I can write okay, except when I can’t.
I haven’t seen another person aside from my partner in almost two months, which feels a little crazy making.
Some days, I write all day, look back at the pages, and still feel like I got nothing done. Some days I stare at a blank journal.
Sometimes making lists helps.
5/1/20 (Late at night)
Crossing the Los Angeles County line (Any time of year, or day)
Avi’s cassette copy of the first Motley Crue record, played loud, while Crossing the Los Angeles County line.
Jacob, talking about The Cure
Luna, in the passenger seat
Gas Pump Graveyard (Gone)
That one Secret Spot under the 6th Avenue Bridge in Denver (Also Gone)
Friends in general
Malibu, with Pocket
That Malibu Taco spot, with Pocket
In My Head:
Summer of 2013
Seven years bad luck (are they related?)
The end of the world
That time C and I were in the desert, and Hope got her little face in a cactus and we had to pull the barbs out with my Leatherman and Hope was such a trooper about it
How I should call C
Worrying about Hope on the stairs
Dirty’s weird toenail in my bedside drawer, next to the dildos.
Anxiety Anxiety Anxiety!
Shaving my head again
How stubble feels on my face now
As opposed to 7-8 years ago
It’s pretty okay actually
And I can deal
I don’t hate being man adjacent
The way I used to
I exist in a body
And turns out, I like it just fine
The world still
Freaks me right
The fuck out
Especially these days
I don’t leave my house enough
I guess I haven’t had a lot
Of Say in that lately
The Rust Belt
I had a dream last night
About my best friend
How maybe I should write
The two of us another story
This one will be fiction too
I want to write us something new
A story about our lives
With all the tragedy excised
We have both
Had enough of all that.
Drunk, but not too drunk
Just marveling at
The taste of alcohol on my tongue
After five years of
World crushing panic
Every time I tipped a bottle back
Lying in bed
With candles lit
My last great love’s
Scent lingers on the pillow
Long after the echo
Of their laughter
Exited the room
Like cigarette smoke
Of toil dragging a body down
Taste the weight of age
Gravity gripping my face
Fear the grave
Lick my lips
Taste a long kiss goodnight
With all the beauty and bitterness
Of mortality on my lips, still
I had the dream again last night. Similar variation to the one I have been having on and off for five long years now.
My life’s greatest heartbreak and I. Someplace warm and safe. We forget just how fucking mad we were at each other. We forget all the petty bullshit. We remember the love we shared, and let go. We don’t try and start over. We don’t try and repeat toxic patterns. We just lovingly let go.
The other night Relic and I were talking about our belief in ghosts, how maybe the places that were significant for us hold our imprints and this is what ghosts are. My first thought was “Holy fuck, my sprit better not go back to Grail Street.” Because Grail Street was significant, but goddamn was it miserable. Nothing says “healthy life choices” like destroying one another and then continuing to be neighbors, too stubborn to give up cheap rent; coughing up black mold and haunted by strangers with familiar faces for a full year. I hope they don’t go back there when they’re gone either. I used to sit in my room, beneath the sound of furtive footsteps I knew too well and write stories that I never had the nerve to publish about what I hoped our specters would say to one another if they were to linger on the steps or behind the walls of Grail Street too long. When I was finally done being mad, I’d tell myself:
“Maybe we’ll work it out next time around.”
Gods, I’ve been fucked up and sagging under the weight of depression for days but I love being alive right now. I love it harder than I’ve ever loved anything or anyone in the world, because it’s the one thing I can count on. I thank every heartbreak for never breaking me, but giving me the opportunity to reconstitute myself into a different form. I thank the heartbreak for bringing out the absolute worst in me so I can learn to never be that person again.
Once upon a time we were fucked up kids who saw the best in one another. We were the loving reflections offered to haunted and straining eyes when the mirror was too painful to behold. I’ll never not be thankful for that. There are nights where I wish we could just see the best of what we’ve become. I never quite know how to reconcile that feeling. The knowing outgrowing connections is okay, and sometimes painfully (agonizingly) necessary, but you still wish you could visit every now and then. Just because whatever, five years on you are so over whatever the fuck it was you were pissed about and you can see how thoroughly someone coming up at the right place and right time fundamentally changes you forever. You want people to know that they had a profound effect on you, even when they’re gone and you’re reflecting on a dead connection.
So if we meet when we’re ghosts:
I’d say in all the years that went by, I never forgot:
How much I love your awkward teeth.
And the sound of your laugh.
I still can’t refrain from breaking into a grin when I tell the story of your icy stare freezing a confused nurse while I pathetically laid on the waiting room floor.
I’d say I finally learned how to stop hating myself.
I’d say how sorry I was for my lack of patience; for not letting you grow.
Seeing the best in you was never an excuse.
I’d say whisper how sorry I am for letting you down.
For not knowing how to let my anger calm.
For holding on so tight that it stifled us both.
I hope you are warm and well, and that your demons finally laid down to rest.
I hope your body and spirit are hale and whole.
A dream of you this morning
Three years on
Pressed against the wall
All filthy and tender
We were never
Going to be anything like
The love of one another’s lives
Or grow old together
And that’s just fine
Because we both have known
That kind of love
Shakes you to your core
Pulls you out of your skin
To dance in your bones
The kind of love that
Will not let you settle for anything
Gets you fucking moving
And this, this just is.
An exercise in anything goes
An exercise in escaping emptiness
From one moment to the next
Running circular furrows in
All the same well tread paths
Until boots burn holes in our maps
In the afterglow
Beneath the flickering lights
Whisper your secret fears
Of the fire next time
Written into your genetic code
Whatever horror this world holds
You feel it coming for us
In your root of your soul
So here we are
All fucked up
Against the wall
In love and war
All at once now
But never in love.
February so far:
Crushing, inexorable anxiety at the state of the world.
Writing poems, that I think are okay like:
Drawing a blank
In this long
Waves of fear crash and roll
From shore to shore
Against the walls
That surround this sleepless and vulnerable Body
Turns out the flags aren’t as dead
At the tops of their poles
As we had hoped
Back when we were young
Now you get this sinking feeling
Deep in your bones
Cold as cold as cold
That the flags are glaring
Baring teeth, awake
And hungry for blood
Just like they were all along
Consuming the young and the old
The sick and the poor
Low men, with plunder in their eyes
Teeth like knives
Grinding down lives
Gazing from gilded towers
Satisfied with the reckoning
We have wrought
As all hell and war
Comes knocking on every door.
Trying to finish this fucking zine I started in November.
Casting remnants of toxic connections into the sound.
Giving thanks to the light stretching longer into the days.
Torrid pre-apocalypse romances.
Making plans that involve long term survival.
Doing my best to use my creative energy in spite of the world, even when it feels completely futile.
Feeling safe in my skin, despite the world.
Thinking about how if it’s the end of the world, so much of these hard feelings aren’t worth holding onto.