Once Upon a Time…

I’ve noticed recently that I’ll reference an old fairy tale and get looks of befuddlement from many around me. Apparently these old tales aren’t being spread as prolifically as they did in my day. 

So it’s up to me to tell them, I suppose. 

Here’s the first one. 

The Three Billy Goats Gruff

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“Just what did you expect to see: you in a greener field? You in a bluer sea?”

I am entering one of my Major Depression states where I sort of retreat into myself. It’s not such a bad place to be, really. It’s familiar, and I know the carpets and drapes like they were the insides of my eyelids. 

I want nothing. I do nothing. I look forward to nothing. Sleep and occasional drinks are all I need. Speaking of…

I’ve noticed that I am always thirsty. I’ve described myself to others as a Human Callous: just dry and rough. When we go grocery shopping I fill the cart with beverages: chocolate milk, V-8, apple juice, sweet tea, pineapple soda, etc. Just as much liquid as I can pour into my body. I love food, but oddly I don’t like eating. It’s strange. 

To be clear, there’s nothing wrong. I’m just not okay. I’m not bad, I’m just not okay. 

I’ve been thinking a lot about physics lately. I read a great explanation of gravitational fields that was so illuminating that I feel I have to share it. 

So we all know essentially what gravitational fields are: a body of great mass pulls others towards it due to gravity. But how? Why? Here’s a great illustration to explain it:

Take a paper towel and hold it up, taut. Use two volunteers. Tell them to hold it level, not pulling at the edges but just holding them so that the towel is held flat above a surface. Now take a quarter, a nickel, and a dime and place them carefully on the towel at random spots away from one another. 

“So this is Earth, Mars, and Venus. Note that their relative size and mass don’t affect one another or the gravitational plane that they exist together on. Got it?”

Now take an orange in your hand. Say “This is the sun.” Drop it into the center of the paper towel. Its weight will cause the paper towel to sag, and the coins will slip towards it. That’s how gravitational fields work. 

Cool, right? I love science. 

Our current President is a fucking moron and he makes me uncomfortably angry. 

I legitimately had a dream the other night in which I ran into two old acquaintances at a book store, and I was quite excited to see them because I wanted to tell them about a dream I’d had where I ran into them in a bookstore. I fervently believed in this situation in this dream world. This was followed by a dream wherein I was managing a restaurant and part of a team member’s checkout process (the machinations by which they end their shift and are paid their tips so they may leave for the day) involved giving me a handjob, and all the while it was happening I knew it was unethical and I was quite disturbed by it. 

Sometimes I don’t want my head. 

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“I hope this finds you well / and everything is going as you’d planned…”

 

scary stories

 

I see him every day. I see him every where. I went to the liquor store today and he was there. I’m not sure if his face is getting paler or his eyes are getting darker or one of those phenomena is exacerbating the other, I just know he’s tired. And, hell, I GET tired. We all do. It’s something a great lot of us have gotten used to. We hop in our machines to brush past all these sheep while hoping all we’ve been won’t find us in our sleep; but it does. It always, always does, and we don’t like what it means when the monster looks like us:

See, we thought we were in the hero’s shoes, but whomever wins will cause one to lose. so whether we’re the sheep or the wolf in its wool, we are no exceptions, only the rule…

I know, personally, when I try to rest I think of the day behind me and those I still have left and I analyze and I self-defeat, thinking what I would do differently and what I would repeat because if I were you and you were me I would be in your wool. Hiding.

I’ve gotten off track. Let’s get back to the guy. The guy with the paling face and darkening eyes. It’s not really the eyes; it’s the sagging flesh around them, as though he’s haunted by some lost secret that’s found him. Hell, I can relate. I’m not one to hate; we’ve all got things we’d rather throw away. But, secrets, man; on the bottom, they’ve got that little triangle symbol. You know what that means? They’re recyclable and they’ll come back to you. In full.

Looks like he caught on to that. Or it caught on to him. I guess what I’m getting at is that he looks grim. Constantly.

And it grates on me. It makes me so pissed, but why do I give a shit? Am I such a narcissist that his face affects how I exist? That his frown should bring me down?

I get to be such an empath when in a strange town. When searching for the vibe I look to my neighbor and his pallid, tired face is like a fart in my elevator. He’s a grey cloud in my East Texas sky and I just keep thinking “Man, fuck this guy! He’s like Billy Corgan at DisneyLand: It’s the Happiest Place on Earth, you Baby Man!” If you’re so beaten by life then don’t leave the house and subject me and mine to your perpetual pouts. You just bring everybody down.

