hold on

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Just a little longer he told me. It’s just the beginning. I looked him straight in his beady eyes and cursed him. Except I didn’t. Because I’m weak.

He knew he was a liar. A terrible one at that. He only wanted what was convenient. I would never give him all of me. There was only so much I could take. I wouldn’t tell him though. I would make him think he had all of me and then I’d rip it right away from him at the right time.

That was easier said than done. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and then months into, god, yes, years. I’ve started to lose hope. Is this what love is? What has kept me this whole time?

And just like that, I remembered.

It was fucking convenience. That awful word I loathed in the beginning became everything I believed today.

This harsh reality would be my fate. It didn’t have to be I told myself, but I didn’t believe me.

I’ll talk to him today. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  But, after we watch Netflix. 

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You don’t have to.

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There is a desire to reinvent the wheel. To create what hasn’t been crafted. I’m clinging to the hope that my words will flow and that my heart will be content with what I come up with.

The reality is I’m my worst critic.

The keys sometimes don’t click the way I want them to. I keep going because if I don’t, I won’t realize the endless potential I possess. I’m hopelessly surrendering to the process. I’m going to bleed, sweat, curse, and stare at this screen until I satisfy a thirst.

The man woke up and scratched at his beard. He leaned over and kissed his wife softly on the top of her head that was peeking out from their dark green comforter. She didn’t stir. He wished he could freeze time and watch his wife sleep. There was something comforting about this moment. He felt a twinge of pain in his inside, he tried to stop the thought but it came on fiercely. She will love another when I’m gone. It’s not fair that my days are numbered. He felt something cold and wet fall down his face. He brushed it away with his calloused hands and grabbed the pill bottle next to his side of the bed. He took the pills and got ready for his day. His first cup of coffee went down smoothly. His second he could not finish. He felt nauseous. He threw up before he left for work.

At work, people stared at him. They didn’t know what to say. He smiled feebly and mouthed he was okay. Work made him feel normal. He was told numerous times that he didn’t have to work. He was stubborn. His wife told him so. She loved him and let him have this decision.

He ran his hands over the lumber they received in the new shipment. He took a few minutes to ponder the newness and the potential the wood had. It pained him. At lunch he barely ate his sandwich.

He made it through the rest of the day but with multiple trips to the bathroom. His wife received him with open arms when he came home. She took care of him and he told her he could do it. She just had to look at him. He smiled.

He told her before bed he was humbled by the life he had lived. He expressed he’d been fortunate to know love like theirs. He made love to her like it was their first time all over again. She cried and they held each other until the morning.

He didn’t wake up that next day.

She thought to herself: I’ll never love another.

 

The day isn’t in the past, or is it?

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There was a moment I knew myself and knew exactly what I wanted. Then I grew up and became an adult and now I hit the snooze button 5x at least before I stir and rouse from my slumber.

Past tense language is so comfortable. I’m pretty sure I’m a zombie. You ever wake up and wonder if you’re actually alive?

Watch the OA.

I’m going to start writing. I really wanted to say again. Whoops. Will you join me?

don’t forget

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You don’t have to believe me.

I walked straight over to her house. I was defeated. She held me close, but let me go. We smoked an ounce and knew we’d never talk about it again.

She drew circles on my arm and then I left. At home I stared at the ceiling for hours. She called around 1am and asked me to come back over.

Reluctantly, I went over.

She pressured me about medication and I just sighed. She told me she couldn’t understand.

I told her she didn’t have to. I got dressed.

I drove around until the sun came up. She called a few times. I never answered.

The crippling darkness flooded me, and I succumbed to it.

No pill would fix it.

new year

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I refuse this New Year. This comforter will hold me in place. These books will bind me to this wretched house and I will never acknowledge this New Year.

A few more nips of this whiskey and it’ll all be black again.

“Wake up, the kids need their diapers changed and you have to start writing. We’ve got bills to pay.”

She’s back. The evil nightmare I fear every morning. My partner.

 

Just a knot

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As I headed out the door today I stopped and paused a second. I thought about the way I kissed her and hoped it was with some intention. I want her to wake up and have me be the first thought she thinks.

And when she’s thinking about me, I’m going to be distant from her. She’ll text me because she’ll miss me. I’ll not respond. She’ll wonder what’s going through my mind. Naturally, she’ll text again, and again. Then, she’ll call. I’ll pick up on the third ring and tell her I’ll have to call her back because “work’s a little hectic right now.” What she doesn’t know is I’m planning a surprise for her. Before she can respond to my rushed tone I’ve already hung up. No “I love yous” uttered. Just a dial tone. Don’t worry, I’ll text her in 20 and say I’m sorry and that I’ll make it up to her. She’ll eat that right up.

It’s midnight and she’s just had her fourth glass of red wine. She’s pissed and she should be. I told her I went out with “the guys.” I don’t blame her. Not one bit. She heads to bed and I slide my key in and turn the lock slowly and without much sound.

I tiptoe up the steps and can’t help but feel the nervous energy coursing through my veins. She’d told me she wanted this a long, long time ago. She’s going to flip out that I actually remembered. Thank God she’s a heavy sleeper.

When she’s all tied up and her mouth is sealed, I take off all my clothes. I put on my Bane outfit. I even got a hold of a fake replica mask that he wears in Batman. I turn on the lights and jump on the bed and begin to choke her.

Her eyes do the screaming for her. She violently tries to break free. It takes her seconds, maybe a minute (I’m guessing the alcohol doesn’t help) to realize I’m not Bane. I remove the tape from her mouth and she gasps. I stare at her, waiting for her.

Then it happens. Her frightened and angered face changes. She smirks and remembers.

And then she plays her part. Enthusiastically.

the deafening sound

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“I want out.”
He couldn’t hear her. All he heard was the sound of clinking beer glasses and bad karaoke and a couple beside them making out.
He was looking at her, but through her as if she didn’t truly exist in this place. He knew if he held out long enough the moment would pass and they would be fine. She loved this bar.
“I don’t know what I was thinking bringing you here to do this kinda thing. I just, I don’t know Luke. Things just haven’t been the same since the other night. I mean with everything-”
He was missing something. If he could just think of it he could solve this and they could still have the house, the yard, the big car, and 401K plan.
“and I just think this is what I-uh-we need.”
Did he leave the seat up? Was that it? He had reached the far recesses of his mind and came up with. Absolutely. Nothing.
She placed a hand gently on his stubbled cheek.
“I need to smoke.”
So he went outside with her and after a few drags of her cigarette, she left him. Alone.

tomorrow and today and next Tuesday

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I sip my coffee, hoping for a different day. But, that’s not what I get. I get this Tuesday and an another day of nagging work to come. I adjust my tie and wipe at the toothpaste I’ve smudged on it. My clock is mocking me as the ticking grows louder and louder until I’m pretty sure I can hear nothing else.
When you’re alone, nothing seems as meaningful as the sound of a clock. Rather incessantly it drones on and on begging for more of your attention. Today, I’m not having it. I’m going to break that clock. I reach up and grab the circular, metallic time piece and aggressively pull it down. A nail lingers. It’s a reminder and it has to go too. It doesn’t come out so easily, especially with these 21st Century hands. After the struggle, the nail and the clock both stare at me from my ottomon where I’ve placed them both.
I swallow the last drop of my coffee and feel my heart pumping faster. My eyes dart back to the wall and I realize there is now a small, yet noticeable sized hole, where I removed the time tracker. It demands to be seen. It will tell a story. A story I’m not prepared to explain.
Overwhelmed with anxiety and adrenaline, I impulsively head into my garage and pick through my small assortment of tools I’ve gathered over the last few years of my deplorable adulthood. My hands tremble as I clench a small sledgehammer my father handed down to me. A rusty old thing, but sturdy and experienced.
Before I know it I’ve smashed time and my innocent wall. The nail is nowhere to be found.
Bits of drywall, dust and debris cling to my hair, face and clothes.
I feel relieved but horrified, knowing these two emotions can not coexist.

I call in to work and request FMLA forms.

the twist of truth

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The crowd anticipates the performance like unwrapping a gift. I’m just trying to blend in and get enough of a contact buzz to endure this night. Twice, I told her I wanted to leave. I hate crowds and loud noises. She promised it wouldn’t be “that big a deal.” Right.

She’s off dancing with her friends and I’m pretty sure Luke isn’t as gay as I thought.

Someone bumps into me. I turn and see it’s an old ex-girlfriend. She smiles thinly and then embraces me. No sense in resisting because I can’t move even if I wanted to.

Luke’s tongue’s down my girlfriend’s throat. Definitely not gay.

My ex-girlfriend whispers something in my ear and then places a hand down my pants.

This isn’t reality but it’s what I like to picture when I’m getting screwed over.

American candy

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I listen. Because I have to. I wait for a chance to speak but it doesn’t come. Silence. It’s as if I don’t have a voice anymore. My thoughts are scattered as death lingers like an old friend. Except, I have no friends. But ole death, he’s near. Always is.

I want to take up cigarettes; not to be cool. But to deal, cope, curb my emotional appetite. I’m so careful, too careful to really unleash the real stuff swirling around inside my wrecked mind. I’m not you, or him or her or the normal. Maybe I’m just wasted. Space, or not enough action. Who knows. I do, but I fucking don’t. Trust me when I say I want the medication to alleviate the symptoms I experience on a daily basis but I’m scared shitless that I’ll change and won’t be the same; the wild, young cub, untamed and unphased by the world. In which we try to assimilate to. I’m an old soul or I think I am. I’m not really, I’m vulgar I’m sick I’m unwell. Treat me doctor, please. Fix me so I won’t feel this way.

The cure is miles away in a land before time. I’m not crazy, I’m just fed up. Seek and ye shall find. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Forget it. I’m breathing for now. I’ll be back tomorrow. Death and I have a few more neurotic rounds still to go. Save me a seat. Or don’t. I’ll eat the American dream in the meantime.

a man, a janitor, and a tooth that could change the man.

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He raps lightly on my door and I don’t want to answer, but I do.
“Come in.”
He comes in with that yellow stained tooth glaring right at me. He greets me. I divert my attention from his tooth to his extra stomach fat that is falling out the bottom of his highlighter green shirt and rolling over his pants. I wince, but not long enough for him to see.
“Yeah, she wants to get married.” He laughs and continues. “But I’m not ready. I’m old, I know, but I’m set in my ways. She wrote up a contract though, real serious about it.”
I nod, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I exchange pleasantries. I play the part. Secretly, I’m contemplating places to bury his corpse. Of course, hypothetically speaking. I’m not a murderer.
“Lots of paperwork today?”
“Yeah, I better get back to it actually.”
“Oh yes, sorry about that.” His face darkens and he heads back to his cleaning cart. The yellow stained tooth is hidden for now.
I sigh.
“It’s fine. Sorry about your girl.” I somehow just found empathy.
He turns back and his face brightens like a jack-o’-lantern. “Tell me about it. Want me to bury your trash before I go?”
“Excuse me?”
“Uh what sir? I said want me to take out your trash?”
Oh. Okay. “Sure.”
He whistles some type of tune I’m unfamiliar with while he disposes of my trash. Then he looks me square in the eyes and says, “Okay, see you tomorrow.”
I don’t say goodbye because I’m stunned. I think he just read my mind. He’s on to me.
I smile for the first time today.

cancel

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I do want it to be easy, for you. You told me you didn’t want to struggle; just go. What I don’t understand is why I had to be the one to do this, this-
Hold on, I need to know something. Just be honest, please.
Did you, well, did you really know that you wanted this? From me?
I know with a relative degree of certainty that I wouldn’t have chosen this. You’re brave. But, then again, you always were. That’s what I love about you, what I’m really going to miss. You make me a better person. I guess I’m having a difficult time with the whole “no us” anymore. And maybe that’s selfish. I get that. I do.
Despite forever, which is your current bargaining tool, I’m still left with the nasty reality that I am ultimately deciding to pull the plug.
On you, on us.
Can I really do this?

hang on tight

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I trace her jaw line hoping not to wake her. I want to freeze this frame, rewind just enough, and live forever in this moment. The reality is we can’t. Well screw that because that’s not good enough for me. I’m so hopelessly lost, lost in the thought that despite this very moment, we may never achieve this type of bliss again. See, I understand how fires are started, I just don’t see California forest fires anywhere. Besides, we live in fucking Idaho; Fuck Idaho.

