Despair

June 23, 2017 – It’s a Friday, my favorite day of the week…. an ending, and a beginning. 


I sit stuck in my own excrement, frozen in fear. It is dark, cold, damp here.

A Cave, built over thousands of years with weakly fallen tears… expanding and dissolving into this infinite dark.

I’ve tried to escape. My moral compass is defiant, refusing to settle… She rotates ceaselessly and I am reeling. “EVOLUTION”, I titled my clumsy dance. “Maturity”, I laughed. “A revolution!”, I cried when I turned to the jagged cave wall painted a phoenix:

with the venom I’d spat, I painted her golden frame, with tears I’d spilled, I softened soil for a strong foundation that held impermeable walls surrounding her, I painted her eyes with blood spilled in my sparring with those I’d confided in, I detailed every feather with vomit triggered by my fear of failure, or perhaps my power.

Oh, my phoenix. My self portrait. My false idol of strength, self realization and wisdom. She spread her wings at the entrance of my escape attempt…

… but I had been making circles. She mocked me as I landed in her ash once again…. weeks, months, year-long journeys in search of Light led me back to her feet

Every.

Fucking.

Time.

Just as the jolt of adrenaline hit my bloodstream with a taste of fresh air-

-here I return. Defeated.

It smells here. Like Death.

No, not decomposition. Not rot. But the thick, suffocating scent of stagnant air. Like a dirty palm covering my mouth and nose, my lungs labor to earn life.

Here. This is where my motivation, creativity and inspiration go to die; a graveyard for dreams.

It’s good to be home,

tucked safely in the arms of Ego, lulled to sleep by the enchanting melodies of self-doubt.

 

Summer Nights

It was the first time I envied youth. She was young: 22. Limber. She climbed over the railing of our balcony and infected us with her laughter. She was so captivating. Simply because she was youthful, joyous, silly. She responded with giggling. She knew she was the epitome of desire, from everyone either wanting her or wanting to be her. Youth is intoxicating that way. She reminded us of a part of our innocence that had long been gone. She told us her plans of running away to Colorado: a 20 hour road trip with no job, no home and no plan to arrive to. She was leaving tomorrow. We were each 7 beers in and a few shots away from being rational. It was gorgeous. I remembered being 22… With a similar plan as I moved to NYC in the dead of winter. I tried to remember when I lost sight of that girl who never capped her dreams, who instead of asking “why”, continued asking “why not”. Always seeking the possible and answering “yes” to all of her pressing desires when the world had told her no. When did I lose the endless ambition and hunger for life?

… It was when I fell in love. And in bringing someone else into my dream I lost sight of mine… And myself.

Now. I feel tired. Old. Not so limber and not so innocent. Bitter. Demotivated. I simply applauded her. I didn’t want to warn her that the biggest thing she’d have to fear out there was herself. That the world wanted her to succeed but one day she may feel like she didn’t deserve it. Or that she didn’t have the energy to prove it anymore. Maybe she’d never have to learn… Maybe she’s always be her biggest fan.

But for tonight. I simply clinked Coronas and pretended that 3 years wasn’t equivalent to 3 lifetimes… She was newly graduated and newborn.

We’re just happy you’re here… Helping us pretend we’re still young and beautiful. Reckless and carefree.

#29- ‘Lone. Pt 1

Another unfinished one… scribbled down today in a coffee shop.


He fumbled with the zipper of his hoodie, heart pounding, mind racing. He looked in the mirror

I look fucking ridiculous.

He traded in his usual Italian Leather Oxford Bals for a pair of nice sneakers. At least, he thought they were nice… he paid enough for them. A shoe that had no other fucntion than to match his shirt (His son has stressed the importance of this).

His son. Jesus.

He’s closer in age than we are.

He didn’t actually ask her age… he assumed, and hoped, that she had at least a few years on his oldest son… 27? 24? 21? He pushed the thought out of his head.

Youth looks the same.

Besides, she hadn’t asked his age, either. In fact, she never commented on the generational gap.

He tugged down on the hoodie so that it smoothed the curves and valleys of his mountainous middle: expanding from his chest sharply, steeply climbing past his waist before sloping over into a cliff, an overhang above his belt line that quaked with every step. It seemed counterintuitive to wear more clothing to appear to have less mass… or at least, smoother, more compact mass.

