January 19, 2013
I was trying to describe you to someone a few days ago, but you don’t really look like any girl I’ve ever seen before.
I couldn’t say, “Well she looks like so-and-so except she’s blonde, but she’s not really blonde, but that doesn’t really matter, and her nose is different, oh and by the way she isn’t famous.”
I guess I could have said that. But I didn’t.
I ended up describing you as a note. From a song. And not a pop song. And not some esoteric, hipper-than-thou indie gem that I’m usually so fond of, that never quite makes it to the top of the charts. Yours is not the story of an underdog. This was the very specific rendition of a most unlikely song.
It was a song that almost everyone knows, and most singers have at least tried, at least those singers that try in American English. “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” As you know I’m not a religious person, not even spiritual, but what you may not know is that I love gospel music.
Anyway, I’m backstage opening night, at some play I was doing in high school and we’ve gathered in a circle, holding hands, like you often did in high school musicals, and the Director, Mr. Bright, starts singing, “Mine eyes have seen the glory.” Normally I would have rolled my eyes at the religiosity of the song, but I love Mr. Bright and I loved most of the people in the circle. So I sang.
And as we all joined in, everybody seemed to know the words, and if they didn’t, they hummed the tune. And people were crying and embracing and it was so moving in a way that I normally make fun of, at least to myself. But, I actually felt something. My role in the play was not especially large so it wasn’t the headstrong rush of ego that I normally felt before taking the stage. It was transcendent. And the song built to a euphoric rush that culminated in the last line and the impossible to hit-and-hold last note. “His truth is marching…” I remember letting go. Everyone did. And out came the note and held. “On!” It remains the most religious experience of my life 25 years on. Until now.
I wanted that note to rise higher, to never end, to reach out to the ears of the entire world and send involuntary shivers down the spines of everyone lucky enough to be present in the moment to hear it.
You are that note. That is how you look to me.
January 21, 2013
We work the black seam
This place has changed for good.
I lie motionless on the couch and watch a maudlin scene in an otherwise great show, and am not aware if I even feel anything until a single tear escapes the corner of my eye, runs the loop over my left cheek and races down my face into my mouth. And the saltiness is the dam break to sobbing and sorrow. My shoulders involuntarily hunch, and I feel my diaphragm pull with a wince to force a small part of air. And clearly I’m not crying about what’s happening on the small screen (46 inches wide, but still small given the scope of things). I can’t give up the way I should.
Immediately, my ears fill with my own voice telling you, “I’m not as weak as I appear to be,” and at the same time I wonder if this is weakness.
The physical manifestations of the temporary melancholy pass, and I imagine what you might think about me, how you might feel if you were watching me, knowing that I couldn’t see you, and that you couldn’t help me even if you wanted to.
And it crosses my mind that this might not be so different from the way things actually are.
January 22, 2013
One of these days
“I look at you and I think, ‘You had everything. And so much of it.’”
“I suppose that’s probably true.”
“I didn’t want it. I never asked for it. I didn’t even try that hard to get it. And what I did, I did for someone else. Or, at least, the idea of someone else.”
“Now you have nothing.”
“No. I have what I’ve always had.”
“Some things never go away.”
Promise me this
“I feel like I just went to my own funeral.”
“I didn’t like the eulogy.”
“Don’t put this on me.”
“Then what do you mean?”
“I want to be a better man.”
“So be a better man.”
“I want you to see it.”
“I can’t promise that.”
“Promises made are only potential promises broken.”
“What does that mean?”
“I’m pretty sure you know.”
“I’m being punished because I make the things I’m good at look easy.”
“I said ‘modest’ and ‘contrite.’”
“That’s not it.”
“We can argue that later.”
January 24, 2013
“Your ex-boyfriend just sent you a DVD with a Godsmack video, the gist of which seems to be that you’re a liar.”
“Why’d you break up again?”
“There were lots of reasons.”
“I hope the main reason was that he listened to Godsmack.”
“No, really. It says a lot. That is a one question, shitty music Briggs-Meyer test.”
“What does that mean?”
“People don’t like to think they’re a type, but I guarantee you he likes Creed. And really? That’s all you need to know about a person.”
January 28, 2013
A part of you
There’s a part of you that likes it. Some of you, most of you sometimes, can’t stand it. But there is, sometimes, a part of you I’ll never hope to understand. As much as I hope to make you tick, I have never once assumed that I understand what makes you tick.
I know you’re a girl. I know you like feeling that way. I know you like to feel that you’re beautiful. You are. So I guess that makes it easier.
You are so much more than that.
I wish that when you close your eyes, or when you look away and I ask, “What are you thinking about?” it was what you might be thinking about.
I wish you could see yourself through the prism of your life that makes you what you are.
I could repeat ideas of why you’re beautiful, but you know that means nothing.
We love you. I love you because of what you are.
And I need to forget everybody else for why they think they believe that’s true.
You know who loves you. You know who really loves you. And it’s probably for our own selfish reasons.
Love is what it is.
February 17, 2013
Just another call
Her name echoes like a specter making noises down the empty halls of my memory. I repeat it sometimes like a mantra when I’m alone. I used to say it sometimes as if it were possible to conjure love. And even now, I can close my eyes and picture every detail of her face. Her blue eyes and toothy grin a delight to me even from this far in distance and, more importantly, in time. Not that time can change anything, it’s already tried.
The definition of insanity is, and I’m paraphrasing, the choice to repeat a certain behavior and expect a different outcome even though it never quite materializes. That hope in almost any other incarnation is something to be praised and sanctified, yet here is reviled. That hope is crazy, in its most insidious manifestation because it feels like the opposite of what it really is.
She has come to represent hope and futility, pleasure and pain, silence and screaming. To say she is a dichotomy is to correctly use the dictionary definition of the word. And yet in many ways she does not exist. In many ways she is that specter of my creation, and ultimately of my own destruction.
Weakness is easy. Weakness is strong. It is strong in me. And I confuse myself with its strength and wrongfully bestow the recognition on myself. There is in this way an almost Homeric quality to this tragedy that I’ve created of my life. She like a Siren, unrelenting, and me ever yielding. Truth be told, her tenacity was never quite a requirement of this situation. My give to yield after a moment’s glance or a breathy invitation to do such and such, never really mattering what either such might amount to. It was always the source that counted.
And now I look into the abyss. Perhaps abyss is dramatic, but it serves the purpose of this missive to no/everyone. The thread that threads back to whatever I have lived as normal stops first at her. Not quite what you might think. And she just as quickly might sever the line as pull me up to somewhat solid ground. It is the nature of the relationship. It is the definition of my obsession.
Perhaps one day I’ll love myself enough to keep walking and not turn my head to look back at what I was leaving behind. Perhaps one day that name will weigh no heavier on my tongue or heart than the articles in this sentence (“the!”). Perhaps one day I’ll just answer the phone and my heart won’t leap when it’s just another call from just another person who dialed the correct order of numbers to make my phone leap to action. Just another call.
April 18, 2013
Fall is a feeling that I just can’t lose
“That sounds too much like, you know. I don’t like it.”
“Ok. Red bugs. I didn’t know which you would be more familiar with.”
“This is like a Hemingway moment.”
“And then feel a little bit sorry for me that I just sat in them.”
“See how tiny and impossible they are?”
April 19, 2013
Your sneezes sound new
“That’s the thing about me.”
“You think everything is about you.”
“I don’t really need to get in this discussion again.”
“Perhaps you do.”
Everything is there if you want it
Be careful. Don’t ever ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. Unless you like being disappointed.
May 1, 2013
She knows me. We know each other. We know everything. We know nothing. Her name has trilled across the tongue of my memory for years now. And for such a brief romance, its influence borderlines on mythic. Maybe it’s that whole Southern thang. The South with a capital S. Being from the South. They are all synonymous to my thinking with the gentle vowels of her name.
I know her far better than our ancient, brief repose might suggest. I know her because I know love. She knows me. Why? I never trust love in this direction. I know her smile. I know the way her left eye closes more than her right if she’s smiling when she looks at you. I finally know this doesn’t reveal anything ulterior. Those are her eyes. And this is my voice. Truth be told, there are more things to be nervous about in my cadence than her casual glance. My voice. My voice. Who are we? Who is anyone except the accidental on-purpose pronouncements those noises make as air shakes the larynx of our lives?
The only way we know, for sure, that anything is true, is because we have experienced the opposite. God damn it, I know what a lie looks like. Look me in the eye. Say it again.
May 2, 2013
I say tap my hand
I read her what I write and I tell her, “Tap my hand if what I say makes you uncomfortable.” She is digging a gorge at my wrist.
