Thursday, December 30, 2010

This is your regret, backwards

Exhale.
Turn the key.
Turn some song up about someone else louder than you can bear.
Scratch at your skin.
Get in your car.
Walk outside.
Pound your drink.
Eye fuck gently those blue eyes over there.
Sip.
Practice makes perfect.
Eye fuck the shit out of the painting on the wall.
Sip.
Inhale.
(fuck. you accidentally exhaled. you weren't ready. the room wasn't ready. this isn't how it was supposed to be. it is ok. no one noticed. sneak this one in.)
Laugh. Laugh. Laugh.
Sip.
Fix your bangs.
Scratch your nose.
Sip.
Count ex-lovers on your phone.
Count ex-lovers in the pool.
Sip.
Pick at the shit in your teeth.
Pick apart the man leaning next to the fireplace.
Pick apart the woman in that short dress.
Sip.
Dart your eyes around the room.
Inhale.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Three things

1: A freshly minted woman is crying in a hallway. She is pouring her self out to a man in a studded jacket. She is covered in scars and bruises that she doesn't remember or care enough to know their history. I try to recall those days long enough ago that they are all happy. Maybe the drugs have caught up to her. Maybe the lighted scarf and glow stick wand didn't make up for the lack of cards. Maybe I'm too over caring to care.

2: People keep walking into the kitchen and turning on the stove. They are making ramen. It is various times between 5:30 and 6 in the morning. There has been too much this evening. And that is fine. Sometimes these things have their place. Myself, here, not so much.

3: This month is the end to a lot of things. The first year in a new decade and the final year for things. It is shit how most of this ended. But for some reason, in this house, where someone I loved lives, my head against a wall by a fireplace, hearing beds hopped on built up and destroyed, things make sense. I keep hearing loud voices from a hall. I keep hearing tears punctuate sentences that start with he. I keep being not be able to find answers. But excitingly, I keep closing doors, turning pages and finding things to burn. I had plans and goals tonight. I did not accomplish them. But that's good. Because the couple on the couch seem to be accomplishing enough of these things for me. And I don't need that anymore.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

For someone, maybe

There is rain. And a large tree is missing. It has been weeks, but it isn't so much worth paying attention. Did it fall on you, your car, your wife, or your future ability to make a living? No. Move on. I only practice my speech for quitting my job while waiting to make this left. I also come up with plans for rapid evacuation and/or decent into hell. It is fine.


These are the perfect shoes for you. Enough lift to separate you from boys and enough angle to attract men. Those three months in that room with grayish walls and a nearly consistent empty bed taught you only how to keep from going back there. But nothing else. I can tell by the way you bite the lip of those unsuspecting girls you kiss.

A stomach turns and you can't tell if it is because you skipped a meal to keep the evening going or you are sick of the thoughts in your own head.

Decide to stop yawning because you aren't tired, you are just bored.

I was thinking about crying. Everyone turned off their phones. Everyone fell asleep, or is fucking. And I'm not doing either of those. At least tears mean something. Something shallow. Something forced. Something.

But fuck all that noise, right?

You can't even give away the parts of your life that matter. You can't fill the holes with an open casting call. You can't expect phone calls, thoughts, lust, desire, boredom, shots, baggies or the occasional peeping tom.

You can't keep fingers crossed for anything.
Everyone is mad.
Everyone is leaving.
Everyone will be gone on Christmas day.

So you'll sit on a couch and count ghost steps to beds and doors that get no use. You'll listen for the water to boil that will heat the noodles of your twenty cent Christmas dinner. You'll say something to no one at all. And the sun will set and you will got to bed.

(I can only imagine you occupying sixty-four seconds of space in my life. They are non-consecutive. No foreplay. No conversation. Just this list of how one would make it through an evening: 8 smiles. One on accident, more than a year ago, when no one knew anyone's name. 2 occasions in a spa and/or jacuzzi both times with no reasonable ambition or ability to control your actions. 1 car ride. 3 sloppy fucks. 1 and a half intense sessions of lovemaking (the half time interrupted by a shitty DJ and the constant looking over one's shoulder). 14 text messages, most from when you were too drunk to spell "miss", "honestly" and "soon" but 3 from a valley while I was stuck on a mountain. 2 sunrises, one with vomit, one without. And the rest of the time is just me putting your hair behind your ear so I can kiss you. I spent some time with a woman a while ago, and I put her hair behind her ear, and it just made me want to cut my fingers off so I never thought about doing it again.)

This is nowhere where I wanted it to be.

Sorry.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Live from some spot in the world

There's a tendon that is sick and tired of being in my foot. It is trying to leave my body. I totally understand it's argument. I've been wandering around this airport deciding if I'm hungry, thirsty or just adjusting to my new surroundings. I am about an hour into my layover. I have more than an hour to go. It is worth it. I'm in Oregon for the first time in three years. For the first time since I was on my way to Chicago, the great quarter life change that lasted almost a quarter of a year. I have less bags, but more baggage this time. I've never been in this airport, but it feels right.


They all feel right.

All these airports over the years. Either alone or with a love or a friend or a lay or still alone. They all seem like a vacation home I'll never own, a timeshare I'll never pay for, a friends floor I'll never sleep on; except for the times I have.

It is almost time for the beer and the shot combo. I've had one at every airport I've been to, except for that stop in Cleveland. It is me leaving my mark. A quick indention in a soft wood stool that will forget me sooner then I will forget what I wanted to say in this.

I guess I want to say this: things are good. And totally fucking different. I'm sitting in an airport and I'm not missing someones body, or looking into someones eye, or sharing a drink with a best friend. And I'm not full of should haves. And there are no what ifs. And I don't really care what everyone is thinking anymore.

But there are a few people I want to be here with me.

So I am going to do the things necessary that we can do things like this together. For a long time to come.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Coffee mugs for the damned

A couple of old men were knocking at the door. I was looking through the lower peephole that had been recently installed in the front door. I thought it was there because I was short. Actually it was there so I could be left home alone and people would feel better about it. I opened the door. It was Saturday and I had no shirt on. They were from a church I had attended a few weeks earlier on a whim. I filled out a visitor card and put in in the offering basket. No money though. I didn't have any cash on me and they hadn't earned it yet. The old men asked if I had been back since the first time. Then they asked why I hadn't. Then they asked if I liked coffee. And if I would take their gift. And if I would come back, or at least think about it. I said No, I was busy, No, I would, I might, I will. I closed the door while they walked back to their station wagon. The coffee mug they gave had old man candy in it. The wrappers made to look like fruit so you would feel better about sticking hard candy in your mouth that tasted like shit. I unwrapped one, put it my mouth, and promptly spit it into the trash can. I did this to every peace of candy. My mouth felt sugary and rotten. Maybe that is what Eve tasted so long ago; maybe that is what they wanted me to think. I put the mug on the proper shelf in the corner cabinet and got something to wash the overwhelming taste of sin out of my mouth. A little later I made some coffee to drink from the church mug.


I moved that coffee mug from house to house to house to apartment to house to apartment to apartment to house for a few years. I used to wrap it in this old t-shirt and toss it into the suitcase full of things I almost forgot. I never saw those men or the inside of their church again. I kept drinking coffee from their mug though. One morning in a kitchen that wasn't mine for very long the handle broke off. It was full of fresh coffee and a sugar cube. I was staring out the window at a yard like one of those robed fathers on Christmas morning in a coffee commercial when the business end of it crashed to the floor. It wasn't Christmas. I wasn't a father. I was naked.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flexing

There is a fancy, nice, dress sort of style sweater from last Christmas. There is a beanie of orange and blue from a house a few houses ago, a couple of girlfriends before. There is a shirt left over from an art project, and pajama pants from a mother that wasn't yours but wanted to be. Other then that it is all the same. Another holiday. Another work week. Another Sunday distraction of beer and football. Or maybe champagne. Or pills. Or biscuits and gravy. Everything sounds good lately. Everything then some. I'd count the days to and after on my crooked fingers, using each separation to mark the rise and fall of the sun. But that is easy. The countdown is this: is it Christmas? No? Then put your head down and wait. Or plow though it. Or peek between your folded arms while your thumb is up and sneak a peak at the shoes of the girl who touches your thumb. But don't pick her. Pick the girl you think should have a life ending crush on you. You know what to do. Drink some orange juice. Take some vitamins. Spray some shit into your throat. Medicine. Then more medicine. You know how to heal yourself. Too bad you don't stop whatever happens between your sheets, in your bathroom, on the road or inside your own head that keeps getting you sick. Or at least let you stay healthy for the last eleven months. You'll be fine in the morning.


I know.

Because you are always fine.

Sidenote: go back to March. Stand up for yourself, your desires and your lust. Are you still sleeping in an empty bed? Does it hurt more? Does it hurt less?

Tomorrow, there is this idea that came into my head, about my hands, my tiny hands, that I want to expand on. You always think you can choke the life out of someone. But what if you can't even grip tight enough to make someone cum?

Friday, December 03, 2010

I waited till the Internet stopped working to write this.

I took a month off. I needed a break. There was a birthday. There were shows. There was anything, any sort of excuse to not look at this. Anything to not think about my head being empty. Nothing felt right. No love. No interest. No desire. Just surface feelings, entertainment that barely scratched the skin. I threw it all at the wall, trying to get anything to stick, anything to make my heart beat faster, harder, more intense, more sincere, anything to make me feel. I wanted tears, pain, love, orgasm, hate, desire, lust or just some fucking interest in something. I wanted to not sleep at night. I wanted to toss and turn. I wanted to loose the desire for a partner, a warm body in bed next to me. I wanted a hand around my throat, I wanted to be shaken awake, I wanted to have my hair pulled, my direction changed, some sort of not very Devine intervention that made me take a left where I had been taking rights.

But that hasn't happened.

