“Molding pillows to your shape in hopes of catching rest.”

Alone? I know alone.
People? I know fewer of those
As the days drag on into nights
Where the lights to the East
Coat the skyline like stars
That have yet to die

It’s lonely here, between these ears. From my patio, there is a car parked between two empty spots: numbers 9 and 11. These numerals are spray painted in stencil on the pavement so that every time I step out onto the patio, I’m one space away from being stuck in an emergency, so I stay between the lines and let the nicotine buzz.

There’s solitude in the songs that hit me like hammer hits nail. I don’t bend to its will but it makes me malleable in my introspectie space where, in the dark, there is no one but me and the background noise of my TV as I play the same song over and over again. I’m trying to make sense of this heavy burning in my chest; sometimes my emotional state escapes the rate of my cognitive abilities and so, sometimes I dwell in the miasma a moment to soak up the scent, to plug myself into that outlet. Or maybe an inlet. Depends on your perspective, I guess.

There are songs that make me miss people even though people aren’t exactly on my radar. When I’m running low on sleep, which I have been for days it seems, I think the doors open a little bit easier and I’m a little more susceptible to being set loose, but not set free. Emotions are sometimes an escape but, more often than not, a ball and chain and I’m chipping away at the stone around my brain to see what I actually think.

Tonight, I struggle to keep my eyes open and my heart steady.
These nighttime hours are the times when I miss people
When they’re the most inaccessible.
Maybe I miss them for the very reason that they are.
If that’s the case I would miss them all the time, though.
It’s the magic and solitude found only under the spell of night
Where I wander.
I wonder.

Now playing:

Artist: Sixo feat. Ceschi
Song: Christmas Past
Album: The Odds of Free Will
Fake Four Records

Lyrics:

Grind my bones up,
snort ’em through your pretty, big nostrils
’till your stomach expands from cuts to your guts.
I wrote a lot of bad from the depths of your insides
To sing you sweetly to sleep as you cried at night.

I’ll be your ghost of Christmas past
On a pillow of feathers all soaked as rags.
In a thunderstorm over skid row we’ve danced in dreams.
But in reality, I don’t dance or dream.
In reality, all my laughs are screams, emotionless,
And half the man I’d ever hope to be.

So, promise me you’ll pawn my guitar on a Fair Haven Street
And buy yourself a diamond ring with the hundred bucks you recieve
Near the crack spot near the bail-bondsmen there’s a gas station hest.
I swear to fucking God I tried my best.
But my best will never be good enough for a perfect guy that’s mess.
But as long as I’m alive I will be drenched in my regrets.
Tonight I’ll sleep in sweat in another bed
Without the warmth of your flesh
Molding pillows to your shape in hopes of catching rest.

Let’s make it through the winter
Without peeling off each other’s skin.
Let’s grow our hair and learn to live again
‘Cause spring is right around the bend
It’ll melt away the bitterness
It’ll grow new trees and pollinate the land

The king and prince are both dead
Drift away quick as snowmen
With frosty powder still in noses
Nobody left to hold them
Through the blizzard that left them frozen
I’m hoping that I meet a better end.

They’ll be our ghost of Christmas past.

Light the Match, Ignite the Torch, Burn it Down, Walk Away.

HouseFire

I carried around a burning coal in my chest for longer than I choose to remember as my memory currently will not allow me to recall the time. My face showed scorn with a curled up lip and furrowed brows when I thought about what you’d done, what you were doing, what I didn’t do to deserve this. I didn’t deserve this, I don’t deserve this, I will never deserve to be treated like this. And I carried around that open flame with me to work, to church, and to my friends who were kind enough to listen to me when I related the newest revelations I had gleaned from the fire burning the layers of paper wrapped around this issue.

I was the burning man
with burning steps
scorching the earth
wherever I roamed
You lit the fire
You ignited the flame
But I had to carry the torch
inside me, not you
And there was no one to put it out but me
No one but me.

I ran over and over in my head scenes of violence where I put my fist through the face of the guy you ran away with. I hold him responsible too, even though it was mostly your fault. And it was your fault, not mine. No matter how angry I got I could never hit a woman and so he would pay the price and you would have to suffer as he suffered my wrath, the consequences be damned. I wanted to rip your whole world to shreds as you had mine. I wanted you to suffer the way I did and sometimes still do when my memory or subconscious allows you to creep up on me. The visions I had of you and him, having come true, were replaced with scenes of violence and vengeance that kept me awake some nights; the adrenaline from the thought became too much for me to control and would not allow me to rest.

I gave you everything and more. I told you everything and more. I don’t trust easy and I don’t take abandonment well and you knew that, you knew that better than anyone and you went ahead and kicked me to the curb without having the common fucking courage to say it to my face or at least over the phone. Distance was your shield and you hid behind it and fired an arrow with a note and a flame attached to it and you incinerated my world, you coward. And rather than own up to the garbage you backed into a corner and attacked like a wounded animal when I was the wounded one. After all that, I hoped everything in you hurt. I wanted to know you were unhappy and know you deserved it.

