Monthly Archives: January 2017

When I Have Nothing to Say, My Lips are Sealed

Right on, David Byrne! I don’t know why people feel the need to rattle off the boring nuances of their lives either. The problem seems to be people thinking they have something to say. What in God’s name makes you think that your co-workers give half a shit that your cat’s been puking lately? Like yeah. That sucks. Take him to a goddamn vet and deal with it.

Do you want sympathy? Is that it? You want someone’s jaw to drop a little, as though they’ve just been informed that eleven rodents tumbled out of their ass, and for them to become emotional on your behalf, holding your hand and muttering, “I’m so…sorry,” because what can you say to a travesty like that? I mean clearly there’s nothing they can do to fix any of the trauma that’s been done, all they can do is hold your hand through it, and give you hope for the future.

When I’m shivering in the broken down ghost town of a dining room before the sun’s even risen, the slimy maraschino cherry on top that shatters THIS camel’s vertebrae is when you (starring for us today in the role of Sharon, the waitress) ask me about my day in the cramped nook that contains the only three crusty coffee carafes and more importantly, the only heater; all the while with that cheery sneer wedged between your cheeks while pouring overstewed coffee into a mug with the awkward fifth grader attempts at smiling faces of your children stamped into its pixelated curve.

For future reference, a list of things that I couldn’t give two shits about, but smile and nod through because I see you, annoying coworker, more than the people that I’d like to see:

that you’ve been gaining weight; that you’re trying out this new diet that’s s’posed to be really good; that you just can’t resist the girl scout cookies on your way into the grocery store; that you find it a humorous anecdote that after the girl scout cookie excursion, you bought a bag of chips and ate the whole thing in one sitting; that you’ve been feeling self conscious when you look in the mirror lately and do I think you’ve picked up a noticeable amount of weight around the tummy?; that the children you teach at your day job are stupid fuckers – they’re in fifth grade and only you sound stupid for making fun of them, Sharon; that a friend of yours made a rap channel on youtube but the catch is he doesn’t rap very well; that you bought a new hair dryer and it has a funny smell.

Things I would love to hear you nonchalantly utter over bad coffee at 6am when nobody wants breakfast, much less breakfast in the frigid dining room:

that you stabbed your new husband with a steak knife last night because he thought the filet was a bit more medium well than he wanted, and can you stay at my place for a few nights because the police have already checked your parents’ house; that your nipples and taint are turning chartreuse; that you snorted blow out of a hooker’s ass crack last night, tapped her one the ass and made sweet love to her in the bed of a truck as it flew eighty seven mph down three oh one; that ever since joining that cult you’ve been having memory lapses and woke up at 3am last night/this morning covered in purple paint, cackling over the corpse of that guy that’s running for office; that one of the dumbfuck children you teach math to is an alien from Saturn and he revealed this to you frantically after the other children had left, because it’s your mission to bring his people to glory; that your cat is doing well. I have a heart; that you crowd surfed at a freddie mercury cover band concert buck ass naked and were so drunk that you pissed on the crowd, but they were so drunk that they just kept lawding you about until your bladder ran out; that you got a lift here this morning from a trucker that you met while hitching in Michigan and boy was it a long drive, especially since you rocked a humdinger on ‘im every third town; that you lost your savings, car and stamp collection in an underground russian roulette gambling ring; that you got the car back by agreeing to be the sole sled dog of a middle eastern man the first tuesday of every month – but it’s not that bad, because mostly he’ll just drive you to church and the grocery store for gogurt; that you’re worried about your growing adrenaline-addiction to eating massive amounts of prunes and laxatives before your state trooper husband gives it to you on Saturday nights at 7pm, because last night he tried to get creative and boy would there have been a mess if you didn’t distract him with oral sex; that you’ve finally reached your personal goal of fitting seventeen golf balls up your twat; that since somebody is above taking it in the ass from a man in a Winnie the Pooh costume, you have an opening in your posse of hookers, and would like to offer me the prestigious position of side bitch.

I mean, you don’t need to rattle off one of these verbatim, these are simply some examples from which you can construct more interesting waitress station dialogue. And I won’t walk away mid sentence, should you slip in a parable about the fulfillment you get from teaching the next generation of minimum wage slaves, from time to time. I’m one of those people who believes in second chances.

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Imaginary Car Ride with Dad

Were you ever worried about becoming your dad when you were growing up, because I’m worried about becoming you and mom.

“thanks”

I’m serious, I don’t mean it as a dig, it’s just a weird topic to discuss, which means it should probably be discussed the most. And I’m pretty terrified to discuss it. Which is just another reason why it should be brought to light.

You don’t feel like my dad. You kind of feel like a housemate that begrudgingly has to help with things sometimes and also takes me to obscure concerts every once in a while – which is nice. I guess I like it. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I only liked the Ingrid Michelson songs that we sang in chorus and danced and screamed my ass off so I wouldn’t seem ungrateful, because I know concert tickets aren’t cheap. And the only Arlo Guthrie song I knew before that concert was “Comin Into Los Angeles,” and I snuck out during intermission and smoked a couple roaches I’d been saving on a street corner, because it was the only thing that made the trip exciting.