And again comes the question, why do I care? Because, as I said, he’s always there! Of course when I see him I look away, but I’m telling you, I see him EVERY DAY. Every day, every where. Each time looking worse for the wear. I know soon I’ll look and he’ll be gone. Honestly, this guy does not have long. And after I’ve looked far and wide to no avail I’ll know he died. Just to be sure, I’ll wait a while, but once I’m sure I’ll have to smile.

Believing that he’s mercifully and finally expired is preferable to finding him so broken and tired. And this isn’t selfish narcissism; it’s empathy. Clearly this fellow’s seen more than you or me. I get that it seems cruel or selfish or morbid but honestly I think death is the best thing for him. He’s carrying something so heavy that he’ll never sleep until those secrets or ghosts or whatnot on his soul are six feet deep.

Maybe I should kill him. Maybe that’s the fix.

I can’t believe I said that. But I will say this:

When I see him tomorrow (and I know that I will), perhaps before I think to turn away or kill, I’ll flash him a smile. Maybe a nod. A gesture of encouragement to see if it catches on.

Maybe I can be the change I want to see in this pallid, dark-eyed ghost that haunts me.

“…’cause frankly that’s all anyone can ask for.”

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“feels like I’m slipping/into a dream within a dream”

I am exhausted. I slept for over eight hours, but I had so many detailed and terrifying dreams that I feel I’ve lived several hard and soul-crushing lives. I’ll try to recount them as best as I can.

In the first one, I was the villain, but only because  I was told to be. It was the end of some relevant period and a large ball was to be held. I knew somewhere in the back of my mind that we’d done this before. I was given a jumpsuit; some bare, basic affair, meant to be worn as a liner for something more sinister. My counterpart, the hero, showed me what the jumpsuit was meant to augment: a form-fitting criss-cross of steel blades that wrap around my body and protrude thereout as weapons. Think a combination of Megatron from the Transformers film (the shitty live action one) and Shredder from the comic books. I put it on and it was truly terrifying for everyone, myself included.

The hero guided me to “really ham it up this time”; I guess last year’s pageant left some disappointed. Not one to ignore a note, I went all out. I dispersed razor blades in large nets throughout the ballroom rafters, set to fall on the public below like sharp and deadly balloon drops. And for good measure, I wired the whole place to explode. As the night began, the guests arrived.

My friend Brandi showed up with her young son, followed by a young woman I’d met a week ago with an obtuse case of mental challenge. With growing horror I watched more women and children flood into the ballroom, and when my eyes caught those of the hero, his would bore into me with commanding viciousness, as though saying “high stakes, high reward; don’t you fuck this up for me.”

A skip in time occurs and the next scene is chaos: blood, so much blood, and people running and screaming in terror. I am slashing the partygoers into shreds with my Death Suit, and I strategically set loose the razor drops when there aren’t too many guests beneath. My conscience is screaming inside me, and I am beside myself in agony at the violence I observe. The hero is nowhere to be seen. The dead lay everywhere. Most of the people have run away to safety. Seeing that there is little left to destroy, and spurred by the knowledge that none will step to stop me aside from myself, I set the charges to blow.

Then I see the hero.

He is near the mentally challenged girl, pulling on her obstinate wrist and trying to remove her from the carnage-laden scene. She is stock-still, frozen in fear and distrust. I tell him the charges are set and the entire place will blow in a few moments. He drops her wrist and looks at me, smiles, and starts to eat something from a styrofoam to-go box. I repeat that the entire building will detonate in a short amount of time, and he tries again to wrestle the girl to his arms so that he can run from the blast with her, but she will not budge. I walk away from them both.

The plumes of fire and smoke rise high into the sky as I strip off my steel exoskeleton and wonder if I’ll have to play the villain again next year.

I wake from that at 5:27am, perhaps four hours 0r s0 fr0m when I laid down. I think the worst is over, and I should sleep soundly the rest of the night. I am wrong.

In my next dream I am folding a white T-Shirt to place on a clothing hanger, and as I crease it to smaller and smaller dimensions, I ponder decisions I’ve made in my life thus far. With each tangent of my past, the shirt gets smaller and smaller, but the new timeline takes me forward all the way to its end, which is never a happy one. I see myself try to make things work with exes to disastrous consequences, and I even ponder changing my intentions upon meeting certain friends and this results in their lives irreparably ruined. I put the shirt away on the dowel rod, its shoulders extended and its flat front marred by creases and wrinkles. I close the door.