I hear thunder
And I hear her say in a three-year old voice, “Oops the sky goes boom.” It sometimes seems to go boom a lot. Sometimes, What you don’t know yet, what, if it were possible, you might ever know. Sometimes it goes, “Boom!” and there is no reason other than to make the noise. And like the sky. sometimes we go boom. We look at our better selves and instead we say, “This feels better. I choose this instead.” Yes. A questionable outcome. Perhaps leading up to a set of events. But, then again, they’re only outcomes. And shit? What is life if not a pattern of events?
May 5, 2013
First person narrative
Sometimes when I say you, I mean I. Most times I don’t. There is a great poem by a great poet that contains a line kind of like that. Google it because I’m only giving you this much and I might be getting it wrong because I’m doing it from memor“With witness I speak this. But where I say hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent to dearest him that lives alas! away. I am gall, I am heartburn. God’s most deep decree. Bitter would have me tastmy taste was me.” Okay I’m getting carried away but, shit, that is good. Anyone that can pull off an exclamation point in the middle of a sentence is something short of a god to me. But not by much. There is a point to this, I swear.
The voice is sometimes me. Obvious. I mean clearly I’m the one pressing the keys. Sometimes, though, it’s someone I’m imagining in my head. Sometimes that person is you. I guess third-person narratives might make this distinction easier but I prefer the immediacy of speaking in a character’s voice. I inhabit him and become him, and by proxy I become you. You recognize yourself. Not because I understand you, but because I understand me.
This is all just self-flagellation and mind fucking. One hurts, the other seems to feel good. Both have consequences. Some more obvious than others.
May 6, 2013
That southern thing
Some of it is obvious. The drawl. But the longer I’m here, the more I listen, the more I am inclined to believe in ghosts. Things happen here in the shadows. Everybody knows the truth but no one’s quite ready to acknowledge it. Let alone say it. God forbid out loud. Maybe I’m reading too much into things. Maybe the eggshells I hear crunching are only because of love. And I’m listening a bit more intently. Intensely. Intensity. I’m writing this prose on a phone, one finger at a time and I appreciate the deliberation this allows. Normally the words don’t just flow. They spew. They insinuate themselves in the most unlikely of places. That’s wrong. Water comes to rest where it might flow. It’s not trying to be; it sorta just is. That’s one of those lessons you sometimes accidentally happen upon. Unless, of course, you are like me and don’t believe in accidents.
The ledge. I remember talking you down from there once or twice. That might be the difference between you and me. You came down. I’m not quite sure if I enjoy the sweaty-palm excitement of maybe almost falling. More likely the culprit is complacency. A person can get used to almost anything. And after this much time one might wonder if I didn’t prefer the heights. Though it sure does seem a long way down.
May 10, 2013
This is water
There’s a pretty good speech by David Foster Wallace by that name in which he speaks about three fish. As the younger fish swim by, an older fish says to them, “How’s the water, boys?” The two younger fish are confused and after a time are inclined to give this reply, “What the hell is water?”
I’m often asked by readers, after a certain post, especially one they think they might recognize themselves in, if the described events actually happened. My disclaimer notwithstanding, my answer lies somewhere between sorta and why does it matter? Much of it did, but it all comes through the prism of my memory which, though very good, is only mine. Even if it were perfect, it would necessarily be subject to bias. I realize that. This isn’t an historical record. And some of the things I did make up are truer to me than anything that I ever actually experienced.
I’m going to share a little secret. Like most sites, I track who visits this one. Unlike most personal sites, I obsess over this. I can tell you the city, state, country, or continent of everyone that passes through. I can tell you what version of Windows was used, or whether someone’s checking on an iPhone, or from work. I know what time of what day someone clicks through to me. I know how long everyone stays. I know where you came from, I know where you enter, and I know where you leave. I know the resolution of your device, and how many colors your monitor is capable of showing. In fact, if I know enough about you, I can track your every movement.
Why am I sharing that? And why does it matter? It’s because there are certain visitors that lurk in the shadows of the past and the present, wrongfully assuming their anonymity. For them I’ll repeat what I have said here before. This site isn’t about your truth. I’m not trying to get it right, except on a higher level. I find it interesting to see repeated visits from people that have myriad ways to connect with me, but choose not to. In a strange way this is probably for the best. My chosen words are a more realistic revelation than any 15 minute conversation or email might be. For the record, I’ve never hidden from anything, and have instead, even to my detriment, sought the solace of this spotlight. Narcissistic? Not really. I can see beyond my reflections. Solipsistic? Sure. But, that never stopped me from having an opinion about something or someone else. You want to know who I am or what I think about anything, especially you? Just ask.
Now back to the fish. I’m really trying to make a point with this. The purpose, my purpose, for writing this started as a way to seek a sort of clemency. Vindication through total transparency was the burning need for me at first, but now it goes beyond that. Like the young fish in that story, it is so easy for me to to miss the very essence of my being, because in many ways it’s too close to metaphysically see. This place, these words, are my way of reminding myself. This is water. This is water. This is water.
May 14, 2013
Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes
There’s a strange juxtaposition at the library this morning. Out of my view I can hear a group of toddlers singing nursery rhymes familiar to me from my tours of duty with the Wiggles. Earlier this morning as I was drinking coffee and writing, iTunes slapped me in the face with George Jones’ Choices. One might think that such different musical influences might provoke different feelings in the same individual. One might be wrong.
George Jones. His is a death that one is hard pressed to feel melancholy for. Shit, he made it 81 years living that life. Elvis only got 42. And surely you’re familiar with all of the self-hating 27s that couldn’t make it pass that age. Then the darker thoughts come. You only have 38 years left until you’re 81 and, frankly, he beat some pretty good odds getting that far. He had already accomplished more with that voice by 43 than you are ever likely to with whatever the hell it is you’re trying to do. Which is what anyway?
So carry that forward to the Wiggles and story time. Of course that takes me back to a different life. Offices with windows and a five bedroom house in the suburbs. The squeals of delight from the seated two- and three-year olds ring familiar and again Goerge comes to me. “I’ve had choices since the day that I was born. There were voices that told me right from wrong. If I had listened, no I wouldn’t be here today, living and dying with the choices I’ve made.”
We all make choices. And mine have left me mostly living. How I do miss the high-pitched giggles of my children’s youth. And this cost. Was there ever a choice whether or not I’d pay? I have to finish what I started, throw good money after bad in the hopes to turn it all good, and try not to self destruct
May 16, 2013
If it keeps on raining, the levee is going to break
I have this dream sometimes.
I’m walking up an empty road. Maybe with headphones on. In. Listening.
I don’t hear the car, I just know its effects. I don’t feel the bumper against the back of my knee. There’s no pain. I have the sense of my teeth in my mouth in pieces. And I am aware of the taste of metal, so I’m pretty sure I’m bleeding. The dizzy disembodiment of a cartwheel and a crunch of teeth in my mouth, otherwise this might just be Spring. I can smell the jasmine.
Turning and turning. I guess your mind might know more than it lets on. Perhaps more than it ought.
No show jones
I have this theory of the divine.
I don’t think it’s trying to be tricky. I think human nature invents capricious in areas it doesn’t understand. Wait, I went too far too quickly. George Jones. Who cares if he didn’t show up from time to time. That voice, that understanding behind the cadence. Live long enough and you’ll recognize this truism, pretty voices are like pretty faces. But pretty, knowing voices? That’s why we remember the names Billie and Janis and Ol’ George.
Pain exists. Voices sing. And the ones that can make that bridge? We call special. And that matters more than what’s first obvious. Songs make me cry on occasion.
Bad, bad writing
I remember my first remembrance of Texas. I was driving. Los Angeles to Dallas (both cities without any real center so if you know either one of them, I was driving from Venice to Irving). When you drive a long distance, borderlines are like milestones that make you feel better. At least they did me. I remember Nevada, then quickly Arizona. Then New Mexico. Yes. Then the cold realization that El Paso, that Texas, this border, only meant half way.
July 2, 2013
Anger is a useless emotion
I have a big mouth. And I’m smart. This is sometimes not a good combination. I hurt people. Most often people I love. Usually not on purpose. But that mouth. It doesn’t even have to be speaking. Words come to me. Sometimes viciously. I swear, if I could take back some of the nasty words I’ve spoken or written my skin might be an easier place in which to reside. So I guess it’s probably best to start now. I love you.
July 6, 2013
There is someone more alpha than you
Before me, you were always the funniest, maybe the smartest, at least the most clever person in the room. I ended that. Not to hurt you. On the contrary. You are receiving this communication because I loved you. Or I love you. I act within my nature. It is impossible, by definition, not to do so. Our realities do not align. Mine are bigger, and brighter, and whiter than snow. Yours are not. I understand the sting. I understand why in a very fundamental way you hate me. But, here’s the thing. We both act within our nature. Again, anything else is impossible. And the result is the same. My experience is not better. Trust me. If anything, it is also bigger in bad things like pain. And it is bigger. And as long as you focus on that, it will define our relationship.
