…I was feeling bitter. I wanted to make something of it. So I crossed over some streets without looking both ways outside the crosswalk. Why? Because I was a tough motherfucker, boy, you better believe it.
I walked real slow in front of those cars, taking my precious time. All these folks rushing to get to nowhere. I wanted to pick a fight with someone… something. I saw it in my periphery—those cars inching closer and closer to me as if they had something to say. I wished they would, just so I could smash in their windows and shove my fists in their CD players. Fuck your stereo.
I shot a hard glare toward the driver. My eyes pierced right through his tinted windshield to stare at him menacingly, sitting there comfortably in his little protective, air-conditioned, Japanese-manufactured, aluminum-encased microcosm of glove-compartment condoms and scattered, fastfood wrappers.
My eyes met his. I’d forgotten my sunglasses at home. But I looked right at him, stared right through him. My eyes said this:
Fuck your Honda and everything you stand for. A piece of trash, driven by a piece of trash. I’m talking about you, pal! Yeah I’ve got some things to say to you, buddy! So get out that car and come at me close, I want to feel your breath on my face. I want to show you what these rocks I’ve got clenched tight in my fists are all about. You hungry? Want a snack? Well I’ve got something salty for you, my friend, and no it’s not pretzels. Want a taste? Here’s some punch on the rocks, POW! Lick those salty lips blooming with red, BAM! Come here, little kitty, take a big juicy bite of this curb. I want to scatter some bones! Because I’ll eat you alive in a bloody sauce, sucker, I’m ready for lunch. I’ve got some big guts that need filling, Mmm… Just a nibble off your bottom lip would be something nice to chew on afterwards. Your tendons would make some nice floss, baby, I keep this mouth clean as a whistle, WHEEOOWEEET!—
The car drove off. I carried on home. I was feeling wasted, wasting away. I still wanted to break some rules… to crack some skulls.
Small fists that sting like bees, relentless as an allergy.
I was walking with some very heavy steps, boy, you could feel them from far away. I had something to prove: it was a lack of care. I nearly shoved a jogger right off the bridge to drown her out in that murky water below but didn’t. It wasn’t what I really wanted.
What I really wanted was to carve off that professor’s face of mine—the one who’d just tricked me into thinking I could make something of myself—you know, something more than just the epitome of a man’s man—I wanted to slice off her face, all nice and careful, and wear her as a mask in the front of the whole class, speaking that same horrible nonsense in that same horrible German accent of hers: “Vhat ve vare goen-tu vearn tuday iz—”
Shit, I was mad. A fuming fire burning below my toes. I wanted to punt a mother’s crying baby right onto a hot rooftop, and leave it stuck dying in the gutter like an old Nerf football.
Deal with it, you rat. Eat your cheese, you rat. You may be a rat but I’ll squash you like a bug…
I was confused with life back then. I thought it’d never end. I was a tough young man, sure, but I was angry—angry with my schooling, angry about my future, angry at everyone else’s parallel existence.
I saw no light at the end of the tunnel. I had an urge to kill and an urge to die, but didn’t have it in me to off myself. I felt poor and hopeless, utterly drowning in student loans. My entire four years of college had been wasted on pursuing a medical dream. I should’ve studied something safe, like accounting or advertising… I should’ve studied criminal law. Because that’s when an idea really hit me—that I couldn’t believe suicide was a crime.
“Jeez… so you’re telling me that taking my own life is against your law? Do you really think that I, or anyone else, wouldn’t try to escape out this madness just because your law says its illegal?”
Well, fuck me sideways if that ain’t some backwards shit! So you know what I did, folks? I started a business: a mutual trade between people, just like me and you. Because you know what I say, folks? I say this: I say that if there are such people out in this world who want to kill themselves, but have stopped short because they couldn’t live with themselves if they’d committed a crime—why, I’ll be damned if those people don’t get want they deserve!
