An Abortion in a Wal-Mart Parking Lot (Pt. 1)
…The woman’s head sat propped up slightly against the backdoor, her limp neck swaying from side-to-side with every attempt to muster up a word. She was drenched with blood and tears, her skin adhering to the sticky leather of the car’s backseats. From out the back window, her drowsy eyes would flutter open every so often to reveal what appeared to her some sort of illuminated box, or brown package, suspended in mid-air—a present from God himself. The side of the box read in bright white letters: E17.
“What a dog, what a dog…” whispered the man hovering above her. “What a diseased, fucking dog.”
A pearl of spit crashed upon the woman’s bludgeoned left eye, her vision now more blurred behind a pillar of saliva linking her eyelids. At her side sat a pair of balled-up jeans, a pack of cigarettes, an unfurled three-pack of plain, white Hane’s tee shirts, and a metal coat hanger, unraveled except for its hook. All three shirts lay spread out, separating the backseat’s cold leather from her naked rear.
“Ivan…” the woman managed to croak out between breaths, “This’s not, what you think—”
Cradling the entire circumference of her neck with one hand, Ivan then proceeded to slam the woman’s head against the backdoor until he was sure the impact would not, could not, permit her to speak to him again.
“Don’t you ever fucking let those filthy lips of yours mutter my name,” he said, “you hear me? You don’t get to explain yourself to me!”
She coughed violently before attempting to speak again: “But, Ivan—”
The woman’s head shot back and bounced heavily against the window, sending a spindling crack right through the bottom of the glass.
“If you speak again—” He moved himself closer, his knees balanced on top the woman’s feet to limit her inevitable kicking, “I’m going to bite your goddamn lips off, you understand?” He rubbed the back of his four fingers against her irregular cheeks, rough across the dried blood leaking from her nose and mouth.
“You think I’m just fucking with you, Yvette? Hm? You think I’m in any position to be convinced? To just forgive you for what you did? To forgive myself for what I’mabout to do?”
Ivan forced his torso square between Yvette’s knees, spreading her lower half into two equally trembling parts. Coat hanger in-hand, he began to run the tips of his fingers down the length of its straightened bar in a taunt.
“’Cause if you think any amount of words could change my mind… about yanking that other man’s spawn from out your filthy snatch—” An ice-cold bullet shot along the range of Yvette’s broken body. “Well then… I s’pose you’re not only a diseased, but a dumb fucking dog, too!—”
to be continued…(?)
11:12 pm • 24 July 2014 • 1 note
'Her Fondness for Trouser Mouths' (II)
…The end result of last night was, to say the least, surprisingly painless. I’d prepared for the night to end in disaster. In truth, a disastrous evening was exactly what I’d set out to make.
For weeks I’d played out this reunion of Isabel and me in my head. I knew she was to be there, at this venue downtown on this particular night, October 11th. One of her all-time favorite musicians was playing, and she’d asked me along months ago as a friend. I’d set the date in mind as the night to seal our fate—me and her, her and me… me and her and alcohol and music to touch to.
I listened to the band for weeks on end, leaving them to always hang on the cusp of my car stereo in case she ever needed a ride. Memorized every word to sing along with, every beat and climax and cadence to have a blueprint to dance to. Even read up on each member’s background, dropping in little personal details here and there in an effort to impress:
“It’ll be interesting to see how Kalmia’s been doing,” I’d say.
“Yeah. Wait, what do you mean?” she’d ask.
“Well, you know, because of the cancer. She’s been in chemo for the last month.”
“My god, are you serious? I didn’t even know she was sick…”
But it’d been weeks since we last spoke. The 11th couldn’t come soon enough. In the days leading up, its forthcoming seemed nearly unapproachable, so stagnant and remote. A landmark up head of the road that never appears to come closer no matter how long you drive—and yet I awoke yesterday, and there it was.
I’d recited a script of every which way our initial greeting might go. Nothing too heavy-hearted or long-drawn, not from the start… I’d have to tread lightly, bit by bit, in order to permit myself enough words to convince Isabel to shift her sexuality and abandon her Mallory, all for me. I’d make her girlfriend look like chopped, fatty liver… with dirty dreadlocks, and a hair-salon degree, and a fucking Ohm tattoo. Jesus Christ. All the while, I was to be clever, and coy, and comical, and compassionate, and rhythmic, and fertile, and male—to be everything she needed, everything she’d want me to be…
Aw shit, who am I trying to kid? I knew from the start that I was get myself drunk beyond all gentlemanly state prior to seeing her. To drink whiskey after beer after pocket-draining whiskey until my eyes were as sunken and wet as a hound’s, and the filter on my lips hung as loose as the collar of my beaten tee shirt—the same one I’d been wearing one week prior, tottering outside some hollow bar where some feminine specimen resembling Molly Shannon had the balls to tell one of my friends that, “she liked to talk to ugly guys sometimes, if only to make them feel better about themselves.” A real benevolent gal, who then turned to divulge to me that my shirt’s thread count was much-too low to ever attract her, or any other self-respecting woman at this bar, for that matter. So I called out to her: “You smelly, cream cheese colored cunt-faced Molly Shannon!”
Unimpressed by my drunken, alliterative prose, she countered by clawing her pretty little fingers between my collarbones. Needless to say I went home alone that night, just as I had every night before that for the past two years.
There was much I’d been meaning to say to her, Isabel, since the last time I’d seen her magnificent person restrained among those four walls. As I’d been showing up to class late, or not at all, in any effort to avoid the strange feelings and urges brought on by seeing her: a desire to both kiss and cut up that symmetrical face of hers, lean cheeks crafted from good decisions and teethy smirks.
