Michael’s Song

Michael

In the morning we skated in the parking lot

We soaped up our shoes and went sliding on rails

Making our movies and making up stories

I’m cleaning your room and I’m biting your nails

.

Reading your books and watching your movies

We would eat cookie dough right from the can

Running my fingers across the hair on your legs

We are falling asleep touching hands

.

Your dad, my mother

We’ll be a family and you’ll be my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

You left your watch behind the day that we met

I kept it under my pillow for weeks

I wrote your name down and said it out loud

And tasted the sound on my lips and my teeth

.

It was my birthday, we were riding in the back seat

You gave me your knee and I rested my head

I was so excited to see you again that I

Left the door open and ran to your bed

.

That first night I was sleepless

Laying my head on your chest

You were so peaceful and I was so lonesome

Holding your hand between your legs while you slept

.

Your sister, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my lover

.

Here we are, there are jets and they’re warm

Here we are taking a shower together

Here we are finding your dad’s hidden porn

Here we are touching ourselves together

Here we are fighting you pushed me onto the bed

Here we are shouting again

Here I am crying with you at the door and it’s locked

Here I am losing my friend

.

I changed my name at school

People believe you’re my brother

You do not love me the way that I love you

But I am your friend and you are my friend and

You are my friend and you are my friend and

.

Still I remember the days we spent in our world

I remember when I was alive

Walking the sidewalks with you I am happy

And I’ve not been happy since 2005

No one can break us the boys that we were

The way that your skin smells all over my face

The way you were crying and wrapped in a towel

The way that you trusted me when we embraced

I got you suspended but I was just mad

You shouldn’t love her, I’ve been here all this time

You called me and asked “what of us now?” I don’t know

But I would still love you if you were not mine

.

My friend, my brother

We’ll be a family and love one another

You do not love me but I’ll always love you

I was your friend and you were my lover

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Some Poems I Wrote This Year

So a lot of the poetry I’ve posted this year has been called untitled with a number afterward. That’s because I constantly write down scraps of poetry or short poems and don’t give them titles because they’re intended to be kind of sewn together into lyrics for songs later. Some of these stand on their own, some of them are kind of waiting to be paired up with others. I used to just separate all of these poetry fragments with a little asterisk, but when I cleaned out my notes on my phone and transferred all my old poetry fragments to my computer, rather than using asterisks I tried using numbers. I kind of liked the way that worked because it gave everyone of those poems a designation of some kind to reference later, and so when I started a new poetry notepad on my phone, I just continued using a number system, although I restarted from one. So everything you’ve seen posted this year with numbers in the title is the number that I gave it in my notes. I recognize this is all way too complicated, but organizing things is kind of like, my hobby.

That being said, I’m going to post some of the best stuff I feel I’ve written this year. Some of these will be repeats from earlier posts, although the majority of these (especially from 33 onward) are new and haven’t been seen before. I was really doing this just as a way to have these all collected here at the end of the year, but to tell the truth I discovered I’m actually REALLY proud of some of the things I’ve written, and I think that I’m really growing and that one day my lyrics will reflect this. Anyway, if you’ve enjoyed my poetry before, I hope you enjoy these. Happy new year and all that, everyone.

1 – Home (for Jacob)

And I want to go home but you’re not there
And without you it’s just a house
And I want to get in bed but it makes me remember
The person I’m sleeping without
And if I squint real hard in the morning light
Before I remember that I’m alone
I can think that you’re still here beside me
And suddenly this house has become a home

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

And I’m making mix CDs for you
And I listen to them by myself
Cause I’d rather share them with no one at all
Than to show them to someone else
And the dogs look around like they still don’t get
That you’re not coming home for a while
But if you told me tomorrow that you were ready
I’d sell everything and drive three-hundred miles

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if I’m wrong and you break my heart
I just need you to come home to me

When I lay in bed I pretend you’re there
And I cry because you’re not
And I don’t answer when other friends call
Because I’d rather you be missed than you be forgot
And even if you only love me a little
I’d give you anything you want
And I’m not even dead but I feel like a ghost
Cause I’m living in this house you haunt

And even if you only love me a little
A little is enough for me
And I don’t care if you break my heart
Because it’s broken already
Come home

5 – Delirium

Oh Delirium you taught me how to love desire
And you took me in the dark and you gave me a little fire
I held it close against my chest and walked into the rain
I learned that I can be happy and still in constant pain

Delirium you taught me how to love despair
And when I look inside and I can’t see myself I see you there
And when my voice is broken and you begin to sing
I think that it’s possible that I can say anything

Oh Delirium walking with me in the morning
They can’t hear what you’re painting but I see it all
And I was in my room wrapped in chains when you found me
And you whispered “Aren’t you sick of being tied to the wall?”