I roll off our bed and grab my keys all quiet, not a single jingle. If I can’t have this moment forever, I sure as hell can try to extend it.

I come back with two coffees, cream and 3 sugars in hers, and two blueberry muffins. Her favorite. Duh.

She’s still passed out. I tiptoe over and push a few strands of hair out of her face. I kiss her forehead and she moves slightly, a smile peeks through.

“Morning.”

“Morning, I got the usual. You hungry?”

“Coffee first.”

She reaches out, the bracelet I got her dangles from her dainty wrist, and she touches my face.

“How did I get so lucky with you?”

“Good question, but first, how long does a forest fire last in California?”

schizophrenia for two

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“How can you not see how deranged I am? Watch me for 10 minutes and see the crazy seep outta me.” I cross streets in hopes of being taken away on that sweet journey to the heavenly sky where only her and I will be as one. “I ain’t got another cigarette, so don’t bother. I’ll smoke every last one as a matter of fact so move along.” It’s weird watching you, the you that’s not totally there but others can’t see you SO YOU MUST NOT EXIST. Cough, smile, linger a while. Fuck it, I’ll just get high. I sure wish you’d come take me away soon. Cause there’s this burning, see, and it’s pretty much taking everything from me. I’m just all sorts of screwed without ya, just let me come, won’t ya? “Ah man, it’s last call. Last call don’t mean shit to me. See, I’m from around here. Last call is 3 am sharp and I’ve got the bruises to prove it. Now, sit here with me and I’ll tell ya something worth hearing. Spare a smoke first. Thank you kindly.”

“Ain’t no sense in waking up for anyone but yourself. I found that out, yes I sure did. See, we was hitched and had a real nice spot just outside the city. Pretty plain house if ya ask me, and no, I don’t live there any longer. But the thing was, it didn’t matter to us if it was big, small, large, tall, three stories or a one bedroom, we were happy as pups at the tit. Now where was I? Oh yes, that’s right she died.” Or so you think.

sifting through trash

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He takes my trash and dumps it. He’s got that snaggletooth lingering out of his mouth while he tries to engage me in conversation. It’s difficult to focus on anything other than the fact that he’s got a yellow-stained tooth that is literally about to cut me. I want him to leave, now, like 10 minutes ago. He doesn’t. He’s nice and that’s the goddamn problem. And, he’s rubbed off on me. So, I just take a “break” from work while he blabs on about his girlfriend packing him this “gigantic” salad and how it’s like she’s trying to make him fat. Don’t worry, he pats his stomach for me like I don’t see he’s pregnant. He throws his head back and cackles nice and loud. I’m possessed with laughter and tell him thanks and to have a good day. He nods and then mumbles how he has to get to the 5th floor soon or else.

I start typing again, stop, and realize he’s become my muse.

love me or love nothing

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I cross the street knowing that I’m heading to my own funeral. The thing is, I’m highly confident that today is not for the dead.

She is waiting, picking, chipping her nail polish. Polish, black, bad sign? Her hair is straight, she knows how much I like that. Red dress and high heels, big sunglasses. Enough makeup on to cover five faces. Yup, I’m fucked.

“Tyler.”

I nod, why, I have no clue.

“Lucy, I just want to-”

“Save it. Buy me a drink?”

She twirls a strand of hair between her fingers. Flirting. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

“No, well, it’s just-”

“Come on Ty.”

The bartender is wiping down the bar when we sit down. She takes off her sunglasses and smiles at me. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

“Two whiskeys, straight up.”

I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. She has me where she wants me. I’ve got to make a clean break.

“Lucy, we have to talk about something.”

“Can it wait a goddamn minute? I want to finish my drink.” She lightly touches my hand, lingering. I pull back. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

The bar is quiet, eerily quiet. It’s 15 after 5. There’s a gentleman fingering the rim of a glass of wine in the corner like it’s his last drink. I feel ya, pal.

“So uh, Luce, about that talk.”

She bites her lip and pushes a few loose strands of hair behind her ear.

“What could be so important? It’s not like we’re breaking up, right?”

Death, funeral, six feet under. I down my whiskey.

“See the thing is Lucy, I love you very much b-”

“I love you too sweets. Let’s go, this bar is, well, rather dreary for talks about love, ya know?”

She fumbles for her purse and spins the barstool towards the door. Before I can get out another word she’s almost to the door. I pay for the drinks and chase after her, like usual.

“Luce, wait up!”

We’re outside of the bar and she’s trying to hail a cab. This isn’t good. Not at all.

“No, Ty, fuck you.”

I run my hands through my hair. I’m trying to decide if I should console her…

“Luce, don’t be this way. I just, I can’t, do this anymore.” Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m really trying.

She turns to me, tears running down her soft, blushed cheeks. She goes to say something but then stops, turns to the road, and runs out in the middle of the traffic.

You know what happens next.

Death, funeral, six feet under.

Fire is only fire

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I think I’ll be next. I swear it feels like my brain itches knowing what is about to happen. I reach up touching my head like it’s not going to be there any longer. Sure feels that way. The girl at the counter looks at me, quickly glancing away. She knows. She has to. Naturally, I put my hand in my pocket feeling around for my coin. 10 years clean. It’s a big deal, or so I’m told.

“Peter?” She calls out and a stout man with a little wisp of a mustache shifts in his chair and looks around before getting up. Peter wipes his forehead and nods to the girl. He approaches the door and sighs. She opens the door and Peter is gone.

A bead of sweat trickles down my face falling into my lap. I can’t help but feel alone. Then, I realize I literally am alone. No one else is waiting. Waiting for a procedure that will give them total control. I told myself I would never get to this point. A lot of good that did. 10 years a fake. A liar, a real son of a bitch. I’ve estranged myself from everyone and ended up here. At desperation.

Then I notice the girl, again, looking right at me. She can’t be more than 18 years old with her childlike features and ribbon in her hair. She pushes a few strands of hair behind her ear and forces herself to smile at me. It’s pathetic. I look away and check my watch. Happy hour. I feel something cool fall down my side. My shirt is soaked in sweat. I can’t do this. Most addicts at this point would call their sponsor, which I never had, nor wanted. I feel the Bloody Mary coming up the back of my throat. Swallowing, I force it down.

“Eli?” She calls out.

I lock eyes with her and bolt for the door.

Whiskey dreams

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There is a hunger in my heart that cannot be quenched by sheer entertainment. It must be doused in life, succulent in spirituality, to be worth moving me. Old bones, solid word, a good hand shake. I’m tired, but aren’t we all? Craving what we don’t understand, walking to God only knows where to end up seeking something else. To fill, fill, fill the- well you know. Rebellious little things igniting bigger flames in our wanderlust hearts. Open your eyes, or do you not see what’s in front of you? It’s March, not the New Year’s resolution you forgot day 2 of 1999. Wasted nights spent outside dancing in the park light hoping for a chance to kiss the moon, only the moon doesn’t know you, you know you, and what you know about you, is the fire inside you isn’t going to go out unless you let it, you sly dog you. You with your hands in your mouth, take um out.

Have a glass of whiskey, or two.

Enter title here

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There is pain behind these eyes. Tired, holding fast. We were young, always young. I want to be what you want me to be, but I’m not. I’m flesh and blood, bone and marrow. I’m the wrong, the right, the answer, the question. The truth you want, you don’t want. I do this for your own good. I’m trying, that’s all I know.

I’m found in your arms time after time.

do not go.

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Slow down for me baby, just this once I really want to feel it. That total loss of control, that moment when you know me, know me better than most have ever known me. I can’t say we’ll make it until the new year, but darling we have to give it one hell of a try. In this moment, I want nothing more than to be yours.

Clenching tightly, not wanting to let go, I force a smile before you jet off to meet the guys for beers and beers and beers and beers. I’m not jealous, no, just not smitten with the fact that you’re off galavanting around without, me.

Damn, I hate what we all hate, that one word that makes us crazy, crazy about nothing, but everything and that’s why in this moment I’ve decided not to love you. There, I said it.

Now, when you coming back, baby?

My darling we were only passing through.

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He was never around and that bothered her greatly. She would always wait up for him, hoping he would return to her. And then, one day, he did return. In a casket.

She was much slower after that. Piles of mail littered her doorway as laundry was just as scattered throughout the house. No mention of new loves, only day in, day out monotony.

When she could take no more, she stayed up late and wrote out a letter to her only family member, her aging father.

He wasn’t much, but it was all she had. She was very particular about how much effort she put into it, just enough detail to elongate his pain when he would receive it.

Silent as the night, her suffering was no more.

Window

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I saw her in the hallway. She was like a blur at first and then I was forced to focus. She came lumbering towards me, all 300 lbs of momma’s good cookin.’ Big, white teeth. Flailing arms wobbling like jello in a bowl. Charcoal hair carelessly sticking out chaotically in all directions. She halted abruptly like a cartoon character. 

“Shake my hand!”  She demanded. 

I hesitated, then obliged. 

 

 

Diary of a madman.

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I saw the devil in him.

Laughing, he spoke in English riddles. It was his supposed primary language. The way he looked at us, it was horrifying. His hair was matted to the sides of his cheeks. His long, stringy blond hair was cut at different lengths. He had shaved back where bangs would have been. He stopped just enough so that people would notice the chaotic nature of his planned shock value.

When asked one simple question, his eyes would bulge out of their sunken sockets. He would snap with tangential lingo understood by no one.

“The sacrifice, the bus, the hell, the heaven. We must Facebook watch our children.”

I looked at him intently. I opened my mouth but no words came out. I checked my watch and simply left him to rot where he sat. He wasn’t going anywhere. The drugs, the drugs wouldn’t help him.

I brought her in only to observe. I wanted her to see what i saw. See, she loved this sort of thing. She got off to this. I set up the two way mirror room and let her watch him, unchained.Total isolation. He started licking the mirror. He smiled and held up his pinky finger. He then broke it and jumped backwards as if someone was controlling him.

Someone was.

The she doctor grinned at me and said “When do we start?”

I shook her hand and said “Now, now would be great.”

maybe ill never know.

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We were fast approaching the brink of our destruction. There was no stopping the movement we felt. Late nights, tired souls. We screamed but fell silent.

We must live or there will be no definition. But countless cigarette packs and empty bottles only proved our plight was more than we imagined. The creativity was a drag away-or a drink.

She told me we needed that inspiration though…

It was all over our walls, our hearts, our bodies.

I told her no more tonight, tomorrow, or ever. She looked at me and then mashed her lips against mine. I recoiled and grabbed her shoulders shaking her claiming “We are not changing lives we are barely changing our clothes.” She scoffed at this and took a lengthy drag of her cigarette.  I said I was serious. She claimed I just needed to sleep it off.  I told her I’d sleep on the couch tonight and be gone tomorrow. She didnt cry. She simply blew smoke in my face and said fine.

The next morning I woke up feeling hungover; however, I knew it would be the last time. I went to tell her goodbye, but on my way I passed a few beer bottles. Memories. My stomach churned and I felt like puking everywhere. Dead memories. I knocked and heard no reply. Drunk. I opened the door to find her lying in her own vomit. Frantically, I rushed over to her. Checked her for a pulse. Nothing. Tears. Chaos. Anguish. Liquor on the nightstand.

Liquor it is.

welcome back old friends

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Well, it’s been a while, (2012 last post) but I want to say it’s been a productive while. I have finished my book and will be e-publishing it soon.  More details to follow. Anyways, now that it’s done I am going to be keeping up with this blog more. I look forward to the future and can’t wait to continue to share my journey in the world of writing with you. Despite the full-time work status, I vow to be more active.

