2011

January 5, 2011 

 

Don’t tell them you’re bigger than Jesus

This is when you’re supposed to be depressed. At 345 am on the Thursday morning before Christmas, listening to Amy Winehouse explain You Know I’m No Good and Peter Gabriel tell you to keep Digging in the Dirt. But even at that point, I’m pretty sure the heavy stuff isn’t quite at its heaviest. You loved me and you’re not allowed to write. And still I write. And you are not allowed to say a word.

I spend Christmas day alternating. Vomiting blood, reading, writing. The guy blames the chick, the chick blames the snake. I’ll just blame the fucking snake. She hates me when she says, “I love Dylan.” And I say, “Dylan who?”

I stay out super late, put something a little stronger in my 7-Up then most people probably have and take it with me. I can see my pulse in my hands. My nose runs and bleeds. I’ve been seeing double. I’ve been having trouble reading small print. This life may be killing me, but I don’t know how else to live. Perhaps in a way everybody’s life kills them. Some a bit more painfully than others. I’d say my choices are about half way up that spectrum. No one is stabbing me or shooting me in the face. I still cry. I feel half-awake most days. If you see me on my knees, I’m begging. I really did try to get close to you. I say I hate these kind of stories and you say, “But I know they’re true.”

Everything I was most scared of has manifest, with my complicity–at least–if not my outright choice. Is this place then an ultimate failure or a triumph of the will? I can endure what I was most afraid of? Something like a combination of both? I may never know the truth, but can’t face it. Did I go too far this time? It’s my own fault I’ve been to Hell.

I pray. That something watches and helps us be wise. Because I’ve lost my way.

 

January 11, 2011 

East Austin Blues

I’m not in control. Could the Universe have made her lesson any more clear to me? I was incarcerated. My stubbornness, my unwillingness to acquiesce demanded this bitter medicine to realize I am not in control. We are not in control. Our purpose is to discover our purpose, commit to it, then relinquish ourselves to this higher power. Then yield. Let it be. Stop fucking tripping. However you want to put it it all means the same thing.

 

 

Ua mau

It’s not like July 4th is that big in Hawaii; not like New Year’s Eve. Except for the military. Something about celebrating freedom on the graves of the indigenous people feels disingenuous. I tried explaining it to the rednecks but they just don’t get it.

 

 

The lightness of heaviness

We got to know each other on a deep level–which is good-but we live our lives in the shallow end. (For the most part.) The little annoyances swallowed over time have a way of being vomited up at the most inopportune moments. These words have a purpose to be the lightness amidst the heaviness of our lives.

 

 

Patience

I’ve once again re-read your letter that I received yesterday and was again and again filled with sweet affection for you. I know that each day brings me one day closer to you. The excitement of seeing you and holding you again makes time seem agonizingly slow. You are like Christmas and I’m like a five-year old boy being told, “Patience,” as the presents under the tree pile higher. Patience? I have no use for the word.

 

 

Conflict makes energy

I need to get out of myself. I’m too much in my own head and I’m sometimes overwhelmed by the power of my ability to feel. A blessing and a curse. My whole scattered life has been a blessing and a curse. Help me, Baby. I think I need you at the exact moment I realize I shouldn’t tell you that.

 

 

Strange currency

So what are we going to do when I get out there? Besides the obvious I mean. Our concerns have been so legal, so cerebral, so theoretical that the idea of you as a woman, with a woman’s body, and a woman’s kisses and a woman’s loving touch have, unfortunately, taken a back seat to those other concerns. I’m sure that will change the moment I melt into your arms, a sugar cube dissolving in your rain. And you as well will be sugar on my tongue dissolving.

And in this desert of hatred you were an oasis of love and support; my tether to a world where the truth is believed and friends are forever and justice meant fairness. Your beautiful words reach across these thousands of miles to talk me off the ledge of this bilious, nauseous, ferocious anger.

Three months apart and now three weeks. Do you still want me? I think you might. And I can hear your voice in response to that question a breathless treble of high-octave exhale, “Yeah!”

 

January 19, 2011 

What would an angel say, the devil wants to know

Solitude is difficult for a social animal. And though the argument can be made that much of this solitude is self-chosen, it’s not like it was one big choice. But rather, the cumulative effect of a thousand smaller choices, many of them bad. But as I was reminded by a dear friend yesterday, bad choices do not make a bad person. Hopefully she is correct and I can somehow extricate myself from this situation to be with her on more than one level.

The book is troubling me. I haven’t written lately because it hurts to remember. Bad choices may not make a bad person, but hell if they don’t make some bad situations. I want my life back. No, I take that back. I had the life you’re supposed to want and I didn’t want it. That’s what preempted this whole mess. A realization that what everyone is supposed to want is not what I wanted. But instead of delicately removing myself from the situation I chose to dramatically tear the walls down. Then I did it again, this time in even more spectacular fashion.

Bad choices do not make a bad person. Maybe a temporarily stupid or insane person. I need to repeat my positive affirmations. I deserve good things. And though it may be unrequited, for now, there is someone out there who I love very much and would do anything for. (You know who you are, my love.) Surrender to the Universe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the number one song in the world the day I was born was Let It Be. It’s as if the Universe knew that I would need the reminder from day one, and I’ve been resisting the direction the whole forty plus years I’ve been here now.

“When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom ‘Let it be.’” Maybe I should start listening, huh? Clearly my trying to control everything hasn’t exactly resulted in the gold standard of results. Still a bunch of potential out there. I love my kids, I love my family and friends, I love she who prefers to remain nameless here. What is there to lose except everything?

Let it be.

 

January 21, 2011 

Days full of rain, the sky’s coming down again, I get so tired of these same old blues

It’s another cold, dark day here in the corner of this apartment complex in east Austin, Texas. Though I’m sure the situation has as much an effect on the perceived brightness of the noon-day sun as anything else.

It got down to 29 degrees last night and as an experiment I left the heater off. Wasn’t so bad, probably 45 degrees in the house when I woke up. It was nice to snuggle in bed, even if I was snuggling myself.

I’ve been reading a lot about the Buddha and Buddhist teachings in general, and though I understand on an intellectual level that the root cause of suffering is attachment, on a visceral and emotional level it’s hard as shit not to feel attached to certain people, places and things. Mainly people. Again, mostly you.

 

 

What are we except the stories we tell about ourselves?

I find myself doing the same thing so I can hardly blame people for creating myths and replacing what may have really happened with versions of the truth that cause the least amount of cognitive dissonance.

As I take a break from my memory, it occurred to me that your version of what happened might be completely different. And with over a year now to percolate with little, if any, interference, I wonder how the myth has grown. Do you recognize the truth in the words set in digital stone here? Do you remember the situations, the omissions, commissions and obfuscations?

What are we except the stories we tell about ourselves? And it’s the rare storyteller among us that has the insight to align the painful choices s/he has made in the name of making things easier or diminishing that aforementioned dissonance.

But what about the truth? Like quantum theory is every possible outcome and every possible prequel as true as another? Does something have to be observed to manifest? And does my observation manifest a different truth than yours? I can only write what I remember.

And some days all I can do is remember.

 

January 22, 2011 

The ever-living ghost of what once was

I remember the moment I realized things were over with my first wife. I put my hand on her knee as she drove to a pumpkin patch, our two children in the backseat giggling. Some CD or other I had made for her, Band of Horses playing beautiful, romantic. And she shook my hand off her leg.

I can be so slow to recognize the truth of situations. The maxim that “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest,” is, I believe, a little more true for me than most. I have a tendency of explaining away the truth, even truth explicitly stated (“I don’t love you anymore”), with hopes of what might be, or “what she really meant was.”

So you can imagine my confusion when the messages are positive, but don’t align with action. Why does everything I love want to kill me a little bit? Why the Siren’s call to melancholy when, in general, I’m not melancholic? Why do I so often allow everything in the spectrum from suffering to rapture to be controlled externally? Again, tortured by an impotent self-awareness.

When will the intellectual become the visceral? Will there ever be a healthy emotional detachment? Is it possible? Is it optimal? Maybe the burden of feeling everything is a gift in some way and its benefits need just be discovered. Overturned under some unexplored rock or other.

The sun moves to the west and leaves this corner in premature, early afternoon darkness. Yet for all this the lightness is never spent. My sober heart bursts with the possibilities.

Give me your hand, or better yet, please take my hand in yours.

 

January 23, 2011 

Castaway

I think I’m losing my mind. A little bit. This experiment in solitary confinement and sensory deprivation is wholly unpleasant and, contrary to my original hypothesis, is actually not conducive to productivity. In this environment, things actually shut down.

Mornings start later. Days are slow, but, paradoxically, go by quickly. All of a sudden it’s night. Then the middle of the night. I’m almost done with my books that I’ve unpacked, recently purchased, or borrowed, and I’ve gone through 158 pages of lamebook.com (which is actually pretty funny). And if it weren’t for my neighbors upstairs alternately having sex and fighting (with, I might add, equal passion, volume, and vigor), I might as well be on another planet. Or unchartered island. I feel like Tom Hanks in Castaway, except I have Facebook, canned goods, and coffee. I’m glad I don’t have a volleyball or I might have drawn a disembodied face on one side and begun speaking to it by now.

Saying I’m lonely is redundant and tantamount to admitting weakness. And for unrelated reasons I am not allowed to admit any sort of weakness. Certainly not in this context. So I focus on the end game and that makes some of the more difficult moments dissipate. Or at least possible to bear. But what if the end game is an illusion? That’s my greatest fear is that I’ve been propping myself up on text messages of seeming grandeur that turn out to be platitudes, only the false hopes of false promises put to digital effect, and false words whispered in times of real need.

The turmoil reflected in the shouting matches from upstairs notwithstanding, they do seem to be quite real in their, um, passion. I’m not sure which I would choose at the moment, if given the choice, tumult or isolation? They mostly sound like they’re suffering. At least they’re suffering together. And out loud. While mine seems to be in my heart, in my head, and in silence.

I’m worried that I’ve built a house of cards; will I be shocked when I see them fall? I probably shouldn’t be. Over and over and over. The cards always fall. And what if, like in the movie, my volleyball floats away and I just break down because it was my last tether to sanity?

Which is another reason I’m glad I don’t really have a volleyball.

 

January 25, 2011 

Desperation makes the worst cologne

I don’t feel desperate. Yet I find myself acting in ways that might be construed as such. And if you walk like a duck and quack like a duck, you can hardly blame people for thinking you’re a duck. Even if you feel like a lion. Historically, when I’ve been at my strongest, I’ve lived by a few simple principles. Or rather, my actions naturally aligned with a few precepts without a need for cognition.

Never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. Never want something more than it wants you back. Desperation makes the worst cologne. And though these seem to be romantic in nature they work in almost every situation that involves human beings.

The problem is, the older I get, the harder this list and similar truisms become to live out. The more I learn the more I realize I don’t know the answer to a lot of questions. The choice then becomes stay silent and safe, or ask and be vulnerable. And over these decades, there have been people and situations too difficult to gauge, and the measurement of something as abstract as “want” is almost impossible.

So lately I’ve been asking for what I want. And though I still intend to get it all, it sounds sometimes like desperation. And I don’t care. I don’t know the answers. And I don’t care.

Quack, quack. Roar.

 

January 26, 2011 

It’s complicated

We’d moved together from Keller to Austin in May, an apparent couple, with divorce proceedings in full-swing. That was when the split was still somewhat pending, at least to me, and we still threw out words like, “amicable,” and, “civilized.” I should have known things were worse than they seemed when she was so eager to get rid of the house that we had built to her specific specifications. We rented it to a younger, somewhat odd couple–he was 30, she was 20, they were bartenders at Main Event, they didn’t have kids. Why two bartenders wanted a house with two stories, five bedrooms and three bathrooms (more than one each!) was a mystery–I joked about them using it as a clandestine meth lab, hidden in plain sight in the suburbs of Dallas/Fort Worth–but they paid on time, enough to cover the mortgage and then some. So we signed a two-year lease and moved four hours south.

I didn’t want to leave, but she dangled the reward of reconciliation, so I almost immediately acquiesced. I didn’t notice when she morphed into Machiavelli sometime in January, or I would have recognized the move as one aspect of an emotionless pragmatism intended to secure her independence (at my expense, of course) and eventually extricate herself from our relationship. The process took about ten months and had officially ended the first week of October when she changed her status on Facebook from “It’s complicated,” to “Single.” It’s not like I hadn’t given her reason; several, in fact.

“So you’re single now?”

“I’ve been single since July.”

“Only in court.” Our divorce was finalized on July 11.

“No, everywhere.”

“Didn’t look that way to me.”

“You weren’t looking close enough.”

“You could have given me a heads-up.”

“I don’t see why you even care. No one’s even going to notice.”

“You’re kidding right?”

“No. Why?”

“Because I’ve already gotten three phone calls asking when we finally broke up for good.”

“Tell them, ‘July.’”

The shit would really hit the fan when on Christmas day, an hour after we watched our son and daughter open their presents, she changed her status again to, “In a relationship,” and again the following May when my own status would change from “Single” to “Married.” She hasn’t spoken to me since.

 

 

The soundtrack of our lives

Watching the landscape, or cityscape, pass by in the windows as music is playing too loudly in the background, and I sometimes feel like I’ve warped into a music-video world. It helps if the music is fast enough to keep time with the view, is catchy, but more obscure than pop (this isn’t about a sing-a-long), and bonus points for esoteric lyrics that require some level of reflection.

Today’s candidate for perfect music-video song came on just after noon when the iPod carefully selected the Cure’s Charlotte Sometimes. And Robert Smith’s repeated cries of “Sometimes I dream!” seemed to fit the ride, and the day, perfectly.

These songs, so full of memories for such different reasons, suggest the silent soundtrack of our lives played out without music but in our thoughts and memories, both conscious and subconscious.

Events of the day, had otherwise triggered thoughts of the past, my past. And, of course, as we all do when triggered, I drifted back to the recent and more distant history and contemplated life and the decisions that I’ve made. There are some things I’ve done that look really bad on paper, but given identical situations, I’m quite sure I would repeat most of my actions, even the one’s with difficult ramifications, even knowing what I know now. Ouspensky’s wheel once again revisited.

The inconvenience comes from the judgments of those removed from the situation. “If only I could explain.” I’ve learned it’s best not to try. Explanations are often interpreted as excuses. And I don’t have any good ones. I just have to trust that I’m trying to do the right thing and for the most part succeeding. Then let people fall into place where they will. Because they will anyway.

None of us are so different as we like to believe we are, myself included. The human condition does not produce many truly unique situations. More than one person’s walked on the moon. And whatever you’re feeling, a million other people are feeling at the exact same time. I try to remember that when I get too much in my head. Especially about regrets, if onlys and what ifs.

Some of us are just not as good at hiding our true selves. Growing up Catholic I was trained at an early age to be confessional. I blurt. But, I’ve learned that not everyone wants to hear your true confessions. Some don’t care. Some can’t empathize. Some understand, but keep it to themselves. Some just don’t like the act of blurting.

I am what I am, and I’ve done what I’ve done. And there’s no changing any of that. I really don’t think I’d want to.

But, sometimes I dream.

 

January 28, 2011 

A man you don’t meet every day

This site has become so self-centered lately. When I get a new client the first thing I do is audit their assets (that’s what she said). Invariably, I tell them one variation or another of “You talk too much about your capabilities and experiences. Your customers and potential customers don’t care about you. They care about themselves. When you only talk about your company, you lose your chance to engage at your first impression.”

And yet, here I speak almost entirely out of my own experience which, though lacking in extremes like murder or lottery winnings, does not seem to align with the more common experiences of the people I know. But perhaps this is because I’ve been more willing to share these experiences. One could argue that I’ve not only shared them but pushed them out unrequested to the world. And clearly I don’t have a monopoly on misery or ecstasy, no matter how miserable or ecstatic I have been.

Then again, what I do know of the lives of the people that I’m close to suggests that perhaps my experience is not at all unique. And that the shit, however it manifests, manages to find its way into all of our lives, even those that from the outside seem like a fairy tale. No matter how bad it gets, there’s always someone whose suffering is greater. Incrementally to exponentially, the category of people that are worse off seems almost infinite on a planet of more than six billion individual lives. I wonder if there is actually someone that is objectively the worst-off human being in existence, or is that state fluid and constantly changing as one person’s destiny becomes more and more horrible, then recedes.

The converse idea to glean from this, then, is actually quite hopeful. That there is always something to be thankful for. I may be unemployed, but I’ve got two arms and two legs, a sound mind and virtually healthy body to not work with. I may have a broken heart, but I have the insight to know this and the capacity to attract more love. I may have some blemishes on my permanent record (always a threat I never took so seriously in intermediate school), but I do have the experience and education to outshine any past personal failures or proclivities.

I’m a man you don’t meet everyday, that I know for sure. I’ve had a weird life. What to most people would be an absurd set of circumstances is the only possible outcome for you. A variation of that idea was expressed to me by an ancient lover many years ago. I didn’t like hearing it at the time, but I’ve come to recognize its veracity. I feel special. And I don’t mean that in the megalomaniacal sense; I’m not believing or feigning any sort of grandiose fantasies of importance. But in the sense that we are all unique touching points in the time-space continuum of existence, and I am beginning to understand how I touch.

Perhaps as a marketing strategist it is ideal to suggest that one not talk about oneself as a means of engagement. But on this metaphysical level, the only person I even have a chance at truly understanding is myself, and the only way to connect with anyone that rakes across the path of this site is by finding commonality in experience, even if the specifics of this experience are vastly different.

For all the activity, I actually get very little feedback; in fact, I’d prefer to hear what people think more often. Mostly readers choose different channels to address the ideas I’ve played with here. I use this communication as a means to understanding, but to be quite honest that understanding comes in fits and is mostly fleeting, if it comes at all.

 

January 30, 2011 

Making sure we get this straight

Before I had even met you, before I had even known you, I had the idea of you. A beautiful idea. An idea which I thought I needed, even though I was pretty sure I would never know it beyond the imaginary. And when you manifest in my experience of the Universe? I was shocked and quite amazed that the idea actually existed. You were perfect. Beautiful, confident and everything all the time. You even had the correct flaws ones that you needed me to “save” you from, or so it seemed at the time. More likely? I was celebrating those perceived flaws, hoping your problems would prove necessary to my ideas. And by proxy would make me necessary because you would need me around to think them. Unlike what I’ve implied in the past, however, you saved yourself.

I was there through it all. Who started it? What was the catalyst? I don’t know. But you finished it. And then? You became bigger than that original idea of you. And so now? The roles have become reversed. Because with the roles of responsibility we both have assumed, with age and with circumstance, I’ve ignored this obvious aphorism a beautiful fuck up is still a fuck up. You have still retained the beautiful (and I don’t just mean physical, you’ve always been that). But I, as we had in our youth, have sometimes found myself being both, not always consciously, but pursuing each with equal abandon.

Earlier this year you called me selfish because the magnitude of my personal problems made me seem dismissive of yours. You were absolutely right. And you were wrong. I always appreciated your struggles, especially with regard to raising, caring, and nurturing other lives. Especially in the conditions you found yourself in. I was self-centered. Yuck. But I did recognize the woman you had become. I should have been better at letting you know how much I recognized things. And how much I appreciated everything. And why I told you I thought you were more beautiful than when I first met you so many years ago. That was the reason.

Where are we now? I’m still that same guy you knew and loved, know and love. Still funny, still crazy on the inside if not in action, still the smartest boy in the room. A few dings to the exterior. Nothing a fresh coat of paint won’t cover.

I want you to think about things. And by things I mean the future. And remember, the path of least resistance quickly becomes the only way we know and that, for both of us, will be the end of our pursuit of the divine.

 

January 31, 2011 

All you need is love; well, maybe not all you need

I posted that recently as a Facebook status with a link back to an open love letter of sorts. The feedback I got was rather pessimistic in the overall view of love as something not to be trusted, entered into quickly, or whose very existence ought to be questioned as some rehashed Cinderella story or other.

As many times as I’ve been hurt, or hurt another, in the name of love, I can understand the reaction. But for some reason, the giddy pronouncements between two lovers in the throes of an early-relationship hormone-fest, the butterflies-in-the-stomach anticipation of love delayed, then rekindled, the sense of well-being brought on by years of affection; a hand on the knee, a smile across a room, or a knowing glance all still rank highly in my personal Google search using “meaning” and “life” as its main keywords.

I’m a sucker for light touches and lighter looks. Warm beds on weekend mornings and physical contact while drifting off to nod. I want to believe and so I will. And here was my response

“As with most aphorisms, it is an oversimplification, but the gist of the thought–that human interaction would benefit if the primary motivation, rule set and post-exchange analysis of our relationships was love–is a valid, if somewhat optimistic, argument. Which is why I, being a person that leans toward optimism, but whose experience has often provoked skepticism, included part two of that title.”

