February 9, 2017
Pace the floor. 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.”
“Nothing ever happens.”
“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.
February 10, 2017
“How hard would that have been?” “To what?” “To wake up one day and be like everybody else.” “I can’t answer that.” “Why do you always have to be the bad seed? The damaged goods?” “I’m different?” “You’re not different. You’re like everybody else.” “No.” “You’re right. Not everyone is killing themselves. I just want to know how we got here.” “It just happens I guess.” “This shit just happens?” “Well, this is where we are.” “This is where we are. I’m not happy.” “What can I do?” “Change.” “Nothing ever changes. Not really.” “I know.” “Then what are you asking for?” “Out.”
March 29, 2017
I wish I could see those six pictures I took of you, late at night, seven years ago next month, when I captured you forever, arms in the air, and a happy, pursed-lip smile, dancing to whatever song we were playing at the time, more sweet than sexy, but oh so fucking sexy. In that moment you, and I through you, were perfect.
Try me die another day
April 2, 2017
I read Junot Diaz and Dostoyevsky and think to myself, “I don’t speak like that.” My first language was Pidgin English. Truth to power, truth to shame, truth to reality. Truth is trouble. Truth hurts. Trust me on this one. Is truth good? Does it serve a purpose? Why does everyone lie if truth is the end all? Truth gets you in trouble. That’s why we like to read it. So far removed from what is.
April 2, 2017
Hard, heavy cathartic. Like everything it isn’t perfect. When you plane a board to make it smooth. Heavy music planes my jagged soul. My girlfriend can only hear noise. I hear angels trumpeting. Deflecting. Whispering. Ssshhh. They’re not shouting, “Do it.” They are under the breath saying, “Kuli.”
The Call of the Wolf
April 20, 2017
It’s the call of the wolf. On nights when the moon is close, and I can’t resist its pull. That’s what “normal” people don’t understand. They don’t feel that crazy that washes over some of us like bath water.
It insinuates and fills every crevice, just like water. And then the impulses strike. And they sound like such good ideas in your mind. And then you blurt out something that makes so much sense when you’re thinking it.
Insanity can often appear lucid, and that is why it’s so hard to understand for people without mental illness.
How would you react to hearing a voice when you were alone? Or a song that’s not playing? Or shadows that look like demons when you turn off the lights? Some parts of this shit are disconcerting at best, and frightening at worst.
I haven’t turned off my lights in six months. I haven’t slept well in 30 years. I am wholeheartedly aware that this is not normal. I am not choosing this. Somehow, it has chosen me, and those of us that are chosen have no promised land. And can’t see a welcome party at the light at the end of the tunnel. Most days I don’t even see a light.
April 20, 2017
This is always how it starts. The voices and music don’t come until much later. But this is how it starts.
The anger and the boredom build. Drown them both in wine. Then regret. And try to stop. Usually on your own. Usually, it works. Overdose on B12 and fill yourself with water until your bladder bursts. Take cold water baths. Bath because you don’t want to seize and fall in the shower. Not too much water, because you don’t want to drown like Whitney Houston. Soft music. Shallow cold water. B12, B12, B12. Valium if you have it. Ativan, but that usually requires an ER visit. Lay down in the dark, someplace soft in case you seize and fall.
Who would choose this? Your judgment means nothing. I don’t want this any more than the people that love me want to watch it.
And I know you’re mad at me. I said some shit before I started trying to kick. That ain’t me. I mean, I guess it’s obviously a part of me. This fucking predilection. I guess I mean it, but it’s shit you don’t say out loud, yet you do when you’re fucked up.
Am I going to kick this time? Probably not forever. It’s a running joke among addicts of every kind: it’s so easy to quit, I’ve done it 75 times. But that, if there is one, is the devil. And when you dance with the devil, I promise you, the devil don’t change. You do.
April 22, 2017
I ask you questions not because I want to know the answer. I already know the answer. I want to hear your answer. I want to hear your inflection when I know you’re lying. I want to watch your eyes. They lie. They teach my eyes to lie and not look like that when they do. Truth be told, you’re too easy. I’ve already taught my eyes.
Next is voice. Controlling modulation is easy. Faking modulation, choosing modulation, requires testing. Tears are a crocodile. Pleas are the epitome of easy. The hard part is the eyes. They give you away. I’m not sociopathic, but that commitment is like steel. I wish I had it. I don’t. Yet. When you can, sociopathic, look and smile? It would make the part that still requires feeling to feel a little easier. To straight up Ketel One straight is the easiest way to make it easier. But drunk, there’s still a twinge of I don’t know. I know.
I’m not hard. I’ve always been soft. I’m not cruel. I have a decent memory. I have a burning inside me. I will ask the question. And then we can all have cold drinks in Hell. My tab.