We’re all crazy
You are fine. There are so many reasons for so many things, and you have at least three for everything you do. I am the one with the problem. No, usually I am not enough to explain. The world is fucked. That explains it in perfect past tense. Past. Funny, but not haha funny.
July 7, 2013
Anger and solitude
Often we think…wait let me start again. Often I have thought that anger requires a catalyst. That, whatever that is, made me so angry. But, I was lied to and I lied. Anger requires a certain kind of selfish solitude. It’s very existence needs whatever hyphenated truth to be manifest. Self-righteous, self-important, self-contained, et al. I wake up these recent mornings and the weight of anger no longer attempts to press me down. Love will turn you around, in almost whatever form you find it.
July 9, 2013
The thing about faith
It requires so much more. On a good day, I trust what I’m told by most. On a bad day, I don’t believe myself. Good days are often bad and vice versa. Your eyes give you away, more than your I’s which say even more. I close my eyes and trace the walk down from the apartment to the corner gas station, sweating in the near-summer heat of the Mississippi and holding the bleeding condensation of Busch in their plastic hearse as I wade back upstream to the patio where I’d wait for you. The first sips take away the heat of the late afternoon while you work, while your child naps, swims or bathes. The sweat congeals against my skin under one too many layers of clothing. The sips become slugs. The days pass. And I wonder if I have traded nothing less for nothing more.
Everything seems to require too much
And everything is often too much to bear. Things are still. But like quantum physics, we can’t judge things by the way they seem to be. Things fall apart. The center cannot hold. Yeats was more correct than he was wrong. Anyway. You and me. It seems so small in the tide. I feel selfish as I’m washed away. What do my paltry feelings matter? Children die in the third-world every second I manage to take a breath. Why not theirs? This life is a capricious, three-headed mystery of un-understanding and shame. All I know is I’m a part of it.
July 10, 2013
The smaller things get, the bigger they seem. Small enough, and the rules all change. Sub-atomically speaking there is no speed of light, no absolute zero, nor love. Reduce everything to its most basic forms. Until everything is yes or no. Binary. 1 or 0. So simple, and yet I cannot wrap my head around the concept. You are 1. I am 0. And we will never be the same.
July 17, 2013
It gets big, it gets small
I can say anything and most people believe me. I have this thing with these things we call words. There are those circumstances that, “Do you believe that?” Test me. I’ll lie to your face. Love me? And there is no end to this universe. You gave me everything and then you gave me away.
I had the best thing in the world. Now I can’t say a word to you. Our love was like fire. It burned when I got too close. Your beauty. Your body. Being inside you was like heaven if I believed in it. I let it slip away. I was wrong. And it is rare for me to admit that I was wrong. I was wrong. I hurt you. And in so doing I hurt me. You know in retrospect these things make sense. But at the time? They are a conflagration. I set you on fire in a way that I can most likely never extinguish. “Fuck.” Is that all you got? Yes. Fuck is all I have.
I said I wouldn’t talk about this. But your voice goes through me like a hot knife through butter. And I can feel you. Your voice is like an aria when it finally plays. Your face is like Da Vinci. And your attention is all I crave. And I can feel you. Your body is secondary. Of course, it serves a purpose. But it’s your eyes. Your breath. The taste of your tongue. Our history. I’m not just moved. I’m shoved to the side by the memory of my will. Lucidity. Tranquility. You.
July 22, 2013
You is a three-headed ghost from at least six different past lives. You is an empty canvas, therefore you is always full. You is the one. You is until something better comes along. You is an idea. You is an emotion. You is forever fleeting, therefore you is eternal. You is everyone. Therefore, you is no one. One of the cold comforts of a photographic memory, is that you can’t take away anything I have ever seen. And that is why you is always with me. I’ve seen you. Many sides of you. And I will have you until I see you again and forever after that. Even if I never see you again.
July 23, 2013
Excoriate. Eviscerate. Vitriolic. Bilious. The four horseman of the apocalypse of my rage. I rarely lose my temper in person. Few people can get under my skin to the point of rage. You know who you are. But in words, I can certainly be a pisser. And then of course, you become the pissoir. I don’t believe in Hell, but I’m sure you and all your whorish, careless tramp-hounds might find it comfortable against the furnace without a blanket. And I wish I could drink 7 million glasses of ice-cold lemonade as I watch and laugh while your smiling, lying faces melt away in that candle of eternity.
Excuse me, but I think your pants are on fire
It’s a cold comfort, and it is cold, but I know somewhere, you sit in feckless silence, and the truth of what I’m saying burns a hole in the cotton of your fabricated nonsense. I hope it stings. Even as you deny the source of heat to everyone in earshot. You are defined by denial and shame.
Three little birds
Don’t worry, about a thing. Every little thing is fill in the blank.
The area reminds me of you so perhaps it is appropriate how strongly you yearn to be there among the pimps, hustlers and whores. My hands are washed. I never loved you. I acquiesced to you. The definition of you is until something better comes along. And, as I’m sure you know, there’s not a long wait for the next bus. The Redneck/Slut Express seems to come by all the time. I don’t trust myself with love and you just seemed like the next-best thing.
July 24, 2013
It’s not even bitter to break the rules, I guess, like it is in most circumstances. Tread carefully here. It is a slippery slope from where you are to where you’re going. And speed, by definition, makes you move fast.
Its weird, sometimes, how the pond defines you. Little pond and you think you are a big fish because you can swim from side to side so quickly and you know all the other little guppies by name. Bump your head against the edges of your world, and somehow you become bigger than your world. Your pond is a tiny speck of nothing, in the middle of nowhere, going in circles, achieving backwards, affecting only what you touch, and definitely not outside the petri dish of your life. Swim downstream and you might notice how big the river is. You are no longer the fish everyone is trying to catch. You’ve reproduced and now your meaning on this planet has been fulfilled. You have accomplished what swims in the pond of your mind. And time keeps on being time. Every second that passes, passes you three times. There was a moment when you held it, when you seemed to have it. That moment has passed.
A poet and a writer, I make things up
Really? Where are the words? I see prescription drugs maybe not prescribed. I see bottles of Irish whiskey posted lovingly online. I see cigarettes. I see lies. I see forsaken promises. I see all the things the discontented writer is supposed to have. Where are the words from your tortured winter of discontent? You are an artist with no art. You’re a fraud. You’re a hipster, want-to-be nothing. Not too long ago, you were going to drive right off the bridge, and maybe take some innocent person with you. And you didn’t give a fuck. Why’d you bother to hit the brakes? Conscience? These past few days, I wasn’t sure you had one. You still don’t give a fuck. You don’t care about anything except perhaps the moment. Pleasure or pain. If it’s not immediately identifiable as pleasure than it must be the enemy. Lots of enemies out there in that case.
I don’t play baseball
“Two strikes and you’re out.”
“Really? You’re taking this personally? Drugs have a way of making you do shit you don’t mean to do.”
“So do I.”
Before you trip over yourself, to vomit some reason why you’re justified in acting the way you are. I strongly suggest you remember that I was there. And again, if you think I’m talking to you, I’m not. You will always be a three-headed beast of dispassion, dishonesty and despair. How do I know anything is true? Only after I’ve experienced the opposite. It doesn’t matter what you say, have said, or will say. Hope doesn’t matter. Belief matters less. Reality is a moving target. You are the living triumvirate. No father, or son, or holy whatever, you are the whore, the mother, and the ecstasy. Since you are everything, you can be the liar without blinking, as easily as you can speak the truth with a passionate intensity. You can feel the feeling without feeling. I know you. Say what you want to whoever will listen. But I know you. Everything is in play.
I wants my free
The idea of being abandoned is so painful to me that I resist it even when I am running in the opposite direction of my abandonment. I couldn’t feel the shackles fall from my neck, ankles and wrists. I could only hear, “Now go!” But, I was already running and, like a dog on a choke chain, continued to repeatedly asphyxiate myself as I reached the end of my line. “Now go!” sets me free. I bristled because I didn’t get to say, “I’m leaving.” Petulant, foolish, little boy that I am. I didn’t see that you were pushing me off the Amistad and back toward the shore of life, back to the world. Like the Ancient Mariner, I had been the lot in a craps game between Death and Life-in-Death, and having been won by the latter, it had become the only life I knew or expected. That was not, is not, and shall not ever be a life. I feel like a snake that’s just molted and am completely grossed out by the shell I’ve left behind. Thank you, thank you, thank you for telling me to fuck myself and die. Isn’t that ironic? That is where I found my life.
July 25, 2013
More than 20 people might see this
It’s actually more like 27,000. Small when you compare it to the world. But two times bigger than that pond you rot in. You’re right to recognize you. There is a part of you in the spew. How could there not be? It has to go somewhere. And if you don’t want it in private, then a modified version goes here. I’ll pull all of the things that identify.