The majority of conversations we have, I cry afterward. Mainly, we talk when Mom makes me talk to you – to check something she doesn’t want to say yes to, so she hopes and prays you’ll say no even though I’m fairly certain (from the genetic source that my apathetic depressive swings stem from) that you don’t give a fuck, or if I need help with something on the car. The way you talk to me makes me feel stupid, and it’s juvenile and mean and I literally bat away tears halfway through having to talk to you, because I know you’re the reason I believe I’m stupid at heart. I was the goddamned valedictorian of the whole campus, but I know I’m interminably dumb because I don’t know how to put air in my tires. Even more confusing and anguishing are the times when you’re nice to me. You offered to make me a grilled cheese sandwich a couple weeks ago, you were making one for yourself and thoughtfully offered one to everyone else that was home. You were in a pretty good mood that day. I said no thank you and went back to my room and cried with complete confusion as to why.

I’ve sort of convinced myself that you aren’t my father. My chef takes a greater interest in my life and knows more about my life than you do. You didn’t know I was a chef until a month ago. So I’d concluded that you aren’t my father. All of my memories growing up are of mom, and you’re kind of just a blurry part of the background.

I remember you yelling at me and freaking out when I spilled a soda in grandma’s apartment, she was fine with it and told you to calm down, while I cried on the couch. I knew I fucked up bad, and have been afraid of failure ever since. I’m afraid to drive to Philly, because I think I’ll fuck up, drive on the wrong side of the highway, get terribly lost, cause accidents, get a flat, never get your love.

I remember a similar situation in which Megan and I spilled milk. I remember walking in on Megan after we all rode home from the carnival, crying into her pillow because you called her stupid. I remember you teaching us how to play croquet in the backyard in the summertime, and you swung too far back and hit yourself in the eye and the day was over. I remember the ridiculous way you used to hide your cursing, and I could never understand why you couldn’t just get over it. I remember when it started feeling weird to kiss you on the lips; I was in the kitchen in June, standing behind the dishwasher and you walked inside and I huffed out my gut so that I would look ugly to you. I felt pretty uncomfortable in our embraces after that, and didn’t really know why. I didn’t trust you, didn’t trust me. I remember staying outside raking leaves and  hauling firewood two consecutive New Years Eve’s, respectively, because I wanted to stand out from my sisters and show that I was a good helper and that I didn’t do half ass jobs and that I would stay outside as long as you were outside.

I remember when I stopped giving a fuck what you thought. When you asked how school was and I told you I was dropping out, not breaking eye contact with my coffee mug as I pulled it out of the microwave. “What,” you said with confusion that was trying to be upset, but who the fuck are you to start giving a shit twenty years into my life. “I dropped out of school two weeks ago,” I walked past you through the kitchen and was already in the hallway when I heard you say “okay,” with abandon. I remember feeling pissed the fuck off whenever you tried to be my father before that moment, but I didn’t yet have the power to not give a fuck. Whenever you said no to something I wanted to do – the times mom’s prayers came true – it felt like betrayal. “Who are you to have anything to say with what I do with my life,” I screamed into a pile of laundry on my bed when you vetoed the proposition that I spend the night at Amanda’s beach house, without parental supervision.

I remember when you and mom were separated. I used to cry on the weekends we had to stay with you. Your side of the house was disgusting and smelled and was cluttered with your moldy neurosis and I hated it. I remember waking up early to go to the flea market with you. I never walked as fast as you and Megan, and it was usually cold and everything was old and dirty. All my friends had new coloring books and plastic bracelets. I think that was when I started to feel like trash, watching you root through the trash all weekend and bargain and talk with the ugly fat people selling garbage out of the backs of their trucks. All our dress up clothes smelled stale. Whenever I went over to a friend’s house it was always clean and there was a place – a drawer, a cabinet – for everything, so whenever we took something out of its place we had to put it exactly back, and their homes had scented candles burning and it was nice and I usually liked it better than our house, but usually I missed Mom. And soon, I never wanted to ask people over to our house, because I slowly became aware that ours wasn’t as good as theirs, but when it came to spending the night, I needed my mom.

I remember sleeping in your bed when mom was in Florida for Greg’s funeral. I tried sleeping alone in her bed and couldn’t do it and had to walk like a scared sheep back to your room, nose dripping with snot and tears. I ended up getting sick the week she was away, and you gave me NyQuil and brought me cranberry juice in the middle of the night when I was coughing. I remember looking at the half finished cranberry juice, right where I left it on the side table a week after mom got back, we’d set up a banner for her on the garage. The cranberry juice was covered in mold.

I came to understand that your room was where we hid the embarrassing things. When I became too old for dolls, that was where I still played with them, immediately embarrassed if Sarah walked in unexpectedly to see me holding them about the waist and making them kiss, I think I was a preteen when I finally stopped playing with them. It wasn’t a connection to the dolls that made me keep them, it was an escape, just like weed is for me now. I like to escape into the fantasy world of their love affairs and their shaming and battles and drama. I was always trying to leave the house I hated so much to spend time with my friends, but they could never spend time with me – were too busy with their own lives, but I made the round of calls to them every weekend, desperately lonely.

I remember when you put up the rope swing for us, and Megan climbed all the way to the top. That mud hill and slide and rope swing were the best parts of my childhood, and now that I think about it, I don’t remember you putting it up. It was just sort of there one day. I remember you mowing the front field.

