(anti)Acid

I’m aching in the anticipation
of your lingering kisses
that I want to save the feeling of.

And I hate,
that I can’t remove you
from all the space
that’s used to keep records
of all the lines on your face.

I keep writing about you
because I’m trying to find the right
words that are the accurate summation
of the things you are.

And I hate,
how haircuts will make you stop
in the midst of euphoria and,
you allow it power in this moment
even though they,
don’t give a fuck.

That is to say,
I’m not holding it against you,
and maybe it’s a store front
that makes you stop this time,
but I wish I could just
hold that beautiful face
and remind you
that hair cuts are only a phase.

Because I like when
the rooms melting
inside of a museum that ate time
seeing you,
standing there,
in that casual sort of way you do,
when you’re lost in your own thoughts
and I think about
how the light bounces
off your tossed aside hair
and down the folds of your cotton shirt
and how,
this is where you’ve always been
and how,
this is exactly where you fit
because you were the only thing
that wasn’t melting.

I don’t know how to tell you,
how completely naked I feel
and how,
I never buy cheetah dresses
except,
when I think about you
looking at me.

I don’t know how to tell you,
that you terrify me
because I don’t feel out of place
standing next to you
but I don’t want to be
in shadows of memories of someone else.

And I’m sorry,
I’m kind of a snob
and sometimes a bitch
about people I don’t know
and how,
I don’t know what a short box is
but if you’ll allow me to,
I’d like to spend hours
watching the skin around your eyes crinkle
because,
you’re probably laughing at me
or at least you’re smiling at me
and either way
I can take another picture in my mind
of the lines I missed last time.

****

And just like that,
the room melts away.
It wasn’t a museum that ate time,
it was a black hole
that ate time and the light
that bounced from your hair
and down your cotton shirt.

And you where always there
because you’d rather chase ghosts
that reside in the past
then see exactly what stood before you.

That is to say,
I hold this completely against you
because you’re not the first boy
to lie to me or to lead me on,
you are the first to be have been so cruel.

And I once thought you where beautiful
but now I can see,
you just had nice clothes.

And I think about how
I told you my truths
and how,
you used that vulnerability
and how,
you have the audacity
to say we can hang out and,
be copacetic because –
you’re sorry
and how,
you feel bad.
and how,
then you could feel better
if we pretended nothing happened
and were copacetic
because –
you like hanging out with me.

 

starting 30

I live in dichotomies
and reflect on the mile stone
of reaching another decade
around the sun.

I feel old
and then I don’t
feel old enough.
I listen to jazz
like a good intellectual
and say things like
Miles is so existential
and I want
to punch myself
in the face
when those words vomit
from my mouth.

I think about
the first 10 years of adulthood
and how I don’t remember
the first half
because maybe nothing happened
but rather, I was dead.

And the last half
has been a zombie
trying to be human again
melting the ice
that had gripped
a tired heart.
A heart thats still tired
but still beating.

I’m still chasing pipe dreams
and I hit that pipe every day
because while everyone else
was alive at 22,
I was drowning
in seas of gray,
further and further
until the bedrock
of the sea welcomed me
to my new home
where I stayed
shackled in muck
and blinded by darkness.

Only now,
did I find the surface
and gasped for air
and
only now,
do I feel like I’m actually
in control of myself.

Only now,
have I accepted
the role of ruler
of my life.
and I think about
how I’m not where
I considered I would be
at 3 decades deep
into this journey
through space,
but I think it’s okay
because even though
like Andre says,
everyone around me playin marriage
or paying child support
or buying houses
I can’t cope –

My tinder profile
is a sea of mirror selfies
and camo
with dead carcasses
and advertisements of hard working, homeowners
who’s only hobby is sports,
not playing, just watching
and its like –
is this really enough for people?

And if it is enough,
why isn’t it enough for me?
because I’m constantly hounded
with questions likes
Whats wrong with you?
When are you are going to get married?
When are you going to have a baby?
like there’s nothing better to do.