I don’t understand a word you’re saying
But I know exactly what you mean
And I thought I had to be quiet until you showed me
That I have the power to scream

And the water was warm as I sank to the bottom
Singing your songs for the hundredth time
And when I reached the floor I dug my nails in till they were bleeding
And I had no lipstick, I had no shoes
But the horses came for me anyway
And my muddy clothes were dripping
And the grey sky looked down
And I crawled from the river
Said I crawled from the river

When I was lonely I rested in you
When I knew I was unknowable I believed that you were too
And if the echoes of you bleeding could reach me through the years
I knew that there was merit in my tears
I knew that I could love my deepest fears

And being human is so dirty but I’m happy just to try
I believe the effort’s worth it when I’m sad enough to die
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

Oh Delirium you taught me Destruction is alright
You gave me a lantern to keep me warm at night
You barked at the cats and they scattered to the wind
You growled when they tried to let those preachers in
You taught me to love what I thought would make me die
You taught me to look their god right in the eye
And I don’t fear the devil anymore because of you
You taught me how to love myself like God refused to do

7

At night I say goodbye and get into my car
Drive home and unlock the door
Go into my room and close it behind me
Sink to the floor in exhaustion
I pull of my clothes while I lay on my side
Until I’m naked and the air is cool against my skin
Chills run down me and something leaves my heart
And comes up through my eyes and out my mouth
There are such depths within me that I cannot express
It hurts to know that one can see this dark place
If only someone knew me I could feel safe
And always my call at night goes unanswered
Laying on the floor until I’m done thinking
Rocking back and forth
It isn’t time for school
I’ve wasted so much of my life
In this quiet chamber where sadness is an echo
And the sea beneath me is warm


*apparently I messed up the numbering for these next three, so just go with it

8

My love flashes so bright that it blinds before it fades
My love is a deep well that drains so fast
And leave my dry and thirsty
My love is cruel because it does not hold to me
My love is fickle and callous, flitting in the wind
And my heart is always broken and infatuated
These cruel opposing hands make me so dizzy

7

Possess me, possess me
I’ve denied it for so long
Come isnide and stay within my body
Give my bones a ringing song
Lie within these corridors
My echoed halls that scream your name
Raise my voice inside of yours
Break apart this fragile frame

8

I’m dying and it feels so wonderful
It feels so wonderful to die
I’m coming and the heat is intense
Between these many bodies gathered
And all there is is this
His and his and his and his and his and his and his
Sweet delirious fucking
Hair and teeth and skin
Tighten these grilling fingers around my throat
And let me die like this

9

I’ll look after you
I’ll take care of you
Will you look after me
When I am there with you

10

He comes to me quietly
My old friend who understands
He hears what I forgot I said
Lonely and quiet
Sad and at peace
I do not have to say a thing
He already knows
These chills are a blanket
His fingers are warm
Hold me close I cannot hear them
He wraps his arms around me
He takes me home

14

I stopped growing when I was fourteen
I was raised by a television screen
I skipped the bus and stayed at home
Grinding my body into a black hole

15

And you can blame me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And I know you smile when they ask how you’re feeling
It’s okay to tell those lies
When you come to me alone in the dark
I’ll be your silent friend
You’ve been alone for so long
You’re trying to be strong
You just want this pain to end
We both have wounds we cannot tend

You’re trying to tell me what you’re thinking
Saying words that don’t make sense
You say you’d rather cry than be quiet
That sadness is better than indifference
But you can cry for me if it helps you feel better
We all get scared sometimes
And you can gather your thoughts and put them in a letter
Writing words that never rhyme
But no one reads those lines

And it’s okay to be angry cause the world deserves it
And I’m shouting with you and I don’t care if it’s worth ti
When we finally reach the top of this rock we climb
We may not get an answer but at least we tried
And if you promise not to lie to me I’ll promise you
That I’m hurting when you’re hurting and I’m angry too
I may not know the reason but I know this much
It’s that I love you and I know
It’s so hard to live without touch

16 (For Kesha)

