Every memory of Mr. Brown is like it was yesterday, even when it was yesterday, and he thanks me for remembering and I’m thinking, You don’t know. I don’t know. But that’s okay (smile).
I feel like this story happened in April 2011. Or maybe it was May. It was the first time we had seen each other since yet another ill-fated conversation. The one where I came undone (as opposed to every other one?). Well this one was different. I got so sick I left work early. In blinding nausea and something else. I heard the words in my ear, “I want to hurt myself.” I was craving a knife. I understood what that meant. And I unraveled because I always do. I pick the man whose heart is buried like a treasure chest. And he shows me where it is buried and he knows I have the map then he sets of booby traps and me, I perish. But each time I perish I rise anew. Addiction to destruction or is it something else? Is the phoenix addicted to its demise or does the phoenix know its nature is rebirth? From destruction, creation. God keeps showing me this.
Rebirth is Spring isn’t it? It is the day Persephone rises from Hades and returns to the earth. And it was this day, the first perfect day of Spring and it was one year ago but it wasn’t. The sun is high and bright overhead and the massive cement pots set up to block terrorist attacks are filled with yellow and purple flowers in bloom and their scent washes over me like a drug. It is the air I breathe, and breathe I do, breaths drawn slow and deep. And I am nervous but I’m not but he’s coming and I’m so happy because without him I don’t know who I am.
And I’m watching but I’m trying not to watch so I’m playing with my phone but there’s no one to bother. Everyone has jobs but me, my job is not a job it’s a reason to leave the house. So I’m waiting like I’m trying not to wait and suddenly Mr. Brown appears right before me and the vibration is so deep I can’t breathe but I smile and feel the cool skin of his cheek against mine and I’m wondering how he always does this.
Whenever it is we’re together, things begin .. startstopstartstopohh .. but after enough time together, I know exactly what buttons to push so I override the awkward and set him to C’mon baby let’s GO.
We’re talking about the Civil War because I’m doing that I Dream of Genie thing once again and he does know and he doesn’t know that he is Shiva and I’m Parvati saying, Please tell me your wish. We’re walking down Lex and the sun shines on us and we’re doing that thing we always do and he calls me Devil’s Advocate but that’s not it. I genuinely disagree and I love our back and forth. He is telling me that Civil War is the way it has always been as though this makes it acceptable and I’m thinking Damn Mr. Brown you are the one who taught me about transcendence so why are your feet stuck in the mud.
I take hold and I go and I’m saying, How can you split one into two halves and then set them against each other and in order to win you have to kill half of what is whole and in the end you call it a victory to have half of what you started with?
And we’re doing this for so long that I feel this energy rising and it’s almost like, I swear to God it’s like sex, it’s like this give and take and GIVEGIVEGIVE. And then I say something to which he has no answer and I’m so full of energy I spin through the street. I literally spin with my arms open wide and my head looking at the sun and my body going round like I am a top. And we part. We part and we are near each other but no longer together. Where we were one now we are two. And we’re silent for a moment and I swear I woulda lit a cigarette right then and there. My heart was pounding and I was on fire with something I never felt before and I couldn’t understand it but I knew it and I…
He never lets me know if he is here with me. He resists. Ohmagosh how he resists. But I understand. Where we came from when we met and what is happening through our connection, never knowing where it is going, and still the story is not finished…
But back to that day we go to the Rose Bar for the express purpose of me fulfilling his dream because his dreams set me aflame. Long ago he told me what was in his heart and even though I shouldn’t have how could I not? I tried to resist and he crushed me and I came right on back. Because he was right and he was wrong just like I was right and I was wrong and maybe it all happened just to lead up to this.
I introduce Mr. Brown to a book agent. The agent is playing that agent game. It’s so the person I used to be that I can play along like a pro and by pro I mean a whore and I am admiring Mr. Brown hanging all the way back because he is so cool and I am so hot. But then he says something I didn’t expect. He reveals his anonymity to this agent, and my heart is crying, NO please don’t. Please don’t seek his validation. You are much too powerful for that.
But he does and is it wrong of me to be disappointed? Or should I see that what I feel is only part of it. There is what he feels and why do I hold him accountable for anything else?