Silly rabbit, tripping is for teenagers. When I say I’m over it, I mean I’m over the specifics. I’ll never be over the hurt, or the lies, or the love. You have referenced my lying. That’s funny to me. You may be the only person I’ve never lied to. And the swirling, turning, churning, gnarled, tangled gyre of your life made you doubt. Again, that’s funny.
Your reflections on my talent reveal more about you than me. I know I’m good at what I do. Greatness is not necessarily defined by the day-to-day production of some, one great thing. It is defined by the insistent urgency to create, to leave this day different from the one that came before.
What do you do? Hipster wasn’t meant to be a bad thing. “Want-to-be nothing” was. You think I’m making fun of you. I’m not. If I say, “ignorance” it’s not necessarily a pejorative. The thing is, really, I’ve figured out your problem in a nutshell. Save yourself the cost of therapy with this insighyou see six inches away from your face at any given time, but are blind to the miles down the road.
Technically, I never made any threats
My choice of words may have been nasty. Anything beyond that is inference on your part. And as for whoever is about to score? May god bless him or her. And for the record, I don’t hate you. I could never hate you. I could be pull-my-hair-out frustrated, and at the end of my rope. But I will always love you, reckless words and thoughtless text messages notwithstanding. Anger only moves me for a second. Love moves me for life.
Riddle me this
I don’t know what the fuck that means. Can you act your age for one second and stop using those tweeny initialisms? Off subject.
If you have to visit this site to see what I’m saying, doesn’t that require a conscious choice on your part? How would you know about the words here, if you didn’t bother returning? Are you stalking me? I don’t remember inviting you. I don’t mind if you laugh. I like it. The prettiest part of your face was your smile.
I can’t possibly hold my fingers close enough together to show how close it was.
July 26, 2013
Who owns what?
Anything you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you. I am embarrassed to admit that I recently, repeatedly, ceded control. In my estimation there are two sources for my existential pain. The first is my stubborn insistence to cling to something. Whether it be material, or even an idea, I have a hard time walking away from anything. The second comes from the lack of alignment between the way I’d prefer things to be with the way things actually are. The argument could be made that these two sources are actually the same, both being variations of clinging to a sense of reality that isn’t real. In fact I’ll make that argument right now. This may be hard to believe, but I’m actually getting better at this. And to those of you that shake your head and inwardly murmur, “No way,” I suggest you get into your time machine and go back 15 or 20 years. The difference is more than discernible.
Now that it’s over, really over, it’s easier to think. And as you now know, it’s never over just because you or me or both of us is done. Some ass clown never wants to leave the party. Stated preferences in times of high emotional volatility mean as close to nothing as you can get without actually being nothing.
That heavy, chest-crushing pressure, once subsided, becomes almost comical. I don’t remember what the war was declared over, and almost nothing about its specific battles. I just wanted to be right, and more than that, I needed the last word. I’m pretty sure there was no evil, at least to start, and words hardly count as evil, especially ones thrown over the humorously tone-deaf rantings of Twitter, Facebook, and text. Especially out of context. I re-read some of the things I’ve written, and I can completely understand how a rational person might rationally conclude that I had lost my mind. I shudder to think how a jury of my peers might judge some of my more acerbic shouts out to the universe, to the void that person might have left.
This was a classic case of trying to jam myself into a situation or a place where I had no place being. Just because something fits, that doesn’t mean it’s where you should put it. Plenty of things fit in places they don’t belong.
Most people? Are better in the abstract
All I was to you was your memory and my words. That combination only becomes volatile when given a chance to be so. Now, the flame extinguished, the light goes out, the burn is cold. Where do you look? Where do I wander? What do we find? Only now, there’s more than us looking. And in saving yourself, perhaps you tore me down a little more than you needed to. Perhaps I did the same to you. This whole life is choices, and it’s pretty hard to un-choose something once it’s out there. We’ll see what happens. I’m betting on you. I believe in me.
July 27, 2013
I saw the light
Truth be told it wasn’t flattering. Not surprisingly, you would not be the first person to tell me I am an emotionally manipulative narcissist. (I’m paraphrasing, but I think that’s what you meant.) Nothing you’ve said or can say would be any kind of revelation. Perhaps if you have something new to say one day, it might. But, these past few years have been nothing if not a cesspool of nasty commentary both outward and inward.
Desperately searching for something eluding me, I put myself in a position to have my life compromised. When the perpetrator of this casual destruction finally quit, I proceeded with uncommon vigor to try and finish the job. I think my self-immolation has been far more effective and thorough than anything done unto me, though both sets of behavior were atrocious. I believe it when I say that the fire is out. And this is not in reference to the three-headed monster of yore. I’m not talking about the burning sensation that was you. Or you. Or even you. You know who you are.
There is nothing left to lose
This notion vaguely washes over me as I race down 35 to Austin. I put The Road to Ensenada on repeat, in fact not the whole thing, and play three songs over three hours as I drive to you. Each song becomes a mantra. A message. A message from the universe.
And I loved you then. And I love you now.
I stopped at Walmart because you asked me to pick something up, and of course I do. I keep the bottle between my legs. I shudder at Promises, I bristle at It Ought To Be Easier, then count the minutes until you. Nothing seems to matter except your voice and the staccato laugh of your, “ha ha ha.”
I escape the car and you meet me in the courtyard in a baby doll black dress, high on tequila, and whispering, “Baby.” This moment requires a gesture, because after this, nothing else can ever be the same. Even a glance in your direction will be enough. You come closer, I can smell your breath. And still the moment requires a gesture. You nod, never breaking eye contact. I whisper, “Yes.”
And nothing will ever be the same.
Your use of the phrase literally gives me a pain in my stomach. You are the antithesis of punk rock. Unless you mean Blink-182 or 311. In that case you are its perfect embodiment. Your casual misuse of the word is blasphemous. Listening to hard music and being a slut in your twenties doesn’t make you a punk (though it wouldn’t exclude you) any more than reading the Bible in school and mocking non-Protestant, Ibrahimic religions makes me a Christian.
July 28, 2013
You belong to me
Not in the sense that you don’t first belong to you. I really wouldn’t be interested in owning a doll. I mean the camera of my brain has filled my memory with the snapshots of you. You are the memory perfect. You are each memory personified. Imagine a picture that you can smell and taste. And laugh at its jokes. And watch as its look morphs into a smile. That is what you mean to me. You are a perfect memory. An oasis in this desert of disconnect.
I was never a part of you
And, therefore, you by definition were never a part of me. The pieces don’t fit. The center cannot hold. You get what you want. I get what I needed. Which, I’m pretty sure this time is nothing. I rarely get it, and when I do, I usually do something to ruin it.
This is what I meant to say
Turns out, Wallace Stevens already said it. He sold insurance. What do you do? From The Man With The Blue Guitar
Throw away the lights, the definitions,
And say of what you see in the dark
That it is this or it is that,
But do not use the rotted names.
How should you walk in that space and know
Nothing of the madness of space,
Nothing of its jocular procreations?
Throw the lights away. Nothing must stand
Between you and the shapes you take
when the crust of shape has been destroyed.
You as you are? You are yourself.
The blue guitar surprises you.
July 29, 2013
I never said I was anything. I just pointed out what you were not. Having said that, I should note that the very nature of the ethos would allow me to embrace each item on your litany of reasons and still live within it. That’s not a good or a bad thing. It just is what it is. I don’t care one way or the other. I didn’t care back when I cared.
I think desperation might be a bit of an overstatement, my situation is many things, but it’s not desperate. I’m not sure if everyone can make that claim, can you? As for being petty, I might suggest one considers what he or she has recently put out into the universe before making that judgment. In my estimation, everyone here is guilty of something. And, for the record, I may be a bastard, but I am most definitely not sad.
I was never lazy. I knew what I was good at. I was even better at what I liked. I hated our fucking mango tree. I resented the weekends and I hated that life. In retrospect there may have been something bigger that I hated more than mangoes.
My father would lay on the couch while the weeds grew waist high. A bad influence, but in all honesty, he was never an influence. I knew who he was pretty early on.
Sometimes he’d hit my mom. Less often, but with equal ferocity, he might hit my brother or me. Sometimes he’d hit the dog. I remember once he beat our Irish Setter, for not knowing better to not eat some hand written note or other. I watched my father get smaller with every flail.
I’m losing my point. I think I was talking about laziness. When moved to do so, I work harder than almost anyone I know. I still hate yard work. I still hate raising a finger. I’m not like most people. Then again, I haven’t met that many people.
