Trying to fit my words into the spaces between the sound of beating wings. The deafening wail of constant noise laying down over me and seeping into every pore of my body, slowing and suffocating me. A sedation of venom or morphine holding my arms and legs, turning the intention into molasses, sticky warm opium. Overrun by sap and pressed into a corpse of amber. Pressed under layers of sentiment until the outline is fossilized, until a new age has come to pass and my centipede lobes are stroked by children’s fingers on a museum field trip.
Somewhere then, respite. Look to the sky.
Up in the silent emptiness, the crackle of silence would sound like dry, brittle boughs splintering underfoot on a cold winter morning; lay on your back and stare down, out into the void with open solar plexus, daring to lay prostrate to the great expanse. It is there, just there, through the stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, reflecting back so you can just make out your outline in the morphing rainbows on the bubble’s surface, hovering in the still air above your nose. It is there, the silent stillness of infinity hovers just out of reach, rumbling with singularity in the everyday backnoise of whirling axles and gears.
Human, then, explain thyself.
What is it your years of introspection and watchfulness have brought you? Ego, tell me more about the world through your eyes, your infallible all-knowing opinion on the nature of all you rule; I’m being sarcastic you son of a bitch. Your childlike fancy dressed up in heels too big and daddy’s power tie like you know the responsibility of social contracts and the demands of your soul. Grab your empty briefcase and put in all you can imagine you’ll need: yes that calculator must be necessary, and perhaps a pen and that pad of paper. And what of your toys? The piles of pink and purple plastic in the cracks between the baskets on your crayon-resistant shelf: none of these things are like the other. This must be the full extent of adult life. Put them away, put them away, back to the shiny world of fancy and lavish attention with your doe eyes and big curls.
What then, what would you like me to say? How do I explain my motivations and movements, intentions and inflections without rooting myself into childish fantasy of beanstalks and golden eggs? Get to know me by encouraging my braggart ways? My ability to impress upon you my own sense of self-importance? Do you want to fall in love with my self-assured swagger that I wear on Saturday nights with well-practiced heels, the one that covers apathetic digust and dusty fatigue that creeps into my bones with the winter chill? I weary of the child. Jaded cynicism that fills a room with silent, stilling tension and slows the beating heart and thrashings of my sense of justice and the cold rain slips down the concrete and my breath curls in the air and I can laugh with slitted eyes. I can laugh at myself and the horrific charade of it all, ashes to ashes, mirth to dust, shameless chance to the choice that underwrites all choices. Finally, let go. Laughter because it is no other way than it is.
Statement of purpose. Letter of intent. Direct questions of abstraction. Explain thyself. March your feats of introspection to the tune of of subject-verb-object triads; set your favorite motivational quote from stun to kill and pander to those illusions of grandeur to change the world. Full song and dance please. Audition for the leading role of this performance and be sure to name-drop at all the right parties with all the right people.
Are you not entertained? Have I managed to impress some kind of response, some stirring of emotion to objectify myself in your eyes? Have I instilled a sense of trust and mutual understanding with my two hundred word sweeping summaries and application of the agreed upon tenants of good living, of virtue, or worthiness in quantifiable ways with reference letters? We are the same, you and I. But I cannot impress this upon you in any of the ways that you ask me to do so.
In short, I really don’t know what to write for my statement of purpose for grad school.