And so it’s your lucky day, folks, ‘cause I’m going to help you do it, yes, indeed. Just call up my hotline, sign a quick contract, rent us a cheap room, baby, and we’ll do this thing! I’m here to help get all you hard-working kids what you deserve: an opportunity to die, and slump into oblivion.
There’s some good business in this, sure—and I mean some good, good money. Chubby bucks. Fat stacks. Money that suicidal folks won’t be afraid to lose. Yes, okay… so maybe you’re wanting to kill yourself because you’re buried up to neck in loan debt, nothing to show for it, and so you can’t pay up. Well just listen here, brother, because that’s what brings me here today. Yes, you guessed it: a limited time offer to be murdered, completely free of charge!* I will do you that solid, no problem.
Why? Because a good guy. A good guy with some fury. A good guy with some vice. Because I’m a goddamned bitter being, baby, and I need to let off some steam!
*hotel room, supplies, & disposal fee not included
…The story of us is not a romantic comedy. It’s a snuff film.
We met due to a series of long-dated, strange-fated coincidences, finding ourselves so constantly in the wrong place at the right time. Life would align for us to meet one Thursday night as a horrible, freak accident—yes, a drunken, 30-car pile-up right in the middle of the freeway. I imagine there we’re many left hurt and bloody in the wake of our lives crashing headfirst, such as the guy you were with that night who was only being polite when he volunteered to type my blog’s url into his phone to pass onto you later that night. What a luckless dope…
Likewise, as you know, I was just beginning to peak at the prospects of a relationship with a girl at the time, too, but dropped her at once. Indeed, the very next day, even before you and I’s first date/reconciliation a few days later. For this girl had attempted to talk with me shortly after, and I could not seem to find a single word to say. Except for when she got the hint and asked if something was bothering me, to which I replied, “Yes… I can’t seem to get this horrible stranger off my mind.”
Why? Because you were something different. Genuine. Refreshing, like a cool drink of cyanide. This other girl had wide eyes and soft cheeks but no depth, no charisma. She never once confided in me that she used to dream of murdering her sister. She didn’t possess such dark fantasies as wanting to fuck her professors or destroy her life just for the fun. She was average. A safe bet for normalcy. She was dishonest compared to you. You, who spoke of everything unadulterated, just as everything truly was: a complete and utter mess. And so I felt dishonest with myself, and suddenly wanted nothing more to do with her, for I’d recognized what I really desired: a genuine relationship, with you, one built from the ground-up from the ruins of two broken people.
How did this story of ours begin? On the same level of depravity and embarrassment. No upper hands, no need for dominance or head games. You had drunkenly belittled my one, true passion for writing by way of a slurred request for you and your friend to be written into a story of lesbian, erotic fan fiction; and, in turn, I objectified every little cell of your body into a fleshy, dripping oblivion. We were both disgusting beings, and in effect, we were even.
(Full disclosure: I could not fall asleep that night following that first train-wreck of an interaction, and so I masturbated to you then to calm my brain into submission. And you know what? Even then, at 3 AM on a Thursday night sitting drunk, sweaty and naked, melting into my leather desk chair—yes, even then it felt like love.)
We can trace this all back, too, to some horrible events that have surpassed in our lives, and if I follow those jagged lines with my finger from their painful origin to exactly where I stand here, now, together with you—why… all the pain and horror seem worth it, and I wouldn’t take any of it back for the world.
Something significant: with you, twice now, something strange has happened. I’ve been struck with a thought so alien to me that I’ve felt the need to tell it to you immediately, right then and there.