A windmill of flailing gestures
I look at your life sometimes and I’m more than jealous. You’re smart and beautiful, and you do everything all the time. And your smile and your life and your experience shine and shine and shine. I wonder sometimes what it might be like if I was pretty. Not my face, which sometimes has been pretty. (And blaming circumstance is so pathetic.) It’s not like I was born in the streets of Mumbai. And everybody takes a beating every once in a while, deserved or not.
July 30, 2013
I stopped trying to explain this a long time ago. I don’t sort of remember what happened. I remember exactly what happened. I remember exactly what you said. I remember the shade of maroon that made a line around the cuff of your black sweater. You can argue with me. Emotion isn’t a factor even in a situation charged with emotion. If I focus hard enough I can almost count the number of strands around the right leg of your frayed cut-offs. What I said might have been wrong. What I’ve done, maybe more so. But there is no question as to what happened. I carry a polaroid of the moment for eternity.
Boredom’s not a burden anyone should bear
You feel the storm at the middle of everything. And I guess your everything is everything. But if you could step back for one second and look at it all through the world’s eyes. Your “fuck off” is a chicken scratch. I don’t mean to denigrate you or what you’re about. I think I might like it if there was some kind of perspective machine to show you how small you are, or more importantly how big you are not.
You don’t feel like I feel
And I don’t mean that in the moment, I mean at another level. Your feelings are different (perhaps, indifferent). I’m sure at the extremes we are all about the same. But day-to-day we live in a non-aligned reality. I think that’s why we might piss each other off so much. It’s probably not intentional. Except, of course, when it is intentional. My casual atrocities are not quite meant to bring you trouble as much as they are meant to bring me ease. I’m selfish in that way I guess. I think we all are. By definition, don’t we all consider ourselves first? Our children might be the exception that defines the rule. Aren’t they the only ones that rise above this middle-school cacophony of yuck?
July 31, 2013
I don’t think you’re meant to love me
I don’t think you can. There is something inherent about our dynamic that brings several things to bear. Clearly, everlasting love is not among these. You and I are good two months at a time.
Your mild best wishes, they make me suspicious
I’m going to keep it positive because I loved you. I think you are a terribly interesting and intermittently wonderful person. I can do without your temper or vindictive streak. Truth be told I would probably suffer worse under my own scrutiny. It got ugly. Things get ugly. We both of us know how the end always is. I ain’t ever seen a pretty one. I hope you have a wonderful, peaceful day. You’re carrying a lot.
August 1, 2013
Well, that went nowhere fast
“When usually it’s nothing, surely you’re happy it should be this way?”
“I’m all by myself.”
“Stop quoting songs at me.”
“Stop making me think of songs.”
“I don’t want to lose you again.”
“You make it sound like you had me.”
“I guess that’s true.”
“I almost never lie.”
“What happens now?”
“What do you want to happen?”
August 3, 2013
There’s something about your cadence that makes me bristle. And even though I wish you no harm, when I hear that staccato punctuation of your false confidence, my hand turns fist and looks for something to push itself through. I wish you could have one time once opened up to me in a way that you so casually close down. I remember that one time when I chose so brazenly to connect with you, “Tell me something about you no one knows.” Your answer disgusted me more than the probable truth.
I may know the word for it
Using it is something else. The only way I can do this is my way. And you might say to yourself, and I wouldn’t blame you, “How is this any different?” My answer is everything. It’s like a car with a new engine. Still looks the same, might even sound the same. But as your foot pushes down, the jolt back as you move forward cannot be denied.
The pond of what was
I don’t belong where I was. This is the way of the world. That’s where I met you, though. So now we have to pound through this. I’m not even going to stick my toe in the pond of yesterday to consider anything about retroactive motion. You can come, but most likely you will stay. And that is where you belong. This no longer troubles me.
Half the time I say things to you to get a reaction. Half the time it’s because I miss you, or at least the idea of you. You are mythic in my reality. You exist almost exclusively in the land of myths. Shit. I promised to be quiet. I’m pretty much not the best at keeping that particular promise.
Perhaps I was drawn in
Something about you drawling on about your irrepressible hedonistic nature. Supposedly nothing. You clearly melted some minds. Mine anyway.
And here is where you go back into nothing
I am as one as you are three. It doesn’t even have to come close to making sense to you, because it makes sense to me. It might be a song or, perhaps, a fleeting thought. But the truth is I felt it at the time that my finger hit the key that lets you read this. So there.
I don’t know whether to thank you or hate you. I feel nothing. I feel no thing. Feel is too strong. I exist beside this thing. Even that’s too much. Like what ever there was before the big bang. That undefinable vacuum. That is how I don’t feel.
We can go big, we can go small
Bigger than I knew to know. I think about my daughter and for a moment everything hurts a little less. And then, of course, it hurts a little more. She is perspective personified. I hear her whisper, “Daddy,” and I am proud and ashamed. Moment to moment, that soon-to-be-woman is a conscience I never bothered to have. In millimeters, one at a time, that girl shows me the way back to everything. She cheats a little, unintentionally. She is the everything.
August 5, 2013
This prophet or that
Mohammed. Muhammed. You know this translation from Arabic is a hit-and-miss jangle of attempts and worse. I look forward to your words and adventures. Plenty of assholes on Craigslist. It’s hard to delineate. There’s the asshole that doesn’t get the joke, there’s the asshole that wants to play grammar capitan, there’s the asshole that cannot believe you have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as your own personal savior. Like I said, lots of assholes. Keep punching holes. I like the space they leave behind.
Here once lived, many times died
I thought I knew what I was doing. I thought I knew what you meant. I thought I knew what me was. Turns out I didn’t know anything. I hurt you. And that is the only thing I will say, “I’m sorry” for.
This terrible plunge
It’s not even a toddler anymore. Our divorce is a five-year old reality. Five years. I remember when five days was a long time. Five months was unfathomable. Now we’re chest-deep in five years. Okay. I would say that 96% of all the shit that is now is my fault. I’d take all the blame, but you were there so you have to take something. I look at pictures of you from then. It’s weird how I couldn’t feel at the time, because those pictures evoke the ghosts of what once was. I look at your picture and am moved to believe, and I wonder where was I, where were you, when it mattered.
These pretty blue-eyed things
“Did you see those catahoulas?”
“Some wild-ass, crazy bitches.”
“Their eyes, they’re like different colors.”
“I’m familiar with the breed.”
“God, they’re beautiful.”
“I don’t believe you appreciate the metaphor.”
August 6, 2013
Don’t tell ‘em you’re bigger than Jesus
Now you’re just giving it away. The multitude require many things, but ammunition is not one of them. They’re going to hate you already. You’re different. That gets under the skin of the little ones. I think you might understand this by now. It’s true. I rarely lie unless I’m doing it on purpose.
Honest to the point of recklessness
I’m pretty sure that’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.
August 7, 2013
I wish you would
That might be the impetus to make me do what I wouldn’t otherwise. Make me. I’ve already made you. You’re not a teenager, you’re a fetus. Arms and legs and a breath you can’t wrangle. Reign that shit in. I’m only telling you because I used to be the same way. Someone will make you pay in a way that I’m not interested in showing you. Someone will be. And they probably won’t be as calm. It’s not the hand you’re dealt, it’s how you play the cards.
You are not allowed to look back anymore
You can’t be trusted with your memory. And it’s not as perfect as you think it is. There were others there. And their imperfect memories will be there to sully what you have come to believe. Let them have it. Give yourself a break and give them a chance. You make me feel pretty. You make me hungry. You make me give two shits about things I never even saw before. Let’s try not to fuck this up.
August 10, 2013
I came out of the woods by choice
All these mistakes I’ve made don’t exist, except in my memory. It’s past and just as fake as whatever I can imagine comes next. Only now exists. The rest is a mind-game-mind-fuck. I have tortured myself beyond any pedestrian waterboard (which, by the way, really doesn’t sound that bad, especially if you’ve bodysurfed the Wedge or Sandy’s). I’m tired of living in the shade. “Let there be light,” is a metaphor. It didn’t happen like the book says. It happens every second. Wait, this might be hard to wrap your head around, but seconds are too long. Every moment of comprehensible difference from the last. Nano-nanosecond. Every single one of these whatever you want to call them, is a chance to let there be light. God exists in minutiae. The smaller everything gets, the greater is the change in our rules of understanding.
August 11, 2013
We were watching the making of In Rainbows
And the whole Thom Yorke thing, with that high-pitched, whining, melancholy intelligence was raining down on my ears. My five-year old daughter stood and watched the television and didn’t move. She was still long enough to make me look away.
“Wow, Daddy, that’s good.”
On at least one level, then, I did not fail as a father.