The parade has been beautiful. It has been nothing but party, one exciting day after the other. Did I say exciting? I meant empty. Faceless names. Nameless faces. Cold bodies. Warm bodies. Swallow. Sip. Chug. Snort. Smoke. Sneak in corners. Drag others along for the ride. Fake an orgasm. Forget a name. Develop a nervous reaction to any possible confrontation, or anytime someone remembers your name. Embellish. Divide. Conquer. Lie. Steal. Cheat. Be underhanded. Be divisive. Be manipulative. Forget. Don't care. Don't bother. Don't worry. Open the front door to let someone in while another is slipping out the back. Play wounded. Be hurt. Whatever. Make jokes. Be a joke. But make sure, no matter what, no matter anything else you might fucking do, don't feel. Don't let anyone in. Don't get hurt again. Hurt them. Fuck em, hurt them again. Then hurt them one more time. They didn't do anything, but they earned it. Go too far. Get bigger knives, twist them harder in backs. Because you are fine. No, I am fine.

I'm not the one taking a specific path to work to see a freeway overpass where I had the most passionate kiss of my life. I'm not the one repeating inside jokes to anyone within earshot just so they won't laugh and I can think "well, no one will laugh like you". I'm not the one finding excuses to take a shower because it is the only time I can feel free, comfortable, and close to happy. I'm not the one trying anything in their power to spin tales of fucking, drugs, drinks, women and cities not that far away to look interesting. I didn't mortgage my brain, my thoughts, or my passion. I didn't leave my heart on a beach, or was it that train, or was it that snowed in bus station in Denver that I have never recovered from.

I might be coming down. I might hate the holidays. I might miss everyone that has walked out of my life. But at least I'm writing, right?

If you could call this writing.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

June in November

The sun is pouring in my open windows. It reflects off the scattered beer bottles and religious candles. Today I was going to start my morning with a walk. Get blood flowing, heart beating, sweat a little and try to knock the recent haze out of my mind. Instead I am laying naked in bed. The blanket has been kicked to the floor and the flat sheet covers my right foot. I feel the folds developing in my skin and remember the sudden urge for exercise. It isn't enough to get me out of bed. I'll lay here for another fifteen minutes. A mix from this summer is playing. Suddenly I am walking through a strange neighborhood commenting on trashy yards and trashier things that happen in bed. I'm lost in this memory. Then its another memory, after a long night of vandalism, champagne and drugs. The sun is coming up, shining through my open windows, much like right now. But then I was holding someone else, tracing shapes on her skin of dreams long lost and places I used to live. Whispering things you hear in movies or sitting on park benches. I'm not getting out of bed. Let the gardeners do their work. Let them try to rouse me from this life raft too big for just one. Today I will show them. I'll pull the blanket up over my face. I'll read a short story about a woman who gets left in a motel and man who likes to get stabbed. I'll ignore text messages from coworkers who need my help, women who want my attention, and friends who want to know what happened to me. I'll masturbate thinking about all the times I wasn't alone in this bed; how one liked a hand here, another wouldn't look away, another made me think twice about ropes and sometimes it took all I had not to cry, cum, or leave. I'll change the mix and make sure the saddest songs ever play so when I fall back asleep I'll dream about sharing a new apartment in a new city with people I have never met. And I'll fall in love with some girl with short hair and a tiny nose. I'll blow all my money on things I think she'll love, so she'll love me. But all she wants is me to cook her dinner. But I sold my pots and pans for gold she will lose at a party while kissing my best friend. So I'll settle on a drug habit and the ability to fly. I'll grow a huge beard, sleep in a tree and shoot dope in the most beautiful parts of Yosemite. And everyone will say I remember when he used to get up, go for walks, buy spray paint and fall in love every other day. Those were the days.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

construction

Everything is changing today. The neighbor is getting a new roof. Someone down the street has a bunch of men climbing in and out of trucks with tools. They are tearing down, replacing, building up, patching, painting and making something look different while functioning the same. A lot of people are doing this too. They get their stickers, their badges, and the ability to stick their nose up at me just a little higher. That is fine. The things that matter to me are still here. The green hasn't left the trees yet and the cloudless sky shows me there is still a blue that makes me smile. It thrusts me back to a day of laying in the yard one day after work. I was laying in the grass, writing lyrics to song, thinking about how much in love I was, and wishing I was on the plane flying overhead to anywhere. That's the feeling that is here now. I am getting anxious. I'm sizing up things, mentally building boxes for the things in my room; for the moving truck or the landfill. It feels like a neighborhood of exhausted avenues. Everything feels like things that should be thrown away. Everything is changing today, just like it did yesterday. I need trash bags for the differences.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The side of the house.

Bite your lip. Breathe deep. Hold your breath. Shift your weight from right to left. Roll your eyes at the jokes and advances. Mimic the hands; hips for hips and necks for necks. Press your body hard into another. Retreat as soon as you can. Count the quiet moments in four feet of space. Leave your drink in the care of a stranger. Be strong, for a second. Then crumble. Repeat out loud the things you repeat to yourself when no one is watching. Fall back to the language of your mother; secrets like these won't break now. Moan. Pull away. Throw flattering statements at the brick wall supporting you in hope they stick. Tease. Only tease yourself. Review the steps to deflecting criticisms and questions concerning all of this. Plan the escape route. Get lost. Get left behind. Leave all on your own.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

(none)

I keep a foam cover around my beer. I don't want to feel it so cold against my hand. Or notice it gets warmer while I spend my time sending suggestive text messages to women who don't want to hear from me or who want me to propose. I'll rub my hands on my face, gouging my own eyes, not completely out though, coughing into my palms for something, a sort of relief. Six or seven gulps of beer that has been warmer but never less want to collapse into my chest. Everything is falling into bed around me. Branches are crashing to the ground. Roommates are fucking their girlfriends until they are both breathless and sweaty and trying to explain away a slip of a tongue, finger or thought. My phone beeps, chirps, cries; whatever. I walk over to where it sits and check it. I don't respond, I don't care. I'll spend my night listening to songs from men about the end of their lives, the worthlessness of their education, the hatred they have for where they are from and how they cry too many nights. I'll avoid their eyes and stare out the window through the cracks in the blinds at the light that shines on the yard full of the loudest dogs of my life. No. The loudest dogs on my street. This is life. Nothing before today matters. They just bark. I just stare. Someone will call, ask me to say something nice. I tell them I love them. Why not? When I love them the fuck other men, loan me money out of spite, drive me to counties I am not allowed to be in and want me to slow dance. I don't slow dance anymore. I don't cry. I don't miss the women who mattered most to me. I don't miss the women who meant shit. Everyone is part of a list, an entry into a phone book, a number, a regret, a promise or a chance. Some people collect plates, or cards, or pushpins in maps to show where they were. I collect heartbreak, lovers, hopes, dreams, words and pushpins in my skin. They show where I am. I am not calloused. I am not hardened. My heart still pounds for you, still bleeds for a different you, still pains for another you. I still smell you in grocery stores. I still feel your hand in mine on crowded streets in a haze of whatever the newest drug we felt would help keep us together. I still write about your curves. I still pray for you. But it all depends on the night. Sometimes I pray you die. Other times I pray you come home.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What it takes.

It has taken almost five years. Days of writing. Weeks of silence. For what?

I don't know.

This is shit.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The new me or the new new me

I took a solo cab ride home tonight. During this ride I talked with the cab driver about what I am doing, my age, my desires, and the meaning of words.

All I did was lie.

I told him I was twenty two. He said my glasses made me look thirty. I told him I was a journalism major about to transfer to UCLA. He was confused by this. I told him to make a right on to the street Tribune. He kept asking what that word meant. He was talking about Times, Chronicle, and Daily. He stopped at an ATM so I could take out money. I left the door open just to fuck with him. He dropped me off and I tipped him $3.95. I had to pay into that karmic jar; I work tomorrow.

This is just a symptom.

Why lie to a cab driver? Why not??

I lie to people I care about and to people I could care less about. I rehearse stories and scenes to seem interesting and appealing. The stories are true; and my retelling is flawless. But I feel empty. How many times can I tell someone about the time I dumped a girl because she interrupted my first viewing of Swingers? Apparently one more time.

I'm nothing without my words. I'm shit with out my stories. I'm worthless without my past.

And I guess that puts me at this spot I've been seeping in the last two weeks. Why I'm not writing her, why I don't care about this.

I keep cutting open my chest for someone to see. But I don't know if anyone notices. I bleed enough in my own head.

My emo heart has taken a beating, and I am running out of ways to talk about it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I'd rather be

I got a letter from a good friend in rehab. I am supposed to be writing him back. I should have been writing him back for a week now, at least. I don't do it though. I don't know what to say.

That isn't it.

I don't want to write him.

I think I am good friend. I use being a good friend as an excuses to get out of doing things and for doing other things.

But I'm not really a good friend.

I'm selfish, greedy, calculated, needy, emotional and a drunk.

I don't even want to write this.

I don't want to write anything.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Weeks...

I've been busy. The time goes to impressing bank workers with my knowledge of salad dressings, classmates with my ability to destroy my own life, and friends with fragments of a meaningful life. Most days don't count anymore. No fire in my head, no fire in my heart, no fire in bed. I'm relying on things I did weeks and months ago. No one can keep track of what I contribute. I'm as stagnate as the beer in glasses scattered around the room. But they grow mold. I grow nothing. It is all empty bottles, residue and religious candles. I make calls I shouldn't and neglect the ones I need. I pray for familiar faces and voices, if praying is a pattern you repeat on most Tuesdays and the occasion Monday and Friday. I don't bathe. I don't clean. I don't wash clothes. I don't care.

Someone told me a bill needed to be my top priority. Above eating? Above drinking? Above fucking? Above writing? Above the band? Above my heart? Above all the bullshit I put here trying to look smarter/more attractive/more interesting/more together/more anything?

There are less then two months before I hit twenty eight.

The damn cannot hold.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tables, desks, floors, and beds.

