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I'm... so tired. Bone tired. Soul tired. Dead tired.
Heavy, heavy, heavy.
This sadness has injected molten metal into my bones. My blood has congealed in my veins. My heart pumps, pumps, pumps nothing but gradually hardening concrete. My skin has turned to stone. My muscles are sludge, tar, oil; thick but weak.
God help me, I can't breathe. I can't breathe! I can't breathe with these torn, ragged lungs. Choking. Coughing. Spitting up bile burdened blood.
Burn me. Burn this wretched soul trapped and tormented in my sinful body.
Can't you understand? Don't you see? I'm in such pain.
I managed to walk home in a straight line by sheer power of will. I hadn't meant to get drunk. Hell, I hadn't even expected to drink alcohol. I went down to the hot tub with a book completely intent on reading quietly.
But there were already people there, and they invited me to join them, so I did, because I was lonely, and I... What was I saying?
So drunk. I let myself fall against the wall, hoping it was close enough and safe enough to catch me.
I only drank because I didn't want to be rude.
They say the way you act when you're drunk is the true you. The you without masks or inhibitions or any reason to try to hide yourself.
I laugh. A lot. I sit back and listen to other people talk, and I laugh, even though they aren't funny. It feels good too laugh. After so long in a house with just you, or sometimes, only me, it's good to be around other people.
Alcohol doesn't show the real me. I'm perfectly capable of hiding who I am, even dizzy and trashed. They don't know the real me.
Neither do you.
Listen up, little boy. You're standing there with your hands still tied to your momma's apron strings. You tell me I'm the child in this relationship. You tell me I don't know the ways of the world.
What do you know? What do you know?! What do you know about anything?
Is buying an eighty dollar video game and leaving your wife for a week without money a sign of your wisdom? Is refusing to go to marriage counseling proof that you're a man?
I have my faults, but I'm willing to fix them. Are you?
Let's watch and see.
Shhh. Be silent today.
Do you remember sleeping on the roof with the soft dusk light pressing gentle kisses against your skin? Do you remember being cradled by the heat of sun-baked tiles? Do you remember the thrill of standing above the highest branches of the trees?
Do you remember thinking about him? Imagining his hand warm in yours? Do you remember the knot in your throat, the single tear hot and acidic on your cheek?
"He's gone. He's gone. He's gone."
You missed him. Do you remember that?
Now you have him. So do something about it, love.
I wish I could blot out the past five days. There is no poetry in those entries. They are full of nothing but bitter, angry words, and only half of them were written sober.
I am sorry, my unnamed but beloved audience. You deserve so much better. Can we forget they ever happened? Please, let us move on to a new and greater era.
Thus begins November the Sixth (or, in actuality, the eighth, but we're also pretending I haven't miss any days. Might as well cover all the bases, right?), the greatest month of my career.
Wish me luck.
The trail was nothing but dust and ancient, crumbling rocks. Halfway up the mountain, two boulders sat across from each other--smooth topped and ponderous. This was, time after time, the place hikers chose to stop, rest, and stare--panting--into each others' gleaming faces.
Many men climbed this mountain, I'm told. Men in boots that look just the same and so many bags slung over their backs that each step slams to the ground like a weary god's. They make their own earthquakes, these tired men.
The town is visible from here, but no one stops for the view.
Like a notebook with the pages torn out. There is no space for new information, and there is no old information to rely on. This is what happens to me when I am peaceful. I hate it.x
"You are never content. You thrive on crisis."
Wretched truth. Is my existence to never be happy unless I'm miserable? Am I like that lost warrior, blood-stained sword dragging in the dust as I try to find my way back home after the war, only to realize war
Soldier, what do you do with all those memories?
This place is cold now. The temperatures hover just above freezing, even during the day. The cold wind of the mountains has returned, shrieking and cackling and ripping at our jackets as it blows past.
Old Man Desert bows his head and sleeps warm and safe under the thick coat of dead fall grasses he's wrapped about himself.
"Texas." my thoughts say. "You're bound for Texas." And my heart rips a little.
I've come to love this place. This barren, thorn covered land. The sunrise here is like the gift of new life every morning.
Will Texas be the same?
I stumbled into the Devil's bedroom the other day. Took me entirely by surprise.
There he was, smoking a cigar in his silk dressing robe, all sly smiles and insincere apologies.
"So sorry, so sorry. I should really put up a sign. Happens all the time. Why don't you take a seat?"
"No, sir. I shouldn't. I've heard bad things about you."
He laughed and laughed. Laughed for a year and a day and twelve hours more. Laughed so long I finally sat and treated myself to his whiskey and wine and read the Bible from his coffee table drawer.