Close your eyes
May 3, 2017
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.
The idea of everything
May 3, 2017
Everything is a challenge. I don’t want it. Cheetos are hard enough. Look at anything and you can see forever. I’m with someone that can only see 4 pm. And that is all she can see. What happens at 4 pm in her millimeter of the universe that we know? There is not one scent of discernment which smells in the 13 million light years of the universe that exist. She’s happy in those millimeters. I have angst in the universe. Who has it right?.
Remember when I lost my shit
May 9, 2017
Today, I’m grounded. You would say, “I’m sorry,” for me. I can walk downhill without feeling like I’m falling. Is that good, or have I learned to mitigate bad? The bigger question is whether o not it matters. I won’t fall. That looks good to everybody compelled to watch.
There are things that make me laugh. I’m not making it up. “How can you laugh at that?” “It’s funny.” “No, that isn’t funny, it’s sad.” “No. It’s funny.”
I’ll survive dinner. I won’t survive life.
Recently, I’ve woken up on a stretcher to the beep beep of the electronic approximation of my heart. No tunnel vision. No the “moronic white light dance of nothingness.” Just nothing than beep beep.
I watch all the famous people die. And they all die. Now I know their names.
May 10, 2017
You are like a squirrel. Constantly gathering, constantly foraging, trying to figure out what is yours. Beady-eyed and worried about what might be looking, who might see. You grab an acorn, this is mine, this is mine, this is mine. I can understand by my outlook why this might be might be troubling to you. While you scramble for acorns, I don’t care. And because I don’t care about acorns, you think I don’t care about anything. Not true. You need to stop projecting your worries and fears on me. I don’t worry or care about the things you do. Not even close. But I care about you. A lot. Let that be enough.
May 26, 2017
“I thought you’d be dead by now.” “Clearly, you don’t understand the resiliency of narcissism.”
May 31, 2017
What do we argue about that really matters? I think about the last time you raised your voice and I want to shave my eyebrows when I think, “Who the fuck cares?”
Is it bad that I love you but I don’t like you? Is it bad that I think you’re beautiful but everything out of your mouth that you’re not mimicking is almost always stupid. And the stuff you mimic is almost as bad, but it’s better thought out. Like the holocaust. Terrible and tragic, but there was a plan..
I’m torn between worship and disgust.
There was a time when I had nothing to explain or ask explanations of. When I see you I see an angel. Who doesn’t give one fuck about anything except being angelic.
You look at me and call me a devil. I know exactly what I am.
There are words I don’t say. There are places I don’t like to look at. I made a mess in some of them, but that’s not why I don’t like to look.
The difference between you and me, and I hate to think about it even. You don’t know to look.
I’m going to lie in this hospital bed. I don’t want to be dead. I certainly didn’t try to be here. But if I could not exist anymore and be happy at the same time, that would be my choice
A happy life to you has no conflict. Life is conflict. When it ends, so do you..
Words make your head spin and you crave tired boring quiet. Do you know long you’re going to be dead? Do you remember the forever you were dead before you were born? The next dead is a lot longer. Why on Earth would you want silence now, when you sort of have a choice? There’s almost no time left..
June 4, 2017
Feel beneath your left rib. The soft spot. That’s your spleen. Everyone cares about the approximate same place on the right side. That’s your liver. You don’t need a spleen. Twenty years ago you did. Trust me you need your liver. The two organs on your body that regenerate. Your liver and your skin. But when they’re broken, they’re broken. And their distress is yours. Dying of broken skin or a broken liver is not a way anyone would choose to die. Pancreas. Stomach. Those are bad too. They’re all bad right? They all end the same way. Forever. But you can lose your spleen..
June 4, 2017
Your funeral. Will it be well attended? Will mine? Is that proof of love? I’m sure a few people will bother to look at my ashes. The one I want to prostrate on the floor will choose to clean the carpet at home. Pragmatism. There are crumbs. You know I’m sort of good at English but I don’t have a word. The ones that I can think of all seem negative, but I don’t think that is what it is. I don’t think there is feeling. The difference is not that I choose to feel. I’m dating someone and I don’t want to denigrate her. I did that in person. She’s a pre-k teacher. She questioned me being a writer. I called her a babysitter that shuffles kids to the bathroom so they don’t piss themselves and that I could do her job with absolutely no training. Was I wrong to say it? I think that’s pretty clear. Please don’t ask me if I still think it’s true. Don’t ask.
June 4, 2017
The trouble with belief is that it’s a lie. Your senses lie. There is a whole spectrum in all five senses and your is in the middle. You can’t see what a housefly can see. You can’t smell what a dog smells. You can’t hold your breath like a dolphin. Then why are we human? That fraction of our brain that makes us sentient. The small part that gives us speech. Or make the abstract scribbling of lines make sense as words.
