I should have listened…
I should have listened to my best friend’s father
when he told me, with great love and affection,
“You can’t rely on people too much…
Eventually, they’re going to fail you.”
I have seen my fair share of failures from people
through these 28 years and
there are definitely nights when I tumble around
memories of those kinds of lessons learned
in my mind
like shoes left alone in a dryer.
They kick the inside of my skull like
petulant children wanting out of their rooms
because I have not yet muster the courage
to let them go
They are grounded.
I just wish I could say the same for myself.
Then maybe I could stop having dreams
that figure out my problems faster than my
mind does at its waking speed
assisted with pharmaceutical concentration tablets.
I have a prescription for them, I swear.
Obtained them legally for a treatment of my
many ill diagnoses.
I’m a mess.
And I have been a mess for longer than I ever dreamed possible
My mom always told me it takes at least half the time
you were with someone to get over the fact that they’re gone.
Well, Ma, it’s been over that period of time and part of me
still misses part of her that’s gone
At least now I can think about her with as level a head
as I can generally muster,
marching through these cold months,
waking up alone, in a cold room in a warm bed
the polarization of these simultaneous events
is enough to give me a long pause and think
about my eventual rising from my mattress and pillows,
emerging from underneath my comforters quilted by my own mother
and, some mornings, I battle the dark demons
of a depressive state
weighing all my options on whether or not I want to go to work that day.
I have only failed once because I have learned the art
of talking to myself and the effect of music
to bring my spirit back to the edge.
A friend turned me on to the Gaslight Anthem’s “Handwritten”
and It’s Brian Fallon’s guitar
that usually sinks hooks into my deadweight body
then pulls me to my feet to begin the day.
Because I can’t rely on people anymore, not really.
And I don’t think I made that decision consciously,
there’s a surge of electricity that courses through my every cell
throughout my body every time I think about social interaction.
So, while everyone is getting into relationships,
I’m watching old TV shows that remind me that there may be
hope in my story yet.
And in my dreams I am just a punk kid who runs from his friend
when things change.
I learned that from my subconscious today and upon waking
I reached a moment of clarity I had not seen for at least 9 months
and I’m hoping it’s the start of a better path than I’ve been walking.
I’ve been alone. A lot.
I learn my lessons the hard way.
My head must go through the brick wall
before I realize it is solid and I must burn coil marks
into my hand
Before I realize the stove cooks food (and my hand), so it must be hot
And telling one person (aside from my therapist)
all the thoughts I have and all the things that scare me,
then have that person excise themselves from your life
like a new body part ripped from its grafting site,
tearing the stitches from the skin of which it had been a part of
for over a year and a half…
Leaves a lot of wounds and, eventually, scars
And so I haven’t spoken much to anyone,
I don’t leave my apartment much
and I battle with depression like the Southern states
deal with bouts of ice.
I shut down sometimes.
And there’s so much I want to do that I can’t.
I feel like my strength has left me completely.
Hello, my name is complacency.