She is a creature of the night. Stars in her eyes. The aurora lights under her skin. Shadow hair. Kisses like warm summer dusk and cold, cold, cold winter frost.
You want to touch her, but that's as impossible as touching the sky. More men landed on the moon than earned a smile from those beautiful lips.
She told me a secret once, told me the truth of her nature.
"I loved a man, and he loved me, but the Night never stays. No, the Night always goes. By the sun, I am gone. Changed. New. Never to be yours."
There was a tree in the middle of the park. The tallest tree most of us had ever seen. Up close. Glossy pictures in the National Geographic don't count.
We used to stand under it in autumn, peering up through the waist-thick branches, and wait for the leaves from the very top to fall. Then we'd chase after them, laughing and tripping over ourselves as we tried to catch them before they hit the grass.
"Make a wish! Make a wish!" We'd chant to the lucky fools clutching leaves to their chests.
They cut that tree down last year.
She had the kind of eyes that showed up in your dreams when you least expected them to, and there was never any mistaking them for another girl's eyes. You'd see them, and your heart would shudder, because nothing but pain came from remembering that gaze.
"They're green." she'd insist. "They only look blue from far away. Look close."
So you did. You learned every streak of blue and grey and green in those irises, knew them better than you knew your own. And paid for it too.
Because no good every came from looking into that girl's soul.
I want to erase your mind. Start you over. Bite your tongue and drink your silence. Tape your eyes shut with strips of my own flesh. Deafen you with clumps of my hair. You will register nothing but my touch, my smell, my voice. Mine. And you will think of me.
You will think only of me.
Run before I destroy you. Run before I sink my claws into your soul and yank it out. Run before you become another empty corpse lining my garden, rotting and seeping and wretched.
Run. Before I give you what you wanted.
The stillness of this place is killing me. The walls, the floor, the blank TV screen, the indifferent stares from the cat and stuffed animals. I can feel my heart turning to stone.
I need to get out. I need to get OUT!
The carpet holds my feet to the floor, the chair has soaked its morose apathy into my skin.
Stay. Stay. Stay.
"It's cold outside." the windows say. "Stay."
"Your hair looks awful." the mirrors croons. "Stay."
"It's too late. Too late in the day." the clocks laugh. "Stay. Stay. Stay."
Must I be alone in this house?
I like to sit back and listen to other people's problems. I like to try to help them untangle the messy spool of their thoughts, to put it all back in order. To dust off their happiness and stitch it to their hearts with silver thread.
I like to take four pills at once, then four more, and four after that, until my laughs are rippling the air, and I can't cry because I forgot what it feels like to be sad.
I like to betray you in little tiny blameless ways that no one but god and I see.
Today while cooking Hamburger Helper for the fourth time this week and feeling the smell of "Cheddar Cheeseburger" seep into my pores just like "Cheesy Bacon Cheeseburger" had the night before, I realized a terrible truth.
This is my hell.
Watching a TV show I hate during dinner. Bed straight after. Weighed down by the heavy, sweltering limbs of a husband who prefers sex in the morning--unable to sleep and bored to tears. An empty day to look forward to. Empty. Empty. Empty.
"How was your day?" I ask him.
You have no idea.
What makes a post feature-able? I realize we can vote on entries, but does every entry that's voted on get featured, or is there a check list it must go through first?
Cuss words--are they "pushing the limits of artistry" or "destroying the dignity of the language?"
My featured entry was terribly morbid and more than a little suicidal. It looked out of place among the more light-hearted (but brilliant) entries.
I wrote other, less depressing posts...
So why that one? is that really the entry that defines me?
The night was cold, but the pool was heated. Tendrils of steam spiraled up from the water, twisting around each other like the souls of dead lovers and braiding themselves into our hair.
I close my eyes and slip under the surface. This is what love must feel like. Warm. Silky. Waves gently pushing and pulling. The comforting exclusion of the outside world.
That deadly ache in your lungs, telling you to breathe. Just breathe. Breathe, god damn you! You'll die if you don't!
You'll die if you do. Because once love pulls you under, you are lost for good.
Taller than the Tower of Babble he was, and had a voice deeper than god's. Pretty brown eyes, but he was always turning them away. Couldn't handle the look I gave, he'd say. He thought I could read his soul. I never told him so, but he had the truth of it.
My body set out to destroy him, while my soul--caged inside a neglected heart--watched and raged. By miracle, or by a curse I can't resent, my cruelty was turned away. Toward another man who betrayed more love than I could dream.
