2015

Bogeyman
February 28, 2015
I remember how boogie works. It was a man. Haunting depending on your circumstance. Circumstance makes it seem like where you’re standing is a coincidence when actually there is none. You stand in that spot because you walked there. Unless you’re a baby cast aside from whoever was holding you, you are where you chose to be. And if even you are baby, you’re still somehow to blame.

No one walks innocent, even the innocent. Fake laughter and smiles and people that might help you or hurt you are all fake. Their looks castigate anything different. And yours look back the same.

The existential questions. Who am I? Who are you, motherfucker? They are essentially the same. Put differently, the answer is always the same. On the stage of forever you are nothing. No one. In one hundred years, no matter how strong or weak, you are dust. Pleasure, or pain, mean nothing. Everything is transient. That might sound nihilistic, and perhaps it is. It might sound Buddhist. And perhaps they are the same.

You can still look at the moon. You can still feel the sun on your face. That’s all you have. At least that’s all you can be sure you have.
I watched a movie the other day, and the woman in it dies. She walked happily on to a train and her nose started bleed and hours later she was dead. But the part that tore my soul. She looked at her friend just before her heart stopped and she said, “I’m not ready.”

That scares me more than life scares me. I’m not ready.

Flaws
February 28, 2015
Do you know how easy it is to get hurt? You just have to make a face. Feel a feeling and then it’s felt. Any moron can feel a feeling. How does this one feel? How do you feel right now? Would your daughter feel proud about the feeling in your mind right now? I’m not here to think I’m better than you. Mostly I’m worse. But I have a mouth. And I can ask a question even when I don’t like the answer. I can love you beyond loving even without a visible capacity to love. I can prove it. I love that little girl like impossible love; I haven’t seen her in almost two years. I love the boy the same way. Like bigger and smarter and more important than I will ever be. But I feel that love. And they are real. And I’m their flawed dad. A million miles from perfect, but clawing toward it.

Humble
February 28, 2015
This is a moment that requires humility and I might not have it. If one more person speaks to me in measured tones I will smash something. Platitudes inspire violent visions. I’m not violent. I abhor the thought of it most of the time.

It all takes time. Everything takes times. Sometimes it takes so much time that time seems imperceptible. But if it is time then by definition it happened. Words are spoken and water falls. Bodies die. Worlds end. I’m not sure what your version of a happy ending looks like, but it rarely ends when someone smiles.

It’s 3:35 pm that means it’s daytime. Which means what? Which means what? It means a word. It means something less than nothing. As do you. As do I. What are we except these silly things we think we hear ourselves overhear again. Words we might never really hear. Not believing in anything is a cold place.

Lamentations of the very small
February 28, 2015
Who do you feel like today? Are you who you are? Are you who you say you are? Is there a difference? And if there is, which one means more? We all suffer from this terminable condition that always ends the same way. Perhaps not alone if you’re lucky. But ultimately always alone. There is no recourse. There is no begging for a different kiss. Pagan or priest, prole or prince. You go out the same way you came in. To nothing. There was forever before you, and you don’t cry for that. This poison of awareness. This “gift” unasked, bestowed, makes you lament the forever after. Does sleep torment you? You have awareness of a kind when you reach stage four REM. But otherwise darkness isn’t that scary.

The only possible hope I see in forever is the truth in being infinitesimally small. Quantum theory makes truth seem absurd. One electron passes through two places at the same time. It exists, and it doesn’t exist. It exists in every possible existence at the same time. Time. Time, time, time, time. If you live in a linear awareness, time makes everything. But time is just another measurement that can be manipulated it turns out. Rise over run. It can be measured, then changed. God is in the electrons.

Bridge over let it be
March 1, 2015
The number one song in the country at the moment of my birth, just finishing up a six-week run at the position, was Bridge Over Troubled Water. Sort of. That week, officially on the Saturday after I was born, the number one song became Let It Be. Technically speaking, the best-selling song while I was being born was probably the latter.

I started listening to Simon and Garfunkel on Spotify and it reminded me of my life in the 80’s and 90’s. I can’t count how many times I crisscrossed the country. ‘Kathy, I’m lost,’ I said, though I knew she was sleeping. I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why.’ But I did know why. And I do know why.

It’s a cliché to repeat how songs invoke memories. I can’t listen to Band of Horses without seeing her flit back and forth across the bathroom, momentarily visible in panties and my t-shirt, then disappearing from view. I can’t hear the Hold Steady without remembering looking at the back of my hand staring drunkly at the veins and how empty my hand seemed while struggling through my divorce. And I can’t hear Simon and Garfunkel without also hearing the clacking of train tracks or the groaning of diesel-engined Greyhounds riding across the plains in the middle of the night, stopping in cities so small there was only a snack machine in the depot to get a bite, and crossroads with a flashing yellow light in lieu of one that changed from red to yellow to green.

I was on Trip Advisor the other day and I got bored of clicking when I had hit 500 cities, towns, and hamlets in America, Canada and Mexico. Johnny Cash sang “I’ve been everywhere” and between two precise latitudes it seems I have. “We’ve all gone to look for America.” And so we have. What did we find? What did I find? You?

Rations
March 3, 2015
There are times when we rationalize. And by times I mean always. But when you are having a moment. Sometimes it is easier to justify hideous when you don’t call it so. Let’s be honest. I’ve never touched anyone in anger so I live with this chip on my chest that I might be better than a person that has chosen the truncheon. But if we are being 100% honest, and really what else do we have, then I am being disingenuous. I was abusive in ways I didn’t know were abuse. I patted myself on the back because I didn’t hit you, or when you slapped my face I didn’t slap back. My words. I was abusive. And I was wrong. And I’m sorry. And I guess that’s all there is, but it’s true.

Coffee by any other name
April 5, 2015
Coffee seems like fuel, but it’s an excuse. Very convenient. It’s everywhere and wants you to drink it. It doesn’t even have to be good. Have a sip of this. It seems innocuous. It keeps you up at night. It makes your hands shake. And when you’re up and your hands are shaking you tend to feel feelings you might not otherwise feel; so, fuck you coffee. I feel enough on my own. If you were smarter you’d be a virus instead of a drink. Something at first undetectable. Something untreatable.

I walk to prove I can do anything. To prove maybe I’m still a little bit alive. My leg moves forward when I, without even speaking, ask it to. So what? My toes hurt in these boots. So what? The bottom half of me has never proven I was human.

If it seems like this is a joke, it’s because it is. It is a joke that I’ve moved beyond the capacity to laugh at. I have no pity, empathy, or sympathy for it or myself. Regret was pushed off the shelf a long time ago. There is only numbness punctuated with bursts of maniacal, sinister laughter. And Netflix.

A lack thereof
April 11, 2015
I see the child that was. And now I see the absence. I see a man or a lack thereof. Everyone around you makes the product of your monstrosity. Everything you care about. Every time you cry. I cry too. I love life and feel the world. The difference. Pain and I are the same.

Skippy’s All Natural
April 11, 2015
I eat peanut butter and think to myself. I’m lucky. If this as hard as it comes then life gave it to you pretty easily. Life is not supposed to be easy. We all experience death. We all get sick. The thing is how you rise. That’s kind of what makes a person. Things live. That’s what life does. It knows only how to survive. I’m a person and want to say please and thank you. I want to feel love and to love. It’s a weird sensation being human, but what choice do we have?

Determinations
April 11, 2015
I’m at my best early. And four am is such a cliché. I remember our shared, casual sadness, bathed in hope that cried for the sun to rise. This human condition is weird. Defined by its humanity. Your body. Where the skin was so soft and where the bones were hard. Those determinations were not yours. And what they wrought were sometimes choice. I like to think of you as soft. But I’m not speaking about touch.

I want it to be dark when I see you next. I miss us in the darkness. You smiling. Our joy. I don’t know why we hurt each other. I know we did. Mine was on purpose I guess. I’m sorry. I did love you. I love. That feeling doesn’t stop. Maybe for some.

I look at the two of us in sympathy (sometimes ecstasy)
April 11, 2015
I’m not sure if we’ve been bred to harness or release this and these emotions. You and I have spoken about the crazy. I feel like control is beyond the grasp of ourselves, in sympathy. How could a person walking against you on the street possibly see the difference? Does it matter to them? Does it matter at all if they get it? And what does getting it look like? Being better (whatever that means) or being happy? Which would you choose if you even could? Look at my hopes. In three hundred years, what do my dreams mean except a flicker in the pond of a memory? Or do they?

It doesn’t take much to predict the way things always go
April 11, 2015
I stood with you, three feet away from Robert Cray at the Gypsy Tea Room in Deep Ellum. Close enough that you could hand me two picks that “young” Bob handed you. (Months earlier I passed out in a booth, high on Jäeger, while we waited until 1am for Snoop, pot in the air, my face in your lap, waiting.).

The blues. I’ve always had such an affinity for sadness. Some come to mind. I’m not sure if it was borned or learned, but it certainly is. I watched the movie, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, because I thought it might be sexual (spoiler alert: not really, unless you’re very patient). And then I tried to read the book, because I liked the title. I bought the titular Fine Young Cannibals’ first album for the same reason (and the Screaming Blue Messiahs). I still don’t understand the former. I still listen to the latter.

The inquisition
April 11, 2015
Paranoid. Why? I don’t know. I don’t know what compels a person to behave like an inquisitor. For me going forward? Results need to speak. The questions end now. The answers don’t really make any difference. It’s that all-consuming need to know everything all the time that carves out ulcers but hopefully nothing worse. Let go. Control is an illusion, and one that kills you if you keep chasing it. That compulsion is useful sometimes. Most times, in the scheme of things, it means nothing except to feed itself.

Here’s why this matters. If you ask me a question I will usually tell you the truth. If you “investigate” the truth, I will usually lie. I am anti-authoritarian to the bone, but ironically, I will live up to your expectations. Expect lies and you will be lied to. Expect failure and you will be failed. Expect goodness and you will receive it in abundance.

A tireless dedication to impulse
April 23, 2015
I keep chasing it and I’m not dead. Yet. Came close and I didn’t even realize it. There are angels in place to save you from yourself, when you’re not doing a good job on your own. I’ve literally tripped over some of these demi-people over the last seven years.

Seven years. Hardly are those words out when I develop a sudden nauseous sensation of how incredibly impossible that could be, juxtaposed undeniably, however, with the fact that I was, in fact, there. These anecdotes I share aren’t something I watched on television, unfortunately. Though I’ve had many moments that were sublime and heartfelt, many more have been characterized by impulse choices with consequences that were sometimes expected but more often not.

Resolve
April 25, 2015
“Those anorectics are like steel.” It’s from a movie and it’s meant to be funny and it is especially in the context of the scene. But why is it funny? Why is a life-threatening stubbornness fodder for a joke? I have a pet theory, shared by millions I’m sure, that people laugh at the recognition of some truth. This is why comedians are usually miserable bastards. They spend their psyches submerged in the acid of painful truths attempting to extract something that many would recognize.

It’s painfully ironic that some who are at their weakest display the sort of willpower that eludes most at their strongest. That kind of resolve in almost any other context would be considered a virtue beyond measure. Here it is pathology.

Where am I going with this? Being a narcissist, I will now alchemize the situation and make it about me. No, I won’t but that impulse is what I would have continued with had I chosen to continue.

Things I know (told in the negative)
April 25, 2015
I don’t need a pep talk. I don’t need you to tell me I’m smart. I certainly don’t need your pity. I don’t need you to remind me that I fucked it all away. I don’t want to share my plans to fix things. I don’t want to tell you how I really feel. I don’t trust you. I love you, but I don’t like you.

I think the presumptive reason for my reckless disregard for health, comfort, or circumstance is incorrect. This is neither a suicidal or anti-social declaration, nor do I have any kind of conscious wish for death or self-harm. The subconscious, however, seems to have made the decision that in many ways, I’m already dead. The rules of conventional life, therefore, no longer have much meaning and no longer apply.

Lift up your soft and swaying skirt
April 26, 2015
Lest anyone think my travails have provoked nihilism, I declare it hasn’t. Though the argument could be made that I’ve been a nihilist since the first death in my life (my paternal grandfather). I was left alone after the funeral, while the adults did adult things, and I can remember thinking, “what’s the point?” I was still being actively indoctrinated as a Catholic against my nine-year old will, so my reaction was to pray. Like an OCD patient I had to ask God to bless everyone I could think of, name by name, then finish by asking for eternal life for my mother and, of course, myself. I couldn’t go to sleep until I was finished. It took me almost an hour some nights. I did this for months, maybe years. Basically, when you’re nine, the story of Jesus is one that culminates in the ultimate horror movie for a child. The highest father throws his only son to the wolves, for you, and if you don’t appreciate this selfless (?) act, you get 1000 times worse for eternity. Though, later in life I would make the argument, “Is it really a sacrifice if you know tomorrow you’re going to be King of Kings and that you’re God and there’s no question about the ultimate outcome of everything? Millions of people have suffered far worse deaths all without knowing anything except fear and how much pain hurts.” This scared the shit out of me. That’s because Catholicism is almost 2,000 years of scary shit, in its heaven and on our Earth. All this and I found out masturbating was a sin.

I digress. I can still recognize beauty in many of its forms. Some are easier to spot than others. I remember having a conversation with my aunty about how cacophony can be beautiful because she overheard me listening to Nine Inch Nails’ March of the Pigs. To this day that song (especially the various remixes) and At The Drive-In’s Arcarsenal are my proof of the beauty of noise. And, really, there are people who listen to things far noisier than these are.

The title of this entry doesn’t refer to something I witnessed to inspire these words, but rather those words in the form of lyrics by the band Okkervil River in their song A Girl in Port. That song always makes me think of beauty. And when singer Will Sheff slowly undresses an unseen “Marie” with his voice, the effect is sexier than almost any pop culture I’ve ever experienced. He sings of other women as well, all with an intimacy that make me feel good about being alive, circumstances be damned.

1999 was more than a song
May 3, 2015
I remember it from 1999. Perhaps I should have remembered it better sooner at times that mattered more. But I didn’t. And so, this is how it is. I remember you sending me a message once, and if I didn’t receive it, then for your soul you put it into the universe. And so here I do the same. I’m sorry. I was wrong. I spoke in a way that I shouldn’t have. Right, wrong or indifferent on your part, the fact is that I loved you and the way I spoke to you should have communicated as much. So, this is my offering to the universe, and perhaps you will spit on the effort, but I can live with that. Know the effort was made. Know that I did love you. Know that I know how terrible I was when I felt threatened. Know that all I want for you is peace and love.

Infinity times infinity
May 14, 2015.

You have to ruin it. Look in the mirror and remember who you were. Who you are. There’s no escape from a glance sideways. Look at her. No really look. Personally, I can’t see you standing next to that. There’s more joy in that smile then you remember to feel. Maybe when you were seven. But you’re six times that now. And the weight of six times seven might prove to be crushing if given the chance.

If I had everything to do over again, I would. That glimpse of the infinite. Even a momentary possession of which is worth one hundred years of solitude. Especially by those of us lucky enough to actually see it. From the outside it looks like egoism, and perhaps it is. It’s selfish in the same way that sadness is, it just feels better.

Ostensibly
May 15, 2015
I couldn’t get that word out of my head yesterday. It was like an involuntary mantra. Of course, it literally means outward appearances, but connotes that there is something hidden by these. I don’t know why the word was in my head, my tongue. But coincidences of this kind are rare so I’m looking for the meaning here.

Spotify
May 17, 2015
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t always write about existential angst.

They are getting paid per play, but, it’s fractions of a penny. From what I’ve read, it’s about $0.005 for well-established artists like Taylor Swift who can make millions on Spotify a year. It’s way less for an emerging or unknown artist; I’ve seen horror stories of 10,000 streams (which actually isn’t that much considering how easy it is to click play) paying out about $10 to the artist. Even the most popular songs do not make that much money. Having said that, I bought cassettes in the 70s and 80s, repurchased everything on CD in the 80s and 90s (back when CDs were $18 at Tower Records and I traded in 300 albums for 15 CDs), grew that collection to about 1500 CDs, then repurchased many of those again on the iTunes store. We’ve learned that a 120 kbps bit rate sucks in the interim, so all the CD’s I sold after converting them to MP3s now exist in a poorer quality, and the favorites have been purchased again. I feel no guilt whatsoever in listening to the songs I’ve owned in four different formats on Spotify. The selection even beats my collection of close to 50,000 purchased songs by an almost exponential factor. For new artists that I care about, because I’m still very passionate a music, I support them by seeing them live (which they retain a much higher percentage of the gross than music sales, even if it’s still low), or I try to buy directly from the artists from their websites. Pearl Jam, for example, has long made perfect bootlegs available on their site, and I have purchased every concert I’ve ever attended, and the ones I wanted to be at but couldn’t attend (like when they played Hawaii ’78 in Hawaii back in 2006). Other venues like Noisetrade are very good at breaking new artists, offer many free samples to whet your appetite, and allow you to tip the artists. Radiohead’s pay what you want experiment, giving In Rainbows directly to us for what we wanted to pay, was far more lucrative for them then their previous recording efforts (though they won’t disclose exactly what they made). I paid for it. Of course, they’re Radiohead. The biggest losers, in terms of how much they’ve lost are the record companies, who have been collectively shitting themselves and making greedy mistake after greedy mistake since Napster. But fuck them. They were a necessary devil, that is no longer necessary. Smart artists, especially ones with a strong grasp of technology, are today empowered by tools in recording and distribution, and have far more opportunity to go all Fugazi on the system and achieve a modicum of success from their studio apartment in Austin, Texas. Short story long, Spotify is only a little evil. But you can’t be saved until you sin, so this is mine. And I’m not quite ready for salvation.

I’m pretty sure I’ve owned AC/DC’s Back in Black, KISS’ Destroyer, The English Beat’s I just Can’t Stop It, and The Joshua Tree at least five times each. It makes me miss the days of Napster where you could find Maynard James Keenan show up at a Rage Against The Machine show and sing his part from Know Your Enemy. I was 27 at the time I discovered it and was lucky enough to have a T3 connection at work, and I became the quintessential pirate on the seas of digital music, though I eventually realized I was pillaging the artists I loved. So, when I was older and wiser, i.e. 31, (and the iTunes store opened), I tried to purchase all the things I had downloaded. One thing I do miss is the access to things you cannot buy (like the aforementioned show). Napster, you beautiful, naive puppet, how I miss you.

I didn’t ask for this pain, it just came over me
May 17, 2015
inverse.

I’ve asked myself what it is, and I guess it’s more a kind of darkness. There was enough distraction when I was younger and preoccupied in the establishment of a life, that I was able to ignore it, with situational exceptions. Other proclivities like sex and alcohol sometimes made it feel like there wasn’t even anything to worry about. What I’ve come to learn is that unhealthy sexual shenanigans (if they even exist; I vacillate), or alcohol, or sometimes drugs, were not in and of themselves the disease, but were, in fact, the telling symptoms of something far more dangerous that was just waiting for me with its gangrenous soul, and sad, sad heart. But, oh so pretty to look at.

I guess my misguided attempts to always live in full color at high speed with no filter, and in possession of a ferocious, single-minded intensity I sometimes used as a means to those ends, my life became double-edged, semi-charmed, and, more and more, self-destructive. But I can also say that I’ve been to more cities than I can count on Trip Advisor (500+), know more about the subtle nuances of the human condition than I had previously thought was possible, felt deeper feelings (good and bad) than anyone I know not suffering with a serious mental illness, and been in situations that I know most people will never see, want to visit, or even believe exist. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in a random house or hotel room at three in the morning with some random Mary Magdalene’s, contemplating what to do next and thinking to myself, “How in the fuck did I end up at this moment, in this place, watching what I’m watching? What’s my play here?”) But everything bad that happened was happening too often to be a coincidence. Is still happening in some respects.

When the darkness finally rose above, it came swifter and stayed longer than I thought was possible, and consequently damaged and collaterally damaged much more than I could pretend not to care about; everything in its reach got and gets caught in its velvet web.