I was to tell it all—to stumble and slur and spill my guts out for her all over the venue floor, dancers’ shoes sticky with my saliva, semen, and hideously filthy thoughts. I was to manifest the messiness of my drippy-in-love head. I sought to humiliate myself beyond all recognition; to debase my good name beyond all ability to recover; to confess of all the poems I’d written for her, reciting a few cheap lines about how pretty I thought her name looked down on paper; to tell how hurt, angry, offended I felt by her sexual choosing… that she’d made the wrong fucking choice—
I was to be an embarrassment for my gender, right alongside all the muscleheads and objectifiers and right-wing politicians and parking-garage rapists. I sought to shove that unsolved vagina of hers right off the fence; to confide in her that not since I’d first laid eyes on her had I once masturbated to her, out of fear that even in my own mind’s eye I’d be an poor performer; that my feeble dick alone would be just another nail in the coffin to her fondness for trouser mouths…
Indeed, I sought to confess in a final gushy mess that, in a frantic moment of panicked nerves only three nights ago, I’d awoken in the dead of night and shaved half my body from chest-to-toe, to become a bit softer, a touch more feminine, just for her… And in my grand climax for all, I’d expose it to her, right then and there: to strip down in front of every witness to only my socks and shoes, to present my ill-timed erection, to prove that not all of my gender is so hideously dishonest by attesting my claims to having divided my hairy self from my sanity in one symmetrical line—
But no. I did no such things. For no matter what cascade of alcohol I forced down my throat, it was my body that did not permit my head to become the sick, trembling, romantic mess I aspired to be.
(to be continued)
5:29 pm • 18 July 2014
'Like a Bird in Flight, Like an Asshole in Mid-Push' (I)
…I thought I’d write a novel, but instead went for a run. I strapped on my sneakers, scuffed thin at the inner heels, pulled a sour, beaten tee shirt over my head. I pushed some water down my throat to moisten up my bowels. I’m not sure what it is, but the prospects of exercise always put my nerves on edge. It makes me compulsively piss and shit, sometimes two, three times before I can leave the house. Perhaps it’s a need to be empty, to be rid of all the horrible nonsense I stuff down into my body every chance I get. I don’t know. It’s always wrecked nerves, a condensed chest, bloodless arms and legs. The toilet seat grows warm amid countless re-visits, and after three more false alarms and a near-prolapsed asshole I’m ready to go.
I get in my car to drive to a prime location. Some place among the woods, with many trees to reciprocate oxygen into my battered lungs. A secluded spot, with less folks to stare at and judge the inexperienced sway of my skeletal legs: Cook’s Trail. Those who run at this park are already set in their ways, already high above the rest. They don’t look you in the eyes when you pass by. They don’t wave back their hands in a defer of acknowledgment to another fellow human being, one who likewise feels urged to bring pain and airlessness and motion to their inevitably depreciating bodies.
Fuck if I care. Turn up the volume. Thrust those headphones deep in the pools of your ears and flood them with sound. A steady beat, rhythm at 140 BPM—a tad-bit quicker than the times we’re used to, as it propels our feet forward at a swift, predictable pace.
I arrive at the park. Step out to stretch out my legs across the lukewarm hood over a fresh-killed engine. An onset of tight pain to my thighs, and I speed-count to ten in my head: one two three four five six—to siphon some of the blood crowding my brain back down to my limbs.
I needed a distraction from things. Hurt might inevitably exist, sure, but it can be converted between means. So I exchange that hurt from my head, pounding deep from my inners, to something more tangible: a strained hamstring, a pulled muscle, cardiac arrest, whatever. It all trumps remembering why the hell I’ve felt compelled to drag myself out of bed, to get away from the fridge, away from the classroom, apart from the television, apart from the books, avoid the pen and paper to reveal all my lacking talents—to find myself here at this park at dusk in these poor-man’s shoes, meaning to manifest this inner desire I’ve felt to just run, run, run away for the sheer fuck of it. To sweat, to ache, to break anew my physique—figuring that if I can’t impress this girl with a bright mind, then perhaps I might press upon her with a ripe body instead—
So I go. I wait for the appropriate song with an inspiring pulse and kick off like a bat out of hell. My feet rise and crush upon the earth like two magnets fighting for the attraction of its core. Whatever initial resistance I feel is shrugged off. Wasted potential.
Yes, a waste: It’s all these days spent sulking in the dark, composing poetry to the Internet masses amongst cheap, mid-percent beer. Compadres. Stories of love, and lust, and drugs, and glorified mental illness—it’s the shit that folks either will relate to, or wish to relate to. Each is within reach, easily gained, as long as one is willing to forfeit a larger piece of himself. There are no fair trades in life: only donations.
I’m coursing through the path, yes, drop stomp crunch, repeat—feeling momentarily free enough to reach out my arms to finger the branched trees at my sides looking like a bird in flight, like an asshole mid-push. Sunrays in front of me touch down in illumination. Insects trapped in spider-webs shift from near-death in their sticky webs to sure-death within my greasy curls.
INHALE (SMMMFFF): I swallow up a city of gnats in the midst of one deep breath, some caught in my nose hairs. A post reads 1 Mile in white against a blue pane. I consider myself a monster to the gnats.
EXHALE (AAAHHH): A brief thought of progress spills across my mind as I acknowledge the beauty of that thought—empathy for the gnats. I acknowledge how considerate I can sometimes be. Then I remember who I really am, and recall myself a monster to humankind.
Upon approaching a clearing I recall a spot along this path, a brief moment of Aflémoon: the phenomena of revisiting a location from a previously surpassed event amid a differentiating perception, due to a novel sense of acclimation, and thus familiarity.
Indeed, I’d been here before. Had come when I’d first visited this town of Athens, Georgia two years ago in the spring before my sophomore year. I’d been brought here to Cook’s Trail by mutual friends. Some who’d just smoked weed prior, some who’d ingested psilocybin. I remember the exact day was April, 20th, 2012. And it was here, at this exact spot along this trail, that one of the kids on mushrooms had opted to wander off in search of a barn owl he’d heard call across the way. We (me and six other kids) left him alone to explore the vast spread of woods, miraculously intersecting with him at sunset nearly three hours later.
I’d spent those last few hours sober, due to an inherent opposition to all mind-altering drugs. My head just wasn’t right for it: not then, now, not ever. My psychiatrist referred to it as a “chemical imbalance,” the same infantile man who’d scribble my name across that prescription pad once every two months, each time misspelling my first name with a C rather than a K. That detail alone set the distance between us. I had many dreams of setting fire to his office, with him locked inside many times. It was this exact imbalance in chemistry that prompted me to lose my mind, and thus start going on runs.
Things in life had gone from bad to all right very quickly. Too quickly. From obsessing over one particular girl for nearly three years to obsessing over another girl after nearly three weeks, where the only thing we had in common with one another was that we both liked to kiss girls. It wasn’t healthy.