I'm using every flat surface I can find to spread my life out on. I'm stacking up photos on top of books I haven't opened yet but pretend to know what they are about. There are cans of spray paint holding up sketch pads that I only use as a surface for my knife blade and an extension of the screams stuck in my throat. Things to burn: candles, receipts, lottery tickets. Things to recycle: cans, bar poetry, canvas. They alternate on these flat surfaces, sometimes merging into piles that are so cluttered I don't know what to do with what. There are pens, a screwdriver, first aid spray and bobby pins. Change and wrappers to things that save my life and keep my mouth moving. A plastic apple shoved full of blades that won't rot or rust. If I could pour my heart into that lifeless fruit of temptation I would. But tonight I'll keep it. I'll mix it with the sweat on my skin, the fluids on my sheets, the beer on my nightstand, the broken dreams my friend left on the old brown couch last night. I'll learn to play that song on guitar that I should be singing to myself that I pretend is for everyone who is gone. I'll draw road maps, leave detailed directions, carved and burned into my skin. A treasure map for the hunt of all the bullshit that gets listed here. From where my car sits tonight: first right, second right, third left, first left, fourth right. You'll pass the spot I last saw family; it'll be on the left. And you'll see where I spent my first year, trying to be all the things that I thought would make us happy that just tore us apart; it'll also be on the left. And if you go a little further, then go right, then second right, then follow that street till it ends You'll find some other haunted spot. There's a bunch of them, and this is one of the few I thought of, because I know that ghost is around. I can hear familiar voices and feel some of those familiar knots. I'm not nearly drunk enough for this tonight. But I am tired. Let's leave this unfinished.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

French Exit

Ummm, wow. I don't think I've mentioned this on here yet. New band. You'll love it.

French Exit - frenchexit.bandcamp.com

Check it out. More writing tomorrow.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

The withdrawl of troops

The mornings come faster then a week ago. There is more noise: the rumbling of stomachs, the creaking of knees, and the ever-present soundtrack of men from Scotland trying to find the same place in their lives that I am flipping a coin to choose to run away or hide from. The cough is back, it is strong. It fell from trees, broke both arms, but quickly dusted itself off and ran straight down the street. There is no blood though. No open wounds. No trickle from my nose. My heart is finding ways to pound, but it does it's best work in dreams of old houses and drunk texts to women who don't even exist anymore. Or rather women who don't exist the same way in my heart or my head. There is more smoke. There is a hell of a lot more fire. There are fortresses, encampments, armadas, fronts, prison camps and place to smuggle all the worthwhile things out of the country that is my life. The fucking skin is fleeing my finger tips. It has been a while but it is still too familiar. If I had saved my photographs from the friends and places of years before this would be the time to set them on fire. I recruit new hands, new captains of ships that I will run into ground. No self destruction this time; Just trying to sow together a quilt to remember everything that isn't around anymore. Things I miss and the things I will forget. I am cramming my life full of living, someones idea of dreaming, and losing everything I can't keep in my pockets. Grab a bucket, there are holes everywhere.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Me and the lock on the font door.

When the sun is barely up.
And someone in this house is already on their way to work.
And the only noise outside is that one bird.
And someone jogs passed my window, fitter and happier, they think, then me.
And the cans and bottles have moved from the desks to floor.
And the sun makes the outside look like the inside.
And my head looks on the inside like the outside.
And the clothes on the floor blend together to a blurry mass of fabrics and textures.
And old love letters fall from my hand.
And I pull up on the handle so my bedroom door opens easier.
And the pounding of feet down the hall is four.
And the lock on the front door turns one way, then seconds later turns the other.
And the pounding of feet down the hall is now two.

That is time I think I will never see you again.

So far I have been right and wrong.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dividing a cloak in half.

His anxiety is more frequent. And much less specific. It used to be the impending divorce. Then the jail time. And the moves before that. And once about a job. Not getting one, but this one he had. Said he'd sleep twelve hours. But he decided to drink with friends and quit the next day. The anxiety left with that first shot.

And that is probably the day he figured it out.

Shakes. Voices. Pain.

Get it all to a dull hum, a television on in the other room, a car starting down the street, the only thing that gets his lovers off anymore.

Tell whoever sees it that its just some woman, some bill, some memory that hops on his back from time to time that he can't quite get rid of. Like this one:

His hands were covered in paint. He hadn't trimmed his nails in weeks and the paint piled up underneath them. He was drunk on wine and champagne. But mostly the way her head felt against his. She had an irregular breath pattern that he memorized. Four fifteen in the morning, mimicking breaths, watching eyes fluttering, counting stars that weren't even stars at all. They slept on an L shaped couch in her living room. He was the stem. She was the base.

He didn't shake at all.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The simple science of distraction and misdirection.

Always speak in sweeping generalizations. There may be exceptions to rules, but we don't operate in those areas of gray. Over react to everything. Bleed profusely. Scream. Cry. Run. Let the pieces, tears, bodies and chips fall where they may. Talk with your hands. Keep them constantly moving to hide the excess and anxiety. Consistently say "no" when you should say "yes" and "yes" whenever you can. Live in the future but always remind everyone that things were better. Or worse. Or at least more interesting. Recreate scenes from parking lots, hallways and bars in your bedroom or in full view of your new friends. Take the necessary measures so that anyone outside looking in sees everything is in line. Keep moving. Swim. Swim every chance you get. Swim in spas. Swim in pools. Swim in lakes and streams. Swim in oceans. Swim in the bottle. Never come up for air.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Me vs Robert Smith vs Camus

I am covered in sand. The sun is bearing down on my flesh, slowly aging me. It is the only thing that can do it. My mind stays young and sharp. My heart is probably reverse aging. But the sun takes my days away from me; takes other things away too. I push my feet as hard as I could against the ground to make a spot more permanent then the ones I typically occupy. The good book says something about people who build houses on the sand. I am a professional beach carpenter. Clouds sneak past above me. I hear jets but see no evidence. I stare at the sun. If I burn a hole in my retina then when I look to my left she won't be there. It is preparation for the next day, for the rest of my life, so I don't notice her walking away.

Everything is noise. The buildings collapse as I walk unfamiliar streets. No one knows me here, no one hears my voice, reads my words, or breaks bread with me.

Trees fall into the sea. People form committees to prevent this tragedy again. A parade route is planned. Someone hires a poet to commemorate the day. They dedicate a rock to where the tree used to be and put up a fence so no one gets too close to the rock. Or the edge.

I sit next to the stone. Next to the edge. I fall into the sea. No one notices, no one stops their parade, no one give a second thought.

But the sky grows dark. Storms rage in the distance. The waves crash backwards. The ocean wants to roll back time. It doesn't want another body, it was filled to the brim. It builds a life boat of the lives it destroyed to keep me afloat. It curses the sun, it curses my heart, and it curses the sand.

Spit back out onto land, dry, but cold and hardened, no one noticed I left.

Or that I am never going back.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A dusting of my thoughts

There is a black cup on my desk with ice and water. It had more water in it, but I've been drinking it. Instead of walking into the kitchen I sit thirsty and let the ice melt. A song plays on my computer and it reminds me of someone in my life, so I change it to a song that reminds me of someone who isn't in my life anymore. I keep hoping the ice melts faster, more like the speed I am hurtling myself towards twenty eight, twenty nine and thirty. I'm waiting for the lines to develop on my face; an outward manifestation of the stress cracks covering my heart. I laugh out loud at things people say about my decisions that are supposed to be mean or judgmental. Sometimes I do things just to see the look on their faces. Other times I keep a house full of secrets to myself. It is time to set them free, but I need an ocean. I need some nightswimming. I lost my key, I think it sank to the bottom of the sea. I must get it back.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

About a woman, before the other five or six things happened tonight

(I've briefly touched on this three years ago. Find it and you get nothing.)

I had been there twice before. Once I was really really young, like Velcro on my pants instead of buttons and zippers young. It was probably an emergency room, for too much coffee, or drugs, or life. I didn't understand it then, and it doesn't make much sense now. The other time a friend borrowed money to see a movie. This time I went in a different door, the back entrance, or whatever entrance will be suitable for what would be the next fifteen minutes of my life. I was given a tag, a number and a title. Visitor. Three digits. A room? A bed? My own number? whatever.

The elevator was full. Balloons. Happy. Flowers. Both happy and sad. And me; uncomfortable, lost, and not entirely sure how I had suddenly become an adult.

A dark hallway, then another dark hallway. Screams, or cries, or whimpers followed me. Smiles sometimes. But mostly no one paying any attention to me, the kid dressed in his fathers suit. (not really, but that is what I see when I think about me on that day.)

Her room was even darker than the hallways. It was almost Christmas; the sun had given up for the day and was off to give some fortunate souls way more time that day to fix their mistakes than it gave me or her.

The new baby slept close by. It was so small and I thought it weird it needed a bracelet. But I still don't know how these sort of things work, so give it a bracelet. And a beanie.

She was a haze of drugs, pain, and happiness.

That asshole who grabbed here once and shook her when they came into my shitty twelve hour a week retail job sat in a chair. He smiled. I'm sure.

No one in the room knew. There would be U-Haul trailers full of moves towards the Rockies, fists and black eyes, more children and then a slouching march back towards this shit hole. Names would fall out of my mind to be forgotten forever but a face of a man that I would give a lot to see in pain far worse then what he was capable of forcing on others sticks in my mind to this day. Some bar, some alley, some crowded supermarket and all will be returned.

Or not.

He got his. Waking up in an empty home, children and wife gone forever. Good. He deserves more. Much much more. One mans more is my worse. Fuck him.

But as I said, no one knew. I shook his hand. "Congratulations!" This was forever for them. He saved her from dancing, from creepy men with piss fetishes and drivers with one name. He was her ticket out. Her and this baby, safe forever.

That is what I thought.

I was wrong. I am all the time.

I talked to her briefly. She made little sense, a field of drugs different then the ones we had known, and I just stared at my tag. It had already started to peel off of my shirt. A country one with mother of pearl buttons. I was just walking. That tag wanted to jump.

And I guess I did too.

I didn't understand how people I knew could have children. I didn't understand where all of our dreams and backbones went. I didn't understand how mistakes could suddenly turn into miracles.