The argument can be made that my experiences have helped make me the person that I am. And for the most part that’s a good thing. I love madly, forgive quickly, feel empathy deeply, laugh hard when I’m happy or sad, make others laugh and smile, and easily make real connections with people. But there’s an opposite side to that same coin that doesn’t sound like charisma, though it has as its source the same dark energy. I catch myself crying spontaneously at almost nothing, hurt intensely with an emotional paralysis, wander the streets lost and lonely, and strike back hard with words when I feel that I’ve been damaged intentionally. Yet I know that I don’t do evil things because I’m not inherently evil. I take action that looks evil not with premeditation, but by following the paths of least resistance and instant gratification, without regard for any consequences, good or bad, until they happen.

Someone I love dearly spoke of me once to another person I loved dearly (when I wasn’t there) saying to her, “He’s super smart, kind and engaging when he’s in the mood, and seductive as he wants to be. But there is a dark side.” At the time I was mad at that spilled, heretical revelation. But it’s difficult, disingenuous, and ultimately pointless to speak anger to truth.

Slow it down, come back to bed
May 18, 2015
She’s barefoot down the street in short, dirty-black chiffon; the dress a metaphor for the city, the city her only version of a meadow. The sidewalk sweats with ancient heat and recent rain. And the rough wetness cools the blisters of the patches of the balls of her feet, worn rough having so often similarly trod. The word reminds her of a line from a poem, “nor can foot feel being shod,” and she smiles. Feet are supposed to touch the ground just like they’re supposed to hurt.

Fake trees loom above and block the long-set sun. Fluorescent blinks and intermittent shadows alternate light and dark. Her light-aired, measured steps are deliberately taken, then not so, and betray a civil war between ennui and melancholy. Both sides win.

Pay to play
May 19, 2015
The problem isn’t the supposed welfare state, which is often blamed whenever moneyed interests are also involved, but by a system that rose under Reagan, then acquiesced to by Bush, Clinton, Bush 2, and even Obama to a certain extent (he suggested free community college very late in his second term, but his motives were political, and he knew that it would be un-passable). That woman you speak to at the student loan call center for your bank, who tells you to quit your second job because your income is too high for her to help you? She didn’t create the policies. She poorly, and somewhat grossly, articulated the ridiculousness of the inevitable outcome of a system which allows predatory lending to students and parents instead of advocating more fiscally conservative options. It’s not in the bank’s interest for you to be able to afford college without them. In fact, the student and the bank, contrary to the pretty marketing materials about “helping you achieve your dreams,” are in direct, non-hostile conflict.

Did you know that even as an American you can go to college for free, and with several English language curriculums, in Germany and Sweden? There are several countries that offer post-graduate study to Americans for free or for a nominal fee (e.g., Norway, France, and Brazil).

In this country post-secondary school became another must-have gadget, and the selling of this gadget became big business. Students became customers from which to extract profits. And they are highly profitable. Anyone that wanted to go to college as recently as the 70s could do so without assuming a lifelong debt in the process. In the 80s, students became another market for banks. After government assistance ran out, higher rate private loans became the norm. Even parents were allowed to take out loans for their kids at much higher rates than Sallie Mae. The profits on these types of loans represent the amoral, greed-is-good mentality of the time period. And because of inertia we’re stuck with it right now.

I don’t understand why we ever made a social contract with the devil to fully embrace a system that allows (mostly) young people to incur debts this size. How can Germany offer our kids free tuition but we can’t? How come Denmark can afford to pay its students to go to school? Much of the answer, I believe, lies in our priorities. Building prisons (then running them) and unprecedented war machines is expensive. But that is what we do in America, and we do it better than anyone else.

The cost of tuition, even in real dollars, is staggeringly higher than it was 50 years ago, but it didn’t have to be this way. I have several friends, in their forties like me, still with a mountain of student debt. Their stories show them as sad casualties in this run-up of pay-to-play the American dream.

Next rant: payday loans. In most cases a mob-backed loan shark would be way cheaper. Though more dangerous to deal with and harder to find on EVERY corner in EVERY city in America than the rapacious, legal versions of the same, it would still be cheaper.

The upside of your dark side
May 20, 2015
I spend so much time exploring my own inner demon(s) and castigating you for your external ones that I have ignored the process of proper reflection and evaluation. I mean I understand that my success rate is, for lack of a better word, low.

Perhaps I have taken the wrong tack in what I assure you is a vague master plan to a road back. At the rate this one is going we’re talking decades of meandering, if not lives. Though I do find it easier to step out of myself as things have become more surreal. Perhaps I can use this new out of body experience to step into yours. I, like most people, fall in to the tendency to believe that others will react like I do or be motivated by the same motivations. I guess at the base level these are true. Love, desire, hate. Those seem pretty universal. The means to those ends is where our differences lie. The formula, is to figure out your means. The easy part is that I already know them.

The hard part is sublimating my own.

I don’t want the keys to our door, if I don’t live there anymore
May 20, 2015
You hid the keys where you knew I’d find them, but no one else. And, yes, this is a metaphor. Why didn’t you bolt the door with metal rivets on the back side and keep the cavalry on speed dial? Like a vampire, I had to be invited in to enter. And I did enter, so I must have been invited. As much as your revisionist version of history might like to forget, ignore, or deny three times that fact, I was there too. I have many faults, and a perfect memory is one of them.

Thirty-eight
May 20, 2015
If it’s good for everyone, then it’s actually not any better for anyone. I sometimes wish I could just forget the blanket. Everything you could want or be, you already have and are. Is the opposite true, though? In a quantum universe, by definition it must be. You already have everything you never wanted and are what you never wanted to be. Ours is a dichotomous reality. Dichotomy doesn’t allow enough sides to make a polygon.

A circle is not the smooth line that you apparently see when you look at one. It is actually an infinitely-sided polygon. This is one of the reasons that the study of trigonometry seems to be solely about triangles, but in reality is a study of their relation to circles. This is the reason why pi never ends. This is a metaphor.

So, another measure of time passes, this time a year. Just under 365 rotations of this gutted, spinning globe, which has ellipsed around a much larger spinning ball of gas thirty-eight times in your experience. And there will be hundreds of millions of more thirty eights, until this system collapses in on itself and becomes something from which even light and gravity, and perhaps time cannot escape in any meaningful way that we can currently measure. This is also a metaphor.

I’m so tired of hating what happened. I’m so tired of feeling like the hapless victim of circumstance when, in fact, my complicity has been well observed and documented. I’m not really in a moral or ethical position to forgive you, but whatever the equivalent is, in whatever position I am actually in, then that is how I feel.

I will die remembering what today is.

What you see is only what you see
May 22, 2015
Spectrum.

The color spectrum fits on a single path of human perception; neither scientists nor philosophers know for sure what color is. Color is what it looks like. Of all the properties that objects appear to have, color moves nebulous between the subjective world of the senses and the objective world of physics. Both models are frictionless, with any single organism’s perceptions merely private manifestations of their own realities.

Sort of like you and me. What color do I see when I think of all those years ago? What color is now?

This divided by that
May 23, 2015
I remember looking up. I remember the back of my hand. I remember the smell of the car. I remember The Hold Steady. I remember stopping at McDonald’s to eat Sausage McMuffins so that my breath from the previous night might not betray me. I remember shaking it off. I remember having good ideas. I remember having the best idea. I remember having it more than once. I remember not caring about those ideas. I remember knowing I could have you if I wanted you. I remember the moment I wanted you more than you wanted me. I remember losing you. I remember trying to break you. I remember breaking you. I remember trying to fix what I had broken. I remember failing. I remember drinking. I remember stopping. I remember shaking. I remember the seizures. I remember not wanting to die. I remember not caring one way or the other. I remember feeling it all. I remember being numb. I remember what nothing feels like. I remember everything.

This is a fraction of a fraction of the fraction that matters. One thousand times better than zero is still zero.

For a minute there, I lost myself
May 30, 2015
It’s pretty on the outside. And prettier still to think about.

How much of our lives and belief systems are just some construct or other? What we experience in real time is as often predetermined as it is any sort of real stream of consciousness. In hindsight it is the rare occurrence where we might surprise ourselves.

The upshot of this realization is that there really are no excuses. Everything is a choice. I own this. I’ve chosen this. This is my choice.

Ruth angel
June 4, 2015
There’s a song I love that reminds me of her: she is negative as can be and she’s weak emotionally; she’s got a chip on her shoulder blade and her attitude makes me afraid; when she bets she’d never hedge, she likes walking on the razor’s edge, but she kissed me and she put it there.

She was 19 going on 78 when I met her. I was just floored. This was back when I knew I could have anyone I wanted, but she tested the limits of anyone. We were in the hospital. She had just rolled a car, and I had just rolled my life. She born, raised, and abused in Belton, right up the road, but at Shady Hollow she was a queen. I had just turned 39. After waking up on the floor after my birthday I decided things needed to change, and they did. But I certainly didn’t mean her in my head. I took pictures of that first night, and from time to time there’d be a knock on my door when there was a confluence of need and muscle memory.

I’m glad I met her-I love her-but things were strange for a time. I certainly don’t feel about her like I did when she walked into the room in poured-into short shorts. Her heart makes mine swell like a 5k disease walk. You want it because it’s the right thing to do, not because it’s easy. She was easy, but not like that. I saw her fight against the world and vacillated between wanting to fight too and telling her to save her energy. The battle is life-long when you’re as smart as we are. No one walks away from her childhood without damage. She was perfect damage.

Angela on the dotted line. Something else to strangers. And something else to me. If there is a god, one of my few wishes is for it to shine down upon her. She works so hard, and her beauty works against her just as hard. Men want to fuck her, and women want to hate her. She says, “I wish I wasn’t pretty.” And it’s not a humblebrag. It is what it is. She has insights that I feel guilty for being surprised about.

11 o’clock post meridian
June 4, 2015
My mom had just moved into a new house, so our old one was empty. Perfect place for a grad party. 100 Xerox-copied zine (Google it) style invites passed out one night in Waikiki. What could possibly go wrong? We had a band just show up and start playing reggae. I had already shut the power to the first band MxUxGx (short for Mean Ugly Guys that eventually became Chokebore and Europe-famous) because people were stage diving from over the band, on the roof, into the muddy pool. We warned the neighbors that it might get loud for a little while, but the noise complaints came from half a mile away. At its peak there were over 1,000 kids in every room of a 3,000-square-foot, empty house and the front and back yards (around the pool). Then it started raining. Mud wrestling? Check. Inflatable kiddie pool full of mud dragged into the regular pool? Check. Cops? Showed up twice. The first time to ask if I had everything under control, (for the record, my answer was “Yes, sir”), the second time with a paddy wagon. Taken to the police station in the front of the paddy wagon? Check. Being the host and the only one taken in? Check. When my mom came to pick me up I could hear her swearing from the parking lot. I asked the police officer at the desk I was waiting at to put me in a cell. He laughed. I wasn’t joking. She reamed out every kid that stayed after the party to help clean up (including Mrs. Jones). We had to empty the pool, and the last week before I left for college I spent re-painting our fence and the pool. The party was all over before 11pm. Our friend Mark came after work to find my brother, Kaina, and Kep playing ping pong in an empty house. He thought he had the wrong night.

Mortal coil
June 4, 2015
I stand at this corner every morning.

Zoom.

Two weeks ago, a woman died. Some combination of bad luck and apathy and a life is over. Now forever. I stand at that corner every morning. Was the truck going too fast? Did she not look both ways? I stood with that vantage point twenty minutes later when it was full of blue lights, melancholy cops, and death. Zoom in so you can see the flowers.

There but for the grace of whatever. But if it doesn’t happen when you cross the street, then a cerebrovascular event or myocardial one or metastatic overgrowth eventually ends the light for most of us. I look up for the promise or a hope that it matters. I’m fine if it doesn’t. It makes everyone the same. You lose, eventually, as equally as I do.

I’ve seen a woman, a dog, a little boy struck by vehicles they weren’t expecting to be struck by. I’ve pried a dying woman out of a car with a golf club while she bled from her ears and coughed red bubbles from her throat. She choked on blood while I did chest compressions as my mother blew into her mouth. We were on our way to the movies. We stopped at my aunty’s house so my mom could change her shoes. My hands shook in shock, and I couldn’t sleep for weeks. The woman that died was 73. My mom’s age. A little older, actually. A full life, but taken before it was required. I’m so glad I didn’t see her get hit.

Fingers and throats and end games and sadness
June 4, 2015
I used to make myself throw up when felt like I ate too much. It’s a girl disease but I’m a boy.

I used to watch anorexia with awe and shame because I lacked control. I was fearless in pushing things, but powerless as I took things in. Bulimia is a microcosm of the human condition. Control and release. Fight for it. Lose it. Then steal it back. It’s an ideation more than a condition. It has far less to do with food than a recipe.

This is the sister of cutting. The daughter of self-immolation. The wife of hate. And sadly, yes, it seems to be a girl. The mirror at the end of the road. Who is the fairest of them all?

No hate rings deeper than sounds merely, measly, mealy-mouthed. No respite or relief from words that echo silent.

It’s harder than it looks from outside of where I let you look.

She dreamt she was a bulldozer, and then I knew she was perfect
June 4, 2015
I knew the song. I couldn’t quite sing along. Godspeed! You Black Emperor is not that kind of experience. But it was her login name. And when I knew what it was she thought I Googled it, which 99 out of 100 times would be true. But this one I knew. And I took it as a sign.

I worshipped her from far away. This was never going to happen. Until it happened. She texted, “Do you want to play hooky?” I did. But it was different. I took her to lunch when everyone was gone. I ordered sashimi and she ordered pasta. She touched me. Literally, in ways that I had come to recognize. Two weeks later, half tight, I said, “I want to kiss you,” and she obliged. Other things happened. We were adults.

A year later I met her for coffee and it turned into a bar and she grabbed my chin and mouthed, “I still love you.”

Now that was a weird moment. I had a hard time believing something so beautiful and so smart would lower her standards to me. In a weird way it made me hate people, especially women. I hated every person that didn’t love me before her. It’s stupid, but it was real. To this day when I feel bad, I reflect. I look at her and think about her talking to me in French or Italian and how sexy I found those lazy vowels. I don’t know if I loved her. I loved the way she looked. I loved her voice and language. I adore the tattoo I got when she sat across me waiting for her own. Our lives did not fit at the times they crossed, but I adore her.

Do you want to feel uncomfortable? Look her dad in the eye six months later and shake his hand.

I don’t care. I loved her. I love her still. Smart and cunning motherfuckers are few and far between.

Smile
June 5, 2015
My hands are soft and smooth, but clean. Everything I did and do is on purpose. I walk these streets sometimes foolishly, sometimes in anger. I never walk without knowing where I’m headed.

You are an interesting problem. You pull as hard as you compel. This is not so much a problem as a notice. I feel being pushed and pulled and I don’t necessarily like it. Whatever.

I don’t feel like I used to and perhaps that’s a good thing. Feeling is for the weak, the left behind, the one’s that can’t think their way out of feeling. Feeling looks so good from outside of feeling feelings.

They look so happy when they smile.

Small
June 6, 2015
I want to feel small. I want to completely disappear. I regret my echoes. I barely love you anymore, and those waves washed shores from far away and long ago. I love you. I loved you. I don’t stop. But pushing this weight is hard. My back hurts. And sorrow confounds the effort.

Night terrors
June 20, 2015
I sleep with a yellow legal pad and a blue ballpoint pen next to my bed. Sometimes I awake to scribbles written in half-sleep states. This morning I found this on my pillow. Weird.

The key for me has always been immediacy. My aunty bought me the World Almanac for Christmas every year. It was like a book version of Google. I would look at the words through an eidetic filter and still see some of them today. I remember the shortness of breath, before the almanac, when I didn’t know something. Bad handwriting of scribbles of questions on scraps of paper stuffed into pants I wore that day. I was seven.

Scale
June 20, 2015
Deep inside of a parallel universe (perhaps the song is playing somewhere), that until minutes ago I never thought existed. I never thought was possible.

Scale determines how true or false anything is. If everyone believes something, then it’s true. Objective truth is an object too small in the rear-view mirror. You seemed true after all. Oh, the myriad things you have become in the kernel of true truth that is my truth.

And our experiences. As nuanced as how I write the letter d, or your knowing, without thinking, where the period goes when you use parentheses. I wish the way you mattered actually mattered. I loved you, at least as much as a human shell and its brain deficiencies allow consciousness to co-exist with some capacity for the feeling. Whatever the fuck that means, and it usually winds up meaning less than nothing.

Celiac wording
June 21, 2015
I wish to think that we’re not just slaves to dopamine and serotonin levels. The cynic in me recognizes chemicals and their resulting imbalances. The part of me still capable of tricking the rest cries, “Love!” I listen to songs or I read poems and the words shuck and jive, as they should, but sometimes one or three land a punch to the celiac plexus and still manage to draw my breath. Just like the literal and metaphoric heart, the diaphragm is a muscle that might work forever without your notice. Until something goes wrong.

Father’s Day
June 21, 2015
I used to sing Apple Blossom to my ex-wife’s belly when she was pregnant with our daughter. I knew my girl would gently shatter this world. And now she’s been here for 12 years. She’s like me and she’s not like me. She doesn’t like to capital-E enter a room like her daddy, but when she leaves everyone knows something is missing. My son looks more like me from the outside. A bundle of energy and emotion, everybody wants to hug him. He’s so excited to be alive. Today I miss them more than most days. That’s a lot.

Ghost
June 21, 2015
Ghost.

The ghost of you is horrific and often returns to me in dreams. Even to this day. Even last night. And so it can’t be real. You in my dreams must represent something else. There is nothing visceral left between us. Any physical pleasure your body brought mine has been forgotten. The mind is a terrible thing to taste and even harder to erase.

Blackened
June 22, 2015
This is how I catch myself: inanimate objects. Talking to the corner of the coffee table that you shinned yourself on, or lamenting with the bus stop bench about timeliness.

Anthropomorphis-ness is how we turn things. By definition it’s a construct. But I do it all the time and talk myself from the ledge(s). “It’s a table. It did not place itself in front of your pinky toe.” Whatever the fuck. It hurts.

New Orleans
June 22, 2015
I went down on a black call girl in the mood for a freebie. I’m less than racist, but it was a first. We did things until my nose was bleeding. It was raw, but there couldn’t be two more different people in the whole world if she were clicking Swahili.

That was the last night of my late-century epiphanies, when I learned for certain that if you act like you belong, you belong. I walked into places and onto private buses because I knew I could. I told people to shut the fuck up and they did. People want to believe in almost anything. And when you give them a reason the usual result is gratitude. You’ve released them from the tyranny of choice.

Assume everything, and everything is yours.

Red riding
June 23, 2015
There is a cottage on a stream in a valley on an island. And she lived in it alone with nothing but her thoughts to relieve her situation.

Practical and pragmatic fight to the death between her ears. “I hate life,” she wrote “but I hate you more. I hate what you represent. I hate the knowing.” And by you she means me.

Me inside her. The face she makes. The sound. I’d rather not fear it in my memory. I’d rather not know she made that sound someplace else.

Your subplot world is so cavalier
June 25, 2015
I will come into your dreams. You have no choice but to think about me. When you’re 24 your concerns circle birthdays, weddings, sex, and sleep. Now at 40 the Mexican grizzly bear (technically extinct) might growl for the kids, but it’s mostly concerned with sleep.

I sometimes revisit certain nights we had together. Some beautiful, some terrible. The spectrum is my proof of love. The mannequins that fill the everyday existence of my today provide nothing close to either side of ecstasy.

It’s a life worth living, but we all gotta die
June 25, 2015
I wasn’t trembling when I met you. The strings of my existence couldn’t vibrate for anyone. They were held still for a minute, against my nature. But you strum carefully, gently, and found a way to make a noise.