Sometimes I feel like
I’m being childish though,
with my pipe in hand
and day dreams of adventures
of a life
that doesn’t included houses, camo
or apple pie –
Because I’m chasing something bigger,
and sometimes I think
it’s a waste of time
and, perhaps I should acquiesce
to the kool aid before me.
Give into my consumeristic tendencies
and buy a big box
to put my camo shit in
and close the blinds
and the rest of the world away from me.
But I’m not ready
to nail myself
inside a coffin just yet.

And it feels like
everyone else wants me
inside these boxes
so they don’t have to worry,
and so they can tell their friends
she’s OK because,
she’s has the correct mile stones
accomplished in order
while looking at me to say
well there’s still time…

I hear people say
you don’t act 30
and I don’t know
what that even means
because what does it mean
to act 30 when I don’t even feel it?
like should I be honored or offended?
but mostly I don’t give a fuck
and maybe that’s what being 30 is.

hello 2019

{insert obligatory New Year Eve’s post}

Let’s set the scene before we begin. It’s 30 degrees outside and snow has covered the ground. I’m in the living room of my father’s house with the leftover vomit of Christmas and even the fake tree, looks tired. On the speakers, I’m spinning my latest obsession, Chet Baker. The lighting is cool toned because it is winter in the midwest which means it’s gray most of the time.

At the beginning of 2018, I lived in Florida. I worked in a call center, for a cable company wherein I got bitched at 90% of the time over things that are completely unimportant by people who insisted their remote, didn’t have a power button. I was consumed by TV and spent the majority of my time, sitting.

Florida will do that to you though. It’s very easy to fall into the endless lull of the summer sun. I chronicled much of my time in FL on my previous blog that you can read here if you feel so inclined.

It was necessary for me to move because I had been in a rut since college, I didn’t know how to escape from. I became directionless and wondering around life, waiting for something to happen. So I left and took an extended vacation in Florida.

I always felt time stood still in Florida. Maybe it’s because the seasons don’t change drastically or the lull of the waves crashing against the shore, but certainly an attractive slower pace. I started to die there, however. I thought I could probably maintain a decent enough life but that wasn’t really what I wanted. I never wanted an okay life, I want an extraordinary life. I suppose that’s a bit idealist and maybe somewhat naive but also, why not?

I think it’s freeing to accept we’re only here for a short time and as my old rowing coach used to say all ass or no ass,  I’ve been struggling with existential dread and depression for some 4 or 5 years now. I have a hard time wrapping my head around the realization everything matters while simultaneously not mattering at all. If it doesn’t matter, why bother doing anything at all but if it does matter, you might as well try to do something interesting.

That’s the thing of it, you might as well try to do something interesting. When I was a kid, I imagined myself on TV and traveling the world. I imagined all the adventures I’d have. I couldn’t wait to grow up because that meant freedom from subscribed rules I never wanted to subscribe to. It’s hard for other people to allow you to march to your own drum and I think most people mean it from a place a love. They don’t want

you to fail but failure is usually a good thing even if it sucks or is pretty scary at times.

I always felt I HAD to do certain things like I didn’t have a choice. It’s what everyone does and if I want to fit in, I have to play by the rules but honestly, it sounded maddening. It’s always sort of expected that you’ll go to college and then you’ll get some job and work your way up, you’ll get married and pop out kids and then just do that. No judgment if that’s the sort of thing a person wants but to me, it sounded like a death sentence. I remember having anxiety as a teenager as I inched closer to adulthood because I didn’t know I had a choice in these things. I just assumed at some point I would want these things and I kept waiting for it to happen but I’m 29 now and I still don’t. I still want my adventures.

I still get flack from people who love me, about wanting to be a tumbleweed. I am a people pleasure to a fault and it is very hard for me to accept listening to what I want and not talking myself out of it because other people will think I’m being silly/immature/irrational. Maybe I am all those things but also, who cares?