I remember that Halloween when the Fransisco’s came over and we were playing manhunt in the backyard, I was giddily hiding behind the swings. Then out of nowhere “ZHOOOOOM” a bright green streak illuminated across the field, in the garden. Darth Vader emerged, growling “Cindy Loo Who.” Danielle. We ran around for an eternity, you chasing us, I don’t remember when I realized it was just you, but it was the happiest night. I remember when you and mom had an anniversary, I had just come home from a sleepover birthday party at Felisha’s house or Becca’s, and you made lobster and shrimp for dinner, because it was a special night and we were all allowed to have some. The Fransisco’s came over again and we played hide and seek in the basement, I guess while you and mom had a nice night. I remember that was when I first wanted to be a writer – I didn’t want it plainly like that, but it was when I first had the urge to record my thoughts and memories, even though I didn’t know half of the words I was writing. I can’t even imagine what my attempt at spelling anniversary was, but I’m certain it didn’t go well. It was also, appropriately, the first time I abandoned my writing to keep having fun, so that there would always be more to write about. More memories to cherish and hold close when the ever-forming bad ones gurgled up.

There aren’t many good memories of you from my childhood. That’s not to say you didn’t do a multitude of kind things for me, and that you didn’t feed me, burp me and wipe my ass when I couldn’t walk, but I have so many bad feelings and uncomfortable situations associated with you. I think I must have rejected you from the beginning. Mom was so nice, that I just never wanted her to leave, and you were the villain that held the reigns when she went away. I think I remember being three when she went to yoga and I screamed and wailed and threw a fit, because she was the only one I wanted, I squeezed my little fists around her sweatshirt, the memory is so fresh that I’m sobbing a bit now, gone as soon as it came. You always put me to bed in her bed where I lay in wait for her, you never read stories right. She did all the voices and sounded like a mom, and your voice was male and tired and feigned and I felt like you were waiting for it to be over. My favorite memories from those nights, the sound of gravel and her headlights tracing the wall as the old van, the one that got crushed, floated up the driveway.

I remember the day that van got crushed. We were in the back paddock, you were cutting trees and I was feeling the beauty of the world in the tall grass and butterflies. Sarah came out scared and said mom was on the phone and needed you and she said the word crash but I didn’t know what it meant, but I knew that you never ran anywhere, but this time you dashed inside. I followed. Later, we set up pillows on the old couch, so that mom could get comfortable, like when we were sick. I though a car crash must be some kind of illness, and she said she had a guardian angel after that and we got a new van.

I remember how I hated when it was you that would stay home with me when I was sick. Half the time I wasn’t sick, but I recognize it now as I sometimes do as an early sign of my depression. I never wanted to be at home with you, just with mom, because she was so nice and pitied me and loved me and kissed my forehead. I think you sat in the other room while I watched TV on the couch. I felt like a chore that you’d walk in to check on. I remember telling you I was better halfway through the day, because I’d rather be at school than at home in the dark cold house. Mom always turned on the lights.

I spent most of my time with mom, because I could never give up sleeping in her bed. It was my first addiction. I remember the agony of trying to sleep in my bed, I thought I’d never be able to do it without tears, and now it’s hard to have it the other way. Sometimes at night when I couldn’t sleep, we’d stay up late telling stories and talking and she’d tell me all kinds of things. She was my best friend, and she told me one night that you cursed so much because you were angry. And when I asked her why, she said “daddy’s angry at the world,” and we changed the subject.

I remember one day, Megan and I woke up on a Saturday morning to watch cartoons, but Sarah was past that stage, so we came out to her just making her way to the couch with a cup of coffee. I dove for the good spot on the couch, resilient to win the TV battle at all costs. I buried my face in the couch pillows while Sarah was still realizing that lunging would spill her coffee. “That’s my blanket. Give me back my blanket.” I claimed territory by wrapping myself in one of the available blankets that happened to be hers, but that she wasn’t quite using at the moment. I got upset at the injustice and buried my face further into the pillows, stubborn. You walked in as she went to rip the innocent blanket from my warrior grasp. “Hey,” you said, walking over to me and smoothing the blanket back over my shoulder, “let the baby sleep,” you made Sarah go back to her own blanket on the couch that didn’t have a good view of the TV, and I smiled into my success and my oblivious partner in justice.

I always liked it when you talked soft to me and tucked me in and called me the baby or the little lamb. When I got older and wary of you, you stopped doing that, which was fine with me – really – but you started doing that with the cats. I remember when Babe was sick, and eventually died, I was jealous of her. This was only two years ago, but I understand those feelings now. I remember feeling bitter, at how you loved that cat and showed it a whole range of affection that I never remembered. I’ve seen you cry three times. Once when your mother died, twice when Babe and Mittens died.

One of the happiest memories I pin to my name, that still glitters with the best in my mind is that four days we spent in Ithaca when Grandma died. You and I got back from a book fair at the school, I wasn’t allowed to buy the book that I wanted because it cost twenty dollars, and fifteen was my limit. I got a cheaper book and was okay, though I still remember the book. It had a shiny covering and was about greek mythology. There was a pretty, long-haired Goddess with a red apple on the cover, I was twelve and already a good year into thinking I was ugly. I don’t ever remember you telling me I was beautiful, and I don’t think it’s just because my memory isn’t perfect.