I resent things which I have no right to. I expected you to notice things in me that I didn’t even recognize without hindsight. And I punished you for crimes that you never intended to commit.

Stupid
June 25, 2015
The last thing I would call you is stupid. Your intelligence is on purpose. You make your brain do things. And so, it does more than most. This is a fundamental difference between us. Intellectual acuity is discipline in your universe. For me it’s a by-product of existence; it just happens. Thoughts are a blessing and a curse. Like apparitions that prove another life, they are revelatory and frightening and spontaneous. Boo.

We tried to have them
June 25, 2015
We tried for those kids, remember? We wanted them. They were the opposite of an accident. You even kept him from me in Hawaii because I have a big mouth and can never keep a secret. I remember every particular moment. Opening the envelope wherein the picture with a circle cried, “It’s a boy.” And to this day I can’t see a penis in the black and white, sonogram yolk. But he’s here, a boy. And she’s a girl. My reflections of them make the constellations correct; they give order to my life. They are cosmic examples of what it means to be perfect in my mostly limited perception.

The black sun is screaming, and the yellow sun is warm
June 25, 2015
It’s a hard, lonesome world and we need whispers about our daydreams.

I worry about the damage inflicted. And then keep on doing damage. The reality of existence only feels real during conflict or struggle or bliss. Everything else is a construct of the mind and a product of my almost constant rumination of maybes. I like being smart. But I’m pretty sure I’d be happier if I were stupid.

Legal
June 26, 2015
I’ve thrown away a million words in blue on some yellow pad or other. I’ve had a million thoughts lost to the moment without a pen or napkin to scribble on. My mind reminds me of a ceiling fan. It’s sort of predictable but it spins so fast it looks like something that it isn’t.

The weight of all our years, their silent whispers call
June 26, 2015
I sometimes reflect and wonder if I could push the right buttons to make you feel the way April 1999 must have felt for you. Reparations and failures suck; I can tell you this first-hand. Pocket aces fall on us all at the same rate. How you win or lose with them is mostly on you. Luck can and will fuck you; we remember best when it does.

However, I feel about things, however I feel about you? The truth is I was my best self when you stood next to me. And I devolved into my worst self after you decided to go. I don’t care how much I was hurt by or hated you. Objectively, scientifically, empirically-by any measurement-you made me a better person. And as much as I miss you? I miss me-with-you more.

If I leave this room, trouble will find me. It’s safest in the corner. Of the closet. Facing the wall. Half tight with no distractions. But I’m not my dying self.

I’ve had other lovers since us. You have, too. I don’t like thinking about either. There were several before, for you and I. We weren’t planting flags. There was love before and after. I’m not really sure why we stepped into just us for as long as we did. At one moment at least I looked into your eyes and thought forever.

I can get around this. There’s always a way if you look. The more interesting question is why you would block anything. Why would you profess an unprecedented something? What threatened you at the level of you? What made you scared enough to retract? Certainly, there was no physical threat. What made you blink?.

Suffering comes in bunches, not alone. There has to be an eventual recompense. You cannot possibly be happy. Despite your smiles, there must be tears at night for what might have been, for what could be. Betrayals and duplicity are a difficult path, taken or followed. And always locking up what you still want to own gets tiresome.

Control it like you stole it
June 27, 2015
Six years have fallen through my fingers. Countless lovers for us both and yet my mind circles back to moments at a wine bar in Round Rock. Chili’s. Friday’s. Shitty places I would never go otherwise. I see the cream of your legs pour out of a denim skirt and in my memory you are flesh. But I loved you because you were brain. The slut amalgamated with knowing Schrödinger and his cat, a perfect meld of fuck and fury. Quantum physics. Jay-Z. Radiohead. You were a mash-up and absolutely everything was on the table.

You should see what the backside of our experience has produced. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want it for me; I’m pretty sure, by the pictures I’ve seen that you haven’t liked it for you. Even the part of you that is vindictive would have quit sooner.

Everyone that still loves me will hate what I have to say next. Disneyland. I still love you. It’s in your power to turn south to west, to give me hope in the darkness. My mind traps everything and holds it. I can’t let go especially if I want to.

Parties
June 30, 2015
I’ve been to a million parties in my life. I’ve only given names to three. I’ve spoken here previously about Mean Ugly Guys and the Rastafaris and Laurie.

There was the Godzilla party; so named because there was a six-foot inflatable Godzilla in the pool. And all the drunk, mostly hot, Kalaheo girls stood smoking and drinking in feathered hair fading 80’s glory. Whoever’s house it was ate some serious shit because her parents came home in the middle of it to find their yippy dogs yipping in the hall closet where someone put them in the course of the party. I’m pretty sure we were in Aikahi. We scattered like roaches when the blue lights flashed. H3, then Alan’s Bridge. But on our way out, I did see the biggest asshole who ever was, Officer Bohol of Honolulu’s finest. Uncompromising and jealous of the life force of teenagers. Earlier that year he had issued me a no seat belt ticket and asked me how tall I was.

“Height?” “Five ten.” “No. You five eight.” “Then why’d you ask?” He scraped my face with my driver’s license. Later that year or maybe the next, after the MUG party, he punched my friend Dylan at Alan’s Bridge. Long story short the guy was a dick and I hope some drunk driver eventually plowed into him at a checkpoint and sent him straight to Hell.

The third party was Megan White Fox. It was the first time I ever smelled sex. And the first time I’d ever seen cocaine. Megan was this super-hot, impossibly blonde white girl at a time I still self-identified as brown. Someone fingered her until she made the back room smell like a tuna’s vagina. Me and and this girl Kara were next up in the room for 7 minutes in heaven. I smelled and touched a vagina for the first time only minutes apart. Oh, did I mention that most of us were in the eighth grade?.

I watch my daughter like a hawk. She starts eighth grade in September.

Enough
June 30, 2015
I accidentally called you the other day and of course you didn’t answer and I’m used to that. There was something in the silence that feels like rage normally feels. I wasn’t angry. I’m so tired of anger. I said enough because it’s been enough.

Then I woke up with sent messages on my phone. In Spanish. When did that start happening? I sort of made sense, but it was kind of gibberish. My Spanish isn’t what it used to be. I hope I didn’t call you.

There was one to Christina about synesthesia and tasting feelings. I don’t think I’m crazy. I’m super, hyper aware that I’m talking to myself. I still hate the fact that you fell in love with someone that sounds exactly like me, but never fell in love with me.

And I still love Nina Simone. She was crazy crazy, and helps me monitor the difference.

Forget the hearse, I’ll never die
July 1, 2015
She spoke in English, but with an accent. Hard consonants and very soft vowels. They melted in her mouth and made you want to taste them. And she was just genuinely lovely. Her plan was America for a second, but she ended up here for months. Back and forth to work from Asia. She was literally perfect.

She was from Switzerland, but was born in France. She was of and out of this world. “I know I’m young and I am French,” she said to me once when I said,”Last of the Mohicans.” “But I watched the movie.” And I melted like butter in the heat of noon. Imagine that phrase in the perfect accent and you might understand why I anticipate her return.

She has freckles and flows into situations as easily as she flows into American blue jeans. And she has a boy’s name but she is so girl. When she stands next to me it’s hard to pretend that she’s like everybody else.

Dissolve
July 1, 2015
I was such a child about the whole thing. The dissolution of us was sad and is my biggest regret that I’ve managed to live through. I still love you. Maybe not the idea of you. And I hate the fact that the word dissolution comes to me so easily and naturally.

Words were put into me. As a child, for better or worse, I was to as an adult. In my memory, everyone acted as if I understood everything because I understood a lot of things. Some shit went over my head. I remember hearing the word come in the context of an orgasm and being puzzled. She came? But she was already there. It’s funny now. I’m glad she came. Women are too often lacking.

Beauty and light and smiles and kisses
July 2, 2015
We all tell lies when it gets too close.

If I felt in danger, I’m pretty sure I would wait. I’m not a fighter and I abhor violence in the abstract. People don’t like crazy. Sometimes I appear to be. I don’t think it’s true. But it’s one of those judgments that come from outside of you.

Some want to play. Some come with names. And some have them foisted. I lucked into them. I wish I could sleep without thinking about women I’ve loved. And garlic sometimes.

How we understand intelligence. There are different kinds. I know 5+5 usually means 10. Does that make me smart? I calculated 14! and set a record. What does that make me? Besides sad and disillusioned, I mean.

Seeing
July 15, 2015
I thought I was looking at a vision, but without my glasses it was a little blurry. I saw a sad Jesus in the middle with light bulb arms of tragedy and comedy. In the center of the vision was the Buddha, swallowing everything in light, and yet still remaining surrounded by everything. But something even larger circled everything else and it was moving too fast to really see.

Soco
July 15, 2015
I do remember that night. We were on the patio, so you existed in half light. Coffee. Soco. Late night Austin. So beautiful and sad you were. You knew what your part was. I asked who you stayed with when you went home to Beaumont. “I don’t want to talk about that.” The internet churns. I already knew. I saw the picture. I swallowed my tongue and we laughed at Greg Giraldo. Most of the time? Fucking doesn’t mean anything except how it feels. But it always turns the dial.

Title track
July 18, 2015
I am like a tiger shark and you are like a viper. Everyone sees what I’ve bitten off. You bite where no one is looking, in places you know are soft. More die your way.

Everybody knows
July 18, 2015
The idea of having or not having, being or not being. The idea of difference or sameness. Much is gleaned, but more merely clings. Comparisons are always dangerous on a personal level, but I can’t stop comparing. Mostly what is to what was and the things I did to make the former happen. One of my favorite pastimes is rumination.

The light of the world
July 20, 2015
You were the light of the world. Before we were together and I was still alone, I’d go to bed in awe and wonder of your imminent rise. Sleeping six inches from you, so close, I could hardly hallelujah all the glory that felt necessary. Wonder and love and lust and gratitude. I’m almost positive I made that go away. But you have burned in me, if not a fire, a joy that cannot be removed. And I have yet to replace.

It happened
July 20, 2015
All I could think about in the hospital was getting out. And they wouldn’t let me. I’m sure I could have just walked out. But there was a lot of blood and confusion, so I deferred. Getting to you. 2am. 3am. 5. They let me out at dawn with signatures. Before noon I was at your dad’s house. Gaping and covered in blood. I opened a Corona with my teeth and pulled half a tooth. You are more than a story and more than half a tooth. It sounds like bullshit, but it happened. It happened.

Hot
July 20, 2015
Your eyes went hot. I was boiling and I was freezing. Intention and intent. Meaning what I meant. Scared and scary. Weird and weary. I’m tired of explaining. Explication goes ignored. I lost myself. I fell from hell. Mystery solved.

I named that even though I was writing about her
July 28, 2015
I missed her because I love you.

Seka
July 28, 2015
There are a few drinkers here. It’s early. I’m not the only one with a problem.
Seka had a temper. She was physically small but very fast. But she never yelled. Not with her voice. Her pussy made the rules.
Her tongue. Her temperament.
My ear hurts. I don’t remember why. My sternum hurts the same way. How do you fall on your ear and your chest? Of course the answer is obvious when our sober. You fall twice.
Of course I’m drunk. I’m in a bar. Adele is playing. It absolutely does not help how I feel.
Distracted. And you know who you are. I’m praying my way on.

Don’t keep the lights low
July 30, 2015
This might seem like hyperbole. I think about you a lot. I found you in the unit you were in, but you couldn’t have visitors, and I was unsure of protocol. I kept a constant eye on you from a distance. I still do. 3800 miles give or take.

There are things I’m pretty sure of. I don’t have to let you know you’re intuitive. By definition you intuited it. Some things I like to put out there even though. As a part of me they are also a part of the universe. Still, I like to hear things echo in eternity.

Things like I knew you weren’t gone forever. You were frustrated and scared and maybe you still are, but I can understand the impulse to hit the breaks, kill the engine, and blast the music.

The right name goes here
July 30, 2015
Something about her name made me feel. I don’t know. Human? I guess that’s something. 98% of life are gestures and showing up. It helps make the crooked straight.

The last thing she said to me was, “tout le monde.” Literally “all the world.” But colloquially, “everything.” In Spanish it is “todo el mundo” but it’s used the same way. She was beautiful and young, so much so that it was almost like she was purposefully exaggerating my opposite-ness. I speak better Spanish than French anyway.

1001001
July 30, 2015
You literally can’t have it both ways. The universe is binary. All problems can be solved if you ask enough questions where the only possible answer is yes or no.

The kind about chaos is that it’s fair. The Joker actually said that. But it’s more than fair. It brings calm even though it seems to be disarray.

Once you introduce order, trouble manifests. People try to control order. Look at the results. There has been failure. Control is essentially an illusion. And all pain comes from thinking you change that illusion.

Fear is a wasted emotion
July 30, 2015
I scare the people that love me. There’s nothing to be scared of. Most fear is fear for yourself. We’re all perverted. We all overindulge, and we all die. No escape, baby, no escape. You’re already in the club. You don’t have to join.

Fire
July 30, 2015
My hands are shaking and I’m scared. I had a seizure on a bus going from Austin to Tampa and I didn’t know what was happening. My hands are shaking similarly. I don’t want another one.Touching me inflamed the fear. Speaking was not much better. I almost bit my tongue in half, and I’m pretty sure I scared the shit out of everyone in the bus. Mariana, Florida. In the middle of fucking nowhere. And there I got a CAT scan. I’m pretty sure near death, but life seemed distant. My life? Life itself? It all seemed so far away. And still she picked me up in Ocala. And kissed my purple tongue. And if she would do that, other things were easier. She did it in front of her daughter, and told her boyfriend to stay away. And went back to him three hours after I stepped on the plane. She told me once, “It’s just sex,” after we fucked for the first time in a long time. It’s not for me. Sex came late for me and I thought about it all the time. So when it happened it mattered. It matters now.

A conversation
July 30, 2015
“I’m the biggest winner and the biggest loser that ever might inflict your path.
I won everything then I threw it all away.
I’ve been everywhere. I’ve seen everything. Things of beauty and things you can’t unsee.
And I’m still that eight-year-old boy watching his dad punch his mom and unable to stop it.
I won everything and then I threw it away. I remember the moment. 2007. My moment of existential angst. With everything. All I could think was “is this it?”
And I’ve lost it all and I’m no happier or sadder.
And I’m still that eight-year-old boy watching his dad punch hismom and unable to stop it.

“This makes me sad.”
“They made me go to a psychologist when I was 8. And she asked me what’s bothering you. I remember the moment perfectly”
I circled my head with my hand and said scenarios.
I didnt yet know the word rumination
am blessed with this brain. you don’t know anyone as smart as I am and that’s not conceit.
But I think the price of a brain that does not, that can not shut off is pain I have an eidetic memory and it’s not that I get to remember everything.It’s that I can’t forget anything
I can see the beauty but I also remember every horror in perfect detail.”

The penalty of knowing
July 31, 2015
How do you turn good into bad? How do you make things better when the easy always keep making things worse? Why is bad easier? Why is it bad?.

Most of us choose it mostly. We judge. We hate in others what we dislike in ourselves. This life is a crazy thing.

Sentience gave us rule of this world, but it also brought us inescapable suffering. Gazelles don’t fear death even when its neck is a lion’s mouth. We got understanding. Loss became reality then we got fear. Knowing is fear.

Crux
July 31, 2015
This cycle has become the crux of me. Something has to give soon. Blood and bruises won’t stop it. They have proven to be ineffectual deterrents. Everything is on the table. And it’s simultaneously on the floor. I’m tired. I’m losing my vision and it’s most likely indicative of my physical decline. This one I can literally see.

Jail
August 1, 2015
I live in a prison that I built. And I’ve been sentenced to life. There are no bars. There are no walls. I could walk away at any time. The prison leashes my mind. And the body follows the mind. Or in this case cowers in it.

Salt lick
August 1, 2015
You don’t really need to eat. You’d be surprised how long you can go. Air? Minutes. Water? A few days, but it gets uncomfortable after a few hours. Sidebar-the color of your urine will almost immediately tell you the short-term probability of your chances. Dark is not good. Anyway, I haven’t eaten in four days. The record is like 60 when someone was trying. But he did lick a salt block. I’m not so much trying.

80/20
August 1, 2015
I went into full self-destruct mode about ten days ago. Casual readers may have noticed. With nothing left to lose you become two things: dangerous and creative. Thankfully for the world, tout le monde, my anger hits a mirror and hits back. But I’ve written more in the past ten days than in the past ten months. 80/20 rule. I know a lot of it is shitty. Most is good. Some is great. The whole bell curve thing. Does it have to take danger to be creative? I’m not sure. That’s an honest to your god question. Am I willing to give my life to make something meaningful? That question is blasting in the stereo of me head.

Tightrope
August 1, 2015
There’s a rope you walk, very thin, between what you’re trying to do and what you know you shouldn’t do. It’s a long rope. And most of fall off sometimes. Hopefully it’s not set too high when you lose your balance.

Disclaimer again
August 2, 2015
My writing is me. But 80% of the stuff never really happened. Or a version of it did and I multiplied it for dramatic effect. Some of you who are my friends pull back or get pissed off at that construct of dramatic effect. You can always call me and my voice will bring you back to the damaged but kind and sensitive person that you love.

The bookstore
August 2, 2015
I still read the same books over and over and over.Lolita, Strange Life of Ivan Osokin, Gatsby, the short stories of Hemingway (A Clean, Well-Lighted Place), the poems of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, Hamlet, 1984. The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Every edition of The Best American Short Stories from 1992-2006. The only new things I’ve read and loved recently are by Bill Bryson. Mother Tongue: English and how it got to be that way. I couldn’t sleep. I kept waking F up sharing facts until she threatened to kill me. I started reading A Short History of Nearly Everything and the subjects were so different but the styles were so similar. I didn’t know it was the same author when I bought it. But I knew six pages in. That book changed my life. For the first time I understood, as best as a lay person can, relativity and gravity. And it opened my mind to quantum theory, which is now my religion. I fell in love with a woman, seriously, because she was reading Searching for Schroedingers Cat. I just found the book in her room. Walking on water or turning water into wine at a wedding in Canaa is unnecessary to prove divinity when you understand that observing something manifests it. And that every possible outcome is true, until it’s observed. I’m off subject. But my original point is that I love to read the same things over and over.

Asteroid theory
August 2, 2015
While you’re living your life it seems likes chaos and things are just being thrown at you like a spaceship in the asteroid belt. You know where you are. You know what you’re trying to do. But everything just keeps coming at you in a random fashion. In hindsight you can connect the dots of choices you made in that field. Some crashed you into rocks. Some were brilliant real-time choices that no one else could have pulled off. And there were mistakes everyone would have made, and ones only you did. If you keep repeating those, you’ll never get out. And if you’re smart and lucky you do. Either way each choice is connected. And the asteroid belt isn’t random, it just appears to be. It exists under the same physical principles that you do. Those laws are mostly immutable. They don’t change. You do. One way or the other you do.

Ladybugs
August 2, 2015
This is going to be a lesson about perception. If you called a little girl a ladybug everyone would think it was cute. If you called her a mealworm you’d be a dick. Mealworms are way nicer. They name little girl soccer teams The Little Ladybugs. A ladybug is a relentless, and remorseless killing Terminator. It is a carnivore that does logarithmically more death than a lion. Those black spots are to let predators know that they are poisonous so don’t fuck with me. Too small an amount to effect people, but if you’re a slightly bigger insect that’s a biohazard sign. And the shell blocks it so like a Panzer it can wipe out legions of other animals blocking it from food. And since it is poisonous and cannibalistic, it knows to eat it’s young as eggs just after they come into existence after it first exists. It’s pretty though. And just like pretty people it can talk a lot of shit.

Close your eyes
August 3, 2015
Close your eyes.

Lives change lives. Lives beget lives. Lives are lost.

You can promise on your life with a straight look on your face and lie. Love makes the potential for that lie infinitely larger and smaller. But when you promise on love and mean it, you transcend the promise.