We once planned to kill ourselves together. Or at least we had a back up plan. Of pills and booze and some sad song that played on repeat when eighth grade was too much to handle and you thought you would never fall in love again.

But we did. She did. He did. And I stood between her, him, and the result of their love. Or the result of being bored and sad and alone and confused and worried and high and drunk and misled. Or at least some combination of those things.

I didn't hold the child. I didn't hug the mother. I just scratched my head.

I didn't know how I got there. I didn't know what to do.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Shooting myself in the foot with someone else's gun

I roll around in my queen sized bed alone. I just finished a book of poems given to me when I moved to Chicago. That was almost three years ago. I read the first half of the book sitting in a white lawn chair. It was a consecutive Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday two years ago. The valley, the new valley, was trying to melt me. I had no money; we had no money. I sat in that chair and watched the love of my life swim laps in the pool at the center of our little apartment complex. I was looking for work, she was looking for work, and swimming and reading kept us occupied until we filled out another application, took another wrong turn, got turned away. I almost worked as a dry cleaner. We screamed at each other. When we weren't fighting we smoked cigarettes and drank malt liquor. The cat ran around the apartment and people dove into their pool in China. Discontinued "chicken" patties were lunch and dinner. People called to check on me. My phone got turned off and we borrowed money. She swam and swam and swam. Some days I swam too. Others I just read. A series of events happened: fires, weddings, dances, fights, vacations, accidents and illnesses. Now there is this new room, with this new bed. It is too big. It could fit three lonely people in it comfortably. It chews people up and spits them out. If I didn't own it it would do the same to me. So I finish reading the poems, alone, in my way too fucking big bed. I might be losing more loves of my life. It feels like I am. People sit on the couch facing my bed and their eyes tell me things the rest of their bodies wont. I paint for them. I write for them. I get out of bed for them. They change. They go to work. They go to school. They move. They go to weddings. They go to funerals. And I have my own in this goddamn huge bed. I wonder how they spend their time when they aren't here. I wonder if they know my mind finds them in new cities and states, truly happy for the first time. I will be a stepping stone to greater things. Some of them will read this, most of them won't. There is no closure. There is no options. There is no choose your own adventure. There is nothing but this bed and some songs and jewelry and lessons and shit that gets left behind.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Shocking my body into thought

I am only taking cold showers. I don't want any steam covering the glass of the doors. I want to see the reflection of my body shivering and shaking in the mirror. Old scars raise out of my flesh, purple and now no longer forgotten; a road map of accidents to counter the road map of life I had drawn on my skin. The soap sticks to my skin longer than it should, my hands wipe then scrub. I let the freezing water attack my face, opening my eyes to it as an anonymous punishment for some sin I'll commit in someones eyes. Some people pray, some repent. I sit in cold showers while the saddest songs play on repeat and are occasionally drowned out by the world spinning past me outside of the window. Tears, sweat, blood, mucous, and other things blend with the water and slip down the drain. I count the beats of my heart while I hold my breath. Each day it is a little longer. Each day there is another beat or two. Each day I have to remind myself to let it go; the breath and the day.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

while the bills are piling up

I keep thinking about writing.

But I have nothing to say.

Everything is empty.

Except for my stomach.

It is full of booze.

I'll remain drunk and distracted until it matters, til I need to fix something.

The last few months turned out to be pretty hard. And I didn't handle them the way I expected to. A lot of my support systems didn't feel like showing up; or they just talked shit.

I'll stay here, in my corner of a valley, drinking, whatever, and trying to forget how I got railroaded by someone and left for dead by someone else.

How about this, for a middle road?

I'll go out, collect a bunch of stories, and someone can laugh, and someone can shake their head and someone else can scoff.

Perfect.

Fuck it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

As soon as you are born, you start cheating death

(or how I stopped a world war only to start a civil war...)

Everything sat perfectly in the box. Pink and red tissue paper lined the bottom. A small box, with a hand painted yellow bird, sat in one corner. A second corner held two boxes of white wine, equal to three glasses, purchased at the liquor store of earliest convenience. A box of conversation hearts laid upside down in a third corner. The one way tickets sat in the forth.

Things don't often come together in such nice packages. The pieces hadn't fit so well lately. There had been corners, or edges, or a cluster of four or five right in the middle that just couldn't be found. But this one, this one had everything. The thought, the moment, the place, the joy and of course the heart. It was the type of scene that a printer company would use to illustrate the superior printing ability of their product versus another. It was rare.

Another pair of tissue paper found its way on top of the contents. The proper creases and wrinkles were added to imply age, forethought and importance. A small tear was added; the corner of the box of the conversation hearts poked through, a glimpse into the future.

Packing tape had been purchased on the way home that afternoon just for this occasion. It had to be sealed. It had to be safe. It had to be secure.

It had to suffocate.

The tape was too tight. It was too secure. It was too safe. There was too much thought. There was too much effort. Too much fucking heart. The water was rising. This was sinking. There were holes everywhere. Small. Fucking huge. Some in between. Some day there would be a sort of monument here, a stump, just past the fence, by the park, next to the stone that commemorated the tree, that gave shade in the past, before this was ever here; before the tree fell into the ocean.

It gave in. It gave up. It did it's version of walking away. No fight. No yell. No tears. No pain. No hope. No chance.

But it got a plaque.

And what did we get?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Z is for Zoo...

My life is a zoo. In all aspects of the idea of one's life being a zoo. It is filled with animals. It is filled with cages. The refreshments are shit and expensive. And it is free.

I've only been to one zoo in the last fifteen years or so, the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. And it is free. So all zoos are free, right?

Look at this, look at this project. I like to think it has been about You; but it has been about me. Every single sentence, every single thought; Me.

I've been nothing but honest in these pages. I leave out little details, or adjectives, because I can. I think I do a good job of showing myself to be the bad guy when I am. But I'm probably a little short in that aspect. It is ok.

This is my preface. This is my life. This is a zoo. This is a fucking mess.

And I am happy.

So let's go.

It is 4:30(ish) in the morning. There was an art show. I showed art. And the band played. Good. It was nice. Now here is where you come in.

Total honesty.

That is what we always said. A couple days before that first night, when we threw all the bullshit out the window, I was so honest with you about the state of my affairs, my life, my pain, and my happiness that you were honest back. We were having shit days. And every day after that, every single fucking day, total honesty.

Not any more.

You barely talk to me. Ever. And when you do, well, honestly, all you care about is getting back the painting you gave me.

I gave you a painting.

I don't want it back.

All of my friends had to hear about you, all of the time. Lovers and ex-lovers offered their advice on you, me, my ability to fall in love to fast and your possible ability to destroy me. But you know that.

Everyone knows that.

You came to the art show. You gave me a one arm hug. You should have just held my hand like Vanessa Escamilia did Memorial Day weekend, 1999. Fingers out, nothing coming back, like I told you about. You didn't talk to me. You didn't notice all of my art.

And you left.

You left before the band played. You left before we could catch up. You left before I could see how things were now, a month after seeing you last. You gave me no chance. You gave me no decision. You gave me no thought. And you gave me no hope.

But you sent me a text 3 minutes after walking out the door, right before we played, to ask about getting your painting back.

You can have it.

I don't want to be reminded of you anymore.

I started painting because of you. I wanted to impress you. I wanted to have something in common. I wanted to have more to talk about.

And then I started painting for you, about you. I was already writing about you, on here and in poems I threw together on trains.

I fell in love with you.

I missed you every second of the day. The slightest thought of you made me smile. I counted the minutes until I saw you. I knew when we worked together, I knew when we didn't. I listened to bands and songs you recommended. I thought about you all the time.

I am listening to a mix. Its for a road trip, a long drive. It is for a drive that I didn't make to you, for one I will never make.

I can't hold a flame for you anymore. I can't. That flame burned me.

Maybe you are the one that got away. Maybe I am the one that got away. Maybe we can't have people. Maybe all of this hurts too much to think about.

I fell hard. I gave my all. And at times it seemed like you did too. Or you were close.

Maybe you were. I can only trust the things you said. You never would have lied to me...

I told you once that you were my muse. That you inspired all sort of things in me. I never lied to you. I meant every single fucking word that came out of my body. I told you that I couldn't wait to publish books so I could put in the beginning of every single one "For Gina".

Gina, I loved you. It might have been too soon. It might have been at the wrong time. It might have been misplaced. I might have fucked up and let everyone see my heart on my sleeve. But, it was there. I meant it. I felt my heart pound. I saw the thoughts run circles around my head. I couldn't contain myself around you.

But not tonight.

Total honesty: things changed.

And I didn't change them.

This might not be a book. And this is definitely not the beginning. And it is closer to the end then we, or this, or it, or us have ever been. And I owe you this.

For Gina,
I never saw this coming.

26/26

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Y is for Yesterday...

Yesterday I spent my time in someone's bed. It wasn't mine. It was for sure not yours. And the day before, or maybe the day before, someone, who obviously wasn't you, spent time in my bed. It is supposed to make me feel better, supposed to keep my mind off of you; off of everything. But it doesn't.

Yesterdays pile up. They have names, and titles, and mixes, and fucking blog entries. They all have the same base, the same motivation, the same reason. We all know. We all saw it at the beginning. And that is ok.

I don't worry about yesterday. Not anymore. I've had a ton, a shit-ton if you will. And some of them have been fantastic. But most of them were shit. Don't believe me? Here's some thoughts.

Yesterday I dropped out of school.
Yesterday I got fired.
Yesterday my mom moved out.
Yesterday my dad moved away.
Yesterday my mom moved away.
Yesterday I was left.
Yesterday I left _____.
Yesterday I overdrew my bank account.
Yesterday I couldn't make rent.
Yesterday I ran out of paint.
Yesterday I couldn't write.
Yesterday I lost my voice.
Yesterday I lost a friend.
Yesterday you moved away.
Yesterday you didn't talk to me.
Yesterday I missed you.
Yesterday I loved you.

But then they change.

I write.
I paint.
I love.
I sing.
I dance.
I cry.
I feel.
I miss.
I hope.
I try again.