In the next dream, I become famous for all the wrong reasons. I am at a large family wedding; some cousin or step-niece is getting hitched to high-society, and I am enjoying the open bar. I am so black-out wasted that I began to make a spectacle of myself, reading from pages of my anti-establishment manifesto, gesturing wildly with a constantly-spilling glass of booze while I skewer the upper class. Phones begin capturing film and photos and by the next afternoon I am a Meme, a GIF, and a viral sensation.

My family hates my guts, but no direct retaliation occurs immediately. There is a lot of resentment but mostly pity; they show genuine concern for my shortsighted proletariat views. As luck would have it, there is yet another wedding planned the very next night. It is apparently impossible for me to be uninvited, so I am told to attend but to stay out of sight. I relent, too defeated to fight, and agree to stay in the shallow lawn off to the side and keep my mouth shut. In doing so, my fatigue overtakes me, and so I lay down on the grass and throw a blanket over myself, just past a waist-high fence that corrals all the partygoers. I keep my eyes open and watch them mingle during the cocktail hour and eavesdrop on their banal conversations. The most popular topic is of course me. Finally I hear something so disagreeable that I have to speak up. Ironically it is a comment to the tune of “There’s no way he’d be stupid enough to ruin this one, too.” I respond demurely “I’m trying my best.” The conspirators turn to the sound of my voice and see my lying on the grass, the blanket over me, looking up at them, and apparently decide that my behavior is the most insulting thing a person could engage in at such an event. Their outrage is instant and vocal and piercing, and soon the whole congregation is gathering at the fence to look at me with venom in their eyes, this monster with the audacity to take a ringside snooze at such a blessed event. Soon, everyone gathers their belongings and moves the entire party several hundred feet down the grounds so that they needn’t look at me anymore. I feel completely alone.

I start to walk away, through the vast catacombs that are our bourgeois castle, giving way to dizzying staircases that rise into the sky. I start to ascend one when I am besieged by press and paparazzi; I seriously am crazy famous. (I distinctly recall lying in bed fitfully after I woke from this dream and wondering if it increased my blog visits count. sigh.) I am still too fatigued and defeated to fight through them, so I merely lie limp on the ground as they crowd around me shouting and flashing their bulbs. Soon I am cradled by two large hands, which lift me to the chest of their owner, a man that I immediately recognize as a distant uncle. He isn’t, of course, but in this dream world he is. His dimensions are immense; think Yaphet Kotto but two of him taped together. He asks me if I’d like him to carry me up to my room. I try to resist, feeling shame, indignity, and an overpour of affection for his offer; I truly am undeserving. At first he sets me back down at my insistence that he needn’t bother himself with helping someone as detestable as me, but both he and I are assured once I am back on the ground that I cannot take care of myself. He scoops me up again and pushes through the throng of vultures and carries me to my room. As he deposits me on my bed, I ask him why he is helping me. He smiles, then says I’m family. I respond that I have insulted my family with my drunken diatribe the day earlier and now with my inadvertent lazy protest. To this he laughs, then assures me that “They’re all assholes.” We both laugh and he leaves me to sleep.

The final dream seems to be something of a sequel to the prior one, with me in a church pew explaining to everyone in my row that the father of the bride was tickled with my behavior, claiming “To be rich is incredibly expensive; fuck them!” They laugh at this, though relent saying “it’d take a bit more for us to phrase it that way.” I agree, and then my wife and I get in our cars and start to leave, but first check the mail under the slightly ajar fence before the side door of a neighbor’s that is propped open by a wrecked car. They have none of our mail but instead something from their soccer association, so we drive away.

Then I wake up.

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“No one needs anyone, they don’t even just pretend”

Okay, I hope you’re sitting in a stable position or at least not operating heavy machinery. If there’s a seatbelt or other likewise restraint nearby, I suggest you employ it.

I’m about to get political.

If you’ve been paying attention to… anything, you know that the country of the United States of America is going through some… stuff, right now. And that’s okay. It’s 241 years old; it’s bound to go through some phases. Just continue to love it and support it and wait patiently for it to come out on the other side.

Except it’s not okay. It’s not okay, at all. President Donald J Trump is a buffoon, and I don’t mind admitting that I did not vote for him. I voted for the war criminal with the e-mails and shady Foundation. Because she may be evil, manipulative, and greedy, but at least she’s consistent, she’s a politician, and she knows the difference between fact and fiction. No, I’m not admitting to “alternative facts”; alternative facts are called “opinions”, and they are not the basis for policy.