We got home and there was a phone call from Aunt Chris, and while you spoke to her on the phone, Mom came back and explained to me that grandma might not be alive for very long. When I came home from school the next day, I was ashamed, I used grandma’s sickness as an excuse for not having as much done on the research paper I was supposed to. It’s not that I thought she would survive, it just seemed like an easy way out and I dug my hole of shame a little deeper. We drove up to New York that night, Sarah and Megan fell asleep in the back seat, but I stayed awake the whole time and watched the street lights race across your profile. I always liked the closeness of family car trips. I was the only one up the next morning when you got up, in Grandma Conney’s house – the one that isn’t our grandma, but our cousins grandma. You asked if I wanted to go to Gimme, to get coffee for everyone and hot chocolate for me. It was that walk we took where your obscure, inappropriate humor came out, and I enjoyed it for the first time I can remember. We walked by the planet statues in the park, under the rainy green morning sky that’s still my preferred weather over sunshine. You made jokes about Uranus, you adolescent, and how it’s full of gas, and I couldn’t stop laughing. Every once in a while you’ll say something stupid that I can’t stop laughing at and you’ll catch me and mock me and I’ll feel loved in a weird way.

You cried when you knelt to lift grandma’s body on your shoulder. I remember laying in bed in high school, unable to fall asleep, wishing I would die, so that you’d cry for me.

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Filed under Dialectic, Thoughts

A Note on Identity

Very few people are themselves. Most people are a well balanced equilibrium of the people they care to impress that are currently present. Well behaved in your parents presence, discussing through an array of charming anecdotes that demonstrate what a moral and responsible member of society you’ve grown up to be -cut to- several shots past drunk, chain-smoking cigarettes in a basement that very well may harbor tortured girls just beyond the unfinished cinderblock walls, spouting stories of good fucks, bad fucks, and any drug story – any. Who exactly is yourself?

Yourself is always honest, it’s constantly perched back there in the shady crook of your brain, palms pleasantly intertwined over its large, you-shaped belly, dropping insensitive comments you were conditioned to produce at a young age, judging people the way your mother used to in pedagogic observations, grumbling cynically about the ill-truths of humanity your fellow humans display, checking people out, loudly reminding you of whatever you momentarily forgot to crave, bleeding a little bit when it loves, when it becomes attached to things. But going around and being yourself is considered bad manners and cockiness.

People whisper about individuals, half out of fear and half out of infatuation. The real you stretches into your entire body on psychedelic trips. The trip you is you. Insecure, suspicious of everything, unbreakably enraptured by the cheap plastic flower vase in the corner, and the way it pushes itself into that space underneath the naked light bulb, and when you aren’t tripping, all you can see are the scratches on it that reveal its inferior material, and the brusk edge where Joe knocked it off at least once a month, but tripping, it’s so complete and glowing and you want to be inside of it, in it, to be it, but you are it and it just keeps – “oh,” you take the bowl being passed around and hit it, immediately forgetting the overpowering love the real you just had for a parsimonious attempt at home decor, and just as your gaze settles again on the aforementioned Joe who has been staring at your nipples for the past hour, the little you at the back of your head stretches its helices and glares at his disgusting male face, jaw partly open because god knows what is seducing him into a hardon in his brain, his awkward autistic mind that just hates to ask if you have any weed to throw in with whatever niggardly stem he decides to drop on top of the nug I always offer up – out of courtesy and social responsibility – never kindness, that same blank expression that has been jaggedly picking up mannerisms and phrases from the overconfidently attractive asshole in the gang, the same classic Italian that you hate to sit next to when he’s drunk because he chews with his mouth open constantly belching and snorting and stinking in his beer breath, and as the effervescence of you touches fingertips and toenails inside your psyche, you begin to loathe him and allow yourself to think of him as an inferior homunculus while the latent part of your brain begins to piece together from its dusty eternal cabinet of filing folders each and every way which who you are actually resembles him, and how if anything, you’re worse because you hide all these characteristics away like a cowardly hypocrite and pretend to be pure and perfect to everyone else, but only the real you knows that you aren’t and you’re just as bad, so you take this half deflated balloon collection of uncomfortable thoughts outside with you to burn a camel and slowly suck the stagnant air from each day-after-a-child’s-birthday-party edifice, until you’re weak from asphyxiation, so you light another fag and it occurs to you this is actually your third fag, so you may as well stay outside on the damp bench with the curiously reddish clouds swirling on top of twinkling diamonds laid in zaffre, and you begin to get lost on hating yourself and fall into the complex dervishes above your head so that when Thomas comes out for a smoke, you realize that you are much more horizontal than he is, rising obliquely from your hip bones, because you’d unconsciously laid out on that green wet minefield of splinters, once again to fall in love with strange beauty. So you sit up and find the energy to be not yourself for a cigarette longer (the fourth in a night that has not yet reached its chain smoking threshold, you’ve already made your amends with throat cancer), so that he’ll leave without question and you can go back to relishing in the exhaustive self hatred and should-haves. That’s not to say the real you is simply a child with love and curiosity and confusing rushes of emotion in inappropriate circumstances, the real you wants you to be better, and the two of you get along when you clean your room and do the laundry and wake up on a schedule, so as to accomplish things throughout the day, because the morning wake-n-bake, coffee from the dingy diner you half waitress/half prostitute yourself at every weekend for rent money BELIEVE IT OR NOT is a self perpetuating routine because it makes you feel like shit, and shit is as shit does, and hell, I always get the sticky bun and two refills of coffee, so between the weed and the coffee and the fiber and the cigarettes you smoke to cover up the weed, the only guaranteed high point of your morning IS shitting. The real you knows this, and whispers lasciviously from inside your ear to use that tea the homeopathic doctor suggested, and to run for just ten more minutes even though the old fart on the treadmill infant of you keeps glancing back no doubt at the sound of your labored breath grunting through the stalactites that have built up in your nose from the dry greasy atmosphere you work in every day, and wouldn’t you be happier if you didn’t have to wake up and step buck ass naked sweaty dream feet onto the soil and stone granule from yesterday’s shoes that have embedded themselves in your carpet. Wouldn’t you like a clean room?

