You came to hear a story but I don’t have one.
The art is never the thing you see. Cameras focus on the in-between. Stay there.
You can’t remember the words to the song that explained everything for you. Get by with radio friendly Valium. Sonic dopamine. Wait for the sunset when the light goes and facts are easier to ignore. Dusk is nature’s in-between. That quiet shade of color fills the sky and you find it more plausible, this fairy tale you’ve constructed out of broken dreams and tainted expectations. Reach for an ideal you don’t understand. Fashion, gossip, cruelty, and safety make for great camouflage. Blame the drugs. Blame everyone else so that you’ll all sound the same and use the same words.
Don’t take risks because then you might have to answer your own questions. You don’t want to finish your sentence. Don’t leave the quotidian of the suburb to find yourself because you’ll find something you don’t like and you won’t know how to change it. Don’t express. Stay below. Stand together with complete strangers who alienate you by their presence. Lost in the crowd. Strip mall identity. Suburbs lie in-between the wilderness and the jungle we call the city. Stay here where life becomes manageable. Manage the predictable. Flip through the channels because outside is too chaotic, because life is out there and no one told you how to explicate it. Diagram the day and see the straight line you’re left with.
There are times when you almost let yourself doubt but you back away. Someone showed you truth but it was somewhere in the in-between. Black and white is too familiar. Gray is something unexpected. Regret is something forgotten when the radio plays. You don’t need truth. You didn’t need a voice because you had nothing to say. You’re okay with letting the ghosts haunt you because they’re frightened by the sound of the TV. Manage the past so that the future can be overlooked. Everything you wanted to say is right there in the in-between of the audible and the unspoken, but no one can say it for you. Have an excuse from your daily calendar of Life for Monday’s mantra. Somewhere in between your soul and your brain is your heart. But you don’t know if being alive requires that you know that heart. Distract.
I can’t tell his story anymore. It made everything possible but it never translates.
In between the real reasons. In between the hope and reality. In between the notes of the song. Between the subject and the artist. The brush and the canvas. Between the eyes and the expression. Between sunset and sunrise.
Stay away from the edge because you can live without knowing that you could survive the jump.
You don’t need a voice. You don’t need to know who you are because no one asked until it was too late. You don’t have to see the signs because there won’t be a test. Possibilities lie in the purview of the in-between. That’s not on the schedule. Relax. Take the money. Real is overrated. We’re experts at pretending we can do this. Settle. Don’t reach. No one can ask you to. The serotonin will come. Infinite jests of all of your hopes. Madame Psychosis is difficult, to say the least, to determine thematic coherence from. Don’t ask if you’re okay because the answer isn’t something that will elevate your status. In-crowd. Exit doors. Up and down. Never in-between.
Live with your ghosts and never name them. Find a show like the one you just watched. Like the Facebook page. Exist where everyone can see you outside of the in-between. Say that it’s art and move to the next exhibit. Let nothing touch you. Listen to your brain, talk about your soul, and put your heart in storage. Refocus. Blur. Zoom in. Put the playlist on shuffle. There is no requirement for authenticity so we can move on. Stay where we know the coordinates. No fear. We’re too busy for fear. Keep the quiet away so you don’t hear your voice. Wither, but call it living. Call it what you will. Right, all that you know, what you’re supposed to do, your hands are tied. All out in the open, obvious, black and white, anticipated, googled, familiar.
And out of the in-between.