A very specific part of my life is coming to a close soon. Or at least how I documented it.

I won't ever be able to make sense of it.

I may be seventy years old, cuddling on a couch, reminiscing with you on the piece of furniture some of my friends, and some of your friends, and strangers and day laborers helped us move from place to place, about this letter, or that other letter. There will be memories that got pushed out the back of our minds by pictures of family, vacations, funerals, weddings, births and the type of things that people ask "where were you when..."

Or maybe we ebb and flow over the next few years, never quite lining up, always in the wrong place at the wrong time. A decade later there is a familiar, but strained, if not entirely forced, evening with a cocktail and some small talk. And that night we finally walk out of eachother's lives. Better off, but definitely worse for the wear.

Or maybe in a couple nights you show up again. Breeze into my life. And we see it is wrong. That we lost whatever we had. Or there was never anything at all.

Yesterday everyone was right.
Yesterday I was wrong.
Yesterday, you, you knew all along.

I guess that is the problems with yesterdays. You never really know.

25/26

Friday, July 09, 2010

X is for Xeno...

I am not sure where I have gone. These last few days I make choices, turn down streets, pull my wallet out, or stare into a mirror and it is like watching a bad play. My movements are stiff, the dialogue is disjointed and unnatural, and there are new participants every scene. It is strange, awkward at least, painful at best.

That fall really took it out of me. It was forced detox, cold turkey. That routine is gone now. That habit doesn't fit into my daily routine.

But it was always anything but routine.

A goodnight kiss between beers at a bar down the street.
A couch cuddle session on a thirty minute break.
A sunrise through a window when least expected.
A declaration of desire in a tent in a yard.
A long walk with no map or sidewalks.
A poem.
A look.
A word.

No routine.

The silence that has taken the place of that is overwhelming. All my thoughts are as sharp as a pin dropping into my skin. My breaths are hard and deliberate, no longer my body remembering to stay alive. My words are strewn everywhere, left to rot, be crushed, be lost, and be forgotten on front yards, in alleys, on stall walls and on the ceiling of my bedroom.

A stranger walks the hall, drives my car, makes my money, and writes this.

These words don't look right either.

24/26

Thursday, July 08, 2010

W is for Weakness...

It used to be different. I used to literally sit by the phone, waiting for calls. Now there is no house phone, just the cell phone that sits in my pocket, waiting for calls.

I regularly loose things down the drain of my shower. Thoughts. Plans. Lovers. Friends. Ideas. Goals. Sympathies. Time. The water takes them with it when it rolls down my skin. Some I let go, freely. Some I fight for. But they all go. Eventually.

I have probably lost more things this way then I realize, or that I care to admit. I come up with ways to counteract the effect. I turn the lights off. I play music what some would consider too loud. I bring lovers in. But they all still go. Eventually.

Today it was music. Loud. Very loud. Music that reminded me of you.

Fuck.

Everything reminds me of you lately. Faces of women I don't know. Songs you have never heard. Maps to places you don't belong. The ding my phone makes when someone who is never you decides to send me a message. The steps I take between the refrigerator and the counter when I pour myself a glass of water. Sweaty punk kids. People kissing in the streets. Sidewalks.

I decided today was your turn. I made a date with you and my drain. It is time. I can't keep up my end of the bargain; I can't burn a candle for you anymore. It is out of sight, out of mind.

Your head is stronger than your heart.

Mine is not.

And in the steam, in the scalding water, in the place where I have had my heart pound harder than most, I let you go.

No ill feelings. No cross words. No regrets.

I heard a ding in the distance.

And for once it was you.

I responded, slowly. Then another ding. Then the phone rang.

You would call.

You would know.

23/26

Sunday, July 04, 2010

V is for Variables...

If we could go back, maybe to April, or, fuck it, March, and line up a group of friends, and past lovers, and acquaintances, and ask them, what would they say?

- Well, there's the age...
- You don't exactly know what you are doing...
- She seems nice, but...
- You know how it's going to end...
- How many times will this mistake be made...
- If you had your choice, is this how you would spend it...
or my personal favorite, revealed to me about 6 hours ago
- You pretend to be a bohemian artist type, who doesn't care, but you really just want to love these girls, and you smother them. It is a blessing and a curse.

Well, fuck.

It feels like I cant fall in love anymore. Or that none of my feelings are honest. My heart is beating, but maybe my mouth is full of lies? Maybe my heart isn't even beating. It's too strong, it cares too much, it is probably shit.

Let us talk about these variables. They have been attacking my mind lately.

There is distance: out of sight, out of mind.
There is situation: exes, dorms, family bedrooms, disease, or mental illness.
There is emotion: I am here, and I am something, but not enough.
There is everything else: What do you want here? Hair color? Music preference? Area Code?

Fuck it.

I could have been in love, forever, FOREVER!, sixteen times before. And maybe they never counted.

I don't fucking know what I am doing. I have no idea. But I know this, from the bottom of my shitty, failing, heart:

Two weeks ago, ten days ago, six days ago, two days ago, this thing, inside of my chest, was on the verge of pounding out of my body. I felt it in my fingers when I passed out coffee. It shook my steps around the cities I spent time in. It rattled up my spine, to my brain, where I couldn't form words, or thoughts, or emotions, that didn't involve you. The intensity was rare. The feeling was similar. I've been in love. I've wanted to die for things. I have been comfortable on quitting things for other things. But these days it bruised my chest from the inside out.

And now...

I'm a pawn in a scheme. I'm an alternate. I'm something you'd trade in a barter only society, for carpet cleaning or an orgasm or two. I am a monkey, and, yes, I am dancing, but I also have my cymbals, and they are crashing, and I am smiling, and someone, or everyone is taking advantage.

Change one of these variables, or eliminate them, and this entry is V is for Valuable.. or V is for Vanessa...

But with them, as they stand, I am trying to figure out a way to be and not look like an asshole, or at least a fool.

22/26

Friday, July 02, 2010

U is for Uppers...

If it were as easy to get pills as they made it seem in grade school, I would be flying on reds, blues, pinks, purples or whatever sort of prescription that would pull me out of the ground. I'd swallow them whole. I'd crush them up in my bathroom and snort them. If it made sense to turn them into a liquid and shoot them into a vein I totally would.

See, I've been falling lately. In all sorts of ways. Falling for old tricks. Falling while standing up. Falling off a cliff. Falling in love.

It's taken a toll on my body, on my head, on my heart. I've been crying in showers, on the phone with friends, walking on the street, while smoking, while painting, while singing, while writing and while thinking of you. I've been making up reasons and situations to explain how things went so wrong so fast. I'm searching through old text messages, replaying old phone conversations, and watching from some part in my mind all the sweetest heartfelt things that fell from your finger tips or rolled off of your lips. Total honesty. That is what it was all supposed to be, and I pray that it was. And I pray that it is.

A women on television sitting in an office chair said last night that "they" could never get the timing right. It hit me square in the chest. My timing is fucked.

We walked out of the party, to get some fresh air, to talk, to just be somewhere else. The house felt like the old houses in Lancaster that I used to leave to go puke, fuck, or just go home and sleep off whatever was in my system. It felt strange, holding your hand, leaving what reminded me of an old life, to wander off into what could be a new life. We found a corner and laid on the sidewalk. There was enough of a breeze for you to have a jacket. The smoke from our cigarettes would briefly block out some stars before disappearing. We talked about everything; I could smell the scotch on your breath. A while later I could taste it in your mouth. Your kisses were always so hard, so real, so focused and I miss them.

Later you emptied your insides into a gutter next to the car. You've been there before, and I have too. I've been me and I've been you. I held your hair, rubbed your back and tried to pull together some sort of sentence that would distract you from the burning in the pit of your stomach. You fell asleep on the way home with your head on my lap and my hand lightly brushing your hair.

There are moments where everything seems perfect. It is hard to recreate them. Its harder to think about them. I don't know exactly how that night happened. I don't know how we got there. I don't know if we can go back. I don't think I want to.

Planning to keep moving forward, one foot in front of the other, didn't involve me looking back. Now it is all I am doing.

I miss you.

21/26

Thursday, July 01, 2010

T is for Time...

The train was full of punks. And Greeks. And heart broken women. And rail weary men. And me. I had the biggest smile on my face.

You've developed this talent lately, of making me smile, the biggest, goofiest smile of my life. It would show up at work, at shows, in bed, driving, and right then. There aren't words for the excitement that was running through my veins. It had only been a week, but it felt like forever.

I saw an old window from the train. It was the one I woke up under the first morning of me being engaged. That house is empty now, or at least not populated by the people who I spent Christmas mornings with. There are a lot of windows like that in my life, looking into houses full of people that I don't know anymore. My stomach dropped as the train went by.

I also saw the hotel where we had our first night together. Back when I was throwing up for no reason. When I was drunk all day. When you were just another woman. Back before I fell for you.

We spent hours on the beach together. We found our own little spot and just let time slip away. I erased it from my head. And I erased location. And I erased my existence. I saw birds and angels and the boldest rays of sun in the sky. The words on my skin rearranged. I reaffirmed my love. I realigned my hate. We didn't talk for hours but every time I kissed you, or our eyes met, you smiled.

The sun burned my skin. I got uncomfortable with some of your friends. A stamp on the ceiling reminded me of an ex. Things got rough in my head. I wanted to scream. I wanted to cry. I wanted you to hold me.

We talked about all of this when we went back to your place. You have a better understanding of yourself. You know to be warm is to be happy. I couldn't sleep. I tossed and turned. I couldn't be close enough to you. I couldn't hold you tight enough. I couldn't kiss you hard enough. I couldn't be anywhere else right then. I couldn't let this all go. I couldn't fail again.

But I did. And I am. Failing.

I didn't want it to be different. I didn't want us to change. But we had.

(playing on repeat: House of Cards by Radiohead. It explains even more.)

20/26

Friday, June 25, 2010

S is for Sabotage...

I'm burning candles. They aren't for you. They are for me. There is a sacred heart of a woman, a saint's prayer and a guardian angel. One day last week, when I was preparing for the hellfire and brimstone that my heart had earned, if not deserved, I bought them. They were going to save me.