“I just had the thought that life will someday end, and that is incredibly sad…”
And when I do die, every memory I’ve ever shared with you will be wasted away, and how horrible it is to know that there will exist some folks in the future who do not, will not, could not, ever come to comprehend what it means to be so enthralled by a fellow human being that it almost makes you want to believe in God. The memories of the bridge, and drawing portraits of one another, and the feel of your unshaved legs, and the way your name looks pretty on paper, and the sounds of you drinking water, and the horrors of you drinking beer, and the ritual of waking up next to you to share each other’s dreams, and cooking vegetarian meals for you because you can’t claim to be a vegetarian if you refuse to eat vegetables and only eat Frosted Flakes—yes, the memory of cooking asparagus, and my urine smelling so disgustingly strong that I just had to tell you about it, to which you then sprinted into the bathroom and took a big whiff through the nose to really get its effect—yes! and the memory of us kissing each other with tongue in my closet in order to make up for what appeared to be lost time, since we both missed out on the middle-school opportunities of playing seven minutes in heaven.
And yet, I have something better. As of today, it’s been two months I’ve been in heaven. And it’s not that horrible idea of heaven where all the goody-goody’s roam in milky white clothes, sipping apple juice while they discuss all the resistance from debauchery and drugs and fun that they each submitted to here on Earth just so they could spend some time in a comfortable afterlife.
No. This is something better than heaven. This is something real. This isn’t going to last forever, and so much the better to make every single moment count. I love you, Abbey, with everything I have to give and simultaneously lose. A very happy, horrible two-month anniversary to you.
…There was a party happening at Jake’s. A group of close friends left all at once, including my lovely Abbey, and yet for some strange reason I stayed behind. Whether I was specifically asked to bring Alex’s dog, Rex, or if the leash had just appeared in my hand mid-walk, I don’t know. But I stuffed a beer in my front pocket and left the house, accompanied by Colin, a friend who’d also volunteered to stay behind.
It wasn’t far into our walk before the madness happened somewhere along the intersection of Georgia Dr. and Oconee St. There was another man also out walking his dog, which was so hairless and such a light shade of pink that all its veins and arteries shown through its skin. It was small and had the tail of a tadpole. Looking back on it now, what appeared on the man’s leash was a bullfrog-human-baby hybrid, a hideous affair.
Upon crossing one another and a friendly wave, immediately Rex pounced on this “dog” (frog-baby) and began shredding it to bits. Panic broke out all around. Colin and I tried our best to pull Rex off from the animal but it was in vain. He felt as strong and swift as a compact wrestler. The man was at his wit’s end, crying aloud for his baby. Feeling I had no choice left, I began to pound Rex in the face with my fists, crushing his puppy jaw down into little crumbs on the sidewalk. I felt furious, and did not stop until the dog was unconscious.
The man pulled his baby from the wreckage, and still not feeling fulfilled I suddenly found myself bearing a chainsaw—cutting spitefully through the neck bone of my friend’s comatose pup. Blood went everywhere, even in the mouth of Colin who had begun screaming out his lungs for me to stop.
I could not, and the rumble of the chainsaw did not stop until the bloody stump of Rex’s head rolled away from his sunken body.
The heat behind my eyes cooled down, and upon coming back down to earth I found myself standing over my friend’s beloved dog, publicly hacked to bits—an action that could not, would not, ever be seen as warranted or forgiven. Feeling sick at what I’d done, I fell to my knees and vainly tried to reattach the loose wiring of Rex’s neck back on to his body. I remember having the slightest notion that this would be successful, which further proves how far I’d then lost my mind. His body resembled a hollowed-out rotisserie chicken dressed in a gory sauce.
With evident pity, the man cradling his wounded baby invited us back to his house for a place to dispose of Rex’s corpse. An abrupt laugh then exploded from the bottom of my nerves, ha-ha-ha! And so we followed.
On the way to his house nobody said a word. Colin carried Rex’s head as I held his body. My fingers hung down at his neck hole, and I carried the empty carcass like an old football helmet. The man lived off Georgia Dr. We arrived there not long after.
When we arrived at the door there were kids who stepped outside, and I hid the dog’s body out of good manners. We tossed Rex into the garbage can, and I drank the beer still sitting in my pocket.
When we left I asked Colin, “Would you mind if we went back to the house really quick?” (I wanted to grab another beer.)
