Saturday, November 07, 2009

Older, Farther Away

The sun filtered its rays through the blinds and onto the spread of the sheet before me as they did yesterday and the day before that, unfettered and bright and harsh. I sat up in bed, apprehensive and unnerved struggling to shut my eyes and strangely determined to keep them that way for what I could only describe as a substantial amount of time. Alert and steady, my eyes shot a glance at the cell phone appropriately positioned on the bedside table which read ‘7:30am’ matter-of-factly and intimidating. The steady whir of the fan above served to remind me just how far I am from home, where I would expect the cold fingers of autumn to creep slowly and steadily in through struggling cracks and crevices in old windowsills of my past, instead feeling the scorch of summer pervade what was once the familiar, sweeping rush of seasonal transition through the months of fall.

The echoes of people’s voices still filled the corridors of my mind; the seemingly endless rain of best friends during a lengthy stay in Pennsylvania (a joy that I cannot appreciate and much less describe the appreciation for to them), the laughter of my kid cousins in Toronto during an unexpected trip to visit my aged grandmother, a drunken, stupid fight I started in Port Arthur (to which I’m probably not welcomed back) after an amazing weekend, endless drunk dials from those voices in my past who just refuse to stay there. A lot has been happening that has given me the treasured opportunities to experience what it was once like to be free of worry again and to be with people who not only understood what it was like to completely unravel in life’s challenging fray, but yet, wanted to understand. And some opportunities to destroy all that also. There is this unfair balance between applauding my developing independence from these life factors and wallowing from the loneliness that stems from it. I find myself longing for the old feelings of listening to friends who are just as unsure of tomorrow as I am but ultimately for the feeling of wanting to share in that experience. I am far too far from home and running out of ways and reasons to escape back to it. For the most part here in Houston, everyone revels in the illusion that everything’s figured out in what to do, what’s going to happen to them, when to do things. Who to be with. And the biggest mask I wear serves to show everyone that maybe so do I and that maybe I’m not in trouble…only to find myself withdrawing into the shadows again when it comes time to answer the really tough questions, to bear the mantle of being comfortable with who I really am and to answer for it. I gather that I am finally beginning to realize one of my deepest most profound of concerns is that there are certain people who are really beginning to understand who I am [who I’m supposed to be], who may really begin to know me [really know me]. People are calling me out on flaws I use as reasons not to be around others, and yet there are those who I am sadly losing in the grand scheme perhaps once and for all, slipping through my fingers as similar have done in life and just as easily, frightening me beyond reason, all without the guiding hand of control or intent. There was this little trick many of us used back in our developmental stages of life, when we lacked reason or logic, when we would shut out the world by burying our face in our hands because if we can’t see the world, there’s no way the world can see us. I guess a big part of who I am wants to be that child again.

It’s so hard, trying so hard to be worthy and deserving of something, and I may leave here with nothing but that lesson, learned.

I can’t sleep anymore. It physically hurts to go to bed sometimes. It reminds of me of an episode of this show, where the lead character is imbued with the ability to read people’s minds, but as the power develops, she can’t shut it off. Just the endless banter of voices and thoughts and feelings flooding her mind at every moment all at once. A din. When I turn off the lights, and pull up the covers and close my eyes, the voices just start arguing. How many things I forgot to do. Where I went wrong in the week’s failures. Why I said this to that person and how I can fix the things I did that certain weekend.

I sat awake once. For a long time. And just started crying.

I work through the night to convince myself I am more productive than those who choose to rest and sleep in the quiet city around me, and I attempt to sleep throughout the day to shut out the unheard sounds of voices and typing and street noises beyond these walls. I can’t leave my room. I feel I’ve grown accustomed to the confine of these walls, and if I’m not cocooned inside, then it’s a step back in every aspect because I am not at my desk, searching, waiting, wishing, learning, emailing, paying bills, paying attention to a world that just isn’t paying attention to me, in hopes that maybe for just a second, it will. All of this productive ‘work’ really to disguise that I’m still not comfortable being me. And being here. And that is tough to say. And that’s why I have to leave.

