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A strange odor trailed the man wearing a paint covered shirt. Was it a paint fight, or was he a messy painter? A painter at all? Could he have been a hard working member of society who did a job below his qualifications just to be able to support his family? Coffee, eleven at night? Third shift, or just finished second shift and facing a long drive home. Perhaps he is none of these things. Suppose he were just a man, with a house and a family. Suppose he were dying of cancer, his own personal parasitoid eating at him.
Empty as the hollows of your mind. I am one, I am none. You are not some. Empty as the concave chest you heave with pride. I run deep, forever shallow. You may drown. Words exist in a hierarchy of language. The bottom of the food chain hides me well. Iím among the decomposers, the unappreciated one responsible for more than you know. Hidden in backgrounds, twisted in the wind on a calm day. Lest we forget where we come from, there is no hiding from the past. But how could I let go anyways. Grasp the reason to live.
In a forest rich with species there rests a bear who has lost the war against terrorist monkeys clinging and swinging to and fro branches wrought with wet leaves from the last storm in which the monkeys enemy, the caterpillar, was wiped clear from the genetic genome putting a pull in the food web and a weak link in the specialty of the diversity that once made this magic kingdom all that it once was Ė a civilization thriving to survive within the confines of the cruelest world we have known in which the dumbest man in a nation can rule.
The ground holds secrets you keep well hidden, buried. Stolen memories escape your fingertips, leaving onlookers none the wiser for having known. Nobody really knows. The world closes its eyes feigning blindness to overlook past mistakes. Chastise the weak, honor the fumbling, anything at all to make you feel better about yourself, never caring about anyone else. Forgiveness will recover absolution, filling wells of unstoppable depths. Chanting words of sorrow never break apart insipid clouds but instead cause them to thicken and rain dust into the eyes of watchers, viewers, the audience to this great Tragedy with the capital t.
A person can only lose so much before they stop caring about what they do or donít have. Possessions mean very little when you realize how easily it can be wiped away. Starting over can scare most people, but to he who has loved and never been loved it can only mean a clean slate to begin again. Reinventing oneself is never an easy feat, more of a tour de force unseen by the cold masses who care only of themselves and what others think. But we all care what others think of us. Life is cyclical and eternally impossible.
It's a picture ID. A piece of plastic with messy splays of green paint and the magnetic strip nearly worn off, fingerprints possibly left on the metal clip. I wear it, feel a bond, a certain closeness not felt since our last phone conversation during which he told me for the first and only time that he loves me. The picture pokes my heartstrings. He is fat Ė before he got sick. He bears our patented grin. Sincerity shines through squinted eyes. My heart races; I miss him. My gold chain Ė an everyday and natural accessory. I feel safe behind it.
Even after all this time itís still her face occupying the place in his mind where only love belongs. But she never loved him; she never loved anyone. Cold and bitter walking alone unaware of all he held in his heart for her and her alone even still. Theyíll never understand, how could they when the two of them never understood. It was a one-sided bond. Unrequited, unreciprocated. Sheíll continue alone; heíll continue searching in hopes of one day meeting again. A crossing of paths in which heíll say all the things he said wrong the first and only time.
Put your eyes back in your skull because you shall never have all that you want. This world was not meant for such caring hearts. Souls were made to be broken. Girls were made to be pined over. Yearning is what I do best, longing to be loved by anyone at all. Iím only lonely when remembering all that I have ever lost. It is too much for one person alone. Walking solo; always afraid. Shadows only cause harm when you try to chase your own. There exist things in which you can never get closer without it getting further.
Rain fills my head like the beating of my heart. Love fizzles with each passing moment. I only wanted to make her happy. Not her, but her. I have dreams in which I lose the only thing that matters, I awake to find the truth of it. Lost, losing, gone, dead, fuck. The world leaves me empty, naked, wounded. Keep trying to be understood; someday someone somewhere will get it. Reception will be mine. Until that day, walking in circles finds me well. Hopping on one foot, snapping the fingers of one hand while the other grasps at dead air.
An ache accompanied the release of my children into the world. Itís me against them. Itís my words against theirs and theirs. My breath stains the page. Letters are just another example of all that I have lost. One day entitlement may be mine. It could be me someday. Infamy isnít what I seek. I only want to be myself trying to make it in the best way possible. Each sentence is my soul spread for all to scrutinize. It doesnít get realer than what I put forth. And if I regained the expertise lost then I could breathe again.