I supposed, at first, we might both be insane. Different breeds of instability: She consumed nothing apart from blended kale and flax seed, was a weekday frequenter to the Atlanta rave scene, and was confused as to which way leaned her sexuality, as well as why it had to lean at all. Apart from all that, she possessed a rather steady head. I, on the other hand, was overcome with aspirations to do wrong—to condemn, to ache, to fight, to kill, to be killed. Though not her, never her…
Her girlfriend was named Mallory. Her name was Isabel. Three syllables to dance along the tongue, a metronome used to denote my steps per breath: Iss—Ay—Bell (Inhale), Iss—Ay—Bell (Inhale), Iss—Ay—Bell (Inhale), Iss—Ay—Bell (Inhale)—
A burp of last night’s whiskey explodes from my throat to fuck up the rhythm, followed by a few shallow breaths.
* * *
12:56 am • 17 July 2014
A Bullet in Head
…Sadness, or something.
Drive home in a clean car. Watch the roads with tired eyes. Judge the folks with an angry mind.
Awake late to no alarm for the second time this week, the taste of Italian Crème cake on your breath from last night’s dinner.
“Are you okay? What’s wrong? Is it depression?”
Shut the fuck up.
Watch a construction worker waiting at a crosswalk with cigarette in hand with admiration. An impulse to arrive home, eat whatever food in the fridge is not mine, look up online: how to change one’s life for the better—
Delete for the better, and press enter.
An urge to fall to the floor and do push-ups. Gain muscles, adopt a new name, skip town and work on buildings in a foreign place for the rest of my life alone. Not so bad.
The girl you love is in trouble, deep mental trouble. Abandon her.
Re-watch a television show you’ve seen a trillion times before. Slap yourself in the face whenever you find yourself quoting lines aloud. Forget it, just fucking go to bed.
Wake up to a question: Are you still there? Shit, Netflix, I don’t even know anymore…
Go to work. Watch the clock. Count the minutes. Talk to all your fellow employees on the most superficial level: talk to them about work, and what it’s like to work right now—talk to the unschooled grill-man and when he says some shit you don’t understand, just reply: “Haha yeah…”
Piss off your girlfriend’s parents. Make them re-think ever turning a blind-eye to you sticking it to her.
Do something sweet to make it up to her. Envision it in your mind, all cheery and romantic. Execute the sweetness and find that reality once again does not live up to your or her expectations.
Look like a fool who isn’t trying hard enough, or look like one who is. Either way it’s the same.
Flood your ears with that signature tune, over and over, the song that makes you want to punch strange folks in the throat just for the fun. Get angry, get emotional, so that you can write some ambiguous mesh of words that amount to something about your dad being dead—
Get a new follower on Spotify and the sadness is gone. Inspiration is gone.
6:30 pm • 7 July 2014 • 1 note
During an open mic night reading at Jittery Joe’s: “Bitter Beans”
(hopefully a video to come)
12:15 pm • 29 June 2014 • 3 notes
Honey Moon / Closure
…Mother calls with some news. Bad news. Sits on living room floor with candy cane jigsaw puzzle. A gift from two Christmas prior. Light-hearted anecdote: Paula and Gary, Paula and Gary. Paula & Gary. A mosaic, she explains, as I walk around outside in my bare feet. Careful not to step on glass and sharp sticks, so many broken branches. Sensitive & Callous.
Mother’s got some bad news, she says. Mother hates being the bearer of bad news, she says. Mother doesn’t know how I’ll react to the news, but she’s here for me. Mother’s already told Daughter (sister) and she says its news she’s been expecting every day for over a year. Mother doesn’t know how to tell bad news so Mother just comes out and says it:
Dad is dead. John is dead. John Gordon Double-U is no more. He passed away last night in his sleep. Mother was nervous all day to tell me, she’s sorry she’s sorry. Confide in her, please. Tell her all that I feel. Aunt Lorrie told Mother this morning. Don’t be afraid to cry. Mother doesn’t know what I feel, but whatever it is don’t be afraid to feel it. Mother’s dad died when she was real young so she doesn’t really know what I’m going through—
‘But you liked your dad,’ I say.
‘I loved him…’ Mother says. I can’t relate.
‘Are you okay?’ Mother asks.
‘I feel nothing,’ I say. ‘My brain’s broken and my heart doesn’t work. I need a doctor.’
The subject changes and we talk for 30 more minutes about anything other than Dad being dead: work, therapy, jigsaw puzzles, relationships, love: proud of her children, proud of their mother.
The phone call comes to a close. I ask, ‘Oh, yeah… a funeral?’
‘As of right now, No,’ Mother says. ‘Before Dad died, he made a request to Diane to just be “cremated and done away with.” He didn’t want people at his funeral. Aunt Lorrie is having trouble deciding whether or not to fulfill his final wish. But I think you kids need some closure—’
Phone call ends. Don’t want time to think so I call Sister: no answer.
Walking barefoot inside my home to the bathroom. I stare in a mirror to see if I can recognize any of his features in mine. All I see staring back at me is a neurotic psychotic criminal.
All of my features are his, except for my lips—those are Mother’s.
My dry eyes are his.
My wide nose is his.
My inability to feel things adequately and make the right amount of chemicals in my head: all his.
There’s a full moon tonight, and they say it’s going to be the color of honey.
I tell myself I miss her because I know I should. I tell myself I miss him because I know I should but I don’t.
It’s going to be yellow…
9:09 pm • 13 June 2014
One Million, Two Hundred and One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Eighty Five Point Six Miles Per Hour
…What I have here sprawled out in front of me is an almost infinite number of jigsaw pieces, all sitting face up and spread out across my living room floor, each little piece revealing one more shred of some scenic end result: a completed picture, one made up of all those delicate little pieces fitting perfectly into place. The completed picture is displayed on the front of the box in pretty colours, excluding the dark lines that both separate and connect each individual piece. It’s a wholesome picture, appealing enough to give a box of some otherwise jumbled, meaningless fragments a sense of plan and purpose.