August 13, 2013
You hear guns in the night and you hope they’re not for you
Strange gets stranger and stranger. Big gets bigger. Small has always been small. It’s weird. The more I open, the more the universe opens. And closed defines everything as shut. I don’t know anymore. That’s the difference between me. The one that I was and the one that I am. I used to think I know everything. Catch me in the right mood and I still might. I’m quite sure I have an opinion about what you say next. I’m not quite sure your rebuttal makes me wrong. I am sure that I’m not interested in the argument. You win. I used to be defined by my hatred to lose. By a pull to explication. I used to say, “I don’t give a fuck,” when, really, I gave such a fuck. Every day that passes, my words align more with what I feel. Or claimed to have. Less and less. But somehow more and more.
Everything in its place
That’s the weird, comforting fact of dogma. By definition there is no choice. There just is.
August 15, 2013
It’s these moments when nothing seems like everything. Watching television, but it feels like I’m watching something dying. And then your look grabs mine. You put your hand on my ankle, whisper, “Baby.” We drift off to sleep, our bodies tangled in comfort. The home run rattles the television in the corner. I think how much I loved you then. And I love you now. My heart swells and I feel like that moment when you first let me inside you.
August 16, 2013
Sometimes I wish I could just say one word to you
Extract a look, perhaps a nod. You asked me to be silent. And now silence fills my ears with the fury of absence. I’m not quite sure you wanted what you asked for. But you asked. For nothing. And you shall receive. I miss your skin. The way your hair smells in the nook of your neck. Perhaps it’s best. If we’re going to throw it away, then everything goes. And nothing else matters. A part of me hopes, one day, something matters. Something might break through the shell. Something. Anything. Might compel me to feel. Just not you, I guess.
August 18, 2013
You wrote me an email once about beauty
You saw her. Maybe you saw the way I felt about her. And how we didn’t feel the same. She was beauty personified. And maybe that somehow made you feel less. I didn’t mean to. I just felt what I felt and I certainly seem to say what I say. Over and over again. Did I love you? I’m not sure. Did I try? Yes. Did I love her? Like my blood is red. I wish I could have made you feel like the way I feel right now typing these words. She makes my heart explode. I love love love her. Night time becomes day in this second and that doesn’t change. She is beauty personified.
August 20, 2013
As things get better
I’m pretty sure I remember when it was bad. I tell people the story about my apartment in Austin and they think I’m exaggerating for effect. I know it’s not possible to not leave a room for two years. But as possible as it is, that’s what I did. I didn’t turn on the air conditioning in the summer, or the heat in the winter. I left only to buy pizza and wine. I got beat up for my iPhone and the concussion left me with seizures. I went weeks sometimes without actually speaking a word out loud. I spoke only on Facebook. And I let the memory of her, and what could have been us, kill me drop by drop. It’s scary to look back and see how successful I was at almost giving it all away. How do you convince people you’re back? I guess you have to be back for a while first. Try not to do anything too stupid. Lay off the over-the-top allegories in your metaphors, or the death-wish jokes. I am back though. You can hear it in my voice if you choose to listen.
They get better every day you stay alive
I get effusive and I’m read as obsessive. I’m not sure I can be anything except everything. If you happen to love me back, then the attention isn’t a problem. If it is, then it is. I don’t quite have control of that spigot. I only have two speeds. Sprint, or sleep. I honestly can’t do anything partially. It’s all or nothing and the pressure of that choice to another person has many times left me with nothing. It’s not an affect. It is what it is. You can have everything. Or you can have nothing. I’ll consider shades of gray in my belief system. But in my actions? Everything is either, or.
August 21, 2013
Things fall apart
“I left my shirt and belt at your house.”
“I can mail it to you.”
“That’s not the answer I was looking for.”
“What should I say instead?”
“If I have to tell you, then I don’t want to. I think you know what I want to hear.”
“What if I don’t want to say anything?”
“I guess that’s kind of the point.”
“I can mail you your belt and shirt.”
“What am I supposed to do with it?”
“Use it as a reminder.”
“A reminder for what?”
“Whatever it is you need to remember.”
August 22, 2013
Pot? Meet kettle. Oh, by the way, you’re both black
It’s funny that you would use the example of driving off a bridge in your public conversation with another one of that band of idiots you frolic with. You told me everything before you lost your mind, remember? I know all the stories. You can call me crazy all you want. But, I wasn’t the one so lost in my manic thoughts that I needed to be stopped by the police from driving sideways off a long bridge into a lake with a child in the backseat. You have chosen once again to portray yourself as a victim. Which is why you can so conveniently forget your own actions, explain your choices with such a willful lack of awareness, and tell everyone in earshot that I’m something I’m not.
I could post the taunting phone calls you made to provoke whatever vitriol I spewed at you. I do have the calls. But I’m not going to bother proving in a public forum how ugly and cruel you actually are. Not by name anyway. I won’t use your initials or hashtags, like you seem to be so fond of doing. I am no longer interested in this stupid game. The life you’ve chosen, that you are choosing, is recompense enough for your trespasses. You have to live in that horrible cesspool of existence that you seem to be trapped in. If tearing me down is what you need to survive neck-deep in that shit? Then go ahead. I can’t believe how close I came to falling in there with you, or how hard I tried to make myself feel what I never did. The truth is if I had anywhere else to go when I first came to you, I would have gone there instead.
I was agnostic about the existence of evil until I heard your voice that last time. Now I know you’re out there. And I couldn’t be happier that it was me who hung up on you to end the last dialogue we will ever have.
August 23, 2013
I press my nose against the glass around your heart
From this view, there’s nothing to do but see. No taste, no smell, and certainly no feel. Except maybe cold. So I watch, and in spite of what I might choose to do, all I can do is see. And talk, and talk, and talk. The sound echoes against your exterior and all you can do is throw back distorted reflections of myself. Prisms, but not quite prisms. The light passes through where the glass shattered and fools us into thinking we are watching rainbows.
Things might seem to fall apart
It’s okay though. We only know what is true because we have experienced the opposite. I’m not quite sure you can be as polar opposite from where I let myself go. In many ways it was a necessary journey. You know me. That whole all or nothing swagger. “I took the road and I fucked it all away. Now in this twilight, how dare you speak of grace?” It helps put things in perspective, when things are not necessarily a choice anymore. When your choices keep making you lose more and more until it becomes everything. And you wake up with just memories. Pictures if you’re lucky enough to have remembered to take them. And songs and smells, and just this overwhelming melancholy. It’s easy at this point, trust me, to fall into this whole, whoah-is-me mentality. If the world knew what I really was, I would never blah, blah, blah. But the world is the world, and nothing matters to the world on such a small level as an individual. So the individual has to finally rise above, or fall below. I choose above.
August 24, 2013
This is where I’m from
No. This is who I am now. Choices. By definition every act is a choice. We sometimes look at our situation and lament, “If only I,” as if it were one choice to be where we find ourselves. Every minute, every hour. I don’t think your mind can wrap itself around how much smaller you have to make things. Every instance seems to fit better. Every awareness.
I have this theory that I know isn’t mine, but I came to it more or less independently. All problems, no matter how complex, can be broken down into a series of “yes or no” questions. Binary. 100100101=sad. So what is the combination for happy?
August 26, 2013
I don’t know who will stay
I read something like that and it triggers in me what I would call a natural reaction. It makes me want to cradle you and figure out what went wrong. And I don’t mean what went wrong with you and me. And I don’t mean that there’s anything inherently wrong with you. Something’s not working. Push away everything and you’re only as safe as your arms will reach. Really, that’s not very far. A lot of bad shit can happen outside of that circle of your arms. What happens when you’re arms get tired?
Get it together
That’s a song, not a call to action. 1, 2, 1, 2, keep it on. Listen to this shit because we kick it till dawn… Beastie Boys references and things like that make me struggle to wonder what was the issue. In person, I guess, there might have been an incident or two. My black eye from your flailing. Perhaps my temper. But in person, we never really flailed. Perhaps that’s the problem. Actually, I think I know what it is. We never really cared except about what we were feeling. And of course that makes me provoke feeling. Good or bad. I can’t stay bored, or even still, for very long. And it manifests in arguments about what songs should play on the radio for the two-minute drive to town when, really, like many relationships, it was all about control. I will acquiesce in certain circumstances required to survive. But I bristle. And this, of course, morphs into lament and then resent and then foment. For this game to work, it requires one party to stand down. I have never, and you have never, and the results are almost comically predictable.
August 27, 2013
Clearly this is going to come to some kind of head
It may not seem like it, but one of my few defining characteristics is the avoidance of conflict. I’ve never been in a fight in my adult life. I have never thrown a punch in anger. I’m not quite sure why I am so often interpreted as physically aggressive. My words are certainly meant for that purpose. Often to hurt or maim your feelings, but usually (the royal) you hurt me first. I’m just better at this than you are. And I certainly would never do any kind of corporeal damage.