“No fucking way,” he replied, and set off towards Jake’s for the party. I nodded obediently and followed.
There was silence. Then Colin acknowledged how terrible this all was—not only was Pixie now gone, but I had to go off and kill Alex’s dog.
“He was already unconscious, for God’s sake!” he argued, “Why the fuck did you need to cut his head off?”
“I felt like I needed to prove my point…” I said.
“A point about what? He’s a dog!—”
He suddenly broke off as a hot rush of vomit came into his throat. I imagined he was replaying the scene in his mind.
“You’re sick in the head, Joe! Sick!”
It was the truth: I was sick all over. In the head, in the heart, in the bottom of my toes. It became apparent that I would need to leave for good… leave everything behind me at once. I could not bear the prospect of Alex’s face as I confessed that I had sawed the head off his puppy, I could not! Oh and Abbey… my dear, beloved Abbey! Would she—could she—ever forgive me for something so vile? What about marriage? What about children? Would the same fate happen to my own little baby if he or she was to be disobedient? If he or she embarrassed me in public?
“Fucking sick!” Colin echoed once again.
I began sprinting ahead of him. “Yes, I will get to the party before him and confess it all!”I thought to myself. “Even if all my good friends see me as the most wretched creature, I will be honest and good! Though, I must get there before Alex arrives from work, yes! To avoid his sopping wet face, I could not handle that…”
I ran so quickly that my vision skipped out from under me and I nearly slid beneath a car. What a wonderful fate that would’ve been. What a way out of this inevitable misery! But no. Life would not fall from me so conveniently. Since life is nothing but a frozen cold, dogged leech sucking away at my once innocent brain, and if life is the means to insanity, then death is freedom.
“Oh, but freedom is not so free, now is it!” I then called aloud, and with a forceful leap I climbed into the thick vine-bed of a tree. Colin was now chasing behind me, following my delusional lead. I moved through the tree like a filthy chimp. Yes, as the common ancestor I never evolved from. For I was, indeed, still nothing more than a foul, sensual, bloodthirsty animal—a creature, but a creature!
“Colin!” I yelled to him, and waited for him to catch up, “But what if this is all a dream? What if this is just a matter of tearing down the walls of this horrible happening, and allowing myself at once to wake up calm and cozy in my bed, hm???”
And so I performed a trick that I’d done over a dozen times in many dreams, whenever reality had fallen too far away from me: I pushed my finger through my opposite palm, with the intention of breaking the laws of physics and watching my little finger pop out on the other side like a wart. This was the sign that things were going to be O.K. Indeed, that I had once again escaped my inner urges to be a beast, and that the horrors of life would be soothed once more.
I peered at Colin intently as I raised my hand as a high-five and intently poked my index finger through the palm. The moment of truth…
Nothing. I felt the pressure, real and forbidden. My finger would not move through my hand. And so I was convinced that this was the new and permanent me, a dog murderer. I would lose the girl I loved. I would lose the friends I cared deeply for. I would lose the bright future I was working towards, rotting away my years in a cold, dark cell. And there was no room for pity, since I really deserved it all.
Colin shook his head in palpable hatred, and moved on past me towards the party. I remained in that tree for the rest of my existence, drowning its roots in my impossible tears until I’d flooded the world, and the water reached to the high branch on which I sat.
I then found myself back in bed, utterly drenched in the coldest sweat, amid the shakes and nervous laughs of a revitalized madman: comfy and cozy.
Life goes on.