The real you knows exactly where it’s going and what it wants, but is consistently burdened with concerns of the flesh that heap up around it in cells and tissues and organs and cosmetic products that stay on the top of your skin, though the bottle said ultra-absorbing and the flickering glances that size you up and sexualize you under the hushed discussion that halts when you round the corner, that sink in though you tell them the bit about the duck’s oily back and its history with water. The ones that want you to be like them tell you that your identity is just pipe dreams and dormant failures so you believe them, because company is as addictive as the bowl ride on the way home from work. The real you is shouting inside to SHUT YOUR EARS TO THE ROARING OF THE VOICES, GEORGE WILLARD AND GET THE HELL OUT OF WINESBURG. Sidenote: Why is it Ohio has so many famous towns? Winesburg, Xenia, Defiance, etc. The fuck’s Ohio have that Delaware doesn’t?

The real me keeps seeing foxes when I drive home at night, or when I drive to the friends house after work, though I’d rather be at home studying, as long as it isn’t for a grade. They dash in front of my path and I never hit them, I have a jumper sticker that says “I Break for Bunnies” with a pink little Peter Cottontail thumbs up on the right. They walk towards me sometimes ,but mostly away from me, and I wonder if they don’t have my scent caught in their pointed snouts. A Native American adage claims the fox to be a wolf, bearing flowers, and you know they had that shit down, so who am I to disagree. The real me knows these foxes aren’t just foxes, because I’m the one who’s seeing them and it’s crazy and I’d never explain it to my friends, but it’s the only time the voice in the back of my head shuts up and listens, like she does when I become infatuated with dollar store vases and stormy April nightscapes. She’s listening, because she knows that she is in the presence of something sacred and couldn’t bear to gab over a cosmic gift, for fear she’d stop receiving it and still not know which direction to steer the wonky tires in.

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Paranoiac Method Experimentation #2

[written upon exiting a work day that spanned from 6:30 in the morning, brief interlude at noon, to 11pm. Exhausted, I waited all shift, in high spirits to leave for the night. Upon getting what I wanted, I bummed a cigarette from a server and crossed the wet road to my car in which I sat, and sat. And sat, staring. I didn’t know what I was waiting for and was quite restless and numb and depressed. I craved release, but didn’t know where to scratch.]