I want noise. I want percussion. The letter s is a boring cunt.
I’m wearing socks and it very hot.
I’ve had more conversation about why words are important today than there are words.
But words are more important than bombs.
June 18, 2017
Punk rock to most of the people that I love, and who love me, is unlistenable. To me, it’s like butter on a burn, aloe on a cut. Punk rock slows the clock, and where you hear fast, everything for me gets slow. The cacophony is harmony. The hard feels soft, and the desperate seems hopeful. She says, “Noise.” I say, “Beautiful, isn’t it, Princess?”
Shuck and Jive
June 21, 2017
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.
June 24, 2017
You weren’t always like this. You look in the mirror and plow the lonely furrow of white cream on your cheek with disposable plastic, and three sharpened sheaths of metal. You count the lines drawn deep at the corner of your eyes. You open them wider to mitigate the depth of the lines. You squint and they are back. You’re not quite old, but you read the obituaries every day. You subtract your age from the ages of the deceased. More often than not the remainder is a smaller number than your age; sometimes it is negative.
The calculus of your best-case scenario, barring some worst-case accident or disease, and the resulting tragic (at least to you), shuffling off this mortal coil, results in forty years if you’re lucky. You remember forty years ago. Now you remember forty years in the future. It occurs to you that life may be just a brief flash of consciousness, between two black eternities. The idea mimics panic. By a force of will, you push the nihilistic realization of probable reality, for now, out of your immediate thoughts. Turn the page to the comics. None elicit a smile.
June 25, 2017
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 dark 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?.
June 27, 2017
There are ideas. There are always ideas. Why do you do the ones that wake? The sprinkler spits. So you know it’s four. Timers. Now what? It’s summer now so the sun is on the plain. Pink rabbits make you a fool. They mitigate what hurts. What now? It’s not king tides, it’s more like the sea.
There are meanings in my thighs beside threatening and moaning. And I try my way to tumble to free.
June 27, 2017
You understand yourself. And I understand. We all understand life in the context of ourselves. You have a peculiar peculiarity. You come of your understanding in context. You’re whorish prude. A teacher who knows better. Words pour out of me and, in fact, I say them often and regret them. That’s our being in sin some different. You don’t regret anything you say. Trust me. You should.
July 23, 2017
I have 25 moleskins, lined, unlined and graph-ruled. With Winston Smith, cream-colored glory. I have perfect pens. I can’t write. With perfect tools, words seem so arbitrary. I fill 69 cent notebooks with cat scratches. Every 1000 words make 5. The moleskins cost a lot more..
uly 23, 2017
I haven’t spoken to him in too long. He cried in joy when he got off the phone with me. I still am.
The next day, I was sitting feeling sorry for myself.
I got a random text. “Hey, Dad.” Two words. He wanted to tell me he wasn’t getting anything at Jamba Juice. Nothing, and still everything.
And nothing will ever be the same.
August 2, 2017
This is for you. And that is the most ironic statement I can make. I’m writing this for you but I doubt if you’ll ever read it. And if you read it you won’t understand that it is a celebration. You will see a desecration. Perhaps. Like life, almost any idea articulated can be mitigated with two syllables. Perhaps.
Being clever is actually easy. Clever is a cheek squeezed between teeth. Teeth are hard. They’re surprisingly hard to rip out. But like anything else, they will. My heart, my soul. These are all haphazard amalgams of self. What I think I am. Rip out a tooth. Or come close to having one ripped out. That is who you are.
Six ideas for fifty stories
August 2, 2017
This is how everything starts. Random puking. Then I go back. But if I don’t have a phrase I like, I quit.
Reasons are limited by their definition. Reasons make you have a reason. Don’t choke on what you swallow. That is the only rule. Live. It’s harder than you think.
Make enemies and see more. Love life and see how life repays you. How do I show that I’m interested in you?
Reasons are so big. You are small but as big as the universe in your mind. How do I show that I’m interested in you?
I worry about climate change, but in the now I don’t give a fuck.
I worry about you.
Where do you sleep? What are you going to eat tomorrow?.
Come or blood. It will prove your identity or that you weren’t there. And so what if I’m right? Okay, you weren’t there. I never said you were. You were. But you didn’t do what left the bodies on the ground. I didn’t. So we are on the same side. And I hate you.
She walked to work like she always walks to work. Love was the rain that fell. She hated the way it fell on her. Smile at me. I hate the gesture. I stumble home and if I make it to bed, I hate everything that didn’t stop me. But she was on the bus. And she was pretty and innocent. I choke on that word as I say it. Nothing is pure. I dare you to find the opposite. Don’t look too closely if you care.
