I can’t greet the first poet laureate of Utah with long nails. These people don’t know who I am. They don’t know that I am the ambassador of the younger generation. None of them are smart enough to perceive that I’m pushing the envelope right beneath their noses while they scoff at us. They’re standing up at the podium, reading from the latest work that they just got approved, judged, edited, and marketed. They don’t understand that I don’t need to be up there, reading. They haven’t grasped how I’m right here and everywhere at once. Those of them I see today, gathered and contained before us, don’t accept the way that I can be and do many things, instantly, in ways that they still haven’t learned to dream of. They don’t accept how I’m talking to our children. They are too busy kneeling over, whispering to the grave. There is a reason they complain. They have lost the thread of dreaming. They have lost the world, and they have lost that living artistic sight that makes all the difference.
My head hurts. I have been suffering all day from a headache that won’t die. I can mask it for a few hours with ibuprofen, but I can’t get rid of it. I like to pretend that I’m having a stroke, just because one day I might not be pretending. My preceptor tells me that it’s not worth it, that I should be focusing on life while I still have it. You only die once, he says. The rest of your time is spent living.
I tell him that would be a relief if I didn’t know that death might come tomorrow or a few minutes from now.
For all I know I’m not pretending, I say. I’m just worried.