Everyone gets sad. Sad is part of the human condition. Happiness as a goal is actually a very recent concept for people. Survival trumped happiness for most of our existence. Losing something hurts. And that’s always been around. Of course there is a very large spectrum of pain defined by the person and the loss. But losing that transcendence is not just sad. It’s a loss of self.

Watching a life erode. If it’s your life, whether you choose to recognize it, is self-chosen, and sooner or later, you figure out what’s coming and fix it, or self-destruct. When love erodes it’s not just up to you and it reveals beauty and terror. It’s mostly sad.

Eyes opening are a blessing and eyes closing are fear. And the final closing most likely means oblivion. This is a metaphor.

Changes
August 4, 2015
It’s beyond strange to me how much you so quickly started assimilating. You used to try to step outside yourself. Now you seem unable. I’m not even speaking about ideology. Arguing ideas is a parlor game. But you have lost the ability to see what really is. You get flustered and frustrated so equally, so quickly. It’s emotional terrorism. Any thing outside your world view risks a typhoon. Ever since you joined that cult, dissent has been an attack on your self empowerment. In real life? Nothing has actually changed. Everything is exactly the same as it has always been. At least the last four decades or so. I don’t have any personal experience before that so I can’t speak to it. I’m going to go out on a short limb and assume it was very similar if not the same. You get upset with me, but even dysfunctional, I haven’t moved an inch.

Cry
August 4, 2015
“I thought you wanted this.”
“I did.”
“Then why are you crying?”
“Tears can be happy.”
“Are you happy?”
“No.”
“Can I do something?”
“No.”
“Can you?”
“No.”

War
August 4, 2015
You’re going to win the first few battles because I wasn’t sure there was a fight, but I didn’t know there was going to be war. The thing is? I don’t lose by myself. That doesn’t mean I win. But I will pull my eyeball out to make sure we both lose and you understand the importance of a gesture.

The chase
August 5, 2015
We all have moments of fleeting joy. Holding my daughter when she was born. Laughing at Hot Tub Time Machine. My birthday party in 2000. In descending order. But pleasure is transient. Orgasms finish. I love music. I love food. I love and have been loved by some incredible and beautiful and smart and sexy women. Chasing happiness. I’ve been rich and I’ve been homeless. Chasing happiness. Yet I feel the same. Like the Talking Heads song, “Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…”

Slack key
August 5, 2015
I don’t know much music theory but I can tell time. I know when the next beat is going to fall. Every good boy does fine. But there is nuance to scale. There are flat notes on purpose. And slack key choices are sometimes made during the song. And I’m not talking about music.

Spain Spanish
August 5, 2015
Solecisms don’t translate well. And I wish I learned Spain Spanish instead of Mexican Spanish. I’d rather disappear to Europe. But I’ve been dreaming in Spanish. And thoughts come to me in both languages now. Two years ago I was at breakfast with my daughter and Spanish was like a breeze off her tongue to the janitor lady when she needed help. I knew the language, but not casually like that. So I started practicing in my head. Yesterday the woman at Wal-Mart was from Puerto Rico. I told her habla me solamente en Espanol. And it worked. I knew everything she said after I asked her to slow down. Then I watched a movie Life is Easy With Your Eyes Closed. Spain Spanish which is fast and colloquial. But I watched it without subtitles. Short story long? You can lose it and still hone what’s good about you.

Sunday
August 5, 2015
“You have a bruise on your arm.”
“It’s my arm.”
“What happened?”
“You don’t really want to know.”
“No.”
“Why ask then?”
“Because it’s huge.”
“Yeah.”
“And we have nothing left to talk about.”
“Yeah.”
“Does it hurt?”
“No.”
“I miss you.”
“How?”
“Like I miss Sunday.”

Soft boiled eggs
August 6, 2015
She was slightly taller than me, 76 times better looking and super age inappropriate. “Why do you like me?” “I like smart.” And so this weird thing began. She was smart. More street smart than me. Unfortunately, she earned that. She was a soft boiled egg. Hard outside and soft in the middle.

Matches taste like salt
August 6, 2015
I want to go back home. Home probably never existed. If it did? It burned down with people not remembering they lived there cheering. And throwing matches on the fire.

The problem with language is someone has to hear it
August 6, 2015
The problem with speaking to people of another culture are solecisms and the limitation of syntax. We speak English. We are lucky because the world wants our money so have figured out the gaps where it serves them.

I was trying to speak Spain Spanish the other day and was having chest pains because it was so different than the Spanish I learned. They speak so fast. And there are so many abbreviations.

Tribe
August 6, 2015
There’s a tribe. And I don’t have to taste your mouth to know you’re in it. It’s not a cult.

I explained to my ex-wife once and I probably hurt her feelings but I wasn’t trying to. There is butter and there is margarine. They look the same. And that’s where it stops. This metaphor can be applied to most of pop culture. Hank Williams? Butter. Shania Twain? Margarine. Nirvana? Butter. Fall Out Boy? Margarine. Social Distortion, The Hold Steady, Drive-By Truckers, Seven Seconds, Bob Marley, Biggie; the list is a long one. That’s all butter. It’s okay to like margarine, especially if you grew up eating it. This is not a judgment even though it sounds like one.

It’s an encouragement to eat butter.

Why
August 7, 2015
If I could have invented a someone it would have been you. If I could put the parts together I mean. You don’t know enough yet to be the perfect machine. The look is perfect. Learn French and I would vote for you. Everybody, boy or girl, would still fuck you instead of me. But the truth is I’m still bigger than you are. I figured out why you love me.

Ideation
August 8, 2015
My life might be a mistake, but in my defense? It wasn’t my idea.

Patterns
August 8, 2015
I would have thought by now. And this still happens. Little girls. Half-naked and three-quarters wasted. I can still see patterns. I can tell the turntable is on repeat. Okay you may be too young for the turntable reference. The CD was on replay and if you’re too young for that reference I will immediately walk to to the bathroom and hit my liver and face. But why are you are having me explain there was vinyl before mp3s. What made you listen to my bullshit. No platitudes. That means when you’re trying to be profound when you’re being condescending. Fuck. Life. Why are you here? “I want you.” “God if I could be 25 forever. No you don’t want me. You want the idea of me. I like the idea of you. But it stops.” That happened.

Writers
August 8, 2015
I hate to ruin the mood. I am so cynical of a man that can write the words “death shall have dominion” and then die of delirium tremors after taking 18 shots. I’m not judging I’ve had the dts. But he was 39. Suck it up you weak piece of shit. Make it a choice like Hemingway.

Solipsis
August 8, 2015
I don’t know how I know, but I know I know. That seems solipsistic but in fact is the opposite. I don’t know myself at all except looking backward. I constantly amaze myself at what I’m capable of doing. If my life were a movie I would nudge you in the theater every three minutes asking, “What the fuck did he just do?”

Give me three minutes around you though, and I will know exactly what you’re going to do next. I know human nature I just don’t know mine.

.

August 8, 2015
There is a calm, creative air that my air breathes. And my best words are an approximation of this air. The wind blows harder occasionally and it changes what I have to say. How about this? Know I love you no matter what comes out of my mouth for 42 seconds. It’s going to be shitty. And it’s going to be true. And then it will be done.

Life is doing this on purpose
August 8, 2015
The beautiful thing about another language happens when the words fall into your ears and not on your brain. When you’re not making words into other words but just talking. That shit doesn’t come easy. When it does it happens fast. I don’t know what the fuck you’re saying became conversation in one conversation. Life is doing this on purpose.

I swear when i speak to you
August 8, 2015
I live in heat. Everything is on fire or it burns. Everything I say or do is incendiary. Most of it is on purpose. I told you more than once it’s me to blame. Now watch it burn.

Love or whatever word you want to use
August 8, 2015
I can only make people do what I want them to do for a geological second for some reason. I can always make them do it. And that is why you love me. And that is why you hate me.

Penance
August 8, 2015
I’m so thrashed I can’t even swallow. I forgot how to hear? I hope I said, “Please.” I think I remember saying, ” Thank you.” I am in a blender. Everything I love, everything I want is being put foot first into a terminating vortex. I just get to watch. Penance. I deserve every second of pain.

If you really look it’s easy
August 9, 2015
Okay. I am crazy. No one’ s going to argue that except a crazy person. I argue this. You and I are both crazy. And wonderful and beautiful and sexual in ways that would embarrass your mother to say out loud, but I bet she is the same way too. We were all crafted in a similar image. We all need water to drink, and we all have to pee. The differences we find are things we look for. I miss being the same as you.

I’m not stupid
August 9, 2015
“Do you love me?”
“That’s kind of a stupid question.”
“I’m stupid?”
“I’m calling the question stupid.”
” I asked it.”
” You are the stupidest fucking person I’ve ever known.”
“That’s what I was waiting for.”
“Why do you do this to me?”
“Because you do it to me.”

Move in the middle
August 9, 2015
Now watch me move the middle. I eat beauty all day and then I reckon it a mess. Secrets, lies? They can’t be trusted in my hands or my ears. They will be spoken. They will be lied. I’m good at lots of things. Silence is not one of them.

Pieces
August 9, 2015
So what I write is you. I’m not even trying to fuck you though if you were here of ourse I would. It’s not the point. You and I see the spaces in the middle. The spaces between the letters in the words. It’s how we know how to like Uncle Tupelo and Okkervil River and Tool without being told each are great. They come to us because you and I are not the same as other people. Not better necessarily. But not the same. Not even close.

Beauty
August 9, 2015
I know she’s going to cheat. Technically we don’t have an agreement. But she would break it if we had one. I’d rather just live knowing it’s probably happening. It’s sexy to talk about. It’s shitty to know about. She’s way too pretty for me. Everybody wants her. I go to the bathroom when I get back she has a drink for both of us and two business cards. It is fucking stressful to date a beautiful woman. First world problems, yada yada. But there is always someone skulking and looking and conniving. You really can’t relax.

Trouble
August 10, 2015
So I was thinking. And that’s usually when trouble starts. Why do I love a something. What makes a movie or a poem or a woman more than that one? There’s lots of pretty words and pretty blue eyes. The amalgam. The rush of it all coming together perhaps. I missed you before I met you.

The word
August 10, 2015
The ideas wafting and the words repeating. Mostly the word is you. I crawl into this bed alone. Sometimes I touch parts of me. Mostly the word is you.

Pacing
August 10, 2015
Pace the floor. Worry and shake your head. Pine. Miss. I’ve done it all and it does nothing but cause ulcers and alcoholism. I’m going to tell you they are a waste and then think about her and do the whole list. Twice. And then listen to Townes Van Zandt. And do it a hundred times. I’m not human if I’m detached from feeling. Feeling isn’t comfortable.

Who am i? Who i am
August 10, 2015
I’m the liver of lies and doer of did. It’s a special circumstance. I break hearts but never on purpose. People cry when the crumble happens. I try not to put it on anyone. The mess usually spills. Perhaps you shouldn’t stand so close.

Lengua
August 10, 2015
I’m regressing into Pidgin. When you study it in academic linguistics it’s Hawaiian Creole English. It was my first language and now, recently, it comes to me first. Quizas porque los que habla me. Yo hablo que misma. “Perhaps because you spoke to me. I speak to it.” That’s Spanish, of course, which I’ve also been thinking in. I was cursed with words. If my brain is on, its talking. One language or another. But it won’t shut the fuck up.

Choice
August 10, 2015
I’m not one of those guys you read about. But I certainly am one of those guys that you will read about. This isn’t finished and it’s not my choice.

I forget
August 11, 2015
How can you understand me if I don’t understand me? You and I are a strange animal. I like the way you look naked. I like the way look at me when you’re not wearing clothes. I like your breath and the way your hair smells. I like that I didn’t have to tell you to love Black Sabbath. I like less and less. But, I like you. I forget how to use the word love without being ironic.

Magnets
August 12, 2015
I’ve been a super hot mess for three weeks now. I’ve just stopped sleeping with one of the prettiest women you’ve ever seen. Pretty girls are mostly messes too. How do we find each other? These messes always seem to come together. Who made the magnet. We attract. And then we turn over and repel.

Voice
August 12, 2015
I talk too much. That is one of my myriad problems. I like to sing. I like my voice in all the ways it manifests. It’s the only thing I like about myself. So I overuse it. It’s okay. We’ll be done soon.

Lost
August 12, 2015
Losing it causes creativity and not giving a fuck. The latter is actually dangerous. I keep doing damage to this body.

Orange
August 12, 2015
There’s always a pain behind any kind of abuse. But it’s universal to the point that I’ve come to believe it’s everyone. Every woman I know has had x touching that we wouldn’t use the word consent with. Everyone of has been slapped when we have preferred not to be. Abuse might be intrinsic to the human condition. Less orange orangutans are we.

So vacant
August 12, 2015
I was never quite humble. And I never could shut up. When I was seven and the line was around the block at the Cinerama for Star Wars there was a casting director behind us in line. It’s how I got to be in commercials and on the Don Ho show. His granddaughter was my first girlfriend. We held sweaty palms in the darkened planetarium and kissed when they killed the lights. Women are obtuse and my heroin. And heroines. I grew up exclusively with females. This gave me the key. I can always get in. It’s the getting out that gets messy. A lot of people bruise easily when you spit word like love. I’m one of them pussies.

Brooklyn
August 12, 2015
The alt country boys taught me a new way to look. I thought I could see. I didn’t have a twang. The genius of a slight different way of sounding. Tupelo, Wilco, Okkervil. They all have the same simple perfect. Then we go to Brooklyn and listen to the city. The National. The Hold Steady. And your heart breaks a different way. You have to stare at it in New York. Fine. I like both ways. I’m boring. I like your face.

Kitty
August 12, 2015
I remember talking to Kitty stumbling to her apartment in the valley. I said I don’t look punk but I am. She said sweetie and kissed me. Drunk as you can be. We were at Bordner’s in Hollywood hanging out with a list of famouses. And we didn’t pay for one drink. That’s how good looking Kitty was. I never slept with her. I slept in bed with her that night and she held me. I should show you pictures. Kitty cat. I would call her when I was high at 4 am and she would always answer. When I was a sweet and tender hooligan.

Ants
August 12, 2015
The meaning of life comes to me sporadically. I wish I could hold it. I guess it’s value comes in being unholdable. Who am I really? I don’t really matter. I’m not being dramatic. I smashed an ant today. It wasn’t on purpose. I like everything to as long as it can. And then I saw that I am that ant. Fragile and lost. Walking among the many, but probably scared. And actually alone.p.

Circle me
August 13, 2015
I turn in circles to get that drunk feeling. I talk to children because I like them and they remind me of mine. I think most of this life is good. Some of it has to hurt. But there’s a lot of pretty.

Perfect terrible
August 13, 2015
Remember when you lost your shit and punched the bathroom mirror? You cut me with one of the pieces because I dared you to. I still have the scars. No matter. You were perfect terrible and your anger was from a place I know.

How do you say sorry
August 13, 2015
The last time I remember the train stopping at the depot was the night I married you. I can say come back in six languages. You never quite listened to one. So I walk these streets alone. I miss you. I was wrong. I’m not bad, but I was wrong.

Sandys
August 13, 2015
It was taller than it was supposed to be. I remember looking down the face at 12 foot Sandy’s. And telling myself, what could possibly go wrong?.

Numb
August 14, 2015
I was blind because I was deaf. I was both to everyone that looked or listened. I was chasing numb. I won the race. Numb is so slow it looks stupid when you grab it. It’s so easy to buy, it’s so easy to ask for. It’s almost like something wants it to happen.

Owe
August 14, 2015
I can find a way to bleed again. I guess I owe you. I suppose I caused it. You are most likely right.

65 degrees
August 14, 2015
I just dreamt about you. I was giving you a massage. And then we went to sleep in my dream. And I woke up alone. I decided I would make myself as comfortable as possible before things get very uncomfortable. I’ve made my room 65 degrees in a heat wave and am stuffed with pizza and cookies. When I fall, and I will fall, I will be showered, fed, and cold. And probably drunk.

Reduction
August 15, 2015
I’m attracted to cacophony and I’m attracted to the reduction of forms. They come together sometimes. Usually in paintings or poems. The White Stripes showed how to rock the example. But then I look difficult in art and life. I was in the second row of a Lyle Lovett concert with tickets that my friend Bill got me for my birthday. I yelled out and Lyle answered me with his aw shucks mumble. I compel people. I didn’t ask for it. I’ve destroyed my face. The body comes slower, but it comes next. And it comes quickly.

Contradictory
August 15, 2015
I contradict myself all the time. Your pointing out my contradictions just prove I’m me. I feel different things in avalanches of feeling. In different languages. When they’re happening it’s all I feel. That’s why her! Or that song! Or that movie! It’s mostly a difficult way to live. But what choice do I have if I want to live? Pourquoi se sent-elle de cette faÁon dans la matinÈe. It’s the kind of thing with no answer.

Stupid
August 15, 2015
“The scar on your wrist?”
“I didn’t do it on purpose.”
“Don’t we do everything on purpose?”
“I didn’t think I was going to cut my arm.”
“But you knew it could happen.”
“Anything can happen.”
“But you did it?”
“I do a lot of stupid things.”

Cold
August 15, 2015
My room is now perfect. Hamlet and Citizen Kane are on loop. It’s 88 degrees outside but it’s 62 in here. I’m actually cold. I just had a drink. And now, for an hour or so, I get to feel like everything I say is correct and I’m going to live forever.

Blood spills in a downward motion
August 16, 2015
“There was blood on the floor.”
“Sorry, I spilled.”
“Why are you bleeding?”
“I’m pretty sure you don’t want to know the answer to that question.”

Coffee
August 16, 2015
I’d like to share with you an arrogance of limited portfolio. Too much coffee is slightly less damaging than too much booze. Judging by examples no further than Google. It used to be “a red guitar, three chords, and the truth.” Now it’s a blog and words puked and whatever.

Queens
August 17, 2015
I just want to go to New York. My brother Kaina told me when we were in the East Village, “You’ re a city amenities kind of guy.” Then I took the keys from the Jaeger girl, went to an after party above a falafel house, and slept with her in Queens. Where else does that happen? For the record I still remember her name. I’m not going to say it. I slept with her again fours before my flight and she was world record beautiful. That used to happen to me.

Weird things happen when you totally lose it
August 17, 2015
If I told you what was doing right now, first? You wouldn’t believe me. It sounds like a Kafka story. Second? You would be mad at me. It involves 21-year old Israeli virgins. I am sworn to secrecy beyond that.

You know who you are
August 17, 2015
The big things don’t hurt. It’s the small shit. I don’t resent paying for everything. Supporting us. That’s what you do when you love. I miss the grip of your hand. Casual intimacy. Pushing my butt against yours so I could fall asleep. I’m a nudger. The whole of it was lost on me while it was happening. I didn’t see it for what it was until it ended. The irony is it was my choices that ended it. I sometimes feel like the victim. But in reality I was the perpetrator. I must have hurt you so badly. I was wrong. For you I no longer exist. But I’m still here.

Nature
August 23, 2015
“Do you want to go hiking?”
“Not really, no.”
“You should give nature a chance.”
“Nature is something to be protected from.”
“You live in Hawaii.”
“It’s more benign here than anywhere else.”
“You’re being sarcastic right?”
“I like the ocean.”
“There.”
“But other than that, I prefer big cities.”
“You can’t surf the Hudson River.”
“Nature is like a woman. It seduces you with its looks, scents and touches. And then it does everything it can to try to kill you.”
“And the city?”
“Oh, it tries to kill you, too. It’s like a man: smelly, dirty, with phallic buildings being built higher all the time. I understand it though.”
“So if they’re both trying to kill you, why don’t you like nature?”
“I hate hiking.”