Something is always going to save me.

There's been jobs, loans, women, friends, cities, yellow birds, checks, booze, anarchy and god.

I'm not sure if I need saving. I definitely need protection for myself. There's only one gun in this room, and its pointed right at my chest, no one will survive.

And why not? Four hundred times before this, something, someone, somewhere, moved that target enough to put words down. Four hundred times before this night something had to get out. And I am really glad it did.

Because if it hadn't, if it had all stayed bottled up, thrashing around, gnawing at itself, what would happen? How could the rapidly approaching pain in the pit of my stomach feel? How would this night be going, putting off sleep so I can think about how the moon is getting closer and closer to crushing me?

See, that's sabotage.

That's what I do.

It has been hard to stay positive. It has been hard to believe my ears. It has been hard to feel the pounding of my heart honestly. It has been hard to know if your heart pounds, beats, or flutters. It has been hard to sleep alone.

It has been hard to not fall.

19/26

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

R is for Rewind...

I slept for forty five minutes earlier that day. Before that a friend of mine went up to the old stomping grounds with me to see my father and step-mother. Her mother had just passed away so they flew out from Texas for the occasion. Sitting around a dinner table talking about weddings, babies and funerals while everyone eats fried chicken is not as exciting as it sounds.

So we left.

We went to the old bar, the place that used to have most of my drinking memories, for a drink and to meet up with two friends. Our foursome retired to their house soon after. I went to bed on a couch for forty five minutes after the sun rose without my noticing and my nose was kind enough to not start bleeding on my shirt.

Work was a zombie adventure. The blood came at work, somewhere between the chip machine and the dish room. Coworkers with no experience were confused, others knew exactly what was happening.

I went home and tried to sleep. I think I took a nap for five or ten minutes, if I even slept at all. My body was exhausted but wanted that feeling back. I started drinking wine.

That is when you came over.

Sweatpants. No contacts. Hair in a tattered mess.

Beautiful.

We sat across from each other and drank hot chocolate. Mine definitely had baileys and schnapps in it, yours probably did too. We talked about our exes, or soon to be exes, and everything wrong with them. I retold parts of my nights, not to brag, and not to warn, but to shed light on the things that sometimes happen at all night garage parties. You weren't stunned, or shocked, or surprised. It was nice.

I realize now that I didn't know you very well then. And you didn't stay very long. But I can still see you sitting on the couch opposite me, me mugs of cocoa and booze and glasses of wine deep into my evening, you peeling back layers of yourself.

That was the first time I got lost in your eyes.

And I was miles away.

18/26

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Q is for Quiet...

Things are too quiet. I can hear my heart beating. The tapping of my fingers on the keyboard echo down the hall. I've lived inside this room for almost a year. It used to be filled with all of these things: hate, love, desire, passion, distrust, confusion, anger, drugs, booze, women, baby steps, possible families, kisses, stolen kisses, kisses grabbed quickly on the way back to real life, burritos, religious candles, songs, lies and the occasional heart breaking confession...

If you have been keeping track, the countdown is over.

Twenty days, they flew by like fucking nothing. What do I have to show for them? Some heartburn, some new artistic tendencies, a friend or two, and my heart being taken from me.

That is what we all expected, isn't it.

I'm too drunk to fight or question. I'm going to my empty bed. I'll think of you...

17/26

Saturday, June 19, 2010

P is for Passion...

My skin was hot in the water. You used ice to try and cool it down or show me a different way of feeling. The bottles had long given up their contents and sat in the distance like the skyline of that city I go back to every few months to make sure it is still there; to make sure I am still alive. Friends of years of yours and minutes of mine slept soundly in the living room, a slight hum from another continent the only sound. If you were me you'd be lost in your eyes too. I keep my hands above the water, rubbing the tips of my fingers, the sensation recalls other nights with you and this is the closest I will get to ever crossing my fingers again. The sky is getting closer to bright blue by the second. You have to feel my heart pounding out of my chest. The shock waves bounce of the walls and crash back into me. Maybe you are immune to it. Maybe you don't notice it, constantly being bombarded with things like this. Maybe your heart beats just as hard and it cancels mine out. When I kiss you I taste copper, the blood from hours of trying to get the most out of life as we possibly can. I let you go and you curse the sun for taking away the night. I silently curse it for taking you away from me.

16/26

Monday, June 14, 2010

O is for Outage...

The wine is still good. I put saran wrap over the top; I threw the cork away. Apparently last night I decided that I was going to drink the whole thing. When I woke up this morning I felt like I had. Sleeping in the clothes you wore for about nine hours at work makes you feel worse than you actually do.

I am a functioning power outage. I am full of misplaced rage. I melt for a smile. I get lost in this pair of eyes.

I recognize the quiet before the storm. Things are going to get rough around these parts. I've been working making sure everything is secure. Not so much boarding up windows, or selling things to move across the country, but definitely putting up caution signs and warnings for curvy roads, falling rocks and flash floods.

The wine and the heat in my room are making me sweat...

15/26

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

N is for Nostradamus...

I could tell from the beginning that this wasn't going to turn out the way I had thought. There is the smell of sulfur in the air. I put it there. I'm burning wood matches to stay awake. They are in a rectangle box from a bar named after half of my yearly income. That half of my yearly income shares its name with a bar is suiting. I have the shakes from the last five or six years, but probably more from the last five or six months. I can really see them right now; I am spinning the matches as they burn towards my fingertips so the chard part twists to give a physical presentation of the twisting of the chambers of my heart and the tightening of the muscles around it. There is no solace in the sweaty can that almost slips out of my hand to empty its contents on my keyboard. Nothing changes with that. I still shake. She still doesn't call. I write more though, and I guess you have to be tortured to be a tortured artist. My four chambers are quitting on me. They used to make these: passion, desire, courage and love. Now they sleep through their shifts. There must be holes in them, letting all the good things out. It hurts when it beats. It hurts when it thinks. It hurts when it feels. It hurts because it feels like waste.

It isn't though. Not even close.

It is life.

And today it is great.

14/26

Friday, June 04, 2010

M is for Miles...

I stood on the roof of a venue last night. My pupils were big, my eyes were wider. I looked up at a building where friends and friends of friends do drugs different then the ones I was on right then. If it wasn't the breeze on my skin, or the cigarette smoke filling my lungs, then the chills had to be from some combination of her eyes, voice and hands. Sweet words were whispered into my ears about manifest destiny or the secret spots in our hearts that you need more than one map to find. Our hands were locked in a death grip, sweaty from the beating of hearts full of possible love and drugs, fingers rubbing together to keep the sense of security alive. The brown of her eyes was being over taken by the black of her pupil, and they said everything I knew. Past, present, and future laid end to end counting the steps to a heart.

I rub my hands sometimes to remind me of how it felt to be so close.

13/26

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

L is for Lists...

Two nights ago you told me about your lists. You told me about how they stress you out, make you anxious. I didn't tell you, but I was envious. I make lists, but not of plans, not of goals, not for my future. They are all things I've seen, mistakes I've made, places I've been, things I've fucked up. I heard a man sing this morning that memories are sinking ships that will never will be saved. That is where this came from, that is where my head is right now.

I am anxious. Every second of the day. There is a countdown in my head. It currently stands at twenty days.

I've seen things end. I've watch myself strike the match that burns bridges to the ground. But this time, this time, not so much. I've never been in a leaky boat, but I can feel the water coming over my feet. My arms aren't moving fast enough. I can't row to shore; I can't bail the water out. The boat is deep, over my head, and I can't see which way to go. The water isn't stopping, it won't stop, and it will be over my head soon rather than later. I can't swim. I have no place to go.

But I have to sit there.

I have to make the hole bigger. I have to make more water come in. I have to sink deeper. I have to fall harder.

I made a soundtrack to this catastrophe. I have made a few. They play all the time, on loop in my head, on repeat in my heart, and on never ending in my room. My housemates must hate these songs. Too bad for them. In twenty days they will probably hate me.

Dark suits. Ties. The saddest songs ever.

Twenty days. It's all over in twenty days. Two months of the best days, the happiest nights, the most intense thoughts, feelings, discussions, trips, life. Twenty more days.

Maybe.

Maybe.

Maybe I am actually figuring all of this out. I don't seem to be making the same mistakes. I don't seem to have the same sort of unrealistic notions of my life.

Right?

I'm not writing this hungover, checking my sent messages for my feet, drinking a beer, eating stolen chips, waiting for someone to call who isn't going to; am I?

To quote myself, worse case scenario we're falling apart.

12/26

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

J is for Janet...

Our eyes met across the room. No, it was across the bar. You had the loneliest tv blue eyes I had ever seen. Actually, they were the saddest brown eyes. You tossed your head to move your hair from those eyes, or maybe I brushed your hair behind your ear when I leaned in to kiss you. These details seem to get jumbled up, mismatched and confused from the event to my brain to the page. One night we fucked, or slow danced, or made love, or maybe we drove towards the ocean, debating on stopping as that cliff got closer. Was it worth it, the brakes? My mind says yes, my heart, well, it is still thinking about all the other things. Opening the front door to you and angelic rays from heaven, or was it you normal with friends and acquaintances that I would never see again. The trials by fire, the gauntlets of arrows, or the explanation of intentions in dark rooms, crowded rooms, empty streets or busy beds. Maybe my heart is wrapped up with conversations from time zones away, counties with shared borders, or that one really rough night when I escaped to the driveway and locked my self away outside so I could figure out where you stood, where I stand and where I fall.

It is now about twelve years ago. I am spending time in a jacuzzi watching movies in black and white. Then I am swimming in the longest slimmest pool of my life. I am kissing girls, my pants are wet, my hair is a mess, and I have absolutely no way of showing or explaining any of this to you. I stop thinking about all those friends I lost. Back to you, Janet.

