last glass...dusty buckets...parched e-lips...sponge...drip...drop

2002-11-26 - 4:59 p.m.: cream soda

i imagine that it's not so difficult to die quickly.

i imagine it comes as a surprise.

i imagine that it feels quite like tripping on a shag rug. you are moving along, comfortably and swiftly, when the rubber tab on your sneaker catches a loose corner or greedy thread. before you can think, you are flying.

unafraid, but bewildered.

i threw away a paper cup today that i probably should have saved. after i watched it land gracelessly in the wastebasket, i punished myself by imagining the possible tangential futures of this paper cup. one led it to a landfill, where it would be worn and weathered and infused with the stink and stigma of a million careless flings. another placed it on my great granddaughter's mantle, clean and acrylicly brilliant, filled with buttons, love notes and charmingly sentimental relics. i mulled this over, this power that i have to give bright futures to powerless things. then i left it there. does this make me evil?

every now and then i feel guilty about things like this. paper cups and people. they're the same, in a way. you encounter them. you hold them. you drink from them. you go your separate ways... or you keep them and sip from them and nibble on their rims until their edges are raw and their bottoms get soggy and weak and they gush out all over the place. you feel as though something precious has been lost. wasted.

the best thing to do, perhaps, would be to fortify them, help them to be strong and lasting and proud. keep filling them up with new things, new flavors so they never get useless and you never go thirsty.

but is that my responsibility? why do i feel as though it is?

i could never have a pet. i could never give enough. i hate to hear people blame others for who they are, but in this case, for this... i blame my mother. she taught me the importance of putting everyone else before myself.

anything else, in terms of behaviour, has come to seem unnatural.

it would be fine if i could feel good about this... if i really believed that that was the proper way to live a life. but i don't. it seems glaringly wrong. it seems weak and wasteful.

i feel evil if i don't try to positively affect others' lives.

i feel sad and lost and mangy when i do.

so please don't give me that look and don't tell me i'm "a nice girl," because i'm at the other end of a very long cord, praying that you won't plug me into your need.

i'm flawed and i need time to think.