Remember, the stories below this post are short stories or poems (old stuff doe). I rarely, except this post, post “diary” pieces. However, I may be doing that more when I e-publish my book.

Have a beautiful day.

Chase

It’s enough to pass the time.

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I’ve been lonely lately and it’s probably just a phase. Or not. We’ll see I guess. Sometimes I wonder if and when it will all end. I guess I want to know if I’ll be happy when it’s all said and done.

Today I’m going downtown to walk around. Sometimes I do this to feel something. I love the feeling of staring up at a tall building. Almost like thinking this thing could topple over and end so many lives. Now that’s power. I think I may fall down sometime from looking straight up at a building with my head cocked awkwardly. But mostly my neck hurts from the strain so I give myself a break from looking.

What I really come downtown for is the people. The gob’s of people walking to and fro at paces unheard of in a monastery. I think these people will die from stress. But then again, it’s a stressful world we live in. Sigh, I want to help these people breathe. Again, I realize most of the time I don’t know how to breathe. Hence the walking downtown.

I let people brush past me because in these moments I feel close to someone. I know it sounds creepy or bizarre even. But honestly, I’m very lonely. So lonely that I don’t eat at home because I’m afraid I’ll choke on my food and no one will save me. Trust me, I’ve thought about letting that happen numerous times. I couldn’t go out that way though. People would say things like “That poor guy never had a chance…Think he had anyone?”

The answer is no. No I don’t have anybody but it’s okay because…well, I don’t know. Another person bumps into me because they were texting on their Blackberry. He gives me a disgusted look and mouths something. I imagined him saying “Go to a homeless shelter you addict.” People are pretty cruel but I try to think the best of people.

I’d like to say days like this help me to feel alive but honestly I don’t know sometimes. It’s difficult because I don’t have much to compare it to. It’s not that I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I’m depressed. And I know I need help. But I’m not ready.

I miss my older brother because he would know what to do. He used to help me all the time when I would have a problem. He’d say things like “You know something, people suck Kenny, they really do…but don’t lose hope man.” Or “Little bro, you really need to grow a pair because I wont always be there to protect ya.” He would always lightly punch me after one of these sayings. My brother really cared about me. My poor parents are separated because of him. Neither of them seemed to remember I was still alive.

The thing is I don’t really want people to feel sorry for me. I know people have it a lot worse than me. I guess a lot of those people feel pretty bad too. Sigh, I wish there was a group for those type of people. Maybe we could help each other.

For now I stare up at buildings that touch the clouds and think about how I’m alive and breathing today. Maybe that’s enough… for today.

 

please remember.

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Do you remember…

The store on the corner of broad and high where we used to kick it? Straight up you and I every summer we’d lay in the street late at night waiting for cars to run us over trying to feel alive. Talking about never getting old and wishing our parents would stop fighting. That silly little corner store where I bought us our first pack of cigs with my brothers ID. Shit, the times we had. I remember tasting that night air and thinking these moments wont last forever.

5 years later and here we are. Middle of the friggin’ road. Swearing, crying, kissing, holding, and squeezing. Promising forever.

Those  window panes stained with our face smears. Pepsi machine. Old Harry Thomas the clerk. That first time we held hands in public.

Our love is like no other.

west coast will never tie me down.

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I walked into the house not knowing what I was going to say. She looked so lonely, so neglected. She slowly raised her head up while maintaining a stupor as she gazed at me… Glossy eyes.

“I…”

“Dont. Just leave.”

She meant it too.

I walked over and planted a kiss on the top of her forehead. Said I would always love her.  She pushed me away, but I didnt fight her.

West Coast and big dreams.

i have never been wide awake.

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It’s not right to force it. Don’t try to fabricate a story. We are who we are.

We met up. We made out. We said goodbye at some point.

That was that. She’s just that girl. I am just that guy.

Coastlines used to steal all our nights.

French kissing was not vulgar. It was hella tight.

Cuddling wasn’t a necessity. It was a commodity.

Luring them in with a margarita wasn’t crucial.

Just leave that up to the volcano exploding sunsets.

She couldn’t explain it. Neither could I.

We are who we are.

We watched the sunset intertwined, and that was Cali.

I still have the souvenirs.

I’m closer than I think.

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It’s…

a full moon tonight and it all seems to come alive before my eyes. I’m walking around outside by 5th and Washington close to the Orange Wheel Tavern. There is this couple who stumbles out of the bar laughing with not a care in the world. The woman seems clingy or at least when she drinks. Connected at the hip like they were on their own little private island. She playfully kisses his cheek and they call for a taxi. They flag one down and to my dismay leave me alone again. O’ how entertained we have to be. What would it be like to exist in a world without people, god that sounds awful.

As I’m walking I try not to think about my job, girlfriend, or friends. I just keep looking up into the starry night thinking incomplete thoughts about Van Gogh and traveling. It’s become crucial for me to take these night walks. Almost, therapeutic. Some people go for drives, but I’m currently boycotting gas prices. It’s easy to not do things that cost money. I sometimes wonder if I create my own mind vacations. There I am in London chasing my shadow amongst the cathedrals. Then,  its me again in Egypt this time riding bareback on a camel. Never again. I chuckle looking around.

You ever smile up into a night sky? I’m doing it right now and its funny. It’s like I’m trying to get somebody up in the atmosphere to recognize how genuinely happy I am in this very moment. The key is to never take yourself seriously. I arrive back home. Sigh, fisher price basketball and fort building in the morning.

Door hinges.

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Crazy.

I walked outside thinking I could take on Monday. Before the sun could say hello I was right back inside, underneath my cozy sheets.

I tried Tuesday and my alarm wouldnt stop snoozing.

Wednesday, I had three voicemails. I deleted them right away. My sister stopped by my apartment dropping off a casserole. She said she would have stayed but, ya know.

Wednesday night, I drank a little and called my friend Stevie. We talked about politics, and the price of gas. He is really intelligent and makes me feel inferior. But, I still have my views and Stevie is the closest thing I have to a friend. He always keeps me up to date on his latest essay. He’s applying to Harvard and Yale.

Thursday. I hate Thursdays. I actually make it to my 11:30 class. It’s the worst class of all time. Professional business writing with a Chinese speaking professor. The only reason I am here is to take the final. Literally I have not shown up but for two classes. The first, the last.

Thursday afternoon. I go see my shrink. I sit there while she probes into my life while I offer her little to no explanation of my recent behavior. I am what they call a resistant client. My mom. I promised my mom I would go. She said, it’s the least I could do. My mom’s real supportive, honest. Sometimes, I think I’ll get better just because of her.

Friday-Sunday. I write. Mostly about how much I hate America, Wall-mart, politics, jobs, money and college. Occasionally, I write a poem to show my mom I’ve made some progress. I’m not depressed. I’m just, just not living the “dream.” I talk to God on Sunday. Then I call Stevie. I ask him every Sunday what he thinks about God or religion. He tells me I need to smoke weed. He’s probably right.

I won a short story contest recently, and with the winnings I drove my car around aimlessly wasting precious gas to prove a point.

Sunday night. The brink. Mondays coming. I try very hard to psych myself up for Mondays. I can hear whispers from my own mouth “just buy into America.”

It’s Monday again. Hope is at my door. I just can’t seem to accept her.

living on, under 6 ft.

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Some day im goin’ to get out of this town. And when I do I’ll forget about how many times you wanted to drown my sorry ass.

We used to fool around near Jackson crossing on the west side of Lancashire. I remember specifically the time you told me you didn’t want to grow up. I laughed and told you to drink some more, you were such a sap. But you’d go on…You said “You ever think about closing your eyes for good?” And id just laugh. Never taken it in for what it was worth. You said “I don’t think I can…” I’d interrupt with something stupid like “be any more of pitcher!” You’d crack a smile and say “forget about it, ya rat bastard.”

That time you punched me harder than usual. I shoulda taken you more seriously. Seems you were really going through some stuff. Tellya what, its odd not knowing your best friend is messed up when ya hang with um all the time.

People tell me there are signs that tip ya off about that kinda stuff. Back then though, all I cared about was getting high with my buddy and shooting off a couple with the local talent if ya know what I mean.

Remember that one guy who stumbled upon us out when we were in the abandoned train car? He was whistling and singing and just about toppling over. When he did fall he laughed and smiled at us. Told us it was funny to be in America. He said “this countries got all ya need!”  I think about your reaction now and see how scared you were. Back then, I was bustin gut and sucking up as much free air as I could. Believe I even tried to reason with ya to laugh about it. Never knew your old man was a drunk. I mean, I knew he drank, but just not how much and how it affected you. Figured ya drank because it was cool. Medicate, only truth you knew.

Well,  guess Ima make something of my life when I leave our stomping ground. You were always tellin me I had good qualities to become something. Said things like “Imagine the world you could access outta this town my man?”  Dont know fully why ya did what ya did. All I know is you really woke me up, and for that, I suppose I owe ya, ya…bastard.

 

 

all things go. all things go.

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When I see this window of opportunity closing right before my eyes I always wonder why it has to come at such a crossroads. Literally I want everything but I can only have this or that.

I am getting tired of the chase and games we play to win our lovers heart. Honest, I am going to be single soon and its going to kill me. We’ve both been slowly drifting a part. She seems to be more okay with it than me. It’s fine though because I’m going to go to Chicago and take that city all in. We technically arent dating, we just left it up on Facebook for the past 3 months to avoid all the commotion. Our closest friends know.

Being an adult has to be better than this, right? Serious matters and no bull shit…hmm.

Theres this girl I met the other day in one of my classes who could be just like me. I’m certain she’s the female version of me. We mesh together so well but because the timing is off it doesn’t seem plausible to pursue it. Plus, I am a musician who can’t be tied down. Dang, I’m all over the place.

This new girl and I stayed up late shooting the bull and whispering our dreams for the future. She captivates my attention every time she speaks, which is hard to accomplish. Usually, I’m thinking about how I can get into this girls pants. It’s wild how she talks though. She’s got her bottles in a row or yeah, ya know what im sayin. Says things like “goin to graduate and go to a foreign country and save the world” and of course “get married and have babies with the man of my dreams.” I laugh at this part. What a crock of shit the whole “man of my dreams” thing. She punches me in the arm and tells me one day I’ll see what she’s talking about. It’s not like I havent heard this all before, it’s just the way in which she relays it to me. She’s so damn determined and devoted. Why she’s even having this deep convo with me is beyond my comprehension.

Her words “You interest me, man.”

Chicks. Bad boy mysterious type. I guess, Chicago is still on my mind. I shouldn’t have met this chick. What if I let her screw with my mind and I write songs about her and I fall for this broad. This cannot happen.

I whisper to her “Im crazy into this convo, have you ever thought about road trippin?”

She smiles in this awe stupor that kills me. Chicago bound and stupid as ever.

 

motion.

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Sometimes I leave the light on.

When you and I walked together we rarely spoke. It was magical, but very intentional. I listened and felt very close to you.

I saw things I cant explain too well.

The other day we tried to put me back together but I just kept coming apart. Dont give up on me, please.

Wild love. Crash, crash. You make my head spin and my heart twist. I refuse to grow numb in this zombie world.

I promise to understand. Childhood wonder.

 

fire-keeper.

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The fire started small and then exploded through the house. I watched my material possessions fade away. I sat outside on a small grassy knoll until I heard sirens.  My book bag felt light and I knew I would be on the run for a while. A smile broadened on my face. This was how it felt to be alive. I swear to god Im over corporate America.