The decalogue of the market
August 28, 2015

  1. Every no was born a yes. And vice versa.
  2. Good ideas are archetypes. They’ve always existed in different forms.
  3. My pain hurts more than your pain. Make mine go away.
  4. People will believe anything you tell them if they like the way you say it.
  5. Everybody lies. A lot.
  6. Usually the best thing to do is shut up before you’re told to.
  7. Charge more. Value is just another perception.
  8. Focus. Everything to everyone is a disaster.
  9. Ignore most of what you hear. Especially this.
  10. Outhink, outwit, but most importantly, outlast.

.

You win plus I lose doesn’t equal zero
September 1, 2015
This is not a zero-sum game. It looks like it from far away. The closer I get, the more the damage is revealed. I didn’t win. I didn’t lose. I never capitulated, and that’s a victory that makes me want to vomit instead of celebrate. You have ostensible control, but you didn’t win either. I could make the argument that my refusal to give in, consequences be damned, makes us at best, both losers.

You hate me, but you might only call me stupid when you’re angry. I’ve looked at every angle, from every angle. These next few years mean less than the last, and proximity will almost certainly grant you things that I lack.

You don’t ruminate on human nature. You don’t bury yourself in every single what-if like I do. Like I always have. I can see how it plays out, in every single way it could possibly play out. I promise you, you’re probably not looking in the right direction.

All the pain will be in the mind. And all the damage might come three generations from yours and my lifetime. But it’s a storm.

Connection isn’t rational. Love is a chemical joke played upon us. Still I feel it. And that’s all I know how to feel being subject to this joke.

Life cannot be controlled. Sadness and badness and terribility happen all around you, and there is nothing you can do about it except react. Water always comes to rest where it doesn’t need to do anything except fill where it flows. Temperature just wants to find equilibrium. Make it hot if that helps whatever you’re going through right now.

It always gets to even.

The Ben Folds Five
September 2, 2015
The band is actually a trio, but I guess you have to be a fan to get the joke. Reinhold Messner is hard for me to listen to, even though I love it. It’s too close to home and too near the bone. I never tempt the past with Muse or the Weakerthans. I remember when we were a secret, when it was dangerous and beautiful. I remember the fire drill when we stood in the stairwell and I stole a hand squeeze, and we spoke innuendoes about sex and corporeal delight by quoting song lyrics.

I sometimes feel like I’ve lost that ability to yearn. When celebrities die, I subtract my age from theirs. The number keeps getting smaller.

The way it’s supposed to look
September 3, 2015
It’s strange to me, when people believe in an omnipotent God with an established plan, and still think they have a choice. If something created you, knowing exactly what you would do, explain to me where the choice is. You were created as part of a purpose. Any choice was known before you made it. You were created to make that choice. You might feel like you were choosing, but if everything was known, what choice did you really have? There may be a God. And I use the term to define the proactive force that is and of creation. Do I think it’s a man? No. Do I think it cares about the individual soul? No. Why would God put you to the test when you live 70 years and spray paint that upon forever? God as it is explained by the people that anthropomorphizes the existence of something larger confounds and frustrates me. If there is a God, why create a Lucifer knowing he’ll fall? Why give me questions that have no answer? People move through this life like cattle. And the powers that be don’t want the cattle stirring up shit before the hammer hits the brain and makes you fall. It’s easier to control the crowd if it doesn’t know what’s coming. There is no God like you have chosen to believe in. Not one that holy could ever devolve into being so cruel..

i hate things that are out of my control
September 6, 2015
I hate the word yes. i don’t like nodding. Fuck you is what i’d usually like to say.

Seeing
September 7, 2015
I can’t see. I could if I made the necessary steps. Those steps are against me. I hate them. I am against them almost as strongly as I’m against what I love. Seriously. Sometimes you have to say fuck you.

A start
September 7, 2015
A word. And then another word. A third word. And then you’ve said something. It’s hard to take back once it’s out of your mouth. Regrets. Shit. The saddest part about the whole thing is who we blame. Me.

Limited
September 8, 2015
I’d like to share with you an arrogance of limited portfolio. Judging by the examples no farther than Google. It used to be whatever. I used to believe in it all. Now doubt is my companion.

How do you sleep?
September 14, 2015
No really. How do you sleep? It’s probably so far removed from you unless I bring it to bear. And instead of a blanket, you’ve always thrown poison. When I was younger, handsomer, and dumber we might have ended up in bed together. Now we end up in front of judges talking about things he’s heard a million times and could give two shits about and wants to make it go away and the boy is usually the bad guy. I’ve gotten super broken, but way smarter in the last four years. I’m not a dumb person. In fact, I would say the opposite. Ex-parte may be the worst you can do under new duress. Spend four years at the law library. Watch how courts run. Then it changes. It’s not Law and Order. But everything has patterns. And 90% of outcomes aren’t the same by coincidence. For the record, I never believed in coincidences. The next time, it’s not going to be the same. I just want to know how do you sleep? I did it with alcohol and Drive-By Truckers or The National songs that I had heard that reminded I’m really not the only one. Isn’t that what religions are? To hear your life being said by another. How do you sleep?.

Good and bad
September 28, 2015
I don’t know if there are good or bad people. But I know for certain that there are good and bad decisions. And we all make both.

I’ve covered my lovers with flowers and wounds
October 3, 2015
Of course I’m speaking metaphorically. That kind of title, which I find irresistible, always seems to come back to bite you in the ass in court. I’ve been to court so many times now. I’ve been a lot of places many more times than I had ever thought I would, even more than I would have preferred. Such is life. If you think you’re going to slip through the cracks and make it pain free? May God bless you. She has a different plan for most of us.

My hands smell like I’ve been counting penties
October 3, 2015
Not quite bad. You might use the word copper-ish, but I’m pretty sure copper doesn’t smell like that. Why do pennies smell like that, but not quarters? Probably something to do with how often they are passed around. Pennies are worthless so they get hoarded.

Movement
October 3, 2015
We are moved by what predicates us. I may laugh and shudder. By no means. I can remember shuffling through El Paso. Not as a means to fill an end; to fill a now.

Sundays
October 5, 2015
I can’t feel my back. It’s ok. I can take a breath. It goes away. Everything goes away. The loud noise in the kitchen becomes a smiling face. Everybody dies.

How far do we go?
October 5, 2015
How far are you prepared to go to show yourself right? My bet is I can walk that line a little further than you’re used to walking. Pretty cups and nice things on the tables, we stopped worrying about blood moons weeks ago. Now I can only hear Dixie rock and wonder if I’ll ever hug my daughter again. I can make things shitty for everybody. I absolutely prefer the opposite. Shitty doesn’t find borderlines easily. If it’s shitty for you, it’s shitty for me. I might prefer to see a smile again.

Colors
October 6, 2015
This is my story so it’s everyone’s story. It’s my voice but it’s your voice too. My friend told me I was self absorbed. I’ve been wrapped up in the vision in my mind since I knew I had a mind. Her calling me out is just saying the obvious.

We were talking about lovers. She’s happy with hers. I’ve been juggling. I was telling her that as I get older it has become very easy to talk people into doing what you want them to do, especially sexually. We have this whole pretense, mostly women, about how sex is this fortress that needs to be climbed or conquested. It’s not. It wants to surrender. It wants to be given up. It just needs a reason. If not for the world, for itself. Legs want to know why they spread. I didn’t know that when I was a boy. I was always looking for superfluous cause. Everything is so simple if you don’t make it difficult.

It’s why drunks succeed before they get too drunk. Alcohol removes pretense. It removes that chameleon dance where you jump and jump and try to fit this skin or that color. And just be the fucking lizard that you are.

I’m not that good
October 6, 2015
How do we start this? How do we tell a story about everything by telling a story about me? Why would you care about me? I certainly don’t. Why should you? I’ll give you a reason. This isn’t a story about me. It isn’t about what happened to me, though I’m going to tell you that. Every word that follows is about you. I only know what I’ve seen and read, so I can only write that. But none of it is that specific. I’m not that good.

Tired
October 6, 2015
I feel tired. I feel weary. It’s easy to let go. Holding on is hard. I defy you to hold on and then you do so just to show me wrong. I love the contrary. I love to say no when you say yes. It takes a till, fucker. My back is fucking killing me. My throat hurts. My liver is shot. My heroes are an example of how not to live, half of them dead by their own hands. And so what? We quit. What about those of us that can see everything but can’t quit. What about those of us? Fuck you God for cursing us this way. Give us or take us. In-between is just cruel.

Yes
October 6, 2015
It’s like when I know my wife and I were done. We were listening to Band of Horses. Detlef Schrempf. And I put my hand on her leg. And she shruggeg it off. Perhaps rightfully so. And now I am who I am. She is who she is. Better perhaps without me. But different.

The alone part
October 6, 2015
You’d be surprised at what I can take. I used to be a bigger man. That hardly matters. Size means almost nothing. We need to do things that mean something. People shouldn’t die scared and alone and they do every day. What am I going to do except not be scared and try not to be alone? No one wants to be around me, so the alone part is easy.

Compulsion
October 9, 2015
I hope I’m not the one that ruined love for you. It seemed like a fairy tale when you told me you loved me. The problem is I never believed the fairy tale. It seemed like a story. I tell stories for a living. You seemed so sweet when you cried. And I was as hard as steel in my heart. I’m a soft man. Someone’s punch will most likely break something. The irony is I will not bend. I will never say no if you ask me to. It’s funny but not in a funny way. There is nothing you can do to compel me.

My back
October 9, 2015
It hurts so much, I’m going to scream. Normal people don’t scream. It hurts and most people couldn’t take this without at least a noise. If I lie a certain position there’s no pain. If I move whatsoever, it’s like lightning down my my spine. My mom told me to go to the doctor. I’m contemplating pissing the bed. It hurts to stand. So what I do is count to 200. Time seems to make it hurt less. Seeing the doctor. I thought she was joking. If I can make it to the bathroom, the terrorists lose. Beyond that, let’s just hope for the best.

That’s me
October 9, 2015
I decided to write. And that’s the most worthless nobody gives a fuck thing to do. Your hands are soft and you look soft, but having done it for a second I can tell you it’s really hard. Psychological reasons alone make it harder than most people ever do. I swim in the deep water of everything that frightens you. It scares me too. It sometimes is gratifying. It’s mostly unpleasant. It’s listening to punk rock and country and hip hop trying to think a thought. First-world problems, right? Trying to think a thought. No one is cutting off my hands or head. Still there are small things. I miss being in love. I don’t think I’m lovable in America. Too many things I know about myself. Not the least of which is loving the Bee Gees.

Mad
October 9, 2015
OK. i have to say a word. i don’t feel well. And I have a book and I am loved. And angry is the reality.

Memphis
October 10, 2015
I’ve been there. I had sex there. I know her name but I won’t say it. She was into it and in to most things I suggested. She was pretty and smart. I was pretty but as dumb as I was smart. Fucked up combination.

Protocol
October 10, 2015
We broke all kinds of rules tonight. I will change my normal protocol and stay silent. I’m pretty sure most of the shit we did was illegal. There were no drugs. But there was everything else.

Force
October 11, 2015
I can’t feel the force that wraps the wind around us. It’s invisible. I can’t taste it. I can’t smell it. But it’s there like you are or me. Except we finish. There is a start, and there is an end. We don’t like to think about the second half of that. But it’s coming. And it defines you. The end makes us what we are.

Whisper
October 11, 2015
I like punk rock and I like country music. I like Hawaiian music and I think Eminem is borderline genius. I’m listening to Ministry right now. Most people would not like this song. The word cacophony may have been invented just for this song. I love the way it hurts to listen to. I love that’s it not pretty. It’s ugly like me. Here’s the part where I have to explain. I know I’m good looking. I mean the way white girls like to look at things. Almost none of them would like this song. They might pretend to if they wanted to rub around. This song is ferocious and real. There is nothing fake about this song. It’s how I wish to be. I want to scream into the microphone and say what I’m feeling. And he does. He screams. And I whisper.

Lie to me
October 12, 2015
I have 200 hundred dollars. I’m hungry so I have to use it to eat. There will be other prices to pay; the first will be the walk. Two miles sound easy, but this back of mine fucks everything up. I’ll make it. But it won’t be pleasant. I’m listening to punk rock right now to calm my mind and hopefully my back. Mission of Burma. I can make it two miles in a snowstorm. It’s a guarantee I will make it here. It’s not going to be any kind of pleasant.

It’s probably when you have to stop to count your steps twenty at a time and remind yourself to breathe that you realize there might be trouble. 200 hundred steps until that bench. I sit on that bench. The curbs between me and it are not even six inches deep but are rather horrifying. I don’t want to explain the fear of falling forward on a step and each moment it feels like possibility. The wind might literally blow me over.

It is weird how everything is a truth and a lie. I’m almost constantly both. I’ve almost fallen flat on my face with each step and I’m sober. That’s the truth. The omission of the reason why is a lie.

Lies require a backstory. The remarkable thing about that. Everyone does it. A lot.

I’m on my knees
October 16, 2015
I’m begging you. I’m begging the universe. I am coming from a place of absolute humility. Please let me reconnect with my children. Their absence is literally killing me. I need them, and I think they need the best parts of me. I am literally begging. Please.

The third act
October 17, 2015
The third act of a story is defined by resolution. The arc of a story is usually quite predictable. Now, what I do when I’m telling a story is take what happens prior to where a third act is supposed to be and pull it down. Further and further until you cannot bare to look. It’s beyond even the macabre interest in an accident scene. We dissolve into what we were, and I dissolve into the pain of these characters, but we rarely have an inkling of what we could become.

The second act creates the problem to solve. There is no third act in my story because I don’t have any solutions. No one wins. My family can’t read what I write because since the words sound like my voice, they can’t separate me from the anti-hero protagonists I torture 300 pages at a time. I make them suffer. And it keeps happening and happening. And no one is wrong. And there’s no escape. There is no plan B. This is just how it is. Worse. This is who you are. Everyone taps their way out. Everyone begs with clasped fists. No one is spared. And everything burns. And every tap and clasp will be remembered but ignored.

So I was told, not coincidentally, in the same week, “What you write is not like Tom Clancy. His story and your stories. Your shit is just depressing.” That is true. There are many things to blame including my lack of attention span and my loath of research. But I’m going to give it a positive spin. I grew up in the generation that said fuck the backstory. I love Anna Karenina or I at least loved the Cliffs Notes. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll write fifteen hundred pages. But that will come in staccato bursts about fifteen seconds at at a time. I feel like my writing is more cubic Picasso or like Mondrian’s evolution from landscapes to lines than Renaissance detail. It’s arrogant to say but I see The Guernica when I close my eyes after finishing a good paragraph. I know I can do it because I’ve seen it.

The reduction of forms was always more interesting to me.

This message
October 18, 2015
Is for my daughter and son, even though I never want you to ever be on this site. I just want to say this because I believe in the power of words when they’re true. Even lies sometimes move things toward a larger truth. This is not a lie. I believe that saying it makes a difference. And as I type these words, I’m saying out loud them as well. Quantum theory insists counterintuitively that observing something defines what it is, where it’s at. At the subatomic level, everything occurs at the same time, until it is “seen.” Even then, you can know where something is, but then can’t know how fast it’s moving. Or you can know how fast something is moving, but then can’t know exactly where it is.

In that mindset, I say this as an observation. No matter what has happened to me, between us, I have never stopped loving you. And no matter what happens, that will never change. I’m looking at those words right now. Repeating them out loud. Observing. And they have never been more real.

That’s life
October 19, 2015
The sad thing is that without realizing it most of us go from an age where we say, “My life will be that,” to an age where we say, “That’s life.”

Breath
October 19, 2015
There are many ways to die. The worst is when you keep on living. A breathing death.

Ambien is insidious, but it works
October 21, 2015
Ambien is insidious. It’s like Viagra: it works too well. (I’ve only tried the latter once, at someone else’s behest, to see what would happen. It does what the commercials say it will do.) When you have to wake up in two hours there can only be badness when you try to stop its effect. Sleep feels so good. But transposed against the vague sense you are forgetting something, it can devolve into scary very quickly. When you gain your senses, pray it’s not the stove that you forgot.

When you find yourself in these situations, it’s best to look for emergencies. Stress makes the fog easier to handle. It’s easier to tell what to do. He probably should be breathing. I’m pretty sure that shouldn’t be on fire. Most likely they will both draw attention. Fix them.

Three passes
October 21, 2015
With just a short story I’ve offered you three passes. We meet who we care about, something happens that we are about, and things beg wildly for a smile on the way out. I swear I’ll try to keep things tidy. Lover’s rarely smile all the way home. Mine barely pass the first kiss. So many people looking. But that bathroom visit was invented as an invitation. And everyone is lucky when it ends with a kiss on the cheek. The sex is mostly terrible the first time for everyone. Only now, right here, every new time begs a question. “I know what I was thinking. You couldn’t be too far behind?” That’s the thing about the truth. You don’t have to say it. Even a half story is too much sometimes. Heels keep clicking. And a smile always wants a smile. So if it was for her, then it was for nothing. Nothing moves without plans for escape. It looks so good on paper.

Puppies
October 21, 2015
Not one person gives up. At least not without talking shit. Everything is at the height of a public bathroom, so you have to bend over to snort or suck. And somehow I’ve become the voice of reason. “I don’t think this is is legal. There are a lot of people with a lot better view than I have and I’m standing right behind you and that giant camera. I don’t do that anymore.” She stops one vice, but I’m 66.6 infinity% sure what she’s doing next is illegal. I tell her I’ll buy her another drink, she should stop, and she says she doesn’t have to. She looks like at me now like she hates me. Whatever. My hands, and nose, are clean.

If I counted all the Fridays that rolled like this, it would seem like the first one was a lie. Because as phantasmagoric as this was? Compared to some I’ve survived? It was a puppy dog show at a volunteer event, raising make-a-wish money for dying orphans.

That’s what’s supposed to happen
October 22, 2015
This is when you’re supposed to be depressed. At 3:45 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 it’s 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 Gatorade 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 even if I could, I sometimes can’t face it. Did I go too far this time? It’s my own fault I’ve been to Hell.

All the ones that mattered
October 24, 2015
So the third guy looks at the first guy and says I don’t trust him.

“I don’t trust you.”
“I have the knife.”
“Ok, I trust you.”

It’s easy to write shitty stuff. I told this to my father when I told him I wanted to major in English. My fingers don’t bleed, and I never get too hot. But you don’t know anyone that works as many hours as I do. I don’t sleep. I love what I do. And it hurts. People that don’t write don’t get it. Almost every word hurts.

I never sleep. I’m a classic narcissist. I love women. I’ve had some luck there. But I’ve failed all the ones that mattered.

Life beyond
October 28, 2015
Lives change lives. Things seem set. But, things won’t always seem as they are. Hopefully, the acid leaves from your continent. I used to have it to my detriment. I don’t know. Of course I love you. Of course you aren’t the only person I have loved, especially recently. But that doesn’t change any facts. If you put a hand out in need, I would pull till you didn’t need anymore.

You met me at a weird time. Not quite transitional because I’d been there for a while. But as you slipped away, I slipped away more and more into nothing. Perhaps it looked selfish and perhaps it was, but it wasn’t me pulling my self; it felt more like treading water.

So here we are. We are inextricably connected. I’m going to love those kids as long as I am alive, even as they turn to adolescents and adults. You and me? I’m not sure what can be salvaged. I can hope for the dregs of what we were. I know what I did still causes you pain. I’m not the same person that tried to cause it. To be honest I don’t know what I am. I see what you’ve done and I’m proud of you, and I’m proud for our history, and sad about our dissolution. You are not like me. You are good in ways that I am not. You always have been.

I miss the way we could talk. I miss the way we were “adult” when us was over. There’s many hurdles to jump with that truth. And most likely it was me who stumbled. Come back to friendship when you’re ready. I hate separation in all of its manifestations. I really do miss you.

When you’re down and out
October 29, 2015
Where is the comfort? For the most part, disdain is universal. And for most of the people trudging one step at a time? They have more than complicity. I promise you. Take one punch to the face, and you can hardly feel the second. So I understand. I know how easy it is to quit. When the chips stack so high, and your’s are so low, it’s easy to say, “All in.”

