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.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
When the sun is barely up.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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
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
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
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
(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.
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
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
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
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.