What I have here is a sad metaphor for my life and all its expectations: always possessing some bright future outlook of a beautiful, joyful, and cohesive existence, but only finding myself staring down at an impossible count of life’s cutting and misplaced opportunities—of delusions, and devotion, and an inherent urge to be evil. A repertoire of childhood nicknames surrounding different species of birds. I’ve no biological father, according to scientific reports. The only man I considered a true father figure put a bullet through his heart not too long ago. His name was Dr. Mercyhurst, and I loved him dearly. But now the entire world only remembers him as some fascist murderer of children, while I still sometimes find myself hugging and sniffing at his fleece coat he’d left on his last visit…
Here is one piece of the puzzle: The average speed at which a male human being’s soul will exit out of his body is one million, two hundred and one thousand, nine hundred and eighty five point six miles per hour.
In other words, what I have here is a big fucking mess.
And yet I still expect to one day find that all these little insignificant pieces that make up my existence have fallen perfectly into place to reveal the big picture, as if violently shaking the box could ever put together more pieces than an hour of dedication. A cohesive picture, worthy of an application of Elmer’s glue and situated in a white-border frame. Pretty enough to hang up centered on a living room wall—our living room wall, in a house to call our own. Composed of a kitchen for me to cook for you in, a dining room for us to dine in. A room with four walls, all dedicated to hold shelves for my books and a corner desk for a computer. We have a backyard with a garden to grow all our favorite spices, and a special tree with limbs to suspend a birdhouse from…
Three children, three picturesque children: a young girl, an older boy, an eldest girl. The children will beg us, politely, for things we cannot afford, like rescuing a dog or taking a trip to the city. And we’ll tell them every time, “now you know there’s no money for that…” While for Christmas that year we surprise them with a nine-week old pup dressed up in a red bow, shivering but waiting with serenity in our garage.
“Because we can afford it now,” I’ll promise, because it’s only going to be a few more days before Papa Bird writes that incredible story he’s been speaking on for so so long (you know the one). And from that day forward our family will finally be perched, sitting so financially pretty.
And you are there, Celeste: The children call you Mama Bird just like I used to call my own mother. You are there in this picture, and you’re smiling so wide and happy, practicing your sciences and forming a new legacy, saving all the good people left from going extinct. You’re doing all the things you’ve been speaking on for so so long—
And we are happy, Celeste. And you are proud of me, Celeste. And there’s no more reason to hide from the world. I can promise you that our life together is now something simple, my Celeste, because there’s no one left to remember that I was once the Son of God, and what a disappointment that was. And since nothing is expected, there’s no one to let down. Just you, and me, farthest from this place.
6:27 pm • 11 June 2014 • 1 note
…God is a pigeon, and I am a horror. These thoughts, these thoughts pervading… immoral thoughts, mean-spirited thoughts. Thoughts to make you stop and ask, “Is my mind really so unkind? What does that say about me?”
A horror it is, catching myself in situations and conversations of friendly response but man, those thoughts… They spread and speak in loud tongues from the background, a stranger cat-calling from a distance:
Hey you there, yes you! Look this way, baby, over here! I have something to say to you, and man is it something horrible. Go ahead and ignore me. I see you, and so I’ll only grow louder: HEY, HEY YOU!
Lauren: you beautiful spirit, taking your precious time to spell out the incredible story of this restaurant’s origin. Yes, a real-life story of young love and poverty and travels to Greece and success, against all odds. A beautiful story of real-life people living in this parallel time, told by a beautiful soul.
Oh Lauren, you beautiful soul, you! So polite and passionate and alive, you are… Good for you, I’m so proud of you. I’m even proud to have met you and to hear the way you tell your stories, wow, it’s an inspiration—Oh, but these thoughts… These thoughts that invade my head like a gush of dark water sprung up from the sewers, staining the white walls of my home. It’s breaking through every little crack, every little wear and tear on this 21 year-old house.
Dark water, dark water… You fucking freak, so Goddamned passionate about your idiot franchise. Don’t you see it’s always been about the money? The greenbacks that may line and solidify this story to go down in history? Don’t you understand this world is made up of a trillion similar stories, all with less attractive endings? Tragedies they are, but you don’t hear about them, no.
I’m listening to you now, for my head is nodding in perfect agreement and my petty chuckles are timed just right to keep you talking. Oh yes, this epic of love and triumph and Mediterranean food is of such delicious caliber, Lauren, please never stop talking! All while I dream haphazardly, involuntarily, of how lonely and pathetic your life must be… must have always been and always will be. Fuck your horrible restaurant, I hope it burns down right along with the rest of the world—
“I walked in on my father the other night in the living room,” she says, “and he’s sitting in his armchair watching that old cartoon with the coyote in the desert, what was that show… ah: Road Runner. So he’s watching Road Runner there in his armchair, just staring at the T.V screen. He’s not laughing, not even smirking. He’s not reacting at all. And suddenly I found myself hating him for it—for being so passive and being here, so content to let his entire life pass him by. I don’t ever want us to be like that. I don’t ever want to be like Road Runner.”
“Does it make you feel bad when you think like that?” I ask her, “You know, to think those things about your dad who’s perfectly happy to just sit there?”
She tells me No, it does not make her feel bad. And so that is another difference between us, since I can’t help but devour myself to death whenever I form opinions on a person who does not conduct their life according to how I see best fit. I can’t help but be overrun with such vile thoughts of feeling true hate for those folks who enjoy themselves in any other matter than intelligence and productivity. Judging those who rot in front of the television, rolling my eyes and shaking my head Tsk, Tsk… at the loud-mouthed kid from the pool who is so keen on announcing his debauchery and idiotic nights to all us surrounding strangers:
There we were: in the back of this limousine, and I’m trying to fit my piss stream into the opening of this empty champagne bottle. Drunk as all hell, I decide to give up and try to get a big laugh out of everybody, so I just let go—I just start pissing all over the leather of this guy’s backseat. What a night!
I felt prompted to drink more—not so much because the stranger’s talk was getting to me, but because I was allowing it to get to me. Who am I to care what he does, what he recites back to his girlfriend? Hell, she seems to be enjoying the story, laughing a big laugh between her cigarettes. What do these folks matter to me?
So I drank more, hunched over the poolside, my legs dipped into the water despite the new roar of thunder accompanying the clouds. I stared into the water, passed my suspended feet, allowing my eyes to fall upon the sunken reflection of the world above: an assortment of nebulous clouds shielding the bright rays of sun so that you could just make out its perfect, circular shape. I looked upon those clouds and sun buried below the water and thought to myself, Wow… a whole other world, just like this one here. I felt I could stand up and fall forward into the water, crashing through its thin fluid barrier that separated these two parallel worlds. I wondered whether my horrible self in this other place might not be so bad. If myself on the other side was content and happy where he was, and would never have such dreams to escape.
