Two magnets, one mom, and a refrigerator door

Your eyes shift down from their low casting across the long table’s surface to the one with blush burned cheeks. With eyes averting, you wait for something small, something smart, worth the wasted while. Waiting. Waiting. My cheeks burn all the more in the stalled stretching span. The words on the page coarsely twist off my lips. Stupidity overwhelms me in that first unrecoverable instance.

My nose flares with a frustrated humph. In fact, there are no words on the page to twist off my lips, and you, you have yet to sit.

I look to my right.

I hesitate, hating that damn black bulldog clip thingy. It sits silently clasping itself, clinging impotently and unused to my wall mounted magnetic strip. Waiting. Its thingy-ness remains verbless and voiceless. There is no fusion of form or frame for content or cognition. No muse at all, just a damn mute thingy. It watches me subjectlessly grope. I stop. I wait. I try not to do smart. Smart is stupid. It stalls me, binding up as yet unwritten moments. I stare empty eyed at that stupidly smart bulldog clip, clamped shut, failing to give voice. I hold there, for a memory of my own, for histories released. I wait; I waffle, like an unmoored blank page a drift to the floor.

And, I mull down on my unwritten party line as to why I am here. It sits heavy, I try to leverage it to push the pen. Nothing. Instead, I cultivate convincing myself to just freaking mimic the process I forced a mere forty-eight hours ago on my drawing students, set with the remedial task of blind contours. Literally positioning each with laterally outstretched penciled arms, reaching slightly behind them to mark their easeled, bulldog clamped pad. They stare into a stool perched peer’s face, a mere socially inappropriate two feet in front of them, stretching the non-penciled arm forward, finger extended, pointedly poking and tracing the multiple contours of a face not their own. Leaving a mere lead trace, the pencil and padded hand translates with one continuous threading line. So focused, they work until their shoulders’ scream with exerted burn. Arms windmill and then return to the page. The drawings develop; find face in a process not a product. It’s a way of unlearning cognitively compressed perceptual knowings. One eye large, one small and displaced below the nose, the ear a cheek, the chin so small, the nose laps over the mouth. Each distortedly different—fragility and frustration released. Those that forego fixation on final outcome, find face. The drawings oddly read as real. On the other hand, those penciled visually and cognitively coerced are worth only two magnets, one mom, and a refrigerator door.

So I put pen to page in a parallel process, but to write. Of course, this is a lie. I thumb my digital device, swiping away my glossed knowings, my stupidly false facades and my repetitive reviews of the LIKES on my most recent update. Hmmmph. I point to the damn convoluting contours of that impotent clip and my mind’s eye fingeringly follows my own blind continuity of unfaked fragility and frustration with this forced first draft.

I am left with missing my mom.


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