The old seafarer’s tale goes, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky at morning, sailor’s warning.” I doubt the “delight” part in any way applies for red “tides” as opposed to “skies,” but my mind feels red and it definitely arrived in more tidal than celestial form. Stealing in like a thief, gleaming redder with each ebb of thought until it colored them all crimson.
What the fuck do I mean by that? I’m not one hundred percent certain. I don’t mean I feel anger, the emotion most commonly associated with red. More like raw, open, hot to the touch— or stinging like the insidious microorganisms that form a real red tide. Maybe I actually feel like a microorganism. Invisible yet malignant. Fecund. Festering…with pent-up mental waste and physical drain. I feel useless but see no reason to put myself to use. Nor does the future seem to hold anything to look forward to. Without the latter, even if it’s something small and trivial, I find myself plunged into depths of Dostoevskyian despair that make Anne Sexton poems seem like inspirational anecdotes from that loathesome “Chicken Soup For The Soul” series.
Does anyone else out there feel this way? Stuck between self awareness and somehow getting to the place of its real-world manifestations? Problems we complain about despite consciousness of their obvious solutions, because those solutions seem so monumentally impossible (in spite of their simplicity and ease of completion for quote-unquote normal people)?
I keep inexplicably waking up at 4:30am and not being able to fall back asleep. I watch where the Hudson River sips at the lip of Jersey and wait while where they kiss turns from black to gray to dawn blue. All other colors I feel at varying times in my days. But this morning, the red tide is here, and I’m a shore girl at heart: I always heed a sailor’s warning.
x Juliet, awake under the sheets