The way the blanket feels soft. My jeans. Your eyes used to feel that way. Now every part of you is iron. I don’t know. I probably deserve it. I kind of hate myself. You’re doing a rather piss poor job. Maybe you don’t hate me as much as I do. Hate is hard to continue. It takes a lot of energy. I can’t do it. And I’m here all the time. I don’t hate you. I know where the bodies are buried. And I love you.
The world is small. Take a ride. It’s small. I have to sit. I don’t want to sit. By definition, you lose it where you find it.
How do we start this? Does it rock or does it roll? Does it shine or does it hide? Is it drunk or is it sober? Living in the storm is hard. How do you get by? We’ve forgotten everyone’s name. I remember yours.
I’m not ready
August 2, 2017
Love is art Love is wrong Love is a rectangle There are more than four corners The ocean gets deep What do you want? Love won’t give it to you.
Nothing I care about
Will die in my lifetime
The air will kill you before I can
The saddest thing I ever saw
Was a woman moments before death
She kept repeating, “I’m not ready”
That frightens me
I’m not ready.
August 5, 2017
I was trying to go fast and flickered in and wondered how you could see me. Get in. Get out. Walk into the room, burn, and hear the approval. Turns out there will be no comfort. And I have been cursed, like most, with a long and lonely life. You don’t get to ask anymore about the prices I’ve paid. I can tell you I’m broke. Forgive my sins, because I never will.
Ease of Use
August 6, 2017
This is easier. It’s always been easier. Imagine how much easier it was in 2007. That was a smooth, well-cobbled road. So I stepped off. And now it’s hard… er. Life is a thing. So simple. But simple eats your soul. And you seek more complex until you fuck yourself out of that moment of simple that you found. And then you do it again. And again. And again. And … you know where the story goes.
August 7, 2017
The essential part of a dream is ephemeral. It is your adrenal gland and your prefrontal cortex playing jokes on you that you might never understand. I am 47. And I woke up frightened as if there was a killer in the room. It was my brain. And then I woke up three hours later as if I had a lover and was at peace. It was my brain. No one wants to kill me. Few want to love me. It was my brain.
Wishing for sleep
August 7, 2017
There are those like me. I’ve had coffee with them. I’ve eaten with them. I’ve loved them. I’ve done drugs with them. I’ve slept with them. I don’t do drugs anymore, but I do everything else. I don’t know anyone like me in person anymore. It’s a tribe, but it’s not like there are gatherings. I spend 98% of my awake life alone wishing for sleep where everybody is.
August 8, 2017
I would have thought by now that I’d know why. 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 in the 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. Like that last sentence.
“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. Most of it was in my head when she was next to me. Crimes are literally caused because of her beauty. And I literally talked to myself like a crazy person. Why did she keep talking to me?.
September 9, 2017
The title of this post is probably you didn’t confess. It’s hard to keep 1000 lies straight. Technically you weren’t cheating. In my head, we were still together, if not yours. And then you waited three days to fuck someone else, and then you came back and fucked me a couple times. 18 months got three days of reflection. Actually, it was no time all. You met him and fucked him immediately. The sad thing is you’re on way back. I hate to out you as liar, but public persona is so different from the truth and I’m so disappointed you turned to be just like everybody else.
September 9, 2017
Do I choose cheaters, serial awful cheaters, or do I make them cheat? The only person who didn’t cheat on me was my ex-wife. I cheated on her. Just once. Drunk. And though for a different reason she doesn’t speak to me anymore, I still consider it the worst mistake of my life.
All my major lovers have been objectively physically beautiful. Some of them shockingly so considering me. Is beauty that much of a siren’s song? Or do they get hit on so often they jump at a better opportunity when it comes? I’m not so much a prize right now, but even when I was, it happened. I’ve been on dates where they get propositioned when I’m in the bathroom or getting drinks, then slink away when I get back. Some guy is always going to have more money. Better looking life. Better looking period. I don’t see monogamy as possible anymore. Certainly is hypocritical of me to be so upset. The silver lining is I’m not sad. I just don’t like losing. She has come to be the Stanley Cup to me. Empty on the inside, but something I have to win. Then anyone can have it. I’ll skate around the ice one time and then hand it off to whoever wants to carry it next.
October 15, 2017
Many of you that know me in person for at least a while remember me heavy. When I was a child (child means under 27) I associated health with weight. I was 268 when I took my college diploma. On intake last week at the worst my health has ever been (and health isn’t visibly bad unless you could read my mind), I was 149.8 pounds; 68.1 kilos for my European friends. I might have lived forever at 245. That is irony Alanis.