When my study isn’t interrupted by my living, I have the constant inner monologue of my mother, conveniently placed across the hall. I hear her pretend a camera is focused on her meaningless life. She’s quite responsible and lovable and admirable, my mom. But dear Christ! To become her? Oh it would be a responsible and loveable and admirable life path, but dear God, so utterly sad. The man she once thought to be the love of her life – the one she would make beautiful babies with in the countryside and all the while love him through his supreme intellect and depressive quirks, whereas, post-babies, she only realized what an insufferable ass, mucking about in his own misery, and you know the sex wasn’t that good toward the end, the two of them presently placed on the opposing poles of the house, shortly after the birth of her last child *tah-dah*. As though she used him for his favorable sperm to create my sisters and I. To create an ambitious and intelligent but God-awfully BORING career woman with just enough spice left in her life for a weekly cooking class while she moves up in (choke) society, an underachieving slave with the one gift of good looks and the absolute dumbness to be kind to everyone, and then, the pièce de résistance, a depressed deviant dropout drug addict with a burning existential crisis at every turn. Yes, my admirable, loveable, responsible mother used my shockingly-yet-not-so-shockingly-reminiscent-of-my-current-beau father for her fairytale life of being a mother, which readily revealed itself to be a boring guided existence. I’m so upset, now, that my mother succumbed to the baby lust to marry my dad. Perhaps he’d be off with the interminable suicide march by now, had some half-wit not succumbed to his charms, of which there remains not a sliver nor a speck of, in his sour, balding old-man existence. He lives for work, and therefore, approval. His only admirable moments being at work, as he toils to restore the earth. And yet, even that is being taken away in light of the new generations’ superior understanding of ecological sustainability which employs all methods AGAINST those of the corporations my father works for. So he sits, sadly in his chair, watching whatever on the television and cleaning his grotesque collection of tools that only grows, filling each available nook in our basement. Life can be disgusting sometimes. How can I see their existences as beautiful? My mother literally rotted from the inside, sick with colon cancer two summers ago. Had her ass removed and vagina removed, her only creative sources it seems, and replaced them with a swollen belly, still drunk on the desire to eat. Filth! She holds that sick tummy under her arm like a pregnant belly and it sickens me, festering and growing all the time with shit, pure shit. My mother, so responsible, admirable and loveable, now lives out her days with makeshift children, the puppies, whom she stresses over, wiping their asses like small children. The only conversation she has throughout the day, she fancies herself a Maggie O’Connell, living out in the wilderness – our dirty cluttered, out of fashion ranch house in the sparse, dead woods of urbanizing Middletown, living the day to day life of survival, all the while gorging herself, indulgently, on whatever pastry she pleases, allowing it to smack to her lips and cover her mouth, the most active part of her anatomy, besides her new, ring-side shithole. That mouth flaps always, speaking to nobody with ears to listen – except when somebody’s home – anyone, with this desperate, thinly veiled desire to be heard and marveled at, to validate her continued existence until the cancer comes back and sews her up for good. She disgusts me, her and that mouth and that shithole, which much like the trinity of God are just about the same thing for her. Constantly chugging out a slow, steady, reeking leak of thick sewage. It smells up the bedroom and she revels in it, opens her door wide so everyone else has to sniff it, listen to it, that constant gurgling inner monologue of who-the-fuck-cares. Nothing she says anymore is interesting, though she labels it – and now that I think about it, certainly believes it, as it is certainly her entire world – as funny or novel. She’s grown quite dull in her isolation, chattering on about her stupid friend, who she keeps around to feel superior and clever (but would never admit so to herself because they’re “the oldest friends and you stick with friends like that, through thick and thin” – aw fuck her mom! She’s somehow more infuriating than you in her vast vapidity, and you get yourself so goddamned worked up over the horse she pulls out of her emphysemic ass. Mom always reminding me to stop smoking, with Lorraine as bait – “you don’t want to end up like that, do you? soon she won’t even be able to shower alone.” I silently nod and comment to myself that I would never be stupid enough to live that long, aeons past prime and diving straight into her grotesque stupidity. I’ll never be so dumb as to anchor myself to this godforsaken earth with children and a husband either. I’ll die a decrepit old spinster with art living at my side, and beautiful travels with which to lose myself to  nostalgia in. It occurs to me that I may not be quite smart or brave enough to do the things I think I will. I may not have the competency and the nerve to live alone in the woods or in South America or in France. I haven’t quite gotten around to trying yet (oh procrastination, warm me in your bosom for just five more minutes), but I imagine, with the calmness of a junkie, that I’ll get around to it any minute now. I also like to daydream that the laundry does itself, but therein lies the problem. I DONT WANT LAUNDRY TO DO NOR LIFEHACKS WITH WHICH TO CONQUER THE WEEKLY CHORES WITH. I don’t want chores or weekly maintenance habits. I don’t want that well balanced lifestyle with time for gym breaks and work and hey! even creativity once a month. I want the artists life! I want the bohemian struggle! I want to constantly be fighting for the uncomfortable wormhole I find the solitude to create in. I could live out of my car, though it’d have to be somewhere far more temperate – ah, dash the whole idea, while I’m at it. I feel an itching all of a sudden to set out in my personal legend. I’ve had no memorable dreams with whispering children in them, however, by which to know what that might be. So, God. Universe. Path. Consider this my informal invitation to GIVE ME A FUCKING SIGN AND SHIP ME THE DIRECTION I’M GOIN IN, cause I can’t take much more monotony, or society for that matter. I can’t stand acting okay towards all my old friends that stayed in college. I almost feel bad when it works, when they come out thinking I’ve got it made with my freedom and my pitiful home life and discount boyfriend and romantic view of my own depression, when really I’m only that person half the time. The ugly twin always has the last laugh, when whatever old friend departs, marveling at how well I’m doing, and I’m stuck with the knowledge of being the greatest and saddest actress on earth, because I could fool nobodies, slaves and clones into the same romanticized ruin I fool myself with half the time.

I want to skip town. Want to drive to New Orleans and then some. Want to get holed up in Mexico. But first I have to know how to fight, to defend myself from the rapists whose eyes sliver all over my body in suburban Middletown diners. Have to know how to survive in the wild and find water and build a fire and sustain myself off leaves and roots and pawpaws when they’re in season. I probably need a dog too. But the only dog for me is a hound and they’d be no good in the wild. At the chance of a wild brutish animal attack, it’s go scampering off into the opposite direction, with its short legs tripping over its disproportionately extended earlobes, and I’d be left to reason with the chaos of nature. And see, I’d be fine with this, but the process is so painstaking. I need a crash course. I need all the knowledge of the universe NOW, not in a year. I’m restless and tired and scratching to jump out of my flesh. Any excuse to abandon the “love of my life” that cares only for self pity and hedonistic egotism. Barf. He’s not getting better, and I’ll only rot along with him the longer I stay in this fickle situation. But the alternative is so dumb too. Bringing a blood hound to the wilderness is like bringing a weeping willow to a waterfall. The sentiment was nice, but it doesn’t quite fit the role. They’re getting
Old Yeller to fill the part anyhow. Damn.