Let this be a quick reminder that it should be a joy to write, and not a chore. When attempting to write a longer-term project, such as a short story or, dare you to venture into the harsh territory of a potential novel, keep in mind that the readers do not and cannot care as much as you do, the author. As I now reread this wonderfully complex and delicious book, The Brothers Karamazov, I find my mind at times inevitably wandering while my eyes have skimmed over nearly an entire page of work. And sure, I might go back to read it if I find it important, but most likely I will just (figuratively) slap at my face to wake myself back up, and just continue on in hopes that the subsequent context will fill in whatever it is that I’ve missed. Oh, but the horror that reality poses to a writer! How many minutes, hours, days, had the author might’ve slaved over a particular sentence he or she felt needed to pack a literary punch? And yet I just passively soaked that and every other line in, with a “yeah yeah yeah…” attitude of what seems more important. And this particular happening is what I mean to bring up—that is, to remind you to not slave over one line, one paragraph, one idea of how to paint an otherwise irrelevant scene of a baker’s kitchen and the pretty mole above his daughter’s lip. Just move on and get to the real gist of it. If the readers care enough about every single line (of which they surely won’t), then they’re bound to get lost along the way. So just assume that they’re content to go along for the ride, just the same as you should be to go along and write. You’re relating a story that you find important, but it’s never the fucking bible. So go: write that short story, write that poem, write that novel. But keep in mind that though it might not win a prize in Oprah’s book club, or a special shelf dedicated to up-and-coming authors somewhere in the rot of Barnes & Noble, remember that it’s much more than that: it’s a simple matter of expression.
…I awoke to the feel of detachment, both mind and body. I must’ve fallen asleep bleeding. I peeled myself from off my sheets, like a band-aid applied to a fresh wound. Dots of blood sprayed along my back as some red, violent galaxy—bloody gashes resembling the spinning tails of rushing comets… dripping, twinkling stars carved deep by fingernails in my skin.
It was a masterpiece of creation. The start of the universe. The painful, sloppy consequences of a drunken big bang. I think the secret of life was revealed to me in that instant, and yet I lost it immediately amongst a mental inquiry of known sex positions:
1) You on top.
2) You on all fours.
3) Us sliding along the carpet, heads pounding into dresser legs, sweat-soaked skin picking up lint and dog hair like a Roomba.
4) Me on top.
It was a mess, a beautiful mess. Sometimes I feel compelled, such as now, to compare searching for a woman’s G-spot to that of blindly out-stretching your arm as far as you can behind the living room couch in hopes of making that glorious unconscious connection—yes, yes, I’ve found it, here’s the T.V. remote!—for you just know it must be there waiting for you to make contact with it somewhere, and surely you’ll reach it if you can just keep stretching and wagging around that arm of yours in that mysterious dark…
My temples were squeezing at my brain like two magnetic trash compactors. I got up to drink some water. On my trek to the bathroom I caught sight of a hideous figure, indeed. What appeared to be a lukewarm corpse, with all the blotchiness of life pumping solely along his neck and shoulder blades.
“Poor kid…” I said aloud before walking away, but stopped short when his lips mocked at mine.
“Poor kid,” he said right back.
“Yeah? That’s quite a look you’ve got there,” I said.
“Yeah? That’s quite a look you’ve got there,” he said right back. I gave him a quick slap across his horrid face, and hurt my fingers as they bent back against the bathroom mirror. I held them automatically, as a comfort to myself, and looked back at my reflection once more. Smiling, I found myself still thirsty, and bent down to drink directly from the filthy faucet like a careless man.
I crawled back into bed, flipping over my pillow to the bloodless/cool side. Her foot touched against mine and the urges came back. It was 5:23 AM.
A thought occurred to me:
I am bloody. I am in love. I am nothing more than an animal and that’s okay.
Then I was out like a light, sleeping like a baby, Zzz….
I used to write things, &
I mean write.
I used to feel things, &
I mean feel.
I used to say things, &
I used to not see myself as this
tube of meaty toothpaste
to the end of his purpose—
forced to puke up the core of
Things used to come easy.
Expression was therapeutic & people were
A glass of water before bed left me
with a clean taste in
my mouth & mind.
At the onset of spring
the air held a smell of youth:
crushed-up lightning bugs &
Now each fresh breath of air
feels like an act of defiance
what I really want to do:
not breathe at all.