I spend a long time in the shower when I’m not in my bed struggling with sleep problems, staring blankly into the tiles before me, hoping to the heavens that the scalding water will wash away my sins, my worries and my horrible karmic curse. For a time, and in the current present, I have replaced the ample promises of beer with the flow of cheap wine, almost exclusively. All of this was for the achievement of once familiar purities of graduation’s promises; to the simple awards of having left home to gain a newfound sense of self in the open horizons of the unfamiliar world. I look back to the beginnings upon the small triumphs that brought about happiness: my lone weekend trips to Galveston beach armed with a cooler of meat, my “portable” grill and a good book, stopping by the pool hall around the corner to play off the stresses of a retail day, decorating the tree and making the star that fit atop, my visits to the driving range to develop a golf swing that never really developed. Creating elaborate and intentionally fanciful meals [just to say that I did it] on the cold winter nights and setting the table for two [just to say that I did it] when my only company was the television’s banter. I miss the awkward comfort of being alone or doing alone things while not being so very self-aware.

I left home where I felt that comfort and safety and love, chased something that really wasn’t there to begin with, and am going to run away again with the kind of fear and hope you shoot for in the darkest of rooms, waiting and watching for a way out. And my “go” flag is all I’m waiting for. The little white flag in my inbox that will let me know when to shut this chapter and relatively dark time in my life, and to finally open up again to the adventure that may await, and finally give me the permission to feel this kind of loneliness for a good reason: experience. Just thinking again, to pack it all up and do it all over. Just the way I did it before, and yet again, somewhere far, further, farthest away. And it’s all been a dream to be here.

And the biggest fear, in the end of all things, in the midst of present expectations and worries and in the terrifying but important retrospect is that as I have in the past, and to a place very far from home, I’m again chasing just that. A dream.

Current Song: Andy Davis "Please Turn Red"

Earth-Shattering Revelation #24: Sometimes, it really is just time to go and leave it all behind, just like it left you.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Bottom of the Barrel

I am officially broke. I do not know how to pay for the next bill. Something as simple as lunch will take a few minutes to decide on whether its more economical to "skip."

Soon after that, depression.

This might be tough. Might.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Elegy of the Comfort Zone

Two days ago on the second anniversary of my arrival in Houston on the very same day... I lost my job.

I don't really know what to do.

Except for to follow some words one of my best friends uttered as he sat facing the deep blue seemingly limitless stretch of Atlantic glistening beneath the pale full moon tonight on a 1500 mile long conversation with me...

"Chase the dream. Hardship begets greatness."

Therein lies my compass.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In the Morning

There was this promise that was made
[the quiet talking-to-yourself-out-loud kind]
That no more sad words were to be said in this journal
[like absolutely none]
That we'd try not to have to cling to memories to alleviate
the loneliness
and guilt
and longing
and jealousy
and regret

But I found the last sad song to sing
[you know the words to this one]
Its in the [he]art. See I get lost in it
[and sometimes I'm convinced I let myself]

To put pencil to paper and let it glide across
as if guided by an unseen presence
Hours will go by before I force myself
to have to breath and stop [think about]


I consider myself lucky in doing what i love doing
and do it every day [every day]

Do what I do without worry or wanting
without goal or grief
restraint or relevance

to what is happening
how I'm feeling
or those out there enveloped
in their own lives and experiences

And in the midst of all this created happiness...
the deepest longing
[the thing we all seek but are always to stupid to admit we need]
is just one [ONE just one] person to share it all with

Someone who will care not only in this moment
but the next one too
[and if you're lucky at least maybe the moment after that]

What a beautiful thing it is to know
In the final moments of consciousness
on any given day [night] chock full of
peace [and all the other residents
in the spectrum of human emotion
we are all guilty of mouthing off about
but don't have a terribly firm understanding of]

that you'd have that person
whose eyes you can look into and get lost in
before you slip away...

...and that they will be there
right beside you in the morning

to bring it all back again

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I saw a man today walking along the sidewalk path just in front of the car. His clothes were worn and his posture sullen indicating the shear weight burdening him from his backpack slung across his left shoulder. His jacket told stories of the harsh weather of days past, of the empty bottles that slept at his side and in his company during cold rainy nights and the driest of days in the sweltering summer. Beneath which hid what was once seemingly a white shirt, a red circle lazily screened across its chest with bluish green spokes emanating from a central point, an indiscernible insignia. He wore the brim of his hat high along the crown of his forehead, revealing an unyielding determination in his line of sight. And though he walked steadily and solidly, the holes in his olive brown shoes exhibited his tired, unwashed feet beyond the thin fabric and incompletely tied laces strewn about and swinging forward and back with each stride.