I wanted to set fire to the pictures I saw of you and him. Not out of jealousy but out of sheer malice and rage. I wanted to crumple up the photographs of your faces and have you feel it in your skulls. I wanted to take a lighter to it and watch the smiles curl slowly into a black nothing because that’s what you deserved.

Your whole world in flames; I wanted to see your world burn to the ground around you.

The River Flows North to the Delta

RiverStones

I may have lied about sleeping that night but only marginally. After curling up on the floor most pathetically and keening like a dog that’d been kicked too many times, bawling harder than I thought possible, I crawled into bed having nothing left and drifted off for a few hours. Knowing that I had church in the morning and the ache that pervaded my body, I was ambivalent about waking up.

But I slept like a stone
and the rest washed over me like a river
eroding the dirt
and my eyes woke to the morning
and my eyes woke to the morning
and my eyes woke to the mourning
of something that had been murdered
only hours before
And I pulled myself from the river
weightless and smiling
as if I was not made of stone
floating
I was taken by the currents

And one by one I told those that mattered the story of what you’d said to me and the decisions you’d made. The trade up you made, you see. And, while I said it with a smile on my face because it felt like a weight had been lifted, the sorrow in the eyes of the people who knew me and knew you was difficult to swallow. But I did my best to keep grinning because part of me was relieved. I didn’t have to worry about the stress of something I saw play out a million times in my head over the span of a few weeks that you could have cared less about. I should have seen it coming long before it did. But I guess I should have felt like I was in good company because nobody else understood it either.

Shame on me for being blinded by the light of the feelings I had for you. I never believed you’d do something like that.

I sat down on the couch
with the wonderful friend
one that I often refer to as “my other mom”
and I felt bulletproof
because the grief wasn’t there
But I wanted the story known
Because I know how I am with pain
Ignore it until it becomes too much to handle
The pain.
And as the story unfurled from my mouth
there was something I didn’t expect
There were tears in her eyes
Drops of saline, careening down her cheeks
creating reflections of the tears
I was somehow finding in mine.
Somehow, it hurt more than I’d registered
It was not okay.
Nothing was fine.

The Violins in My Fingertips

My heart is fueling a storm in my head. Conducting electrical currents like explosions in the veins in my eyes so I can understand the red I see when the elephant in the room takes a seat on my chest. Now if only I could get him increase his altitude just slightly so I can breathe out the so many words contained in the bottom of my lungs.

Now listen to the silent violins in my fingertips…

If I wanted to tell you the truth I’d need your ears to open to it first.  My feelings are not meant for the tiny space you’ve made by pushing junk back even tighter into the space more of your stuff already consumes. You don’t want to take the time to connect to my heart so I guess that’s fine. You’re one of millions in a one-in-a-million kind of way.  This shouldn’t surprise me. However, it does disappoint me. A lot. It feels like the elephant sat directly to the left of center of my chest, like he was able to focus his weight in that hand-sized space, snapping ribs from the sternum like stripping branches from a sapling. That’s what it means when I tell you my heart feels heavy.

Heavy in the ways you are not.  In fact, when I see you, I see light and it’s the strangest thing in the world y’all because, normally when you see the light you know what it means.  Yeah, I see you, I see light and I don’t know what to think of myself. Maybe it’s because you bring out the best and the brightest in me without either of us trying and I wish I knew what that meant. But more than that I wish there were people like that around me all the time so maybe I wouldn’t have to resort to tears so much. It’s just that, right now, I feel like I don’t have a whole lot of choices. So, I fight.

It’s like that scene in Say Anything when Lloyd is sparring at the gym, practicing his kickboxing skills.  This is after Diane has claimed she loved him and then pushed him away because of daddy issues.  Lloyd, at this point, has tried everything he can to get her back including that famous scene where he holds up a boombox with that Peter Gabriel song playing loud outside her bedroom window only to get to response from her. Y’all, he has tried everything and you’re left to believe that he has decided to live with it.  This all converges on a scene of him kickboxing.  It seems all his focus is in the moment, on what he’s doing and that’s where I feel like I am.  The gloves are on and I’m fighting and, while it would be easy to give up, I am not even close to there.  If you’ve seen the movie, you know that Diane walks into the gym and he loses focus, gets his nose broken and hope is restored in his life. I’m waiting for something to take my focus off the fight.

I suppose now I should talk about God and how he is working in my life.  The answer is that I don’t know.  I don’t get why 9.9 days out of 10 I feel like life is treating me like garbage is an appropriate means of getting me somewhere and I’ve asked why but I’m ok with not getting an answer. That still has not stripped away the fact that I continue to live for Him the best I can because it’s what I do and I can’t do anything else.  Call that blind faith or ridiculous or what have you but I would first ask that you take a step into my shoes and walk a mile or two and see what it feels like to get discouraged by almost every facet of your life.  Let’s see how your heart holds up.

It’s back into the ring next week. Maybe it’ll take my mind off the fact that there’s an elephant on my chest and he doesn’t want to move. Maybe I’ll forget the friends I miss, the pursuit of my own happiness and maybe, just maybe I’ll survive another round.

I hope.