And you dance while you’re dying
Every day you’re trying
But the other side of the rainbow doesn’t come today
Just dance while you’re dying
They’re hearing but they’re not listening
No can hear you crying
Over the sound your singing

18

And these nights are rubbing me raw
My skin is itching for touch
And I’m asking and no one answers
I just want to feel so much
I’m thirst, I’m hunger
Contact is my deepest need
I’m breathless and hardened
I want to make a garden
But I have no seed

20

And I’ll learn to live with it if I have to
Because I have no other choice
But it’s such a shame to live like this
Singing to strangers in someone else’s voice

23

We’re playing God and God isn’t playing fair
(I’m coming in to burn you all)
My skin begins itching soon, try to contain the fire
(No weight can hold me back)
Tell them to run while they can
(I will live forever and the sun will die before my fire is quenched)
Don’t breathe, just run
(Feed me with life
Until I am everything)

24

Running through the veins of love
Come on let the sunshine in
It’s finally gonna happen
You can’t even guess at how it feels
And when you hear them singing
You know they’re only trying
To say something that can’t be said

Come out of the catacombs baby
Everyone’s been waiting
And in the middle of the circle stands
The fruit you eat daily
The water you drink
The heat that keeps your heart beating
Freedom will not wait for you to catch her

25

A whisper is inside me
Begging to slip out
I’m afraid to say it
These sweet words hiding in my mouth
Where your tongue slipped in

26

I only know how to be alone
But I’m hoping that you’ll teach me
How do I ask you
To make a new heart for me
Replace the old one that was taken
And we’re meant to touch
I’ll be Jonathan, you be David

27

And my wicked little heart is trembling in your hands
You climbed into my chest and found it beating
And if you want to keep me all you have to do is ask
Will you love me even with my constant needing

32

On this autumn hill
The kingdom of an ancient time
When the birds spoke in verse
When the people of the forest listened
Comes to me at sunrirse

The horses can still smell
The air we’ve gotten used to
Our noses were full of cotton
Flares on a coole vening breeze
Asking me to hear secrets I’ve been keeping

Blue, blue
Soft nocturne like a lullaby
I’m asking the ghosts if they can spare a mother for me
I need to be held against her breasts
I hold an empty cup in my hands

The empty king wears a birds head
He looks down on a cold chasm
I have come to ask compassion
Come with my twisted knots of glesh
Tangled nerves that thirst for something fresh
And pools of blood beneath my skin
Where my heart was beaten

I cross this angry bridge
While you look on silently
With nothing behind me
And a cup of blood in my hands

33

We’re swimming in the clouds
We’re floating in the fog
We’re dancing through the grass
We’re coming
We don’t believe those lies
We bring your secrets with us

34

I tried to learn to love you
But the chances were so slim
I split myself in pieces
Hoping one of them could be him

I put my mask on to go to sleep
But I can’t tell a lie while I’m dreaming
So I taper my mouth shut
I can’t tell you the secret I’m keeping

I’m sifting through the trash
To find the music I was reading
I’m walking on razorblades
And wondering why I’m bleeding

I’m chasing you beneath the moon
I’m standing far behind myself
I’m walking on razors
And I don’t know why I’m bleeding

35

The soldiers stop by and kiss the pin-up boy
On their way to work
On their way to the field
On their way to eat
And especially
On their way to sleep

36

I’ve been having nightmares
Worms beneath the ocean
Ancient and forgotten things
In a submarine inside the belly of the beast
A mouth with many teeth
The clamp and strangle

I saw so many faces
Turning into masks
Their loves one changing right before their eyes
I saw beast that stood beside my bed
No eyes and scales across it’s awful head
I screamed like a siren
Calling for a dog to save me

38

Twin without a twin
Brother without a brother
Here I am again
In love without a lover

39

I want to feel safe
Not lost in an ocean of kisses without love
I want to be warm
Not shielded from a cold wind of loneliness
Blowing down the hill
I want to be loved
As much as I love the world around me
And the hope of changing
I’m tired of feeling vertigo in my cracked heart

And I’m giving up on trying to find
Someone whose scent I cannot track
I’m just trying my best to lose
This heavy weight that bears down on my chest
And I’ll still feel those tears when
I crawl in bed and think of him
I wish the world weren’t so cruel
But wishes are just prayers that go unanswered