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Paranoiac Method Experimentation

It was in his trying to be masculine that he only achieved femininity. And I was attracted to these feminine traits, it’s not that this struggle made him less attractive to me, if anything I was predominantly seduced by the struggle. His femininity made him beautiful, otherwise he’d be a grotesque failure, caught in the cycle of try and fail with his goal of manhood. Being privilege to his weak moments made him attainable, whereas the father figure he was always trying to touch was the actual end goal of all his efforts

[The real life thing that happened was his father’s successful intervention with the boy when he’d confided in me his plans to kill himself. He craved death at his failure to achieve the utmost masculinity, it was pitiful]

seeing his father march in, reduce my “man” to tears, restoring himself as the omnipotent paterfamilias, rounding up his sick and diseased flock, chaperoning it dutifully back to the manger, to be cured and released. I’d always known he’d been trying to attain some strange, unreachable goal in his image, but I hadn’t had the dumb sense to realize that this worshipped idol was his own rejected creator.

“I don’t want your dad on the bed. I want your dad on the bar. Lights out, customers fucked off, just the dim lamps that hover, both in timbre and height, looming down on his wash blue tucked-shirt back, belt buckle glinting in the amber dust.

The galloping fossil fins of my hipbones ride the surf of your father’s gypsy brown flesh, his purple probe bobbing into me, fully aware of what he’s doing to me. Yes, the man that fathered you. Not whatever you are.

The dough of your gut rising from the yeast you pour into it day-in and day-out when the shakes take hold of your manual sentiments. YES, YOU’LL DRINK TO BE HAPPY WHILE I GIDDILY FUCK THE SECOND PERSON ON EARTH TO EVER LOOK INTO YOUR PALE ORBITS.

He’ll initiate it too. You think I find you so courageous and robust for asking if I didn’t want to hookup? “no strings attached,” as you said, then moments after feeling the bow in my lips with your own, matriculated into love and womanish woes. Me, thinking I’ll finally be fucked by a real man, but all you are is a plastic cast of daddy. You haven’t quite learned his strength and fortitude yet, so you pretend. Strutting about like a sorority girl, I think you must be a girl, pretending to be tough like the big boys, but you won’t grow into the silly putty sac between those ghastly thighs until at least a decade. So while you drink back the tears of knowing you’ll never really have me, I’ll patiently allow you father to spill his tardy offspring about my breasts and hips. A rival sibling of yours, lodging itself, isolated between the sediment of a dark wool sweater your old man ripped from my rib cage and some skin cells in my belly button, until I wash it out the next morning, my nakedness a sudden memory of how the original paterfamilias’ cock rammed into the pleasure place until my foot arches cramped – until my knees needed kinesthetic bursts to stretch – until my guts fluttered and twisted, he rammed me so well, and my greedy cunt will take over my fingers, still slick with soap and attend the ticklish wound the first man to be tyrant over you left in me.

Your sick limp flesh-pink jewels won’t fill his shoes for twenty years. What do you think of that? It makes me laugh for the slime that you are, adhering to my marble form with your alcohol sweats and your addiction. A real man could push through. Could do it without your tears and melodrama. As cool as you act and fool fresh strangers into thinking you are, how does it feel to know you won’t be honest until decades have passed? Your first and favorite example, your pops, hurt my belly with his swollen member, but your pathetic grief makes my belly hurt more. Spittle flies off my canines with the force of my cough spattering laughter. You disgusting drunk. Hold yourself together, man. Your beer gut creeps toward the floor. I’ll have a man that downs his whiskey (without your laughable coke mixers), pats his woman on the ass, then takes her out and fucks her. Gives it to her good against the pillar of a tree— you with your disgusting silk sheets, you glutton – in the bed of a truck. In the secretive night until the revealing dawn, makes her scream and cry and outshout the crowing cock. And you just croon in my ear, your nauseating endearments. For all the cheap tricks you hastily copied from your old man, you failed to learn that a woman doesn’t want to be called sweet or dearest, but to be called at 11:30 by a body hungry heathen who craves to conquer and reclaim his virgin shores. You try to throw me down, try to give me what the man whose DNA’s infected both of us gave me, but you didn’t observe close enough, the delicate vigor contained within his frostbitten knuckles and how the most ethereal sensation trickled out of his split-calloused digits.

If only your father had made a woman with your mother, instead of three faggot copies of himself, so he could understand how quickly women learn the score and how advanced we are. So I wouldn’t have to pretend to be nourished by your unoriginal remarks, so I wouldn’t have to feign docility while manning the ship of our relationship, so I wouldn’t need to tiptoe around your ego, for fear that your laughable Jenga tower may come tumbling down. Look, I was happy to fuck the mirage till it disappeared and made a lesbian of me, but now I’m starting to get bored. I fantasize of seducing your younger brother, because I know I already own him, as I own you. His doe eyes flutter even faster than yours and I’m amused how this enigmatic family has perched itself in my palm so easily and with so little protest. But God! If I have to fake a moan and half-heartedly claw at the bedsheets one more time, I may actually tear the follicles from their roots! Not after I know what I have to wait for. Not after I’ve seen him transform you into the sniveling child you always have been. I’ve demonstrated for you what a complete woman I am, and in return, you give me a knock-off man overflowing with narcissistic estrogen. No, I’m not calling you daddy to be kinky, Fool, it’s an honest request. Go back home and study how your father gives it to your mother and you’ll start to understand why she talks like she’s always in a dream, passed out with DMT rocking through her pineal gland. Wake me up when I can call you Daddy.”