I gave away my dog and closed down my bank accounts a few weeks back.  My house will look like a simple stove fire. They will investigate for a little while and try to contact me. I wont be available.  For the next few weeks Im going to simply not exist. I need this desperately if I am to maintain my sanity. Sure, burning down my own house may seem insane but honestly, its just a house with “things” in it. I wasnt happy if ya really must know. The thing about my life is most people would envy it. Its the cookie cutter American dream life.  Only thing missing is a wife and kids. I had the house with the picket fence, a man’s best friend, a good paying job, and a nice car. It was the routine that got to me. I would wake up, go to work, get home, eat a microwave dinner,  watch some tv, play with the dog, go to bed, and wake up and do it all over again. I know what you are thinking…where is the wife? the friends?

The wife never existed. The illusion of a wife did however. I was with a girl for 2 years and we got engaged. She cheated on me and then told me she was leaving me because I was emotionally unavailable for her. After that I just assumed I was terrible at the whole love thing. To tellya the truth, I only dated her and asked her to marry me because thats what i was told growing up you were supposed to do. My entire life Ive been listening to other people tell me what to do, who to be, and how to be. Well, today, that all ended. O, I almost forgot, the only friends I had were lost when I started dating her. Someone told me that happens a lot as well.

Today I will climb a tree and watch my past burn to the ground while I help to keep firefighter jobs secure. Tomorrow I will try to find myself.

lets continue shall we. part 3 fragment.

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What am I if not poison. A sea of people longing to be somebody. The flash. The glamorous. The bums, the dirty, the disturbed all walking among us. We all have stories, I’m just certain some are more entertaining.

Shes back to smoking cigarettes again. It only lasted a week. I knew she would cave but it was advantageous of her to fight for something. I admire her tenacity. Shes not like the other girls I’ve murdered. They didnt put up much of a fight if at all. Fight or Flight response system.

Sometimes I think about going back to med school just to have the degree and letters after my prestigious name. I dont know though, it all seems so trivial. I got a divine little thing going right now. Addy seems to be keeping the demons at bay. Honest, I didnt know I could feel this way. Especially in light of my killing spree.

It’s difficult in the mornings. Mostly because I look in the mirror and see the faces of the dead girls I’ve mutilated. It got really bizarre the other day when I saw Addy in the mirror. I actually cut myself shaving. The blood percolated into the sink while the water kept at a steady stream.  For a split second I swore I saw a finger floating in the water…Apparently I was in a stupor for quite some time because Addy said she had been knocking on the door for “like 5 minutes.” If she had a flaw, it would be her “likes.” After this incident I decided it was time for another victim. Addy was the ideal solution but I couldnt give her up yet.

when the fire left us.

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We had fire for a season and then it went.

I dont know what was worse when the flames died out or when your heavy heart collapsed.

We killed for moments together, nothing mattered but you and I. Truth be told I gave too much of the fire away early.

Here we are. Alone, yet together. I tried to capture the sun for you and bring you into the light but the sun was eaten by the moon and weve had darkness for several days. All you seem to want to do is lay in the tub contemplating our first spark. I tried building you a tree house to remind you of your youth and you cried.

Im letting you know im here and I havent fallen off the face of the planet. Let me hold you. What happened to us?

Im going to fight you for your heart. I will create our fire.

I never stop running.

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I tried to quit her. She insisted that wouldn’t be necessary. “We were just having a little fun” she kept saying. I couldn’t believe her. It was getting to me and I knew she could tell. How was it that she was so cavalier about the situation while I was in total anxiety. My chest ached and it was like she could see through  me to the very core.

How many times do I have to go through this to finally stop? I feel so hopeless. An addict more or less.

She stayed the night again. Waking up beside her I feel a mixture of emotions. Mostly, regret. However, I enjoy having her tangibly with me. Its sad though because its not like we have much to say to each other. I wonder what it would be like to get to know her.

I think I’ll just skip town.

2010

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He looked up from his desk and exclaimed he needed a break.  He sent out memos to the office that he would be taking a few personal days and not to try and contact him because he was going some place far.

He went home and found his wife in the kitchen just starting dinner. She looked tired and defeated. He said “hello.” She mumbled a hello.

He approached her quietly and wrapped his muscular arms around her. He spoke softly but abruptly. “Lets get out of here.” She smirked at him and told him she needed to finish dinner. He didnt budge. He kissed her brunette hair and moved slowly down her now neckline stopping at her showing collarbone. The words came to him easily. “We need this.” She stopped stirring, and was now starting to take him seriously. She reached up and caressed his arm and spoke kindly. “That would be nice, but-” He interrupted her. “No buts, just turn the boiler off.” Her mood had changed drastically as if they had never done anything spontaneously. She giggled and turned around quickly kissing him on the cheek. He smiled and told her to grab her coat.

They started to approach the door, but before they could she turned to him and questioned “But, where are we going?”

“A battle of the bands at a local high school. Then I thought we would get some pot. And to top the night off make-out sesh at the drive-in. ”

“O stop it!” She was laughing.

“I’m dead serious.” He was.

“Sure, sure.” She opened the door and walked out to the car in denial of the events to come.

He called after her. “Well, I was joking about the pot…or was I?”

its 1:23 am. His favorite place to be.

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My hands glide down your body and its like I know every inch of you. Your love is here for the taking and I’m not about to deny whats mine. Your hands grip my back tight and you claw my shoulders and bite at my neck. That’s it right there, hot breath in my ear. We go together for the first time in a while and collapse exhaling tirelessly. I can’t get enough of this, you, us. I want this, all of this, and mine alone.

I can’t shake her. I’ve tried. It’s not just the physical. I desperately want it to be just the physical because then I wouldn’t be so attached.

She rolls over and grabs a Dum Dum Pop.  Shes retired from smoking and this was not helping her in the least bit.  She starts sucking vigorously at the pop as if it contains nicotine. She looks annoyed. I cant help but smile at her efforts. Its been two days since her last cigarette. She takes the pop out of her mouth and nuzzles close to my body. She leans in and kisses me with her cherry flavored lips.

“yummy.” I laugh. She laughs.
“Can we just lay here all day?” She has a somber face. “I hate being away from you. Makes me think about that killer.” She watches the news too much.
“You know how much I’d love to-honest. I have to get to work though soon. Tight schedule for the upcoming month.” I try to brush her off gently but with intention.
“You know he murdered another girl in Chicago the other day? AND one in Michigan.” She looks horrified. “Tell me your not some secret murderer baby…”
For a second, a fraction of a second, I drift off to the girl in chicago and the dirty blond in Michigan. “Babe, play along please!” She giggles.

What makes this girl different from the others? Maybe its the consistency? The warmth of a body lying comfortably next to you. How devoid she is of her current situation?

“I only kill on the weekends darling.” I report from my sudden stupor.  She smiles and jumps on me from the bed. “As long as you are home to tuck me in with a goodnight kiss.” She giggles again.

I think it’s because I got bored with the others and not with this girl. Theres something about her that punctures my heart. Shes like an innocent child who needs my constant attention. And that, is admirable.

“Dont worry, he probably wont kill anybody for a while.” I say calmly and with confidence.

 

its in the callouses.

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I kept looking out the window believing you would come home. You never did and I wore out a spot on the couch waiting for you. I grew up fast because I had to. There wasnt much of a childhood. I had to pick up the slack you left behind. While you were gone I was being the man of the house. I took care of mom and made sure we were safe. Newspaper routes and dog walking every day. By sixteen I had my first full time job. Mom and I never went without. I was her super hero she would tell me. She would kiss me sweetly at the top of my forehead and tell me I was going places. “Mom, ya deserve the world. Dont ever forget your soul.”

Now, you are getting out. You would like a part of my life that doesnt exist anymore, for you. I dont care if ya got clean. You dont have a place in either of ours lives and that is that. I have no father and never will. I am my father, my provider, my stability, my own pitch-n- catch if ya will. You son a bitch. You missed my first fight. You missed so many firsts. Where were you with the raw steak and the “Whats the other guy look like” with a slug in my shoulder. How do ya sleep at night with what you did to mom and me? I tell ya what ya can do. Go commit another crime and disappear because I swear to god if you come near this family I will kill ya.

After the desire fades and things are satisfied the realities are still there. Or, are they?

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“I couldn’t help but notice your difficulty. In need of a light?” She fidgeted around a little while longer before realizing my lighter was sparked and ready.

“O…thanks.” She took a long drag and almost stumbled into me.

“A bit too much tonight?” I smiled wondering how much in fact she had drunk. There wasnt much to her, if a hundred pounds.

“Never enough.” She stammered. “Thanks for the (hiccup), light.” She moved way too fast and tumbled to the ground. Laughter filled the air.

“Let me help you.” I reached out my hand towards her and she giggled. With her cigarette somehow still in tact and between her fingers she puffed abruptly into my face.

“That will be all doll face.” She hiccuped, giggled and then, started puking.

At this point, all my preconceived thoughts about her went out the window and her charm was nonexistent. I bent down on my knees and said cruelly but quietly “I am going to have my way with you.”

I was now captivated by the helplessness of her. This, was too easy.

Playing everything smoothly I pulled her hair back and she continued to throw up until she dry-heaved. When people would stop to stare and speculate about her,  I would shoot looks of judgment back. Within seconds she was old news to the mob. I picked her up gently and placed her in my arms like a kind, loving husband would do. She was in and out, but mostly out. I carried her like the concerned husband or boyfriend would til I arrived at my van.

Her eyes opened and some words fumbled out of her mouth. “Wehrre mamm Iii?”

“Shh, doll face, I’m going to take care of you now.”

Drag it out for me, love.

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And I couldn’t have been more foolishly in love with her. Everything she was, exemplified the opposite of myself. She wanted kids, big house, picket fence, a steady bank account, church every sunday,  and a bottle of red wine at all times.

We are holding hands on the subway thinking separate thoughts. I have enough scruff on my face that it’s becoming bothersome for her. Black Ray bans and a low-cut v-neck exposing curly chest hairs. I’m too much for her. She cant seem to let me go though. I know it. She knows it. I’m trying hard not to give her anymore of myself, but it seems the more I distance myself the more she clings to me. Reckless lovers we have become.

She squeezes my hand. Then proceeds to pull back at her bottom lip with her front teeth. She wants me to be what she desires.

Theres a youthful couple sitting across from us. Hand holding and tickling. Kisses on the neck and ear lobes. Giggles from this broad seem to never end. My hand is now empty. They are getting to her.

And I need a cigarette. I need out. Its gone on way too long. Its convenient though. She knows it too.

I want the ocean, the road, the city, the windows down, Bob Marley, Alaska, California, India, and a bicycle.

“I can compromise. Honest, it’s not that big a deal…”  She lies just to keep me around, at least I think. Crazy though how she knows my thoughts.  I tell her I will give her one more week and then im off to start my new life.  She laughs at first, then recognizes I’m serious. She quietly sits still. “Guess its been a long time comin.” I imagine me exhaling small clouds of smoke on a beach in Cali. “I cant do this anymore June. I refuse to accept our differences and try to make this work.” I feel like I have to be firm with her for her to realize this is final.

Shes searching for something to say. It’s all over her face. Depressing thoughts of loneliness are creeping in on her and she’s realizing her idealistic hopes of our perfect ending are fading. Tears start to stream down her face. “Take me with you?”

I’m trying not to laugh. Is this a desperate attempt to not be lonely or a cry for our love to last? It’s difficult to tell. We’ve arrived at our destination, but she’s not getting up. Shes waiting for my response. I attempt to look into the future and see what our lives would look like if she left everything and came along with me. Within seconds I see her getting bored with it all and making me decide once again between my dreams and her reality.

“Juniper…you wont last. You’ll end up hating me. Do you really want that?”

Shes quickly responds this time.

“What I hate… is that you don’t want me, like you want your dreams.”

I sigh. I’m sitting once again. The subway isnt noisy. It’s almost as if the people around us have disappeared. She clings to my arm and nuzzles her head into the nook of my neck. She places a wet kiss on the bottom of my ear lobe. My body language has given her hope.

