Category Archives: Original Work
Today, I sit in a sterile laboratory. I watch the clouds through the window, and I am jealous… and they just drift. It is time for me to leave, but I feel stuck.
Last night I had some stimulating conversations about love and other things. I spoke with a man who was going through his second divorce. The contexts of those conversations must have resonated with me and the words of last night penetrated my dreams. I woke this morning in the foggy haze of a hangover, and as I lay there aching and sweating, I contemplated the man’s words. He spoke of how he doesn’t believe that we are capable of being satisfied by only one person. He admitted that his infidelities were problematic for his marriages, but that he could not lie to himself and fake his satisfaction with marriage. He also stated that he still loved his exes.
I woke this morning with a few things in my head. They were floating around in the haze of my hangover. I had the realization that love is often considered a failure because we all have an idea of what we think love should be. We put expectations on love instead of accepting it for whichever form it takes. We also consider love a failure because a relationship ends, or feelings change. I don’t believe this either. Sometimes the best love doesn’t last. But, It will always have its own special moment in time and space.
This quote has begun to make so much sense in time: “We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” ― Tom Robbins
So, today I woke up with an appreciation for all my past lovers, the times we shared, and the gift of love that they gave me, even if it was for just a little while. Thinking of them makes me happy: I think of the love I am capable of having, and the love I may find in the future.
It is Spring, indeed, and the doors are open. I am young, I am happy, and I am healthy. I am free. Peace.
She listens to
“I Can’t Make You Love Me”
while pouring her heart out in paint
In the late evening of Autumn ’91
A home for three on Ohio street
There is a broken clock on the stoop
and letters full of cursive curses
My sister and I oblivious at the time
Only asking “Momma, don’t cry”
Only now as an adult have I learned
that kind of pain…
And my heart breaks to know what it means
I took one last drink of the Crown Royal. It was time to leave, and it couldn’t have been more obvious. My date had drunk too much and passed out on the bed of one of the hosts. She was covered in vomit and incoherent. I didn’t have the tolerance to carry her home.
I stumbled back into the street where the party was taking place.”Quieres ponch?” Jesus asked me. I gulped down a glassful. It was strong and pungent; made of orange drink and some unidentifiable liquor. Immediately it made my head dampen, and I fell into a state of unawareness. Time slowed, and the air thickened. The night was viscous, and the gravity seemed heavier than usual.
I walked away from the party with a feeling of loneliness.Suddenly I realized what a foreigner I still was. This group of Mexicans had accepted me into their lives, but I would always be a gringo to them, a kind of novelty. I would never be one of them no matter how much Spanish I learned to speak, no matter how much of their culture I adopted.
I stepped down the dimly lit sidewalk with my head pointed down. I looked at every step I was taking. The sidewalk was composed of many little grains each with their own exposed peak reaching up to meet my step, but I couldn’t feel them. My feet seemed to belong to someone else. They were carrying me, but seemingly without the direction of my head. It was as if I was walking on an unnatural surface. As I passed through the intermittent spots of darkness between street lamps, I wondered if I would make it. Sooner or later, I arrived at a busy intersection.
I hailed a cab, and got in. An African man asked me where I was going. I hadn’t thought of what my intentions were. “Uh? Head north on Western Avenue for a while. I am not sure where I am going yet.” We drove around for a while, and eventually the cabby noticed my intoxicated state. My drunken appearance was exacerbated by my solemn state of mind. “Where you headed man? We’ve been driving for a while.” He was not tolerant of my indecisiveness. “I don’t know, man” I replied, “Just drop me off anywhere,” and I threw 20 dollars at him.
I was getting drunker as the alcohol was still being absorbed into my blood. I am not sure what the driving reason behind my emotion was, but I was feeling increasingly beat. I looked around for anyone. I just needed to see that I wasn’t the last living person in the world. That I had an effect. That I wasn’t the only soul still living and breathing in this God forsaken city. That I wasn’t alone. It was amazing to me how alone one could be in a city of three million people.
I was with Camilla now, but I was never with her: we only occupied the same spaces. When we slept together, it felt no more than masturbation. I never got off. I had not been “on” for a while now, and I couldn’t shake this feeling that my whole life up until this very moment was detached and only a dream. There was no continuity. My happiness of last summer seemed so distant, and I couldn’t comprehend how that happy man and myself could be the same person. The truth was, we weren’t. The weight of losing Gloria had been heavy and changed me.
