It Was On My Mind, So, Here, You Look At It

I spend a disproportionate amount of time that I am laying in my arctic cold bedroom thinking instead of sleeping. Mostly it is good things to be honest with you, albeit fanciful things that involve impossible scenarios with untouchable people. I say fanciful because I want to make sure I separate it from the obsessive thoughts I have about the mistakes I have made in my life and that kind of thing. Fanciful for people, obsessive for mistakes. We cool? Cool.

There is this game I play where I have somehow come into a nearly infinite supply of money and, kind of like how others count sheep, I spend as much of it as I can on other people before I finally succumb to the embrace of sleep, or I have to just get up because I have done this the entirety of the night and the day has attacked me with little or no regard for my desire for the dark of night to remain with me until I say it can leave.

If one wants to look at it from a purely psychiatric angle, it is probably not the best thought experiment to engage in because it puts thoughts into my head about impossible things that, even if I am not aware of it later, I am pretty sure I try to put a version of it into play in my life at some later point. Or, if you wanted to look at it from a purely human standpoint, you could say that I am doing what people should do with exorbitant amounts of excess wealth, and that is sharing it with as many as I can because it isn’t as if I can take it with me when I shuffle the mortal coil.

Maybe this is all a fever dream and I just need more coffee?

A Slave To False Grief No Longer

Normally, I would start this week by saying that it is one of the worst weeks of my year, I would bemoan it in fact and start to annoy myself, never mind what I mayor may not be doing to other people in my life and the one or two strangers who may read the things that I write here.

Now while I will not go as far as to say that things this week aren’t going to bother me, I think I have hit a new point that I wanted to write about. Plus, since I haven’t written here in a bit I thought I would try to write more than I normally would to shake off the dust and see if I can get something decent put out into the world.

A little backstory to those new to the cluster fuck that was my early adulthood.

My dad died almost exactly two weeks before my eighteenth birthday and my mother, not to be outdone, died about a week before my twenty-fifth birthday. Seeing as I am turning forty here in a few weeks, this wasn’t precisely yesterday by any stretch of the imagination.

For years I would devolve into this puddle of sniveling shit every third week of February. some of you may have been lucky enough to even be with me getting drunk on those auspicious days.

This year though, it isn’t there. The overwhelming feelings, the neato panic attacks at three in the morning, absolutely nothing of that sort at all. This doesn’t mean I won’t be affected on the days in question, it just means I have not been as of yet.

See, my parents were not good people. My brain, finally getting this through to the weird lizard brain part of my psyche, is happy that I am firmly ensconced with the knowledge and while celebrating the death of a parent is beyond what I am going to do, I am not going to mourn the people who systemically abused three children for nearly twenty solid years in one form or another. Do you cry for the mosquito who was stealing your lifeblood when you kill it? Do you weep when the serial killer gets caught and killed?

No, I will do what I need to get through the days in question, be it laugh or drink or do one while doing the other. I will not sit around and muse, wax poetic or romanticize people that I have never once denied despising.

I understand that some people, including wonderful people I deeply respect and love, might be very confused by this, so, breaking with my normally “suck it up and deal” attitude when it comes to these things, I feel a compulsion to tell them that it isn’t that I do not feel thoughts at the mention of their deaths and that I did not weep when it happened. I cannot justify the morality, albeit skewed, that I have developed to celebrate the lives of two people who hurt me in every way imaginable. The people who were supposed to protect me from the world merely hid their crimes from it.

No, no I will not ask them to rage against the dying of the light, just to go to their infinity and leave this world to try and heal from their existence at all.


Asphalt Waves and Good Books

When I was 7, or 8 maybe, they canceled school as they did for my kids today. Now, it wasn’t for the snow, I lived in the high desert of the Mojave and it did indeed snow there from time to time, no, this day they canceled school because it was simply too damn hot. I couldn’t give you the numbers, I was a kid and I didn’t pay attention to that. What I do remember is the reason my mother said I couldn’t go outside.

The asphalt was melting see.

They thought of the street turning into so wave of blackness to swallow me whole terrified me beyond rational thought and I spent this day where the temperatures had to be in the upper limits of human endurance hiding in my closet so I wouldn’t get swallowed by the street.

Yeah, I was a troubled child.

I would have panic attacks like this more often as we lived in Lancaster longer and longer. Earthquakes, melting asphalt, my mother getting out of her room for the first time in a week, CPS, school, and on and on.

A totally irrational fear of things that were above and beyond any sphere of control I was aware of. School never did it to me, personal interactions, meetings, but when it came to things I couldn’t micromanage, that is when I would collapse into the little closet that I spent so much time in that I had a blanket, a lamp and the books that kept me sane by taking me far away from scary things like the San Andreas fault line and 125 degrees in the shade.