I’m pretty sure we all want the same things. But so much depends upon the outcome that we end up constantly hedging our bets, closing our shells, and protecting ourselves, rather than being vulnerable. There’s so much at risk. Our very sense of self, maybe even our lives as we know them.

I’ve learned the hard way that living in fear often makes real the very thing you’re afraid of. Jealousy brings other lovers. Paranoia brings attack. And it’s no secret that a liar won’t believe anyone else.

 

February 5, 2011 

An early valentine

Full disclosure this entry is specifically for one person, though I still want to share it with the world. I want to share the ever-long head-rush into effusive sweet nothings, the redemptive experience of affection, given back to me in reciprocity from a love lost and rekindled, lost again, and now forever found. Grant me these indulgences.

And to inspire and capture the mood of this open missive, a collection of giddy pronouncements in song, beginning here, to be played as you hear my voice reading to you from 1,100 miles away.

For much of the last fifteen months I’ve allowed myself to slide down the slippery slope of bitterness and righteous indignation including, at times, toward you. I know, I know. I wasn’t there. There were doubts and, eventually, omissions by both of us. I’ve put that to rest, and the past abandoned now. I’m not there. I will be. The time is short.

I want us to be open to the possibilities that for one reason or another have eluded us over the decades of our acquaintance, friendship and love. I want you. Surely, I’m repeating myself with that sentiment.

But on this occasion, the celebration of the martyrdom of the patron saint of lovers, now turned saccharine sweet by Hallmark and its co-conspirators at Hershey’s and proflowers.com, let us look back upon our lives and look forward to the not-so-distant future when I will lay back with you laughing in my arms.

There are these months in our way, less obstacles to me, than to you. Your eyes give you away. Still, you have given me a new-found optimism. I’ve always believed in you, but now I believe you. And, yes, there is a difference. The waiting is hard, but less and less so as hours morph into days and into weeks then months, and the clock turns from torturous to taunting, from expectation to inevitable, and finally to bliss.

You’ve asked me in the past why I love you, and though the reasons may seem selfish, you have made me feel selfless in a way I cannot remember feeling. At least not recently. You make me feel like I’m more than what I am. You make me feel special. You make me see the possibilities. You make me feel like a rock star. You gave me back my swagger.

And so now all I’m asking for is everything. To open up your life and heart in a way you rarely do, like a flower opens petal by petal in early Spring, and to let me in. Our experiences have sometimes made us cynical, how could they not? But you’ve brought the opposite experience back to me.

I love you. My sweet valentine.

 

February 7, 2011 

Could it be magic?

Riding home today and the song, seemingly chosen at random, completed a perfect storm of factors it is the week before Valentine’s Day and I am far removed from the one I might choose to spend it with, yet somehow feel as close to her as I ever have; I’ve had two hours of sleep and fifteen cups of coffee and only a day-old bran muffin to stem the caffeine’s tide; I’ve been spoiled with the unexpected mid-day lilt of her voice, longer than usual because she has locked her keys in the car and needs to remain onsite to wait for the locksmith; and

 

I know something in my life has changed when I hit repeat on the iPod because I want to glean some insight into the ways of life and love from a pop song first made popular in the middle years of my childhood.

I literally caught myself texting the lyrics to her when, in a rare moment of restraint, I grabbed me by the imaginary lapels, smacked myself upside the face and head, and with a stern rebuke gave the the order to, “Get a hold of yourself, man. Put on the Cro-Mags or early 7 Seconds, for god’s sake.” But I would have none of it. I made a compromise. I erased the text message. But I played Could It be Magic on repeat until I removed the headphones from my ears upon entering my apartment.

I’ve always had a weakness for syrup and a melody.

 

March 7, 2011 

The scared and the sacred

Everything I thought was holy, everything sacred, was actually impious, sad and scared. Part of me hates you for destroying that brief moment of faith. Part of me thanks you for reminding me to always know your enemy. Part of me yearns for what I thought was real. Part of me misses you terribly. Like the song goes, “I’m a million different people from one day to the next.” I sit here, though, in the ruins that I’m not quite sure I created alone.

Why am I paying the total price for our self-immolation?

 

March 14, 2011 

March madness

Which, of course, has nothing to do with basketball. I’m having a crisis of faith. I don’t believe. I know things may be said to spare feelings or avoid confrontation, but I’d just rather know because the truth always comes out. It’s like a bubble that rises to the surface. Undeniable. Indefatigable. We say we lie to save another person from the hurtful truth, but in reality we do it to save ourselves.

 

March 22, 2011 

I was feeling cold and tired

These things, this life, is so hard to negotiate sometimes. We all love, we all win, we all lose. And yet it’s so personal, it’s so complicated. We become difficult with the people that matter most, probably because they are the ones that will tolerate it. Let me tell you the truth I get sad, I get scared, and right now, I’m alone. And I don’t have a consistent strategy to alter these conditions. I don’t know where to start, except to keep writing. I want to lash out, but at what? I want someone to come wrap her arms around me. But who? I want to soar. But to what end?

 

 

To the outside

The dead leaves. The clutter. The things that seem to matter so much at the moment. Why do I have this self-awareness, but I cannot step out of myself? Why the impatience? Why the impotence? I am the only obstacle in my path to self-actualization.

 

 

A deadline

Life, obviously, is finite. Death, though frightening, gives us a deadline. This silliness that we sometimes go through needs the final shake of mortality perhaps to make us right. There’s so much I want to do, there’s still so much love, that every second wasted becomes a lost opportunity. Let us then resolve to waste no more. To live and love and eat ice cream and rub our children’s hair and tell them we love them. Because this next moment, any next moment, eventually some next moment will be your last.

 

March 23, 2011 

The term “love”

Or any of these other huge emotional factors that matter so much in our lives often involve a chosen, shared cognitive dissonance that manifests in dysfunction, sadness, and pain. Why do we do this? Why do we spend so much energy in one direction when we’re running in the other?

 

April 13, 2011 

Coming clean then moving forward

It had been an interesting twenty-four hours. A reality that I had been holding for over a year was shattered with a few sentences and, surprisingly, I’m not traumatized like I thought I might be. What’s the point really? I’ve come to that conclusion.

Two disparate events have brought similar perspective, yet the only things they actually share are the date and city of their occurrence.

A bunny died in my arms. Frantically searching for a vet that treated rabbits, the life slowly drained from this fragile creature and on my lap, in real time, a life lesson unfurled. It’s not happening as quickly or dramatically as a mad rush to find medical aid, but in a very real way some of us are slowly fading. Words without tone can often be misinterpreted, but I am not being sarcastic nor flippant. The bunny’s death helped stem the flow of what might have been a righteous anger. I had known the rabbit for only a day, but I mourned its passing.

The second was a snippet of a conversation, whispered in the dark. I promised that I would keep the specific dialogue private but, trust me, it was exactly what I needed to hear. And provided the only road I could see to get me back to life.

 

April 16, 2011 

About a girl

You will never fully know if you ever loved someone until you actually lose them. In other cases, some people never imagine how life would be without them or even imagine losing that one person. Because in that exact moment you know that you will never say “I love you” again, you often actually begin to do just that.

 

April 17, 2011 

And no one ever has to know that inside we are broken

What is the point of giving your life to another person if you can’t give your whole self and be your real self? I’ve come to believe that you cannot love another person for who they have the potential to be, or worse, what you want them to be. The only way to truly love someone is to love exactly who they are. The one I love isn’t perfect. She, like every other human being, is flawed. And some of those flaws, over the years, have been a source of great pain and disappointment to me. I’ve been asked by friends and family, I’ve been asked by her, why I keep going back. It’s represented to me as weakness or some kind of failure on my part. I disagree. I know who she is. I’m not stupid. And I love her for who she is, not who I wish she would be. We may not end up together, but I will never stop loving her. I don’t know if it’s normal, but I’ve never stopped loving anyone just because they hurt me. If you wait around long enough, everyone will eventually hurt you.

 

 

I’m going to share a little secret with you about her

You’re not going to win. I can tell by your pallor that you don’t have the pain threshold. That kind of love is not a 5k charity walk. It is a triathlon. And you have to be willing to sacrifice everything–everything–to even have a chance and making all the way to the end.

 

 

A “Parable of the Lion”

Being mad at her for the eternal, insecure quest for male attention is like being mad at a lion for saying “Roar,” because you told it to be quiet. Lions roar. They’re not doing it to bother you; it’s just what they do. She is who she is and I love her for what is, not what I hope she will be.

 

April 18, 2011 

Memories of him

Walking from the pool with my wife and the kids. My daughter ran ahead and in chasing her I almost tumbled over my son who had abruptly stopped and kneeled down on the sidewalk. I was just about to hurry him along because my daughter was now almost out of sight when my wife said, “Wait. He has literally stopped to smell the flowers. This is an iconic moment. I think we can wait until he’s four to discourage him and crush his spirit.” So we waited. And after a few long draws from the petals he got up and continued toward the house, singing to himself, “They smell good. They smell good.”

They do, son, they really do.

 

 

I miss someone

A few days ago I made a selfish, unnecessarily punitive mistake directed toward someone that didn’t deserve it because I had convinced myself he was standing in my path. It’s probably more accurate to say that I was standing in his, he’d been there almost as long and used it much more often. I was flailing and was destructively apathetic about collateral damage. If I was in pain, then I didn’t care if everyone involved, and anyone standing too close was as well. Which, of course, is such an immature attitude that I’m embarrassed to admit that for several hours I acted within that context. The result has been the silence of a voice that has been a daily constant in my life for several years. It’s made me realize the truth of several clichés about what things are important, and which ones just feel that way during our most self-centered moments.

 

 

Four days in April

Last week was beautiful and terrible and everything in between. It was strange, then celebratory, then sad. Attachments were made then disconnected. Lives were broken and repaired; some were just left broken. Lies were revealed and intimacies disclosed, followed quickly by grief and outrage, then acceptance and back again. Transcendent highs were cruelly displaced by excruciating lows. Exultation and disappointment often overlapped each other. There was tenderness and there was casual cruelty. Assertions of intent were made and confirmed repeatedly, then almost immediately renounced. Overnight, conversation and contact was quieted, the penalty for an episode of impulse and bad behavior. The silence endures.

And it all happened in just four days. A high-speed train wreck that in less than 100 hours, covered the distance between sublime and suffering, and materially altered three lives.

The recurring presence of drama in my life recently is evidence of my complicity in its creation. And when it already exists I’m just as likely to aggravate it as I am to defuse it. Whatever is actually happening, I’m too close to have developed a meaningful insight yet. But on a visceral level I can tell you that whatever the cause, the symptoms are painful, and that I hate the way it feels.

 

April 19, 2011 

Another story from the “Parable of the Lion” series

“It’s not your decision-making ability in general that’s flawed. It’s when you make impulsive decisions that bad things sometimes result. Slow down and breathe.”

That’s like telling a lion to remember to eat his vegetables. On a rational level he will agree that the roughage would probably be better for his colon than a steady diet of zebra. But he rationalizes his life choices by telling you he’s getting all the vegetables he needs from the vital organs of the herbivores he eats. Your persistent appeals and lion life expectancy powerpoint persuade him to give it a try, however, and he grudgingly orders the African Wild Greens salad off the daily specials menu. But when you turn away he eats the waiter and spits the salad into his napkin.

 

 

The Facebook iPhone app blues

It serves me right to suffer some, I suppose. That doesn’t mean I have to Like • Comment • Share that fact with everyone. Still, I do. But as the hours turn into days, and the days will soon be a week, I’ve stopped feeling hopeful when a text message chirps, or my customized ring buzzes with a call. The phone is easier to ignore, because it’s never the ring I’ve assigned to her. I’ve stopped grabbing the iPhone to immediately scroll through my new messages because deep down I know none of them will be from her. Sometimes I won’t even check for 10 minutes after getting one. I can’t even follow what’s happening with her life on Facebook because she’s either blocked me, or deactivated the account. The optimist in me truly hopes it’s the latter.

A total Facebook block of a single individual is probably the most effective way to tell someone online that, “You are no longer welcome in my inner circle, and probably not in my life at all.” I find the fact that this inner circle doesn’t include me but does include more than 100,000 of her Friends of Friends particularly depressing.

I used to know her password. The level of trust that represents is superhuman. The spare key to your apartment and all of your pin numbers put together would still not come even close. A password is a key to the intimacies of hundreds of Facebook friends, but more importantly it allows access to the birthing canal of your online identity. In a Google world where everything is stored forever, your reputation online is more important than it is in your circle of real life friends. Like herpes, anything that happens online never goes away once the search engines find it, and unlike Vegas it doesn’t stay anywhere but often propagates at the exponential speed of viral communication.

I’m getting off message. The point is it was one hell of a fall from shared passwords to virtual blockade. And for someone like me who lives online, it’s not hyperbole to liken it to a little death.

“Oh god, K, you’re so dramatic. I had to cut you off. You kept posting weird shit on my wall. My family reads that you know?”

“I was going to tell you that it’s probably not a good idea to friend your kids. You’re 16-year old doesn’t need to know what you look like dancing on the bar at Coyote Ugly.”

“Well, if it makes you feel better I deactivated my account completely.”

“It actually does. Singling out one person out of 500,000,000 users is quite a statement don’t you think? At least now I blend in with the rest of the planet.”

“I wanted my privacy back. And I felt like I had to respond to everyone that contacted me. I don’t need that. I actually feel free.”

“Hippie.”

I miss you. Even though It’s complicated.

 

April 22, 2011 

Two ships passing at the mall

Isn’t it weird the kind of changes that occur between two parties in an intimate relationship? I find it interesting sometimes to reflect on the fact that though I’ve had countless lovers, there are four or five people walking around planet Earth who know, up close and personal, about my predilections for certain styles of fantasy, dress, or action. That is a very intimate knowledge. And running into these people when access to their relief of these desires is no longer appropriate nor attainable sometimes borders on the surreal. You speak about the shallow end, talk about the weather, the new job, maybe even the kids, knowing all the time she knows something about you that the world passing around you doesn’t.

Part of the reason that my site is so transparent is an attempt to take away some of the power of that knowledge. But the main reason, related but far deeper, was to be so honest, sometimes embarrassingly so, that people had no choice but to know I must be telling the truth about everything.

 

April 26, 2011 

Fourteen months

I’ve walked through hell. I’ve made mistakes. I was vindictive. I’ve done stupid things. I was looking at old pictures of us, then I found a new one of you online. Roads back. Highways back. Speedways back. I destroyed everything on this side, I can only assume you’ve done the same on yours. But, god, what a starburst magic we made so many moons ago. I was so excited. I was so scared. I couldn’t believe you were happening to me. And what I wouldn’t give to get that feeling back. If a place like Chili’s could host the genesis and another like Friday’s could define the background, then I suppose that anything is possible. But this is like stretching one arm to Round Rock and the other to Gaines Ranch without pulling your arms in no matter how much they burn, no matter how ridiculous it seems, no matter what we’ve said. Bearing truths and false witness, it doesn’t matter. There was a love for you that I cannot anger away, or explain away, or rationalize away. You were there. You felt it. And at least for me, it was as real as anything I have ever known.

I saw your picture on my computer. And the ugliness, for a moment, replaced with how much I do miss you. Everything in that moment is forgiven, forgotten, healed, fixed. I can’t look for you for at least a minute or so. Find me.

 

April 29, 2011 

The Tao of Scrabble

Let go. You don’t control your circumstance. The tiles come like water flows, with neither malice nor affection. They just come. To blame the score on a preponderance of vowels is to miss the lesson. In Scrabble, like life, you get what you get. The Master knows this without knowing it’s not the tiles you end up with, but how you choose to use them that makes the difference.

My friend turned me on to it last week. But like the rest of the junkies, once I started I couldn’t stop. I rationalized. It’s just a harmless pastime. I do it for a couple of hours and then I go to bed. The second time I did it? I quit in the middle. I don’t have a problem. The last two days, though, I’m letting the phone ring and skipping meals. I still do it with friends mostly, but now I’m doing it with people I don’t even know.

It’s damaged my moral compass. I got caught using Scrabble Cheat. “You’re saying, with a straight face, that you were hoarding the two blanks because you knew that a zyzzyva was a South American weevil? There’s something wrong with you.”

And, no, I wasn’t sorry. Clearly, there’s a glitch in the Matrix if some nine-year old from Bulgaria who can’t speak English beats me four games in a row. That doesn’t happen. Not on my watch. Not in my mother tongue, Igor. And if that takes using an MIT algorithm to determine the best score possible given a pool of seven letters? Then that’s what it takes. You go ahead and phonetically memorize every two-letter word in the English language, because when there’s four tiles left and nothing but Serbo-Croat consonants exposed, I will still call, “Bullshit,” that you can use xu, but I can’t use zu.

So now every night this week I’ve been up past 4 a.m.

“Hand me that dictionary. I don’t think the online version reflects the latest edition.”

“No.”

“Okay, you look it up.”

“I’m not looking it up.”

“What’s the big deal?”

“I’m not checking again. Uiuiui is not a word. I need to go to bed.”

“Can you check iuiuiu?”

“No. Either make a play or skip your turn, I’m tired.”

“Oh. So, because you’re a quitter, I’m supposed to dump my rack without stacking at least one triple-letter and one double-word score? Go to bed, you fucking sell out. The game will be waiting for you in the morning.”

“You know, you really should think about cutting back a little, you’ve been on the computer a lot. Maybe get outside or something.”

“You’d like that wouldn’t you?”

 

May 18, 2011 

Old friends

I recently became reacquainted with an old friend from high school. Of course it was Facebook that facilitated the reunion. That kind of reconnection is so common nowadays it’s not even a story anymore. But this one should be. I’m going to play by my self-imposed rules and not name names; I hate to out people as my friends.

In a short time this woman has come back into my life and infused it with a joy and optimism that regular readers of this site must recognize has been lacking of late. There have been more rants than literature I must confess. The irony is that I’ve written more satire in this state of mind than when I thought I was happy. I’ve always recognized that humor doesn’t come from a happy place and every comedian I know is miserable. Something about getting to the truth of the matter.

So my friend, as many of my friends do, especially in my recent life, and by recent I mean since my famous moment of existential angst that walloped me circa July 2007, worries about me. I didn’t always provoke this kind of concern. It may be hard to believe but from 1992, there was a 15-year win streak I was enjoying, and the bad times, though they existed, don’t rise in my memories like the piss and vinegar.

I think it all changed when my daughter was born and I stopped being the only one in the universe. Now I was a distant second. She gave me what I had always lacked something bigger than myself. Something that without any question mattered more than me. But with that realization came an understanding of my denouement.

I’m being dramatic, always dramatic, it’s one of my seven defining characteristics. (The other six dwarves being intense, kind, lovesick, smart, obstinate and contrary, if you were wondering.) But anyone that knows me, really knows me, will not argue long, if at all, if you propose to them that something fundamental has changed. Life is about change, and it’s human nature to interpret that process through the myopic lens of short-term results, i.e., she broke up with me and that sucks, rather than the 50,000-foot view that knows if she was still here this book would never be finished and the love of my life left ignored. Still, it’s hard down here on the ground. Where everything is venom and everything is love.

I promised my friend I would try not to be pessimistic. So like her I am going to accentuate the positive. There really is so much love in my life that I sometimes feel selfish for complaining. And yet sometimes I cannot stop the urge to weep. I’ve seen a lot of things in this life, and have done things you wouldn’t believe if I told you. I write everything down so that I don’t forget. It’s different in words than inside yourself. Pictures help.

 

May 19, 2011 

If less is more, then how do you keep score?

An anniversary of thirty-plus years draws nigh, then one from two years ago follows two days later. The second marked only by a gravestone that reads, “Absolute Appreciation,” and words mailed to a dead letter office. Pontius Pilate washes her hands. I grieve. And my thoughts return to a time when my worried mind was still.

But like the poem says, “Things fall apart.” It’s funny the ways that truth manifests.

My status on Facebook, written not four months later, on September 11, 2009, represented one of the worst days I’ve ever known. It was raining and I was having an argument that started in person, continued on the phone, then for eight hours at work over instant message insisted on a painful obstinacy that began the night before and lasted until the rain became a deluge 20 hours later. It was madness. But mostly it was so sad. White lies exaggerated into deal breakers, trust eroded both ways and washed away, quite literally, in that rain. On this occasion, I’m not just pointing a finger. I know I didn’t stop. It was the most important adult relationship in my life at the time and I couldn’t stop tearing it down. I could see the damage being done. And still, I couldn’t stop.

It’s weird to read Facebook interactions from then. They’re like a horror movie where you want to yell at the screen, “Don’t go down there,” but can only watch as the killer makes a methodical pursuit in which all attempts at escape are futile. If you re-read my profile chronologically, you can almost see it happening our dual descent into mercenary selfishness. And, of course, less than one month later my life as I knew it had ended.

 

May 21, 2011 

The burden of dreams

Sometimes they paralyze me. In my dreams you’re not just a memory. In those moments you’re real again. You come to me. You speak in your voice. I can feel your skin. We kiss. And it is, as it is for everyone, as real as real seems to be.