I donít live to write, I write to live. It keeps the insanity in check. It keeps me grounded in reality, albeit a warped version of reality but reality nonetheless. A pencil to paper will stop the crazy roller coaster and set me down after being afloat. If the ride gets stuck upside in a loop, writing a few sentences will save us all before falling free to the greenest grass down below.
Reality grows where your attention flows.
Both of my horoscopes this morning have told me that my creativity is rearing to go. Itís been a long time.
Life ainít easy, ask any procrastinator. Deadlines loom, hearts race, palms sweat, reality fades, sanity flies, fingers snap, hunger wanes, and everything you thought you once knew now shrouds itself with the foggiest doubt. Attempts to flee only worsen situations. And you wish for reprieve while knowing the only way to attain it. Pressure cookers create great meals Ė the same logic applies. So delay, wait, put off, do all you can to not do something. In the end it all works out, ask any
procrastinator. It is an art, there is a science to it.
The biology of procrastinating.
In the blink of an eye, during the course of one night. You go to sleep, all is right with the world. Hours later someone is banging down your door screaming for you to get out. On the opposite side of the road, in your pajamas and slippers, you stand in awe at the spectacular display going down before your eyes. It is your house, going down. Burning up. Everything is on fire, including your heart. Nothing will ever be the same. They say you can rebuild, but the memories of fiery embers will remain where once stood your fortress.
J.K. Rowling: the worldís first billion dollar author. She was told not to expect money from Harry Potter, a book written to feed the daughter she supported as a single mother. We can't say that Rowling expected money or not, and I haven't read any of her books, but I can imagine that she must have known that she had a brilliant book on her hands. You don't write a billion dollar idea and not know it. I can imagine a J.K. Rowling in my head, no different from you or I, but with the untapped into ability to write.
One day her kid is hungry. Rowling creates a fantasy world to escape. She writes; sends it to a publisher. Months later she's sitting at home reading when the electricity blackens. In her mailbox she finds a backdated final notice from the electric company, and a manila envelope. She finds a candle for light, opens the envelope and reads that her book will be published. A sigh of relief despite still not knowing how she'll pay the rent. Later comes the day her book becomes a bestseller and she's getting an advancement to continue the series sheíd probably already written.
Everything above my shoulders feels like a bothersome protrusion. Unwelcome in every possible way. This is an emergency. Urgent attention is required. I am left alone, unprotected and vulnerable. Iíve been abandoned; Iím losing all hope. I only want to die. This is not the time for logic, that moment has long passed. I await my only salvation: The only one I truly need: The one who has kept me alive all along: My only dependable source of comfort. I cease to exist without her. And as each minute ticks I lose even more of myself. There is no return.
All I've wanted today is to sit beside my father and talk; to be with him; to hear him apologize for everything being messy; to tell him it's not his fault.
This is the way of the world, dad.
Heíd grin and Iíd hear it through six feet of dirt. I miss him more than I've ever felt anything. I can be grateful this day didnít creep up on me as it did last year, nor did it smack me in the face by being
I didnít obsess and Iím still standing. I wish I knew heís seeing me.
The cusp of creativity lingers in sight, fluttering up high, retreating down low. One minute it's there, the next it's not. Bubbles float with sparks of ideas being caught in my airtight net before dissipating into warm puffs of burnt electricity. If I turn fast enough the shadow remains for a moment. Never long enough to capture the true essence of all that I feel. So I stand, barely alive, teetering toward the edge of something spectacular. While you always wish for so much more, I survive with a memory. And a throbbing ache, a reminder of all the rest.
Her chest gets heavy, breathing becomes laborious, and she never realizes all that she could lose. Taking life for granted, not realizing that through her whole life she has been aware that the people around her, every person in the world has an ailment. An affliction. Just some sort of disorder in the body. Their bodies could fail in any time bomb ticking minute. She comes to realize that
is a part of
Any random mutation can rear its ugly head any given moment. It is fucking predetermined. DNA canít be changed, and it codes for failing bodies.
Dog hair floats across my bedroom floor. Itís all I can do to keep from missing all that I never had. I feel the breeze even when I canít be sure that itís blowing. Airy wisps of disregarded intentions dissipate silently. Does anything (anyone) really go away? Will any of us make it out alive? Was I ever living? It seems so long ago. At this time last year I was living. I was grieving hard and lived to match. The world was new, and oddly emptier. Feelings were fresh and intense. I was nearly on top of the world.
