Contradictions, an Exorcism

alexis scott
4 min readJan 21, 2019

It may be endlessly true that we (I?) endlessly crave opposition (do you do, too?). The restlessness of spirit sneaks up like acne, emerging from beneath the surface and drawing attention, waiting for release. Have I found a porch on which to sit? Well, then I’ll crave city lights. Have I carved out a sweet, silent place for solitude? Well, then I’ll long for communion.

I left Texas because I wanted the art to be harder and more precise. I wanted everyone to show up on time and to know just how much they wanted to fight for the next perfect moment.

And art, it seems, imitates environment. A big sky meant big room for sweeping gestures, ample time, large applause. Here in New York where the buildings are tall and tight, the art is always asking new, higher questions. It wrestles with form the way we wrestle with space inside a crowded subway. It asks us to be uncomfortable and uncovered the way we are bundled against the cold and then shedding into each other’s apartments, shoes first, coats and scarves and wet hats to follow. It is never done, nor is the light across the water or the traffic on the bridge or the neighbor upstairs. It is not easy to get into or to pay for and there is too much to even take in.

So we compose in contradictory questions. Where is the horizon from here? How can I go deeper within? Who can I call spontaneously? How can I cultivate forever community? Where is the love of my life? How can I care so much about art that I stop caring if anyone ever holds me at night? How short do I need to cut my hair to let it down completely?

I am never doing enough or relaxing sufficiently. I am trying to get so quiet that I can hear clear voices. How dare I spend more time looking at my phone? Have I called my mother today? How about my sister? What do I do with the texts from my father that won’t replace him after he leaves this earth? There is time yet before that happens, he has promised me many years, but how dare I not see him every day when I love him so? And how can I release my family completely so that we can all be most ourselves?

Every day I want to do so many things that I become paralyzed. I have so many ideas that I lay down my brain. I remember so many people that I call no one. I feel so haunted that I crave flowers. I want to go back to school but I believe in learning trades. I want to buy a house on the cape, but I haven’t figured out yet how to pay off my credit card debt. I want a public forum but more…