I struggle with having a purpose in life. I always feel like I’m supposed to be doing something else, but I have no idea what it is. People tell me to follow your passions but I have hundreds of passions and none of them are practical so… what do I do now? I don’t know why I’m here and I don’t know what it means that I am here. I expressed this to a former lover and he responded, but isn’t that liberating? If you had some predestined purpose, you’d have all these rules to follow and things to do, but instead, you can do whatever you want. I had never considered this thought and it was a bit profound to me although writing it out now, makes it seem so obvious.

I moved back to the midwest in July of this year. I moved back in with my dad and started studying software development at the local community college. I work at a grocery store owned by Amazon. I have difficulty accepting this season of life, as I see my friends who have really great careers going, are getting married or having kids. While I don’t want these things, I still feel a certain societal pressure that I should be in a different phase of my life or further along but I mean, I’m not really doing anything else anyway.

I think sometimes people sort of think life is like a checklist and once you’ve checked everything off, you’re done and then you move to Florida and call the cable company 20 times a day and bitch because you’re bored and you stopped living.

Once, I told a coworker in the call center I was just there until something better came along and she responded “yeah but really, what else is there?” and I just stared at her. I couldn’t fathom this mindset that a call center in the middle of the woods in Florida was all there was for me. I had made it and that was the end and then what? Just be consumed by the day to day monotony while flies pick away at my zombied eyes?

I suppose my New Years resolution is to work on trusting my own self more. I’m not following the guidelines that have been drilled into my head since I was a kid. Not everyone in my life is going to trust me in making that decision. Not everyone is going to understand it. But when I get to the end of my line and the Hags are deciding to cut my lifeline, I want that string to be full of knots of adventures, frayed areas of heartaches and failures and glittering moments of triumph and grandiose nonsense (because Leo’s like that sort of thing). Who cares, right? You get one shot at life, so you might as well just do what’s going to bring you joy and allow you the most fun because life is a lot of fun even if it’s kind of annoying sometimes.

Those are my thoughts. I’m about to go join a gym, have brunch with my bestie and who knows what else. Happy New Year, friends. Be constructively reckless and allow yourself to make some bad choices out of fun but be smart and don’t put yourself in danger (aka, don’t drink and drive).

synchronicity

A stillness settles around me
in the wake of the heartache
that follows the end
of a temporary affair.

It isn’t the end of days,
but I don’t know
if its better when
you know everything you did wrong.

Then again, I suppose
I might be addicted
to the thrill
of self sabotage
or maybe simply
standing in the way.

Maybe it’s the distraction
I’m grieving or maybe,
it’s the fleeting connection
that has been broken.

Don’t you feel like
taking off your skin,
wash it, put it back on
because maybe now,
it’ll fit better?

Isn’t it annoying,
discovering things about yourself
that sort of suck?

The thrill is gone
or perhaps it’s too constant
and has lost its appeal…

when the timings right
I’ll fall in love too easily,
but accept the synchronicity
of right now.

This is where
I’m supposed to be.

depression

My depression
is like
when my skin feels
like a prison.

It’s boney fingers
clasp around my ankles
and drag me down so far
the only voice I can hear
is hers.

She’s a bitch.
She’s married to anxiety
and together,
we enjoy threesomes.
and then sometimes its like
maybe
this
is
fine.

I met her
when I was 13,
I met Anxiety,
when I was 16
but I learned
their name when
I was 23
and learned
what it meant
to be
numb.

Or maybe I was 20,
when the orgy between us
was so intense
that pain in my chest
and the pounding in my ears
put me to sleep with the terror
that I was going to die,
in the middle of communications class.

My depression
tells a lot
of lies
like panic attacks are fun
and everybody hates you

Meanwhile anxiety
likes to
remind me
of every way I’ve made mistakes
and all the ways everything can fall apart.

and then sometimes
it’s like
maybe
this
is
fine.

It’s like
my muscles
are atrophied
and I’m
unable to move
from my bed
because
talking to a person
sounds like
a catastrophe.

But then,
sometimes
this
is
fine.