I’m not all in. I’ll lose the next 563 hands and I will never be all in. I have poems. I have the Hold Steady and the Drive-By Truckers. I have every stranger that every looked at me with a smile. I have every person dial 9-1-1 when they thought I might be dying. I don’t plan to die soon. Without the kind of strangers this plan might be worthless. And I am eternally grateful to those who may have unintentionally made this little truth more true.

The only thing I have ever really felt is compassion and shame. Both are equally powerful. You can shame me now and it means almost nothing. You can ask me to feel empathy and I will cry.

It’s hard to understand me. I live with me every second I take a breath, and I still don’t understand me. I know I like breathing. I know like shaking hands and hugging. I like kissing. And almost everything I do makes the likelihood of these happening grow smaller. This life is a strange place.

I see the lost are like me in this maze. And I can’t anything do except, “This way. Maybe. I have no fucking idea.”

A new start
October 29, 2015
This is selfish in a way that is almost circular in the way it defines itself. I have to be self-centered to tell this correctly. I can only tell your story by telling mine. It’s one of those experiential limitation things. I only have my five senses. And perhaps my senses of right and wrong. These are most likely the victim of bias.

I like to rage against bias. But mine is just as ugly as what I hate to see. We like the way our dirty smells permeate as strongly as we castigate those for smelling badly.

You smell like perfect.

You smell like perfect
October 29, 2015
This is selfish in a way that is almost circular in the way it defines itself. I have to be self-centered to tell this correctly. I can only tell your story by telling mine. It’s one of those experiential limitation things. I only have my five senses. And perhaps my senses of right and wrong. These are most likely the victim of bias.

I like to rage against bias. But mine is just as ugly as what I hate to see. We like the way our dirty smells permeate as strongly as we castigate those for smelling badly.

How did I meet you? Why did we smile? What put the chemicals in action that made us want to kiss? Which ones made the feeling stop?.

I’ve written a million words about hurt and longing and justice and anger and redemption. They all seem neutered in your presence. Your presence in my recollect, not even in the moment. You are larger than life. How could you not be? Your body made lives that I cannot forsake. Our daughter. Our son. I mean nothing against the specter of their ghosts. I can see me in the way she blinks. I can see you in the way she hides behind her hair. I can see me in the overwhelm of his smile and cadence. Genetics work. Maybe not to make you and me whole. But they work in a way that we once wanted them to work.

You smell like perfect.

Surely
October 29, 2015
This is selfish in a way that is almost circular in the way it defines itself. I have to be self-centered to tell this correctly. I can only tell your story by telling mine. It’s one of those experiential limitation things. I only have my five senses. And perhaps my senses of right and wrong. These are most likely the victim of bias.

I like to rage against bias. But mine is just as ugly as what I hate to see. We like the way our dirty smells permeate as strongly as we castigate those for smelling badly.

How did we meet
October 29, 2015
How did I meet you? Why did we smile? What put the chemicals in action that made us want to kiss? Which ones made the feeling stop?.

I’ve written a million words about hurt and longing and justice and anger and redemption. They all seem neutered in your presence. Your presence in my recollection not even in the moment. You are larger than life. How could you not be? Your body made lives that I cannot forsake. Our daughter. Our son. I mean nothing against the specter of their ghosts. I can see me in the way she blinks. I can see you in the way she hides behind her hair. I can see me in the overwhelm of his smile and cadence. Genetics work. Maybe not to make you and me whole. But they work in a way that we once wanted them to work.

I try to make this work, but mostly my reasons are selfish. I don’t really care about you. But the fount of me is literally flooded. I suppose that’s true of most of us. We don’t usually say it. I’m not super convinced that we once wanted them to work.

Irony
October 29, 2015
The weird part, the irony, is that you as an outsider should worry when it seems like there is nothing to worry about. Ennui seems a relief but is in fact most likely a flag. When a person stops caring about everything, surely it follows that they have stop caring about anything. I’m pretty sure the self falls under the umbrella of anything.

I’m like a unicorn. I’m not supposed to exist. I hate existence as much as I lament its passing. I’m at the root of myself afraid of something that part of me embraces. So I’ve been blessed and cursed with articulation. People understand me. Dialects and languages come. They just come. And the whole of me thinks something bad is going to happen before anything good can. But how bad can it be? Surely not worse than being bored.

I do look bad on paper
October 30, 2015
Won’t people have a good experience when they cross my path? The last thing I heard my ex was this, “I want what he owes me or I want him in jail.” So I guess I’m not perfect. I hurt her, but I never meant to. This whole thing about being a person is a lot harder than actually being a person. I never wanted to hurt anyone.

I like the way certain notes fall together in a row. I like it better when the words sort of match. I like sex. I like food. In that sense, I guess I’m human. I watch documentaries about bonobos and I see a lot that I recognize. I used to think I was smarter than you. I am. I am smarter than you. I can almost guarantee it. But nothing means more than stupid decisions.

Sandy’s
October 30, 2015
These moments, however fleeting, provide fear and it’s opposite. Clarity. I think the moments of clear thinking are more difficult than most people might allow. It takes an ability to existentially walk away. I don’t care that meat on the bed that happens to trap my skeleton or my thoughts. It almost seems like an accident that I get to feel. But I do.

I love. I miss. I lament. I hurt. I rise. Sometimes it feels like society moves in the opposite direction. But society is me.

I body surf. I love it. At Sandy’s I know better than to try to swim. When you’re in the grip, it doesn’t work. Go with it. Swim when you can breathe. Or be hard headed and drown.
There are things at work that are bigger than you are. Sandy’s is a good reminder.

All these words are just that. Words. In my experience, each syllable is infused with meaning. To you every word is an introduction. Maybe you throw this in the trash. Maybe you see yourself. Maybe you put it in the trash. Something compelled me to push the letters on these keys to say something that mattered. But the larger question, of course, is does anything really matter? In one hundred years you and I will be buried or ashes. In one thousand? Unless you’re really good or really bad, you are nothing. Are you ready to be nothing?.

I can’t use nothing
October 30, 2015
Nothing. I think about it sometimes. I’ve woken from comatose not remembering the coma. There were no white lights, family, lament, or celebration. It was just nothing. And then conscious. I hate to think about an eternity of nothing. But my hours of nothing meant nothing except nothing. They weren’t boring. I think that might be my greatest fear. Bored. I’m pretty sure I’d pick nothing over nothing to do. It’s not like you have a choice.

Atypical
October 30, 2015
My upbringing was typical and atypical. I guess dysfunction is typical even if we never admit it, so in that way I am the same. But the specifics are always different, so in that way I am too.

I have been and am defined by women. And that’s not so different either.

I watch documentaries on monkeys and it’s the anomalous monkey tribes that they profile because the males are the caretakers. Humans not so much.

My experience was different. Not good or bad, but almost certainly not what you had, good or bad.

I came of age alone. Mostly by choice. But I was alone. The weird manifestation of this, is that I fear being lonely. But it’s been a constant since I was 12. Always taken care of, but always alone. First world problems still feel like they matter the most.

What can I say that means anything? What can I possibly say that matters? I’m good at words so you instinctively dismiss them. And you should. I am always in motion to compel. Everything I write to you, to the world, every syllable has a purpose. I don’t type quickly enough to throw syllables around.

You are a different problem. Love and hate confuse words. It’s easy to say things for cause and not really mean them. Reactions are as satisfying as hugs. Reaction is addictive. And like other addictions, the long-term effects are not even a consideration.

Cause
October 30, 2015
I laugh to myself and it’s a disgusted laugh. There is no pleasure in the guttural realization of some shitty truth or other. I only have to turn my head left to see the paltry and ridiculous existence I have chosen to subsume. The weird part is that how I wasn’t happier when I had everything you’re supposed to want to have. Miserable is a ticket you punch and carry, and the train you’re on is extemporaneous. It means nothing. Nothing means anything. Pleasure is pleasant, but fleeting. You can change circumstance, but you carry thoughts with you. Five-star hotels and restaurants end with the bill. 1200-count sheets are the ground outside; all end with the same thoughts of anger, fear, and shame.

You might have mercy for what we’ve done. It wasn’t on purpose and it was never meant to hurt you.

Paltry
October 31, 2015
I laugh, but I didn’t mean it as a joke. I can drag you through this journey. I promise, it’s not going to be fun. If you’re like most people, you won’t understand. I’m standing here and I don’t understand. I listen to music and I yell in silence. I lament. I regret. With a chip on my shoulder and the inexorable belief that I’m right. I am right.

Why would I acquiesce? Why would I say, “Yes,” when the true answer was, “I don’t care?” I don’t care. I used to. Or I felt like I did. Now, except for things I immediately need, could come or go. I need to breathe. So I do. I wake up when I have to piss.

It’s weird how things come to be what they are. Still they are. I scrunch my eyes and look at my direction in the mirror. I wonder how things came to be like this. How the perfect embodiment of me became this. Disgust is almost funny now. What I was. What I am. What I can become. Ugly is in my peripheral vision. Ugly is what I see straight ahead.

Las Vegas
November 1, 2015
I’m going to Vegas in exactly two weeks. I’ve stayed away on purpose for a long time now. Death was at the door many times in that city. I’m not going to leave my room. I’m going to eat too much. And I’ll probably use Instagram. I swear there will be no cocaine or hookers. I think it will be a victory if I can sleep.

Hard music
November 2, 2015
I like the way hard music feels. I like the tattoo needle. I like losing. My eyebrow goes up with that one. You’re not supposed to like to hurt. Hands to the sky crying why oh why. I wrote that to a lover once. She was upset by it. I guess that’s my fault. I don’t interpret women well. They’re different than me. I could probably say that about all people. The weird part is I can talk them into fucking me. Talking them into staying not so much. I’m so tired. I don’t want to make my bed anymore. I want to enjoy baseball and nachos. I love Tool and you should too.

Question
November 2, 2015
The thing that matters most, the thing that should be most upsetting, is that I don’t care. Teenage girls cut themselves to prove they can feel. It seems violently foreign. I know what they are doing. It’s not crazy or sad. It’s rational. That kind of distance. Unless you’ve walked away, you don’t know how far you can go. What am I willing to do? What will I do? It’s a fucked up question that takes being fucked up to ask.

What love feels like
November 2, 2015
July 5, 2008. I’m almost positive the date fleets in your memory. I have a picture of our daughter in a tube in a pool from that day. There’s no pictures of him. He was just as beautiful. It wasn’t the last time we had sex. It was fun. You were drunk. We got lost on the drive home and all I could think was please let us get home. I was in love with you then. The last time you said loved me was April of that year. I was drunk. And you drove from Dallas to Austin. North Austin. I didn’t know the difference then. There were bottles of wine strewn in a Motel 6 room. God, if I could have it over again. I would say I love you back.

I remember your grey Mitsubishi. I remember that stupid country band. Lonestar. Amazed. And you cried. Now I forget what love feels like.

The waning moon
November 3, 2015
I listen to sad songs and watch the waning moon. I’m told by a pretty girl to stop doing sad shit. She’s pretty so she doesn’t understand. She will when she’s old. I barely understand. I like the way the moon looks. I walked home shirtless and I put my head down on a bus stop. I got home. And now I’m listening to Lyle Lovett. And my bed.

Humanesque
November 7, 2015
I brush my teeth. And I usually remember to wipe my ass. And I miss my kids like if tomorrow came it would not be the same as holding them. These are just words. I ªm full of them. I ªm full of shit a lot of the time. Words and shit are sometimes the same. I try to make sense here. And it ªs stirring and stirring in the widening gyre. And I ªm afraid and I ªm sad and I ªm alone. I said it. So fuck it. It ªs true anyway right?.

The real question
November 7, 2015
Actually there are a couple. What do you want? What will do that? What are you willing to lose? Sometimes you just give it away. I gave it all away. Everything. Never again. Never again. Everything has a cost. Trust me. If I could show you the beauty thats lost. I ªm pretty sure it ªs gone, at least for now. It ªs going to have to want to come back. And for that to happen I have to rise. Every single person wants to look up. Looking down doesn ªt work. Maybe some situations but they ªre mutual.

Why do you come back here?
November 8, 2015
Most of it is fake, or so opinionated that it hardly resembles the true truth. I sometimes send coded messages to specific people because this seems to have become our last form of reliable communication, albeit one way. Like when prisoners of war snuck messages out through three countries because that had become the only way to speak to their old lives. But mostly the characters are amalgams.

I don’t get your motivation. Surely you have by now enough embarrassing and out-of-context rants to destroy any semblance of my reputation, and in the great state of Texas might even have me committed to a psych ward.

Do you still care at some level? That would be my best-case scenario. I’ve evolved away from anger and back to caring. A lot. Please use some parental software and block the kids from ever finding this. They are officially banned from the site even after they turn 18. These are strong adult emotions about complicated issues and often profane and explicit language. Nothing that further their world views. Maybe I’ll reconsider when they’re 40, but not until then.

Dolor hic tibi proderit olim
November 9, 2015
I don’t think it will. I’m tired of it. This waking life.

I miss my kids and I mean that even if me living life, existing, seems to prove otherwise. I never left them. I visit them every day in my memory. They come to me in dreams, which anyone that dreams lucidly can tell you, are as real as the waking life.

The further the riptide pulls you from shore, the less you believe you’re going to make it back. It’s counterintuitive to do what you’re supposed to do. Swimming toward the beach is futile. Water, like much of reality, is much stronger than you are without even trying. It has no motive but getting to even.

Remember that? It was never about revenge, but being more like water. Like temperature. Chaos is always replaced by order after the energy dissipates. That does not exclude the reality of volatility, and the inevitable result of its impassive being.

Numb
November 9, 2015
There is no story without a conflict. Who would read that? Conflict is as essential to comedy as it is to tragedy. As it is to transcendence. The very nature of life is pain. And there are beautiful moments. These fleet. Would a life absolutely free of pain have been lived? Smiles and cupcakes and birthdays and sex and sleeping in late every day. Dying before anyone you love does. Never hearing “Goodbye.” On a rational level I get it. But I have always been a little more emotional than rational, a little more impulsive than reflective. Maybe a lot more. And to be perfectly honest my life has been charmed by most standards. Noticing the bad things seems ungrateful. If you’ve never been cut before, and then you slice into a finger, I suppose it’s okay to acknowledge that it hurts. But what about a cut that never heals? You can do some things to mitigate pain. Is numb better than hurt? I’m asking.

Crosswalks
November 10, 2015
Crosswalk safety is like a restraining order, and many other things in this life that were ostensibly established to maintain order. They are an illusion of safety, but only work with voluntary compliance. A car will kill you just as dead in a crosswalk as it would on the highway. And someone will choose not to come within 200 yards, or they’ll choose to do whatever they want. Until they do, your last best hope is compliance. Consequences come later, of course, but before an event, it’s really up to everyone to not do anything stupid, and hope no one else does either. Or be really good at getting away with it. I don’t encourage the latter. Almost no one is that good. More importantly, it’s bad for society, and it’s bad for the soul.

Illusions. We believe in them because for a mortal, relative fragile being, what surrounds is fraught with danger. We make laws and write best practices, but nothing is guaranteed. Arbitrary and capricious violence and mayhem happen millions of times a day. Even worse is when bad behavior isn’t arbitrary, is totally predictable even, but is only prevented by the moat of illusion.

It’s why we take our shoes off at the airport. It’s why I have to pack mouthwash and toothpaste even if I plan to use them on a 10-hour flight. Packing means breaking my travel protocol and paying $25 so I can have a clean mouth.

Life is full these, but I won’t trouble you with ad nauseam (Nauseous? Same root.)examples. Everyone knows it’s true. But everyone takes off their shoes.

Stealing ideas
November 10, 2015
You keep a lot of secrets. And I keep none. Read down. But, I wish I did keep some. Everybody lies. You wouldn’t believe how often unless you honestly think about your own lies. There must be something hardwired to do it. Everybody lies. You’re lying if you say you don’t. Why? It’s like a behavior that is universally denounced. But everybody does it. Every day. Many times a day in fact. I consciously tried to stop lying once. And caught myself lying. The reasons are myriad. Stay out of trouble or conflict. Self-aggrandizement is a big one. It’s easier than the conversation that the truth would provoke. I don’t know if we’d be better off as a society with total truth.

Chris Rock has a bit where he argues, and I’m paraphrasing, “Lies don’t destroy a relationship. Lies save relationships.” There’s some truth to that.

Thinking about a choice
November 11, 2015
Do you what you are going do to. I’ll do the same. I have. To what end I won’t be sure until the end. But I know I can take it, because I’ve taken it. What can you take? What you say means more, and proof of what I’ve said and allegedly done means even more. But I know where the cracks are. You don’t sleep next to someone for ten years without noticing the weak spots. I don’t want them. I like you beautiful and strong. I loved you most when you told me, “No.”

This life is a paradox. I know everything about you. If there was such a game show, I would win about you, and you would win about me. I haven’t even seen you for a minute, but people don’t change. They say they do, but they just change the look on their face, or the sound of their voice. No one knows you like I know you. Your other lovers know what you feel like. We all know what that feels like; it’s an easy guess.

The look doesn’t go away. And hate is better than indifference as far as I can tell. The more you hate me? The more I know the feeling might have been intense but different. Things change. Things grow apart. I like poetry and art. You do sort of but prefer new country.

I didn’t understood that then. This is a direct quote from a reader. “Isolation is the enemy. It doesn’t matter how smart you are. It makes people insane—and keeps them fascinated with their own pathology.”

I never knew that beyond the right-now feelings of it being true.

True lies
November 11, 2015
The specifics of this story are mine. Or they were made up by me. I guess that makes it all mine. My belief has always been, however, that if I tell you the truth, then it’s your story too. Total transparency has always been fascinating to me. Even when you lie, if your lie is truly yours, you tell the truth.

I remember in a philosophy class a question that seemed, at the time, completely irrelevant. Why do you laugh? No one got it right until one woman got it exactly right. She said, “A laugh is a recognition of something you know to be true.” I was floored by her insight, and devastated by the lack of mine. I thought I was the smartest boy in the room, I still do. And here she was mocking my thoughts of being the -est anything.

I didn’t think like her back then. I’m not quite sure if she put me on the path to where I am now, but I remember that moment, in a freshman philosophy class, all these years later.

I remember her name. She wrote poems about casting watermelons over her head as a metaphor for freedom, while I tried to be e.e. cummings. I never slept with her, we never even kissed. Usually one or the other is a catalyst for my burning. But here it was not a requirement for immolation.

Veterans
November 11, 2015
Dulce et decorum est pro patria morti. The phrase at first was a call to arms, but most recently, famously, used as the title of an anti-war poem to be ironic. “It is sweet and proper to die for country.” Today, however, the phrase loses irony. To all my friends that served in a way I never did, that I never understood, I say thank you. It was your sacrifice that allowed me the freedom to not understand. To the thousands of men now gone, that were conscripted or volunteered, that fought and were wounded or died or survived, I say thank you. This country may be divided, but its basis is in the ideas that these men and women died in the name of, and for that I say thank you. To veterans and those serving, especially today, I say thank you.

Roaches
November 11, 2015
I’m like a cockroach. I scoff at your microwave ovens and nuclear wars. You’re going to have to squash me until my guts are showing, or spray me in the face with Raid until I asphyxiate. Otherwise, no I won’t shut up, and I refuse to die.

Dead languages
November 11, 2015
I wished I learned Latin better. I only know it in the context of etymology. I know legal phrases that are not pleasant knowing, or some that cross my path. Dolor hic tibi proderit olim. And I paraphrase, “The pain will be useful.”

Tachycardia
November 11, 2015
V-tach, if you ever hear those words, which you won’t, because you’ll be thisclose to dead. 15 seconds maybe. Technically your brain will still be alive. Dead for all intents and purposes. Ventricular tachycardia. Try to avoid it. Tachycardia means your hear rate is above 100 beats per minute when it’s taken. Those are two vastly different diagnoses. My heart beats fast all the time.