And yet he walked. His eyes were so very forward, squinting as if to see that all his work was not in vain, that his destination lay just beyond the next horizon. There were no distractions, just a perseverance to arrive at his destination. Southbound. The sun had started to his left and will inevitably end at his right as he continues on, nothing on earth to him save for what covered him at the moment, the handful of belongings in his sack and the stories playing constantly in his head, as vivid as his spirit would permit. He had no friends to keep tabs on. No one in sight to care about, to be hurt by, to abandon. And with no one to abandon him but the setting sun. But he kept on without apprehension, reserve or hesitation. He knows a very different kind of peace.

And in the moment, I wanted to be him.


I don't have many hopes. I have fewer wishes. I don't have a dream.

I harbor no jealousies and entertain no false assumptions. I am a good person. I am a worthy friend. I am sinless. I find loss to be a source of strength, not weakness. I don't remember every little thing. I forgive easily and feel that this is a just existence. I am comfortable in my own skin and am easy in the company of others. I do no judge those around me. I do not filter my thoughts, and I keep my emotions hidden beyond the sight of those closest to me. I am always on time and can be depended on for anything. I do not fear failure. Home is just another place to me. I know all the answers to my deepest questions and light shines on every corner of my mind. And above all…in the surreal aftermath of reaching my quarter century, I can attempt to say that I know exactly what I am doing, where I am going and who I am. But that is the biggest lie of all.

I’m still that nerdy, insecure, fat kid seeking desperately for his rightful place in the big picture.

But I am waiting patiently for the last sad song to sing.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rest in Pieces

I'm sad today. The deep, unrelenting kind. I can't stop thinking about it and it is keeping me from doing what it is I have to. Just need it to stop already.


And I hope that writing it down will help.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Need to Stop Looking

The Beaujolais-Villages Nouveau from Maison Albert Bichot was what was exactly needed at the moment. With Christmas week’s worth of pain shooting through my upper back in a spiraling web of misery and the stress of cancelled flights and constantly entertained ideas of my termination at work waiting for me on Tuesday morning, I needed something to dull it all. And despite the much needed ease of distraction State College brought to me this Christmas, the entire ordeal of coming home has revealed to me the kind of person I am inevitably to become: paranoid, obsessive, nervous, longing and lonely. But knowing that never helps. Writing about it does. Sometimes.

I hadn’t had it that long. And when it came, I wasn’t even looking for it, it just happened to be there when I wasn’t seeking it, but later realized it was what I really needed at that time. It wasn’t exactly a wallet per se. It wasn’t just a money clip. It was both things; it was everything I needed it to be. The clever compartment system and slim construction as well as the different features that made it convenient and aesthetically beautiful made it something I needed to have. There wasn’t really much time between when I got it and when I couldn’t live without it; as soon as I left the Gap, all of the most important things went into that wallet. My credit cards, my ID, my UFO card, a note from a friend written when I had first moved here wishing me luck. It was just a beautiful thing. Slim enough to carry around everywhere, had just enough space for the things I needed to have with me.

I can’t recall everything that happened which is essentially what leads to the losing of important things. I got drunk again. That’s it. And once again, I forget to watch myself and more importantly the things I do and then eventually misplace it. All I can remember in the aftermath is just how important it was to me and the bit of hope I clung to that I didn’t really lose it…and that it was just laying around somewhere. I took it for granted…or something like that, but I’m not sure.

All I can remember are the memories from each of those artifacts…how the fucking bartender kept my bankcard that one night because she didn’t like how little we tipped (she sucked). Or how the address and birthdate on the License were wrong. Or how the $6.00 left was from the thick book of $250.00 that so easily slipped into the clip not three weeks ago. Or even how reassuring it was to have that thing in my pocket all the time, so snug, so compact, so natural and convenient.

But it’s gone now. It has been. I know it is. Every now and then I’ll look under the couch or in the car and for some reason have the false hope that it would be there…but as always, I just forget that it’s gone. I just need to breathe and learn to let it go.

I’ve called and replaced both of my cards. I’m going to get the ID this weekend. And I can settle for having lost the $6.00 clipped to its side. Cringing to the idea that someone else has my wallet now, probably using that money God knows where and for what, I’ll never want to know.

It’s destroyed me knowing it’s out there somewhere right now…but I almost wish I don’t find it again. I hope even more that I don’t keep looking for it every chance I get. Because the sooner I might find it and hold it in my hands once more, regardless of all the worth it still has to me…the sooner I can lose it all over again.

And it would be my fault. All over again.