 

Those are my thoughts today. Until tomorrow, friends.

time

I walk between worlds
accumulating outliers
that drift
on outskirts
closer to the center,
than I can reach
on my own.

Confirm my normality,
embrace the dissonance
of the configuration
that compiles
this shape
of human.

I’m an east coast sunrise,
an erratic display
of golden light
dancing on the Atlantic,
and the skies extraordinary ability
to fade from yellow to blue,
without ever creating green.

She’s an artist
the mother of us all,
she makes no mistakes
but rather, she’s Bob Ross.
Because there are no mistakes
in art…
just opportunities

And why shouldn’t
I dance on the Atlantic
with her wild, untamed
beauty?

How do you capture
the ocean?

Not to contain her
but to celebrate
a world inside a world;
crashing against the bits
of rocks that dare
to stand taller.
But she takes them with her
because even the rocks
are subjects of Time.


Those are my thoughts for today. Until tomorrow, friends!

sunlight

For years,
I was prisoner
in a cell
that wasn’t locked.

I held on desperately,
to the shackles
given to me
as justification
of anger,
and of bitterness.

I held everyone accountable
for every trespass,
and sin
made against
and to me.

I screamed for justice!
Because how could
someone treat someone
as insignificant,
and not have to answer
for their words?

How could they
be allowed to get away
with everything,
when I was here
cleaning up the mess
lies made?

I heard…
“the saddest part
    of a broken heart,
    isn’t the ending,
    so much as the start…”
and I wanted to
remain at the start
and fail to learn,
any lesson
of myself.

Because
if I could leave
my imposed prison cell,
I had no reason
for the bitterness
and anger
I had come
to identify with.

Outside,
was the sunlight
my achy bones
and frozen skin
throbbed for
form inside my cell.

It was time to leave years ago.
This place no longer served
any purpose to me,
except to house
a state I could not
support
at the expense
of the sunlight.

Those are my thoughts today. Until tomorrow, Friends!

 

 

teachers, poe and bradbury

The moment I fell in love with Edgar Allen Poe was the same moment I fell in love with Ray Bradbury. It was my senior year in high school and I was taking every literature class my school offered. This was American Literature taught by a shorter, nerdy looking man, with coke bottle glasses and almost always wearing a dark green shirt.

This man loved Poe and Bradbury. We had a whole section of the class in which we read everything Poe wrote. This was how he introduced Bradbury to us.

In the 1950’s Bradbury wrote The Martian Chronicles which is an episodic series of short stories that chronicle human colonization on Mars that already has life on it. As you can imagine, it makes a comment on colonialism but it also tackles an array of other ideas in modern, western society. Bradbury was keen on speaking out against censorship in literature and allowing TV to consume your life. He touches on this topic in his most recognizable novel, Fahrenheit 451 as well as in his short, Usher II found in The Martian Chronicles.

In Usher II, Bradbury paints an Earth wherein books are heavily blacklisted (as in F451) by the FCC and Mars is well on its way to western societal utopia mixed with the Wild Wild West. The “Moral Climate” society (along with the FCC) is in charge of all this censorship and they’ve recently begun dictating what is appropriate entertainment on Mars. Mr. Stendhal has built a replica of the House in Edgar Allen Poe’s The Fall of The House of Usher, on Mars. He too is against the “Moral Climate” people and generally the censorship of books. He gathers the idea to build the House and then invite every member of the FCC over in which he proceeds to murder them all, using the various murders in Edgar Allen Poe’s stories from The Murders of The Rue Morgue and The Cask of Amontillado. As he kills each member off, he replaces them with an android replica of themselves in order to keep the remaining people from panicking.

The story ends with Stendhal walling up the remaining member of the FCC, down in the cellar just as Montresor had done to Fortunato in The Cask of Amontillado. Stendhal leaves on a helicopter as the Usher II replica cracks and crumbles as it does in The Fall of The House of Usher.