We consumed each other.
We used to lay on the hood of the car, still warm from the last rays of sun, and watch as the stars came out. We never looked at each other, but we talked. Our hopes, our dreams, our bitter fears and disappointments.
We liked to think we could hide our darkest, bleakest traits from the other. That I thought you were kinder, and you thought I was... Brave? Innocent? Selfless? But we never succeeded. We always knew the truth--always pretended we didn't.
Sometimes we hated each other. Sometimes we loved.
But I know who you are.
My child reached through my chest and grabbed onto my heart with little ghost fingers, ripped off a piece as cleanly as a razor cut. When she died, she took that bit of my heart with her.
I bled out my sanity, all the hopes and desires and dreams I had ever cared for. I bled out my potential to love as completely as before. Gone. Gone with the poisoned life-blood of an unnamed baby girl.
I didn't even know I was pregnant until she left me, but she left me changed and broken. A woman hardened and insane.
The woman woke from the bed like a sea witch rising from the waters. The dark blue sheets tumbled from her as if whole oceans had clung to her shoulders. She moves jerkily, clumsily, nearly helpless against the new oppressive weight of gravity and air.
She sold the mermaid's voice long ago to a gypsy for a bottle of rum, and when that went empty, she sold her own. Bleary eyed and still half drunk, she stumbles to the bathroom and forgets she was once the witch of the sea.
Poor unfortunate souls.
Poor unfortunate souls.
Poor unfortunate soul.
There's a point in certain arguments when I realize I've hit a brick wall. Nothing I say--or scream--is going to make you understand my point of view. (Momma never taught you to put yourself in someone else's shoes, huh? Poor boy. There were a lot of things she should have taught you. I guess she was too busy keeping that house so eerily spotless to give you any people skills.)
Those are the times when I know it's best to walk away, but you always keep me there, arguing and arguing until I let you win.
She was such a little creature. Dark hair, dark eyes, but pale pale skin. I never knew her exact shape--always bundled under layers and layers of black hoodies and grey sweaters.
There was a fire in that girl. She tried to hide it, but I saw. Fierce and wild, she was. Her poetry made my skin crawl, made my hair stand on end, made my breath quicken.
She told me her mind was like the dirtiest streets of the world. Maybe so, but in the sunset, those streets glisten silver and gold.
You are silver and gold, my love.
Red is the oldest, and bossy as hell. Violet is always trying to get the other colors to rebel against her (but everyone knows Violet is the brat of the family.) Orange likes to think he's the second in command, but no one ever listens to him. Yellow and Green fight a lot about silly things like whether green or gold is the true color of wealth. Blue left for a few years trying to "find himself." Eventually, Indigo dragged him away from Picasso, and the world was happier for it. Indigo is often neglected, but she's the nicest color.
We had a long discussion about souls and reincarnation and love and life experiences. After breaking down in her car and crying harder than I have in front of someone in years, it was nice to just relax in the warmth of the pool.
She told me about the dreams she has of her past lives. Ireland. Abuse. She has an old, old soul.
"I'm a new soul." I said it without thinking, but the moment the words came out of my mouth, I knew they were true.
Of course. It all makes sense. A new, curious, and inexperienced soul.
Let's climb the mountaintops together. Let's watch the sun plunge beneath her lover's skin, her fingers clawing at the sky in an ecstasy we only wish we could experience. Baby, honey, lover, darling, let's be the earth, let's be the sun. Let us extinguish our sins inside each other's bodies.
Let's climb that mountain and count the lights from the city, flick our cigarettes into space and laugh as they catch those buildings on fire. We'll grab the smoke and let it fly us to the stars, and we will never, never fall back to this dirty, muddy world.
Two days to go, and I almost want to give up on this endeavor. My mind feels blank, but really, it's overflowing with worries--worries pushing out all words and coherent thought until nothing is left but a constant, numb scream.
You tell me you love me, that I am your breath of fresh air. You hold me close to the warmth of your body, and I fight back the terrible festering doubts in my heart.
You love me.
I love you.
On the list of "signs of an unhealthy relationship" we meet all criteria.
Love isn't always enough.
I close my eyes...
It's always starts with me closing my eyes, doesn't it, this slipping into my mind, this access to my imagination? Well, it isn't working today. Nothing behind these eyelids but darkness. Nothing but the occasional red glow when sunlight tries to seep through my skin and illuminates the blood in my veins instead.
I would like to seal sunlight up into a jar, watch as it sloshes around like honey-colored water. Every once in a while, I might open the lid and take a sip.
You've never known warmth until you've sipped sunlight.
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