I felt pity for all the mosquitoes trying to get at my skin. Don’t they know there’s no blood to feed from a machine? No, but a little insect I am. Eat me up, God, for I am just a crumb, and you are a bird. You are a pigeon. Dio Piccione.
Since I was young and could think for myself, never once have I believed in God. Sometimes I wonder if it is an inherent lack of faith, or whether I’ve always just despised who I was, and thus could never find an urge to thank anyone for my existence. A burning bag of dog shit left on the world’s front porch I am. Why won’t someone just stomp me out?
Bad thoughts, mean thoughts again. I called my mother and asked her for relationship advice. She described Greg as the best thing that ever happened to her, followed by something about being proud of her kids. She tells me I need to learn to live more in the moment. I don’t need medication. I just need to learn to be appreciative. She offers to pay my parking ticket and I say, “O.K., fine…”
I walk back inside and am asked whether my girl and I had a fight. I answer back, “No.”
“Well, she was texting me last night drunk at 3 AM—says she wants to kill herself.”
You and me both, honey. But some distance will do us good. My mother says that in some relationships the husband and wife will take separate vacations by themselves. That there’s nothing really wrong with them, but that they simply need some time apart. But what does that say about us when I mutter something trite like, “you’re my other half” only to be followed by, “but we need some time apart.” We separate, then I’m just stuck with the other fraction of myself—the worst half. What a horror, what a shame.
Yesterday morning I found myself dressed up, helping place 64 sensors across the scalp of a schizophrenic patient, Trevor. Young, intelligent, socially awkward but rather eccentric. You beautiful man, Trevor, would you like to read my book? This procedure may take over an hour to set-up. You’re a good man, Trevor, I’m sorry we’re all here to watch over and stare at you… to make you feel like the subject number that you are… I would not have come today if I knew it’d make you feel so uneasy.
I can read it in your eyes that you do not like me. I know that’s why you won’t take my book and are afraid to look me in the eyes. It’s because you’re beautiful and I’m a horror and you’re not the crazy one: I am, and so is everyone else. It’s because you see my inner demons for what they are, blatant and open, while everyone else is so blind as to overlook my steel eyes and robotic habits, inside and out.
I’m really not this shy, I promise. I’m just a boring weird ass little fucktard with nothing of substance to say. An opportunity to speak up: You say you’re going abroad? But what about the money? What about the fright of not knowing what comes next? The unfamiliar setting, doesn’t that make you nervous? Oh, you’re so much more adventurous than me. Take many pictures and show me in your two-dimensional photographs what it’s like to travel. Since if it was up to me I would never leave this room, never look out my window at the pretty passers-by again.
I once waited until way past midnight before venturing out to the store to do my shopping, all in avoidance of having to see anyone at all. But self-checkout was closed because criminals and drunks come in at that time of night to steal food or buy their expensive vegetables, weighing them all out on the machine as bananas. The world is so untrusting, and it has every reason to be. I panicked. I couldn’t do it. So I up and left my basket of groceries right there in the aisle. Snuck away like a rat with its tail between its legs, hungry.
Thoughts, sexual thoughts. I lay upon my stomach, trying to keep my mind from running with scissors. It was 3 o’clock in the morning and I was hard. You were there, lying there next to me. I was well aware that you were trying to quietly masturbate. I could feel your pulse from beneath the sheets, and I enjoyed the thought of you touching yourself in the dark, so much so that I ran to the bathroom to do the same. And for what? Why were we so afraid to address the frustrations between us?
It was all done to prove a point: that this relationship is not built on having sex. We are two people, two human beings very capable of not touching one another. And it was both a lie and the truth at the same time.
This distance will do us well, I’m sure of it. But the real cure is to somehow distance myself from myself. Or to otherwise convince you that you’re under the same ridiculous spell as everyone else, save for Trevor. Talk to him. Let him tell you what a little rat I am. Talk to God. Let his answer of, “…Who?” tell you of how insignificant I am. Talk to the Devil. Let his answer of, “Yes! Him!” tell you of what a true demon I am.
A horror, a crumb, a rat, a burning bag. No pity, no understanding. Just rationale.
8:33 pm • 6 June 2014
I thought I’d get drunk &
write you something romantic,
but all I did instead was eat cookies &
use your toothbrush…
1:26 am • 6 June 2014 • 2 notes
…A hybrid dream of love, research, rice & potatoes.
Childhood alarm clock reads 1:38 AM.
Simultaneously wake-up—or maybe we’ve
both yet to fall asleep—
a dry dance of midnight tongues &
an alignment of congruent anatomy:
slide back & forth,
back & forth,
back & forth…
Few words followed by silence
followed by blurred steps to the bathroom.
Hovering above the toilet in
as white, fertile ectoplasm drips
from my end to float atop the
like a bunch of dead, defeated soldiers.
A fall back upon the bed,
she launches from off
the other end like a catapult.
Footsteps to the bathroom.
CLICK when the door locks, &
I wonder if she’s in there to do
the same as me—
I wonder at the possibility
for one of my strayed soldiers, perched
sticky upon the toilet seat,
to still hold enough strength
to up & penetrate
How funny that’d be, considering we both
agreed not to have sex tonight.
The clock reads 3:52 AM.
Hybrid dream. Hybrid dream.
Apathy as my future wife cries on
the front porch. I step aside
to watch a spider wrap up the wings
of a trapped bee.
Apathy. No feeling, nothing:
a past dream come true.
An unopened bottle of
three-dollar wine & a torturous
inner monologue by
Carrie Bradshaw on
the infinite conundrums of feeling
emotionally tied to someone by
some cosmic law, & yet
willing to forfeit it all when
she doesn’t offer to help
Our plates: half-empty or half-full?
An agreement is reached: my mind ain’t right.
Racing thoughts, continuous,
then all at once: a fifty-two car pile up.
A hybrid dream: to be in just one
of those fifty-two cars…
A pinky promise to see a therapist,
I swear. I promise.
Medication, I’ll go back on medication.
At least then I had an excuse for
feeling so little.