Still, he refused to wear pants above the waist; he wasn’t that old.

He threw his hands deep into the pockets of his blue hoodie and cocked his left hip, leading with his right foot. He stared at the reflection. Unrecognizable. Was he trying too hard? Would she see right through the costume of youth and see the sad, old man underneath?

The multi-colored graffiti on the white tee-shirt peered above the half-risen zipper, but he wasn’t entirely sure if it was words or an image. He hoped she wouldn’t ask about it.

His hair and beard were littered with gray. It was thinner than before. If you caught him at the right angle from behind, with his guard down, you could see through to his scalp. But he wasn’t going to let that happen. He grabbed a generous heap of moose and began the tedious process of manipulating what little hair he had left to cover where it would no longer grow.

His beard was freshly trimmed into a 20 year old memory of a jawline. He combed the dark brown dye through sections with precision; creating shadows and contours against the stark white contrast of a man a quarter of his age and half his size.

He readjusted himself in the dark wash jeans. He wasn’t entirely sure of the fit; the elastic band of his boxers stretched across where his hips became wider than his thighs. The jeans began 3-4 inches below that, the back pockets outlining his upper thigh. All of this purposeful mis-fitting was covered by the tee-shirt (that no one would fully see) and the blue hoodie to make him look more…compact…

…and to match these fucking shoes.

He nipped and tugged at the fabric masterpiece until he was satisfied, and completed his ensemble with a couple of sprays the cologne his wife had gifted him for one of their anniversaries… before he was gray.

…She didn’t call to say she’d pick up the last of her stuff today.

TO BE CONTINUED.

On The N Train 1/13/16 7pm

There was something about her sweet face, squeezed between the hood of her bright blue winter coat, covered with snowflakes and a big eyed, platinum blonde Elsa from Frozen conjuring some winter war on her chest. The little one seem unphased by the stomach-churning aroma of decay and toxic secretions that had wafted from the streets of the city onto the train car. Mid-winter, the aroma dwelled any indoor heated area, as every living thing fled to the few available sanctuaries from the biting, relentless cold. I twisted my face in defiance of the sensory overload, contorting my nose so that only the minimal amount of oxygen could pop into my lungs; enough to keep me alive for my commute home, but sparing me from overindulging in the stench of overcrowded train car. Panting like a dog, I lamaz-breathed in my corner, while sucking in my “winter pudge”, (which had stuck around for the past two winters…and summers) as the next army of commuters crammed themselves, unrealistically into me.

But her face was angelic. So relaxed. So innocent. Absorbing everything, thrilled by something as mundane as the piercing recorded “ding” of the train doors closing. She was silent… unusual for such a little one. Unusual for rush hour. Unusual for this wildly unpleasant commute. Upright in the stroller. Thinking. Wheels turning. Absorbing. Judging?

Her mother was practically collapsed into the wall in physical defeat as she  sat down for possibly the first time that day. Her head leaned into the once-reflective pole, now covered in slime New York. Still catching her breath, she stuffed old headphones into her ears immediately, mechanically…completely surrendering to the vibrations snare drums and rhyming couplets about superficial worries that seemed miniscule in comparison. The chord near the auxiliary connector was completely stripped; just exposed wires. I saw that she sought refuge here often. She looked young, and disinterested. We all got to enjoy her music that destroyed her eardrums with unforgiving volume levels.

She didn’t hear it the first time… I don’t know if anyone did.

More than usual this train was clouded with an exhausted and angry haze that seemed to pour in endlessly with every stop, leaking through the sliding doors:

They open. Another frustrated sigh. They shut. An annoyed glance flares violently across the car. They open again hurried footsteps exit, running down the weak, feeble and slow. They close, shoulders force their way through the sea of mediocrity and dissatisfaction. Another Wednesday. Halfway there, but it’s hard to see the glass half full instead of focusing on the fact that some asshole drank half your glass. All you had left.

But I heard her… A soft exclamation at first. Her eyes were completely fixated on… what? She was entranced.

….To Be Continued….