the seeds, the trees

"But once in a while there's a great dynamite-burst of flying glass and brick and splinters through the front wall and somebody stalks over the rubble, seizes me by the throat and gently says, 'I will not let you go until you set me, in words, on paper.'" – Richard Bach

Mr. Marinakis

Mum told me last night that I didn’t have to be famous. “Oh, you’re so immature,” she said, she cooed, feeling so sorry, after I cried and told her what’s the point of being creative, what’s the point of not being normal if you’re not recognized for it?

What is the point of my lifelong-mental twistedness, my turmoil, my singular tragedy if it bears no fruit? I asked. Except I didn’t say “singular tragedy” or “fruit” because no one speaks that way. It sounded more like, “Why do I have to deal with this shit in my head that supposedly makes me a writer if no one reads or wants to read what I write?”

And that’s when she said, sorrowfully, and a little smugly now that I think about it, “You’re so immature.” Then she said, which wasn’t very helpful but admittedly made me feel less alone, that several months ago she would have said, “Come on, let’s go jump off a bridge together!” She was ready to “check out” in April, she said, but then she saw this man who…I’m not exactly sure what he does, but I think he’s some kind of homeopathic mood doctor. She said this guy – this Mr. Marinakis – completely sorted her out, completely. She always uses lots of adverbs when she talks. That’s all she said. Completely. I let my mind fill in the details.

I see a stocky Japanese man, short but not small, the physique of a Japanese man who has lived in America for a long time and forsaken his traditional diet. He’s wearing a white lab coat (How original, my mind) and a blue, cashmere sweater; gray-black, knit slacks (So specific, my mind!) His office – or where he meets with his patients – has light, wooden flooring, reminiscent of bamboo (Well done, my mind. Use stereotypes. It’s easier.) There’s a few glass vases filled with colored Mancala beads.

When he looks at me, I can’t tell what he’s thinking. He can see through my skull at my beating brain and my brain is blue. He doesn’t seem to have anything in his pockets, not even a pen. I don’t know what his voice sounds like because so far we haven’t spoken. He touches my head without touching it. He talks to my brain. I remember the acupuncturist I saw more than five years ago. I was depressed. She made  a map of my organs with needles in my back. She said, indifferently, I had a wounded heart that would never heal. It made me sadder. Mr. Marinakis doesn’t say anything about my heart. I can’t see anymore. All I know is that Mr. Marinakis is probably not Japanese. “Marinakis” is Greek. His first name is Peter.

Aug. 29, 2012 – 10:48 p.m.

Today, after sitting in room 3021 of Knight Hall for nine hours, I had a revelation. Today, I didn’t do anything important. I made no contribution to the world, but I felt important. I worked all day on the computer with two girls trying to transform a presidential-candidate-contribution database into a map, divided by zip code. It was so difficult, and we couldn’t finish it in time, and something along the way went wrong. But I felt important.

I think that is why people want to love and be loved so much. Because finally they are no longer floating in the space. They have found what’s important, and it is enough. Finally, they know that all they have to care about is right there. They can see it and touch it and be with it. They are not alone. And they feel important. Today I was in a room, a speck of dust, doing something that would not be released or seen but I was with people, close together, doing something together, and I felt there – I was present and involved. That’s all anyone wants – to matter and not feel like the tiny hair on the back of the beast they live in. We want to be noticed, to be somewhere where we feel something else is. Today I was seen and heard by a roomful of people, and then I came home and made my mother laugh really hard and my dad smile and say, “You know, it’s really nice having you around. It’s really lovely.” And for once, it was enough.