Stream
November 11, 2015
I used to ask people at bars. Give me a subject. And I’d give them 2,400 words. I’m not that old, but I think I’ve thought about everything I know about. The closest things are the hardest. Hey la my boyfriend’s back. I remember when I had ones that might sing that. So silence morphs into encyclopedia. I promise you, if it’s not too esoteric, I can speak intelligentilly about pretty much anything you can throw at me. Please don’t try to prove me wrong. But I will.

The thing about any of this
November 11, 2015
I’m listening to a punk band. Half of my brain says I don’t give a fuck. The other half says give more of a fuck. What I walked away from, most of you would want. It felt nice, it looked pretty. I didn’t feel like myself. We only live for about thirty seconds. Perhaps I should have embraced not living against Pol Pot. But I grew up here. I wanted more. More of what I’m still not sure.

Sweet and tender hooligan
November 12, 2015
And then what is beautiful? That inch between two lovers before they kiss and say, “I do.”? Her eyes wet and while everyone watches he whispers, “Shh. I love you too.”?.

Moments like that exist. If moments didn’t call from the grave, we would never be saved. And everything, working together, even in our favor quickly loses favor. Sometimes, most times, I’m writing in character. This is me. Do I hurt? Who doesn’t? Have I lost? Who hasn’t? Are you better than me? Maybe. I like better music than most people do and I use this as a metric of judgment. This is one of the myriad reasons my daughter can do better.

Falling
November 12, 2015
In ten hours I can make you love me. In one hundred I can make you hate me. I can’t get the balance right.

Falling is harder than gravity. There are instances where I’ve tripped. My lower-right lip, forehead, and wrist still bear the brunt of what might seem obvious. People come to you. “I’ve got it. I’ve got it. I’ve got it.”And I bleed in my mouth. I know the taste of blood and I’ve never been in a fight.

It runs from cold to colder
November 12, 2015
Actually, it’s never cold here. I think the record is 49 degrees. That is not pleasant in a t-shirt and shorts, but you’re not going to die, and tomorrow it will be 82 like it is every day. The climate here is the opposite of me. It’s a line. I am a sine wave.

I was speaking with my mother this evening. The familiarity was nice. I told her that I feel like I’m in jail. I’m able to come and go as I please of course, but everyone I love has left the vicinity. My interactions are with strangers. That comment that I’m smart; I’ve known that since I was seven. All my friends are pretty and intelligent, and that’s not an accident.

I’ve ensconced myself from them. I haven’t figured out why yet.

Rules I break
November 13, 2015
I don’t steal, I don’t lie, and I don’t hit.

I cheat. I find people that will make your life difficult. I don’t like to see you suffer. But I won’t suffer. Like a sociopath, I cannot feel your cost. It’s different. It’s foreign coins. You are beautiful and I am beautiful. We are both nice to look at. I suppose it makes me dangerous. But I don’t lose.

I’ve learned to lie without changing my expression
November 13, 2015
Ask me three questions, and which answer is the truth will be your guess. Over a thousand questions, you’ll get three hundred right. Like a dartboard. Unless you’re good at darts.

In certain ways, I’ve become a machine. Certainly in this one. Is it good is it bad? I used to feel more, now I feel less. I guess it depends on how much you value feeling.

Lucid and dark
November 13, 2015
I have dreams sometimes that are so lucid that days later I have to try to remind myself if it really happened.

Did I wash that plate? Did I say that to her?.

It’s weird sometimes when it comes to conversations.

“You never said that.” Did I?.

You couldn’t forgive me
November 17, 2015
And that’s your prerogative. You could never forgive me, and I bristled at not being forgiven. A very bad combination. I’m not the only one to make mistakes, certainly not the only one to make a big mistake. Of course I exacerbated this one with many more similar smaller ones. And settled. I tried to find comfort in shallow pursuit of respite. We all see how that turned out.

It’s not like I was perfect. I was flawed the day you met me. Deeply in pain and flawed. And I’m more than certain I transferred more of that pain to you than you deserved.

My hands are dirty, but my heart is clean. I never hurt anyone unless I felt like they were hurting me. And, of course, I took that too far. Moderation has never been one of my defining traits.

I never didn’t love. I never didn’t ache.

I don’t know why it was preferable to tear everything down. I do it again and again. When I feel the hold slipping, I destroy what I can get my hands on. If I’m going to lose, then I’m going to lose it all. How ridiculous is that? Strange as it is, however, I do it all the time.

The rapid cycling since you left is more troubling. It’s not an exaggeration to say death was a potential several times since you said goodbye. And here I am in Starbucks. Contemplating this strange, burning life.

I could never sleep. I always went days without eating. I always exploded then receded quickly. But everything is less now. Is it age? Is it weariness? I’m not sure.

I am tired.

It sounds like I want your pity
November 17, 2015
I have bigger concerns. I’m not sure where I’m going to live in two weeks. There’s a polyp in my throat and I don’t have insurance. You fixed what was broken on your half. And I kept tearing down mine.
I wouldn’t wish it on you, but isolation is a motherfucker. Your understanding of my mind is cursory, my mind ruminates constantly. It picks apart where I was wrong, and is self-righteous about where I was right. Both will destroy you. A person wasn’t meant to be alone this long. It’s like solitary confinement. Sooner or later something gives.

I’m not cruel. I’m not angry. But you can’t live alone for seven years without a scar. Especially when the scar includes a loss.

A woman came to me at the bus stop today and asked me if I needed a dollar. That’s how I look to the world now. That is the new now. I sit in coffee shops and hold back tears so no one calls social services. But I’m sad. At what I’ve had and what I lost.

It was a weird choice. Steeped in ego. And nothing more. I hated myself so much, that when something beautiful loved me that meant I was beautiful. I don’t expect you don’t understand. I don’t expect you to feel sorry for me. I did what I did. And there are consequences for everything we do.

This is weird but true
November 17, 2015
I don’t get upset with anyone with sustained happiness. Birthdays, births, Christmas, yeah. But everyone seems to have a bitter pill lodged in the craw of their mind.

What makes us each hurt each other? I never wanted to hurt anyone and you know I did. I never wanted anyone to be sad and you know they were. Is bliss possible. I don’t have the countenance to be a Llama so that that doesn’t count. I don’t have the patience.

How do you and me find happiness? How do you trust that person sleeping next to you? Does he or she have to be a better person? Which sucks because I think all people are the same. There’s no escape.

Everybody wants somebody else. Everybody lies. Everybody manipulates. We would be giraffes if we didn’t, and I don’t trust those long-necked motherfuckers either.

Self-interest is a weird sword. Without it, nothing makes sense. But you can stick it in something or fall on it and then the world ends. As far as we know, right?.

A day is nothing
November 17, 2015
A day is just a day. Ending soon. Its strange how few syllables can seem so much.

it doesn’t help if you ask
November 17, 2015
It wants a better question.

Being awake is why there can’t be quiet
November 17, 2015
Noise runs. Noise is like water. It flows into everything that might not have it. Noise isn’t loud. It’s a buzz. A buzz that keeps on buzzing.

I never knew the end of you. I had to end you. I would choose almost any consequence to knowing that was my doing.

It’s strange how life changes
November 17, 2015
How life becomes quiet. How laughter is imagined now. Culpability, granted. It’s still not pleasant. Pictures are stolen for me and they are a blessing and a curse. I was so close. Especially to her. Her beauty and life is a wonder and her absence is a knife. He walks in ways that I can only imagine. Someday is all I can say to myself to be sane. It hurts to look at, but I have to look.

There are two things I want to say
November 17, 2015
There’s a girl playing classical piano and she is so good that I hate her. I kept quitting shit I was good at; she’s so good. And I just finished watching a documentary on FDR and he died of a cerebral hemorrhage at 63. That’s just 18 years older than me. And I know I did a lot of more fucked up shit than he did. Let’s try to make these 18 years count.

I’ve had 500 calories in four days
November 17, 2015
I’m sort of fat so I have it to lose. Let me tell you, it is not pleasant in the moment. It’s okay. At least pain like that makes sense. I know I’m going to die. I have access to water. You can go without food for a long time. Water not so much. Dehydration is not necessarily pretty either. There’s water everywhere.

If my love for you didn’t stop it, it’s not going to stop
November 17, 2015
There’s the truth. Now I have to back away and mitigate. I don’t know how stop. It gets worse. And the sad part is I don’t care if you care. Who cares? Who can care? It’s done.

Sleep
November 18, 2015
Closed eyes are elusive as a villain. They hate you. Your eyes want your eyes open. They want you to beg for mercy. There are things you can do to shut her mouth, but in the long run are not in anyone’s best interest.

Turn off the lights and count down from 100. I can never get to 80. The lovers I’ve loved the most are like magic. Sleep is easy and something to want. The pillow is a soporific. There is no countdown when you love what you are, or at least what you’re being. There is no number high enough for me.

It would be hard to sleep for fifteen days. I’ve tried. My record staying up is seven. I was hearing music that wasn’t playing.

The mind is a strange thing. Terrible and beautiful. Everyone knows the audacious tries that the mind will do when it’s asked. Unfortunately, many have seen the mind crumble. I used to read these books about spirit, and the conclusion was that mind is physiological. You break the mind, and you break thought. Spirit, if it exists, has to go beyond the physical.

What makes me? What makes you you?.

This world that I live in. It left the idea of the body. What do you think? What is possible? What can this world do?.

There was always a battle plan
November 18, 2015
I never thought I’d lose. Losing wasn’t a consideration. I remember as a boy being plucked from the crowd and given ‘ilima lei. Which won’t mean anything to you if your white, but it was the flower of the ali’i. Rulers. The woman that gave it to me said, “You are special.” And I was. Did I lose it when I left Hawai’i? Did I give it away?.

The spectrum of life is sometimes hard to comprehend, especially when you are near the bottom. Roosevelt was never homeless. He probably didn’t stumble drunk through tall weeds to be hidden from the roadway.

There comes a point when any man probably breaks. Everything is gone. What else is there to lose. You can’t lose your smile. You can’t lose being polite. You can’t lose giving something away to someone who has less.

I was given so much. And I was so arrogant because it came so easily. I was born with a brain that can multiply a lot of numbers at the same time and remember the rules about lay and lie. I know so many people better than me that it’s staggering to think that I thought I meant anything more than a blip on a moment of a life. I can make you laugh. I know more about the solar system or whales or volcanos than you do. Where does that go? What does that lead to further than a conversation at a bar?.

My brother was a philosophy major, and I majored in English. I used to joke with him that he’s the second smartest person I know. He came after the real damage, but he saw a lot of it. He held it together. I became shallow. I wanted what felt good and looked the prettiest and would make more people turn their heads. He kept his head down. He did the right thing. Time after time, when given a choice, he chose the right thing. I chose what felt the best.

Feelings fade.

You are not invincible
December 1, 2015
Today I needed to get some groceries, and some things done at customer service. I woke up early. It’s been cool at night, for Hawaii. I haven’t had anything to drink or eat since about ten o’clock the night before. I figured I’d just get something at the deli when I got there. I figured I’d walk the two miles to the grocery. What’s the worst that could happen?.

I get there. See? Even in slippers I can still walk through a desert with no water.

I started doing transactions. Waiting. And things took a very quick turn. I asked where the water fountain was and she told me. As she does, I get this feeling at the back of my eyes, and my head feels like it’s vibrating from the inside. Trouble is coming, but I didn’t recognize the feeling.

I woke up splayed out among Duracell batteries. I don’t know how much later it was, but she still hadn’t completed my transaction. It took a second to remember where I was and what I was doing there. All I could think was, “What the fuck just happened?” after I figured out where I was.

Then the manager is standing over me with a bottle of water. “I think you have heatstroke,” he says. He brings out a chair and tells me I can have all the bottled water I need, and to sit in the air conditioning (in the middle of the store) as long as I needed to. Then he brought me a SpamÆ musubi.

How’s that? Most of the stuff I write is bullshit, or at least partially bullshit. But that actually happened. Today.

We think of other people as acting in their own interests, and to protect ourselves always. There does exist the kindness of absolute strangers.

Clarity
December 1, 2015
These moments, however fleeting, provide fear and its opposite. Clarity. I think the moments of clear thinking are more difficult than most people might allow. It takes an ability to existentially walk away. I don’t care about that meat on the bed that happens to trap my skeleton or my thoughts. It almost seems like an accident that I get to feel. But I do.

I love. I miss. I lament. I hurt. I rise. Sometimes it feels like society moves in the opposite direction. But society is me.

I body surf. I love it. At Sandy’s I know better than to try to swim. When you’re in the grip, it doesn’t work. Go with it. Swim when you can breathe. Or be hard-headed and drown.
There are things at work that are you bigger than you are, and Sandy’s is a good reminder.

All these words are just that. Words. In my experience, each syllable is infused with meaning. To you every word is an introduction. Maybe you throw this in the trash. Maybe you see yourself. Something compelled me to push the letters on these keys to say something that mattered. But the larger question, of course, is does anything really matter? In one hundred years you and I will be buried or ashes. In one thousand? Unless you’re really good or really bad, you are nothing. Are you ready to be nothing?.

Nothing. I think about it sometimes. I’ve woken from comatose not remembering the coma. There were no white lights, family, lament, or celebration. It was just nothing. And then conscious. I hate to think about an eternity of nothing. But my hours of nothing meant nothing except nothing. They weren’t boring. I think that might be my greatest fear. Bored. I’m pretty sure I’d pick nothing over nothing to do. It’s not like you have a choice.

My upbringing was typical and atypical. I guess dysfunction is typical even if we never admit it, so in that way I am the same. But the specifics are always different, so in that way I am too.

I have been and am defined by women. And that’s not so different either.

I watch documentaries on monkeys and it’s the anomalous monkey tribes that they profile because the males are the caretakers. Humans not so much.

My experience was different. Not good or bad, but almost certainly not what you had, good or bad.

I came of age alone. Mostly by choice. But I was alone. The weird manifestation of this, is that I fear being lonely. But it’s been a constant since I was 12. Always taken care of, but always alone. First-world problems still feel like they matter the most.

What can I say that means anything? What can I possibly say that matters? I’m good at words so you instinctively dismiss them. And you should. I am always in motion to compel. Everything I write to you, to the world, every syllable has a purpose. I don’t type quickly enough to throw syllables around.

You are a different problem. Love and hate confuse words. It’s easy to say things for cause and not really mean them. Reactions are as satisfying as hugs. Reaction is addictive. And like other addictions, the long-term effects are not even a consideration.

I laugh to myself and it’s a disgusted laugh. There is no pleasure in the guttural realization of some shitty truth or other. I only have to turn my head left to see the paltry and ridiculous existence I have chosen to subsume. The weird part is that how I wasn’t happier when I had everything you’re supposed to want to have. Miserable is a ticket you punch and carry, and the train you’re on is extemporaneous. It means nothing. Nothing means anything. Pleasure is pleasant, but fleeting. You can change circumstance, but you carry thoughts with you. Five-star hotels and restaurants end with the bill. 1200-count sheets are the ground outside all end with the same thoughts of anger, fear, and shame.

I laugh, but I didn’t mean it as a joke. I can drag you through this journey. I promise, it’s not going to be fun. If you’re like most people, you won’t understand. I’m standing here and I don’t understand. I listen to music and I yell in silence. I lament. With a chip on my shoulder and the inexorable belief that I’m right. I am right.

Why would I acquiesce? Why would I say, “Yes,” when the true answer was, “I don’t care?”
I don’t care. I used to. Or I felt like I did. Now, except for things I immediately need, could come or go. I need to breathe. So I do. I wake up when I have to piss.

It’s weird how things come to be what they are. Still they are. I scrunch my eyes and look at my direction in the mirror. I wonder how things came to be like this. How the perfect embodiment of me became this. Disgust is almost funny now. What I was. What I am. What I can become. Ugly is in my peripheral vision. Ugly is what I see straight ahead.

I like the way you sit like that. I like your pauses. We are, so often, determined by action. Pauses make us.

This is why we can’t have nice things
December 4, 2015
I just read the most beautiful post on a blog I sometimes read. This guy saw some hot woman in line in front of him in Target, and before he could finish the though of some lucky guy, he realized it was his wife. At first he’s full of self-doubt, “Did I cheat on her with her?”

He never confronts her, just watches. And he writes about being overwhelmed with her beauty, comfort, independence, humility, and kindness. He winds up at the conclusion that it’s “good to look at those we love with fresh eyes whenever we can to remind us how lucky we are.”

How come I don’t write like that? How come I can’t seem to be nice in the written word? I’m nice in real life. I was watching a comedian the other day, and he said, “Drunk mad is the least justified mad you’ll ever be in your life.” I don’t know, perhaps it’s memories mad, or writing mad. Drunk mad is up there, though.

This is how you lose her
December 5, 2015
“Okay, we didn’t work, and all
memories to tell you the truth aren’t good.
But sometimes there were good times.
Love was good. I loved your crooked sleep
beside me and never dreamed afraid.

There should be stars for great wars
like ours.” — Sandra Cisneros.

He had a lot to say
December 6, 2015
Show us. Show yourself. Trying seems like such an empty gesture. Everybody tries. How does that differentiate you from everyone else? (It doesn’t.) How does it make you special? (It doesn’t.) Failures, successes, happy, sad, apathetic? In some ways, everybody tries. Would you die for me? I wouldn’t die for anything if I could help it.

Broken
December 6, 2015
How do you finish telling a story when you can only think fifteen seconds at a time? How do you create a narrative when three minutes of contemplation is exhausting? These are rhetorical questions when I’m lucky. Writers write, right? But what if writing, what if every thought, is embroiled? I have no third act, and I don’t know if I ever will. I can’t get past the conflict. The conflict defines how I live; it defines who I am right now, who I’ve been for a while. The conflict or nothing is how I feel.

I saw an old friend last night and he was in chains over how he felt about a relationship he was in. I felt like I was in a zoo, watching something that had no personal resonance. I told him I was the same way for a while, after the last time, but after what happened, I decided to turn it off, and so I did. With me, it’s always been all or nothing. And for six years now, I have chosen nothing. I have broken the alternative so many times that it might not be an option to go back. I can tell the story, but I can’t live it anymore. Too many things get broken.

Shine on you crazy diamond
December 6, 2015
That song is playing. I wonder what it was like to be Syd Barrett. And I wonder what it’s like to be dead. Clearly he was as inspirational as he was crazy, to garner so much attention on Wish You Were Here. Hardly anyone is so crazy. Charles Manson is crazy, but somehow he talked a whole bunch of people in to doing exactly what he asked including kill. He wrote a song that Brian Wilson recorded.

You have to lick the bottom, so you know what it tastes like. You have to lose a lot, maybe everything, to know whether you meant anything at all. This existential struggle? Everyone goes through, some just can’t articulate. Who with a contemplative mind has not contemplated forever? Who hasn’t feared the idea? How many ants or roaches did you kill this year? What do you think their afterlife fate is? What do you think yours is?.

I used to go to parties and realize what hour it was, and realize there’s only so many hours left. That’s how I’ve been looking at life lately. If I’m lucky, I have 35-40 years left, and that’s less than I’ve been here. Are you ready? I’m not.

I can’t escape the ghost of you
December 6, 2015
A perfect memory is not necessarily a good thing. A thousand beers won’t make it shut up. Every song. Every smell. Every conversation, if you can believe it. I can remember every word if I was sober when you or I spoke it. Verbatim. I can walk through the house I was five in, room to room and tell you exactly what’s in each one of them. A blessing and a curse.

I’m fraudulent. I’ve mastered saying what I want to get what I want, and I usually do. I’ve given up trying. What I think I want, ends up wrong. And as much as I’d like to blame something or someone else, there’s nothing or no one else to blame.