 

May 24, 2011 

All this time it got left behind

Because it felt like home. I was washed away in you. “Let’s move forward,” you say. So many things to back down from though, it’s almost unfair to ask of someone. I promise. Give it three months. And what is low shall be made high, and what is high shall fall low. It is as it always is. And shall be what it’s always been.

 

 

My paralyzing fear of death

Or maybe it’s just the ends of things. I’m so good at the beginning. But at the end my spectrum ranges from melancholy to madness. I remember the day of my grandfather’s funeral. I was 10. I was home alone. WatchingTijuana Toad and the specter of the end washed over me. I haven’t really been much of a sleeper since. I still sleep with the lights on if I’m alone. And sometimes even if I’m not.

I was asked once by a school counselor if I believed in heaven or hell. And I guess both to me seemed like much the same thing. An eternity of long white rooms. Heaven with other people. Hell alone. Still not able to sleep.

 

May 26, 2011 

Almost two years ago

You’ve broken me in a way that I might never be made whole again. I wasn’t trying to do anything to you or, sadly, in my defense. I didn’t know you were so broken. That you would fight back so hard at any perceived offense. I really was on your side.

 

May 27, 2011 

Better

Open your eyes, little boy. There’s these things. There’s this life. Sometimes it gets bigger and bigger. And sometimes it gets smaller.

I know things. I’ve seen a lot of things you can’t un-see. Am I bragging? No. Maybe twenty years ago I might have. No one ever told me back then. They just thought I’d know better. I look down and all I can see are the dead leaves and the dirty ground. I look up and it’s like a tunnel. And the light is so very distant. It could be oncoming. I can’t tell. The tears don’t help my vision. And the memories sometimes can be stronger than what I really see.

 

May 28, 2011 

There’s no we anymore

Do you remember May 5, 2009? Cinco de Mayo. I stood next to you. We watched him dance. That’s the last time I took a breath. It was the last time I felt like I was living. The last time I was alive.

I made a mistake. Perhaps several depending on who’s counting. Shall I pay forever?

 

May 31, 2011 

English works

“I’m scared to say the wrong words to you. I never felt that way with you.”

“Really?”

“And now. A sentence might make you go away.”

“No.”

“I miss what we had.”

“Me too.”

“Come back to me. Shall I say it in French or Hawaiian?”

“English works.”

“Ne me quitte pas. Ho’i mai.”

 

June 1, 2011 

Still

Of course I still want you. My eyes burn staring at the sun that is you. My feet blister walking over the desert sand that is you. I close my eyes and cover my feet. And it still washes over me. It’s been a few years now. And it may be a few more. For some of us? Love is a long road.

 

June 2, 2011 

Just so you know

When I talk about anyone else? I’m talking about you.

 

June 3, 2011 

Mistakes

I know I made a mistake. I know you have a new boyfriend. You had one when I met you.

 

June 5, 2011 

We all fall down

“You made a mistake.”

“Perhaps.”

“No one’s ever gonna love you like I do.”

“Right now? I don’t need love.”

“You will.”

“And then what?”

“And then everything has fallen down. It feels like you made a business decision.”

“Honey? Life is a business decision.”

“Not for me.”

“I know, Honey. That’s why, sometimes, you fall down.”

 

June 7, 2011 

Just an observation

If I’m going to put up with this bullshit? I’m going to do it with someone way hotter than you.

 

June 8, 2011 

I still love you

“You need to grow up.”

“Really? Should I grow up and be just like you? Should I do what you do? Shall I do what you’ve done?”

“Really.”

“Why are you picking on me?”

“I’m not.”

“It feels like you are.”

“Why?”

“I don’t feel your love like I used to. I’m not talking about a relationship. I’m talking about the genuine love I used to feel from you when you spoke.”

“Sorry. I’ll leave you alone.”

“I never asked for that.”

“You are now.”

“Never. Honey, you will be important to me until I draw my last breath. With or without you.”

“Since when do you call me Honey?”

“That’s the word you use. I wanted to show you I listen.”

“Do I really?”

“Yes.”

“We don’t have to be friends.”

“What else is there?”

 

June 9, 2011 

Throat cancer

“My throat has been hurting for awhile now. It’s hard to swallow.”

“Maybe it’s throat cancer.”

“Really? That’s the first probability you’re going to throw at me, Dr. Feelgood?”

“I’m just saying.”

 

 

We spoke yesterday

“I see. So how’s your new girl doing?”

“She serves needs.”

“That’s not nice. Anyone I know?”

“I think you’ve seen pictures.”

“Kay?”

“What do you care? Honey?”

“You can’t push anymore.”

“I will never not want to be with you. You are the road map. You are what I think of when I think of a woman.”

 

June 10, 2011 

The bell curve of “C”

“You let a scrub of mediocrity put it inside of you instead of someone that might change the world? I don’t like that.”

“I don’t like that.”

“You bring out the best and worst in me.”

“I see that.”

“Shall we call it even, then?”

“Yeah.”

“Fuck you.”

 

June 12, 2011 

Port Arthur

I feel you more than feelings feel. I look at you more than looking looks. You are the thing to see. I have to show you the hard part. So I can believe in the easy part.

 

 

Math

“Todos los besos? Estan aqui para ti? Todos los besos. No tu? No besos.”

“It’s like everything you say is arithmetic.”

“1+1=3.”

 

June 14, 2011 

Looking from above

I swear. My words, though sad, are ones of an inveterate optimist. I have no joy in frailty. Or madness. The fire burns where it wants to. We can only just try to put it out.

 

 

Stuff

My knees and elbows are scabbed. My feet are black and swollen from walking on the hot concrete. You don’t know what it’s like. If I ain’t got you.

 

June 15, 2011 

I hope you’re having the time of your life

How can you live a full, real life with somebody “that doesn’t really love” you? How can anything be whole? How can you feel as special as you are if someone is not tearing the world down to show you how much you matter?

 

 

The affirmative

“Yes.” It’s not always a position of weakness.

 

June 17, 2011 

What is real?

“I haven’t eaten in a few days. And haven’t slept in a couple more.”

“Baby.”

“I don’t want to ruin your life. I don’t want things to change for you.”

“I love you. I love you too much.”

“Really? I didn’t know there was such a thing. You and me? We’re from the same place. I’ve known you since you were just a girl. Not quite a woman. Like the song says, ‘A thousand miles from the place I was born.’ We are who we are. We feel what we feel. And it is what is.”

 

June 18, 2011 

Everything

“The whole story is going to get heard this time.”

“Big downside.”

“Bigger upside.”

 

 

Huh?

“It would have been so perfect without all this jealous bullshit.”

“Seriously? You used to get jealous when I danced with another girl. And now you’ve been with another man. Most likely several.”

 

 

That sort of moment

Remember when I called you by your first initial initially? And then by the first two syllables of your name? But then you said, “No. That’s my Daddy’s name.” That’s when it happened. That’s when I fell. I think I still might be falling.

 

June 19, 2011 

Rascal

He’s a little boy. He acts like a little boy. He’s a rascal. But that’s who he is.

 

June 20, 2011 

Closer

“You sent me that because you could see that I’m dying.”

“I sent it because I love you.”

“It’s hard to feel right now.”

“I know, Baby. Stay strong. I promise you we’ll be together. The one you love is closer than you think.”

 

 

All I want

I just want love. The problem is, I’m not good at getting it. And, it turns out, I’m terrible at keeping it. Who the cap fit? Let them where it.

 

 

A conversation with a person I adore

“How’s the NYC? I didn’t know you were leaving.”

“I just got here 2 weeks ago.”

“How are you?”

“Good. I wish I saw you before I left.”

“I love the city. You’re in the Brook right?”

“Yeah.”

“I got a couple a bars for you.”

“Fantastic.”

“Listening to Tchaikovsky. Just finished watching a movie in Italian. It made me think of you. That moment, um, in Threadgill’s.”

“Oh, you. What was the movie?”

“Caos Calmo. I’m making a movie. Can you play something close to yourself.”

“I would imagine so. It would be fun to give it a shot at least.”

“Otherwise I gotta find another pretty girl.”

“Good luck on that in Austin. Shouldn’t be a problem.”

“There’s a couple of ‘em.”

“Yeah.”

 

June 21, 2011 

Near Pittsburgh

“You gotta stop posting stuff about vaginas.”

“Ok. Fourscore and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation. Conceived in liberty.”

“Find a middle ground, Shithead. And for the record? You say, ‘Conceived’ way too carnally for the Gettysburg Address.”

 

 

Kailua

“Why’d you go to Hawaii? Why not Mexico. It’s much closer?”

“I don’t know.”

“I’ll tell you why.”

“Why?”

“As much as you hate me?”

“Yes.”

“We’re still connected. You took my babies to where I’m from.”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know the word mana. But that’s what brought you back.”

 

June 22, 2011 

She gives sometimes

“What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you shut up?”

“God gave me many things but the first two she did were the strongest. Words. And audacity.”

 

 

Clearly

I’m better in hindsight than I am in the present.

 

 

Rules

“Don’t you want to be here? Don’t you wanna come back?”

“There’s less rules on this side of the fence.”

 

 

This little boy

So sad. So scared. Walks around like he rules the world.

 

 

The cold?

You do everything. You bring your hands in. You grab a blanket. Sometimes? You can’t make it go away.

 

 

Is something happening?

It’s not like I hear voices. I speak to myself a lot. Does that count?

 

 

Your voice

It’s strong. It’s like a soldier. It’s like a warrior. Oh, but when it’s gone.

 

 

Courage

My bathroom smells like a piss house. I have The Red Badge of Courage on my toilet. I read it a lot. You know why? Because it’s about being afraid.

 

June 23, 2011 

Watch me

Die one more death.

 

 

It was a giraffe

One of my favorite moments of all time Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, I just saw something tall. It was a juwafe.

 

 

Anything good?

It all feels like cold comfort.

 

 

I didn’t have an advocate

“I swear. I will see you again.”

“Where might that be?”

“In Hell.”

 

 

I know it’s late

But sometimes? In the middle of the night? You need somebody to take your call.

 

 

I’ve been bruised

Hard bruises. Deep-tissue bruises. But, somehow? I’ve never been broken.

 

 

Take warning

“Do not make trouble here.”

“Unless?”

“Unless you would like trouble.”

 

 

I’m paying this bill

Honey? All so that one day I can see you again.

 

June 24, 2011 

Cwazy

“Daddy, are you cwazy?”

“No.”

“Mommy said you’re cwazy.”

“Mommy has lots of opinions.”

“I love you, Daddy.”

“I love you too, little boy.”

 

June 25, 2011 

Words

“I’m desiccating.”

“Who talks like that? How do you even know that word? What the fuck does that even mean?”

“Well, the technical definition means the removal of moisture from a substance, but figuratively it means losing something important. Like your passion. Or interest.”

“And so now you’ve lost interest?”

“Honey? All I know is that I’m lost.”

 

 

Ease

I’m determined to resurrect the best aspects of our love affair as its legacy, to pay forward the myths that you and I created then lived. Here now placed into a centrifuge to isolate the truth from all the devices we put in place to protect our versions of whatever happened.

But there was a time when we spoke with ease and comfort, with lust and tenderness, with joy and intelligence. I refuse to let that die because at the moment things mattered most we both chose, in one way or another, to save ourselves.

 

June 26, 2011 

I’ve learned something about you

I can’t believe it took so long to figure out. You speak in backwards. “He doesn’t really love me,” means you don’t really love him.

 

 

Give me your hand

Give me your hand. Can you feel my ribs? Can you feel my hip? I’m losing everything because I’ve lost you. Feel my hip bones, not my hand bones.

 

 

Don’t you see?

We all need advocacy or we fall.

 

 

$200

“Do you have $200?”

“No.”

“It’s okay. I won’t eat this week.”

“What?”

“I like the way pain feels. And I’m prettier skinny.”

 

June 27, 2011 

What is hollow is not shallow

“Why are you going back to a relationship with someone you don’t love? You told me at least thirty times the week we were together that you didn’t want to be with him. With thirty times twenty reasons why. Was that for my benefit?”

“I never said that.”

“Oh, my fucking god, are you kidding? Seriously? You said it so many times I don’t have an accurate count. You started with the ride back from the airport and didn’t stop until after we had sex the morning I left.”

“We never had sex.”

“I can’t tell if you’re joking.”

“What?”

“Unbelievable. You’re like a crazy person, you do it so well. You know I was there too right? You’re like a sociopath. Do you still feel feelings? Do you believe what you’re saying or is this just practice for when you have to retell the lie?”

“I’m not talking to you anymore.”

“Why, what did I say?”

“You’re badgering me.”

“I am.”

“You say you want to be friends but you don’t.”

“You’re right, I don’t.”

“See? You’re a liar too.”

“Sooner or later everyone is a liar.”

“Well now you know the truth. Happy?”

“Not really, no.”

“You brought this on yourself. On both of us.”

“Does it make it easier when there’s someone else to blame?”

I am getting tired of correctly predicting bad news. My ability to forecast future disappointments at your hands is near infallible. Though in this past year anyone would have done well by guessing the exact opposite of what you claimed would be your course of action. How many times in the five days I was there did you say that you just “wanted to be alone for awhile.” We were together on Monday morning for the last time. How long do you wait after I leave town to begin your slow, steady drift away from every plan or promise that you and I have made? Did you make it to 48 hours? With the exception of your job and your kids, you are a million different people from one day to the next. Scattershot and unpredictable, you are dangerous to people that bother to care.

I’m not sure what it is about you that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s something in me. I don’t know why I get angry and hurt, but I do. Upon reflection it seems pointless to get mad at you for acting within your nature. This is how you’ve been since I’ve known you. Ever since we were 20 it’s been the same eventual outcome. We’re 40 now, and it’s still the same. The settings have changed, but it feels the same as it always has. What is it about you that makes me willing to ignore countless examples to the contrary, and believe that change is even possible? You pick what is easiest, and when what’s easiest changes, you change what you pick. Every. Single. Time. It is the only constant that I can recognize in your life.

What makes you send sweet messages about being in love with me again, then three or four times reversing yourself not a week later? Why the constant urge to zig just when I’ve begun to zag? I played dumb for the last year using our geographic remove and a willful ignorance to sidestep the awful truth. I wanted so badly to believe in you. What did you want?

I don’t understand your motivation. I thought I knew you as well as one person could know another, but there are clearly blind spots in my perception. Are you incapable of complete honesty with a lover, not just me but anyone? Are you lying to yourself, too? Is it a defense mechanism of some kind? But then who protects you from yourself?

Don’t you realize that even though other people may be the ones hurt in the short run, in the long run this is actually self-destructive behavior, and will eventually bring you a sort of isolation? Even if you’re with someone you’ll always be alone, not because there will ever be a shortage of people willing to try, but because you won’t know how to make that connection, no matter how much someone loves you.

We talked about this when I was out there and the realization that you have betrayed every major relationship you have ever had was unnerving. Real love is so fragile, so rare, and your willingness to toss it aside so readily is something I will never get used to. And I’m not even talking about you and me. If you really don’t care, don’t you at least feel a twinge of guilt for the lives you have broken so casually, the pain you cause and are causing, the irreparable damage you’ve inflicted on trust and truth?

What you’ve done can’t be fixed with, “I’m sorry,” or, “I’m a bad person,” or even, “I wouldn’t blame you if you never talked to me again.” You know that’s not going to happen. Though I’m absolutely positive that you will do it again, if not to me then to someone else. Beauty has given you so many options in your history that you have become sociopathic in your relationships, sometimes to the point of cruelty. You act as if there will be no consequences. None that matter anyway.

Yesterday I decided to stop beating myself up. Because I believe that my interaction with you, occasional bad behavior notwithstanding, was always coming from a place of friendship and love. I try not to live with the expectation of disappointment, and if that makes me vulnerable to dishonesty and disrespect then so be it. All I’ve ever done is love you. I tried to help your self-actualization in any way that I could. But I tolerated being taken for granted for so long, that we became stuck in that dynamic.

I do believe your love for me and your affection is genuine, I really do. But it’s also true that you lied to me for over a year about something that was fundamental in my life and my pursuit of happiness. You did it with a straight face, a voice that never broke, looking into my eyes, in hundreds of conversations on the phone, on Skype, and in person. You lied to my friends and to my mother, and you did it repeatedly. Only caught red-handed by a Facebook status update did you even consider speaking the truth to anyone involved in this bizarre love triangle. And you waited until the very last minute to do it, literally hours before my arrival in Tampa.

Yours was a strange combination of remorse and righteous anger. I couldn’t immediately shake my disappointment, and I felt like I was sucker punched in the gut. You may not realize you were doing it, but freed from the tangles of historical lies, you used the truth as a bludgeon, and you continue to do so, smashing my fragility like it was glass.

I was–I still am–overwhelmed and numb from the revelations of the past week. It was my birthday and I didn’t want it ruined by last-minute confessions, and all that I really cared about was that I spend it with you. It was more difficult than I thought it would be because when I let my mind wander, I would always return to feeling completely betrayed. And I was more than a little nervous about your tolerance for the constant text messages you received when we were together. I was unprepared for the scope of your deception. Your assurances of “are you going to dwell on the past or are we going to move forward?” eventually won me over, however, and moving forward with you seemed like such a pretty idea.

And yet for all this, my love for you is never spent. My feelings of warm affection for you never stop, no matter what the trespass, though I wonder what it is about relationships–this relationship–that sometimes brings out the very worst in you. You complained about a perceived weakness when I was trying to be vulnerable with you, something you were never able to sustain, or maybe never even attempted. And more than once you’ve scolded me for lacking confidence. I may be lacking in several areas but confidence is not one of them. I wonder what other misperceptions have eroded the connection between you and me. You’ve seen me at my lowest points because I let you see me that way, not because that’s who I am.

Now what? Where does it go from here? The roads are impenetrable and the city lies in ruins. What am I supposed to believe in when everything I thought was true was to you just a casual duplicity? My faith has been lost, regained, and lost again, tethered as it is to your ever-changing words (and I blame myself for that). I’m cold and sad and alone and I can’t even come to you for warmth or comfort. You’ve ignored me for days now, and categorized my attempts at communication as something sinister. Shame on you.

Very recently you referred to me as your best friend and that you felt like you couldn’t live without me in your life. And I reciprocate that love unconditionally. I’ve never given you reason to doubt that. My last day there I feel like I finally had a chance, unfortunately so late in my visit, to connect with you and I think we did. I have four days with you every four months. Of course, we were having trouble in areas that require more than four days to learn, build, and sustain. Just as we start to get comfortable, the visit ends.

But there are a few things that I always know, that I never forget no matter how long it is between our times together, that I know in every cell of my body long before I have even stepped on or off the plane. You calm me in a way that no one else does. In you I find the extremes of my feelings and passion, both good and bad. In you I find that fleeting, indescribable sensation of this being a life worth living. You are the personification of love to me. I’m happier when I’m with you than when I’m not. It’s really that simple.

 

 

That eternal

There’s the thing. There really is nothing. Everything. Everything matters in the now. Nothing matters in the forever. Nothing will matter forever. So, kiss your daughter on the head. Make her feel warm and complete. Tell her how pretty she is. Tell her how smart she is. Tell her how special she is. That’s your job and it’s so important. She’s too young to look into the abyss.

 

 

Rent

“You cook burritos like you make love to a woman. You take it slow.”

“How long do you torture that chicken?”

“Really? Until the red peppers are satisfied and the onion has climaxed. They, like women, caramelize.”

“I thought you were broke.”

“This morning I decided, fuck it. If I can’t make rent anyway? I’m not going to starve.”

 

 

My new philosophy

Take two steps back when you want to step forward. I promise, it almost always works out better.

 

June 28, 2011 

When?

“When is the past ever the past?”

“Not yet.”

 

June 29, 2011 

That look

“I am what I am. Lot of good qualities. Some difficult.”

“I’ll accept some, not others.”

“I told you. I only know how to love unconditionally. I’m just looking for the same. I will fail you. But I’ll never betray you.”

“I can take failure, but not betrayal. I’ll fail you too.”

“I did it once in my life. And the look of pain was something I will never cause again.”

 

 

Throw

Real friends? When they fall down? You help pick them up, not throw them away. Who has always stood by you?

 

 

I didn’t do anything wrong

You stupid, hurtful, vindictive woman. You ruined it all. There was actually a dream. Of beauty, and madness. But mostly gladness.

 

July 1, 2011 

My eyes burn

And then I wake up. And somehow it’s become morning.

 

 

Dictionary

“You fucked up my self esteem.”

“How can I fuck up self esteem? Do you need a dictionary?”

 

July 2, 2011 

The universe

It has a way of letting you know.

 

July 3, 2011 

There is nothing left to lose

I went through two years of hell. You told me, “Wait. It might take a while.” I want you back.

 

 

Knock, knock

“Why don’t we knock on the door?

“Why don’t we tear the house down?”