It’s my belief that in these moments of absolute feeling we tend to save ourselves. In real-time and explanation we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt at the expense of the truth. You can’t be a victim of something without an aggressor. And I, with my mouth and my persistence, am made easily to fill that role. Most moments, I really couldn’t give a fuck. But when I do? It is with an unbridled ferocity that most people are not used to. The maxim about “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words…” is bullshit. If I know enough about you? I assure you I can say words that hurt you. It doesn’t matter who you think you are.
August 28, 2013
A second guess and a total mess
This is going to be hard to believe. I’m saying it and I hardly believe it myself. I’m being as quiet as I was meant to be. I have no time for discretion. I have no time for anything but total transparency. Clearly. It all ends here at my feet. It ends right here. It goes no further without a kick in whatever direction. I think you may have forgotten what the tornado of want and ambition might produce when I find the strength to steer the tornado. I’m driving. My guess is you’d like to know when it arrives in your vicinity.
September 1, 2013
I didn’t sleep while you slept
Of course I’m tired. My eyes burn too. There’s something about this and that. And how everything doesn’t quite mean as much as it used to. But I keep my eyes open-ish. I try not to close them at least. Watch the Maiden tribute band and try not to guffaw. Try not to miss what I’m missing too badly. I’m not sure things will ever come around like they were, but they can’t ever be as bad as I’ve recently seen them.
September 5, 2013
“This is what you like?”
“And it’s better than what I like?”
“How do you know?”
“That it’s better.”
“I don’t know.”
“Your preferences are better than mine?”
“And you know this how?”
“The same way I know the sun will rise tomorrow. I just do.”
“You are insufferable.”
“I know that, too.”
I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, and I miss neither. I do not curve my ways around physical need. I look at you and I don’t understand. We all feel hunger pangs. We all want to close our eyes when they burn. Why do you close yours when it might best suit you to keep them open? I may lack empathy in the realm of the corporeal. Physical pain is transient. Everything is transient. The body is the punchline to the joke of the eternal. Individual experience is, almost by definition, irrelevant. Mind is barely more. And so few even take the path of mind.
September 10, 2013
Obscurity not obsolescence
And so it is. You keep on being that way, and I’ll be clearly obscure. How? So faintly perceptible as to lack clear delineation? Of undistinguished or humble station? Not readily noticed or seen? Inconspicuous? Not clearly understood or expressed but, rather, ambiguous or vague? Yes. At least for today.
September 13, 2013
Your lap dog repeated you
I guess you might be her messiah. Weakness is ugly to me. I don’t judge you by your flaws, but I see them. And your ignorance of their existence fascinates me. I’m not sure if it’s affect, ego, or a blind spot, but you sometimes miss what is happening right out in the open, right in front of you. Control is your defining characteristic. Or at least the need for it. It sits first in the seat of your priorities, and when you lack it, your gut turns and churns and burns with tumult, groping, and flail. Here’s the thing. I will never cede control. Your inherent distrust of the world? Makes me distrust you. And you grabbing everything in sight, makes me want to hide what you can’t see. There is so much you can’t see. Control is an illusion.
September 19, 2013
The color of things
I needed to work things out. And I didn’t know how. I was a boy raised by women, surrounded by women. By girls mostly. Trying to be a man. That sounds like an excuse, and perhaps it is. It was a foreign realm to me. In many ways it still is.
I didn’t even know how to ask you to help me. I only knew how to fight. I only knew how to want to be right. I was right so often, I came to believe that I always was. I didn’t know how wrong I could be. I know now.
When you fell in love with me I was flawed. Perhaps if you fell in love with me now things would be less so. They wouldn’t be like they are.
Degrees of happy
I’m just as happy here as I was there. I’m certainly less unhappy. Circumstances are almost inconsequential. Hard to believe when things seem good. Harder to believe when things seem bad. Doesn’t make it any less true.
Everyone deserves a happy ending; that doesn’t mean you’re going to get it.
October 1, 2013
The screen door swings in
What are you looking for when you walk inside? Have you come back to see what’s left of things? Looking for the trail of dead in your wake? We are legion. And I don’t presume to speak for any of the rest of the bodies, but I am risen.
October 3, 2013
I know what it means to be alone
I think it’s funny when you threaten me with any kind of isolation. Lack of you? Right. Were you ever there? Where you ever really there? That is the kind of question that the word “rhetorical” was invented for. You are you. And I don’t mind. And I don’t care. Be who you are. Be who you’ve always been. I’m going to sit in this corner being who I am.
October 10, 2013
The difficulty of empathy
It’s a strange thing to write about. By definition it falls on deaf ears. It all depends on what you want to consider. If you’re automatically sure about everything, then even asking you is most likely a waste of time. I guess I have nothing better to do.
October 12, 2013
Let’s be optimistic
But just in case, let’s be careful.
It’s the perfect encapsulation of your struggle. You need others but mostly you did it yourself. Dirty and beautiful. I couldn’t describe you any better than your picture at the finish line.
I can’t fix me, it doesn’t mean I don’t know how to fix you.
I wish I was more like you and less like me. I know you and love you more than I think you can ever possibly know. But I will never understand you. I’ve tried. You shuck when I jive. And I can never predict either or. You are a surprise. The word surprise was imagined because you are unimaginable. Which is good 97% of the time. That 3% will kill a person. It almost killed me. 1992, 20131 and 20132 have at least one thing in common. You. 2007 and 2008? You. 2009 and 20130? You. The three headed-monster of what once was. You are three, but you are all the same to me.
October 16, 2013
I can’t remember one thing about business calc
I managed to get an A in trig. Money sometimes looks bigger than it is. More than a construct, it manifests bigger ideas like numbers or life. Capital N, capital L. Either or? That is only a choice to people who understand neither.
Taking everything away is not a sign
I need a voice. I need a burning bush. I need something more than nothing. If this is a test? Well please let there be a purpose that I do not understand. I don’t understand.
“You’re close to understanding.”
“I have no interest.”
“I love you so much. That is why I love you.”
“It’s cute that you think you have a choice.”
I’m not sure I know what to do about this
Pretend he died.
Here’s the thing, at least for now
Baby. Hmm. Baby. I look at you through the opaque glass of what once was. My memory is good, but it shivers at the edges. And the edges get bigger every day. In my mind we get more and more, but in life we get small and smaller. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’m not quite sure.
I forgive you. Can you forgive me? I think our transgressions might be equal. Our punishments certainly weren’t. That’s what makes you think you’re right? Your advocates agreed with you. I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen. Do you think you are now? If heaven and hell existed and were judging us, where do you fall? What myths have you created to justify where you stand? I’ve written a few. But I know what really happened. Like star burst Polaroids I see the rise and fall. And fall. And further fall.
Now on the rise. I so want to talk to you.
October 22, 2013
What once was
I hear the song and it haunts me. “Someone. They could’ve warned you. When things start splitting at the seams and now it’s all tumbling down.” Someone should have been me. I was tearing at the seams when I saw a thread. Like when you have a sore in your mouth and your tongue constantly finds the space. I can’t leave well enough alone until it’s better. And if I make it worse? I can’t stop until it’s bad. No, that’s not strong enough. I can’t stop until it can’t exist anymore. I can’t count the number of cities that lie in the ruins of my wake; a verbal Godzilla. I cannot stop until you are destroyed or I am. I never wanted to be that kind of lover.
Birthdays, sex and sleep
In these moments full of lull, what else do I have but you? I try to grasp at 1993, 1999, whatever year it was; that’s gone. All I have is me. Here’s the thing. Last night I spoke to you and you told me, “That’s all you need. That’s all you’ve ever needed. You’re so much better than the world at tearing you down.” And so it is.
October 23, 2013
Subatomic you and me
Quantum theory can only predict. You can never really know what is. And what is requires an observer to make what is. What more religion do you need than that? What more do you need to understand life? The confounding nature of love seems within grasp in comparison.
We can measure how fast we’re going, but then I can’t tell you where we are. I can tell you where we are, but then our movement is obfuscated by reality. Our observation of any “thing” changes that thing.
The idea is so big that I can’t just not wrap my head around the totality of the idea; it thrashes what I thought was understanding. We are so big and we are so small. The smaller we get? The less the rules matter. You and me? Only happened because I looked.
October 24, 2013
I heard the stories. Shut up. I don’t want to hear them again. Your voice plays like a story in my mind. You make me ask questions that I don’t like the answer to. I know the answer. I know the answer. I know the answer. The answer is you sometimes. The answer is me.
Let’s play nice. Let’s look at pink unicorns and love the fucking universe. I hate the universe. I hate pink. I hate unicorns. I hate the idea of unicorns. I hate pointy-headed anythings.
I love the universe. I love life. I love you. I just wish you loved me back.
There’s a different life out there
All you have to do is ask for it. I’m still trying to understand why I asked for this one. But I did ask.
