Notes from The Void


Re:__________________, subjective aboutness

Dear XX,

I was invited to write Carleen Tibbetts so that I could describe to Carleen Tibbetts why I feel upset about things that are not Carleen Tibbetts. I have done several things. I slept and I slept. There was not a single sound for miles and hours and years. 

I was invited to offer my bi-weekly diminished self to Carleen Tibbetts so that Carleen Tibbetts could read it and understand my diminished self. I hate observations. I hate onlys. I hate descriptions. It gets so lonely at night. Nobody ever gets lonely.

I wrote strange things to send Carleen Tibbetts because I don't know what else to do with my vacant despondency except relay the messages to Carleen Tibbetts. Carleen Tibbetts is a name and almost everyone in the world has a name. I also have a name. I forget my name when I see larger names. I think there is a name for that. 

I was invited to have my depression endured by Carleen Tibbetts and examined with care. The dead should invent new platitudes. Nothing matters, really. That's the premise this evening. Tomorrow is different.

Tonight a drowned woman from the island opens my mouth by name. She does not have a name. Her white gown swims asleep around her.

Carleen Tibbetts has a name. I was also given a name. Names are not important to water or islands or gravel. There is no evident purpose. The sand can't admire the sun, and there's a name for that, I'm sure.

I want to sleep without my name brooding over me. I am not a crucial enterprise. I am not a vital resource.

I have a name I never use.

There's a name for that as well.


XX (otherwise known as The Void)

Carleen Tibbetts lives in Iowa City. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Coconut, H_NGM_N, Sink Review, dusie, inter|rupture, ILK, Jellyfish, THRUSH, The Laurel Review, and other journals.

Robert Cole is fiction editor for Similar Peaks and his writing has appeared in Tarpaulin Sky, Menacing Hedge, THIS Literary Magazine, Thirteen Myna Birds, Sein und Werden and elsewhere. A collaborative chapbook with Juliet Cook will be published soon by Hyacinth Girl Press. He currently lives and works in Oklahoma City.