'What’s happened to all the good news?'
I find myself asking,
and the answer is: ‘nothing.’
Since the real question is:
'What’s happened to my notion
of what constitutes “good news”?’
Sometimes I imagine myself as
that’s been trapped in a house
for its entire life, &
I understand, yes,
that you’ve opened some windows
to help make it easier for me
but you must understand this:
I’ve not yet lived
the subtle differences between
freedom, prospects, happiness, &
For my notion of good news
used to be
a fresh breath
breakfast & the internet,
but now all I want is
the sweet relief from existence.
I don’t know how the immortal Gods ever learned
to deal with it—
this perpetual eternal relentless forever.
maybe they never did.
I think it’d explain a lot.
It was hard to resist
the urge to say
exactly what I’ve been thinking
all of today—
so I didn’t resist.
What I said to you was this:
“Lately I’ve been dreaming
of finding a way
to connect our heads &
our legs &
fuse together our veins,
so that we may then appear
just as gross as how we feel:
so uncomfortably, disgustingly inseparable.”
One of the many reasons why Bukie would hate me
is because my existence is
so comfortably dull
so predictably long
so well-fed & kempt &
so coated in
that I can hardly comprehend
what a truly human privilege it is
bored & idle
just because I can—
For I’ll still find reasons to complain about
any goddamned thing:
“School isn’t challenging enough…”
“The AC in this house never quite hits 65˚…”
“My dog won’t walk nice on a leash…”
"They took Hey Arnold off Netflix…"
I have so much free time that
I’m actually permitted to brood—
what a liberty;
what a pain.
…I just need to come right out and say it, type it, scream it all out without this pedantic need to always look back and double-check myself. Let’s go.
What I’m feeling right now is like a goddamned hypocrite, the worst of them all… Years of friends coming to me for advice concerning relationships, emotions, sex, all that other nonsense, and me waving them off with a declaration that we’re too young to properly care for anyone else, and thus for anyone else to properly care for us. There’s too much co-dependence between folks with feelings. We as humans are just better off alone. Independent. Self-assured and self-reliant. That way, you only have to depend on yourself to feel good, or bad, or erotic…
It seemed like sound advice, and I stand by it even now—yes, even as I let this pour out of me in a sleepless daze of an empty stomach and equally empty head. However, although I may still stand by these statements, I can no longer take my own advice, for it’s become so plainly horrible—I am so goddamned co-dependent on this other human being that I can no longer seem to function without them. It’s pathetic.
I didn’t intend for any of this, and I sure as hell didn’t wish for it. Sure, there we’re lonely moments these past three years, but they could easily be compensated with a few dozen cookies and a quick masturbation session. That was all it took to move on. But now I may still compulsively eat cookies, and I may still resolve to jerk-off to relieve some of the stress of daily life—but now none of it works. Or, at least not as well as just a few microseconds spent in your presence… The smell of your hair, the tones of your voice. The slants of your eyebrows as you mouth “I’m going to murder you” as your pupils dilate wide enough to bury my decapitated body in… oh yes, then followed with a simultaneous wink and puckered lips. It’s enough to keep me going, despite a drained brain and lack of motivation to do anything other than make you smile, or laugh, or say “hmmm…” as I attempt to spark a train of thought with my stupid rants on neurochemistry, or ideas for short stories, or the ambiguous genitalia of the Guevedoces in the Dominican Republic.
Hashing out that horrible report last night just couldn’t have been done without those intermediate doses of you—you, you, you lying there in my periphery, just watching a movie or blowing kisses at my dog. Candid. Flawless. More than I could’ve asked for, since I never asked for any of this. I never would’ve if I knew it’d become so bad. The symptoms are all present of an addict. Too long without you and my mind utterly falls to shit. I get depressed, I get nervous, I get sick and shaky. I become equally suicidal and at the same time manic, so fervently willing to end it all… And then there’s a chance whiff of your skin stuck between my pillows, or I read the letters that make up your name from a text, or I find some strands of your hair across my desk, and it bubbles through my veins. I get a little better. I’m once again able to eat.