It’s completely brilliant and I’m not doing it justice with my summary. I can’t express how good this story is but part of the reason I think it’s so amazing, is because I had to read all the Poe murders beforehand with the sole purpose of having a deeper understanding of Usher II (of course you can read Usher II without having read anything by Poe). My teacher that had structured the class like this, was Mr. N.

Mr. N generally seemed bored with teaching except when he talked about Poe or Bradbury. It’s awesome to watch people talk about things they’re passionate about. Mr. N was in the position all nerds would like to be in, he had an audience that he could make read stories he loved, so we could all talk about them.

I’ve had a lot of teachers that should’ve returned years before I had them. They were tired and burnt out and maybe a bit disenchanted. Some of them allowed their personal lives to cloud into their ability to their job. Some of them tried to be the “cool” teacher and forgot that they were still teachers. Occasionally, however, your teacher is everything a teacher should be. They’re interesting and passionate about the topic. They inspire you to explore something new. I had always loved stories and read a lot as a kid but Mr. N made me fall in love, not just with stories but with words and their power.

I didn’t know what SciFi was until I took Mr. N’s American Lit. class. I never read a story about outer space. My experience with Sci-Fi up to that point had been the X-Files. Mr. N not only introduced us to Poe and Bradbury but also to The Twilight Zone and stories like Meat by Terry Bisson, that is a story of aliens discovering humans as thinking meat and how insane that seems to them.

Sci-Fi is one of my favorite genres in any form of entertainment, whether it’s books, movies or TV shows. My love of Sci-Fi lead to learning more about space and one time, I even met an astronaut and completely fangirled. I’ve seen every episode of The Twilight Zone original series enough times to quote lines from it in daily conversation (of course, no one gets it because most people aren’t obsessed with Rod Sterling). I might not have ever known that I’m a nerd if it hadn’t been for Mr. N and Bradbury’s Usher II.

Those are my thoughts for today. Until tomorrow, friends!

the ship iii

Another page in the world of The Ship. What will learn about Jade and her world today? If you haven’t already, I implore you to read Part I and Part II of this series.

********

I woke up the next morning and headed to the bridge. I was greeted by Opal, my copilot. I met Opal in the Simulation when we were kids. We grew up together, being each other’s right hand through all the hurdles of adolescence. We both found out about the Simulation at the same time.

Opal didn’t immediately leave the Simulation, as I had. It was the moment I had discovered my mother wasn’t a real person. She was an algorithm of human traits thrown together to see what would happen. How could I remain in a place that I couldn’t distinguish what was real and what was fake? I was raised by a Simulation that thought it understood what it means to be human but failed to understand what is beyond logic.

That wasn’t the case for everyone. Opal’s parents were both real people who had walked in reality. They had lived there for years, but were required to enter into the Simulation for the lives of their children. They were grandparents now to her brother’s children and saw no reason to leave anymore. Understandable, this reality isn’t kind to the elderly.

What did it for Opal was finding out her husband wasn’t real. Every meaningful person in Opal’s life was real and that was enough for her to remain in the Simulation. I envied her for this. When she had met William, she felt a sense of completion and was eager to emulate the companionship and completeness she saw in the people who surrounded her. They had children together and followed a dreamy, perfect projection of their lives.

It was a Thursday and she mentioned to William that she should visit me in reality. She wanted him to come with her but as she said this, William stared back her with a confused look on his face. She came to a stop in her sentences and the room fell silent. Opal explains it as the loudest silence she had ever heard because even though there wasn’t anything making physical noise, the inside of her head was reminiscent of the ancient nuclear bombs we read about in our history class. William wasn’t real, because William didn’t know he was a Simulation. Their children weren’t real.

It was three years ago, Opal left. We’ve been working on the ship crew together, ever since. When I stepped through the door of the bridge, she didn’t notice me. She was intent on a beeping noise and a map of the stars being laid out before us.

“What is it?” I asked.

Opal jumped slightly and replied,

“I don’t know, we are getting pulled into orbit and… the ships sensors found a rock, I think with possibility of something to sustain us. I sent out the androids, see if we can get anything on it.”

