Cut to the Chase

Let me cut to the chase

I have no idea how I feel today

this morning,

under-rested, I dragged out of bed

slogged through the same peanut butter toast I eat

every single morning ...

oh but –

let me cut to the chase – 

as I chewed my peanut butter

my brain wearily framed sentences, words

for the next text message I would send to him.

It had to go out right after breakfast

today

the text that would, that had to

perfectly

capture

the conclusion I came to at

4:30 am, when I couldn’t go back to sleep.

 

My grandiose 4:30-in-the-morning conclusion

that oversized

brilliant 4:30-in-the-morning

slightly cracked lightbulb that

drifted up wearily, over my head.

My poor tired brain

circling the lightbulb as it yawned, resigned …

that thing, the tool, the not-so-astonishing fix

for him, for me, for us,

brilliant,

or perhaps

simply what I need from him right now.

 

Cut to the chase –

this morning – at the appropriate time

I was going to say to him …

through a screen …

my heart is speeding up,

anxious

I am vexed by my feelings –-

will you judge me at this point? Are you judging me right now? Is that why

I can’t cut to the chase?

 

Since Covid I

play little games with myself, with my thoughts, my mind

alone

in this pandemic-encapsulated house.

My games have very strict rules

today – let me cut to the chase or try to –

this morning’s rule is that I

can’t think about the damn text until the designated time.

 

Today’s game and today’s rule?

It would be a lie to say

the rule allowed me to send that text at 4:30 am.

It would be a bigger lie to say I was allowed to wait

and send it after I eat dinner but

before I do the clean-up

(thus serving a dual purpose – avoiding my fear and

putting off doing the dishes).

 

Let me cut to the chase –

the rule emphasized most strongly –

under no circumstances could I

compose that damn text

at 10 o’clock tonight  – my bedtime –

re-read it forty million times

chicken out and turn off the phone for the night.

 

I would hold fast to the rule

the text could be tapped, typed

only after I finished my breakfast

which included drinking all of my orange juice

dutifully unloading the dishwasher,

putting the new dishes from the sink into the empty dishwasher

and making my coffee.

Let me cut to the chase –

this is critical –

today – every day – drinking that single, sacred cup

might be all that lies between me staying on my feet

and spending the rest of the day in my bed.

 

Cut to the chase? All of this nonsense then

coffee in hand was today’s rule, before

typing out my thoughts

otherwise

it would be like yesterday, the day before

text after text after text

no response.

It would be a lie to say I can stay rational in my thoughts about

those long periods of silence

even though, in my rational mind I know

that is his way

mine is different.

 

You see I can’t cut to the chase, ever.

Am I a poet?

Am I in love with the sound of my own voice

with my own words?

Am I so self-centered? My daughter jokes about it – you know,

“me! me! it’s all about me!” –

I turn any words from a friend, from my daughter

back to me, to my own experience.

 

I wrote the text

I sent the text

It was firm, but kind

I got rid of the text thread afterwards so

I could not obsessively re-read it

the rest of the day, today

I turned off my phone

I sat down on the couch

I can’t lie

I am totally exhausted.