Immediately after the election I read a couple billion articles on how, oh how, the Mango Mussolini was elected. (I can’t take credit for that pet name; a friend used it last night and it stuck with me.) Most of the articles attributed his overwhelming votes of constituents who, surprisingly, weren’t racist or Islamophobic or Xenophobic or calloused or delicate or Satanic or even moronic. No; most of the voters were educated, middle-class Americans who felt that the government, under the Obama administration, had forgotten them. The government had side-lined their interests in the pursuit of nobler, global pursuits of peace and environmental protection and basic human rights. Somewhere along the way, while helping all Americans get the healthcare options they needed, while protecting the ecosystem that has and needs to sustain us for, like, ever, and engendering the rights of all constituents in terms of marriage law and equality, the Federal government trampled on the financial and entrepreneurial ambitions of Joe Schmoe America. Building projects and business pursuits were being shut down because an eagle landed in a tree during construction. Tax breaks were ignored or revoked so money could go to hold up our end of the Paris Agreement. Joe Schmoe America was being choked out of his ambitions by the needs of the larger world, and he was not happy about that.

I tried to put myself in Joe’s shoes and I realized something: I have NEVER, EVER asked my country for anything. Never. My country has supplied me with many things: sovereign borders, maintained roads, police, regulations on myself and my fellow drivers, public schools, so on and so forth. With those fundamental amenities, I have cultivated myself into a motivated individual who gets what he wants from life through the sweat of his own endeavors. I am intelligent, capable, and driven. I don’t need my government to help me.

I am a registered voter, though. So what do I vote for? Well, obviously, the continuation of the afore-mentioned fundamental amenities. I vote for men and women who won’t fuck up the Constitution. Moving forward, what am I voting for? For those of us who can’t. For those who aren’t intelligent, capable, driven. For those who, for one reason or another, need our country’s assistance. To say, oh I don’t know, get married, vote, vie for equal pay, not get shot by police for being black on the wrong street, drink water that won’t kill them or stunt their child’s growth. I vote for lawmakers and representatives who can push this Country forward. Yeah, I capitalized it, because I mean the whole country. Not me.

Fuck me. If I can’t do it, why the fuck should someone else do it for me? If you vote for you, you’re an asshole, and that’s why we can’t be friends.

When the election results came in, friends of mine wept. Deep sobs of sadness. Were they weeping for themselves? Fuck no. They were weeping for the Muslims, the gays, the blacks, the Native Americans, the Syrian refugees, and all women. They were weeping for their students, for their children, for their parents. And they were weeping for the people who voted for Mango Mussolini, who would soon discover that the shepherd they thought they were aligning themselves with was a Snake Oil Salesman, and in short time they would be left with nothing while he absconded across the pond to an untouchable Fortress Bank with everything they’d worked so hard to build. And who will come to their aid when that smoke clears? NO ONE. Because the self-absorbed cockthistle is pissing off the entire Earth, and as he now politically speaks for the entire United States of America, what he says is directly attributed to YOU.

Was Hillary so awful? Yes. She sure as shit was. But you know what she was? She was a politician. And as awful a word as that may sound (and it is; it really is), it’s what we need in the White House: someone who knows politics. Politics is defined as “the activities of governments concerning the political relations between countries”. Donald J Cockthistle has never held a governmental office. Meaning, he’s never had constituents. Meaning, he’s never been held responsible or liable for the needs and safe-keeping of his American brothers and sisters. Hillary has. She knows how to talk to the people who you FUCKING HAVE TO TALK TO GET SHIT DONE, DONALD! YES, I’M YELLING AT YOU NOW BECAUSE YOU DON’T SEEM TO GET THAT YOU CAN’T DO THIS ALONE. YOU’RE NOT KIM JONG UN, but you’re affecting a damn close impression of him, I can tell you that. Holding the highest office in American politics means being a fucking politician! Sleeping with the snakes and offering them mice and then, when they’re fat and full, fooling them while in their food coma into doing what the American people need done: build roads, treat the sick, trade with foreign nations, protect the weak. That’s your job!