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The Age of Time

I think I know things now. Half a decade ago, I had the same mindset, with just a few incertitudes, of course – nobody’s perfect~ Finding myself with a very blurry idea of where I’ll be in even five years, I’ve allowed myself in the quondam present to snuggle into my confusion, and as a result, have found myself become wiser of it.  In the happening of time, I forget it, until I happen across a whisper from that person that used to be me – an old crumpled up to-do list or snippet of awful high school love poem; a photo that I’m smiling in but remember in sobs; a saved text message with the words and phrases I used all the time and just about figured I’d say forever. I crave that person, to talk to her and hold her close and tell her it’ll all be okay, although half the time you’ll still question that it’s so. Her urges are no different from mine, just less weathered. She’s the Honda Civic we received upon graduating high school, and I’m the fender mangled mess that still works, and hey! even a bit better now than before because I learned how to drive it the way it needs me to.

See, as much as she knew, she didn’t know enough, hadn’t experienced enough of life’s pain to relate to me, but every day she got closer. The minutia in the monotony of living a day-to-day existence changes us. I’m balancing, suspended in a pyramidal  glass cone, being struck by the same sands each second, becoming enraptured in the timbre of certain flecks striking my scalp. Reflecting fondly on the sounds they make and made, I forget often that their origin hovers above my head, an ocean of sand slowly sculpting my skull. I feel as though I must have been in this hourglass for ages when I sift about the everforminng puddle at my feet for one memory. Just a years’ worth of grains, a treasured few having truly altered me. Time seems to go slowly everyday, though it also feels like its speeding up, and we miss the little nuances that slowly turn left into right.

I’m becoming all the time. Each decision I make, each failure and success affecting every new attempt. The ideologies that ran my life when I was twenty fall short now. I’ve evolved them into different doctrines, aphorisms taken from day to day experience, always generating questions from artesian novelty that are only answered after they’ve sunk back to the alluvium, deposited under the silty layer of fresh confusion.

Looking back to when I was in the shoes of that teenager who’s too advanced to fit in with their peers, but too unexperienced to be anything but a groupie of older crowds, I remember desperately wanting to understand my older acquaintances because they felt closer to me than my peers. I was still too weird, too serious, too sober to be anywhere but in between these people. Though self-consciously attuned to the fact that something (time) was still missing from my equations, I sought out the lives of those I admired, trying to identify which laws landed you on which paths. I knew what I wanted to be, but always found myself treading water in who I was, unsure of how to swim towards my goal – I was still in high school.

So, lately, I get to thinking about all the things I never thought I’d do. And even better — all the things I didn’t even consider. Sure, I never thought I’d actually BE the valedictorian (the only time it came to fruition was in a free college program with only a few hundred underachievers skipping class, but hell, I count it); never thought I’d try LSD, much less trip through a summer into the land of ethneogens; never thought I’d kiss a girl… certainly never thought we’d have sex and date happily for a few months. These landmarks in my life were questions five years ago, and it feels like ages. And yet! Even better, it didn’t even register that I would get arrested, or be addicted to cigarettes or smoke weed every day, or drop out of school. I was certain. I had this picture of who I was in my mind, unaware of how influenced that image was by my family’s expectations, my friends’ future plans and goals, my own belief in myself. Chance played a huge part – as evidenced by the fact that I never thought a feature film would be shot on my street, or that I would work the whole summer in the crew of that film, and realize myself as a woman after the whole ordeal – in altering the things I never believed would happen, but still I’m shocked when it takes the reigns. Though I know from the past that Chance was cast in the play, I always have a docile suspicion that its understudy, Routine, will fill the role of my day to day life.

Now, I cherish memories from childhood, because I must reach so much further to grab hold of who that person was. Her breath still falls from my mouth on cold winter mornings and when I’m caught in traffic, yet it seems to be something she does to me and not the other way around. Her memories are plastered in stone, and my cement is still drying, but being the child she is, she can’t help but lay a handprint in the serous sidewalk, and all I can do is laugh and love her imprint on me. I think people must have children when they finally lose sight of their own child – speaking of things I just know I’m never going to do. It scares me sometimes. How I know I’m never getting married or having children because my whole *angsty* being is against such things, I can’t help but hear centrifugal echoes of laughter at my aversions to participating in society. The me of what is to come, reminding me never to take myself too seriously.

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Gratitude Prayer

I have gratitude for all sentient beings. I accept that life

is consciousness

is suffering

is sonder.

I am grateful to each object that has touched me today

outside of its own dizzy dance

and altered me, however small, through our interactions.

I am grateful to bacteria for expertly maintaining our environment.

I am grateful to the sun for giving us life and to the ozone atmosphere for keeping it.

I am grateful for water in its endless incarnations.

I am grateful for earth and nature and plants for being our covert teachers through the changes and challenges of life.

I am grateful to animals for their pure existence and their abilities to survive without hateful destruction.

I am thankful for people.

Every human with a struggle, every individual without a clue,

every person doing their best with what they have, every bodhisattva learning,

every twinkling particle of God in its own unique expression of our sameness.

I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, the struggles I’ve endured, and the challenges ahead of me.

To silence.

 

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