 

July 4, 2011 

The cycle of violence

It ends here. My children will not be subjugated to what I was. I guarantee you. I will do anything. Anything I have to do. Including violence.

 

 

Good evening

We are vibrations in the mind of the one true God. Which is love.

 

July 6, 2011 

Mahina

In Hawaiian ka poli means the heart. But in a spiritual way. Of the the heart. You, for me, have become of the heart. Ku’u. Mine. Voice is so important in the Hawaiian tradition, that I feel like I need to say this all to you.Mana’o. The thought. The thinking. I am thinking of you. My heart.

 

 

Lanikai

After Fast Eddie’s closes we go to the beach. The phosphorescent moss. I draw hearts on your body. Your face. As I enter you all I can see is love.

 

 

Isn’t that weird

You are the magnificent obsession of mine. As a result all my girlfriends, who have never met you, hate you.

 

 

Sin

“God will hear you too.”

“No. God doesn’t listen to me.”

“God listens to everybody.”

“No, there’s too much sin behind me.”

 

 

I hate my body

But it can be made to do things.

 

 

What if?

What if I punched you in the face every time you made me mad? That would be wrong, wouldn’t it? So why is it okay for us to hit our kids? Answer? It’s not.

 

 

Scars

“Why are there scars on your arm?”

“Because the girl I used to fuck fell through my window. And when she got up, she had a piece of glass. I said, ‘I dare you to cut me.’ And she did. Twice. Um, we were drunk.”

 

July 7, 2011 

Prayer

What kind of a God lets children die? You can pray to him. But it certainly won’t be me.

 

 

It’s okay

“I hate you. But it’s okay. The way you live? You’ll be dead soon.”

“I will never die.”

 

 

History

How can I make it with you on my back?

 

 

Toothbrush

“My toothbrush tastes funny. Hey, did anyone touch my toothbrush?”

“I used it to clean the sink, Daddy.”

“Oh, Honey, you gotta tell me when you do that shit.”

 

 

The four musketeers

“The four musketeers. We were all together. Now, you are a partner in a law firm. He is an account supervisor. And he is something classified that he can’t talk about. And me? I am nothing.”

“I think you were the smartest one out of all of us.”

“Apparently not.”

 

 

Everything

“Isn’t that weird?”

“Everything you say and do is weird.”

“Don’t you remember? That’s why you fell in love with me.”

 

 

70,080

“Daddy, guess how many hours I’ve been alive?”

“I have no idea.”

“70,080 and counting.”

“70,080 hours of my pure joy. I love you, little princess.”

 

July 8, 2011 

Great

The man that you married? Has great gifts. And great flaws.

 

 

Love

For a minute, not much longer, I lost myself. But I have always been me.

 

 

Some advice?

Don’t put cologne on your balls even if you can smell them from here. It sorta stings. Let me take this one for the team.

 

 

Body dysmorphia

“Are you going to eat?”

“You know me.”

“What?”

“I don’t want to eat. I just wanted to cook. I told you. I’m prettier when I’m skinny.”

“You are fucking losing your mind.”

“Baby, you just noticed?”

 

July 9, 2011 

Crest

I woke up this morning and my mouth tasted like an asshole’s asshole.

 

 

Change

This is going to turn around, I promise. And you’re going to be sorry that you left.

 

 

Speed

I only know how to do everything at maximum speed. I don’t know how to do it halfway. It’s all or nothing. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have hurt you just because you hurt me.

 

 

Habañeros

I’ve got to stop eating raw habañeros just because I like hot food. My mouth is burning, my nose is running, and I can’t stop sweating. That sweat, that pain, that umm. There are so many metaphors here. And jokes. But not right now.

 

July 10, 2011 

How are we going to get be old?

My heart beats too fast and your legs close too slow.

 

 

Life

“These violent delights have violent ends. And in their triumphs die. Like fire and powder which as they kiss consume.”

“Stop quoting Shakespeare to me.”

“Stop being a bitch to me.”

“You torture me.”

“Life is torture, Princess.”

 

 

Again, life

You can take it both ways. Either you get it. Or You don’t.

 

 

Punishment

I think if you look at the punishment. To take away my job, my life, my home. With no real violence except to subdue. It’s because there is something about us that makes us hate people that don’t fit the mold. Clearly, I don’t fit the mold.

 

July 11, 2011 

I can’t

I can’t get skinny enough. I can’t pretty enough. I can’t get tall enough. Sorry.

 

 

Our father

“Pay attention to your own trespasses.”

“And then?”

“Stop committing them.”

 

 

It’s difficult

“It’s difficult to change your perceptions of me.”

“Why?”

“Because they’re correct.”

 

 

Nothing

“This? Is the way to die. But, unfortunately, nothing seems to want to kill me.”

 

 

Death

“I feel like I’m dying.”

“From the second we’re born we all start dying.”

“Yeah, nice bedside manner, Miss Congeniality.”

 

 

Punahou

“‘When he shall die take him out and cut him in little stars. And he shall make the face of heaven so fine, that all the world will be in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.’ It’s from Romeo and Juliet.”

“You’re so fucking weird. How do you know that stuff?”

“Punahou.”

 

 

Look

“Look at your watch.”

“I don’t wear a watch.”

“Then look at the clock.”

“Why?”

“Because I want you to know the exact moment that this shit ends.”

 

 

Kisses

“Can I kiss you?”

“I sorta have a boyfriend.”

“Well, you sorta had one the last time we fucked.”

 

 

Heat

I eat hot foods? Because I like it to hurt.

 

July 12, 2011 

Your hands

“Your hands.They’re shaking.”

“I stopped drinking.”

“You started again?”

“Hey, everything we put in our mouth eventually kills us.”

 

 

Sad

I wish I could wake up dead tomorrow and not just sad. Then? Everyone could stop worrying.

 

 

South

It’s going south. It’s coming to a close.

 

 

It’s hard

To be dead when you’re still alive.

 

 

You chose

A man you met twenty years after me. And seemingly abandoned even our friendship for this man. When it all comes crashing down, because with you? It always does. Remember your choice.

 

 

Lengua

How did I learn three languages but I fucking can’t do anything else right? Why is it just words for me? Why are they the only thing I can master? Why not myself?

 

 

We

We used to speak every day. Now? I don’t even remember you. The wind washes away a lot of things, I guess.

 

July 13, 2011 

Emptiness

I know this. You will not return to me empty. And I don’t mean that in a sexual context. You’ve grown. I’ve grown. I mean you are filled with spirit.

 

 

That

“That’s how we lose everything.”

“How is that?”

“A little at a time.”

 

 

Ramifications

“You gotta stop putting that shit on Facebook.”

“Why?”

“Because anyone can read it.”

“So.”

“So? There might be consequences.”

“The ramifications from my postings on Facebook are actually very low on my list of concerns.”

 

 

Divine

I see a divinity. But I don’t see your God.

 

 

Touch

“Touch me. No, not like that. Touch my shoulder. Touch my hips. Touch my lips. Touch my closed eyes. Come lay with me tonight. Not as a lover, but as comfort.”

“That’s not fair to put me in that position. I worry about you so much.”

“Who ever said life was fair?”

 

 

What happened

We tried. But we failed.

 

 

Kissing

“Who was last the girl you kissed?”

“Who? Kay.”

“Who was the last girl you fucked?”

“Her name was Bella. ”

“Who?”

“You don’t know her. I didn’t either. We met at a party and one night she knocked at like 3. She knocked on my door.”

“I hate you.”

“I hate you back.”

 

 

Tides

When the water is only waist high? And the tide starts to recede? Don’t look at the flopping fish. Run. Some shit’s about to go down. And if you don’t get out of the way? Most likely it will be you. I promise. Water is a lot faster than you are.

 

July 14, 2011 

Kids

I love my kids as if they were my own.

 

 

Circles

What comes around? It tends to go around.

 

 

Fate

You cannot escape your fate. And your fate? Is what you created.

 

 

Happy birthday

“You didn’t call me.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why didn’t you call back?”

“You chose someone else over me because it was convenient? I’ll ring you once.”

 

July 15, 2011 

Mere words

I ran out of ways to say, “I love you.”

 

 

Surprise

“With the Internet there are no more surprises anymore.”

“I bet the way a person dies is still a pretty big surprise.”

 

 

Your boyfriend

“I’m having money troubles.”

“Why don’t you go live with your boyfriend? You’ve been going out for almost two years.”

“I don’t want to live with him and he doesn’t want to live with four kids.”

“Then why is he your boyfriend?”

 

July 16, 2011 

Numbers

Everything is a numbers game. So you have to pick a number and modify your strategy accordingly. Dating? Business? It’s all the same.

 

 

Sex

What I feel in sex? The woman doesn’t. We will never truly understand the act. I won’t know the sensation of being filled. And she will never know the sensation of being enveloped. Yet? We both have a role in the play.

 

 

Ferocity and passion

I’ve lost every woman I’ve ever really loved, so clearly I make mistakes. But each one, I promise you, would tell you that I loved them with a ferocity and passion. In fact? That may be the reason, I haven’t been able to hold it together with them. I’m very good at woo, and apparently, very bad at keep.

 

 

Sleep

“Your eyes are bloodshot. They’re swollen. You look like shit.”

“Only because I haven’t slept for a couple days. I think in this context I’m doing pretty well.”

 

July 17, 2011 

Ernest

I wanted to be as good as Hemingway. And when I found out I was? I wanted to be better.

 

 

Stop

I’m not your responsibility. If I choose to believe in you, I know it’s at my own risk. Sometimes I think I’m just hanging on to see what happens, to see how this ends. I’ve been rehearsing versions of the speech all night, but instead say, “I just can’t make it stop.”

 

 

Your love?

Is an empty promise of what might be.

 

 

Hawaii ’78

In 1991, when I was in Seattle, and the grunge thing was going. Andy Wood died and they replaced him with a man named Eddie Vedder. They were Mother Love Bone with Andy and then Mookie Blaylock with Eddie and they opened for bands like Alice in Chains. Then they became Pearl Jam and blew up. If you would have told me back then that they would do a cover song of the Makaha Sons of Ni’ihau, I would have called you crazy. Turns out? It ends up happening.

 

 

Look

I am looking. I am seeking. Something with no name. And it has eluded me now for over 40 years.

 

July 19, 2011 

Learn your Shakespeare

And tempt not a desperate man.

 

 

Moments

Every moment of your life? Is an opportunity. Stop wasting them. Because eventually they will end.

 

 

Beauty

But guess what? Beauty doesn’t last forever. And yours? The way you live? Is fading. And really? That’s all you have.

 

July 20, 2011 

Punk

“Daddy, why do you have my name and my brother’s name written on your back?”

“So you’re always with me.”

“Why does it say PUNK on your neck?”

“That one’s for me.”

 

 

The mirror

My daughter just told me something very disturbing. She went to the bathroom and said, “I don’t like to look at mirrors in the dark.” And I had to turn on the bathroom lights. I don’t know what to think about that or how to interpret it.

 

 

Certainty

It takes more certainty than talent to accomplish almost anything.

 

 

You win

And now you know what? Everything is in play. I contact who I want to. I can say what I want to. You made your choice. Now I make mine. And it’s not you.

You win. I give up. Take a bow. But now it’s over. Goodbye.

 

 

Angels

I’m watching the kids sleep. Finally. Because? Sometimes? Even angels need to rest their wings.

 

July 26, 2011 

We all fall down

We remained an unhappy, on-again, off-again couple for about three months while trying to reconcile my desire to reconcile, and me mostly trying to fall into the bottom of a bottle. Mostly succeeding. But, at times, at that time, there was still a sweetness. The day we were officially divorced, she kissed me and said, “And you complain how I’m never affectionate.” At one point near the end, during the death throes of us, she told me, “You’re my best friend.”

I remarried early the next year; way too soon. Disrespectful. But I thought it was love. And I was sad. I worked with my second wife. Beautiful, extremely talented, but very troubled. Lots of drugs, I would come to find, and a nasty drunk, though, she rarely got drunk. When she did there was always a scene. The first time I saw it I was searching for her, unable to find her until there she was crying at the base of the toilet in the back room of her sister’s house.

Or the night she came home after her happy hour with her, “just a friend,” to our apartment. And lost it. Kicked me, pulled things off shelves, nastiness. I grabbed her elbows to restrain her. I told her, “That is it.”

“I’m going to my sister’s”

“Good. Go. Get the fuck out of here.” But when she passed I was filled with regret about the whole situation, “Wait. Don’t go. Please, don’t go like this.” I grabbed her hand. She yanked. Hard. So I let go. She stumbled back into the wall. And then she left.

One hour later the door knocks. Two policemen are there. First thing I think there’s been a crash or she got a DWI. Then they asked me what happened here? And it suddenly dawns on me that they’re here for me. She had used them to spite me. Still, not knowing the consequences of doing so, I remained relatively silent and tried to protect her, “I restrained her when she was losing her temper. Then begged her not to go.” But it’s clear they’re asking out of lip service. Pretty, little blonde girl, macho police attitude. I probably would have made the same choice in their shoes. My fate was pretty much sealed before they even knocked.

“We’re arresting you with a charge of family violence.” They’re not even looking for anything else. They don’t even notice her mayonnaise-sized jar of pot five feet away. I tried to protect her and she sold me out.

Fast forward two months and I try an email intervention with her family. “Do you notice how much weight she’s lost, and how she never runs or goes to the gym? How do you suppose that happens?”

The next day she files a restraining order. Probably to silence me with her family. She and I have met at least 25 times since the incident, never threatening, so she can’t possibly feel threatened.

So now we have an ex-parte restraining order. And here’s where I do something stupid. I excoriate her. Not in person. But drunk and filled with melancholy for the halcyon days of mere months ago, I send a text message of I love you and miss you and hate you. And an email saying roughly the same. The police somehow get a hold of these. Somehow. Nothing threatening, nothing menacing, but the passionate intensity of the communication will, months later, come back to bite me on the ass. Straight lines, i.e., most people, have a hard time understanding undulations.

It’s a civil trial, which means although she gets an advocate, I would need to hire a lawyer if I want to fight it. Hardly anyone ever fights it. I do it pro se. If only to get my side of the story across. And so I prepare for five days in the law library downtown, gather ATM, prescription, email and phone records, and mark off dates on the calendar. I cross examine her for over two hours and uncover at least 50 provable lies.

During a recess not one, but two defense lawyers tell me that I’m clearly winning, beating the D.A., but in domestic violence cases, no judge wants to be the one that let a husband out so he can get close and kill his wife. This is a rubber stamp. I watch the trials all morning and the judge acts like he’s tough, but he basically makes the same decision over and over. No reflection, just the decision with the least amount of risk to himself. Still, it’s electrifying and gratifying that at least this roomful of people know the truth.

In a move so vindictive it is hard to comprehend, old communications are represented as current and I am rearrested. I spend almost 70 days in jail, because bail has been set so high. Hopefully you never know this personally, but at this point? Any deal looks good. And the dirty little secret is unless you’re wealthy and can pay to take up your attorney’s time and attention in preparation for trial, and pay for his expert friends (they always use the same ones), most criminal attorney law is about making deals. Court-appointed is synonymous with a license to lose. The state gives them no incentive to do their best. So unless you win the lottery of the “true believer,” you’re probably going to plead, lose, or go on probation. (Another topic for another rant, but probation is a joke designed to feed the beast. 70% of people on it? Have it revoked. It is set up for failure. But, I digress.)

Indigent defendants are at such an extreme disadvantage, i.e., the state has unlimited resources to vilify, while the defendant has some half-ass watching the meter (there’s a cap on the fee allowed), only because the judge has compelled them to do so.

“But they’ve taken an oath.”

“And? I’ve promised lots of things.”

 

July 28, 2011 

Idea factories

Ideas are cheap and most are worthless. The original idea? It means almost nothing in terms of accomplishment. What matters is how you execute on the good ones.

 

 

Belief systems

Most people tend to start with a belief then bend available data to support it while ignoring that which refutes it. True disinterest is practically non-existent unless it is coupled with true non-interest.

 

July 30, 2011 

The rhythm of a place

I enter the cavernous warehouse and quickly discover that it must be extremely well insulated. Just outside the door it was silent. Two steps in and I can feel the bass of the beat pulsing against my chest. It feels like an arrhythmia.

The room stutters. The strobe lights are flashing like hyperactive polaroids. A thousand people bounce along to the percussive chant of a repeated phrase that invokes visions of Jonestown and Waco more so than Studio 54 or the Limelight. Everyone smiles or laughs, leaving tracers with various glow-in-the-dark sticks and orbs, as they twist and crawl in place.

Scattered about the crowd, on pedestals of various heights, are near-naked women and men leading the dance and every so often getting a little closer to naked.

My first question is, “Who the fuck are these people?” And, of course, my second question is, “Who the fuck am I?”

 

July 31, 2011 

Arlington? The one in Texas?

To the editors of Maxim

Frankly, I’m confused by your inclusion of Arlington, Texas as a city that might have appeal for Maxim readers. I’m also surprised that the one thing that Arlington does have going for it, sports, was actually named as a reason it didn’t score higher. I used to live about twenty miles north of Arlington, and used to visit quite a bit because of the sports. The teams don’t have Arlington in their names, but the former Ballpark, now Ameriquest Field, is right across the street from the new Cowboys eighth-wonder-of-the-world stadium. Dallas proper has the Mavericks and Stars, good teams most years, but not exactly burning down the house. You included that city as a sports Mecca. It’s not anymore.

The Dallas Cowboys, the largest franchise in the world this side of Manchester United, and the reigning AL champion Texas Rangers both reside in the heart of Arlington. Unfortunately, they are also both across the street from the original Six Flags, which with all the bloated parents dragging their whining brats around, sticky with cotton candy and 85% humidity on a 105-degree day, is maybe half a step above Carnie-town or at least the Texas State Fair. Think Chuck E. Cheese, outside, with no escape.

The rest of the city is terrible. Six Flags, water parks, miniature golf, strip malls, cheap motels, and bowling alleys and skating rinks that haven’t been renovated (or even cleaned) since 1979. They all beckon the multitude to a place where desperation pans out as far as the eye can see in every direction from Interstate-20. Even the strip clubs are gross. I don’t know what algorithm you used to determine your best cities. But someone needs to go back to Arlington and re-score by hand.

 

 

Elements of revenge

“Regardless, you need to be there for them.”

“She won’t let me be there.”

“She doesn’t trust you.”

“And, with regard to her, she shouldn’t. But we’re not what this is about.”

“What is it about?”

“It should be about them.”

“And you think it’s not?”

“They’re just an excuse.”

“What do you mean?”

“I never hurt them. I hurt her.”

“And?”

“And this is the only way she has left to hurt me back.”

“You really think that’s what this is?”

“I think it’s a big part of it. She’d deny it, and I don’t even think she knows she’s lying. Self-awareness is difficult when you’re lying to yourself.”

“Now your a counselor?”

“I prefer philosopher. She probably wouldn’t respond well to my counsel.”

“You never know.”

“I know. With me? She’s gone beyond rational.”

“You never know.”

“Remember when she called the police and said I was DWI with the kids in the car? That was incomprehensibly irresponsible. Not just to my reputation, but to my liberty. That incident shows that when she is angry or feels hurt, she just doesn’t care about the consequences. She complained about my temper, but she lashed out just as dangerously, if not more so. She just did it at a lower volume.”

“You are pretty loud.”

“Do you know that’s a second-degree felony? Technically, driving drunk with kids in the car is Felony Endangerment of a Child, punishable by two to twenty years in a state prison. And with two kids, I would have faced two counts. I used to live half a mile away from her; it took me less than three minutes to cover the distance. When I returned home from her house that day, the police were waiting for me. Which means she called immediately after I left, probably dialed as I pulled away without even an attempt to confirm her suspicions.”

“Well, if she believed that it was true.”

“There’s more to it then that.”

“Like what?”

“The whole day we had been arguing. I received our laptop in the divorce decree. I said she could take it on a business trip. We started arguing and I told her I changed my mind.”

“Typical. You’re such a brat sometimes.”

“I’m not arguing that with you.”

“What does this have to do with anything?”

“That whole day she threatened to call the police and have me arrested if I came to get the laptop. I told her, ‘Call ‘em, I’ll have our decree in hand.’ All day she threatened to call the police. And she found a way to do it. She needed a way to punish me.”

“For what?”

“I don’t know. We weren’t that close by then. I think she was embarrassed because she had offered it as a backup for the conference she was going to and then had to retract the offer.”

“That doesn’t seem like her.”

“Well, like I said, I’m not sure what her actual motivations were. I’m not even sure she does. The fact of the matter is she did what she did.”

“And? What was that?”

“She swore she heard their voices and crying from the back seat, even though the windows were up and I was parked 25 yards away. To 911, and then to my mother, to her family and to their school, and who knows who else she repeated that story to. Totally false.”

“Where were they?”

“At my next door neighbors’. CPS did an investigation.”

“No.”