I make a vow, to leave next week.

hold on

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Just a little longer he told me. It’s just the beginning. I looked him straight in his beady eyes and cursed him. Except I didn’t. Because I’m weak.

He knew he was a liar. A terrible one at that. He only wanted what was convenient. I would never give him all of me. There was only so much I could take. I wouldn’t tell him though. I would make him think he had all of me and then I’d rip it right away from him at the right time.

That was easier said than done. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months, and then months into, god, yes, years. I’ve started to lose hope. Is this what love is? What has kept me this whole time?

And just like that, I remembered.

It was fucking convenience. That awful word I loathed in the beginning became everything I believed today.

This harsh reality would be my fate. It didn’t have to be I told myself, but I didn’t believe me.

I’ll talk to him today. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.  But, after we watch Netflix. 

You don’t have to.

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There is a desire to reinvent the wheel. To create what hasn’t been crafted. I’m clinging to the hope that my words will flow and that my heart will be content with what I come up with.

The reality is I’m my worst critic.

The keys sometimes don’t click the way I want them to. I keep going because if I don’t, I won’t realize the endless potential I possess. I’m hopelessly surrendering to the process. I’m going to bleed, sweat, curse, and stare at this screen until I satisfy a thirst.

The man woke up and scratched at his beard. He leaned over and kissed his wife softly on the top of her head that was peeking out from their dark green comforter. She didn’t stir. He wished he could freeze time and watch his wife sleep. There was something comforting about this moment. He felt a twinge of pain in his inside, he tried to stop the thought but it came on fiercely. She will love another when I’m gone. It’s not fair that my days are numbered. He felt something cold and wet fall down his face. He brushed it away with his calloused hands and grabbed the pill bottle next to his side of the bed. He took the pills and got ready for his day. His first cup of coffee went down smoothly. His second he could not finish. He felt nauseous. He threw up before he left for work.

At work, people stared at him. They didn’t know what to say. He smiled feebly and mouthed he was okay. Work made him feel normal. He was told numerous times that he didn’t have to work. He was stubborn. His wife told him so. She loved him and let him have this decision.

He ran his hands over the lumber they received in the new shipment. He took a few minutes to ponder the newness and the potential the wood had. It pained him. At lunch he barely ate his sandwich.

He made it through the rest of the day but with multiple trips to the bathroom. His wife received him with open arms when he came home. She took care of him and he told her he could do it. She just had to look at him. He smiled.

He told her before bed he was humbled by the life he had lived. He expressed he’d been fortunate to know love like theirs. He made love to her like it was their first time all over again. She cried and they held each other until the morning.

He didn’t wake up that next day.

She thought to herself: I’ll never love another.

 

The day isn’t in the past, or is it?

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There was a moment I knew myself and knew exactly what I wanted. Then I grew up and became an adult and now I hit the snooze button 5x at least before I stir and rouse from my slumber.

Past tense language is so comfortable. I’m pretty sure I’m a zombie. You ever wake up and wonder if you’re actually alive?

Watch the OA.

I’m going to start writing. I really wanted to say again. Whoops. Will you join me?

don’t forget

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You don’t have to believe me.

I walked straight over to her house. I was defeated. She held me close, but let me go. We smoked an ounce and knew we’d never talk about it again.

She drew circles on my arm and then I left. At home I stared at the ceiling for hours. She called around 1am and asked me to come back over.

Reluctantly, I went over.

She pressured me about medication and I just sighed. She told me she couldn’t understand.

I told her she didn’t have to. I got dressed.

I drove around until the sun came up. She called a few times. I never answered.

The crippling darkness flooded me, and I succumbed to it.

No pill would fix it.

new year

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I refuse this New Year. This comforter will hold me in place. These books will bind me to this wretched house and I will never acknowledge this New Year.

A few more nips of this whiskey and it’ll all be black again.

“Wake up, the kids need their diapers changed and you have to start writing. We’ve got bills to pay.”

She’s back. The evil nightmare I fear every morning. My partner.

 

Just a knot

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As I headed out the door today I stopped and paused a second. I thought about the way I kissed her and hoped it was with some intention. I want her to wake up and have me be the first thought she thinks.

And when she’s thinking about me, I’m going to be distant from her. She’ll text me because she’ll miss me. I’ll not respond. She’ll wonder what’s going through my mind. Naturally, she’ll text again, and again. Then, she’ll call. I’ll pick up on the third ring and tell her I’ll have to call her back because “work’s a little hectic right now.” What she doesn’t know is I’m planning a surprise for her. Before she can respond to my rushed tone I’ve already hung up. No “I love yous” uttered. Just a dial tone. Don’t worry, I’ll text her in 20 and say I’m sorry and that I’ll make it up to her. She’ll eat that right up.

It’s midnight and she’s just had her fourth glass of red wine. She’s pissed and she should be. I told her I went out with “the guys.” I don’t blame her. Not one bit. She heads to bed and I slide my key in and turn the lock slowly and without much sound.

I tiptoe up the steps and can’t help but feel the nervous energy coursing through my veins. She’d told me she wanted this a long, long time ago. She’s going to flip out that I actually remembered. Thank God she’s a heavy sleeper.

When she’s all tied up and her mouth is sealed, I take off all my clothes. I put on my Bane outfit. I even got a hold of a fake replica mask that he wears in Batman. I turn on the lights and jump on the bed and begin to choke her.

Her eyes do the screaming for her. She violently tries to break free. It takes her seconds, maybe a minute (I’m guessing the alcohol doesn’t help) to realize I’m not Bane. I remove the tape from her mouth and she gasps. I stare at her, waiting for her.

Then it happens. Her frightened and angered face changes. She smirks and remembers.

And then she plays her part. Enthusiastically.

the deafening sound

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“I want out.”
He couldn’t hear her. All he heard was the sound of clinking beer glasses and bad karaoke and a couple beside them making out.
He was looking at her, but through her as if she didn’t truly exist in this place. He knew if he held out long enough the moment would pass and they would be fine. She loved this bar.
“I don’t know what I was thinking bringing you here to do this kinda thing. I just, I don’t know Luke. Things just haven’t been the same since the other night. I mean with everything-”
He was missing something. If he could just think of it he could solve this and they could still have the house, the yard, the big car, and 401K plan.
“and I just think this is what I-uh-we need.”
Did he leave the seat up? Was that it? He had reached the far recesses of his mind and came up with. Absolutely. Nothing.
She placed a hand gently on his stubbled cheek.
“I need to smoke.”
So he went outside with her and after a few drags of her cigarette, she left him. Alone.

tomorrow and today and next Tuesday

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I sip my coffee, hoping for a different day. But, that’s not what I get. I get this Tuesday and an another day of nagging work to come. I adjust my tie and wipe at the toothpaste I’ve smudged on it. My clock is mocking me as the ticking grows louder and louder until I’m pretty sure I can hear nothing else.
When you’re alone, nothing seems as meaningful as the sound of a clock. Rather incessantly it drones on and on begging for more of your attention. Today, I’m not having it. I’m going to break that clock. I reach up and grab the circular, metallic time piece and aggressively pull it down. A nail lingers. It’s a reminder and it has to go too. It doesn’t come out so easily, especially with these 21st Century hands. After the struggle, the nail and the clock both stare at me from my ottomon where I’ve placed them both.
I swallow the last drop of my coffee and feel my heart pumping faster. My eyes dart back to the wall and I realize there is now a small, yet noticeable sized hole, where I removed the time tracker. It demands to be seen. It will tell a story. A story I’m not prepared to explain.
Overwhelmed with anxiety and adrenaline, I impulsively head into my garage and pick through my small assortment of tools I’ve gathered over the last few years of my deplorable adulthood. My hands tremble as I clench a small sledgehammer my father handed down to me. A rusty old thing, but sturdy and experienced.
Before I know it I’ve smashed time and my innocent wall. The nail is nowhere to be found.
Bits of drywall, dust and debris cling to my hair, face and clothes.
I feel relieved but horrified, knowing these two emotions can not coexist.

I call in to work and request FMLA forms.

the twist of truth

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The crowd anticipates the performance like unwrapping a gift. I’m just trying to blend in and get enough of a contact buzz to endure this night. Twice, I told her I wanted to leave. I hate crowds and loud noises. She promised it wouldn’t be “that big a deal.” Right.

She’s off dancing with her friends and I’m pretty sure Luke isn’t as gay as I thought.

Someone bumps into me. I turn and see it’s an old ex-girlfriend. She smiles thinly and then embraces me. No sense in resisting because I can’t move even if I wanted to.

Luke’s tongue’s down my girlfriend’s throat. Definitely not gay.

My ex-girlfriend whispers something in my ear and then places a hand down my pants.

This isn’t reality but it’s what I like to picture when I’m getting screwed over.

American candy

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I listen. Because I have to. I wait for a chance to speak but it doesn’t come. Silence. It’s as if I don’t have a voice anymore. My thoughts are scattered as death lingers like an old friend. Except, I have no friends. But ole death, he’s near. Always is.

I want to take up cigarettes; not to be cool. But to deal, cope, curb my emotional appetite. I’m so careful, too careful to really unleash the real stuff swirling around inside my wrecked mind. I’m not you, or him or her or the normal. Maybe I’m just wasted. Space, or not enough action. Who knows. I do, but I fucking don’t. Trust me when I say I want the medication to alleviate the symptoms I experience on a daily basis but I’m scared shitless that I’ll change and won’t be the same; the wild, young cub, untamed and unphased by the world. In which we try to assimilate to. I’m an old soul or I think I am. I’m not really, I’m vulgar I’m sick I’m unwell. Treat me doctor, please. Fix me so I won’t feel this way.

The cure is miles away in a land before time. I’m not crazy, I’m just fed up. Seek and ye shall find. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Forget it. I’m breathing for now. I’ll be back tomorrow. Death and I have a few more neurotic rounds still to go. Save me a seat. Or don’t. I’ll eat the American dream in the meantime.

a man, a janitor, and a tooth that could change the man.

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He raps lightly on my door and I don’t want to answer, but I do.
“Come in.”
He comes in with that yellow stained tooth glaring right at me. He greets me. I divert my attention from his tooth to his extra stomach fat that is falling out the bottom of his highlighter green shirt and rolling over his pants. I wince, but not long enough for him to see.
“Yeah, she wants to get married.” He laughs and continues. “But I’m not ready. I’m old, I know, but I’m set in my ways. She wrote up a contract though, real serious about it.”
I nod, because that’s what I’m supposed to do. I exchange pleasantries. I play the part. Secretly, I’m contemplating places to bury his corpse. Of course, hypothetically speaking. I’m not a murderer.
“Lots of paperwork today?”
“Yeah, I better get back to it actually.”
“Oh yes, sorry about that.” His face darkens and he heads back to his cleaning cart. The yellow stained tooth is hidden for now.
I sigh.
“It’s fine. Sorry about your girl.” I somehow just found empathy.
He turns back and his face brightens like a jack-o’-lantern. “Tell me about it. Want me to bury your trash before I go?”
“Excuse me?”
“Uh what sir? I said want me to take out your trash?”
Oh. Okay. “Sure.”
He whistles some type of tune I’m unfamiliar with while he disposes of my trash. Then he looks me square in the eyes and says, “Okay, see you tomorrow.”
I don’t say goodbye because I’m stunned. I think he just read my mind. He’s on to me.
I smile for the first time today.

cancel

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I do want it to be easy, for you. You told me you didn’t want to struggle; just go. What I don’t understand is why I had to be the one to do this, this-
Hold on, I need to know something. Just be honest, please.
Did you, well, did you really know that you wanted this? From me?
I know with a relative degree of certainty that I wouldn’t have chosen this. You’re brave. But, then again, you always were. That’s what I love about you, what I’m really going to miss. You make me a better person. I guess I’m having a difficult time with the whole “no us” anymore. And maybe that’s selfish. I get that. I do.
Despite forever, which is your current bargaining tool, I’m still left with the nasty reality that I am ultimately deciding to pull the plug.
On you, on us.
Can I really do this?

hang on tight

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I trace her jaw line hoping not to wake her. I want to freeze this frame, rewind just enough, and live forever in this moment. The reality is we can’t. Well screw that because that’s not good enough for me. I’m so hopelessly lost, lost in the thought that despite this very moment, we may never achieve this type of bliss again. See, I understand how fires are started, I just don’t see California forest fires anywhere. Besides, we live in fucking Idaho; Fuck Idaho.

