i offer you this evening, as the dinner i made yesterday circles in the microwave, as the neighbors’ voices meet the wall we share and vibrate towards my ear, as the bed left unmade this morning stares at me, asking me if i have accomplished anything today, or if i will before i return for another dose of its support for my supine postures,… i offer you this image i have been working on like a soap carving, on and off all day long. the difference? you may not be able to wash your hands with it in the end… or, maybe you will.
— begin soap carving —
because of a dream i had last night, i spent the entire morning emptying out the closet. with an air of obsessive patience, i searched for something that seemed, like every kernel of mystery that seems like it could open up into truth or hopefulness, to be imperatively existent.
in the dream, i had absentmindedly reached my hand into my pocket, only to find at my fingertips the blunt edge of a folded piece of paper. the sensation transformed itself immediately, as some sensations do, into something possessive of the imagination. from the fingertip came that desire to hold a mystery at bay, to keep its powerful sent of possibility in the nostril, and it was braided, like sisters holding hands, into the impulse to discover the interior, to have the gift in detail. the paper – was it a letter i’d written, or one i’d received? was it a poem or a list of memories, a list of things to do? was it the name of someone important who i needed to see again, was it a note from a spirit, as forgotten messages sometimes seem to be?
my hand still in my pocket, fingertip tinkering on the corner of the fold, i awoke.
i’d had dreams like this before – dreams through which the great possibility emerges: i am about to see someone i have not seen for the last eight years, i am about to discover the door i have been looking for, i am about to learn something very, very important and: poof. consciousness.
and so, i spent the morning emptying the closet, my hands sinking into pockets of vests and pants, jackets, and old jackets, sifting through this shoebox and that for a paper with a smooth fold and a blunt corner like the one in my pocket, looking for the secret, as if, in waking, i had not found it.