictures, shared everything gets thrown in. I actively try to forget it all. I do remember clearly how it ends. The label has a name and “Do not open until you don’t care.”

There is a large neat stack of them in the attic of the mind. Some of the names are blurred. There is no point in opening them if I don’t care any more. There is instruction not to open them if I do. So I have an accumulation of boxes and great losses of time.


Fight! from Marc James Roels on Vimeo.

on opening

What if I open a box? I haven’t tried this before.

The attic is dusty and cool. It smells like an attic, of memory. My home is a jumble, but the stack of the actively forgotten is ordered and arranged. Funny how the mind is.
For this experiment I look for Beyond Care. Not a mere Don’t Care Anymore. I wonder if the residual anger is telling me something, but reach for the medium-sized box anyway.
This box has the name R**. ENDING: phone calls that petered out to nothing. The box is mostly structurally intact; old corrugated cardboard with frayed corners. Inside is a disarray of things. There is that argument we had. It was a great argument. A stupid one. He kept trying to say Bartolucci was a genius. I said “The Last Temptation of Christ” was flat and uninteresting. Back and forth until I said, “Okay. You’re right.” Then he continued arguing with me because my okay was insincere (and it was, but I just wanted to stop arguing).

Is that a good memory? At the time it wasn’t but in hindsight – pretty ridiculous.
I look for anything else that I would deem “good”. It smells like mouse droppings. I have to look hard. Why were we even together? He wasn’t all that handsome. I used to think he was sexy as hell.

Hell. Right. Arrogant, argumentative and needling. Great repartee resulting in some fantastic sexual tension. No specific conversations there – just a general feeling. He scared me sometimes. Just another a feeling. He gets the award for most likely to be a serial killer. A brief tangent where I think about other bad men in other boxes, but I return to this one.

I find my cat Spencer in the box. I had forgotten that is where I got him. Not with R**, but the house where I lived when I was with him. And there is my room and Sheila too. And Chris Carmi, and singing all the time, and irresponsibility and mom wondering if I was a lesbian? because I lived in that house and never brought any guys home. No. I wouldn’t bring R** home. He was bad for me. Even I knew it.
Stupid. Stupid to have packed up all those other memories with R**. And R** isn’t that big a deal any more.

I wasn’t so bad then. I packed myselfup too. The stupid one who would even feel anything for this stupid man. But I wasn’t that stupid and it wasn’t all bad. I can look at that younger me and give her an airing out, maybe even welcome her back. I didn’t know I’d put myself in the box too.

Enough for today. More boxes. Lots more. But not today. This one is still a mess. I just found S****** here. He has his own box, but a bit of him is here too.
I get ready to go back downstairs. It’s time for breakfast. The head-monkey cages are in the corner. Didn’t notice them before. They’re quiet, just watching me as I leave the room.


Lumino City – Official Trailer from State of Play on Vimeo.

monkey story

The photograph has a life of its own. The people in each one do not know the trajectory of life outside the frame.

I know. I am outside of the frame looking in. Should I play the oracle? Should I whisper in her ear how this particular drama will unfold? Do I preemptively rip the players apart? But then, they’d miss dinner and the boat ride.

“You sholdn’t mess with that,” says a voice from one of the cages.

It’s the Capuchin. “You really shouldn’t.”

There’s the Capuchin, three marmosets, a howler and a baboon. The tiny marmosets sleep, each in turn covering eyes, ears and mouth. Wonder why there was never a smell no evil? This is the first time I’ve heard a word from the Capuchin. I always assumed they were all unreasonable, nattering long lists of why I am unworthy – it’s their job.

On head monkeys

They are my personal Greek chorus. It helps to personify them, then they are not of me, but something separate that I can look at with wonder and (on good days) skepticism. But I am easily suggestible, and as they reside in my attic mind, they are hard to escape. The Capuchin shares his ornate bird cage with the marmosets. It is an old wire thing, white paint flaking to reveal rusty metal underneath. The Howler is by himself in another cage.
I find it ominous that Baboon is without cage. He sits in a rocking chair keeping ominous time like a furry metronome. If he ever speaks to me, it will not be good.

What the Capuchin had to say

I am not surprised that the Capuchin sounds like Pat Morita. The other option would have been James Earl Jones, but the Capuchin does not have the authority of God.
Depending on whether or not I want to take what he is about to say seriously, I can either channel Mr. Miyagi or Arnold.

I have placed the photograph unmolested back into the box. The woman and man will continue their date. They will be happy in that moment ignorant of their coming demise.

“Leave ‘em be. Let them get what they can while they can.”

I say, “Aren’t you the same monkey that said it was okay to sleep with Dick?” (That really was his name. It was appropriate.)

He shrugs, “Yeah.”

“And you saw how that went?”


“You have no credibility.” I head back toward the box to rip the photo into shreds. Stop it before it goes any further.

He whispers, “Don’t.” It stops me. “It is what it is. And it’s good while it lasts. Nothings lasts so get it while you can.”

He makes sense for a split second before the anger flares up. Arnold. Yeah. Arnold.
But I turn around and stomp down the stairs. The Baboon approves.

So I have an accumulation of boxes and great losses of time.

to have boxes
to not have time
to have great losses
to have losses of great proportion but not of greatness
accumulate = habit?
accumulation = compulsion?
a compulsiveness to lose time?
a habit of time lost
losses but not WASTE of time

the boxes and images are not thrown or tossed or burned but stored, kept — almost enshrined — so is the time really lost? what is lost then if not time?

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