I may not have a closet anymore, but I still have the panic attacks, I just got better books and sweet air conditioning.

A Sad Form Of Truth

I want to write a book. Well, I suppose by all practical measurements you can say that I want to write another one. I am not ashamed of the first one by any stretch, but I want to write a thing that is pure and totally me. Little Boy was an exercise to see if I could complete the National Novel Writers Month challenge, during which you are trying to write 50,000 words in thirty days. So it is rushed and it was something I did purely for the challenge, for the ability to say that I had done the thing.

So, now what?

I have written thousands of poems that are between things that make me cry in memory a decade later and things I will not delete purely because I need to never write that piece of shit again. I love poetry, it was my passion before I truly understood what that word meant. I would write these things to my first wife that would go on and on about her chestnut hair and eyes like smokey mirrors. I would write to Naomi about the beauty of childbirth and the creation of life with a schmuck like me. War and Death and Love, Angst and Joy, Forgiveness and Hatred. I have written about her forever eyes, Valkyries as my salvation and mothers that are far away that my love will never fade for.

I have written about The Assemblage and their awkwardly moralistic power plays on a global scale. I wrote about the Eight Mothers that came from that place Cosmic Horror begins and ends. I rewrote The Inferno as best as I could. The Dark Goddess Siobhan and the glory of her power over the hearts and minds of things that go bump in the night.

Am I out of things to write? No, that will never be the case.

What I don’t have, is courage.

I am terrified of rejection. Personally, professionally, artistically, even spiritually.

That’s it see, that’s what there is no book.

What if everyone hates it? What if it is the punchline of jokes and the object of derision.

Yeah, I know I can’t control any of that.

Truth is a stupid thing when it is in your head.

Kick The Bucket

There are so many things left for me to do. So many things need to be done. Not because of a moral obligation, a promise to love gone or even a compulsion from a dark place. No, I have things left to do because I want to do these things. I have always wanted to do these things and, until they are done, I suppose I can’t file away my life as complete. I am well aware of the near impossibility of these things, but the brain doesn’t care for such trivialities such as fiscal responsibility and terror. So, since today seems to be a list kind of day, I want to share what I suppose is a bucket list, although it has some very not bucket like things on them as you may notice. Plus, some of these are not going to make sense unless you know the stories behind them all.

Again, with no further ado.

  • I need to go back there to see if the moon is really that bright.
  • Walk in Calaveras Big Trees and simply lookup.
  • Go back to Tommy’s across the street from the brewery and get a chili dog the way they are supposed to be.
  • Go back to Van Nuys and Balboa and see if it makes it better.
  • Swim in the Pacific and let it was the dreams away, take the memories away, forget me and help me forget.
  • Go up to Lodi, pay my respects to all of them.
  • See the Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, and the Grand Canyon when it isn’t pitch black and pointless.
  • Go back to Olathe and see if I can remember why it was so important to me.
  • No, not Medicine Lodge, no matter how much it wants me to come back.
  • Tell her I’m sorry.
  • Tell them I’m not.
  • Go see the family heart in Ireland.
  • Iceland, because of Iceland.
  • Montreal to remember: Ste.-Catherines to laugh, President-Kennedy to cry, Old Port to smile, Notre Dame to beg

The biggest though, the one I am nearly ashamed that I haven’t actually done, is the book. I have written a “book” before I suppose, a novella if anything, and I am not satisfied with the feeling it left me with, so now I have to go and actually write one. I don’t know how, not yet, but it is a thing that is the fire in the dark. It is what keeps me so close to so many things. I write stories and essays and even poems, but when I sit down to make it happen, it all leaves me and I feel it ebbing and I cry a bunch, all the time really.

Now, back to the rest of the things.

  • Get to Camp, I mean, everyone really tells me I would love it there.
  • Show Her I am sorry, that I was stupid, and that it will never happen again.
  • Read These
  • And These
  • These Too
  • Finally These
  • Yes, even if they overlap you read.
  • Yes, even if you already have. In fact especially if you already have.
  • New Orleans – For Dove
  • Orlando – Ducks
  • Try to be what I need to be for the people I love.

That there, the last on this list that I could right until the end of time, that is the hardest. I get accused, rightly, of being extra. Doing all the things when I don’t have to. I don’t know how to be any other way, and I am pretty sure I don’t want to.

So, to You, my Tribe, my People, I say this:

Each and every day I will endeavor to be the best version of me I can be. Authentic and vulnerable. I will fail, but I promise to fail as rarely as I can.