But here’s the thing that really kills me. Kills me in a way I never expect. Jealousy. I was never jealous of Mr. Brown until that moment. I Dream of Genie but I want it for myself. I want to be the one writing books and meeting agents and having someone say, Girl you are gold. And it is at the moment the gold started to tarnish that I discover I must bow out of this side of things. My work here as Parvati to his Shiva is done. But of course, you know we have two other huge projects going on. We are never done. Never ever done.
Ss we’re walking down to Union Square so we can catch up on the TV show. And as we’re walking along Gramercy Park, and he says something that I don’t want to remember and I call him out for it and he tries to cover it up. So I go deeper and I’m not paying attention to him at all. I’m only paying attention to me. And I don’t pay attention to him until his beautiful voice cuts sharp and deep and he barks at me like a kicked dog and I gulp and look in the other direction.
I’m silent. Not looking at him. Just taking in his pain and I’m saying to myself, It’s fair. I just have to let it in and let it out and be quiet and not let him know what is happening to me.
And he’s talking until he realizes I’m not listening, and he says, “Sara” and I hear it in his voice. And I turn back to him and I say, “It’s okay. It’s okay. I just need a moment.”
And we walk along in silence for a few more seconds but between us this is my eternity and I’m looking at the daffodils springing up next to the trees and the flowers in the pots and I smell them in the breeze and I turn back to him and smile and say, “I’m okay,” and we pick up where we last left off.
We go to Union Square and there we sit and we sit in the sun and we talk and we vibe about our sweet little Ganesha. We read over his script and Samantha, she isn’t right. So I’m explaining her and he’s listening and I literally quote the scene that just happened at Gramercy Park. And I’d write it here but part of me refuses to remember and that’s okay, what matters is that he smiles at our pain and says, YEA!
And we use this terrible thing between us and we use it to move forward, both together and towards something else. And as we’re talking we realize that Samantha does not properly exist and I tell him I know who she is but I can’t explain it right then and there. Because we’re on the train going back to Brooklyn, and now is not the time but I promise the time will come. And that night I am sitting in my bed on my Blackberry and I’m typing til my back starts to ache and one hour later it was written, just like Nas said.
This is the first time I ever told the Truth. And it hurts like nothing I’ve ever known. Not just to say it. Not just to say it to myself. But to tell (why do I have to tell) Mr. Brown. I, ohmagosh, how can this still make my head spin and my eyes wet and my chest tight and I’m looking at the keyboard rather than the screen so I don’t have to read these words.
Day Fourteen you old devil. Share with us your strategies to overcoming writer’s block.
Okay, honestly? There is no such thing as writer’s block. If you are a Writer, you write. If you do not write, you are not a Writer. Which does not preclude your past and future work. You were a Writer. You will be a Writer. But today, if you do not write, you are not.
I think Writer’s Block is a misnomer. Words have power and when misused they are agents of destruction. Writer’s Block as a phrase is the perfect example of this. Because why wouldn’t it be? It is only one thing and one thing alone. It is Sabotage.
What are my strategies to overcoming Sabotage? Me who is addicted to destroying myself? Well, if I don’t write I die before I expire, and that is the Hell of which I just escaped. In order to overcome Sabotage you must cease resistance and the only way to do this is to surrender everything to Love.
Now for the reality check. I am not a Novelist. I am not writing my novel. Not only am I not a Novelist, the book that I will write next is a memoir. Because no names need to be changed because no one is guilty. It’s as I told Mr. Brown. I must tell this story to the world and I must sign my name to it. It is the story of the girl who has it all and loses everything and is a better woman for it.
But still I am not writing my memoir. I have all kinds of reasons for this. I’m exhausted. I’m drained. I’m fragile. I’m healing. Mr. Brown is still in town. I’m symbolic. I’m hyperbolic. I’m a clown. You hear the music of the carousel going round and round, don’t you?
But not being a Novelist or a Memoirist, I am still a Writer. Albeit an unfully fulfilled one. I am a Blogger (lawdamercy), I am a Journalist. An Essayist. A Curator. A Philosopher. A Poet. And two days ago Mr. Johnson delivered to me the greatest insight of writing by giving me the space in between the words themselves. I cannot articulate this except to say Ganesha, he who is born of Shiva and Parvati removes all obstacles in the space between us.