“Yes. I was exonerated. But it’s like trying to get toothpaste back in the tube. Once it’s out, it’s almost impossible. The looks I would get in their school never went away. At first, even my mom didn’t believe me. If my daughter wasn’t a precocious five-year old I might be in prison right now. No one bothered to ask her if she was in the car until two days after the fact and a restraining order had been filed preventing my access to them.”

“Really?”

“Really.”

“She tells herself she’s doing everything she does for the kids. But if you’re objective, and I admit it’s hard for me to be objective when she is being so punitive, clearly there was–and is–an element of revenge.”

“I don’t know what to think. 911?”

“911.”

“That sucks. It’s hard to believe she would lie like that.”

“I don’t think she was lying.”

“What?”

“No. I believe that at the time she believed she was telling the truth. But I’ve been dealing with that kind of reckless anger for almost three years now. And this is just indicative of her knee-jerk reaction to incidents in the context of our past relationship. This has nothing to do with my relationship with the kids. All they ever get from me is love. And somewhere under the callouses, I know she knows that.”

 

 

The eye of a needle

“You’re crazy.”

“So?”

“So? Don’t you want to fix that? Don’t you want to be there for your kids?”

“Don’t bring them into this.”

“Well, don’t you?”

“Frankly, I think it’s a good thing for them to be exposed to something other than the margarine life of despicable mediocrity being forced upon them. I expose them to a way of thinking that doesn’t exist for them day to day.”

“You do love them.”

“More than anything.”

“But you’re not normal.”

“I don’t want to be. You go be normal if that’s what you want. I had that life. It’s not what I want.”

“It’s not just about you anymore.”

“You think I don’t know that? You think I don’t feel the pangs of loss? You think I don’t turn around and look back and see what my choices have taken away from me?”

“Then go back.”

“Never. Who I am is related to standing out, not fitting in. I don’t feel comfortable when I’m acclimated. If everyone is special, then nobody is. I want to be the needle in the haystack, not part of the haystack.”

“Everyone is special…”

“No. No they’re not.”

“And you are?”

“Yes.”

 

August 2, 2011 

I know, right?

“You need to slow down.”

“Or what?”

“Or you’re not going to make it.”

“Make it where? I’m not going anywhere.”

“With me, Honey, with me.”

“I’m doing you a favor. Trust me.”

“I love you.”

“I love you back. I only have the capacity to hurt you.”

“Then hurt me.”

“I’m so tired.”

“Fall into my arms.”

“I just know I’m falling.”

 

 

Help

“Are you gay?”

“No.”

“Then why are you here?”

“He’s my friend.”

“What do you get out of it?”

“Hopefully no one gets nothing out of anything. I’ll help my friend go home.”

“Hero? Martyr?”

“Neither, hopefully. But I will rip your throat out if you’re so inclined.”

“Tell him he can get his stuff.”

“Oh, he can get his stuff. And you’ll stand right there.”

 

August 3, 2011 

My eyes

“You know your eyes give away everything.”

“And what does that mean?”

“Your orbital sense.”

“I forget what orbital means.”

“Just look.”

“And what do I see?”

“Just look.”

 

August 4, 2011 

You

“I love your body. My cheek on the nape of your neck. On your ass. It is transcendent.”

“Baby, the feeling is reciprocal.”

“I was hoping you were going to say that. Or something like it.”

 

 

Don’t you understand?

“Take a break.”

“We don’t take a break.”

“Don’t you understand?”

“Don’t you. It’s never over. It’s never finished.”

“You’re killing yourself. You’re dying.”

“Let it come as it comes.”

 

 

What is he showing you

“It’s just this.”

“Sometimes I can’t work on something just because it’s needed.”

“At least it’s not binge drinking and strip clubs.”

“I guess that’s true.”

 

August 5, 2011 

I’m different than the other boys

I don’t have an on/off switch. It mediates, but it never goes away. I know you look. We have 138 days. Until what? Isn’t this when you tell me to go to one knee?

 

August 6, 2011 

The ropes

They’re a bad place to be.

 

August 7, 2011 

Things we think about

The day after my birthday is not my birthday. You all forgot.

 

 

Bring it hard

No, bring it harder.

 

 

We can’t cure viral infections

Yes, but we have strategies.

 

 

I guess I see you

So I guess I must be alive. Goodbye. This is how I write it. Goodbye.

 

 

Spread your arms wider little girl

“Why daddy?”

“To show how much you love.”

 

 

I’m pretty good

At making love. Sometimes? my partners. They get the benefit of that.

 

 

Violence

“It isn’t the only answer to conflict.”

“Yeah, but it seems to be the most popular one.”

 

 

Needs

I need to scratch when I’m itchy.

 

August 8, 2011 

You scare me sometimes

“I love you.”

“You have a husband.”

“I get scared sometimes.”

“We all get scared.”

“I love you and I don’t know what to do.”

“Leave.”

 

 

I only know what I know now

And I know I love you. And I know I’ll be back. And I know some day I’ll make you proud. I”m going to make this fucking movie. And then all bad things go away.

 

 

I never learned to share

And because of this every woman I’ve ever “had” has grown to hate me.

 

 

Don’t you get it?

I need to check it out in person.

 

 

What did you do wrong this time?

What did you do wrong last time?

 

 

Brace

“Brace your feet against the wall. I’m sorry for what’s about to happen.”

 

 

You

You don’t pull these things away. They become a part of you and that’s what you are. You can’t run from this. Don’t be afraid. This is who you are.

 

August 9, 2011 

Again, you

You have to be who you are. That’s the trick.

 

 

Your eyes burn

That doesn’t mean anything anymore. Really? It never did.

 

 

I am a wayfaring stranger

I am just going home. I’m just going home. There is no sin in that. I know my path has made it harder.

 

 

Seriously

Why would you love me back? I wouldn’t love me back if I were you.

 

 

You only proved

That you were a drunk.

 

 

Sorry

That makes it challenging not impossible.

 

 

Why are you sad?

“I found out today. They lived together in Mexico.”

“So kill them.”

“I’ve done a lot more for a lot less.”

 

 

Funky

“I have girl funk.”

“That is totally my favorite kind of funk.”

 

 

I know

“Her face changes when she talks about you.”

“I hurt her.”

“The thing is? I’ve never been so sorry.”

 

 

I don’t like the fact

that I love you. It only brings badness. It never brings gladness.

 

 

I’ve looked everywhere

And I don’t see anything. I don’t see anything.

 

 

Well

“Frankly, I’m not scared of you. I’m scared of the past.”

 

 

The truth

Is that the question? It’s meaningless. Ask another question.

 

 

The lake

“I had a beautiful day at the lake today.”

“We have such different lives. I spent the day trying not to piss in the sink.”

 

August 10, 2011 

Go

“Go to sleep.”

“I don’t want to die of it.”

“They’ll wake you up.”

 

 

Elements

There is some element of chance here. I may just be getting lucky.

 

August 11, 2011 

Water?

“You were just drinking a glass of water.”

“Sorry it wasn’t wine or vodka. Don’t you remember? We were trying to be healthy.”

 

 

We

You and I need both of us to be real.

And then you know what? I’ll meet you on the other side.

 

 

I’m not mad

But I don’t want to love anybody. I don’t want to hurt your feelings. I’m just saying.

 

 

A certainty

We all die in the end so revenge is fucked.

 

 

Both feet on the floor

You know you’re really not alone?

 

August 12, 2011 

The enemy of happiness

I am getting tired of correctly predicting bad news. My ability to forecast future disappointments at your hands is near infallible. Though in this past year anyone would have done well by guessing the exact opposite of what you claimed would be your course of action. How many times in the five days I was there did you say that you just “wanted to be alone for awhile.” We were together on Monday morning for the last time. How long do you wait after I leave town to begin your slow, steady drift away from every plan or promise that you and I have made? Did you make it to 48 hours? With the exception of your job and your kids, you are a million different people from one day to the next. Scattershot and unpredictable, you are dangerous to people that bother to care.

I’m not sure what it is about you that keeps me coming back. Maybe it’s not you, maybe it’s something in me. I don’t know why I get angry and hurt, but I do. Upon reflection it seems pointless to get mad at you for acting within your nature. This is how you’ve been since I’ve known you. Ever since we were 20 it’s been the same eventual outcome. We’re 40 now, and it’s still the same. The settings have changed, but it feels the same as it always has. What is it about you that makes me willing to ignore countless examples to the contrary, and believe that change is even possible? You pick what is easiest, and when what’s easiest changes, you change what you pick. Every. Single. Time. It is the only constant that I can recognize in your life.

What makes you send sweet messages about being in love with me again, then three or four times reversing yourself not a week later? Why the constant urge to zig just when I’ve begun to zag? I played dumb for the last year using our geographic remove and a willful ignorance to sidestep the awful truth. I wanted so badly to believe in you. What did you want?

I don’t understand your motivation. I thought I knew you as well as one person could know another, but there are clearly blind spots in my perception. Are you incapable of complete honesty with a lover, not just me but anyone? Are you lying to yourself, too? Is it a defense mechanism of some kind? But then who protects you from yourself?

Don’t you realize that even though other people may be the ones hurt in the short run, in the long run this is actually self-destructive behavior, and will eventually bring you a sort of isolation? Even if you’re with someone you’ll always be alone, not because there will ever be a shortage of people willing to try, but because you won’t know how to make that connection, no matter how much someone loves you.

We talked about this when I was out there and the realization that you have betrayed every major relationship you have ever had was unnerving. Real love is so fragile, so rare, and your willingness to toss it aside so readily is something I will never get used to. And I’m not even talking about you and me. If you really don’t care, don’t you at least feel a twinge of guilt for the lives you have broken so casually, the pain you cause and are causing, the irreparable damage you’ve inflicted on trust and truth?

What you’ve done can’t be fixed with, “I’m sorry,” or, “I’m a bad person,” or even, “I wouldn’t blame you if you never talked to me again.” You know that’s not going to happen. Though I’m absolutely positive that you will do it again, if not to me then to someone else. Beauty has given you so many options in your history that you have become sociopathic in your relationships, sometimes to the point of cruelty. You act as if there will be no consequences. None that matter anyway.

Yesterday I decided to stop beating myself up. Because I believe that my interaction with you, occasional bad behavior notwithstanding, was always coming from a place of friendship and love. I try not to live with the expectation of disappointment, and if that makes me vulnerable to dishonesty and disrespect then so be it. All I’ve ever done is love you. I tried to help your self-actualization in any way that I could. But I tolerated being taken for granted for so long, that we became stuck in that dynamic.

I do believe your love for me and your affection is genuine, I really do. But it’s also true that you lied to me for over a year about something that was fundamental in my life and my pursuit of happiness. You did it with a straight face, a voice that never broke, looking into my eyes, in hundreds of conversations on the phone, on Skype, and in person. You lied to my friends and to my mother, and you did it repeatedly. Only caught red-handed by a Facebook status update did you even consider speaking the truth to anyone involved in this bizarre love triangle. And you waited until the very last minute to do it, literally hours before my arrival in Tampa.

Yours was a strange combination of remorse and righteous anger. I couldn’t immediately shake my disappointment, and I felt like I was sucker punched in the gut. You may not realize you were doing it, but freed from the tangles of historical lies, you used the truth as a bludgeon, and you continue to do so, smashing my fragility like it was glass.

I was–I still am–overwhelmed and numb from the revelations of the past week. It was my birthday and I didn’t want it ruined by last-minute confessions, and all that I really cared about was that I spend it with you. It was more difficult than I thought it would be because when I let my mind wander, I would always return to feeling completely betrayed. And I was more than a little nervous about your tolerance for the constant text messages you received when we were together. I was unprepared for the scope of your deception. Your assurances of “are you going to dwell on the past or are we going to move forward?” eventually won me over, however, and moving forward with you seemed like such a pretty idea.

And yet for all this, my love for you is never spent. My feelings of warm affection for you never stop, no matter what the trespass, though I wonder what it is about relationships–this relationship–that sometimes brings out the very worst in you. You complained about a perceived weakness when I was trying to be vulnerable with you, something you were never able to sustain, or maybe never even attempted. And more than once you’ve scolded me for lacking confidence. I may be lacking in several areas but confidence is not one of them. I wonder what other misperceptions have eroded the connection between you and me. You’ve seen me at my lowest points because I let you see me that way, not because that’s who I am.

Now what? Where does it go from here? The roads are impenetrable and the city lies in ruins. What am I supposed to believe in when everything I thought was true was to you just a casual duplicity? My faith has been lost, regained, and lost again, tethered as it is to your ever-changing words (and I blame myself for that). I’m cold and sad and alone and I can’t even come to you for warmth or comfort. You’ve ignored me for days now, and categorized my attempts at communication as something sinister. Shame on you.

Very recently you referred to me as your best friend and that you felt like you couldn’t live without me in your life. And I reciprocate that love unconditionally. I’ve never given you reason to doubt that. My last day there I feel like I finally had a chance, unfortunately so late in my visit, to connect with you and I think we did. I have four days with you every four months. Of course, we were having trouble in areas that require more than four days to learn, build, and sustain. Just as we start to get comfortable, the visit ends.

But there are a few things that I always know, that I never forget no matter how long it is between our times together, that I know in every cell of my body long before I have even stepped on or off the plane. You calm me in a way that no one else does. In you I find the extremes of my feelings and passion, both good and bad. In you I find that fleeting, indescribable sensation of this being a life worth living. You are the personification of love to me. I’m happier when I’m with you than when I’m not. It’s really that simple.

 

 

Don’t

“I don’t need you”

“Then don’t talk to me. I got other fucking problems. And most of them? They’re bigger than you.”

 

 

You like

To be bigger than smaller. And this about you hasn’t changed.

 

August 13, 2011 

What?

The hounds will come back after you, and the jury is still out.

 

 

Do overs

I killed myself when I was young. You want to do it again?

 

 

You are

I think about you sometimes. You? You are a beautiful disaster.

 

 

Again

You remind my mind that I don’t like my mind.

 

 

What you don’t understand

It’s not my fault I was born this way.

 

 

Here’s the question

Do you want to first? Or do you want to second ?

 

August 14, 2011 

I sometimes

I cry asleep mad sometimes.

 

August 15, 2011 

Truth

Look around you. Truth is not about invention, it’s about discovery. And it surrounds us everywhere.

 

 

Coincidence

It sometimes seems to be a reality. Just look at the creation of our universe, of our solar system, of our planet. The fact that Venus spins backwards from any other planet. Yet? I don’t believe in coincidence.

 

 

You compromised my entire future

You compromised the rest of my life. You were under the influence when you did what you did. When you made that call. And now I pay for the rest of my life. Honestly, I loved you. And I really believed you loved me. So much failure. So much disappointment in the human condition. It was in our hands. And we dropped it.

 

 

My love and you are my love

I don’t want to watch you kill yourself over me. You have more of me than you know.

 

August 16, 2011 

I hear

the voice of god coming through me as if it were dictation.

 

 

There is blood in your cuticles

Seriously. I’m not mad at you. I love you. But there is a problem here.

 

 

Now you hear voices?

Maybe they’re not voices.

 

 

See?

The thing is? Nobody gets to escape.

 

August 17, 2011 

There’s no way

“Not this time.”

“There is always a way”

 

 

Time

It only goes in one way. And it never stops.

 

August 18, 2011 

Don’t you realize?

I’m your only hope.

 

 

Check your eyes

Check your mouth. Emotions are not rational. And revenge is just another emotion.

 

 

The path

to closure is not always the easiest path.

 

 

Wisdom and genius

They rarely hold hands.

 

 

I didn’t

I really didn’t think it was going to be easy. I didn’t know it was going to be this hard.

 

 

What we find?

Is almost rarely what we find. I mean, if you look.

 

 

There’s so much

“What do you think we should concentrate on?”

“Personally? I say we work on the blood. It smells like iron and old cucumbers in here.”

“What do old cucumbers smell like?”

“Take a sniff.”

 

 

I gave

“I gave you everything that I thought was everything.”

“You couldn’t give me the fact that you weren’t crazy.”

“I couldn’t give it to myself.”

 

 

Bullets

They’re individual. None of them are the same. Have you ever had one inside you? They don’t play nice.

 

August 19, 2011 

The truth?

It has been scavenged. And now I can only search for hope.

 

 

Let’s say the words

Let’s say the words. Let’s say the words. Let’s say the words. And make us feel whole.

 

 

We

can all do what we try to do. It’s only you weaklings that can’t fight the power.

 

August 20, 2011 

All my ships?

They’ve washed away. I’m going to wash my soul. There’s this myth that there’s plenty of time to waste. There’s none.

 

 

Two yellow-haired girls

They stand together near the bar. They’re beautiful. But, for some reason, these two think they’re the only ones in the world that are. Good for them, but bad for anyone that crosses their paths in love.

 

 

Blow wind

We can die with you at our back.

 

 

My terribility

Aspires me to ask to want all use? And then what? It needs to be everything all the time. Or nothing. I’ll accept both.

 

 

My mom

She grew up in insanity. And she broke the cycle. She gave me everything I ever wanted from Atari to college. She had to crawl, get beaten. For everything. She is my hero. And I want the world to know.

 

 

I can feel

I can feel the blood pulsing. And? I can watch everything changing. The sights. Mostly the smell.

 

 

The night

She is long. And almost never finds the day.

 

 

Sepsis

“What does that mean?”

“In laymen’s terms? It sort of means my arm is spoiling.”

“Yeah, it looks terrible.

“And it smells too.”

“Smells? Like what?

“Short answer? Is bad.”

 

 

Again, you ridiculous infant

“You let yourself get septic?”

“You don’t understand.”

“What don’t I understand?”

“I live like a child. I don’t eat most days.”

“What happened?

“One big lie changed my whole life.”

 

August 21, 2011 

The mop and the broom

“Why are they still in the corner where I left them when I left?”

“That’s because you have to use something if they’re going to move.”

 

 

There are are times

When we meet a person who defines us. Most times it’s a lover. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, it can also be somebody else. You have become that beautiful ghost to me.

 

August 22, 2011 

Makapu’u, 1985 aka “Near death experience #5 – East Oahu Division.”

“Where are you going?”

“Back in.”

“Why?”

“I can’t feel my lungs, and I’m pretty sure I can’t hold my breath that long without some neurological damage.”

“Don’t be so dramatic, panty. I told you, you needed fins today. But no, Mr. Hawaiian Soul Surfer only needs his body.”

“A blowhole might have helped, too.”

“Go get your fins, and get back out. Drink some water or something.”

“I think I drank enough water under that last wave.”

“Good, then you’ll be out here that much faster.”

“Nah, you guys can go out. I’m going in.

“Gimme a break, it’s not that big. Choppy, maybe.”

“No time between sets right now.”

“Then rest in the channel.”

“Channel? There’s no channel today. Maybe the Moloka’i Channel.”

“Stick close to the rocks, there’s a small one.”

“Swept out to sea or get smashed in the rocks? Nice menu.”

“You’re starting to get on my nerves.”

 

 

Sunday blues

I hate waking after nightfall in a quiet room. Exacerbated by it being Sunday. The darkness is a painful reminder of my current condition. Solitude. Most of my days I spend alone. My main coping strategy has been movies and music, sometimes for days at a time. Not quite the productive activity schedule previously created and speciously titled, “To do list.”

 

August 27, 2011 

This place is a total disaster

“How do you get so many good looking girls?”

“Because I’m so good looking?”

“Please.”

“I got you.”

“Don’t tell him we were lovers.”

“You mean what happened a few minutes ago?”

“Don’t be a smartass or it’s not going to happen again.”

 

 

Mea culpa

Cleaning out my email boxes, now that they’ve reached over 15,000, I came across a few that I am embarrassed to have sent. Frustration and contempt sometimes have combined to make ridiculous outreach, sometimes inappropriately angry, sometimes just inappropriate. I don’t think it’s fair to put the burden of this apology directly to anyone that it might apply to, so I decided to put it here, because I know it will be read. I’m sorry. And no matter what my perception of trespass against me might be in the future, the nonsense from my side is over. So many regrets. But, you have to start somewhere. Here seems as good a place as any.

 

August 29, 2011 

If you’re the judge?

Then I’m already hanged.

 

August 30, 2011 

A simple truth

To me, obscurity is a greater threat than controversy.

 

September 3, 2011 

Prêt-à-Porter

I like that shirt a lot, but I think I vomited on it.

 

 

Labored Day

I find myself trying to mask my disgust when you call me. In fact, more often than not, I don’t answer when I see it’s you on caller ID. I un-friended you on Facebook and it felt like a weight had been lifted because I didn’t have to know about your life anymore. We could go into the details of your shameless lies and disrespect in late April and May but I don’t care enough to think about it anymore. Nothing was real. The only certainty is that I was a fool. Well meaning, but, really, that’s no excuse. I’m more angry at myself than at you. Still, I’m glad I’ve gotten to this place of take it or leave it, though the path here came closer to killing me than I realized while traversing it. That’s more than a little uncomfortable.