42

These lullabies are so familiar
But the footprints are still mine
It could be early in the morning
Standing in the sea when we haven’t slept
The sea is full of jewels
And I think I’ll fall into the sky
I wish you were with me
In the still glass
In the quiet morning sea
Everything sleeps eventually

I don’t want to go to sleep on my own
It would be so warm to lie in you
It would be so good to let me go
So much fear that I’ll always have broken feet
I hope I’m still worth walking

How can so many voices call
In such a small place
I’m so afraid
And I’m trying so hard to be strong
Hold me
I’m so tired from standing

43

The sky is an ocean
And I want to fall high and into it
Where they swim in oxygen
They laugh
And I’m sinking into the air
And it smells like the cold
The snow is in my veins
I’m freezing, I’m a crystal
(Don’t break!)
(Don’t move!)
(Just drink!)
Drink the air
The fish can fly

44

I remember a childhood that isn’t mine
A winter without Elvis in my room
A grandmother that was not mine
There was no smoke in the walls there
My mother was a housewife
My brothers were my friends
My father was a good man
I was not alone when I learned to love
I kept secrets that did not break me
My family called and asked me to come home
They were all so worried
I felt sorry for the boy whose mom had kicked him out
We let him stay with us for a little while
My mother couldn’t imagine that
I wished I could help him
So we took off all our clothes and lit a candle
I said goodbye to my brothers while they slept
He kissed me
I hugged my father
He held me
I whispered to my sleeping mother
I kissed him deep
I promised I”d take her with me wherever I go
He took me in and the green sky swallowed my heart

I was a crying baby then
Taken into the arms of a woman who was not mine
One day he’ll find me and throw his arms around me
And I’ll see my brothers again
And my father will be so proud
My mother will forgive me for running away
She’s proud of both her sons
She still loves us all
She’ll tell me I’m so brave

My friend will take my hand and lead me to bed
Give me a kiss and tell me I saved him
It will be worth it
My car is cold right now
But my bed is warm
He’s patting the space beside him
Come on, Jesse
I believe in you
Come home
The Bed is warm
Find me, follow my candle
Keep driving

 

46

Put you on the drugs then we take them back from you
Now you can’t live without it, now you need it
Now you want the water cause you’re
Thirsty, needing, now your eyes are bleeding
Take a little all you get is what we say you need
So we push this
Take this back from you
But you’re not covered cause you have no clothes
So we’ll take a piece of your brain
Until you pay us back
Wish you’d just break my legs
Instead of cracking each bone to collect

48

I have so little of the joy you weave
My life has been a march of pain
But I still hope I can see the beauty
The blood beneath the vein

49

And what joy, and what pain
To know I found the one and he didn’t love me

50

The sky is a reflection of the sea
My reflection is an imitation of me
Where my eyes end and the world begins
A fog so thick that no one can see in
And I’m reaching into that fearful expanse
Hoping you’ll see and break

52

The orchestra players are not just instruments
Not just breath and tone
I see your eyes and the music within
Body, blood and bone

I know my lover’s staggered breath
I know his gentle moan
The music in his gentleness
The softness in the stone

And I know when he plays for me
His secrets I have known
I hear him talking in his sleep

54

I’ll wake up and wander through the house
Very quiet and the dogs are still asleep
If I open up your bedroom door
Will you let me slide beneath the sheets

57

No one dies alone
The lights in the sky are sleeping

62

Hey there Lucifer
I heard you were the one to talk to
I can’t stop thinking about the hearts beneath the floor
I can’t stop seeing the faces of the victims
And I’ve not lost sleep but I’ve lost waking

Hey Lucifer I know you’ve seen it all
I keep saying I’m not the worst
But I really don’t believe it
I tried to ask your father but he never called me back
I tried to ask his son but he really never spoke
And I wonder if ghosts are even real
But if any god is real I hope it’s you
If I open up, will you have compassion?
Scoop out the thing that makes me black
Leave some hope where it was

I’m trying my best to stare down the fire
But it won’t stop melting my resolve
Would you take my hand and lead me through?