On most nights, he awakens to the chorus of his heart breaking. Whatís never forgotten is remembered the most. The face of an angel blown away by lonely desperation. Voices fade fastest and her accent slips from memory. Scents linger in crevices of despair, letting forth bursts of remembrance when least expected. Dream states bring him closest to her, as close as theyíll ever be. But itís never enough. And sleep doesnít find him well. What was lost will always be greater than what he gained. Time tolls on, chime after chime. One at a time, we all go down.
Itís all the same. Nothing special here. I will deplete my resources. I will write nothing. I will write everything. I no longer care. Watch as I turn apathetic. Always, I have been. I died, never was I reborn. Mind body dualism. I exist alone in my thoughts. What are thoughts? Where are they derived? Do we actually control them? If we did then wouldn't we force only the most relevant and meaningful to come to light? Wouldn't we have solved all the worldsí problems? Would we not know everything? And what is the heart? What is its ethereal meaning?
Utter exhaustion with thoughts of chaos running rampant. Gleams of light flicker in stray corners whenever you look away. Donít look back. Whatever you do. Let me sleep through the night and awake without the memory of having dreamt you up. The scenario, the game, the party favors broken on the floor swept under the rug. Coat the glasses with shards of nicotine. You could never see me. Iíll be lost for good. At this rate weíd all be dead by sunset. Over green skies and heavenly bodies, doing all that we can to escape this hell, our epidermal prison.
Grey drifts toward horizons. It is always darkest before entering the building you most loathe. The one you wish hardest to see is who you will never set eyes on, no matter how loud you scream through bustling hallways. Sniffle back tears; inhale the intoxicating scent of cleanliness and knowledge seeping through all you know. Things will never return, only you. The world doesnít know what you would do to get back, back to the one lost. Cry, cry again Ė the next may help. Until then, exit when itís all said and learned Ė the sun will probably shine for you.
With his best friend at his heels, the man eases into the crosswalk to reach the woman awaiting his arrival on the other side. Her blonde hair glistens from the glowing night sky with a tinge of green reflecting back from the traffic light. He sees her lips move but only hears the rustling of his corduroys and the panting of his dog. The heat of a thousand eyes burn through him from her locked gaze scrutinizing his every movement. Sweat accumulates on his palm as he wipes his forehead. A sense of desperation makes him want to run away.
Without saying a word, the woman turns her back to the man and proceeds to walk away. While the dog is hesitant to follow, the man is quickly by her side. Her face is grimaced and she refuses the hand he holds out. Fearing the worse, he orders his dog to come. They continue walking, passing through cemetery gates and eventually come to a wooden bench. She sits. He brushes his seat clear and acquires a splinter on a forefinger.
Silence encompasses them, drowning out the sound of dead bodies stirring underground. The dog runs off to chase squirrels.
ďItís just not working anymore.Ē
ďIíll tweeze it out when we get home,Ē he says, squeezing his skin to dig the dead wood out.
ďI think I need a break.Ē
ďI have vacation time coming up in a couple months.Ē
ďNo, itís not enough.Ē
ďItís not too late to get in on the time share.Ē
ďThe atmosphere is so thick here.Ē
ďPollution is a problem everywhere.Ē
ďItís stifling, I can hardly breathe like this,Ē she says, crossing her arms over her chest.
ďEverything will be okay.Ē
ďNo, no it wonít be. Youíre not listening to me.Ē
ďYou want a divorce.Ē
Reality of having lost something is supposed to sink in after continual frustrations of needing that something, repeatedly, and not being able to have it, ever. Iím supposed to understand, by this point, that he isnít coming back. This isnít superman returns. But even if I do understand that heís gone, what, still, does that mean? Am I supposed to stop needing or wanting him? Is this a feeling that will pass? If heís never here then I will always miss him. I miss him more than words can say which is why I have to write endlessly about it.
I can cognitively grasp the fact that my father no longer exists. My perception of reality is shrouded by various shades of grey. Each tint holds a newer truth, a better understanding. I am aware of death and mortality on a multitude of levels. Apparently, according to psychology, this is why I drive fast and recklessly. I push the limits for reassurance. It isnít death I seek. What I inwardly desire is assurance that just because it happens, it wonít necessarily happen to me, at least not like the time bomb I envision death to be. I donít wanna die.
Excuse me a moment as I stare at this blank page. Oh look, itís not blank anymore. Watch as the words spew forth, going nowhere, saying nothing. The twists and turns of the abysmal chasm that is this cycle of life. All can be distant, in an instant. I wanted to put off writing this, waiting for words to come. I quickly realized that words no longer come, they havenít for
Itís sad, really. Iíve tried a lot of nothing including not actually writing. The act of writing. I push it away, I deny it all thinking itís lost.
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