Roman Numerals: On Curiosity & Desire

I.

When I scratch at the door I am a mystery to those upon the other side.

Upon the other side, whilst scratching occurs, the ear that is pressed listening is a mystery to me.

In lingering wondering happens,
and flint hits rock.

And spark.

II.

When I was a little girl the video store was always a delight.

Navigating the labyrinth of cardboard boxes and those doorways to portals of unknowns, but there, far in the back of the store was a bright blue curtain drawn so to shroud a small room behind it. A sign flashed above it:

ADULTS ONLY

Breaking way from the reaches of my parental shepherds, I would creep, slink towards the blue curtain, my eyes acting as probes so to discern the secrets that lay beyond the clothe sea. I would dagger my way in through the crack in the shroud, and like a spider, hurry in, freeze, and drink, and then hurry away, the unknown now known and burned into my retinas. Naked people and bizarre tangling of limbs now forever mine to own.

This crossing of the threshold felt daring, dangerous — an exhilarating dipping of the toe — and like a vaccine it presented an immunity and a resilience to that beastial thing crowned:

Fear.

III.

Every new room I enter I like to see.

I am the one who examines every book upon your shelf, reads all the notes stuck upon your refrigerator.

With nimble fingers and in plain sight I scan through your notebooks idly; with adept hands I count your coffee mugs verses your plates verses your utensils verses what has clearly been forgotten and pushed to the back of your cupboards. I study your collections like a scientist with data, for you see, every CD, necklace, trinket, DVD, poster, portrait, dust laden shelf, key, watch, toothpick, bedspread, chair and pen smudge on your desk is a glimpse into you. When I walk your halls I think, “Who are you?”, and then I check your medicine cabinet, your drawers, your jackets, the fibers of your carpets. How you present yourself tells me much. How you hide yourself tells me more. You especially exist within your computer passwords, your default gestures, the page from your journal you ripped out in desperate need of denial. You lie especially within whether you make your secrets attainable or whether you do not. Those of you who have nothing personal of yourself within any box, briefcase, mattress, or book are the easiest to know.

What art you love and do not love, tells me more about you than your words ever could.

So, naturally, we all love art.

Not just to know ourselves, but to know others.

IV.

If you put DO NOT ENTER upon anything, it immediately will become a subject of interest.

If you place the word BATHROOM upon any door, it’s seen as an occasional thing of interest, depending on the situation.

If a door is simply a door,
it’s virtually invisible.

That is, depending on its nature.

V.

If you tell a person “No” for the sake of saying so when what they desire is a “Yes” you are known as an instigator.

However, if you tell a person “Yes” just because they want a “Yes” you are known as someone who is

under

pressure.

VI.

If I do this, what will happen? If I do that, what will occur? These are my daily devotionals, along side What is that nightly tapping noise in the upstairs apartment? and Why do people hate eye contact on buses?

Sometimes, I sketch a single eyeball on my paper while writing. I have performed this act for many years. It is a habit, or, perhaps a mental tick. I always make it wide and frightened looking. My pen always presses harder into the paper while I’m drawing it. I always put it in a corner. Sometimes, I’ll begin to draw other eyeballs around it. I only ever draw the left eye.

My wide and frightened eyes are everywhere.

VII.

A lot of daydreams have questions within them.

We dream up our meetings with strangers and our colliding with lovers as though the act of wondering in itself was an act of infiltration into those heads. We dream of what kind of jokes they’ll laugh at, what insights will make them raise their brows or purse their lips, and what touches they will react to, and how.

Skin that is tan or skin that is pale tells not of where that person has been,
but rather of how long they have been there.

VIII.

The visible is more mysterious than the invisible, though we do not often realize this fact.

If one employs invisibility, it is likely if not certain that they do so because they are indeed transparent. However, one who walks in daylight is one who is shelled, their insides well covered, their secrets well disguised.

What is so close but so far deceives us. What is unknown simply eludes us.

IX.

I wanted it,
then when I caught it,
I didn’t want it anymore.

This is an eternity unto itself.

X.

So often thoughts occur like this:

All these passages are open except for this one. This one has a lock. Why does it have a lock? Why is this passage the only one unavailable to me? Why can’t I enter this one?

And all the other passages,
become neglected.

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