Hey Lucifer I’m afraid
And I want to throw it all up
It hasn’t left me yet
Please god get it out

Hey Lucifer I’m ready
I’m ready to lay it down
Help me to forgive myself
Because it’s eating me alive
And I can’t keep secrets
When I have so much to give

Hey Lucifer do you think
I can wrap my soul around the one I love
When I die
And will I have to lose myself again just to live
I’m calling back the music
I’m trying to command
But I am not a witch
And I don’t have the power

Teach me how to love
Before I start to hate
A part of me wants to destroy everything
But help me to live him and show him compassion
Help me when the world won’t
Help me when God doesn’t answer
People only come to you when no one else picks up
I’m sorry that the world has heaped it’s shit on you

Hey Lucifer
I love you
Hold my hand and lead me out
And cleanse my blood
With sunlight

69

Our sorrow is still enough
And better than a lonely morning
With my wet feet in the grass by themselves
And hoping you’ll come home across the ocean
Though it breaks my heart
It’s worth holding

 

70

I don’t want a wedding ring
I’m not looking for forever
I just want tonight to be better than this morning
And maybe three years is enough
I hope you thought it’s worth it
Love dropped by and spent the night
And left me in the morning

On 2018

I just realized that I’m “twenty-eight” and the year is “twenty-eighteen.” Words are funny.

I didn’t intend to write an “end of the year wrap-up” post and lord knows if that’s what this will be, but here we are either way. When coming here to write this I got a notification from WordPress that I registered this blog nine years ago today, which is funny because I always thought my first post was in December of 2009 but apparently it was mid-way through January of 2009. I think that’s actually because I had a very short-lived blog somewhere else around the same time that enjoyed a total of three posts before I gave up and started over. I tend to do things like that a lot.

So I was actually about to begin THIS particular paragraph by saying that this year was a total shit show that sucked from beginning to end, when I remembered that wasn’t true. Actually some VERY good things happened this year, it’s just that they all happened during the early parts of the year so I’ve kind of forgotten that they happened this year at all.

Let’s start the beginning. In January I was about three months in to a job at Walgreens which I actually enjoyed pretty well and was moderately successful at, things which do not often happen to me when jobs are involved. In February I discovered I had an incredibly painful protrusion inside my mouth which turned out to be a bone spur literally coming through my gums. The worst thing is, this has actually happened to me once before, and I had to have surgery to fix it. So after going back and forth between a dentist and an oral surgeon, I was basically told to take some pain medication and wait for the bone spur to fall out all on it’s own. For about a month I was hopped up on pain meds and just waiting for this incredibly painful piece of bone in my mouth to fall out, a process which included missing practically weeks of work, trying to pull the thing out myself with my fingers resulting in a lot of bleeding and a midnight call to an ambulance because my entire family was out of town, and then finally a trip to a completely seperate oral surgeon who just took a pair of pliers and ripped the remaining bone spur right out of my mouth without any buildup or numbing injection or anything. It was, um, fucking painful. I got so used to being in constant pain over the course of weeks and weeks of just taking meds and constantly reapplying mouth-numbing ointment and gel.

Also in February, my stepfather was unexpectedly admitted to the hospital, and within two weeks they learned he had terminal cancer and then he died. The death was more surreal than anything, I’ve never had any kind of relationship, positive or negative, with my stepfather. My mom married him about six years ago and he’s usually worked and lived several hours away, so I’ve honestly just not had much interaction with him. An incredibly strange after-effect of his death was that my mom inherited a lot of money from him and suddenly we were, as far as we could tell, very financially well-off, at least for the time being, something no one in my family had experienced before. Suddenly money just wasn’t an issue for my mom anymore and there would be stretches of time when I would have her debit card in my wallet for weeks and just use it here and there for whatever was needed. I kind of understood what it must feel like to really be middle class and have a family that isn’t struggling to survive. I won’t lie, it was a really good feeling. All of the sudden our life felt like an adventure. My mom moved out of the house into her own apartment with my sister, leaving me all alone in the house for a limited time before my brother and his wife moved into the house with me.

I know it seems wrong to have been excited about this sudden wealth when it happened because my stepfather died, but I’m not really in control of how I felt. At the time I felt guilty, and I still acknowledge that it’s odd, but the truth is, for me personally, my stepfather’s death resulted in an improvement in my life, not because he was no longer in it, but because I was no longer at the mercy of my mother needing money from me or threatening me with not being able to eat or stay with her because she didn’t have the money to keep helping me. It’s just a weird situation.

