I busted a shoplifter last night. On the train ride home I started pondering what kind of day-to-day these people have. The ones who go to department stores with a 'shopping list' and a bag inlined with foil. How their grind goes. When there's no struggle, when comedy and drama and an internal musical score have subsided to give way to the everyday; even if that everyday is a step away from the norm. It's still grey and tasteless, mundane and repetitive, spotted with occasional glimmers of hope, tragedy... whatever.
I imagine it's something like this: get up at the crack of dawn sweating & shaking, grab a cup of coffee and pipe down a half dozen cigarettes, shoot up or pop in or inhale, make some sort of battle plan for the places you're going to hit that day, muster up the courage and hop to it. But after that? What's the grind like for people who are in, but sidelined? The world is faceless and the concrete ever so cold, no matter if you lay down in your own bed or in a jail cell.
A colleague and I got to talking on the subway about the nine-to-five of people on the outskirts. Certainly it differs from person to person, but some guiding lines and idiosyncrasies certainly have to persist. I suppose I was mostly talking with myself in front of a participant, as I was genuinely tripping out pacing through the sights & sounds of this world through the eyes of someone whose viewpoint is so completely askew from mine. They clock in and clock out, but the motions in between are so very different.
We got to talking about prison life, at least in terms of how it's possible to try to relate to it via tv, books etc. I remember marveling at the fact that all the interviews I'd seen with prisoners had a strong, crushing sense of perceived normalcy. That to them, their grind rife with inflexible routine, constant violence, degradation and solitude was utterly and completely unspectacular. Everyday. At least on the surface it wasn't about adapting. It was the way the world around you bound you in its arms - if you stop struggling, you breathe a little easier. I think I said It's hard to comprehend, because to them it's so common. No drama, no bravado, no aesthetic. I felt very naive there and then, but only because I didn't let my thoughts form into a clearer string of words.
I am a stone cold romantic at heart. A poet. I want the morning sun to rip me in two with its beauty. The rain to write arcane memoirs upon the stone it beats against. I want setbacks and disappointments to strike my bones with harsh, resounding impact. For the beast of passion to roar in blissful freedom, with fast feet and unbound. I want the world to be music.
But it isn't.
The grind, the norm, the day-to-day scares, bewilders and angers me above most anything. I've literally had instances where I've felt like a part of my being - something invisible, untangible yet precious and completely irreplaceable - has been ripped from me while succumbing to a life behind the bars of comforts and security. I've been a visitor in the world of normalcy for four years now and the guest shoes fit so well I sometimes worry if my legs will give if I'm barefoot again.
Poetry runs in my veins like wild liquid fire. Or it did. My creativity is growing more and more subconcious and unconcious, and it terrifies me. It paralyzes me, because the hole is getting deeper and I'm the one holding the shovel. The distance feels like an out of body experience because, essentially, I know with every fiber of my being it's unnatural. Creativity is my essence, my license to breathe, yet it has to compete for attention and living space with lesser entities. I hesitate to grab hold for fear of tearing it to shreds. I dread to pull it closer for fear of contorting it into something shapeless by my overpowering grasp. I hesitate to let it wash over me, because when I leave that world and enter the one we co-inhabit, it breaks my heart. Breaks it every single time.
I'm so goddamn tired of being broken hearted.