As I have for the twenty years of our acquaintance, save for the moments of my ridiculous denial, I hold these truths to be self evident you cannot, have not and will not ever tell the whole truth about anything, you have always and will always say whatever it takes to get out of a situation, and you have mastered the art of telling people exactly what they want to hear. Though culpability is as much with the desperately credulous–if not more so–as with the sociopath and borderline personality.

I think about all I was willing to sacrifice as recently as five months ago, and then how low I let myself fall when those sacrifices were forsaken. And now nothing. Nothing. My gaze, like yours, has grown pitiless. And my face is as blank as an unsullied sheet of clean white paper.

 

September 4, 2011 

Three hours

 

Centro-matic + Drive-By Truckers = Damn that was good.

All Night Long (Yes, it’s a cover of the Lionel Richie song).

 

September 12, 2011 

Probation

Like most institutions perpetrated on its subjects by our government, probation is a spectacular failure. This is the means by which we reincorporate real lives back into society. Were that it were so. If anyone actually cared, there would be Congressional investigations into the lack of accountability or result. About 70% of people on probation will have it revoked before it is complete. In what other program funded by the government–and by the government I mean we the people–would we tolerate a success rate so slow and low? The truth? Probation is not about reintegration. It exists to feed the beast.

If I were a lawyer, and 70 days in Del Valle may in ways be as revelatory as three years toward a JD–I would advise my clients to avoid probation by almost any means necessary. They want you back. How else to pay for all those bodies in all those uniforms, and all those doors that slam shut and tight with only five voices over spoken to walkie-talkie to open them?

Most are here for ridiculous violations of child support or marijuana, but judging by the complexion of its constituents, jail exists to populate brown people. America hates brown people. It pays lip service to equality and “by the people” platitudes, but all you have to do to shatter this illusion is look at your boss. I’m generalizing, of course, but he’s probably a white man, perhaps, an approved minority–Asian in the medical field, Indian in computers, etc. And still you grudgingly invite Haj to Friday happy hour after work.

I’m sick of it. I’m sick of assistant DA’s in off-the-rack Neiman Marcus suits and skirts with predetermined ideas and with the complicit, pussilanimous judiciary shaking fists over predetermined outcomes. Justice is a joke. Justice is an ideal that held up to the light only makes me laugh as it casts shadows in mocking relief of what actually is. What is is. Maybe President Clinton had it right and fucked, and then fucked had the powers that be. If I only had his resources. Ahhhh!

 

September 19, 2011 

This door ain’t opening on its own

“So what are you saying?”

“Kick the motherfucker down.”

 

September 20, 2011 

What, really?

“Where the fuck have you been?”

“I am a human being you know? I do require sleep.”

“Well get up.”

 

September 21, 2011 

Stay wet

They won’t kick the door in until the blood dries. They’re fags like that.

 

 

Yeah

Ain’t no fall. I was pushed.

 

 

Love or something like it

Unfortunately? We go were the asshole, the heart, we go where it leads us.

 

September 23, 2011 

Truth or dare? Are those the only two choices?

Feel the ghost behind you?

The growls and susurrous moans?

The acrid smell of fire and dust,

Of fetid wounds and bloody rust?

The guttural whispers in the wind

Will soon be known to you.

The jury has come back.

No escape.

No escape.

Not even from yourself.

But I know you;

You like the roller coaster.

As much as a word though? It’s just a word.

There’s always a word.

And there is the need to be or to die.

There are those of us,

And we are lost.

And there are those of us that make 1+1=2.

We are all dying of something, but it moves the world that we make.

Other people sad.

But it’s so.

 

September 24, 2011 

Right-wing crazies

A friend recently asked me what I meant by that. I posted on his Facebook comments this (and Facebook is becoming the new whatever).

“Someone that wants to testify in the break room at lunch. Hates gays, brown people (but can’t admit it anymore), and wants everyone to live the Ozzie and Harriet lie yet still has gin-stained tears running down their cheeks when Jesus makes them cry.”

 

 

Rip tides

Just because you go against the flow? Trust me. Don’t expect the flow to follow you. By definition, almost obviously, that would mean you were going with the flow. Something that some of us can’t quite seem to do.

 

 

Epiphanies come strangely

I was recently robbed of everything I owned with material value. I was literally left with the clothes on my back. And, of course, at first I was angry. I cursed the arbitrary idea of victimhood. But I had a moment. I saw how I was incorrect in my determinations. Someone very special, new to my life, and someone old in my life but new again, helped me see how I was wrong. How our position needs to be to help people find their light no matter what the cost to ourselves.

The natural order of things is peace and love. People lose this harmony for a variety of reasons. But it is. I know it is, and it took me almost 42 years to understand the truth of this. The murderer, the molester, the guy that hits you on the head and takes your wallet, or breaks into your house. They’ve lost the light and require your reflection and absolution, not your enmity, hard as that may be. Our purpose is to get back to the light. Not to hate those still in the dark.

My things were just things. I need to be grateful to the Universe that I, or especially anyone that I love (which sorta should be everyone), incurred no injury in any of the processes of loss, like they very well could have been.

We hurt ourselves more than any external force could hurt us. We live and die by our choices.

Those “evil” people require compassion. And it’s not easy to give. The natural state of things is love, compassion, and complete empathy. This is what is meant by wisdom. And I have been so unwise.

But the Universe, sometimes she grants me a glimpse of the truth of that reality. We need to find that center. It’s hard, too. There are so many things to tempt or tear you outward. But the goal for us remains. We don’t have much time; in the scope of forever we have none. We are mortal. But we are mortal for a reason it’s so we don’t waste time.

Find the center. And help as many people as you can to do the same.

 

 

Didacticism gone awry

“Out of sight, out of mind.”

“Yeah, thanks, Aristotle. If you want to inflict your aphorisms on me, can you indulge me and make sure they’re not platitudes or stereotypes? Especially one so easily refuted with, ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ Which, for the record, also would make me want to puke if someone said it to me in the context of advice.”

 

September 25, 2011 

I try not to feel this way

“Hey, man, you got change?”

“Yeah?”

“Can I have it?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“What keeps me from being you is my change.”

 

 

Ha

You party a little harder? You have to leave a little earlier. I’m an organ donor. That’s sort of an inside joke.

 

 

Sleeping arrangements

I have a California king-sized bed. I haven’t slept in it since she left. Most nights? I sleep on the futon couch. Other nights the floor. Depends which one I can reach before I fall.

 

 

Vicodin

Some advice? When someone gives you some of their Vicodin and says, “These are 750 mg, I normally only take 250 when I need it.” Don’t subsequently ignore her and take two of them just because your arm hurts. Oh wait, ignore that if you like to live in 12-hour fogs.

 

 

Some kind of something

“You’re mad at me?”

“Yeah.”

“Why again?”

“You didn’t answer when I called.”

“You know we’re like in different time zones now right?”

“And?”

“Contrary to popular belief, I’m not always awake at 4am.”

“Passed out?”

“Sometimes. What? Now you’re going to give a fuck.”

“I always gave at least a fuck.”

“My love? I don’t mean that kind of fuck.”

 

 

Willpower

Temptation? You can resist right? But if he’s calling you? Fuck. You gotta answer.

 

 

This might be a little weird

I don’t know if you remember the ’70s? But the vaginas were, um, hairy. Hustler scared me. Now they’re all bald. Believe me, I’m not complaining. Did god make a mistake? Should the stock model have been smooth? My libido would say (a resounding), “Yes.”

 

 

Vitamin K

I made breakfast this morning. A white-egg omelette with salmon and fresh tomatoes. Then I had a cocktail of vitamins a through e. And glutamine (just in case). It’s funny. Perhaps not in a haha way, but in a reflective one. We build ourselves strong. So we can tear ourselves down. And by we I mean me.

 

 

I promise

It’s a little irritating when your thumb is numb because you severed your ulnar nerve in a drunken accident. But when that motherfucker comes to life? You’ll wish you severed it better.

 

September 26, 2011 

Re Your voicemail?

“Your message was so hot, I need new panties.”

Seriously. How hot is that?

 

September 27, 2011 

C’mon

You think I won’t be back? Watch your cross-streets.

 

 

Roar

“You were a bad lay.”

“Really?”

“Yeah.”

“That’s just ’cause I didn’t want to fuck you. I had to imagine to make it hard. So fuck you back.”

 

 

You and me? Babygirl we’re different.

“But, Daddy, I….”

“Absolutely not. Don’t even finish your sentence.”

“But, Dad you don’t…”

“I swear to God, not one more fucking word.”

 

September 28, 2011 

It’s hard to understand

Your comment about 4 mile. I’m sad that I know that place. O’ahu is home for me. Kailua. Ewa. Nanakuli. Still the words of Hilo go, “Pow!”

 

September 29, 2011 

Why are you emailing me?

I keep missing them. Use your goddamned voice-sending machine.

 

 

Rock the free world

And the elite will tremble.

 

September 30, 2011 

I’m afraid to ask

“Why are you here, hospital or jail?”

“Hospital.”

“Why?

“You’re bleeding. Badly.”

“Oh yeah, I guess so.”

“Come with me.”

“Okay.”

 

October 1, 2011 

Life

“I got everything figured out.”

“Really? You do? Then throw some figured out this way.”

 

 

I ran

“And I ran and I ran and I ran and I ran.”

“Sometimes you’re supposed to run.”

“I felt like a coward. I was so scared. I was so scared, Baby.”

“I know. Come back. Back into my arms.”

 

October 2, 2011 

Wherefore?

We glorify life and deify death. Why? Scared to die.

 

 

Never

“I thought I had you.”

“I thought you had me, too.”

“Well, do I?”

“I don’t know, do you?”

“I’m not going in this stupid circle all day.”

“Why not? I think it’s fun.”

“You thought I was fun.”

“Not any more.”

 

 

You’re right

“Are you left-handed?”

“No, but my brother is.”

“You act left-handed.”

“It’s ’cause I fucked up my right hand.”

 

 

Huh?

“That was a good move,” she says to her partner.

“Yeah”

“That does feel better,” I pipe up.

“It should,” the first medic says, “there were other consequences.”

“Oh yeah? Like what?”

“Like us having to stop your heart and restart it.”

“Fuuuck,” I draw it out. “Can you do that without asking?”

 

 

Weird

I’m going to be ugly. I’m going to be fat. I’m going to have failed. Can you love me thus?

 

 

What the?

“It’s all right. It’s all right.”

“You just had a seizure.”

“This time it’ll teach me.”

“You’ve had enough, Baby, you’ve had enough.

“Nobody ever has enough.”

 

October 3, 2011 

Learn to spell

I am in love with someone that I cannot have. It’s okay. Brush your teeth. Pee when you have to. Stop crying. Everything’s going to be okay.

 

 

What does that even mean?

Always with the interpretation of the semiotics. Can’t you just get it?

 

 

Again

It’s so broken? I don’t know how to get it fixed.

 

 

Weird

“Hand me your glasses.’

“No, I’m going to sleep.”

“Trust me. And see what the consequences are.”

 

 

You gotta watch out

“We only got two hours.”

“Sometimes? Bad things happen in two hours.”

 

October 4, 2011 

You don’t realize how much

I’ve got to go home.

 

 

Bleach

I just poisoned the fucking sink. Now my hair feels bad.

 

 

Why?

The bad things I did are finished. You want to love me? Then you have to forgive me. Because I’m still trying to forgive myself.

 

October 5, 2011 

What did you just say?

“I’m trying to ween myself from being an alcoholic.”

“What?”

“Fuck. I said that out loud.”

 

 

My nose

I thought it was running. But it’s actually bleeding.

 

 

Going through it all

“I’m making some progress.”

“Yeah, finishing your ice cream doesn’t count.”

 

October 7, 2011 

Body of work

Here it is. What is it? Am I standing for it, or I am I splayed face down? Will holes puncture the walls? Will scratches mark the door? Will they’re be blood on the floor? Is this how I end it this time? Will these be the only things left behind, here in this empty room? Is this my body of work? How many lives, if any, did I reach eventually? Have I reached my own? Did I reach yours?

 

October 9, 2011 

Trivial Pursuit

Remember when the Internet was the bastard chid of the encyclopaedia and the World Almanac? You could only solve arguments about things two-years old or older. Which, of course, led to a lot more, um, “discussions.” Especially during disputed answers in the new version of Trivial Pursuit.

“No. You’re wrong.”

“It’s on the back of the card.”

“I don’t care if it’s in the back of the Bible, it’s wrong. Now go get the almanac. What year do you have?”

“1986.”

“I think you do that on purpose.”

“Do what?”

“Keep that ancient copy so you can give wrong answers and we can’t look them up.”

“You can’t be serious.”

“I am serious. I’m playing this game under protest.”

“Protest to who? It’s because your losing.”

“No, I’m actually winning.”

“Well you’re going to lose.”

 

October 11, 2011 

To whom it may concern

This site is not intended to be an historical register, but rather a fictional exploration into the human condition, and therefore must be viewed as such. No names are ever used because the characters and voices found here do no represent any real person(s) or dialogue, but rather an amalgam of people, ideas and situations. The conversations are, more often then not, invented and represent imaginations of parallel-world interactions. Stop reading this as if you have somehow been magically granted access into my private journal. Trust me. You have not.

 

October 14, 2011 

That’s why I don’t like talking to you

“You remember everything.”

“So?”

“And then you put it on the site.”

“So? I don’t name names.”

“Everybody knows it’s me.”

“Everybody? Or him?”

“Him.”

“Fuck him.”

“You know I could have you back.”

“Nope. Not anymore.”

“I just have to say the word.”

“Not enough.”

“Your memory is too good. Remember? Feel the feelings.”

“No.”

“I still love you.”

“I know.”

 

October 15, 2011 

She is

“I think that’s part of the problem.”

“What?”

“She’s way better looking than you are.”

“Nice.”

“I’m not trying to be rude.”

“Really, you don’t have to try.”

“She is. And I’m pretty sure it bothers you.”

“You bother me.”

“I knew that already. I loved you once.”

“Once?”

“Once.”

“Fuck.”

“I know, right? If I thought I could trust you, I might love you again.”

 

October 16, 2011 

Feet

Pick up your feet, little boy. It helps you pass things. God, how I do love you.

 

October 17, 2011 

Mad

“Hey? Are you mad? Are you mad at me?”

“No, I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed in the situation.”

“Me too. I love you.”

“I know.”

 

October 18, 2011 

The cut

“The slice on your wrist.”

“Yes.”

“Tell me the truth.”

“OK. Anything.”

“Was it on purpose?”

“No.”

“Promise?”

“I swear.”

“It looks like it was on purpose.”

“I’m depressed, not suicidal.”

“We’ll see.”

 

October 19, 2011 

And you wonder why I lie

It’s easier. It’s prettier. It makes more sense at the time.

 

 

I’m lonely (but I ain’t that lonely yet)

Hawaii. November. 45 degrees here. It’s finally not summer. I roll over in bed looking for someone to touch. I hate that song.

 

 

Nice to see

I traced my fingers down the muscle of her abdomen. It was pronounced. The prettiest thing I’ve ever actually touched.

 

 

Tremble

Lots of things are not good for me. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop doing them.

 

October 20, 2011 

I saw the way you move

So casual. Your t-shirt. The way you smiled. It was so light. Amidst our heaviness. I will love you until the day I die. You threw it away when it got hard.

 

October 21, 2011 

Sobriety

“You were never totally hard except that one time we did Viagra.”

“Really I can’t take the blame for that. I don’t think I ever fucked you sober. It was tequila or coke or X or something. And you were the one getting us high.”

 

 

Issues

“What’s the matter with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You don’t wear pants.”

“That’s not true, they just fall off.”

“And you smell like a homeless person.”

“That might be true. But in my defense it’s not on purpose.”

 

 

5 o’clock

“What the fuck is wrong with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s five o’clock on a Friday.”

“And?”

“What are you doing at home?”

“What I always do.”

“You’re not going to get a girlfriend that way. She’s not going to just come to your door.”

“You’d be surprised what’s come to my door.”

 

 

Hardness

“You and me can’t talk anymore.”

“Why?”

“I can’t do this.”

“What?”

“You can be in love with more than one person, but I can’t. I love one person. Usually too much.”

“So? What? Goodbye?”

“I have a feeling between you and me? It’s never going to be goodbye.”

 

October 22, 2011 

A little too much

She was a special girl. She did special things. She wasn’t magic really, but her soul was magical. She had this kind of smile, and beautiful blue eyes. She was missing a couple of teeth, but I promise you they’ll come back. “You only have 20 right now, but eventually you’ll have 32.” Such a sweet girl; she oozed love out of her pores. I told her mama I’d write a story about her, but, you know, the story writes itself.

So, her name was Mahina. And you know she’s so special that she’s the password to all my computer accounts. Login Mahina. The first time I met her, she reminded me of my daughter and made me smile ear to ear. So smart, so precious. I’m sure she and my daughter might make best friends. Kehau and Mahina. It kind of goes well together.

A few months ago she sent me a feather, and I’m not quite sure where she found it, so I decided to write a story about it. Because I wanted to give her something. From her uncle. And to show her, and her mom and dad, how much I love them, because I do. So let’s imagine.

This is not just any feather. Someone like Mahina, someone so special, wouldn’t just find any feather. Of course it had to be magic. With the spirit of all the birds that had ever flown. If you put it to your ear? It would go whoosh, with the sound of the wind through a bird’s wings. And the freedom of flight, and the happiness of the chirp as a sparrow made his swoop down near your head. Of course it wasn’t human, but the joy was unmistakable.

So as he swooped, I love that word–use that word, swoop–so as he swooped, a magic feather fell from his majestic shoulders and lilted to the ground. And waited. Because this feather couldn’t just be found by anyone.

It had a purpose.

She was very sensitive. A lot of her was internal. She understood things that other people didn’t necessarily understand. She was sort of an old soul dressed up as a pretty little girl. So when she saw the feather she knew it was bigger than what it appeared to be. It was a smile giver. And the person who needed it hadn’t smiled in a while.

So she put it an envelope. And mama helped her mail it. And everything special about her went with that feather. And the envelope almost exploded with love. Her love, of course. Mommy’s love. But the reciprocity was not just virtual. It manifest. Something so simple. A feather. Represented so much love. Sometimes it’s not what you expect. So you always have to look for the unexpected. To fly over your head and go, “Swoop.”

 

 

Hands

“You’re just saying that because I can’t feel my hand.”

“You can’t feel your hand?”

“It’s kind of damaged.”

“You can’t feel your hand. What the is the matter with you?”

“Is that like a rhetorical question?”

“No. What is wrong with you?”

“You know, there’s really so many answers to that question.”

“I hate you.”

“And I love you back.”

 

 

Problems

“You know what you’re problem is?”

“I only have one problem?”

“Well amongst your several.”

“I try my best.”

“Sometimes your best isn’t good enough.”

“Fuck. Okay, bye.”

“You always do that.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do any better.”

“You know how to do better with me.”

“You would think I would, right?”

 

October 23, 2011 

Death

“My penis smells like death right now, you wouldn’t want to put it in your mouth.”

“Who said I was going to put your penis in my mouth?”

“It was just, I guess, sorta, the look in your. Nevermind.”

 

 

Two

“It’s like two.”

“That means it’s like four here.”

“Well, then it’s four.”

“You know, for having a pussy you can be kind of a dick.”

 

 

Ears

“In that picture. It’s sort of a caricature. You made my ears really big. Do I have big ears?”

“They’re not small.”

“You’re an asshole. I rarely point that out. And almost never with a picture.”

 

 

Normality

“You don’t talk like a normal person.”

“I’m not a normal person.”

“Yeah.”

“What is normal, anyway?”

“Sort of not you.”

“Sort of.”

 

 

The other

“You’re the kind of girl I like to take away from her boyfriend.”

“That’s not very nice.”

“Or husband if she’s married.”

“Again.”

“You should take it as a compliment.”

“How so?”

“In a way I’m liberating you.”

“What if I don’t want to be liberated?”

“I can tell by the way you’ve answered. You do.”

 

 

I sit around

And I read poems. 200 years ago you sorta could do that. Now someone has to pay the rent.

 

 

Crazy

“How are you getting so many girls?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know, I have a lot of crazy friends.”

“And?”

“And you’re the craziest.”

“What do you mean?”

“You don’t even try to hide the crazy.”

 

October 24, 2011 

Scars

“You have a five-inch scar on your wrist.”

“That was an accident.”

“Nothing about you is accidental.”

“Technically, I didn’t mean to do it.”

“It just happened?”

“Sorta, yeah”

“Well. With you? A lot of things just seem to happen.”

 

 

Proof

“You have been wearing the same underwear for seven days.”

“You can’t prove that.”

“You’re going to argue?”

“Maybe I washed them in the interim.”

“You’re sad.”

“Because I have dirty underwear?”

“There are other reasons.”

 

 

What?

We don’t even need her vagina. But I bet it would be fun.

 

 

13

“You called me 13 times yesterday.”

“I’ll never call you again.”

 

 

You gotta stop

You really have to stop writing about vaginas or you’re never going to have another vagina.