Around this time, an incredibly positive thing happened. I asked my mom if my best friend of several years, Jacob, could move in with me. I’ve written about this before so I won’t go into all the details, but she said yes, and after a couple of weeks of trying to convince him, so did Jacob, and he moved in with me for two months. I drove up to get him, dealt with his obnoxious, religious and homophobic family several times, and then he and I got to have something like a life together for a couple of months. Neither of us were working but money wasn’t really a huge issue because my mom could help me and he had money saved up from a very lucrative paid internship. We were taking trips to the mountains, listening to music in the car, and spending every night cuddled up naked together.

I think maybe I got to know what it feels like, for just a little while, to be part of a functioning, healthy, loving relationship. We had a cozy little life, for a couple of months.

Then came May, and he went back to his family for the summer to do his summer internship, and a couple of months later, after we’d visited once, we both agreed it would be best for him to move in with his dad, something which still hasn’t really happened but hopefully will at some point soon. We hoped that he would have more freedom and it would be easier for us to see one another. I’ve not seen Jacob in about six months now. I miss him still, but it’s not like it was in the beginning, where I was endlessly yearning for him.

After Jacob left, everything really went downhill. My doctor switched me to a new antidepressant, the first one in my life to cause any kind of serious side-effects, almost all of which were sexual. I also tried to fill the void I was feeling emotionally by having a lot of promiscuous unprotected sex with strangers I met through hook-up apps, including one HIV scare. I haven’t gotten tested since then and I ought to, but I think I’m afraid that maybe by irresponsibility earlier in the year will end up causing me to pay some kind of consequences, and maybe I’m scared to know what those consequences might be. But I think I’m healthy. Sexually, at least. Except for the fact that the antidepressants make it hard to cum, hard to keep an erection, and hard to feel much of anything sometimes.

I quit my job at Walgreens and lied to my family that I’d been fired for being absent so much. The way I quit was even worse: I just walked out the door without saying a word, got in my car and drove away. I sent my manager a text and never said anything afterward. My friend at work was very sad to see me go but was understanding, and I still visit him periodically while he’s working. I’ve not seen my old manager again but I’m told she isn’t angry at me for leaving. Through the summer I had no job, until I was finally hired full time at CVS in their pharmacy. I went to work to do training modules and then had one full day of on-site training, something like a nine or ten hour work day, and then I got scared and I quit that job because of the anxiety I was feeling at work. I again lied to my family, I said that I never registered with the board of pharmacy (which actually was true) and so I was fired (which was not true). After a lot of pressuring and threats from my mother, I found another job, this time at Starbucks.

Then I got very sick. I had food poisoning from eating bad eggs that came from Starbucks and were past their expiration date. I spent ten hours in an emergency room that refused to just outright diagnose me with food poisoning and had to sign a paper saying that the ER would not be held responsible if I died when I went home. I went back to my doctor to ask about changing my antidepressants and help with my food poisoning, neither of which happened. After this I tried to quit my antidepressants altogether. It wasn’t originally my intent, because I was taking two different kinds and was only supposed to quit one of them. The thing is, the second one had no effect on me in the first place, so what I ended up doing was quitting psychiatric drugs altogether.

I fell into an intense… I don’t know what to call it. Depression isn’t the right word, because I wasn’t depressed, I was anxious. Constantly, incurably anxious. And my doctor would only give me limited prescriptions of weak Xanax which I had to ration out in order to survive. I became obsessed with some events that happened a year or two ago, and couldn’t get them out of my head. I had some intensely bad experiences that still haunt me, and at least one person who knows about them has tried to share them online and publicly humiliate me, which they in fact, did. I wanted to kill myself. I was afraid I was going to either end up dead or living a life that wasn’t worth living. I was afraid of very real danger, not just the kind that I make up in my head. Looking back on it now I don’t really understand how I got through it. I started developing these mental techniques to release the stress by constantly reminding myself of the few bits of positive encouragement I’d had from trusted friends who I knew weren’t just trying to comfort me because they loved me, but because they truly believed I am a good person who has not caused harm to other people.

I’m still not truly over it. I don’t think I ever will be. I guess that’s okay, but even though it ISN’T okay, it kind of has to be because I have to keep living.

I started taking the antidepressant again, the one that caused me all the sexual side effects. I take it less often than I’m directed to so that the sexual side effects aren’t as intense. In general, it’s been helping. Ever since I started back on it I’ve felt more positive and more productive.