There I was today, stumbling home from class—it’s been two hours without you, and though I knew you had already left for school, for some reason I kept this faint hope that your car would still be there when I got back.
When I arrive, you are gone, as should’ve been expected, and the pangs of addiction begin kicking at my head. I walk into my room to a perfectly made bed, just the stupid way I like it with the three blankets layered on top of one another going all the way to the top. I turn around to Alex who asks, “so how was last night?” and with my cheekbones ripping across my face, all I can say is this: “It’s official. I’m obsessed.”
And when I turn around to look past the bed, there it is on my desk: a letter from you to me. A love letter, perhaps? No, but rather something better. A forewarning:
“Pixie and I have fallen in love, meaning this relationship will no longer work. I’ll be kidnapping her in the middle of the night. We plan to murder you. It’ll be cold-blooded and messy, so you may want to advise your roommates to buy some extra paper towels. Sorry it couldn’t work out, but I guess goat-dogs are more my type. I look forward to murdering you. - </3, Candy Bear Chandelier”
And there it is at the bottom, mimicking my words:
“P.S. I can’t even joke about this. We both know I’m obsessed with you.”
And for the time being, I get a little better.
…Some days I will wake up, and all I want for breakfast is the metallic taste of a shotgun on my tongue, or the sweet relief of cyanide in my coffee. Today just happens to be one of those days.
The thought isn’t so terrifying anymore. When I was young, I used to want to get sick enough to puke, if only to prove to my mom that I shouldn’t have to attend church or school. It’s the same story today, but I’m just sick in the head—puking up vile thoughts and impulses onto everyone I know.
I’m a contagious little fucker, momma, I can’t do a god-damned thing.
I haven’t cared for my brain or body in quite a long time. I wouldn’t mind seeing them shrivel and fade just so I could avoid doing things I don’t want to do… things I’m too lazy to do. Feed myself. Feed my dog. Maintain social appearances, physical appearances. Keep up with this piling-up of schoolwork when all I really want to do is wander into the woods and drown in a shallow creek.
Evolution would’ve kicked me out long ago. At least the scientific field is attempting to weed me out early. It’s doing a great job of showing me that I’m not as smart as I’ve been led to believe. I blame it on all this illusory reinforcement from my parents and friends.
You, motherfuckers… there’s a fine line between being supportive and just feeding into delusion.
Ironically enough, it doesn’t take a genius to realize that intelligence isn’t found in reciting research you’ve read in some outside reading. Intelligence isn’t found between big words. Not in memorization nor regurgitation of big concepts. Intelligence isn’t based on a simple comparison between you and the low-life’s around you, no. Rather, intelligence is intuition, originality, it’s painstaking effort, dedication… But most of all: Intelligence is fucking hard.
Where the hell are you, Joe? Where the hell are you going, Joe?
Let me tell you where he’s going: Nowhere. He’s already planning on how to off himself before graduate school. He’s figuring out how to time it to make the whole thing less inconvenient for others. He’s considering the funeral and expenses… how to not make an equally disgusting mess of his life once he finally goes through and puts it to rest. There aren’t enough towels to lay down to soak up all his boiling blood.
What a shame. Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to the neglect the future: because there is no future. Rather, let this existence become a waiting game because you’re too damn afraid to kill yourself. Walk around with fingers crossed, just hoping there’s some drunk driver to do you the favor of ending your own life. Indeed, some equally deranged and benevolent college shooter. If there ever existed a button to press that would end it all right then and there, you would’ve pressed it long ago. An easy way out to nothingness—no responsibilities, no disappointment, no feeling like this ever again.
An easy way out to nothingness. That’s all you wanted today. But the world was good, and people kept their cool, and you’re still a little coward, and so here you still persist.
Keep your head up, Joe. Tomorrow’s another day.