 

 

Regular sodomy

“What website is it?”

“You Porn.”

“How do I make it work?”

“You’re kidding right?”

“No.”

“Just press any thumbnail on the first page. But that’s usually just regular sodomy.”

 

 

Speech

Cock is kinda the new vernacular, but I prefer dick. Call it my dick.

 

 

Yeah

“I love you. I want to hold you.”

“You can’t even take care of yourself.”

“I’m still alive. Amy Winehouse couldn’t manage that. And she had more money than me.”

 

 

Piss

“You’re piss smells terrible.”

“Terrible or terribly?”

“What?”

“I think it’s ‘Your piss smells terribly.’”

“Jesus, are you correcting that sentence?”

“Only because it was incorrect.”

“Whatever.”

“You started it.”

“I guess.”

“In my defense, it’s because I like asparagus and eat a lot of vitamin B-12.”

“That’s your defense?”

“And I eat a lot of ice cream.”

 

 

Reflections

“Daddy, I don’t like looking at mirrors in the dark.”

“Baby, you know if there was a way, I would take away everything that makes you scared.”

“Daddy, you’re not superman.”

“I can try.”

“I know you do. I love you, Daddy.”

 

October 25, 2011 

Shhhhsssssss

How long can you stay quiet? You’d be surprised.

 

 

Motrin

“You have, like, a thousand Motrin in your house?”

“Actually, they’re all in one drawer. I could explain why they’re there, but it’s really not even a good story.”

“You’re the weirdest person I’ve ever known.”

“I’m not going to argue that with you.”

 

 

An ugliness

Somehow in a short time we had deteriorated into an ugliness when once there was an epic beauty. We were an ugliness in ugly confrontation of our ugly selves. So much like the beautiful people we used to be, but quickly deteriorating.

I tried not to think of the worst. Six months earlier when we began the flirtation that led to the furtive grasps and stolen kisses she, technically, still had a boyfriend. The haunting echo of her calls to him saying she had to work late while she sat across the table, our fingers interlocked. Me? Mesmerized. The images came flooding back. The stolen afternoons at Shady Grove or making love in my apartment were explained as visits to her sister. Hearing the same explanations and my doubts had grown legion.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved her. I believed I did. And I believed at the time that she loved me. But given this distance from that moment of impulse, it was more likely a confluence of factors, not the least of which were alcohol, fear and lust. The dissolution of our marriage was such a slow-motion, year-long train wreck that I didn’t quite have the respect for the institution I once had, though given the marriages, including my own, that I had been a close-up witness to, I didn’t think much of it to begin with. Our de facto announcement was a change in status on Facebook, another whim done without much consideration, that unintentionally hurt several people with the notice of our nuptials coming worldwide instead of intimately.

 

 

Brushes

“I think you’re teeth are bleeding.”

“Yeah, that’s because I don’t brush them.”

 

October 26, 2011 

The cramps

“I’m starting to like you.”

“Yeah, but can your pussy do the dog? And if you don’t get that reference? We’ll never get along.”

 

 

Whoa, you are frickin’ dumb

“The ice cream is kinda hard. I’m having trouble eating it.”

“Um, it melts? Take it out of the freezer, dumbass.”

 

 

Weird

I haven’t even thanked god for saving me.

 

 

Arms

“You’re wrist.”

“We all go through things in life. Some hurt more than others. This one sort of hurt.”

“Come back to us, K. Come back to us. We sorta love you.”

 

 

Isn’t it fucked up?

It’s like watch what I can take.

 

 

Maurice and Barry are left

Yeah, I’m listening to the Bee Gees.

 

 

Light

Somebody actually stole my outside light bulb. What the fuck is wrong with people? Seriously? Light bulbs are like 39 cents.

 

 

I’m sorry

I fucking love punk rock. Rancid is totally raging my machine right now.

 

 

I don’t get it

“All I wanted in this world was to save him.”

“From what?”

“From himself.”

“You did.”

“Look at him.”

“You don’t get it do you?”

 

October 27, 2011 

Don’t you see?

“The problem is so clear.”

“The problem?”

“Your problem.”

“What’s my problem?”

“You love everybody around you, but you don’t love yourself.”

“Why is that a problem?”

“My sweet, sweet boy.”

“Yes?”

“Love is not possible without love of yourself.”

 

 

Español

Los queremos los terribles. Nada con gracia. Nadie. Todo el mundo queremos los malos. Weird. I’ve been thinking in Spanish today. Hoy.

 

 

Really, it’s not everyything

“Almost nothing you say makes sense to me.”

“That’s because I don’t try to make sense.”

“And you put, like, everything on the Web.”

“Not everything.”

“Everything I’ve told you. Well, there’s no video of us having sex, but I’m sure that’s in you’re back pocket.”

“C’mon, I have some discretion.”

“That’s a strong word for what you have.”

“I can keep, like, life and death secrets. But, you’re right. I talk about everything else.”

“This I know.”

 

 

You Porn

“Please don’t put our sex tape on You Porn.”

“Why? You should be proud of that. That’s like one of your defining moments.”

“I’m pretty sure my dad’s not going to be proud of that.”

“Your dad goes to You Porn?”

“Everybody goes to You Porn.”

“I’m the one that should be embarrassed. I look like a shaved polar bear.”

“You don’t look like a shaved polar bear. They’re whiter than you are, and I don’t think you shaved you’re back this week.”

“Nice. I could change your name. But I’m pretty sure they’ll figure out who it is.”

“Please don’t.”

“Only because I think I love you.”

“Whatever. And you were mean to me.”

“I’m just playing. You know I like fucking you.”

“Only because I’m good at it.”

“You sorta are.”

“Get your ass over here right now.”

 

 

Wooly

“Men are always surprised. When they do the right thing, they want congratulations for it. Yeah, you took out the garbage. Big deal.”

“No, no, no, no, no you’ve got this wrong. It’s in our DNA.”

“I don’t want to hear this.”

“That’s because the truth stands in contrast to your statement.”

“I guess I don’t have a choice.”

“Your job is the kids and to be soft and nice. That’s just the way god made it. That’s why you always get custody and don’t go to jail as much. Men are not nurturers. We’re not gatherers. We don’t naturally gravitate to keeping the place clean. Our job is to kill wooly mammoths. And you can’t get pissed at me just because they’re extinct.”

 

 

You know you’re saying that out loud?

“I’m a little bit embarrassed to say this out loud, but fuck it. So I’m watching this porn.”

“Like Internet porn so it doesn’t really count as pornography.”

“And this girl starts fingering herself.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Because I don’t even make it to the penis in the vagina part.”

“Weak.”

 

October 28, 2011 

Gross

“I think that was from last night.”

“Baby, we ain’t wasting no wine. Or ice cream.”

“Uck.

“Okay. I can lick you when you’ve been sweating in those nasty panties in your tight ass jeans all day? But I can’t have an old glass of wine?”

“You can do what ever you want to do.”

“I want you.”

“Yes.”

 

 

Halloween

“I hate to cut you off, but I have a Halloween party to go to.”

“What are you dressed as?”

“I’m not dressed yet.”

“Well, what are you going to dress as?”

“A black cat.”

“I hope it’s a slutty black cat.”

“Yeah, it is kinda slutty.”

“You better send me a picture.”

“I will.”

 

October 29, 2011 

Divorce

“What’s going on with you?

“I’m not quite sure.”

“Are you happy?”

“Do I look happy?”

“In fact? No, you don’t.”

“Do I sound happy?”

“No, you don’t.”

“Well. If it quacks like a duck.”

“Do you need a divorce attorney? I have two.”

“Email me their numbers.”

 

 

Choice

You know what’s weird? I can’t sleep. I’m an insomniac. But every girl I’ve ever loved doesn’t even open her eyes until 1145am. Even while we’re having sex at 6. Weird choices, huh?

 

 

Skunk

It’s 44 degrees and there’s a fermenting dead skunk 15 feet outside of my door. So here’s the rundown. Temperature? Awesome. Smell? Evil death.

 

 

Blood

“What are you doing?

“What do you mean?”

“You’re biting your lips.”

“It’s a nervous habit.”

“They’re bleeding. That’s more than nervous.”

“Technically? I’m not really nervous.”

“I’m not kissing you with bleeding lips.”

“Who said I wanted to kiss you?”

“Then what are we doing?”

“We don’t have to kiss to fuck.”

 

 

I just don’t give a …

She walked down the block, hardly dressed, and she didn’t give a fuck. And that’s what I liked about her.

 

October 30, 2011 

Again, words

People don’t understand about writing. Everybody writes, right? But when you want to put something into every word? It can be harder than you might realize. Every word has to mean something. And sometimes? When it doesn’t? It’s like death.

 

 

My love, my lovah

“Hey. You’re talking to my wife.”

“I’m pretty sure she’s not you’re wife anymore.”

 

October 31, 2011 

The needle and the damage done

“I love you. Without condition. I swear. But I don’t care what you’ve made it into in your head. My childhood was being alone, fear of violence, sexual abuse, and being fat. Change it in your mind if you want. But that’s how it was. I can play nice, but I’ll just be playing. ”

“Walk past it. Put it behind you.”

“I will never put it behind me. It’s one of the reasons no one puts their hands on my kids. Or her. Who even has rejected me, will not be touched on my watch. I will not tolerate violence. I don’t know if you comprehend the depth of the damage done. I don’t blame you. But it was still done.”

 

 

I’m the once to decide?

“This isn’t going to be easy is it?”

“Most things that matter aren’t.”

“Does this matter?”

“Does it feel like it does?”

“It’s all I can feel.”

“Do what you think is right.”

“What I want is not the same as what is right.”

“It’s up to you.”

“I know. That’s the problem.”

 

November 1, 2011 

iPhone

“So, here’s my new phone.”

“It’s bigger than I thought it was going to be.”

“That’s what she said.”

“Nice. Do you have to make everything sexual?”

“Not this week. I pulled my salacious muscle.”

“I pulled your cock muscle last night.”

“You’re worse than I am.”

 

 

Meth

“Sweetie, you have to go.”

“What? Why?”

“I’m very fond of you, obviously.”

“So why do you want me to go?”

“Because if you’re actively using, that means you’re holding. And I can’t have that shit here.”

“But? I love you.”

“Love? Don’t make me laugh. That does not ever cross my door step.”

“How do you know I’m high?”

“The same way I know one and one is two.”

 

November 2, 2011 

The truth?

“The truth will set you free.”

“The truth? The truth? Don’t be ridiculous. Nobody tells the truth.”

“That is an exaggeration.”

“I know the pieces fit, only because? I put them in.”

 

 

Kind of

“I always thought I would grow up to be something special.”

“It’s too late now.”

“Why would you say that?”

“You’re kind of grown up already.”

“And you’re kind of a bitch, but I didn’t say that.”

 

 

High school

“All of your friends were good looking. You guys ran the school. You guys were the it crowd.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Give me a break.”

“Are you talking about high school?”

“Of course, stupid.”

“I wasn’t good looking.”

“Yes. You were.”

“Well, I didn’t feel good looking.”

“That’s your kuleana.”

 

November 3, 2011 

Your mouth? Is not quite a sacred place

“You just put that thing in my mouth.”

“You asked me to. You asked me to put it other places too. If you’re that drunk, we should stop.”

“I was just being coy. Put it back.”

“No. We’re done.”

 

 

Beatty

Bonnie, Clyde. Yes, they get shot and die in the end. But, man what a magic love.

 

 

Swim

“I was swimming before I could walk.”

“For real?”

“For real.”

“Then what are you doing on the ground?”

 

 

Help?

“You’re crazy.”

“What?”

“No, I’m being literal. You are crazy. You need help.”

“Help doesn’t help.”

“You’re in trouble.”

“I know.”

 

 

Disgusting

Catfish. Tilapia. Bass. Yuck. I will never eat another fish that didn’t come from the ocean, preferably the Pacific, or for which I don’t know the Hawaiian name. Opakapaka, ono, ahi, aku, ulua, papio, mahi, he‘e, and a‘a. Maybe an occasional salmon. That’s pretty much it for me.

 

November 4, 2011 

Tool

You need to listen to Tool. They move the world.

 

November 5, 2011 

Hands

You’re holding my hands. But are you feeling me?

 

 

How?

I’m not quite sure how to do this anymore. How does this planet work?

 

 

Wrong

We’ve all done some thing’s wrong. I’m sorry for that. And I’m sorry for the wrong I’m going to do.

 

November 6, 2011 

Fat

“You’re getting too skinny.”

“And, you’re getting too fat. I think my lifeline is longer then yours.”

 

 

I promise you

You can get cheaper. But you won’t get better.

 

November 10, 2011 

An oldie but goodie

I totally stole this from Heather Armstrong (@Dooce on Twitter), but I feel the exact same way

Some of you, and you know exactly who you are, you can go right ahead and suck it.

Because it has nothing to do with me. They have this idea of who I am and it is based entirely on assumptions. Bad, completely untrue assumptions that they so desperately want to believe because my success somehow diminishes their own.

The truth? The truth is that I work my ass off. I hit the ground running at 6am every morning and I do not stop until I hit the pillow at night. And understand that this is not a pity party, I am not complaining.

Also, if I don’t publish, people think I have died. (I appreciate those emails, actually.)

I embrace the knowledge that there are tens if not hundreds of people who despise me. Hundreds of people who have a bad opinion of me and can talk about that opinion. And then go on to say, well, [he] opened [him]self up to this, he better take it!

And oh, I do. I take it. And I want to thank you for it. Because it has forced me to take a look at myself and how I treat other people. Because all the shit and misinformed waah-waah-waahing that is aimed at my head has made it so that I will first, before anything else, give someone the benefit of the doubt, and second, never treat anyone the way I have been treated. Never speak about someone the way people speak about me. Especially in a public forum.

Sure, you can probably find me jealously criticizing someone in my archives, but I like to think that I’ve come a long way since then. Because the hate mail and the hate sites and the bickering twitters about [me], all the crazy assumptions about me that I see being tangled and weaved in ways that are specifically made to make someone feel better about their own insecurities, all of this has made me so much more human.

Thank you, those of you who need to suck it.

 

 

Music

Music has always been important to me. Often when I can’t find the words to exactly express how I feel, I’ll come across lyrics or a video that does more perfectly than I ever could. I send people links to YouTube with this intent, often with no explanation.

Turns out this is a mistake. It can get you in criminal trouble. Trust me on that one. Let me give you some examples.

The Funeral – Band of Horses

This was actually interpreted as a threat as if I was a person that would cause someone (not naming names) to have a funeral. I guess I gave the audience too much credit, because the song is a metaphor. It’s a lament. Waiting for morning to wake the ones you love is all you’ve got left. It’s too late to call, so you trust that in the morning that the people you care for will still be alive (in the sense of alive for you). But at every occasion, and at any time you’re prepared for a funeral (again the funeral of the relationship), prepared for the age when your loved ones leave. Clearly, or maybe not for the tunnel-vision imbecile, the person in the video is drinkinghimself to death. And in my version, he kills himself at the end. I really didn’t think that explanation was necessary.

Black Hole Sun – Soundgarden

The video does depict the apocalypse, but do you also notice the faces and expressions of the people? It looks like they are either high themselves or the person looking at them is high. They are all trying to escape from something. Addiction? The distorted images imply that. But the black hole that pulls them in really could represent anything that pulls any of us. Sadness. Fear. Loneliness. Finally, the scene where the barbie doll is being burned on the grill is not suggesting that anyone should be grilled, but rather symbolizes the end of innocence. Again, clearly not a threat, but an insightful observation into loss. This is really not that difficult.

and, finally

No Such Thing – Chris Cornell

In the lyrics there is a trigger mentioned and he talks about “ending the world.” That does not imply a threat to literally shoot anyone. Again, this is a m-e-t-a-p-h-o-r. The chorus and the concept of the song seem to deal with the absence of love and happiness. He is saying that there is no such thing as feeling nothing. Since there is no such thing as nothing, there needs to be a feeling in life that replaces happiness when happiness is gone. For him, these were feelings of depression and anguish. He has now reached the resolution that to save yourself in the absence of happiness you need to make the choice of how you “fill the hole.”

Really, this is like Metaphor 101. There is a theory that once a person decides they know something, they will find any fact and bend it to what they already believe. It is the rare individual, that can keep disinterest in an adversarial situation. I haven’t seen it. They decide what happened, ignore anything that points to the contrary, and make the pieces fit.

Do people need to take lessons in metaphor or abstract thinking or individuals that aren’t like everyone else? Because I’ll be glad to teach them. Or is there a conscious effort to demonize a person at any cost, by any means necessary, once an internal decision has been made? The cynical part of me believes the latter.

 

 

Disclaimer addendum

I can’t believe I have to say this again, but, I’m getting so many comments from people, that I feel like I have to.

No names are named because they’re are none (public figures not included). Not even the nice stories. If you see yourself in any of these characters, then search your own soul. Because I promise you, once again, it is not you. It is my testing board for op-ed pieces, and longer fictional works. If you don’t like it, stay away. I have never sent anyone an unsolicited invitation here.

So if you’re reading this, it is 100% completely your choice. And 100% completely my right, to compose words in this manner.

One final note, this is not intended for minors, so parents do your job. I wouldn’t let my kids look at this. The same way you keep them away from porn, keep them away from adult-themed prose. That is your responsibility to monitor them, not to censor me.

I’m retiring from writing for a few days until every regular and new reader gets a chance to read this manifesto. Then? I’m going to start up exactly where I left off.

 

November 11, 2011 

Melancholia

I’m filled with gross sadness. The future looks brighter than it has in a long time, but I find myself having staccato bursts of five-second weeping. My friend says “You can’t look at yesterday, there’s only today and maybe not even tomorrow.” She’s right, of course. But my kids live in yesterday, today seems so ineffectual, and tomorrow scares the shit out of me. I don’t want what I had and I hate what I have. I’m on my knees with hope and humility that the sun decides to rise tomorrow, and whether I deserve it or not, takes a shine to me. God, please help me. Faith can help. But I’m still human. Of course, I’m going to be scared.

 

 

11/11/11 111111

It’s all about the timing. You’ve got another chance tonight. Which is a good metaphor I think for life. You’ve always got another chance. You just have to put yourself in place to take it.

 

November 12, 2011 

3/45/6789 101010

Isn’t it funny how caught up in the hype of the whole 11/11/11 111111 thing every one got? I was guilty of it too. But every single part of that equation is a man-made construct. We could have had 4 91-day months. And why did we start counting the years from the moment we did? (Don’t say Jesus, because he was killed three years later. Well, two actually, because there probably wasn’t a year 0.) And by “we” I mean this society, because this isn’t year 2011 for most people on the planet. I guess the clock is sort of ruled by the Earth’s rotation, but why did we carve it up into two 12-set pieces and not 10? So today, I think we should celebrate again, but this time at precisely 3/45/6789, ten minutes after midnight at 101010.

 

 

A different kind of love

Whatever I’ve done, right, wrong, or indifferent, I did out of a kind of hopelessness. For 20 months now, I’ve endured a cruel isolation from the two that matter most to me, that I love above all else. And in that silence, that I liken to a sensory deprivation chamber, I have sometimes gone mad. And like the ramblings of a madman, the incendiary rhetoric that has occasionally been spat, spastic as Tourette’s, should be considered that only. Any attempt to vilify that not-so-quiet desperation makes hypocrites out of those whose motto alleges, “Let justice be done or the heavens fall.”

 

November 13, 2011 

The same kind of different as me

I’m not like most people. I often ignore this fact at my own peril. I get so wrapped up in myself sometimes that I forget my communication style–words, images, even shared Internet links–does not align with most. And this dissonance has brought misery that I had never even considered as a consequence of my actions. I rarely think about a filter, and what I think represents profundity, is often interpreted by others as threatening; what I see as sacred often reviled as profane. When I am able to step out of this shell, and look at myself as others must see me, I’m sometimes mortified with a particular choice I’ve made. But, as I’ve said before, we are who we are, and it is what it is. And I swear, even when I’m being hurtful, I’m not trying to hurt you.

 

 

Power, corruption, and lies

What is it about even a tincture of perceived power, or the temporary state of having the upper hand, that makes you behave so poorly, so selfishly? Do you really think you’re in control of anything?

 

November 15, 2011 

I ain’t no fortunate son

Today’s least favorite sight? A six year-old and her four-ish brother sitting with a seat between them in first class, while the cattle (i.e., me) trudge toward our pens in coach.

 

 

Meditative ADHD

I am a vigorous, 75-page intellectual. I think very deeply, but am usually bored before chapter four. What appears scattered externally is actually the engine that drives my eclectic understanding of the world. It may not always be a deep understanding, but I kick ass at Jeopardy.

 

 

Olomana said it best

I’ll recuse myself from capturing the moment and defer to Olomana, circa 1980 “My dreams fill of the sound of the ocean. Hawai‘i is calling.”

