11,400 Days

On this, my 11,400th day of life
I am questioning everything I’ve ever known
Throwing it on loops of film on playback
Penciling with esoteric shapes the points
That caused everything to never be the same again.

Today was the first time in several years
I wore my hair in what is is now referred to
On the internet as the man-bun:
Now an ironic memento of white hipster culture
Saluted in memes as a glowering sign of male femininity

Does it make me a hipster to say I wore it before it was cool?
That I twisted the hair on my head up into a coil
To match the rest of me?
That accompanied it with a black slouch cap and beard
My friends said made me look like SOA’s Opie?

Truth is I was that guy before I knew who Opie was.
And the woman who taught me how to pin my bun in place
With chopsticks has since all but forgotten me
Gotten married and, like everyone, pretends to live
With a glass of happiness with a shot of Jager for the bad days

[We’ve all begun drinking a little more as the days add up]

Those days come now not in the occasional rainstorm
But in curling, whitecaps, and waves you could ride home on
And I am bracing myself aganist the tide with anchors
Made of medicine that barely holds me in place
Everyday I’m a little more capsized, Lord have mercy

I wish I had pen and paper for every person
I can remember, even if I wish I could forget them
My life would be War and Peace in 31 volumes
Paradise Lost, but even more incomprehensible
Because even I don’t really ever understand what was going on.

[Lacuna for every shot of whiskey, burn marks for every cigarette]

This weekend is my little brother’s birthday
And I don’t want to celebrate because
It brings me back to a friend who is now dead,
Knew that birthdays were not celebrated on one day
And loved everyone, including me, without question.

Add that to the calamity of percussive sounds
Rattling around in my headspace
Every day I wake up and leave this small apartment
Every one of the few miles from here to anywhere
Is a bouncing betty suspended midair, packed with panic attacks

And I can’t get out of the way of the shrapnel
No guardian angel because I don’t believe in them
And God? I’m sure he’s there
I’m just trying my best to get through the silence
With my face and faith in Him and his humanity intact

One day at a time I got here
But one day at a time isn’t cutting it anymore.
Someone knocked the teeth out of the great gears
And now they’re just spinning wheels
And I am caught underneath them

Sheddings skin, hair, breath, and nail
I am a ghost of sheets on a clothesline
Flapping in the breeze, drying the absorbed tears
You will never see because I don’t do that anymore
I haven’t the time.

This door that says 11,401 is in front of me now
Three hours have yet to go down
And I’m wishing for a nickel to throw in a wishing well
Then I’d jump into the water for the treasured memory of a wish
And amidst it all, I’ll probably drown.

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