And, yes, Donald: it is a job. You have a job, now. You have a boss. Never had that before, have you? This will take some adjustment so I’ll take it slow. Remember how you were head of Trump Industries and everyone reported to you and you were the final say on everything because it benefited you and made you richer and you could put your name on everything? Well, that’s over. Now, you hold the highest office in America, yes. The buck stops there. But you’re not the boss. No, not by a long shot. You don’t make policy and stamp your approval on things to your own benefit or whim. You work for the American People. You work for ME.

angry

I try on an individual basis to help people understand. I sit them down and I reason with them to try to help a maligned constituency. I demonize whoever I need to throw under the bus to get this person to rally behind the people in need. I don’t feel bad about doing it. It’s right.

This past Saturday, all around the world, people gathered in large groups to demonstrate to the government of the United States of America that the rights and health of women was, is, and always will be a paramount factor of the perpetuity of human existence. They said to their leaders that their reproductive health was not something to be regulated by men, to be swept aside in the interest of oil or exports or military dominance. They stood, men and women and children from all walks of life and all around the world, and demanded that the current administration see who they were working for. Look upon your bosses and understand their expectations for you in the years to come. Recognize your responsibility and never forget why you’re here.

But wouldn’t you know it, some people took umbrage with this? Some people found it inappropriate that so many people of privilege were out there yelling at the bastards. Because it’s too easy for those privileged people to yell at authority. The ethnic minorities, the trans community, the Amur Leopard, the impoverished; they didn’t feel represented by the millions of people in countless cities who took time off work, left their homes, made signs and held court in public space to bring recognition to an administration that was poised to trample the rights of billions. Many felt that the mostly privileged, mostly white protestors were shouting with uneducated voices, or at the worst, uninitiated voices. They hadn’t felt the hardships, didn’t understand what true subjugation was. And where were these privileged white protestors when Black Lives Mattered? It was too little, too late. Or too soon to be taken seriously. If this is your first protest, your voice doesn’t actually matter.

Upon hearing this, I became very angry. Do I understand the genesis of these accusations? Yes, I can empathize. But what is the alternative? No action whatsoever? Sit on our hands and wait for the bomb to drop? Fuck that and fuck you. Don’t tell me my indignation isn’t righteous. Don’t tell me my anger isn’t pure. And don’t tell me not to speak out against a government that threatens us all. Just because I’m not holding your sign doesn’t mean I don’t care about your rights. Let’s be frank for one fucking second:

If we were to make a protest sign that incorporated every group that this government either has or may marginalize, subjugate, or demonize, no one would be able to hoist it. #fact

Anyway, it is my firm belief that Donald J CockThistle, AKA Mango Mussolini, AKA Tiny-Handed Oompa Loompa, AKA Donald Drumpf is an insane person who doesn’t even want to be President of the United States. Sure, he wanted to WIN the office of President of the United States, because he loves winning and that’s something he hasn’t won yet, but he doesn’t want to BE the President of the United States. And I believe this because he’s still saying there is aberrant voter fraud prevalent in the recent election and HE WON. What does that tell you?

Is there a lesson in all this? Do I have something constructive to say or am I just screaming? Well, it’s mostly screaming. But if I can say something constructive, it’s this: be good to each other, look out for one another, respect one another. Most importantly, PAY ATTENTION. Get informed, stay informed, inform others. Shepherd the weak through the valley of darkness, for you are truly your brother’s keeper. If you see something, say something. Don’t worry if it’s not enough; not loud enough, not inclusive enough, not righteous enough. Say it! It’s better than not saying it. What if you’re the only one who can? Then what? Say it!

And if I can venture one more opinion, or Alternative Fact, it’s this: ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do to ensure your country does right by others.

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“Now I’m picturing us opening up wide / Drinking down our days in haze and bliss”

I have been unable to feel as of late. Or I have been unaware of how I feel. And not for lack of trying, mind you. I am asked frequently, and before I offer a knee-jerk canned response, I ask myself. But no answer comes. Most often I lie. Sometimes I admit that I just don’t know, which makes an offhand query become a philosophical rabbithole, often to the chagrin of the person who probed me. I think there’s a lesson in there.

I am now living in the town that I grew up in: Conroe, Texas. I was born at Conroe Regional Medical Center. I attended Conroe High School, of the Conroe Independent School District. I will probably die here.

Donald J Trump is the President of the United States of America and I live in Conroe, Texas. No, I don’t know what to feel.

Interesting fact: if you drive through New Mexico at 80mph, it feels as though you are not moving at all. At 80mph, by the way, you put a mile behind you every 47 seconds. At 90mph, it’s every 40 seconds.