…Sometimes I find myself in a hole. Sometimes you’ll find me in a hole, too. Sometimes my existence feels like one big void that drags all those close to me down. I can be such an emotionally draining whirlpool, and I’ve been meaning to figure out how to hell to stop.
It’s been years since I’ve managed to peek my head out of this pit and catch a glimpse of the realness of things—beauty, positivity, a genuine appreciation for things and for what’s to come. It’s been difficult, to say the least. When you exist in an abyss, everyday is the same. Life is one continuous flash of darkness, one big blink, and acknowledging the days don’t even matter—unless it’s a holiday, since then you have to be on your guard and best behavior because people like to show they care about other folks on holidays, and so the void grows wide and it becomes inevitable: people get too close, and I drag them down.
But sometimes I don’t find myself in a hole. And it just so happens that when I came up and poked my head out last week for a brief glimpse of social interaction, I was fortunate enough to have found you. Call it fate, coincidence, an accident—I don’t even care. There you were: loud and drunk and underage, the most lovely thing I’d ever seen. So much so that I gathered up whatever inspiration I could to hash out a writing so shocking that you’d have to speak to me; or, at least give me some time to explain myself. Why? Because I immediately wanted us to be more.
And would you believe it? It fucking worked. By God, I would’ve never imagined such an oddly successful ploy… It’s almost as if my entire practice of writing poetry and prose over these past four years has been with the sole endgame of attracting someone equally damaged.
Hook, line, and sinker.
All last week was spent in a strange daze of human emotion that I thought I’d lost for good. As the south froze over, I was overcome with love and warmth for the first time in years. I began compiling a list of things you said that made me smile, or cry, or die, in a Microsoft Word document titled, “Because You Want to Remember Everything You Can.” It begins with an explanation:
…I like to imagine that in some future time, I’ll look back on these past three days and find them to be some of the most significant days of my life… for better or for worse, something is happening. (2/9/14)
For something was, indeed, happening. That something was a feeling that I was being physically pulled from out this perpetual void by some likewise sweaty hands, with painted black fingernails and the softest skin I’d ever touched. And on the worst of all holidays, there I sat with you, perched on the periphery of this bottomless void, playing footsies as we discussed how many appendages we could each lose before the other would leave out of selfishness. You joked about getting into a horrible car crash, and my first reaction was to kiss you hard on the lips between telling you how much I loved you, for I was having those exact thoughts just that morning (but with my teeth sprawled out across the dashboard, never yours never yours.)
This was added to the document two day earlier:
Only five days in and I already know I’m in love with Abbey. I would tell her, too, but I think she already knows it. (2/12/14)
Which was squeezed in between other quotes from you:
This morning I woke up and literally just laid on the kitchen floor because I couldn’t focus on food when I was too busy thinking about you. (2/10/14)
Just imagined losing my virginity to Freud. (2/12/14)
There’s plenty more I’ve saved, but my favorite so far:
“I love you.” (2/14/14, in the parking lot of Pinnacle Bank.)
Yes… both so overcome with confused notions, I pulled the car over at once and explained to you all that I felt—pleaded all that I couldn’t imagine not feeling. We kissed and exchanged those sour words of both life and death: “I love you.”
It’s only been a week and you’re already the most important person in my life, and I don’t want to lose you due to my erratic emotions. Indeed, sometimes I find myself in a hole. Sometimes you’ll find me in there, too. Sometimes I’ll wake up and be there to support you no matter what the circumstance. Sometimes I’ll wake up and won’t even be there to support myself. But that is just me, and since you’ve come into my life this void seems so much less dense and likely to consume the world.
So please, let this note of mine provide reassurance to how much I feel for you: too much. Even on the days that I feel nothing at all, I still can’t rid you from my head. Like today—it’s a phase, it’s the void. It’s this damn quadriplegic ego. But I’m doing all that I can, and so rest assured: I love you, Abbey, even when I don’t love anything else.