There is a bar in Santa Barbara. There is a dance club in Tijuana. There is bowling alley in Chicago. There is a house in Oregon. There is a bed in Texas. There is a lake in Oklahoma. There is street in Gainesville. There is a cul-de-sac in Seattle. There is an ocean that is not the Pacific. All of these are you even when they are not, baby steps in the creation of an adult, a human, a piece of shit who secretly functions as the one with the deepest valleys of a heart until they are filled with all the things that have gone into them these last few years.

I'll take my chances with beds and dreams. My heart, head, and mouth are conspiring to honesty. It feels as close to perfect as I can remember.

I'll see you tomorrow, if only for a second...

10/26

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I is for Inventory...

Your flowers have been safe
for fifteen to twenty years
stories packed away in boxes
lining the ceiling of your home.
Forget that they catch your prayers.
Forget that they muffle your cries.
Forget that they block your path to heaven.

Keep those boxes full of
exes, letters, dresses, dreams,
pvc pipe, brushes, photographs,
recipes, lovers, and my best wishes.

Move them from house to house
to house to house to home.

Cross out the names,
change the labels,
mark everything as X-MAS LIGHTS.

My heart keeps rhythm with
the lights blinking on your tree;
One and Two and Three and Four.
Breathe.
Repeat.

9/26

Sunday, May 23, 2010

H is for Hollow...

I was standing outside of a bathroom door. I had to empty the last of my drink into my gut. The night was winding down, or maybe, just getting started. I could smell the chain smoke on my fingers. I looked out, through the dark, over the bar, past the white lights, around the tables and into the dance floor. A little girl twirled. That is all they do, twirl. Then they get older and break your fucking heart. The bride danced, her new husband head and shoulders above the crowd. The breeze had died down, but the cold still hung around. My empty cup joined some distant cousins on a crowded post. Men in nice suits and cheap tuxes shared stories that must have been about conquests or drunken choices; their eyes and laughs gave them away. Some friends of mine huddled around a low table smoking, drinking, smiling and dancing just a little. I made myself promise not to forget the scene: the lights, the air, the joy and my heart beating in my head. The door opened and I walked in. "I'm going to sit here on the step, it is warm in here." I leaned down and kissed her.

8/26

Saturday, May 22, 2010

G is for Guarantee...

"I guarantee you I will screw this song up"

The word guarantee always reminds me of that quote. It's from Nirvana's Unplugged album. How that relates to this and the rest of things, we will see.

I am in Reno, Nevada, it is the summer of either 2002 or 2003. A friends aunt had just been married. The bride, groom, men in suits, women in dresses, little kids twirling, drunk cousins and my friend are milling about. We are at the Peppermill in some suite. There's a jacuzzi tub and wet bar. (Actually, it might have just been a bar. I'm not sure what a wet bar is.) There is also a big curved black couch. The decor is total 80's-coke-party-Vegas-Lifetime-movie-shit. A drunk cousin comes bouncing in with two bottles of vodka he swiped from another suite that had a maid in it cleaning the bathroom. I am sitting on the couch. I am suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that the bed that some little kid is bouncing on will soon have all sorts of other similar but different movements happening on it. I hear water being drawn in the bath and there is talk of a baby taking a bath in the jacuzzi tub. This is supposed to be a wedding reception. My friend's mother taps me on the shoulder and asks if I am ok. I had been sitting next to her on the couch and when she touched me it occurs to me that I had trailed off in mid-sentence. I tell her the Coors Light must be getting the best of me quicker than I expected. I am peeling at the label to distract me from the strange reception that I am at. She puts her hand on my thigh, our eyes meet, and she hands me the label from her beer.

"You know, if you give someone an intact label peeled from a beer then they owe you a sexual favor."

7/26

Friday, May 21, 2010

F is for Forever...

I am listening to a mix I made for a woman in my life. As per everything up until this point it is complicated. And it also makes me happy. Whatever. It isn't for forever.

Forever for me has been many many different things. States, counties and cities. Homes, houses and apartments. Fiances, girlfriends and fucks. Heartbreak, loss and indifference. That has been forever.

I am spending multiple minutes of multiple hours convincing roommates, friends, best friends, coworkers, ex-lovers and the occasional lawyer that I am fine. Amanda got me a little bit ago, and it still stands true...

YOU are all I ever want. I am a hopeless romantic. (This blog has just officially lost any street cred by that lame exclamation. whatever. street cred is for assholes and I am a hopeless romantic) All I look for is Family; Struggle.

UGH.

This isn't where it is supposed to be...

Forever is something I thought I understood; I do not anymore.

I am so close to putting my foot in my mouth it is almost hilarious.

Don't worry, you will totally see it happen. Shit, it might have already happened tonight.

So it goes.

6/26

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

E is for Elizabeth...

There have been multiple people, men and women both, in my life that I have treated less than satisfactory. This is for Elizabeth. She was one of them. I hope she knows I am sorry, or at least forgot about me.

Of course we worked together. We always work together, don't we? We bought a six pack of Anchor Steam at a beach-near liquor store. It was the time in my life when I thought that more expensive beer made me feel better about the shitty decisions I made. I'm not there these days. No beer makes me feel better about my decisions, and they aren't any excuses left. It is honest; it is nice. You had driven to that beach city. We parked between a harbor and the beach, between a comedy club I went to once and patch of sand I lost one of my many parts of innocence in. There was a blanket, yellow maybe, it doesn't matter. I had recently gotten back into the swing of things, as someone might say. Everything was new. It was as if I had just woken up from a coma, shaved off my huge beard, and tried to stumble my way through a sexual encounter. It was sloppy, uncoordinated, and earnest. I will always remember one moment. My lips found your left earlobe. It was soft, had a bit of give to it. It didn't taste like perfume, or lotion, or anything; just flesh. I sucked it in between my lips and gently bit down on it. Where this technique came from? I am not sure. But you thanked its parents with your breaths and moans. We had a late start, that night, and we left soon after. I also remember a long straight drive, on another evening, to your place. It was out where the wind was even less forgiving then the rest of that god forsaken valley. You had your own place, but only showed me your living room and your photographs. You were probably the first photographer I fell for once I could understand photography. I owe you that, thank you. We slept together that night, underwear and spoons. Everything in that house, the few times I visited, stayed in the PG realm. That was fine. That is fine. We figured the rest of that out later. That is where things get bad. I don't care to revisit them on these pages, not today at least. But know I am sorry. And yes, yes, in the past I told the story about how the end of our sexual encounter on your birthday was less then satisfactory, especially in terms of me as a lover. And yes, I took you back to you car as the sun was rising. And no, I had nothing to do that day. I am selfish. It is not an excuse. Maybe a back story, but definitely not an excuse.

Funny thing about all of this. It is two in the morning, and I am writing a belated "I'm Sorry" letter to a woman I talked to for the first time since 2007 about two months ago. In a virtual chat. And I am drinking beer alone. And to the best of my knowledge she has a loving husband and beautiful child and lives three hours ahead. Congratulations Elizabeth, you pulled it together. Me? Well...

5/26

Monday, May 17, 2010

D is for Don't...

Don't is the only advice I get lately, from family, friends and from myself. Don't drink too much. Don't go to that party. Don't invest in foreign currency. Don't call him. Don't send her that text. Don't forget that birthday. Don't sleep with someone just so your bed isn't empty. Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Don't show any emotion. Don't cry. Don't fight. Don't hate. Don't scream. Don't sing out of key. Don't believe everything you hear. Don't skip work today. Don't take a nap. Don't borrow money from lovers. Don't collect keys. Don't keep doing the same things and expect a different reaction. Don't seek sympathy. Don't over-react. Don't talk to any Asian women. Don't save slow dances for anyone. Don't smoke. Don't try to match. Don't put food and drinks on the same tray. Don't make that person cry. Don't give up. Don't sell out. Don't get married. Don't start a family. Don't plan for the future. Don't paint. Don't waste any talent. Don't listen to that band. Don't blindly recite quotations that you can't put your heart into. Don't dance. Don't forget postage. Don't sleep on your arm. Don't waste your time. Don't waste your life. Don't talk to strangers. Don't tell anyone how you feel. Don't be so honest. Don't like her. Don't let him in. Don't invite them over. Don't take those drugs. Don't eat those pills. Don't settle. Don't fucking settle. Ever.

4/26

Sunday, May 16, 2010

C is for Chances...

There are never too many chances to give or too many chances to take. There are never unnecessary chances. I take chances. I give them too. You are welcome to them, as many as your heart could possibly desire. I'll need a basket full too, if you have them to spare. I've known people to give them to men, women, sports teams, organizations, political theories, pants, parts of this country, other countries, wives, husbands, children and grocery stores. One of these days soon I won't need any more chances. I will wake up to just before the sun rising and not fall back asleep. I won't need coffee or amphetamines or the hair of the dog. I will put on my favorite shirt, the one that is in all of the pictures, and it will be soft, soft like the skin of the woman I am leaving alone in my bed. It will smell like her, and every bird, every song, every thought and every crack skipped over for the sake of saving backs of women I will be forever in debt to will remind me of her. Flowers. Dinners. Rage. Tears. Museums. Sandwiches. Love Songs. Appliances. Wine. Poems. Paintings. Sweat. Baked Goods. All of it. Everything. That day all of those things, and things I failed to mention, and things I don't even know about today will take the place of all of the chances I've been burning through like matches behind the gym at some Midwest high school. Chances. Second Chances. Third Chances. No need. No need at all.

3/26

Saturday, May 15, 2010

B is for Bending...

The idea is to bend, not to break. I will bend my morals. Wait. Do I have morals? Hmm. I will bend them if I do. I will bend a situation until it fits me exactly how I want it to. I will bend your words to fit what I think you should be saying. I will bend my plans to include you. I will bend my history to hide the bad parts. I will bend my walls to let you in. And I've figured all this out. I don't worry about hearts breaking, especially my own. I don't worry about habits breaking. I'll make new habits and just throw the other ones away. I'll bend for you, wherever you are, whoever you are.

2/26

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A is for Anticipation...