“Well, that’s the most exciting thing to happen in 3 years. How long will the androids take?” I asked.

“Probably a few hours,” she explained.

I let out a sigh and then said,
“I went back in yesterday, to speak to Sam.”

“You did!? What happened?” Opal cried.

“He’s married to someone else. She’s not real though and he knows it! He designed her! Like that’s weird, right? …I don’t know how he can stand it. I asked him if he was ever coming back and he said no.”

“Yeah, definitely weird. I mean… obviously.” she laughed and then asked, “Are you okay?”

“I am. I don’t know why I went back. I guess just to confirm it, closure or something.” I replied.

“I think you’re doing just fine without him. You’re the captain of the whole ship, you could shut him down if you really wanted to. Fuck him.” She stated and then asked, “Should we get Ansel, about this?”

“No, not yet. Let’s wait for the androids to get back. It’s probably nothing important.”

“What would we do, if we ever met hostile life out here?” Opal pondered.

“I don’t know. I mean we’ve never found anything overly remarkable anyway. It’d be kind of cool though… if we survived, obviously.”

“What’s it beeping about?” Ansel asked as he entered through the southern door of the bridge.

“We are getting pulled into orbit and the ship found something on a rock. I’ve sent out the androids to get a better read on it, see if it’s worth checking out.” Opal explained.

“Oh good! I thought something broke again.” Ansel laughed to himself.

Ansel had been fascinated with the ship ever since he got in reality. He had left the Simulation when he was 15. After living on the streets for several months, he met Kegan who told him not to worry because even the Simulated streets were better than reality. When Kegan realized Ansel didn’t know about the Simulation yet, he opted to tell him the truth as a way to comfort him. Ansel didn’t see it as a comfort, however. He became obsessed with the notion of a Simulation until he read one day, children as young as 14 could enter into reality if they chose to and with parental permission. Ansel forged his parents signature and went to the Oracle to ask for a release. He never went back.

He first searched his parents in the log book to see if they were real. He had hoped they weren’t because at least then he could just hate the machine and accept humans might not be bad and had simply lost control of the Simulation to create such trauma for children. As he went through the register, however, he found that there is a deep darkness in humans, when the names of his parents came up on the screen.

After that, Ansel became obsessed with the ship and how it worked. He wanted to know everything about the Simulation and what the ship was designed to do. He became the apprentice to the head engineer, Liam. Liam had never had children and took in Ansel like a son. He loved and cared for Ansel and I think if Liam hadn’t taken care of Ansel then and cooled his fire, he would be a dangerous person now. Ansel still felt anger and bitterness towards his parents but could understand they are the outliers.

When Liam died, Ansel took over as head engineer of the ship. Opal has recently become his apprentice. She’s more interested in the software of the Simulation and how it’s structured rather than the actual ship. She’s been increasingly obsessed with the Simulation for the past few months. I suppose we all have our hobbies, what else are we going to do for the next 3 – 6 years?

********

Want more? Part IV is available! Until tomorrow, friends!

existential purposes

My breath lingers in the frozen air,
and snow dampens the noise.
I contemplate what it means
to be.

I guess that’s the question,
didn’t Shakespeare say?
I don’t know
what I want anymore.

I’m cornered between,
finding purpose,
and accepting the possibility
that, maybe
there isn’t any.

Someone asked me
isn’t that
a liberating thought?

…is it? 

a choice
in deciding your purpose,
instead of subscribed rules
but,
how do you begin?

I’m a mechanical person,
following instructions
and looking
out the windows
on winter days,
at the snow covered forest –
a personification
of
how the rain looks
when it bathes us.

I’m aching
to be bathed
but then,
what clothes
do I wear?

What is this
body I encapsulate?
Who decides
what story I tell?
written in times’ fabric
imprinting my existence
and my insignificance

My breath lingers in the frozen air,
and snow dampens the noise.
I contemplate what it means
to be…

Those are my thoughts today. Until tomorrow, friends!