I didn’t think I could do what I did
December 7, 2015
Certain self-assessments will have to be revised. I want to say I was acting in the moment, that you can’t turn the effect into the cause. Given the circumstance, my reaction wasn’t just reasonable, but universally predictable. I didn’t have to say I would do shit. You should have known. We, both of us, know, and should have known. You can’t hurt me without expecting a complete, perhaps overreactive, total response.

Have you ever seen the footage of a tidal wave? The knuckleheads here grab their boards when they hear one might be coming because they’re going to surf it. It’s not that kind of wave. I’m not that kind of wave. I don’t break cleanly, clear as glass. I just keep coming and coming. I pick up everything along the way and drag it with me. Tomorrow you can see the debris and the bodies. Right now all you can do is run, or hold on tight to whatever you can grab. Full disclosure? You won’t be able to hold on.

You’re supposed to write when you’re young
December 7, 2015
You’re supposed to run out of words. The jade of life is supposed to render silence. You’re supposed to die early if you’re great. I’ve just finished a novel that won the Pulitzer. It was good. I’m just as good.

I write in one language and I don’t tell stories. I tell feelings. I’m pretty sure as far feelings go, I’m not that special in the human condition. If I feel it, then you’ve felt it.

I used to make the argument to my boss when he was completely exasperated with a certain worker. I tried to say, “He can only be what he is.” A person is an array of experience, and it’s the rare person that stumbles, fakes, or wills themselves out of that spectrum. I haven’t. Not sober. Not on purpose. Disappointment in another is in a weird way disappointment in one’s self. I can’t change me. What spectre of unrealistic belief could have possibly made me believe that I could change you?.

Time travel
December 7, 2015
If it were possible would it matter? One of my favorite books is Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. In it, he begs a magician for another chance to live his life. And then proceeds to make every single mistake he made the first time until he finds himself with the magician again. He has an epiphany. He is on a wheel, that keeps spinning, and returns him to the same place.

It’s by P.D. Ouspensky. If you haven’t heard of him, that means nothing, hardly anyone has. But he writes about the secret. Not the one that brings you everything just because you believe it will. The one that recognizes how people act. Realistically and metaphorically we live on a wheel. And it is the rare individual that even recognizes that. The one that can get off the wheel is named Jesus or Siddhartha. It just doesn’t happen. And when it does, you know.

Punk
December 8, 2015
I embraced the music before Rollins existed, when Keith Morris was the singer for Black Flag. I had nothing to be angry about—I was nine—but I knew that this was more important than Kiss.

My first three albums were: Kiss’ Destroyer and Alive, and Boston’s Don’t Look Back. My first concert was Heart which, if you can believe it and I barely do, my mom let me go to unattended when I was nine. The next summer I saw Black Sabbath and Blue Oyster Cult. I was always a music kid.

I won a thousand dollars when I was nine years old and I bought a cassette player and Back in Black. I played it until it broke. An older kid turned me on to Black Flag, and I followed Keith Morris to Circle Jerks. I was too young to even know what that meant. But shit did I love Wild in the Streets.

And now I’m in my forties and some of the seminal punks are in their sixties. And punk, like I knew it, went away. So I tattooed “PUNK” on my neck and I listen to the old shit, and feel like an old man, and wonder if things can ever get back.

A new beginning
December 8, 2015
I’ve started and stopped one thousand times. I’ve handwritten, I’ve typed. This story burns a hole, and empties me over and over and over. I read other things for inspiration and vacillate continuously between, I’m better than that, and I can’t finish this.

I used to blame the impotence on lacking a third act. Why would anyone read a story without a resolution? I have an answer. It’s a true story, and there is no resolution. Every question answered begets another question. Every resolution reveals another mystery.

I was married when I started this. And I told my wife that I was going to write a story about the women in my life, and that she was one of those women. “That’s your story, not mine. Keep me out of it.” By the time it mattered, it didn’t matter. Dissolutions are terrible in their execution, but liberating in their explication. What she wanted didn’t matter. I made this weird promise to myself, to the writing, that nothing would be left out. There would only be, for better or worse, everything I remembered, exactly as I remembered it. I remember better than most.

There’s a word for this and I can’t remember what it is
December 9, 2015
There is a human tendency toward connection. Toward creating patterns, even when none really exists. Trying to bring order to chaos perhaps is what separates us from being an animal. I suppose there are other things, but other primates don’t seem much concerned with the correlation versus causation debate. Bonobos will go down on each other, and chimpanzees will rip your face off, but neither group seems too concerned with voting districts or feminism.

The rate of divorce in Maine correlates almost perfectly with the rate of consumption of margarine in the rest of the country. And that’s not even the strangest example of almost perfect correlation. The number of letters in the winning word of the national spelling bee and people killed by venomous spiders? Almost perfectly the same. The point of talking about this? Many people find a cause and effect here. Don’t eat margarine or your cousin in Maine? Her marriage is doomed. Don’t spell long words, or you might kill someone with a spider bite.

These examples are ridiculous. Life is ridiculous. And the same impetus that suggests to a certain element that mass killings or 9/11 or Kennedy assassinations happened for a larger purpose, will also suggest this ridiculousness. It’s part of the human condition. These patterns that exist or don’t, that are recognized or not, that are true or false. To anyone that believes them, they are as real as God, or as oxygen in the air, or as subatomic truth or infrared light. The argument, of course, is just because it cannot be sensed, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. A negative proof shifts the burden, right or wrong, to the skeptic. And a lack of evidence becomes a virtue, not a deficit.

I think we all know better. I do.

Pace the floor
December 11, 2015
My steps echo like stomping through the whole house. And I’m small. Mid-sized on my best day. I’ve memorized the number of stairs so I can traverse them in the dark. Two, then eleven, then three. The wood still creaks and I make more noise than I want to. Half way up the eleven I reassure myself with, “Fuck it. This is my house.” But when you share a space, especially if that space at the end of your 2-11-3 finishes in bed, it’s not your house.

So I’m stumbling through the numbers, trying to remember what I told her. I don’t really think it matters. She’d be mad even if the honest answer was buying toys and giving them to orphans. It depends on how you define toys. It depends on how long you forgive someone for being an orphan. I tell myself it’s a sin of omission.

My body itches and if I have to stand up to piss less than four times tonight, my bladder will have claimed a victory worthy of a general. I get up six times.

“What the fuck were you doing in the bathroom last night?”
“I had to pee.”
“Pee. Right.”
“Nothing happened.”
“Nothing ever happens.”
“Nothing happened.”
“I don’t care.”

The worst part about everything is that she really didn’t care. Even worse than that? I wasn’t in trouble. She made coffee and silent went to work. I poured a cup, sat at the dining room table and tried to be defensive. I was still drunk. Drunk mad is the least justified drunk you will ever feel. And I was seething. I had no reason to be. I almost never did.

The Ewa Plains
December 11, 2015
My memory of here is that the place was hot and humid, and it is. Perhaps my ten-year old sense of reality had not experienced enough data points to make a sound declaration. Ewa Beach was hot. Kailua was hot, but cooler.

It’s calm outside and the state I find myself in is more tolerant of the heat. Texas is much hotter. And unlike Phoenix or Las Vegas, it’s not a dry heat. And no year gives respite. There is no such thing like “the year without a summer” like there was in New England. Every summer there is hot. And then you get weird anomalies, like pins pushing through the cardboard protection of seasons. I’ve sweat my days through three digits in April. I watched incredulous as the National Weather Service in Fort Worth issued a winter storm warning when it was 86 degrees, then watched it dropped to 20 before the sun was fully gone.

I love watching the weather. I prefer inclement weather. Weather is a convenient and easy metaphor. But that’s not why I like it. Here’s a stretch. I love the weather for the same reason I love baseball. Everything can be measured, everything is measured, and every measurement is subject to immediate recall with the correct resources and even measurement, in the correct, matters.

I can tell you records in both and you won’t care, but they exist independent of you or me. Esoteric and beautiful, they act as a beautiful gateway to want.

I have dreams sometimes
December 12, 2015
I have dreams sometimes that are so lucid that when I wake, it takes me a few moments to discern the difference between where I just was and where I am. Sometimes it’s horrific. Sleep paralysis. It’s explained medically as the inability of the body to move through the stages of sleep. And it’s not indicative of any underlying psychological pathology. I may have a slight disagreement with that. It has been explained historically as a demon sitting on your chest whispering promises of terror. I can see both sides.

I know I’ve been aware of the phenomenon. I’ve spoken to myself while in its grip. “You’re sleeping. Wake up.” And I’ve also made the attempt to throw myself back in because the life of dreams was preferable to the empty bed and ennui of being awake.

I have another thought that may seem off-subject, but I think tangentially fits.

Almost all of what we feel is a choice. But choices made repeatedly become hard to not make. I have friends that meditate. eat organic, and with a smile tell me that happiness is a choice. I’ve learned to mute my response. They should be motivating me with a fear of death, not a want of more smiles. I’ve smiled a lot already. A lot of good shit has happened to me. And most of the bad shit, I made happen to me, so there.

How do you fix it? Crazy glue doesn’t work on plastic, it corrodes. You can be patient and hold those two pieces together for as long as you want. The first time you put any pressure on the crevasse, it’s coming apart. The same is true for you and me. For me and me. For the world and me. For my understanding and me. There are breaks I can’t fix, I don’t know how to fix, I don’t think will ever be fixed.

I still wake up every morning and stupidly, passionately, hope for the best.

Heart
December 13, 2015
When I was nine, the summer I turned nine, I caught the bus in August to Bass Tickets. It no longer exists. I remember what I bought. I’ve been to hundreds of concerts, but that would be the first. Heart and the Beach Boys. I thought Heart would be the headliner but they weren’t.

Now as a middle-aged person I can think about smiles and think about concerts. I can hear Barracuda or Straight On and think about the memories. The time I drank with U2 or partied with Echo and the Bunnymen (though with might be strong, considering with how wasted Ian McCullouch was).

I remember seeing Pearl Jam and even Alice in Chains when I did that kind of thing. And that stolen excitement was like when I was a kid again. Things weren’t supposed to happen in a place I wasn’t supposed to be. Yet they did and they were.

A naked torso. A smile. Three notes on the radio. It doesn’t make to wrestle a smile. And there’s always a price to pay for each wrestle. Life would be a terrible vacuum without being terrible.

It’s hotter than I’d like it to be
December 14, 2015
I’m not sure if the correct term is meta, or post-modern, or post whatever. But this is definitely aware of itself. I’m not sure why I torture myself. Thinking about you, about us, is like playing with a sore in your mouth or a loose tooth that hasn’t yet given way. I like to be aware that it’s there.

I know you think about things. You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t. I’m also pretty sure you have come to some very different conclusions than I have.

Yours and my fall was steep, calamitous, and quick.

I was your best friend on August 1. We slept together for the last time on September 5. But by October, we were arms-length robots. My knowing exact dates shouldn’t surprise you. I’m not obsessed anymore than I normally would be. I just have one of those memories that you loved me for, and then hated me just as strongly for.

I don’t know how to fix things and I wish I could. If we’re going to place blame? I am clearly to blame. You’ve heard me say sorry so many times, that it must mean nothing. It must mean as little as it takes to say it. A breath. But I am. I know things can never be like they were, nor should they be. But I miss…I’m not sure what.

The holidays are here and I remember how perfect you were at giving gifts. You’d remember a phrase thrown away in June, so that in December there might be perfect stocking stuffer. I am a narcissist. You are the opposite. How did we ever find love? I can understand how we lost it, but finding it in the first place.

I wish life was a jigsaw puzzle. Those are easy to put together. You just find the edges and work your way in. Stumbling around Walmart, wishing for a family, wishing for my family. Alone, broken, and sad. Now there’s a puzzle that doesn’t work its way inward, if it works itself at all.

The thing about words
December 15, 2015
Sounds your mouth makes are easy. I can say something to you and mean it. I can make you cry with prejudice. But what’s the point? Unless you feel like feeling anything I bring out in you is temporary. I can cry right now. I can make myself tear up. It means nothing. I’m scared about what does mean something. Jousting about politics is maybe fun. Sidewalks are the real answer to these questions. I gave half a pizza away tonight, not because I won’t be hungry tomorrow, but because I had it. There are are people that are hungry right now, and I can figure out a way to eat tomorrow.

A certainty
December 15, 2015
There’s a certain beauty to being alone. A comfort. I wake up with me. I went to bed with me. Whatever I was missing is the same at 7am as it was at 1. it’s quieter now. The kids went to school a little earlier and were yelling. Kids are weird. They’re perfect or atrocious. I like the way life feels right now. I like the way kids sound. I like the motion of the moon across the sky. I like the birds that aren’t endemic. I like you.

Things change though. Love becomes hate. People don’t change, really. So what changed? Perception, most likely. If I could give anything, I would go back in time to the place that was gentle. The place where you found easiness. This fucking complicated mess is a complicated mess. I still love you. I still love everything, and it’s a complicated mess.

Awaken
December 15, 2015
There are so many ways to wake up. I most often do like a squirrel, punctilious and tachycardic. I think I made that word up. It means my heart is beating fast. I hate the red line under the word even though I know what I meant.

Each word means less. Until every word means more. When someone is here you can ask them and chastise for every choice. And when they ªre gone every choice is a mystery. I hope that ªs not the case with me. I ªve been transparent to the point of shut up. I’m never shut. I love you. And I ªm never going to shut up.

Every moment
December 15, 2015
I have words to spill. I used to spill them into oblivion. Then people started reading. And sending words back. Most people say they don ªt care. Of course you care. People that don ªt care are robots or liars. I care. But not as much as I care what she says. One syllable from her is an more than an essay of your troubles.

The thing is her silence is more that the shout of most. And I made her silent. I can punch myself in the face all day and it doesn ªt make a difference. I ªve learned that once a women turns cold it requires an act of God to bring warmth to the situation. Love is cruel and fair.

My hair is long
December 18, 2015
It looks strange to me. I don’t really look like me. I ripped my wrist and my forehead. I look like Frankenstein from some angles. I have scars that would scare your mother. They scare mine.

And for all this. I used to think I was immortal. Clearly I’m breakable. I don’t know I’ve been broken, is that the same? Death seems to be in the air recently. Not my death. I’ve lived more than half my life.

I remember turning ten, and my best friend’s father told me, “Ten, then twenty, then thirty, then forty.” I thought he was crazy. Forty? And now I’m forty-five.

I was talking to someone at Starbucks two days ago. It seemed so normal to have coffee, and I remember my life five years ago when it was scones and coffee.

This is going to sound depressing, but it’s kind of true. I have to consciously try not to cry so people don’t stare at me over my Christmas roast.

I’m going to Hilo on Wednesday. That seems like a pretty modest hope. Can I fucking make it to Wednesday without losing my shit? I don’t really like to bet anymore. Almost certain that I’ll make it. What shape though.

Does anybody remember laughter?.

Flaws
December 19, 2015
In every person there is good and the capacity for bad. Duality doesn’t quite capture the nuances or all the possibilities. We all do shitty things. If you don’t admit it, I’ll admit it for you. I’ve admitted it about me a million times. Humans are flawed creatures. Are heroes are flawed. Curtains are nice for this.

Words are worthless
December 19, 2015
They feel like so much when you’re saying them They feel like the world. They are ephemeral and can only, by definition, last long as they are remembered. And unless they are written down, are always remembered incorrectly. And when they are written down, are quoted incorrectly. Words have been this power speakers and writers that they don’t have. If I punch you in the face, you will remember that a lot longer than some careful, clever face I manufactured sad and alone.

It’s a classic contradiction. Unavoidable as it is true. People don’t give a shit about you, no matter who you are. They give a huge shit about themselves. If you can impact that with a word or three, then you are special. Most can’t, won’t, or won’t even try. I do. And it’s looking up at the stars, because I make as much difference home the Milky Way spins as to how you’ll respond to a question.

What else can I do? It’s all I know. It’s all I want. You can’t always get what you want. You rarely do. But you can be really smart, and when that millimeter opens? You can shut it. And then it’s one millimeter less. One millimeter at a time. Until it’s the universe.

Perfect
December 19, 2015
They don’t pay you anything to think you’re perfect. Too bad because I do it a lot. I don’t know; perfect might be strong. Ho about mostly right. Most of the time I feel mostly right, especially when I say it or write it. It’s one of the few things I have in common with Donald Trump.

I speak in long sentences, but I think in monosyllables. The juxtaposition can be weird. I explain to friends that I try to speak in the vernacular, but people still end up looking at me strangely. I still refuse to write or say OMG, even though I just did.

I’m going to repeat
December 19, 2015
Eventually, I’ll repeat everything. If you believe in eternity or an unending universe, it can’t not be possible.

Everything is potentially a metaphor for something that means more than what’s actually happening. And everything has a price, even when you don’t know you’re paying it. Cash is easy. Credit, not so easy, but still easy. Indeterminate costs are what burn your stomach and wreck your soul. I have plenty of those. Sleep, when it comes, as you can imagine, doesn’t come easily or well.

Respite
December 19, 2015
There is none. There is relief. This torture that you toy with has been in me since I was a child. I walk away from it because why. Part of me thinks the result is pointless. Part of me knows it would be hurtful to people I care about. The rest of me doesn’t care. One big numb. Wake? Okay. I wish I slept longer. Smile? Okay. Kiss? Okay. It all feels good right now. You need to work on tools. That shit is so empty. It means nothing. Those words are just breaths of consonants and an occasional vowel.

Look at me. I’ve been doing this my whole life. I’ve been feeling it my whole life. Drugs make it go away for a second. Your drugs don’t really make it go away, but you get to feel like you’re doing something. In the end, I’m alive.

Life is fragile, this I realize. I’ve seen it, when it was pretty and not so much. I don’t want to beg for anything, I don’t think anyone does.

There’s a scene on a show I recently saw where a woman gets taken to the hospital and her eyes open suddenly, and I don’t know how she has the realization but she does. “I’m not ready.” And then she’s gone.

I’m not ready.

Toxic
December 19, 2015
Toxicity is another way of saying poison. It can be used metaphorically. “You are toxic to me; this relationship is toxic.” Those are perfect uses of the phrase. Sometimes the phrase can also be perfectly ignored. People do things every day that are not just not good but injurious. In the moment, you felt good. In hindsight, I don’t think you were. I could say the same about me, and I am me. so at least you have some distance. Love. or at least believing it exists makes people do some the strange, questionable things. Things you might yourself question. Answers are the hard part. Anyone with a mouth can ask anything. Yeses aren’t too hard. No is harder. Knowing the difference in when to say which is what separates criminals from mistakes.

Bad signs
December 20, 2015
They say its a bad sign when the things that normally bring you pain or sorrow pass makes up indifferent It frightens me, then, to say that I don’t care. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to be dead. I certainly don’t want to feel pain. But I don’t care. Pain is a temporary construct. It ends one way or another.

Questions
December 20, 2015
Wishes are problematic. They rely on the wants of a single. The intelligence of the crowd goes in the opposite direction, but can also be problematic. The problem is that people are human. And are at best, are very near our worst. There not too far apart.

A question or two
December 20, 2015
Do you need quiet? That question worries me about intent. I have to scratch sometimes. My mind races and scratches the urge to fight. Quiet is an easy end. The end is the finish of knowing, at least as we know it. And knowing is all we have.

What is inevitable and what just feels that way
December 24, 2015
Lately I ªve been preoccupied with death. Not in any particularly morbid way, and certainly not about my own except to wish that it wasn ªt inevitable. I think it ªs all of these end-of-the-year lists reminding us who died in 2015, and the depressing death watch of country singer Joey Martin, as she has gone from diagnosis to hospice, by her husband Rory on his blog and my Facebook news feed. I ªm not sure why, because I ªm not a fan. I assume since the metadata collection that Facebook uses to push the absolutely relevant ads and news stories I currently see when I log in, has also been successful at diagnosing my recent preoccupations.

We all have to die, and pretty much nothing else hasto happen. I hate that idea. But, the alternative is probably worse.

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