October 25, 2013
Everything happens in slow motion.
I invented the word. I invented you. I certainly invented me. The idea of me. I hate you. I suck on a Hershey bar and you are the exact opposite of that taste. That feeling. What is the opposite of sweet? What is the opposite of love? What is the opposite of you? I believe it might be me.
I hate the word
We shotgun beers and drink rot-gut Red Bull to feel better. I don’t feel better. We notice roaches on the ground. We think about girls we used to know. Let the beer hit, let it hit, let it all hit. It was four years ago I rolled down my windows to let your hard rock in. Now I do everything I can to shut everything out. Where are you? You don’t care. All I do is care.
October 26, 2013
Your name here
I saw you and I couldn’t take a breath. Every horrible, terrible everything of my life was made whole by the calm of you. Every mistake accentuated made darker in the shadow of your absence. It’s true I ran away before. I wish I could be small. I’ll never be. You will never be. In my memory you are bigger than life. You are a myth. You are nameless. It might not be pretty, but let’s see what happens.
October 27, 2013
There was a time when I used this shoe as a pillow. I’m not just saying that for effect. There was a time when I did things so I could claim to have had the experience. That wasn’t one of them. It was like a lucid dream of cold and shitty and yuck. Having said that, I can’t stop feeling, I won’t stop feeling. You can’t feel anymore. And I really wish I could fix that.
November 21, 2013
I’m not going to share the details, but trust me, the word “coincidence” is becoming less and less meaningful. Perhaps, I’m being dramatic. But if you did know the details, I think you might agree. It wasn’t out of the realm of possibility, obviously, because it happened. But it was definitely not even in the considered realm of considerations.
I’m writing this, having travelled 5,000 miles, under conditions that in hindsight are almost comical. But, here I am. And so nothing is impossible.
Accident and retraction? Hidden message and reproachment? I hope to believe the latter.
November 28, 2013
“I didn’t want anyone to get hurt.”
“Now everyone is hurt.”
“And that does what good?”
“Everyone is even?”
“You moved the line.”
“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?”
“Yes. No. I don’t know.”
“Cover every base.”
“No. Every base is exposed.”
“What do we do?”
“Everything? You? Me?”
“So this is…”
“Nothing lasts forever, silly.”
December 1, 2013
That’s a strong word
“She hated me.”
“From what you told me, she had cause.”
“You know she did.”
“Do you hate me?”
What’s it worth
I gave most of it away for nothing, knowing that likely everything would go away. I did it for love. No. I did it in lamentation of its absence.
December 3, 2013
Tonight at dinner we’re talking about decisions that mean millions of dollars one way or the other. I’ve sat silent at tables were a hundred times that was at stake. I never cared so much for money, which is probably why I have none. I have, I have always had, access. The game has always moved me. The cost is inconsequential.
Other things move me. Pretty girls. A good idea. Truth. The right chord. My daughter. My son.
Universe? Let me do good. Then let me do well.
December 4, 2013
These questions. Beyond the obvious. Wrap your head around where or what. Who is a loaded question. And I dare you, I double dog dare you to think about why. Why crushes civilizations. Why will bring you to your knees.
December 6, 2013
Those pesky amendment things
I’m lucky. I live in probably the best time ever to be human in the winning class. The worst of us are incomprehensibly better off than the best of generations past. We’re the spoiled rich kid of human experience. “Which car do I take?” rises several notches above or below, “How am I going to eat?” depending on your perspective. First-world problems are still real; it’s just the scale is skewed. The truncheon puts things in a certain perspective that I will most likely never feel. Read. Think. Then read again. It’s easy in a way that seems too easy. You and I make it hard. And most likely we’ll continue to do so.
Easy to understand, hard to know
The Universe isn’t listening. It just is. It knows what you want, because it is you. Want is such a pedestrian word. It is your want, it is your not want. It happens exactly the way it is supposed to happen. Free will. Yada yada. Your will conforms, without exception, to what is.
December 7, 2013
Hunger games. Hah. I watched the second first. Not bad. Not Godfather important, but important in the sense that this is what our kids are watching. Katniss is their Yoda. These metaphors that you cannot verbalize are made real in these caricatures. So this makes them important. Don’t forget how your children feel. Regardless of the impact those feeling have on life. They are is real to them, especially at that age as, “I do.”
Love broadly. Condition responsibly. Be the person you want to be through them, not because you’re using them to fulfill some impossible dream of what could be. Do it because you know better. We suffer so our children don’t have to.
December 9, 2013
I only said
I only said nothing. I said what you said to me. It hurts coming from another mouth, doesn’t it? It hurts to hear. Inside your teeth, your warbles maybe do not have the impact that they do on my earhole.
December 11, 2013
“How much money do you have?”
“That’s too much. Give it to me.”
“You are never further than $100 from killing yourself.”
“I don’t want to die.”
“I never said you did.”
“You don’t trust me?”
“If you knew better, you wouldn’t trust you.”
“I’ll buy you groceries and give the rest to the homeless.”
“I can live with that.”
“I love you, K.”
“How you could not?”
December 12, 2013
Rational ration ratio rat
Beauty is irrational. Beauty is terrible. You can only know one thing, and it is as finite as it is true. We are carved from the destruction of stars. Every atom that has ever existed, exists. And in our understanding will never cease to exist. You were literally forged in the supernova you might be lucky enough to look at through a telescope. The distance, the eternal, incomprehensible vastness of both our universe and, in the opposite direction our ability to grasp that nano-philosophical idea; paradoxically, it limits us while it compels us to act beyond any limit. The wonder. The magic of nothing but what is. The impossible occurrence of this sentence. How can you not feel beautiful? The incredible reality of being conscious in this random stew. The universe smiled. And I am grateful.
In a cosmic, weird way almost everything is a choice
Small things ruin your credibility. It’s not much effort to avoid that. Five minutes late in a first meeting makes you a flake. One word spoken when inappropriate defines you. But it works the other way. Just not as as fast or as obvious. Do what you say you’re going to do. Always. Someone will notice the fifth time. But then that’s you. Stop lying. We all do. So stop saying I don’t. Be aware about everything that might be some kind of subterfuge. Then stop it. It will make you shine like a diamond with a spotlight, because most cannot help themselves. It’s hard not to lie. But five years ago I made it an important part of my identity. Like a defining characteristic. And I still fail.
All you have is you. Whatever you want, need, or hope for? The lowest common denominator, unfortunately, is you. You have the power to cure cancer, and you have the weakness to be a junkie. All wrapped up inside the eternal everything-ness of the human spirit.
Every second. Every nanosecond. Each is a chance to make a decision. We’re all binary. Yes? No? 1? 0? It all means the same thing.
Choose wisely every time. Make the right small one-million-in-a-row decisions. And when you look back, I promise you, it’s going to feel like one decision. You can be infallible in your understanding. You have to break everything down. Smaller and smaller, is the only intelligent way to bigger and bigger and most. Trust me. I’ve thought about this for a while now.
December 13, 2013
Early in the morning. Sometimes late at night. Something washes over me. I want to hug you with all my might. Usually at my peril. Listen to the next question your head asks. You can’t possibly know the answer. I’ve been trying for 43 years. Exaggeration. I’ve had consciousness as we throw around that term for maybe 41 years. Yes. That question has been asked.
December 15, 2013
I’m not quite sure you understand. You move me like a tidal wave. I’m almost positive you have never seen an actual tidal wave. Tide is the wrong word. They have almost nothing to do with tides. But they’re big. And they’re fast. Bigger and faster than you know to even understand how to be. That’s why you drown. Smashed by the debris, the rocks. You have a millimeter of chance. Or you die.
December 16, 2013
We are forged in the fiery death of stars. And our atoms amalgamated in such perfection. It’s almost incomprehensible. This conversation is impossible. It could not possibly happen if you look at the odds. Look closer. There is you and there is me. And fuck the universe, it’s too big for me to fix. I know this moment. I know right and I know wrong. And I try not to choose the latter when I have a choice.
December 17, 2013
Left to my own devices, my lies would kill me. I’ll make you a promise and lie in the next sentence, right to your face, and I won’t blink. The lies are not the disease. They are a symptom of some great rot, that I don’t own and have blamed on a lot of things except, probably its actual source. The strange part is there is neither evil, nor malice. But it hurts everyone that steps in its path.
December 18, 2013
“I can’t love you.”
“I worry about you.”
“If I think about you, I think about sad things.”
“K, you choose the hurt. You are defined by hurt. Hurt makes you feel important. Hurt makes you bigger than you are.”
“I’m not sure I agree with that assessment.”
“Do you know why?”
“What do you think I’m going to say.”
“Do you really want to know why?”
“I’m going to hit you if you make me say, ‘Yes.’”
“Hurt is who you are.”