I roll off our bed and grab my keys all quiet, not a single jingle. If I can’t have this moment forever, I sure as hell can try to extend it.

I come back with two coffees, cream and 3 sugars in hers, and two blueberry muffins. Her favorite. Duh.

She’s still passed out. I tiptoe over and push a few strands of hair out of her face. I kiss her forehead and she moves slightly, a smile peeks through.

“Morning.”

“Morning, I got the usual. You hungry?”

“Coffee first.”

She reaches out, the bracelet I got her dangles from her dainty wrist, and she touches my face.

“How did I get so lucky with you?”

“Good question, but first, how long does a forest fire last in California?”

schizophrenia for two

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“How can you not see how deranged I am? Watch me for 10 minutes and see the crazy seep outta me.” I cross streets in hopes of being taken away on that sweet journey to the heavenly sky where only her and I will be as one. “I ain’t got another cigarette, so don’t bother. I’ll smoke every last one as a matter of fact so move along.” It’s weird watching you, the you that’s not totally there but others can’t see you SO YOU MUST NOT EXIST. Cough, smile, linger a while. Fuck it, I’ll just get high. I sure wish you’d come take me away soon. Cause there’s this burning, see, and it’s pretty much taking everything from me. I’m just all sorts of screwed without ya, just let me come, won’t ya? “Ah man, it’s last call. Last call don’t mean shit to me. See, I’m from around here. Last call is 3 am sharp and I’ve got the bruises to prove it. Now, sit here with me and I’ll tell ya something worth hearing. Spare a smoke first. Thank you kindly.”

“Ain’t no sense in waking up for anyone but yourself. I found that out, yes I sure did. See, we was hitched and had a real nice spot just outside the city. Pretty plain house if ya ask me, and no, I don’t live there any longer. But the thing was, it didn’t matter to us if it was big, small, large, tall, three stories or a one bedroom, we were happy as pups at the tit. Now where was I? Oh yes, that’s right she died.” Or so you think.

sifting through trash

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He takes my trash and dumps it. He’s got that snaggletooth lingering out of his mouth while he tries to engage me in conversation. It’s difficult to focus on anything other than the fact that he’s got a yellow-stained tooth that is literally about to cut me. I want him to leave, now, like 10 minutes ago. He doesn’t. He’s nice and that’s the goddamn problem. And, he’s rubbed off on me. So, I just take a “break” from work while he blabs on about his girlfriend packing him this “gigantic” salad and how it’s like she’s trying to make him fat. Don’t worry, he pats his stomach for me like I don’t see he’s pregnant. He throws his head back and cackles nice and loud. I’m possessed with laughter and tell him thanks and to have a good day. He nods and then mumbles how he has to get to the 5th floor soon or else.

I start typing again, stop, and realize he’s become my muse.

love me or love nothing

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I cross the street knowing that I’m heading to my own funeral. The thing is, I’m highly confident that today is not for the dead.

She is waiting, picking, chipping her nail polish. Polish, black, bad sign? Her hair is straight, she knows how much I like that. Red dress and high heels, big sunglasses. Enough makeup on to cover five faces. Yup, I’m fucked.

“Tyler.”

I nod, why, I have no clue.

“Lucy, I just want to-”

“Save it. Buy me a drink?”

She twirls a strand of hair between her fingers. Flirting. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

“No, well, it’s just-”

“Come on Ty.”

The bartender is wiping down the bar when we sit down. She takes off her sunglasses and smiles at me. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

“Two whiskeys, straight up.”

I can’t say I didn’t see this coming. She has me where she wants me. I’ve got to make a clean break.

“Lucy, we have to talk about something.”

“Can it wait a goddamn minute? I want to finish my drink.” She lightly touches my hand, lingering. I pull back. Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m trying.

The bar is quiet, eerily quiet. It’s 15 after 5. There’s a gentleman fingering the rim of a glass of wine in the corner like it’s his last drink. I feel ya, pal.

“So uh, Luce, about that talk.”

She bites her lip and pushes a few loose strands of hair behind her ear.

“What could be so important? It’s not like we’re breaking up, right?”

Death, funeral, six feet under. I down my whiskey.

“See the thing is Lucy, I love you very much b-”

“I love you too sweets. Let’s go, this bar is, well, rather dreary for talks about love, ya know?”

She fumbles for her purse and spins the barstool towards the door. Before I can get out another word she’s almost to the door. I pay for the drinks and chase after her, like usual.

“Luce, wait up!”

We’re outside of the bar and she’s trying to hail a cab. This isn’t good. Not at all.

“No, Ty, fuck you.”

I run my hands through my hair. I’m trying to decide if I should console her…

“Luce, don’t be this way. I just, I can’t, do this anymore.” Death, funeral, six feet under. I’m really trying.

She turns to me, tears running down her soft, blushed cheeks. She goes to say something but then stops, turns to the road, and runs out in the middle of the traffic.

You know what happens next.

Death, funeral, six feet under.

Fire is only fire

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I think I’ll be next. I swear it feels like my brain itches knowing what is about to happen. I reach up touching my head like it’s not going to be there any longer. Sure feels that way. The girl at the counter looks at me, quickly glancing away. She knows. She has to. Naturally, I put my hand in my pocket feeling around for my coin. 10 years clean. It’s a big deal, or so I’m told.

“Peter?” She calls out and a stout man with a little wisp of a mustache shifts in his chair and looks around before getting up. Peter wipes his forehead and nods to the girl. He approaches the door and sighs. She opens the door and Peter is gone.

A bead of sweat trickles down my face falling into my lap. I can’t help but feel alone. Then, I realize I literally am alone. No one else is waiting. Waiting for a procedure that will give them total control. I told myself I would never get to this point. A lot of good that did. 10 years a fake. A liar, a real son of a bitch. I’ve estranged myself from everyone and ended up here. At desperation.

Then I notice the girl, again, looking right at me. She can’t be more than 18 years old with her childlike features and ribbon in her hair. She pushes a few strands of hair behind her ear and forces herself to smile at me. It’s pathetic. I look away and check my watch. Happy hour. I feel something cool fall down my side. My shirt is soaked in sweat. I can’t do this. Most addicts at this point would call their sponsor, which I never had, nor wanted. I feel the Bloody Mary coming up the back of my throat. Swallowing, I force it down.

“Eli?” She calls out.

I lock eyes with her and bolt for the door.

Whiskey dreams

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There is a hunger in my heart that cannot be quenched by sheer entertainment. It must be doused in life, succulent in spirituality, to be worth moving me. Old bones, solid word, a good hand shake. I’m tired, but aren’t we all? Craving what we don’t understand, walking to God only knows where to end up seeking something else. To fill, fill, fill the- well you know. Rebellious little things igniting bigger flames in our wanderlust hearts. Open your eyes, or do you not see what’s in front of you? It’s March, not the New Year’s resolution you forgot day 2 of 1999. Wasted nights spent outside dancing in the park light hoping for a chance to kiss the moon, only the moon doesn’t know you, you know you, and what you know about you, is the fire inside you isn’t going to go out unless you let it, you sly dog you. You with your hands in your mouth, take um out.

Have a glass of whiskey, or two.

Enter title here

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There is pain behind these eyes. Tired, holding fast. We were young, always young. I want to be what you want me to be, but I’m not. I’m flesh and blood, bone and marrow. I’m the wrong, the right, the answer, the question. The truth you want, you don’t want. I do this for your own good. I’m trying, that’s all I know.

I’m found in your arms time after time.

do not go.

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Slow down for me baby, just this once I really want to feel it. That total loss of control, that moment when you know me, know me better than most have ever known me. I can’t say we’ll make it until the new year, but darling we have to give it one hell of a try. In this moment, I want nothing more than to be yours.

Clenching tightly, not wanting to let go, I force a smile before you jet off to meet the guys for beers and beers and beers and beers. I’m not jealous, no, just not smitten with the fact that you’re off galavanting around without, me.

Damn, I hate what we all hate, that one word that makes us crazy, crazy about nothing, but everything and that’s why in this moment I’ve decided not to love you. There, I said it.

Now, when you coming back, baby?

My darling we were only passing through.

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He was never around and that bothered her greatly. She would always wait up for him, hoping he would return to her. And then, one day, he did return. In a casket.

She was much slower after that. Piles of mail littered her doorway as laundry was just as scattered throughout the house. No mention of new loves, only day in, day out monotony.

When she could take no more, she stayed up late and wrote out a letter to her only family member, her aging father.

He wasn’t much, but it was all she had. She was very particular about how much effort she put into it, just enough detail to elongate his pain when he would receive it.

Silent as the night, her suffering was no more.

Window

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I saw her in the hallway. She was like a blur at first and then I was forced to focus. She came lumbering towards me, all 300 lbs of momma’s good cookin.’ Big, white teeth. Flailing arms wobbling like jello in a bowl. Charcoal hair carelessly sticking out chaotically in all directions. She halted abruptly like a cartoon character. 

“Shake my hand!”  She demanded. 

I hesitated, then obliged. 

 

 

Diary of a madman.

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I saw the devil in him.

Laughing, he spoke in English riddles. It was his supposed primary language. The way he looked at us, it was horrifying. His hair was matted to the sides of his cheeks. His long, stringy blond hair was cut at different lengths. He had shaved back where bangs would have been. He stopped just enough so that people would notice the chaotic nature of his planned shock value.

When asked one simple question, his eyes would bulge out of their sunken sockets. He would snap with tangential lingo understood by no one.

“The sacrifice, the bus, the hell, the heaven. We must Facebook watch our children.”

I looked at him intently. I opened my mouth but no words came out. I checked my watch and simply left him to rot where he sat. He wasn’t going anywhere. The drugs, the drugs wouldn’t help him.

I brought her in only to observe. I wanted her to see what i saw. See, she loved this sort of thing. She got off to this. I set up the two way mirror room and let her watch him, unchained.Total isolation. He started licking the mirror. He smiled and held up his pinky finger. He then broke it and jumped backwards as if someone was controlling him.

Someone was.

The she doctor grinned at me and said “When do we start?”

I shook her hand and said “Now, now would be great.”

maybe ill never know.

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We were fast approaching the brink of our destruction. There was no stopping the movement we felt. Late nights, tired souls. We screamed but fell silent.

We must live or there will be no definition. But countless cigarette packs and empty bottles only proved our plight was more than we imagined. The creativity was a drag away-or a drink.

She told me we needed that inspiration though…

It was all over our walls, our hearts, our bodies.

I told her no more tonight, tomorrow, or ever. She looked at me and then mashed her lips against mine. I recoiled and grabbed her shoulders shaking her claiming “We are not changing lives we are barely changing our clothes.” She scoffed at this and took a lengthy drag of her cigarette.  I said I was serious. She claimed I just needed to sleep it off.  I told her I’d sleep on the couch tonight and be gone tomorrow. She didnt cry. She simply blew smoke in my face and said fine.

The next morning I woke up feeling hungover; however, I knew it would be the last time. I went to tell her goodbye, but on my way I passed a few beer bottles. Memories. My stomach churned and I felt like puking everywhere. Dead memories. I knocked and heard no reply. Drunk. I opened the door to find her lying in her own vomit. Frantically, I rushed over to her. Checked her for a pulse. Nothing. Tears. Chaos. Anguish. Liquor on the nightstand.