We made good time, despite the fact that a fierce winter storm named Jupiter pushed us quite literally off the road in Kerrville, Texas. While driving through the mostly desert area in the rapidly encroaching darkness of night, the rains fell heavily, coupled with the already strong crosswinds, and traction was lost repeatedly until all traffic slowed to 55mph or less with our hazards on. Visibility was low, and every attempt I made to speed up was met with more loss of grip on the road. It was as if anything travelling over 60pmh was considered by the wind to be wind, and it would fold it in its loving arms and take it home, or wherever it is that wind lives.

Interesting fact: most women in Texas will tell you two generations of their family’s history upon first meeting you before they even learn your name or offer theirs. I had forgotten about this phenomena sometime in the past fourteen years, but it is as true today as it was so many years ago when I drove around on these streets and shopped these stores. It happened with the cashier at the 4-pump Exxon in Kerrville, the receptionist at the storage rental facility in Conroe, and the bartender at Montana’s Shop Talk down the street from where I’m currently staying (Mom’s; there, I said it.) The latter had us to herself for the better part of an hour, and somehow, despite the fact that she filled the air with so many words and names and stories, she managed to divine that my wife and I were “evenly yoked“. She even drew us a diagram so that we could grasp just what that meant and how rare and blessed it was.

This is a land trapped in Time. I have seen more churches out of my car window in the past five days than I have in the past fourteen years. Confusingly, I have also seen more sex shops and billboards advertising sex shops. Cindie’s, Adam & Eve’s, Zone D’Erotica, Katz’s, and Eros, just to name five. Churches, bars, and places to buy dildoes. Drive-through liquor stores. Waffle Houses and Cracker Barrels and amazing mom-n-pop diners and delis. Pink Taco Cabana buildings everywhere. So much real estate up for grabs, McMansions for sale, and Carvana (yes, this is an actual thing). It is bizarre and surreal and yet all very familiar.

As I’ve told many about this adventure, I am “writing a new chapter in an old book”. Now if I just knew the tone of this tome…

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Now the page is soaked with tears / flipping backwards through the years / how I wish that you were here

I made the mistake tonight of looking through old photographs. It started as a moving exercise, a chance to declutter some more stuff as we prepare to move across the nation. Then I got the brilliant idea to shove a few duplicates in people’s Christmas cards this year. I always like to do a gimmick, you see. One year I wrote jokes, another I included cards from other holidays; this year would be random photographs. Seemed harmless enough.

So I poured a glass of whiskey, put on some music, flipped on the fireplace, and started sorting. It went smoothly and rather than feel the pangs of regret or the nostalgic pull of the past, I felt a scientific detachment to the images, a genuine sense of wonder at the youth and experiences within. I made three piles: one to keep, one for the cards, and one for trash. I took my memories in my hand and literally, physically cast them away. Still, none of this affected me.

My stacks in place, I set to work. I went to my phone to collect the addresses I would need to mail the cards, which sent me through text feeds, on Facebook, and through email. This opened a new can of memories, and somehow this can had fermented. Whilst fingering through chats and photo dumps, meme exchanges, and holiday salutations, the feelings began to pull at me. I went to distract myself through Facebook feeds and came across this little gem:

 And he’s right. I get sad ALL THE TIME. And no, my life doesn’t suck. I just get alone sometimes or feel alone sometimes and I think it’ll never change; I’ll never not be alone. It’s like if you’ve ever stretched and had a muscle lock up, say in your neck or leg or whatnot, you have that initial reaction “Well, this is my life now; bent in this formation for the rest of my days. It was fun being functional…” Eventually it releases and you’re fine but in that moment you were absolutely resolved to be that twisted version of yourself forever. That’s what these late night sadnesses are for me. They come on and I’m convinced they’re the last new feeling I’ll ever have and I’ll just carry this shitsack of loneliness around my neck throughout the rest of my miserable life like luggage.

The hard parts came when I’d see a photo of someone and not remember their name; I’d have some remembrance of who they were, of why I took their photo, and I got over my ignorance and forgetfulness. The real gut punch came when I’d see a face that I did remember but either convinced myself or knew with certain conviction that I’d never see again. Be they dead or someone I’d had a falling out with, I just knew that person was gone from my life forever. And I hate forever.

Facebook gave me delightful videos of photos sliding through time of people I stood shoulder-to-shoulder with frequently and built indelible memories alongside; we thought it’d never end, the perpetual battle of us versus them. Then it did, and this video curated by an algorithm is all I have.

I think the lesson, however, is to constantly create memories; constantly smile at the camera, grab the hand next to you, dig into the shoulder, square your feet, and fight! Some day soon those pictures may be all we have.

 

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