A month or so ago, I got a call for a job interview, and after the first one I was given a second interview, then a job offer, and then finally I went to Virginia for a week of training, and started my new job a few weeks ago. I really, really like it. I’m having a good time there, and most importantly it’s a job where I feel I can excel and my talents and personality are put to good use, and I am cautiously optimistic that I’m actually going to be making enough money here to take care of myself, maybe even afford a small apartment.

It’s been hard. I’ve had more casual sex with more strangers this year than any other time of my life, and it’s probably not unrelated that I’ve been more lonesome and sad than ever before in the past year. I’ve spent many, many nights curled up in my bed, listening to quiet, somber music, with tears either rolling down my cheeks or always on the verge of coming forth, and I’ve sighed again and again and again.

It’s so hard to be alive.

My goals in 2019 are similar to the ones I always hope for in a new year. It’s a weird thing that we choose the beginning of a new year to choose goals for ourselves, but honestly, maybe it’s not that weird either. I want to become more healthy and do more creative things like writing and making music. I recorded a somewhat low-quality improvisation earlier this year in a piano store that’s probably my favorite recording of anything I’ve ever played on piano. I actually listen to it on repeat to help myself sleep at night. I’ve got some ideas for running features I want to do here on the blog: one is going through the tracks on an album I love or have listened to a lot and discuss each song individually, possibly while ranking them and discussing some B-Sides as well. I also want to share more my self-made greatest hits and playlists/mixes that I make as a hobby, and maybe learn how to record good-quality and pay to have my piano tuned so I can study more with it and record with it as well. I also have wanted for a long time to do a series themed around something like “confessions of a liberal” where I talk about things that annoy my about culture, both on the opposite side of me socially and politically and the things that annoy me about fellow liberals, and believe me, both groups behave like a bunch of entitled whiny brats, probably because that’s just what people do. I think I might call the series I No Longer Give A Fuck.

And honestly, maybe that should be my new years goal: to stop giving a fuck about unimportant things, to speak my mind and my truth unapologetically, to be even MORE loud and unapologetic, and to take care of myself first and foremost. Maybe it should be what we all do.

 

Dangerously Alive

As you get older, years start going by faster. Time begins to slip through your fingers and you wonder how so much could have happened so fast. Or in my case, how you could have wasted so much time.

I’m twenty-eight now. This blog has existed for eight years. I look back on who I was when I started it and see how sad he was, but still how bright his hopes and dreams for the future were. I don’t think I’m the same person I was then. It makes me sad.

Sadness is basically my default state now. I spend so much time in a state of melancholy that it’s honestly where I feel most comfortable. It’s better to accept the sadness and become friends with it than to dread it, and really why dread it? Being sad is kind of a nice feeling. People say you shouldn’t wallow in self-pity, but sometimes wallowing in self-pity is the most intense emotional experience I’m capable of having.

So much of my time this year has been spent in a state of deep, painful self-reflection. I try to be honest with myself, I try not to lie to myself, because I’ve done that in the past and it’s a terrible feeling. I try not to keep secrets, and especially not to keep secrets from myself. When you try to lie to yourself you do a weird thing where you split yourself into two versions: the version of you that believes the lie, and the version of you that is lying to the other one. And you have to constantly navigate life with these two dissonant voices clashing in your head. I’ve spent a lot of this year absolutely hating myself.

It’s something I can’t truly talk about in specific terms. There were some things that happened to me a year or two ago, things that left me feeling profoundly dirty, and guilt-ridden, and ashamed. And I was transformed by those experiences in a fundamentally negative way, no longer able to see myself as the naive, innocent person I’d been before. At a certain point in everyone’s life, there comes a time when you do something that you’re really ashamed of. You hurt someone you love, or you do something petty and spiteful, or you physically strike someone, or you disregard someone else’s feelings, or you take pleasure in someone else’s suffering, or you do something really perverted or fantasize about violence, or you openly admit something shameful to someone who won’t be sympathetic because you kind of want them to expose you and make you suffer. It’s a weird mix of emotions. I’ve done some of those things, at different times, for different reasons. I believe that deep down I’m a good person, but I’ve spent so much time hating myself for mistakes that I’ve made, for things that I’ve done that I have no power to change, and for people that I’ve hurt, knowingly and unknowingly, and for pain that I’ve played a role in.

The thing is, how do you go on living with yourself when you’ve done something wrong? You can’t exactly turn yourself over to the police, cause either you haven’t committed a crime or what you’ve done is just morally questionable but not legally questionable, or it’s entirely something in your head and it wouldn’t make any sense to do that. You can’t always tell a therapist because maybe you’re poor and can’t afford therapy. Telling friends doesn’t always help because sometimes your friends can’t handle it or they don’t understand.