Liquor it is.

welcome back old friends

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Well, it’s been a while, (2012 last post) but I want to say it’s been a productive while. I have finished my book and will be e-publishing it soon.  More details to follow. Anyways, now that it’s done I am going to be keeping up with this blog more. I look forward to the future and can’t wait to continue to share my journey in the world of writing with you. Despite the full-time work status, I vow to be more active.

Remember, the stories below this post are short stories or poems (old stuff doe). I rarely, except this post, post “diary” pieces. However, I may be doing that more when I e-publish my book.

Have a beautiful day.

Chase

It’s enough to pass the time.

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I’ve been lonely lately and it’s probably just a phase. Or not. We’ll see I guess. Sometimes I wonder if and when it will all end. I guess I want to know if I’ll be happy when it’s all said and done.

Today I’m going downtown to walk around. Sometimes I do this to feel something. I love the feeling of staring up at a tall building. Almost like thinking this thing could topple over and end so many lives. Now that’s power. I think I may fall down sometime from looking straight up at a building with my head cocked awkwardly. But mostly my neck hurts from the strain so I give myself a break from looking.

What I really come downtown for is the people. The gob’s of people walking to and fro at paces unheard of in a monastery. I think these people will die from stress. But then again, it’s a stressful world we live in. Sigh, I want to help these people breathe. Again, I realize most of the time I don’t know how to breathe. Hence the walking downtown.

I let people brush past me because in these moments I feel close to someone. I know it sounds creepy or bizarre even. But honestly, I’m very lonely. So lonely that I don’t eat at home because I’m afraid I’ll choke on my food and no one will save me. Trust me, I’ve thought about letting that happen numerous times. I couldn’t go out that way though. People would say things like “That poor guy never had a chance…Think he had anyone?”

The answer is no. No I don’t have anybody but it’s okay because…well, I don’t know. Another person bumps into me because they were texting on their Blackberry. He gives me a disgusted look and mouths something. I imagined him saying “Go to a homeless shelter you addict.” People are pretty cruel but I try to think the best of people.

I’d like to say days like this help me to feel alive but honestly I don’t know sometimes. It’s difficult because I don’t have much to compare it to. It’s not that I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I know I’m depressed. And I know I need help. But I’m not ready.

I miss my older brother because he would know what to do. He used to help me all the time when I would have a problem. He’d say things like “You know something, people suck Kenny, they really do…but don’t lose hope man.” Or “Little bro, you really need to grow a pair because I wont always be there to protect ya.” He would always lightly punch me after one of these sayings. My brother really cared about me. My poor parents are separated because of him. Neither of them seemed to remember I was still alive.

The thing is I don’t really want people to feel sorry for me. I know people have it a lot worse than me. I guess a lot of those people feel pretty bad too. Sigh, I wish there was a group for those type of people. Maybe we could help each other.

For now I stare up at buildings that touch the clouds and think about how I’m alive and breathing today. Maybe that’s enough… for today.

 

please remember.

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Do you remember…

The store on the corner of broad and high where we used to kick it? Straight up you and I every summer we’d lay in the street late at night waiting for cars to run us over trying to feel alive. Talking about never getting old and wishing our parents would stop fighting. That silly little corner store where I bought us our first pack of cigs with my brothers ID. Shit, the times we had. I remember tasting that night air and thinking these moments wont last forever.

5 years later and here we are. Middle of the friggin’ road. Swearing, crying, kissing, holding, and squeezing. Promising forever.

Those  window panes stained with our face smears. Pepsi machine. Old Harry Thomas the clerk. That first time we held hands in public.

Our love is like no other.

west coast will never tie me down.

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I walked into the house not knowing what I was going to say. She looked so lonely, so neglected. She slowly raised her head up while maintaining a stupor as she gazed at me… Glossy eyes.

“I…”

“Dont. Just leave.”

She meant it too.

I walked over and planted a kiss on the top of her forehead. Said I would always love her.  She pushed me away, but I didnt fight her.

West Coast and big dreams.

i have never been wide awake.

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It’s not right to force it. Don’t try to fabricate a story. We are who we are.

We met up. We made out. We said goodbye at some point.

That was that. She’s just that girl. I am just that guy.

Coastlines used to steal all our nights.

French kissing was not vulgar. It was hella tight.

Cuddling wasn’t a necessity. It was a commodity.

Luring them in with a margarita wasn’t crucial.

Just leave that up to the volcano exploding sunsets.

She couldn’t explain it. Neither could I.

We are who we are.

We watched the sunset intertwined, and that was Cali.

I still have the souvenirs.

I’m closer than I think.

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It’s…

a full moon tonight and it all seems to come alive before my eyes. I’m walking around outside by 5th and Washington close to the Orange Wheel Tavern. There is this couple who stumbles out of the bar laughing with not a care in the world. The woman seems clingy or at least when she drinks. Connected at the hip like they were on their own little private island. She playfully kisses his cheek and they call for a taxi. They flag one down and to my dismay leave me alone again. O’ how entertained we have to be. What would it be like to exist in a world without people, god that sounds awful.

As I’m walking I try not to think about my job, girlfriend, or friends. I just keep looking up into the starry night thinking incomplete thoughts about Van Gogh and traveling. It’s become crucial for me to take these night walks. Almost, therapeutic. Some people go for drives, but I’m currently boycotting gas prices. It’s easy to not do things that cost money. I sometimes wonder if I create my own mind vacations. There I am in London chasing my shadow amongst the cathedrals. Then,  its me again in Egypt this time riding bareback on a camel. Never again. I chuckle looking around.

You ever smile up into a night sky? I’m doing it right now and its funny. It’s like I’m trying to get somebody up in the atmosphere to recognize how genuinely happy I am in this very moment. The key is to never take yourself seriously. I arrive back home. Sigh, fisher price basketball and fort building in the morning.

Door hinges.

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Crazy.

I walked outside thinking I could take on Monday. Before the sun could say hello I was right back inside, underneath my cozy sheets.

I tried Tuesday and my alarm wouldnt stop snoozing.

Wednesday, I had three voicemails. I deleted them right away. My sister stopped by my apartment dropping off a casserole. She said she would have stayed but, ya know.

Wednesday night, I drank a little and called my friend Stevie. We talked about politics, and the price of gas. He is really intelligent and makes me feel inferior. But, I still have my views and Stevie is the closest thing I have to a friend. He always keeps me up to date on his latest essay. He’s applying to Harvard and Yale.

Thursday. I hate Thursdays. I actually make it to my 11:30 class. It’s the worst class of all time. Professional business writing with a Chinese speaking professor. The only reason I am here is to take the final. Literally I have not shown up but for two classes. The first, the last.

Thursday afternoon. I go see my shrink. I sit there while she probes into my life while I offer her little to no explanation of my recent behavior. I am what they call a resistant client. My mom. I promised my mom I would go. She said, it’s the least I could do. My mom’s real supportive, honest. Sometimes, I think I’ll get better just because of her.

Friday-Sunday. I write. Mostly about how much I hate America, Wall-mart, politics, jobs, money and college. Occasionally, I write a poem to show my mom I’ve made some progress. I’m not depressed. I’m just, just not living the “dream.” I talk to God on Sunday. Then I call Stevie. I ask him every Sunday what he thinks about God or religion. He tells me I need to smoke weed. He’s probably right.

I won a short story contest recently, and with the winnings I drove my car around aimlessly wasting precious gas to prove a point.

Sunday night. The brink. Mondays coming. I try very hard to psych myself up for Mondays. I can hear whispers from my own mouth “just buy into America.”

It’s Monday again. Hope is at my door. I just can’t seem to accept her.

living on, under 6 ft.

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Some day im goin’ to get out of this town. And when I do I’ll forget about how many times you wanted to drown my sorry ass.

We used to fool around near Jackson crossing on the west side of Lancashire. I remember specifically the time you told me you didn’t want to grow up. I laughed and told you to drink some more, you were such a sap. But you’d go on…You said “You ever think about closing your eyes for good?” And id just laugh. Never taken it in for what it was worth. You said “I don’t think I can…” I’d interrupt with something stupid like “be any more of pitcher!” You’d crack a smile and say “forget about it, ya rat bastard.”

That time you punched me harder than usual. I shoulda taken you more seriously. Seems you were really going through some stuff. Tellya what, its odd not knowing your best friend is messed up when ya hang with um all the time.

People tell me there are signs that tip ya off about that kinda stuff. Back then though, all I cared about was getting high with my buddy and shooting off a couple with the local talent if ya know what I mean.

Remember that one guy who stumbled upon us out when we were in the abandoned train car? He was whistling and singing and just about toppling over. When he did fall he laughed and smiled at us. Told us it was funny to be in America. He said “this countries got all ya need!”  I think about your reaction now and see how scared you were. Back then, I was bustin gut and sucking up as much free air as I could. Believe I even tried to reason with ya to laugh about it. Never knew your old man was a drunk. I mean, I knew he drank, but just not how much and how it affected you. Figured ya drank because it was cool. Medicate, only truth you knew.

Well,  guess Ima make something of my life when I leave our stomping ground. You were always tellin me I had good qualities to become something. Said things like “Imagine the world you could access outta this town my man?”  Dont know fully why ya did what ya did. All I know is you really woke me up, and for that, I suppose I owe ya, ya…bastard.

 

 

all things go. all things go.

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When I see this window of opportunity closing right before my eyes I always wonder why it has to come at such a crossroads. Literally I want everything but I can only have this or that.

I am getting tired of the chase and games we play to win our lovers heart. Honest, I am going to be single soon and its going to kill me. We’ve both been slowly drifting a part. She seems to be more okay with it than me. It’s fine though because I’m going to go to Chicago and take that city all in. We technically arent dating, we just left it up on Facebook for the past 3 months to avoid all the commotion. Our closest friends know.

Being an adult has to be better than this, right? Serious matters and no bull shit…hmm.

Theres this girl I met the other day in one of my classes who could be just like me. I’m certain she’s the female version of me. We mesh together so well but because the timing is off it doesn’t seem plausible to pursue it. Plus, I am a musician who can’t be tied down. Dang, I’m all over the place.

This new girl and I stayed up late shooting the bull and whispering our dreams for the future. She captivates my attention every time she speaks, which is hard to accomplish. Usually, I’m thinking about how I can get into this girls pants. It’s wild how she talks though. She’s got her bottles in a row or yeah, ya know what im sayin. Says things like “goin to graduate and go to a foreign country and save the world” and of course “get married and have babies with the man of my dreams.” I laugh at this part. What a crock of shit the whole “man of my dreams” thing. She punches me in the arm and tells me one day I’ll see what she’s talking about. It’s not like I havent heard this all before, it’s just the way in which she relays it to me. She’s so damn determined and devoted. Why she’s even having this deep convo with me is beyond my comprehension.

Her words “You interest me, man.”

Chicks. Bad boy mysterious type. I guess, Chicago is still on my mind. I shouldn’t have met this chick. What if I let her screw with my mind and I write songs about her and I fall for this broad. This cannot happen.

I whisper to her “Im crazy into this convo, have you ever thought about road trippin?”

She smiles in this awe stupor that kills me. Chicago bound and stupid as ever.

 

motion.

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Sometimes I leave the light on.

When you and I walked together we rarely spoke. It was magical, but very intentional. I listened and felt very close to you.

I saw things I cant explain too well.

The other day we tried to put me back together but I just kept coming apart. Dont give up on me, please.

Wild love. Crash, crash. You make my head spin and my heart twist. I refuse to grow numb in this zombie world.

I promise to understand. Childhood wonder.

 

fire-keeper.

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The fire started small and then exploded through the house. I watched my material possessions fade away. I sat outside on a small grassy knoll until I heard sirens.  My book bag felt light and I knew I would be on the run for a while. A smile broadened on my face. This was how it felt to be alive. I swear to god Im over corporate America.