(Yes, I DO always think of The Rocky Horror Picture Show when I hear the word anticipation)

There is a that moment, or rather series of moments strung together, where the anticipation of what is going to happen next is brutal. It's right after your phone vibrates in your pocket and you anticipate that it is a message or call from that person you've been waiting to hear from all day and then just before you find out if it is them or not. It's that quiet moment right before a kiss, especially a first kiss, but also, to an extent, the moment right after a kiss. More? Fingers crossed. It's that stomach drop of "I need to talk to you" or "I have to tell you something" or "Please keep all arms and legs inside of the..." The heavy breathing. Is it hard enough? Is it too soft? Am I in the right place at all? It's opening the door to a new house, a new room, a new backyard. It's walking into a party and knowing it is only a matter of time before something, anything, happens. It's the knocking at your front door. Or, if you are lucky, the doorbell ringing. It's the lights dimming in the club, the bar, the stadium, your room, your life.

1/26

Friday, May 07, 2010

I blog in a tie because I care

I played dress up today. I woke up with the sun, let the water heat up in the shower while I picked out a soundtrack for the day. There was lathered body wash and shampoo for my freshly cut hair. The coffee pot had already been turned on and was doing its job. A razor was placed to my face to make me presentable to the people I would present myself to. Underwear in case things go terribly wrong. Black slacks, skinny enough to question, dark enough to show how serious. Leather belt with a truck belt buckle from my best friend. Grey shirt, buttons to the top, sleeves rolled down. Black tie from a wedding. Skinny, but not hip skinny. Black socks, of course, hidden by the skinny slacks and the black square tipped dress shoes. Hair was brushed, shirt tucked in, glasses on and the overall appearance judged in the mirror. I held the coffee cup to my lips and thought "Here's to something" and drank.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

The few times I bother telling time

I know when it is late. I can feel it in my heart.
I know when it is early. I can feel it behind my eyes.

I don't really need a clock. It helps me get to work on time. And it helps me do other things that are dependent on that.

But the only time I look at the time these days are when I'm waiting to hear from you.

I know you are asleep.
Or you are at a party.
Or work is running late.
Or your car broke down.
Or it is your brother's birthday.
Or you are seeing your ex.
Or you are making a three point turn in a grocery parking lot.
Or you are on your way to see your new home.
Or you are the third car in a funeral procession.
Or you are sitting outside.
Or you are flying over more states then I have stepped foot in.
Or you are taking baby steps to destroy my heart.
Or you are reading this and might be sad that this is what always runs through my mind.
Or you are laying next to me, and that fucking sun is rising too quick.

I still check the time.

Just for you.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Somewhere between Tuesday and Wednesday.

The blinds to my windows are mostly open. My light is on and I am listening to music and thinking about this and the last few days. I wonder if any cars drive by and think "What is happening in that room that the light is still on at one in the morning?" If they only knew.

I am sitting alone. The money has almost all ran out. My legs are covered in cuts, scratches, dried blood and scabs. The music isn't as loud as I want it to be, but at this point I have decided to be considerate. I stayed up for twenty four hours yesterday breaking laws and doing things my friends and parents would both be proud and ashamed of. Most of the muscles in my body ache. My eyes are almost closed. There is fire coming up from the pit of my stomach. I tried to put it out with the last couple gulps of warm champagne from yesterday. That didn't work. So I put forty ounces of malt liquor on top of it. There is probably still a fire there, but I don't seem to notice it, or care. I think I hear footsteps outside, someone coming to my door to get me out of this fifteen minute funk and run their fingers through my hair. Or they have a pocket full of pebbles and they are going to toss them at my window one at a time, just hard enough to get my attention, till it draws me outside to cries of love and proposals, or at least a kiss. There are horses on the television running through the desert in black and white and I have more in common with them then I do with the text messages I received today, or at least their senders, or at least what I care to admit. Those horses don't know where they are going, and everyone else is on their way out of town. Days, weeks, or months it is all happening. It might be the next exodus.

Or it could just be me being tired.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Me and bodies of water.

I was within an arms throw of the ocean today. Not my arms throw, by no means, but someones arm. An arm as strong as the pounding that has been leaving my heart and heading full force towards my skin. If my feet are on the ground, which lately they are not, that ground fucking rumbles and shakes. Things fall over. Women change their thoughts on the quality of their lovers. Men change their underwear.

Like I said, I was within an arms throw of the ocean today. I didn't see it though. Honestly, I didn't even bother to look. I'm always looking this way or looking that way at some large body of water that I think is going to change my life, give me all the answers, at least keep me hydrated. They don't. It won't. I'm fine.

So today I didn't look. Today it didn't hold anything to me. I think the change I needed, this THING that I'm always asking/looking/hoping for, was to my left. But then it was to my right, or at least what used to be my right. Fuck. It could have been behind me. But it was definitely not in the ocean, not today, not tomorrow, not yesterday, and, fuck, not ever.

Maybe this is a reaction to the thing about baptism. Or maybe it is a reaction to my love of symbols. But maybe sometimes a baptism is a baptism only for Jesus, and maybe that short reply isn't that you are mad, but you just don't know what to say.

I am not everyone. Actually, I am barely myself. But I do things that other people would never think of. I don't mean (insert sexual act that at this point would surprise or repulse my readership), but rather my initial first reaction to what life throws at me.

I'll quit. Or fight. Or cry. Or feel like dying.

Whatever.

I spent time in a small body of water today, and next to it, and at times I felt like I was bearing my soul. Or maybe I was just telling stories. And maybe there is no difference. It all still hurts. It all still makes me smile.

I was asked if I should be followed, when things get like this, and I said yes.

And then I was asked to do the same.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Following through on that promise for Earth Day...

You decide the title, it will be better that way.

Birds of Paradise
have flown away
or rotting and falling
to the ground.
I'll leave them
for the gardeners
or the neighbors
or anyone who cares.
See, I am a lumberjack
a calloused soul
with downed trees lining
the map of my past.
Small, tall, dead
they all fall at my will.
I wish them death:
it is so.
I wish them defeat:
easy said and done.
I wish them love
and gnash my my teeth.
Not today, not ever
always the last standing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The phantom message

I have been finding paint everywhere. On my chair, on my mouse and on my thumb. It is all different shades of blue. What this has to do with that, I am not sure. But this rogue paint keeps distracting me from the thoughts I want to put down.

Put down like a sick dog?

Yes. Definitely.

I am a fan of baptisms. These include the ones on little babies, who have no say, but usually cry. I enjoy the irony. This also includes my own baptism on Palm Sunday some fifteen years ago (at least). And it includes the multiple baptisms I have performed on myself, none of the religious or the sexual (zing!) nature.

See, I am a fan of rebirth. I am always looking out for some conversation, road sign or person that will disrupt my life so much that my only natural response is to baptize myself, hoping to come out better on the other side.

It has happened in an ocean.
It has happened in a tub.
It has happened in a shower.
It has happened with scissors and barber clippers.

I get too entirely wrapped up in shit that sometimes I need to shed whatever person/place/thing that is binding me to that moment.

Why all this? Why tonight? I thought everything is going great?

It is. But there are patterns of thinking, and they do not do me any good.

So I am giving them to you, internets, that you may do with them what you will. (That shall be the whole of the law)

As for me, I am taking a shower and leaving the thoughts and behaviors that I don't need anymore to circle the drain.

No more finger crossing.

about the thing I do when I'm...

I've been leaning back in my chair. hand on my head, scratching at my scalp.

It is a nervous tick.

I'm fucking nervous. Insane. Too much. I totally fucked up. Everything I said I wouldn't do, well, I did.

But it is sooooo good.

Those fleeting moments you seem to see in movies, or read about in magazines, or hear people talk about on trains.

I have that now. All to myself.

And I'm the only one who knows.

I've lately felt like I've been screaming into a cave, yelling at the top of my lungs in the deepest ocean.

It is totally ok.

At least I have a voice.

Monday, April 26, 2010

heartburn

It was 11:35 one night, and I was standing in the middle of some street. It was a slow residential type of road. The moon was out, I could see whatever part of it it felt like showing me between a street light and the branches of a tree. I was smoking a cigarette. I'm pretty sure I was falling in love.

It is always one or the other: fall in love or fall out. I keep it going, the cycle, to be consistent, to keep someone happy, to make sure the bets keep paying out.

I talk all of the time. When I'm not talking I am thinking. When it isn't that it is this, or some song, or some poem or story. I always have something to say. Always.

At 11:35 that night I had nothing.

(I am exhausted right now. I'm taking 36 second cat naps. My eyes are burning from the combination of old cigarette smoke, no sleep and thinking about this. It must come out)

I was destroyed at that moment. There were valleys of thought, mountains of feelings, rivers of, well, rivers of everything. It was a strange feeling.

Because I couldn't tell anyone about it. I didn't know how. Fuck. I don't know how to tell anyone about it now.

I know this:

Worse case scenario: this is the last time I ever feel like this again.

Best case scenario: it isn't.

I miss my inside joke about sandwiches that only I got. I miss the routines of car trips and parking permits. I miss my secret life and my not so secret life.

And I miss that night on the street. At least the way the air felt on my skin. And you being so close and so far away.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Putting a face to a thought

I wrote some poetry while standing on a subway car yesterday. I haven't written on public transportation since the great Chicago Winter Extravaganza of 2008. This isn't really about yesterday, or Chicago, but this thing that happens when I write poetry.

I put it up here sometimes, poetry, like every six months or so. It isn't that I don't like it, or I don't know if it is good, I just feel weird about the idea of putting poetry up on a blog when I'm not a poet.

I mean, I guess I am a poet, from writing lyrics for the bands and what not. But it is strange. I think I figured out what it is.

The subject.

I EXCLUSIVELY write poetry about women. Every single one. For probably the last ten years. Women. Loving them, hating them, missing them, wanting them, thinking about them, kissing them and leaving them. And most of the time is about this combination of women I know, like a frankensteinian (made that one up) monster of ideas and loves and perfect character traits.

Hmmmmmm.

I guess I'll write another one. I'll put it up tomorrow, for Earth Day.