 

 

Two hours prior to departure

I didn’t start to panic until the sun had risen above the line of the horizon, high enough to illuminate the plastic-coated bus schedule adhered to the bus stop pole. The earlier darkness had given me a sort of bliss, aphoristically granted by my ignorance. But in the soft light of the Austin sunrise, it was now clear to me that my best-case scenario was an arrival at the airport at 732 am. Worst-case? 802 am. My flight time? 810 am. On my boarding pass, the words “BOARDING 730 AM.” I think this is when the hyperventilation began.

“What time is it,” I ask a passerby.

“641.”

Fuck. I’m starting to see spots. I’m at least 20 minutes from where I got on the wrong bus. (Whichever route planner decided that north- and south-bound 350 should stop at the same stop, delineated only by a lower-case n 0r s following the yellow 350 AIRPORT BLVD scrolling on the front and side of the bus, has risen to the head of my faceless, shit list.) And I’ve been waiting for 25 minutes. So I’ve pissed away at least 65 minutes. An hour and a half early has become “I might not make it.”

The fifth bus to pass is, thankfully, mine and after some complicated bus route calculus, I determine that I’m on the bus scheduled to arrive at the airport at 732. I allow myself a breath. If we leave the transfer point on time (715), I’ll have 38 minutes to make it to the gate. Austin’s airport is not large, so I’ve got that in my favor, but I’m not carrying a picture ID (long story), and that is always a wild-card when traveling in a post-9/11 world. I’ve done it several times already, but when you get a TSA vigilante, it can sometimes make for delays that on this current trip I don’t have time for.

At 712 I look out the bus window and see the driver not half way through the biggest fucking sandwich I have ever seen. There is no way he is finishing that brontosaurus burger in three minutes. 713. He’s talking and laughing with a passenger that has stepped outside to smoke. I can feel my heartbeat in my ears. 714. He takes another bite and slowly chews. I try to telepathically send him the message, “I’ve got a plane to catch, get your ass back in here.” Another passenger addresses my concerned look.

“What’s a matter?”

“I’ve got a plane to catch.”

“He’s still got a minute.”

“He’s not going to eat that whole sandwich in one minute. Jesus, does he have to wait until exactly 715?”

“Well, maybe if he’s a minute early, someone else misses their flight.”

Thanks for the lesson in the butterfly effect, I think to myself. Frankly, I don’t care if everyone else for the rest of the day misses their flight, I need to make mine. Something that I refuse to be without is waiting for me at the end of the next 13 hours in the air. 715. I am seconds away from going Sandra Bullock and taking this fucking bus to the airport, never going below 50 mph. 716. The driver meanders back to the bus. 717. I am ready to spit on him. 718. Painfully, slowly, we begin to move. And of course, we catch every light on the way to Highway 183, aka Airport Blvd. 722. I’m looking around, hoping there’s a defibrillator on board. 726. The driver finally seems to realize there is a clock above him, and that there is some relationship between its data output and his current location. A look of realization seems to come over his expression. 728. He pulls on to 183. We’re still miles away, but I’m the only person on the bus. I’m carrying luggage and pacing so my destination should be obvious and my mannerisms telling. He floors it. And I’ll be damned if he doesn’t pull up to the stop at ticketing/check-in at 733. I can deal with being one minute late.

I walk off the bus and the driver smiles and says, “Have a nice flight.” All I can do is smile back. Then make like OJ through Austin-Bergstrom.

P.S. I’m writing this on the plane, so, yes, I made it. Hawai‘i calls, after all.

 

November 23, 2011 

The devil’s advocate

I am a natural-born agitator and contrarian. No matter what the argument being presented–even when I agree–my first reaction is, at least internally, to develop a list of counterpoints. And in so doing, create a set of consequences both good and bad, mostly bad. Depending on the context, the response to my purposeful agitation runs the gamut from a spirited, good-natured debate to ugliness, and unmitigated anger.

 

 

Ten years

If I were still married, this would have been my tenth anniversary. And through the generosity of others I find myself in the geographic vicinity of where those vows were exchanged ten years ago today. Of course, geography is the only thing that I might still be able to replicate. The vows long broken, the promises denied, and the only thing that remains are the two beautiful lives created between us.

 

 

Narcissus

It amuses me when others think my actions are defined by an instinctual narcissism, that somehow I’m not aware of exactly what I am doing, but rather am stuck in a sort of auto-pilot, a slave to my unknown psychological pathologies. In some ways, I guess, this is true, but no more so than for any other sentient being with DNA for a blueprint.

I can understand how my actions may not look like choices. This is most likely the result of my lack of a filter, or any visible attempts (at least in real time) to exert emotional control. Steadfast is not my defining characteristic. Lack of control, however, does not preclude insight. Long ago, I dubbed this personal phenomenon my “impotent self-awareness.” But to my knowledge, they don’t make Viagra or Cialis for lability.

 

 

Comfortably numb

Since severing the tendons and nerves in my right hand, I’ve noticed a significant decline in my quality of penmanship. And after writing that line it struck me as strange that that is the consequence of my first concern. Unresponsive joints, three numb fingers, and the constant sensation of gentle needles whenever I employ a grip? Those I can deal with. But this chicken scratch that has replaced what was once a quite elegant set of glyphs? I’m finding quite troublesome.

 

November 25, 2011 

I’ve stopped being mad at her

Nabakov wrote, “Don’t be angry with the rain. It simply doesn’t know how to fall up.” She is who she is, and she’s not always who she shows herself to be. We are all flawed and she is no different. Her flaws are much quieter than mine. But they exist. Trust someone that lived six inches away for almost ten years. I’ve seen her puke tequila shots through her legs sitting on the toilet, then excoriate alcohol abuse two days later. I’m not telling you this to vilify her. I honestly believe she is a good woman. But I don’t care about her anymore, except in the role of a loving mother. All that matters to me, especially in the context of her, is them. They are all that matter.

 

 

Poetic license and free speech

These still haven’t been take away, as far as I know, and I watch CNN everyday. This entry is dedicated to everyone who has visited this site and whose home page at work ends in .us/. I know what you’re thinking, “Damn that pesky Bill of Rights.” Huh? Did I nail it? Unfortunately, there is no amendment that precludes you from fucking with me, and that is a loophole which has been enthusiastically taken advantage of in my recent past.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech [my emphasis], or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I know there are those who prefer the truncheon and handcuffs to words, but clearly the protection of expression was important enough to our white, anglo-saxon, protestant, slave-owning forefathers to list it first in the unintentionally ironic amendments to our Constitution. They sort of have to be there for us to ignore them.

 

November 26, 2011 

Nietzsche revisited

Can you tell I’m re-reading Philosophy and Truth? I don’t recommend it for those prone to depression, or who naturally lean in the direction of a hopeless nihilism. (Let me clear my throat.) To me, Nietzsche is the philosophical equivalent of watching a horror movie, vicariously experiencing the terror and gore, knowing you can return to normal (whatever that is) in a few short hours, or by simply walking away from the stimulus.

 

December 1, 2011 

Save yourself

I’m going home. It may take a few months. Maybe longer. But for 17 days now I’ve been back where I belong. Out from under the thumb of the suffocating, conservative, nationalist, racist, anti-intellectual, religio-fascist, homophobic, conformist, hypocritical, elite worshipping, boot kissing multitude that pervades the territory below the Mason-Dixon. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met wonderful individuals, like-minded and not, but the non-silent majority of ignorance is winning by a landslide.

Were it not for the islands of rational secularism (hello, South Austin), Voodoo fun (all my best, N’awlins), or the urban decay of the modern cities (Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc.), this last decade would have been wasted. I’m not running away. I’ve had my eyes opened these last three weeks, by love of people, love of a person, and the overwhelming love of place (aloha ‘āina), and I’ve been saved. Now before some new, cataclysmic disaster (thank you, Katrina) comes and washes the garbage into the Gulf of Mexico, I can only advise you to save yourself.

 

December 2, 2011 

Deseret

Sitting in the belly of the beast. Well, the beast’s international airport anyway. The mountains are snow-covered and beautiful. And, of course, the Department of Metaphors, located in my head, immediately sullies the beauty of the almost-winter, desert landscape with this thought isn’t it appropriate that rising above the heart of one of the newest, strangest, whitest belief systems ever concocted by man, are the harsh conditions of the Wasatch mountains, also now covered, hiding the ground-level impurities and imperfections with a smooth blanket of pure, white snow.

Everything is in its place, buried under that which seems to fall from the heavens.

 

December 3, 2011 

Townes

There’s the “blues.” There’s dark. There’s depressing. And then there’s hopelessness. That’s Townes Van Zandt.

 

 

Round and round

For a liberal libertarian, I’m almost ashamed at how biased I am. It is correct that we liberals are often hypocritical. I can’t help it. I hate religiosity, ignorance, racism, sexism, nationalism, and on and on and on. And I can’t help my prejudices against certain groups. Christian makes my spidey sense tingle. Scientology? I have to grope my conscience not to guffaw. If conservative means, “Don’t tread on me?” Sign me up. If it means my gay friends can’t marry, a woman cannot choose her reproductive destiny, the state can kill (ostensibly because killing is wrong), or tell me I can’t put my fist in the air and say, “Fuck the police” when it’s deserved? Then pepper spray me. I’d rather be aligned with the idiot 99% than the 1% assholes that know better.

 

 

I like obvious lies

I like the way words can mean whatever the fuck you want them to mean. Asshole. Liar. I guess they’re your’s too. Cunt. Fuck. They’re comforting. Like the sunrise. You’re pretty sure that no matter what is said, it’s still going to happen.

 

December 9, 2011 

Nothing, no one, never

Comes without consequence.

 

 

Huh?

When you want to create something out of nothing? That’s when a problem exists.

 

December 10, 2011 

That which cannot be named

She tells me to eat something. She worries about me in a way that I’m not used to. I love her. She tells me, “Get your shit together.” And she scares me. Love is fear. Or the fear of the loss of it. That passionate intensity is almost impossible to maintain. But, man, what a fucking glorious ride.

She walks. And I watch her. The lithe body. The movements. I ache for her. I’m hard. She naturally brings out the truth in me. I refuse to be ashamed. This is who I am. And we are what we are.

 

December 16, 2011 

Get ready

“I haven’t used the hair gel, the lotion, or eaten spinach. Two of the three, I guess, assume you’re going outside. I stay in a tight, little box.”

“Please be all normalized before we get there.”

“What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean.”

“Why don’t you just say, ‘Sober?’”

“Okay, sober.”

“Uh, I fucking hate you.”

“No, you fucking love me. Now get ready.”

 

 

Similarities and such

“It’s not going to be the same this time.”

“It’s always the same.”

 

December 20, 2011 

Pre-excuse to the excuse

When I used to meet with the marketing heads from the various lines of business within my former company, I always used to end meetings with the caveat that, and I’m paraphrasing, “Our plan, though aggressive, is manageable, but will require significant and consistent engagement by both Marcom and fill-in-the-LOB.” In Marketing-speak this is alternatively known as “proactive management of expectations” (pre-fuckup) or “covering your ass” (post-). These go by various names in various departments (to•MAY•to, to•MAH•to), but anyone that has ever worked in an organization larger than one individual knows exactly what I’m talking about.

I’ll cut to the chase. Circumstance, history, and choices (mostly choices) have tangled, with the resulting fabric being the irregular and, now, somewhat condensed tapestry of my life. This, as with most other circumstances one might find oneself in, contains elements that are both good and bad.

Less time should compel me to light the proverbial fire under my proverbial ass (fingers be crossed, and history be damned). But it also, obviously, means I have less time.

So, here comes the vision thing. I will trade prolificacy for obstinacy and resolve that everything I do from here on out be great. Nothing less is acceptable.

 

 

Midnight last

About seventeen and one half hours ago, midnight CST, “two years” became “right now.” And so once again my mouth may open, and my voice may flow, in any direction I feel to be appropriate. I’ve learned the hard way–meandering, expanding, retracting–and I believe, just to be safe, I may stay silent when facing even in your direction (if I know it). Here’s the deal, though. You promise to stop lying about me? And I’ll stop telling the truth about you.

 

December 22, 2011 

That’s hard to swallow

“No, for real. It’s like grain. There’s too many grains.”

“It’s good for you.”

“My colon is fine.”

“No, really.”

“Really. Leave my colon alone.”

“That’s what she said.”

“That’s not funny.”

“I’m not trying to be.”

“Stop the fucking lecture.”

“If you want to die.”

“The colostomy bag. I understand. Don’t be a tongue in a cheek, be a fucking person. I know. I already know.”

“If you want to die that way.”

“My friend?”

“Yes?”

“Trust me. I’m already dead.”

 

December 23, 2011 

Pretty noose

“My wife.”

“Your wife. I was yours?”

“Don’t be like that. I never treated you that way.”

“I know.”

“I know.”

“Yet.”

“Yet. My wife? I miss you.”

“Fuck. Fuck. What do I miss? I miss you.”

“This is hard.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“This is harder than I thought it was going to be.”

“I know.”

“Yeah.”

“I know you know.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss being your wife.”

“I know.”

 

 

The holidays

“Your friends are smart.”

“I’m smart. Sorta.”

“Yeah. I guess. But you’re kinda fucked up.”

“I guess smart and stupid aren’t mutually exclusive.”

“I guess.”

“I super love you right now.”

“That’s ’cause you’re stupid.”

“Maybe.”

“Yeah, maybe.”

 

 

Pearl jamming your way through life

You’re nasty. You have this built-in belief that women are these soft characters that need extra protection. And so they can hit and not be hit back. You hit. And you hit and you hit and you hit. Sometimes, baby? They hit back.

Nothing’s changed but the surrounding bullshit. You’re cruel. Sometimes. You’re like the road runner. Sometimes. You want to see her get cracked.

 

 

Apartment

“This is how you live?”

“This is how I live. This is who I am.”

“This is how you live?”

“Yeah.”

“I don’t want to live here.”

“I don’t want you to live here.”

“Yeah.”

“It went where you went.”

“Where is that?”

“Away.”

“Yeah.”

“Everything goes away.”

“Hmm, but sometimes.”

“Sometimes?”

“Sometimes it comes back.”

 

 

In the skull of vertebrates

The brain. It tends to adapt. And almost immediately experiences lament. It’s novelty. The brain craves new.

 

 

Superman

You? You were a mythical symbol of hope. And now it hurts to laugh at that. As angry as I am? I cannot stop loving you.

 

December 24, 2011 

Dicks hate the police

Nuff said.

 

 

We’re going to bring Hawai‘i to Texas

And, thusly, we’re going to make this a better place. E holoholo kahakahi e.

 

 

Hawaiian

“Yeah, its sort of a language. An ethnicity. Um, we don’t like you calling yourself Hawaiian just because you live here.”

“Really?”

“In fact we, fuck, I. I hate it.”

“So, then we should stop?”

“If you want to work with me.”

“We want to work with you.”

“Then stop.”

 

 

Why go home?

“I’d rather go.”

“You’d rather go then stay?”

“I’d rather go.”

“I’ll miss you.”

“I miss you already.”

“Stay.”

“I’d rather.”

“Go.”

“Go.”

 

 

Natural mystic

There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air.

 

December 25, 2011 

Creative people

We sorta need this duality. The “I am I see everything but know I am nothing.” God, how I love that hip. Or, maybe that smile. That tongue inside my mouth. God.

 

December 26, 2011 

I like to come

“We just caught you jerking off.”

“I like to jerk off. I like to come.”

“Oh, sweet Jesus.”

 

 

For real

“The feel. The touch. The smell.”

“Christmas?”

“It was yesterday.”

“How do I celebrate your body and not be the rest of these assholes. Of course I can see it. But I worship in a different way.”

“Am I her?”

“No.”

“I will always be her.”

“In a way sorta.”

“In a way.”

“You love her?”

“In a way I’ll always love her.”

“Do you love me?”

“I will always love you.”

 

December 28, 2011 

Once a day

I guess that’s so hard to believe. I think about you once a day. At least. You’re like terrorism. Shitty but with a sometimes good cause. You’re like The Shining Path. Oh, baby you shine fuck, how you shine.

 

 

Changes

“I’ll be skinnier, but I can’t be taller.”

“I don’t want you to change, necessarily.”

“I can be different.”

“No, I want you to be you.”

“I can be something else.”

“Honey, I don’t want you.”

 

 

Silly goose

Everything I write, I write for you. Everything I am, I am for you. You are the perfect mixture of perfection. In you I see always. In you I see a run-on sentence. You go on and on. And I love it.

 

 

I try my best

“I think about you when I think about love. I ruminate. That’s a good word. I ruminate.”

“What do you think about.”

“I think about us.”

“Us? Yuck.”

“Us.”

“This isn’t going to happen is it.”

“It depends what you mean by us.”

“Us?”

“There is no us.”

“No.”

 

 

Ouch

“How do you walk around? How do you carry that pain?”

“You gave it to me.”

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be.”

“I loved you, I just couldn’t love you.”

“So.”

“Fuck. So.”

 

 

Hard

“Every scene cannot be a drama like this. Every scene can’t be hard like this.”

“Try living my life.”

“I don’t want to.”

“I don’t want you to.

“How do you make a movie like that? How do you survive?”

“Did you see Apocalypse Now?

“Yes, of course.”

“I did.”

“Did you see him?”

“He almost died. I don’t want you to be him.”

“I’m doing my best.”

 

 

Red wine

“I think I can make it.”

“You only have, like, two bottles of wine.”

“I think I can make it.”

“No one’s driving anywhere.”

“I can make it.”

“You’re not making it.”

“I can make it.”

“You have a problem.”

“I have lots of problems.”

 

 

This hole

This hole that I dig. That I’m digging. I lay in it sometimes. Sometimes I can’t see the outside. Am I digging my own grave?

 

December 29, 2011 

Feelings that feeling feel

I saw what you felt. But I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel a thing. I didn’t feel anything at all.

 

 

Sangre mio

“There’s blood on the floor.”

“And?”

“And there’s blood on your floor.”

“I bled.”

“Normal people don’t bleed.”

“When they’re cut they do.”

“Normal people don’t get cut like that.”

“I’m normal. I did.”

“No, you’re not.”

“What? I can show you the scar.”

“No. You’re not normal.”

 

 

Differences

“Some girl hit on me when I was walking downtown.”

“I don’t tell you about when that happens to me.”

“Do you even care?”

“What do you mean?”

“What do you care? You get jealous of things I do?”

“Of course.”

“I’ve sort of written you off. You’re too good looking for me.”

“Nice.”

“That’s kind of a compliment.”

“No, it’s not.”

“I didn’t mean it badly.”

“You never do. You hit with a cotton fist.”

“I’ve never hit anything in my life.”

“Trust me. Your punches ache.”

 

 

The phone

“He said you called.”

“I did. What did he tell you?

“That you’re an asshole.”

“Perhaps.”

“Why do you do this fucking shit?”

“He called me.”

“No, he didn’t.”

“He facebooked me.”

“You’re such a child.”

“I’m not arguing that with you.”

“I love you.”

“I know.”

 

 

Same, sometimes

“You and me. We’re not the same.”

“Starting at the?”

“No. Starting at your ass.”

“Mean.”

“You and me. We’re not the same.”

“We’re different.”

“I wish we weren’t.”

“I wish.”

 

December 30, 2011 

Vomitous

“I’m going to throw up.”

“That’s. No.”

“No, really I’m going to throw up.”

“You drink too much.”

“You talk too much.”

“You need. Shut up.”

“I will if you do.”

“I hate loving you.”

“I hate hating you.”

“Fuck.”

“Fuck.”

 

 

Stop

“Stop the movie.”

“I know. It’s killing me.”

“You’re killing yourself.”

“I can’t help, but.”

“You can help.”

“It’s the only thing I can do anymore.”

“Are you kidding? You can’t do anything.”

“It’s all that I am.”

“That’s the sad part. It’s all that you are.”

 

 

The drinks

“Please, stop drinking.”

“That’s not how drinking works.”

“We don’t like the effects.”

“I don’t like the effects.”

“Stop.”

“Stop asking.”

 

December 31, 2011 

Lying

“I don’t like looking at the mirrors in the dark.”

“There’s nothing to be scared of.”

“There’s nothing to be scared of in the dark? You’re lying.”

“There’s nothing for you to be scared of.”

“You’re lying.”

“Daddy doesn’t lie.”

 

 

So, what?

“I guess I have to get up every day. I have to breathe. Sort of. I have to wipe my ass when I shit.”

“The last part you don’t really need to do.”

“That one I do for me.”

“There’s a lot of other things you could do for you.”

“I could stop loving you?”

“No.”

“I can never stop loving you.”

 

 

Why aren’t you?

“There’s always a warmth.”

“Not always.”

“Standards. Unfortunately they make them now.”

“What happened to your married one?”

“Still happily married.”

“I’d be happily masturbating in another none-the-wiser-girl, if I were you.”

“That’s sort of a good plan. This? It’s sort of our none the wiser.”

“That’s why she loved you, sir.”

“No. That’s why I love her.”

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