And when our future kids ask me
if it was easy to love mommy I’ll tell them,
"yes, yes, the easiest thing in the world."
Invaded by horrible thoughts:
Another man’s mouth on hers.
Another man’s arm around her.
A spider devouring a bee.
One less car in the driveway.
A more spacious bed space.
Another man inside her…
No more dried contacts sitting
on top my desk
in the morning.
A loss of a best friend—an only friend.
one green one pink,
dancing among my bathroom slime:
Apathy, yet depression.
No more mascara staining my sheets.
No more hope for a normal life
with someone equally damaged—
two unstable mentalities
evening each other out.
Horror, a horror. A lack of adequate time.
Dress shirts & paychecks & good grades
but nothing real.
“I’m so sorry,” I say.
“It’s O.K.” she says.
“No, it’s not,” I say.
“I know it’s not,” she says, “but I thought it might
make you feel better
for me to say it was.”
“I’m so sorry,” I say.
“Stay the night,” I say.
“Stay the rest of my life,” I say.
“I’m a horrible dog. A dog dog dog dog—“ I beg.
I beg. I beg. I beg. I beg. I beg.
Clock reads 9:03 AM.
9:27 am • 5 June 2014 • 2 notes
Ambiguous, Meaningless, With Something About Love In-Between
“…My girl’s got blonde hair,” I tell Bo. “The blondest hair. Almost white, it’s beautiful.”
“You don’t say,” says Bo. “How long ya’ll been together?”
“About coming up on four months,” I tell him.
“You told her you loved her yet?” he asks.
“Oh man, really?” He lets out a light-hearted whistle, wheewww. “That’s a bit quick to tell a girl you love ‘er, don’t you think?”
“Yeah, sort of,” I say, “But I know what I know, and I know what I feel, and there’s no real denying it.”
He shoots me a smile, almost like a father might.
“Well, jeez kid. That sure as hell wasn’t me at 21, but that’s good on you. Not going around wasting no girl’s time.”
There’s what looks like a Waffle House cook standing by a fence outside my house, calloused hands dug deep into pressed, black khaki pants. He’s out here waiting.
I’m out here after a short-lived, though tiresome shift. I’m pondering this compulsion to feel misery. This pressure to be clever and invent problems. This urge to let things go just for the sake of chasing them back, a love for the struggle. I’m pondering why I must make everyone around me feel just as miserable as myself. No, really. I can’t tell whether it’s loneliness or boredom, but “boredom” was what struck off that argument this morning with my blondest-haired girl:
“You told me I get to ask you this twice a day,” she says to me, “and so here’s number one: How are you feeling?”
I let out both a sigh and a laugh.
“—And be honest,” she adds, “because I can tell something’s wrong with you.”
My blondest girl has become quite in-tune with the vibes I give off, and it was the truth: something was wrong with me.
I tell her that we’ve grown stale. I tell her our conversations seem empty. I say we’ve become boring… that we’ve become bored. We’ve grown into an old-aged couple that flicks at their peas over dinner and discusses prospects of future recipes with different measurements of ingredients: “more or less curry powder,” just like my parents discuss.
My parents are happy together. They’re content to rot in front of the television for all of eternity, just as long as they can peer over at one another during commercial breaks and share in a smile. They’re satisfied with nothing more than to exist in each other’s presence, and that’s both a beautiful and shameful thing. Beautiful because it seems impossible. Shameful because it’s a vapid, two-dimensional existence in the eyes of neighbors and when asked the terrifying question “what’d you two do this weekend?” what the hell can you even say?
That’s one problem to invent: to worry on other’s perceptions of us as two folks bonded as one “us,” as one “them.” How are we seen in public? Do we seem like fun? Do we appear to make each other happy? Are we a joy to be around, or do we drain the energy of the room like a vacuum in space? How’s the sex, and how long does it last?
I got a job so I could better take on the role as a breadwinner. I was sick of shopping at low-class grocery stores. Sick of making up lies that I hated the taste of tortellini, all because the price was so much more than spaghetti or penne. Sick of buying three-dollar bottles of wine to get drunk with, to have sex under the influence, to wrap used condoms up in cheap one-ply toilet paper.
I was poor and she meant everything. I wanted to buy her nice things and leave them hidden in places like her underwear drawer. I wanted to drive to her house and show up spontaneously without the daunting thoughts of gas prices. So I got a job to provide. I became a research assistant to impress. But now I’ve got no more time to give to us, no energy left to give to the thought of what to do to cheer her up or keep us busy:
Entertain, or be entertained, always is the motto. A horrible one.
To have her over at my house is both a blessing and a job. I take on the role of a host. She expects nothing of me and I know it. But I expect everything from us, since it’s my reasoning to do anything anymore. Without this motive, I might otherwise forfeit it all and remain a restaurant cook for the rest of my life. I might just live alone and eat red meat and subscribe to pornography and read Bukowski and not ever be told to not take his word or life or myself so seriously. I might just be a more horrible human being.
I drove home from a short-lived yet tiresome work shift and immediately missed her… counting the hours since we parted ways and made sure to give each other adequate space. Three hours. Too many days spent together for every free moment will take a toll on any relationship, even the ones where the two folks told each other they loved one another in less than a week of meeting.
One hour later I would be picking out two beers from the fridge, handing one to a friend and describing my sentiments as “over-saturated.” That’s the feeling: a whole lot of contrast. I don’t understand ‘em—these sudden waves of inspiration to ruin it all, toss everything good against the wind, and to seek the otherwise amusing opportunity to pick up the pieces of my scattered mind. It appears to happen once a month: everything falls to shit a propos of nothing. I just enjoy the melodrama of realizing I still hold the capacity to ruin things if I feel the need. It makes me still feel in control.
Once a month it happens, which is why it’s been given the controversial name as my “mental menstruation.” I’m shedding blood and hormones from behind my eyes, and it causes a whole mess of trouble for everyone who is stupid enough to get involved, which is why she get’s the most bloody of run-offs. Tears and blood and sweat and salt. It’s because she’s stupid enough to get involved. She’s empathetic enough to understand what I’m going through, and still demand that she be there to help. It’s a lost cause from the start, you better bet she knows it. But she’s there for me, still… to kiss at my lips and massage my limbs and instruct me on what I should do next to make me feel better:
Meditate, eat ice cream, write, shower or nap.
