I’ve Lost My Focus

You will have to excuse me, I’ve been out of sorts lately. The tide has gone out and I’m feeling all washed up.

As I wait to pick up the kids in the car I slip into sleep-deprived but not tired drowsiness, and an exquisitely sad, shimmery, mauve-coloured emotion washes in, in gentle little waves.  It seems to be about longing for some pleasure permanently denied, and a vision is evoked of a tiny, dry, airless, browned and bare windowed room that has been sealed for many decades.  The music on the car stereo becomes subtly louder and my mind focuses with a strange intensity on every single note as it is played.  Let me look inside at the floor.  I’m curious, are there any dry, disintegrating bodies of dead insects in there, or has the room really been properly sealed for all of these years? Emotions can be places when you have synaesthesia.

I’m smiling kindly to strangers.  (Do you feel as lost as I do? Poor thing if you do.)  I almost enjoy the company of another Mum, chatting as we wait and watch in the playground.  Knowledge that there are so many things that we don’t have in common does not evoke the cold resentment that it usually does.  I don’t consider her motives.  I almost feel like talking with people my age rather than silently staring in at the innocent and beautiful world of the children playing.  I have no special access to any special world.  I am nothing special. My proper role in life is to be a nobody, and suburbia is a safe hiding place.  People rest happily inside boxes in the suburbs.  People rest peacefully inside boxes in the cemetery.  But why am I feeling so restless?  Why do I have to be different?

Attractive people have lost their charisma, and the misshapen take on a beauty that simply cannot be accounted for.  I’ve noticed two people in two days who have the same physical deformity.  I’d never noticed this before.  I feel compelled and revolted by the human race.

The myths that we live by are exposed for what they are.  I re-examine the fact that important relationships can be held together as much by shared fears and shared horrors and shared hatreds as they are held together by nice things.  It’s a grim reality but it’s certainly not without virtue, or beauty.  In my mind I unforgive people in my family, again.

The low tide has exposed what lies beneath, and I can see some gaping holes where important things are missing.  I’ve come to the realization that one of the few things in my life that seemed so easy has grown up weak because it didn’t need to fight for existence, and I fear that the harm can never be undone.  I felt so smug for so many years.  Why did I never see that coming?  Why do I have these ridiculous problems that no other person ever has?  Oh yes, I remember, it’s because I am a freak.

Husband is trying to be kind.  Do you mind if I don’t cook anything much for dinner again tonight?  I’m not that hungry.  I’m living on coffee made with a harsh and potent brew of robusta beans, and paradoxically my usual heartburn and stomach irritation has disappeared.  I cannot comprehend the currently popular obsession with cooking and sharing food.  From where I’m standing, it makes no sense at all.

Purple hardinbergia creeper is starting to bloom, and clicking frogs are calling.  Please, stop, I’m not ready for a springtime surge of energy.  I have no plans, no direction, but I feel that maybe things will never be the same again.

Please bear with me.  I’m just not myself today.

Lili Marlene’s I’ve Lost My Focus first appeared at Incorrect Pleasures, and is republished here with permission.

on 08/10/10 in featured, The Unconscious | 2 Comments | Read More

Comments (2)


  1. What a beautiful piece. So much of it resonates for me.

  2. Lili Marlene says:

    Thank you, Rachel.

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