So you spend your time sitting alone in your room, playing video games and drinking soda, going from day to day, meal to meal, trying just to focus on what’s happening right now, because you don’t know how you’re ever going to make it into the future living with the person you’ve become.

Of course I’m talking about myself. I always am. I don’t know if I have any particular skill apart from painful self-reflection.

There have been so many moments where I’ve thought “I’m setting this pain down now and walking away. I forgive myself. I love myself.”

But you know, sometimes even when you say it and you mean it, it still doesn’t change anything.

Sometimes it just takes a lot of time and a lot of pain for you to feel any different. A couple of months ago, I got very sick and lost my job because of it. After that, I stopped taking my antidepressants and fell into a state of perpetual anxiety and self-hatred, where I kept telling myself that the mistakes I’ve made in my life are unforgivable, that I’m not worth loving or keeping around, and that it would GENUINELY be better for the world if I were dead or behind bars somewhere. That my mind is unclean and sick, that I am a bad influence on other people, that I am twisted and warped and I don’t deserve a second chance.

And the worst part is, those weren’t fleeting angry thoughts. I really meant them. I really felt them. I still do. They live inside of me, questioning me, these fears. I’ve had nightmares and been unable to sleep. I’ve been afraid that people I’ve talked to about the things that haunt me will go around telling others what I’ve told them to try and hurt me as a person. It’s happened already, more than once. There are people who’ve made me want to die. I’ve thought over and over again about what I would say in a suicide note.

And you know, this kind of stuff, it’s really easy to look at and say “There’s someone who needs help. This person needs therapy, this person is a danger to themselves.” But when you’re really there, inside your own head, and you can’t control these thoughts and this awful, awful hopelessness, it’s a crisis. You’re in the middle of a hurricane and just thinking “How do I survive?” The wind is whipping all around you and you become acutely aware that you really might actually die. And you grab onto something and think just survive, just for ten more seconds, just for twenty more seconds, just for thirty more seconds.

Some days are unbearable. Sometimes you lie to yourself to survive. Sometimes you tell the truth and it feels good, but then the truth is unbearable and it hurts even more. I think you have to try every road to understand what it is to be alive. You have to experience the breadth of being human. You have to feel love and compassion, and also anger and rage and lust and the capacity for evil within yourself. You have to see that part of yourself and understand it, and approach it with compassion and say “I see you. I understand you. I love you.”

You can’t chain your demons up in the attic. Because then they’re just up there wailing and struggling against their chains. You have to go up there and sit down in front of the demons and hold out your arms and say “It’s okay, sweetie. I still love you.”

Being alive is a terrible, difficult business. When you really get down to the core of everything, you have to face uncomfortable truths about yourself and about the world, and you don’t get to see things the same way you did before.

I don’t know if I’ll ever truly get over the things that I’m afraid of, the things I’m ashamed of, the things that I carry with me. But I believe that I have the capacity to do good in the world, and to help people see things in a more fulfilling way, and that I can make good music or write in a way that makes people feel something profound for a moment, and that all of the people throughout my life who have told me that I’m special are right in some way, and that I actually am special.

I don’t know the meaning to any of it. I don’t know why life happens the way it does. I don’t think anything happens after we die. But I also know that I’ve got to make this life work somehow, for me.

So as I approach the end of this year, I’m trying, like always, to shed my skin, and to love the past and it’s miseries and accept them as a part of myself, without being chained to them and sinking into hopelessness.

And I keep searching for a place where I’m loved, where I feel complete, and where I can do good, for myself and for others.

It’s a scary, dangerous, dirty thing, being alive. But it’s what we are. We didn’t have any choice in the matter. And we can’t decide how long we’re going to live. I’ve been sick for about five days. I’ve got a ton of cold/flu medicines and vitamin C and antibiotics coursing through me. I’m swimming around in my head. My fingers are moving so fast they don’t feel like they’re attached to me.

I’m alive. This is who I am. I’m gonna try to love me for who and what I am, to accept the sick parts and the well parts, to be better than I was yesterday.

Yesterday is over. No matter if it was a triumph or a failure, today is another chance, and tomorrow is another. If you don’t believe it, wait until tomorrow. Eventually you will.