It’s a lovely existence, and yet I’m so stuck in discontent. Sometimes I think what I need is a more simple life—to rid myself of this urge to one day change this world I both simultaneously hate and love to stomach sickness.
There was an analogy that came about yesterday:
We sit upon a rock precipice overlooking a small, rushing stream. We talk and laugh and douse our tongues in shared saliva. An ant comes crawling up my arm. I hold my arm outstretched above the water, and scream “AHHHHH!” as I flick the ant from off my body to its cold, drowning death below.
A few minutes later another ant comes by and I do the same: “AHHHHH!”
We talk and laugh and kiss some more. A few minutes pass, and there comes another ant crawling across a stick in front of me… and for some reason I feel compassion towards this one in particular. So I pick it off and place it safely upon the rock before tossing the stick into the water. The analogy was something as myself as an arbitrary God: spiting some while saving others for no real reason at all. For there was the ant that I’d saved—running off to speak of my legacy with the other ants, and how it now owed its life to my kindness and care. So another ant comes over to pay tribute, and there he goes: “AHHHHH!” right below to his meaningless death.
My mother posts a Facebook status about being at a Joe’s Crab Shack in Jacksonville and that’s it for this writing. It serves as a necessary distraction from what’s really going on, and so it serves me right.
The writing ends abruptly—ambiguous, meaningless, with something about love in-between. An analogy for life in general.
6:39 pm • 1 June 2014 • 2 notes
The Green Lamp That’s In All The Movies
…The memory of when I’d first fallen in love with you is a vivid one, deeply engraved into my cerebral tissue as if a fiery hot iron had been pushed sizzling into my wild and bullied brain, branded Yours, Truly.
It was the first day we’d officially met outside the setting of a drunken, stinking bar. You’d entered my bedroom, of which been cleaned in anticipation of your potential arrival, wherever our first meeting downtown might lead. I watched as your eyes scanned across the room and assessed my enigmatic persona: a junky bookshelf stocked with novels and dvds, a painting easel and canvas placed strategically in one corner, two cardboard boxes filled with old records in another, and a much-too sophisticated computer desk sitting across from a made-up bed. For all you knew about me, that desk had been chosen not for its productive prospects, but rather only its waist-level height, perfect for the placement of a Kleenex to dispose semen into while viewing horrible pornography on my double monitor, and a follow-up Kleenex for the guilty tears to come.
Yes, knowing as little as you did about me, I imagine it was still difficult to guess as to whether or not I was as truly insane as I’d made myself out to be, or if I was just full of hot air—a whole lot of talk of angst and murder but no blood in the groin; nothing more than a loud talker on Tumblr who might verbally assault a stranger following a drunken, sorry excuse for conversation, but didn’t possess the stones to toss them at another when it felt necessary. (You’d gradually come to learn how passive aggressive I truly am, through both observation and experience.) But Hell, could you believe it? I was still given the time of day, which was at this time sometime around noon. What a relief, what a relief…
Pacing around my room, wondering whether it’d be either nonchalant or creepy of me to kickback and lay down upon my bed, I made it a point to impress you at that moment by breaking out a secret weapon of seduction: my scratched-up record of Roy Orbison’s Greatest Hits. For I felt that I, too, had to show you that I also knew of a few talented, underappreciated musicians (after having been introduced to your love of Jens Lekman). And as Roy broke out into his croon, “Crying… / Crying… / Cryyyyyyying!—” it was at this moment, this glorious glorious moment, that you turned to me and said those incredible words that had me first falling in love with you. What you said was this:
“Hey, cool. You have the green lamp that’s in all the movies.”
And it was here that my heart stopped, and I called out to you in a rush of blood, “Yes! Yes! You know the lamp!” And you told me that of course you did, that your father had this very same lamp in his office.
And it was here that I felt that I’d finally found someone who understood me and all my dumb, subtle humor—someone that acknowledged the world through the same strange, contradictory eyes of remarkable monotony, of both revulsion and appreciation for all that existed, from schizophrenics to groceries to oil paintings to green lamps in all the movies…
I don’t know why I felt this way and had assumed so much about who you were, but it all felt so true. And it was here, at this exact moment in time, that I committed myself to all that you were then, and whoever you were to become. I wished to exist nowhere but beside you in time. To never shut my eyes for too long in your presence, out of fear that I might miss such a phenomena as witnessing perfection grow more perfect—an impossibility, as if watching God learn how to ride a bike.
But there you were, and there you are, growing more and more impeccable by the second. And it’s never been boring to take part in your growth, for I can’t help but imagine that it is just my drooling and overshadowing persona that is somehow aiding in your progress. It’s a damn shame to think it could’ve gone any other way—that in some parallel universe there might still exist a Stephen without his Abbey… a Stephen that has never known a feeling such as this… a Stephen with a bashfulness to admitting that it may very well could’ve been him with a gun driving through Santa Barbra in a panic brought on by perpetual loneliness—
What a horrible thing to say, but God be damned if it isn’t the truth. You came into my life at such a pivotal moment in time that it’d be an injustice to ever consider your appearance as merely some well-timed coincidence. For something horrible could’ve happened—if not to others than certainly myself—and it would’ve been okay to just up and die. But now I find myself possessed with such dreadful dreams of what a horror it’ll be in eighty years for one of us to pass on without the other.
Yes, I will be so bold as to hope that we will still be together after all those years. That we will have two children who paint Easter eggs and chase each other beneath the pretty birdhouses that hang from the oak trees in our backyard where our third in a series of black Corgi’s named “Spider” is too afraid to play outside and would rather just lay and be equally lazy on our decrepit laps. I hope then to still press my mouth as passionately as I do now to those impeccable lips, and to still whisper warnings to you before bed: “I’m so in love with you right now that I might just vomit—”
Since there is no other woman in the world that would come across the rotting corpse of a possum, pick off a bone from its spine, and be so ineffably taken aback that, “Can you believe that this right here used to be a functioning part of a real life being!?…”
I thought we might cry together right then and there, we were so incredibly moved. And I don’t think the roommates will ever understand when I confide in them the frustrations I feel after our occasional fight and misunderstandings. Like how on Thursday night I’d lost all contact with you after you’d drunkenly fallen into a fountain at 2 AM and hadn’t thought to come home to me after the bars had closed, so that I’d stayed up driving through the city until four o’clock with your sister sitting on my doorstep, pondering whether it was still too early to call you in to the police as a missing person…
And you cried and cried and cried that night, pleading that you’d be willing to crawl naked and lay in the cramped space beneath my desk—to never take another sip of alcohol for all of eternity if it’d make me feel at ease—to do anything, anything! in the world for me because you love me so. But when asked to simply strip off your wet clothes and surrender the night by lying in bed next to me, you refused to do so because you had the sneaking suspicion that this was it—we were done. That your drunken negligence and childish antics had finally become too much for me, and that we as an entity was over…
But I think the hardest thing for some folks to understand is what true love entails. For when I tell you “I love you,” what I really mean to say is: “I adore your simultaneous existence alone, over everyone I’ve ever known, and as far as I can tell, over everyone else I’ll ever come to know.”
