Naught Day

I miss going somewhere. I miss taking up space. I miss being in the same room, 
or place or square as other people, albeit invisible to each other yet unequivocally there, 
together. Invisible still means there is something. Like a mall. A mall, goddammit, 
which used to give me headaches, is what I crave. Nobody cares for anyone at a mall - you 
could have a heart-attack and nobody would care - but nobody would go to a 
mall if nobody was there. That’s what I miss, for even bystanderism sounds better 
than nothing. To be stood by. Not even touched, just stood by.
 
But I can’t, on this naught day.
 
I finish a chapter in each book that I’m reading every morning, four now, maybe five. 
I just read about the Watt Governor – What governor? - which, you may care to know, 
perpetually regulates the speed of an engine. Riddle me this, the faster it turns, the less 
steam it lets out. The less steam it lets out, the slower it turns. Thus lies the beauty of a 
cycle, in which I cannot participate, because my valve has been closed and I govern nothing,
 
On this naught day.
 
The novelty of each story, each genre is as much diversity as I can get. My dreams try 
to make up for the rest but they squeeze too many things at once and leave me more tired
and bereft. Stuck in the dream at night, stuck in the dream at daybreak, evermore confused, 
evermore trapped where the day breaks. Seeped. Sucked. Never clearly awake, never clearly 
asleep. Forget being tucked,
 
On this naught day.
 
I eat when I’m hungry, but there’s not much to be hungry for. Ready with my plate, 
but left unfed. Thoughts unfinished. Thoughts left hanging, Thoughts without consent, 
some stood up and most left for dead. I’m ready at the starting line but I realize that’s 
also the finish line, so I cook and I wash and I cook and I wash until I’m washing the 
sponge and I’m eating it too. It helps me stay away from the chair.
 
Loved ones kept apart by law, the outdoors as out of bounds as our own personal space. 
I scan my body for signs of life and record to see myself react, for nobody else 
is around to do it for me. To smile at me, to see me, to address me. To corroborate my 
existence, my presence. A video leaves an imprint at least, but a fleeting instance if 
anything, creating a false notion of encapsulation, but one where I get to decide how I’m 
framed, how I’m portrayed, which boundaries I get to foray. For the rest, I am encaged 
against my decision, but the more the walls cave in, the more I take the shape of an elision.
 
If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is there to listen, does it make a sound? Well, in 
this forest everyone is a tree, and we’re all waiting to be heard, and if one falls, the 
rest stay rooted. Moving would lead to more uprooting, so we stay put, as if that too 
were our choice, in a forest not even honored as to burn. No crackle. No smoke. No churn.
 
This isn’t silence, for even a hush makes a noise.
 
But not on this naught day.
 
For more than a week now, I’ve worn the same flannel as if it gives me continuity, but 
paused at the limit too. Frozen in the image of when this all started so that maybe it 
won’t feel like so much time has passed once it’s over, when it’s over. Or maybe I don’t 
see the point of changing, because you change for each new day, and no day feels new,
 
on this naught day.
 
I need something from the kitchen and once I’m there, I need something from 
my room. In neither case, in either case, do I need anything at all. And in both cases 
do I forget that something,
 
On this naught day.
 
Today feels like no particular day. There is none of the concentration of Monday, or the 
power boost of Wednesday or the muscle relief of Friday; the prostration of 
Saturday nor the cleaning up of Sunday. Just a copy of a copy of a copy. Neither the 
shoulder-shrug of Tuesday nor Thursday,
 
On this naught day.
 
And somehow, I’ve managed to make the tea bad. The coffee made sense, but the tea? 
That’s done it for me. I used to like it colder. Now it just gets cold too fast because there 
is no longer any rush. No burning of the tongue. No ‘oh I forgot my tea’ because the tea is 
all you have to remember, and so you forget it,
 
On this naught day,
 
deprived.
 
So deprived I wrote ‘nature’ in the search tab of Pornhub and then gave up. I mean, gave 
up on my dreams for nature.
 
So deprived that I got horny looking at the body wash pour back into the bottle after 
squeezing too hard – you have to be careful, you see, there’s no more goods to buy.
 
So deprived that I then proceeded to wash around my crotch, beating around the bush 
because it’s all that I’ve got.
 
People leave
Before times bygone,
Without goodbyes,
On this naught day.
 
There are no goodbyes
Because there are no hellos.
 
Not today.
Creative Commons License
Naught Day by Thomas Baruzzi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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