February 25, 2014 § Leave a comment
We were watching television, a completely irrelevant program, when I paused the show and threw myself on the floor. First I sobbed suddenly, a puppy yelp of ridiculous sorrow, and said, “I don’t want you to die!” The word “die” was long and desperate, I held that vowel sound like a hot ember and carried it flying across the sky, leaving a white jet line of cartoonish sound. Yes, I was a cartoon as I threw myself down, with the anvil weight of picturing my lover dying, my friends dying, my family, everyone around me crumbling like buildings over a bomb, and me, left standing dirty and alone. I wailed, “Everyone is going to die,” sailing past reason with that vowel again, and he looked at me in disbelief. He was surprised as hell, and so was when I saw the horror reflected in his face. An eye somewhere deep in my mind saw this happening and even now, I still believe that it would be much less painful to die first.
It would be less painful if I died first. Right? After picturing everyone I know die, after seeing their skin stretched across their bones and then see that skin rot away in the speedway of time, I felt horribly guilty. With similarly morbid obsession, I imagined my own death. I’d like to go first, I sobbed, I hope I can die first so that everyone else is spared (even though they will eventually die) and so, selfishly, I won’t have to experience the torture of loss. It’s not bittersweet, this thing we call grief, it’s fucking painful, and it’s time we started getting more real about that.
May 23, 2013 § Leave a comment
Healing is hard. Really really hard. It takes a long time and often it is not very much fun. I think we have this picture of healing that has something to do with a woman’s peaceful face upturned towards the morning sun and she is free and she is happy and radiant on a mountain-top near a stream which symbolizes how she’s cleansed of all the toxins that had previously oppressed her before this great liberation claimed by her own self. Healing is actually very painful and frustrating and usually reminds me that I am one of the most impatient people I know. Healing feels icky like an itch that happens over a scab that you shouldn’t touch. But want to. And deciding to heal is only the beginning of a very long cassette tape that you have to listen to in a hot, cramped car on a road trip with all the family members you dislike. When the last song on the second side fades out that moment of silence where you have to sit with your hateful thoughts is the worst because you know that fucking tape is clicking over and getting cued up for another round of the worst song of all, the first song, the one you started with, the one you always go back to, the day you realized you were really fucked. But years later, you’ll be in the car again, this time with someone you love, and that first song will come on, and you’ll smile because even though you now have the freedom to turn the song off and/or smash the stereo in with your fabulous made-for-walking-shoes, that song reminds you of the hot, disgusting car ride with many versions of your hateful self and that even though you are certainly not on a mountain-top with your radiant face upturned towards the sun, you have never left the road, and you have come just as far as you could.
May 13, 2013 § Leave a comment
The runes told me this morning
we cannot control
that which does not yet have form
as I turned the imperfect wooden disk over and over in my fingers
I knew that my desire and discomfort had much more to do with the past than any future I could ever imagine
so for a small blissful moment
I stopped carving tombstones in my mind and
away drifted wistful echos of phrases such as,
“Here lies tomorrow, pregnant and empty at the same time”
May 10, 2013 § 4 Comments
I only saw the therapist with the long stares twice. In that time, her stretched-out stares made me feel as though we had enjoyed weekly visits for years and that we had walked all the way to the end of my earth and returned again with the sun setting on our backs. She may have even come to a few of my landmark birthday parties, later, when we became friends. I bought her a bracelet that looked like driftwood trapped in silver and she met my mother and they talked about canning vegetables with a knowing kindness. This is not to say she made me feel comfortable. No. She did not make me feel comfortable. But I sat right down in the armchair of my discomfort and I suppose I’m glad I tried to settle into her quiet strangeness.
I finally made the first appointment after months of talking about it. As soon as I made the appointment, I felt better. This is how it is with self-care, with professional help, we procrastinate because we think we can do it all alone, and when we finally admit we need help, when we make an appointment with an understanding that business will occur, we feel better, cleansed and ready to take on more of life’s weight. I was propelled towards the professional lamp because of all the thoughts flying around inside of me, like moths that seem frantic and stupid in the light and cryptically morbid in the dark. Even though I had watched the YouTube video posted on her website in which she talked about her focus, I still wasn’t prepared to know her when I saw her. It is a small thing but I was so surprised to feel a clicking into place, like Lego pieces that make the right sound against the soft carpet of your bedroom. « Read the rest of this entry »
May 8, 2013 § Leave a comment
It was her stillness that moved me. I could tell that she was keeping secrets. Momentum had been dammed in the illusion of her fresh beauty. Fuchsia tie dye t-shirt, tiny acid-washed denim shorts, white high-top sneakers with rainbow laces, and her long long golden hair and long long summer legs. I was puzzled. Why was this gorgeous girl sitting separate, away from her peers, in a state of stillness normally reserved for the hunted? Under the rain forest canopy of high school, she was a tropical bird in shadows but still, still, she reflected light. I scolded myself, don’t assume that pretty girls can’t be ostracized from the social group. But no, it had nothing to do with her radiant physical appearance. It was more like I recognized myself in her stillness. I kept secrets too. I held my body in a tight frame of fear, I took short, careful breaths, I looked away when caring people asked me questions with knowing eyes, I kept my face blank and smooth, I pulled the shades down, I shut the blinds, I was the hunted, and I shook loose at night.
May 5, 2013 § 3 Comments
My theory is that there are few who really see a reason to keep on living
We only pretend for the sake of being seen
It is our curiosity that saves us in the end
The thought that maybe, after all this shit, we will find triumph
And our sadness will be recognized as truth
April 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
Mike Roe was a lonely wandering elephant forever searching for a smaller way to live, and when he finally found himself burrowing down, down into the secret hiding places of the tiniest bugs he realized he longed for the largeness he’d had all along.