This feeling is not something that one just tosses to the side after one, two… sixty-five hundred misunderstandings. This statement of love for who you are and what it means for you to exist beside me in time is not a shallow one mentioned when the timing seems right, or when the setting seems nice. It is not something to say in bed after sex because it sounds right. No, but rather this statement of “I love you” that I find myself saying well-over twenty times a day is supposed to serve as a constant reminder that you mean everything to me, and that you give me reason to live. In a mindset as once miserable as my own, and in an existence that I once found to be nearly unbearable upon waking up every single morning, it means so much more when I say that I love you: It signifies that you feeling even the least bit of respect and/or admiration for my being is enough for me to not only say “I love you” to you, but “I love you” to my horrid self… and that is enough reason to continue on.
This is a thank you for existing. This is a thank you for keeping me alive. You are the reason why a once suicidal boy is now terrified to die.
With all of my strange existence: I love you, Candy Bear Chandelier.
1:18 am • 26 May 2014 • 1 note
Through the Cold Divide
…Before a plumber had come and pulled up that hairy beast from the drain, there used to be stagnant water that would sit in my bathtub for three, sometimes four days before draining itself. The water would just sit there, growing icy cold, as it painted a murky layer of mildew along the tub’s porcelain walls.
I would bathe myself whenever I felt the stress was becoming too much, which was typically a day-to-day mentality. Sometimes the water in the tub would prompt me to neglect my hygiene—to let my body hair grow heavy with grease until the water had drained away, so that there was a few times when I would feel stressed and approach the tub only to have my eyes fall on that murky juice with its floating bits of mold, and I would have to walk away and relieve my stress in other ways—either through violent outbursts or masturbation, but never both.
There were a few times when the stress had become too much to forego, and I would step slowly into that darkened filth with the anxious, uncomfortable feeling of a hypochondriac walking into the shallows of a radioactive lake. And when I ran my shampooed fingers through my oily curls the immense feelings of stress would prompt my hands to return to me, wrapped up like two brown mummies in fettered strands of hair. Sometimes it was enough hair to convince me that when I would inevitably stare through that fogged mirror for minutes-upon-hours at my dripping wet self, the reflection staring back at me would show a glistening, bloody bald spot right atop my forehead.
It never did show me bald, but always something equally hideous.
Once or twice per month I would wash my dog in that bathtub—again having to wait for the water to drain—so that I might shower on a Tuesday, bathe her on Friday, and have to wait to shower until the following Tuesday. By then the bathtub would be coated in layers of dog hair, black mold, urine, the occasional sticky jizz of a quick session in the shower, and my ripped-out hair.
So layered in species’ filth, the bathtub had begun to appear smaller, taking less water to fill up. You could cut away a cube of the grime from the walls and examine the layers carefully to reveal a timeline of the stress I’d been feeling at particular points in time, the same way an archaeologist might examine layers of fossilized rock to reveal some of its evolutionary history. The only difference, though, was that I was not evolving, but rather the exact opposite—I was moving back in time, back into the carnal, primitive beast of my ancestors.
Through examining this timeline, one might come to notice that after a while there was no longer evidence of a dog’s fur but only the wretched fur of my own. That is because I had rid her from my life after an outburst of mine that I have never (and will never) forgive myself for. The dog that I claimed to have saved me from a very dark time… the dog I would incessantly snap photographs of… the dog I had spent thousands of dollars on, hundreds of hours kissing and holding and bottle-feeding and raising from a four-week old pup—
What had happened was this: My dog had a horrible habit of barking when someone came to the door, and I fucking hated that more than anything. It was a real mess of noise that I could no longer stand. And so one day, feeling at my utter wit’s end, I went to take a shower and discovered the bathtub was still filled to an ice-cold brim. So I walked back to my room feeling somewhat defeated, but resolved that masturbation and a short nap might just be the cure.
After I had thrown the semen into the trashcan, I lay down in bed with my dog to fall asleep. There came a loud knock on the door from a mailman delivering a package followed by a sudden burst from the bitch right in my goddamned sleepy ear… and so I grabbed her by the waist and squeezed her as hard as I could. There then came the most painful squeal I’ve ever heard in my life, but I just kept squeezing at her, pulling at her fur, until a smell of noxious gas permeated the room—an explosion from her anal sac, the skunk stench of a primitive defense mechanism. I finally let her go to discover a small turd and a dark juice on my pillowcase…
I was not mad with her, but only myself. For I was the filth of life, and there was nothing else to blame. I was the source of my own unhappiness and now hers too. I was not, could not, be mad. So I let her go for good. I gave her up to a stranger I’d found on craigslist—some fat, backwards hick that held the retarded look of a woman who could’ve very well been picking her up to use as dog meat for dinner later on. But I did not care. I imagined every other fate was better for her than to be with me for one more eternal second. I had hurt her, an innocent creature. I was pure evil. A filthy, unforgivable beast.
Two days later I would approach the bathtub, a fleshy lump of sweat and grease. I would see that the water had still not drained, but had only grown more cold and stagnant than ever before. The drain had met its quota of sludge and hair. A plumber would have to be called. But I needed to rid myself of this disgusting, filthy feeling that is my existence, and so I sucked up what little pride and preference I had and plunged my grubby feet through the cold divide.
I turned the faucet on, ran my shampooed fingers along my body and hair, knowing full and well I would never truly feel clean again.
1:14 pm • 18 May 2014 • 1 note