I gave away my dog and closed down my bank accounts a few weeks back.  My house will look like a simple stove fire. They will investigate for a little while and try to contact me. I wont be available.  For the next few weeks Im going to simply not exist. I need this desperately if I am to maintain my sanity. Sure, burning down my own house may seem insane but honestly, its just a house with “things” in it. I wasnt happy if ya really must know. The thing about my life is most people would envy it. Its the cookie cutter American dream life.  Only thing missing is a wife and kids. I had the house with the picket fence, a man’s best friend, a good paying job, and a nice car. It was the routine that got to me. I would wake up, go to work, get home, eat a microwave dinner,  watch some tv, play with the dog, go to bed, and wake up and do it all over again. I know what you are thinking…where is the wife? the friends?

The wife never existed. The illusion of a wife did however. I was with a girl for 2 years and we got engaged. She cheated on me and then told me she was leaving me because I was emotionally unavailable for her. After that I just assumed I was terrible at the whole love thing. To tellya the truth, I only dated her and asked her to marry me because thats what i was told growing up you were supposed to do. My entire life Ive been listening to other people tell me what to do, who to be, and how to be. Well, today, that all ended. O, I almost forgot, the only friends I had were lost when I started dating her. Someone told me that happens a lot as well.

Today I will climb a tree and watch my past burn to the ground while I help to keep firefighter jobs secure. Tomorrow I will try to find myself.

lets continue shall we. part 3 fragment.

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What am I if not poison. A sea of people longing to be somebody. The flash. The glamorous. The bums, the dirty, the disturbed all walking among us. We all have stories, I’m just certain some are more entertaining.

Shes back to smoking cigarettes again. It only lasted a week. I knew she would cave but it was advantageous of her to fight for something. I admire her tenacity. Shes not like the other girls I’ve murdered. They didnt put up much of a fight if at all. Fight or Flight response system.

Sometimes I think about going back to med school just to have the degree and letters after my prestigious name. I dont know though, it all seems so trivial. I got a divine little thing going right now. Addy seems to be keeping the demons at bay. Honest, I didnt know I could feel this way. Especially in light of my killing spree.

It’s difficult in the mornings. Mostly because I look in the mirror and see the faces of the dead girls I’ve mutilated. It got really bizarre the other day when I saw Addy in the mirror. I actually cut myself shaving. The blood percolated into the sink while the water kept at a steady stream.  For a split second I swore I saw a finger floating in the water…Apparently I was in a stupor for quite some time because Addy said she had been knocking on the door for “like 5 minutes.” If she had a flaw, it would be her “likes.” After this incident I decided it was time for another victim. Addy was the ideal solution but I couldnt give her up yet.

when the fire left us.

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We had fire for a season and then it went.

I dont know what was worse when the flames died out or when your heavy heart collapsed.

We killed for moments together, nothing mattered but you and I. Truth be told I gave too much of the fire away early.

Here we are. Alone, yet together. I tried to capture the sun for you and bring you into the light but the sun was eaten by the moon and weve had darkness for several days. All you seem to want to do is lay in the tub contemplating our first spark. I tried building you a tree house to remind you of your youth and you cried.

Im letting you know im here and I havent fallen off the face of the planet. Let me hold you. What happened to us?

Im going to fight you for your heart. I will create our fire.

I never stop running.

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I tried to quit her. She insisted that wouldn’t be necessary. “We were just having a little fun” she kept saying. I couldn’t believe her. It was getting to me and I knew she could tell. How was it that she was so cavalier about the situation while I was in total anxiety. My chest ached and it was like she could see through  me to the very core.

How many times do I have to go through this to finally stop? I feel so hopeless. An addict more or less.

She stayed the night again. Waking up beside her I feel a mixture of emotions. Mostly, regret. However, I enjoy having her tangibly with me. Its sad though because its not like we have much to say to each other. I wonder what it would be like to get to know her.

I think I’ll just skip town.

2010

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He looked up from his desk and exclaimed he needed a break.  He sent out memos to the office that he would be taking a few personal days and not to try and contact him because he was going some place far.

He went home and found his wife in the kitchen just starting dinner. She looked tired and defeated. He said “hello.” She mumbled a hello.

He approached her quietly and wrapped his muscular arms around her. He spoke softly but abruptly. “Lets get out of here.” She smirked at him and told him she needed to finish dinner. He didnt budge. He kissed her brunette hair and moved slowly down her now neckline stopping at her showing collarbone. The words came to him easily. “We need this.” She stopped stirring, and was now starting to take him seriously. She reached up and caressed his arm and spoke kindly. “That would be nice, but-” He interrupted her. “No buts, just turn the boiler off.” Her mood had changed drastically as if they had never done anything spontaneously. She giggled and turned around quickly kissing him on the cheek. He smiled and told her to grab her coat.

They started to approach the door, but before they could she turned to him and questioned “But, where are we going?”

“A battle of the bands at a local high school. Then I thought we would get some pot. And to top the night off make-out sesh at the drive-in. ”

“O stop it!” She was laughing.

“I’m dead serious.” He was.

“Sure, sure.” She opened the door and walked out to the car in denial of the events to come.

He called after her. “Well, I was joking about the pot…or was I?”

its 1:23 am. His favorite place to be.

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My hands glide down your body and its like I know every inch of you. Your love is here for the taking and I’m not about to deny whats mine. Your hands grip my back tight and you claw my shoulders and bite at my neck. That’s it right there, hot breath in my ear. We go together for the first time in a while and collapse exhaling tirelessly. I can’t get enough of this, you, us. I want this, all of this, and mine alone.

I can’t shake her. I’ve tried. It’s not just the physical. I desperately want it to be just the physical because then I wouldn’t be so attached.

She rolls over and grabs a Dum Dum Pop.  Shes retired from smoking and this was not helping her in the least bit.  She starts sucking vigorously at the pop as if it contains nicotine. She looks annoyed. I cant help but smile at her efforts. Its been two days since her last cigarette. She takes the pop out of her mouth and nuzzles close to my body. She leans in and kisses me with her cherry flavored lips.

“yummy.” I laugh. She laughs.
“Can we just lay here all day?” She has a somber face. “I hate being away from you. Makes me think about that killer.” She watches the news too much.
“You know how much I’d love to-honest. I have to get to work though soon. Tight schedule for the upcoming month.” I try to brush her off gently but with intention.
“You know he murdered another girl in Chicago the other day? AND one in Michigan.” She looks horrified. “Tell me your not some secret murderer baby…”
For a second, a fraction of a second, I drift off to the girl in chicago and the dirty blond in Michigan. “Babe, play along please!” She giggles.

What makes this girl different from the others? Maybe its the consistency? The warmth of a body lying comfortably next to you. How devoid she is of her current situation?

“I only kill on the weekends darling.” I report from my sudden stupor.  She smiles and jumps on me from the bed. “As long as you are home to tuck me in with a goodnight kiss.” She giggles again.

I think it’s because I got bored with the others and not with this girl. Theres something about her that punctures my heart. Shes like an innocent child who needs my constant attention. And that, is admirable.

“Dont worry, he probably wont kill anybody for a while.” I say calmly and with confidence.

 

its in the callouses.

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I kept looking out the window believing you would come home. You never did and I wore out a spot on the couch waiting for you. I grew up fast because I had to. There wasnt much of a childhood. I had to pick up the slack you left behind. While you were gone I was being the man of the house. I took care of mom and made sure we were safe. Newspaper routes and dog walking every day. By sixteen I had my first full time job. Mom and I never went without. I was her super hero she would tell me. She would kiss me sweetly at the top of my forehead and tell me I was going places. “Mom, ya deserve the world. Dont ever forget your soul.”

Now, you are getting out. You would like a part of my life that doesnt exist anymore, for you. I dont care if ya got clean. You dont have a place in either of ours lives and that is that. I have no father and never will. I am my father, my provider, my stability, my own pitch-n- catch if ya will. You son a bitch. You missed my first fight. You missed so many firsts. Where were you with the raw steak and the “Whats the other guy look like” with a slug in my shoulder. How do ya sleep at night with what you did to mom and me? I tell ya what ya can do. Go commit another crime and disappear because I swear to god if you come near this family I will kill ya.

After the desire fades and things are satisfied the realities are still there. Or, are they?

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“I couldn’t help but notice your difficulty. In need of a light?” She fidgeted around a little while longer before realizing my lighter was sparked and ready.

“O…thanks.” She took a long drag and almost stumbled into me.

“A bit too much tonight?” I smiled wondering how much in fact she had drunk. There wasnt much to her, if a hundred pounds.

“Never enough.” She stammered. “Thanks for the (hiccup), light.” She moved way too fast and tumbled to the ground. Laughter filled the air.

“Let me help you.” I reached out my hand towards her and she giggled. With her cigarette somehow still in tact and between her fingers she puffed abruptly into my face.

“That will be all doll face.” She hiccuped, giggled and then, started puking.

At this point, all my preconceived thoughts about her went out the window and her charm was nonexistent. I bent down on my knees and said cruelly but quietly “I am going to have my way with you.”

I was now captivated by the helplessness of her. This, was too easy.

Playing everything smoothly I pulled her hair back and she continued to throw up until she dry-heaved. When people would stop to stare and speculate about her,  I would shoot looks of judgment back. Within seconds she was old news to the mob. I picked her up gently and placed her in my arms like a kind, loving husband would do. She was in and out, but mostly out. I carried her like the concerned husband or boyfriend would til I arrived at my van.

Her eyes opened and some words fumbled out of her mouth. “Wehrre mamm Iii?”

“Shh, doll face, I’m going to take care of you now.”

Drag it out for me, love.

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And I couldn’t have been more foolishly in love with her. Everything she was, exemplified the opposite of myself. She wanted kids, big house, picket fence, a steady bank account, church every sunday,  and a bottle of red wine at all times.

We are holding hands on the subway thinking separate thoughts. I have enough scruff on my face that it’s becoming bothersome for her. Black Ray bans and a low-cut v-neck exposing curly chest hairs. I’m too much for her. She cant seem to let me go though. I know it. She knows it. I’m trying hard not to give her anymore of myself, but it seems the more I distance myself the more she clings to me. Reckless lovers we have become.

She squeezes my hand. Then proceeds to pull back at her bottom lip with her front teeth. She wants me to be what she desires.

Theres a youthful couple sitting across from us. Hand holding and tickling. Kisses on the neck and ear lobes. Giggles from this broad seem to never end. My hand is now empty. They are getting to her.

And I need a cigarette. I need out. Its gone on way too long. Its convenient though. She knows it too.

I want the ocean, the road, the city, the windows down, Bob Marley, Alaska, California, India, and a bicycle.

“I can compromise. Honest, it’s not that big a deal…”  She lies just to keep me around, at least I think. Crazy though how she knows my thoughts.  I tell her I will give her one more week and then im off to start my new life.  She laughs at first, then recognizes I’m serious. She quietly sits still. “Guess its been a long time comin.” I imagine me exhaling small clouds of smoke on a beach in Cali. “I cant do this anymore June. I refuse to accept our differences and try to make this work.” I feel like I have to be firm with her for her to realize this is final.

Shes searching for something to say. It’s all over her face. Depressing thoughts of loneliness are creeping in on her and she’s realizing her idealistic hopes of our perfect ending are fading. Tears start to stream down her face. “Take me with you?”

I’m trying not to laugh. Is this a desperate attempt to not be lonely or a cry for our love to last? It’s difficult to tell. We’ve arrived at our destination, but she’s not getting up. Shes waiting for my response. I attempt to look into the future and see what our lives would look like if she left everything and came along with me. Within seconds I see her getting bored with it all and making me decide once again between my dreams and her reality.

“Juniper…you wont last. You’ll end up hating me. Do you really want that?”

Shes quickly responds this time.

“What I hate… is that you don’t want me, like you want your dreams.”

I sigh. I’m sitting once again. The subway isnt noisy. It’s almost as if the people around us have disappeared. She clings to my arm and nuzzles her head into the nook of my neck. She places a wet kiss on the bottom of my ear lobe. My body language has given her hope.

I make a vow, to leave next week.