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Homeless 0-30: Third Thoughts

Sleepless nights have never been strangers in my bedroom. I was every bit as sleepless as a child as I’ve proven to be as an adult. I often wake at two or three, then lay there staring at the inside of my eyelids, channeling some idea or feeling; rarely fretting. Sleep never refreshes me the way these long, isolated, early morning reveries seem to.

My days fill up with notions, first thoughts. These usually swarm around me, most prominently when I’m taking my quick, cold morning shower. Many of these turn into some piece of writing, a poem or short piece like this one. They simply appear, a few of them catch, carrying some clever twist or pleasing sound. Later, I’ll add an extra room, perhaps landscape their exterior a bit, and call them done, but I rarely second-guess those first thoughts.

Second thoughts wear the color of regret, a dingy, hard-used blotchiness. Second thoughts smear the edges of experience, working mostly with memory, and so remain distinctly impressionistic, indistinct. They cast me in the role of dumb cow. Ruminating. Cognitive cud-chewing. I almost moo through them. Coulda, woulda, probably shoulda the first time around. They’ve got impossibility going for them. Can’t undo any past.

The third thoughts qualify as troublesome. These focus upon preliving possible experiences with the expectation that I might figure something out that hasn’t happened yet. The sky doesn’t even begin to define the limits to which my mind might stampede when third thinking. I suppose I find some solace there, even some resolution sometimes, when I feel as though I’ve figured out something that in all honesty, never really needed figuring out, anyway. And could not, in any respect, get figured out. Flying monkeys performing touch and go landings on my mind.

Home hunting puts all three together, and what a curious conversation ensues. Insight mingling with phony foresight, hit upon by gloomy hindsight, clouding my best attempts at seeing whatever’s right before my eyes. I remember too well, predict with exquisite precision, and pray for any unattached blinding insight to reset the tally board. Even after a place seems right, closer introspection inserts enough uncertainty to leave every conviction in question.

Then comes the sleepless night, a surprisingly long, dark, and soul-scorching night, where nothing holds any hope of resolution. A decent novel might help me inhabit a less troubled, less troubling world, sub-vocalizing a story in every way superior to my own.

If I can’t make sense of my world, I might just as well make sense of some other made up one.

©2012 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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