It is hard to say what love is. I always thought it was universal. But, over time, I have learned it means something different to everyone.I had always been someone who “loved” easy. I was maddened with the desire to experience anything and everything, and love it all.
Gloria was new to me, and we shared many new experiences together. I finally moved to the city as I had always promised myself I would. I had met people: interesting people, people from all over the world. This is something only an awkward Midwestern boy from rural Indiana can appreciate. When Gloria left, I fell out of love with all the newness, out of love with life, with the city I lived in, with my friends. So, what good was love if it could turn and walk out on you? It had no lasting power. All the things that used to make me happy had no effect on me now. They had no lasting power either. I was unable to be stimulated and I was almost catatonic.
As I walked aimlessly down the empty city streets, I was desperate to find meaning. I was desperate for a reason to put one foot in front of the other. I was ready to give up. I walked along Fullerton Avenue under the expressway, and I saw the homeless. They slept between the vertical pillars which supported the overpass. Everything they owned was contained in those two-foot by six-foot concrete pads between the pillars. They were alone. I wondered what kept them waking up in the morning. Why suffer the way they did? What was their reason for going on despite their position in life? I felt I knew what was it like to be seen but unacknowledged, part of the scenery. It was miserable.I wondered if I could live like them. I wondered if that was my position in life: a faceless homeless shadow.
I sat down on one of the open concrete pads. I pulled my phone out of my pocket and I smashed it to the ground. I had no use for it or anyone on the other side of any incoming call. I propped my head up against my cold concrete pillow and let myself drift off to sleep. I was tired of making effort in life. Maybe I was home. Maybe this was where I was destined to be all along. I was hopeful I would find a reason to wake up in the morning.
Sometime in the night, I woke up. I took inventory of my belongings. I moved my hand across the back pocket of my jeans. My wallet was still there. I looked at my wristwatch and saw that it was almost 2 AM. In the background of my watch, the moon was full and glowing, great and big. Through my drunken haze, I shifted my focus to it and stared. It had pock marks from years of torment, from collisions with transient space debris. Yet, it was still there. Why?
A pigeon fluttered its wings overhead and white feces rained down on my belly which was hanging out from under my button up shirt.Time moved slowly now that I had nowhere to go and no one to meet. I was covered in soot. my face was chalky and gritty. My clothes were gray.It was cold, and I was shivering. I was weakening by the minute. I knew I had to go home. I didn’t have what it takes to give up.
I walked to my apartment and looked at my front door. Hesitantly, I pulled out my keys and unlocked the door. I went inside. It was warm there. I stared out my window one last time at the moon. It was good to be home.
I woke up to find a man pissing on my room-mate’s shoes
There is a penis drawn on my arm.
I am clueless to my new-found context,
much like a newborn
What kind of man pisses on another man’s shoes
and doesn’t expect to be punched in the face?
A drunkard, that is who.
Doesn’t he know my friend needs those shoes to walk in?
Doesn’t he know how hard it is to work for things like that?
Why is this green man so strange to me?
Shouldn’t I know him?
He is in my house after all.
No, this Egyptian transient is just a friend of a friend of a friend.
He is out of his mind.
It is an awful thing to piss on another man’s shoes.
I probably deserve this black eye.
2013 was truly a very formative and educational year full of many experiences. Here are a few things I learned that I would like to offer:
1) The things you can learn from listening to yourself are the things that are most important for building the foundation of a happy and satisfying life.
2) Life doesn’t always make sense. Love and logic do not occupy the same spaces within us, and that can lead to confusion. That is ok. They are both equal parts of our being and both are essential for living a very normal human life.
3) Focus on building and holding on to those characteristics which you have decided will define you as a person. I have built a lot of confidence in moving forward each day with faith in myself, my principles, and my abilities.
4) Do things in life because they will be fulfilling to you, because you want to do them. Never do things with expectations of others.
5) I lost a few things this year: cars, girls, money, phones, etc. All of this taught me that I need to let go of my need for material items. Everything has a shelf life….EVERYTHING.
6) Let go, and enjoy the ride! Change is not only possible, it is certain; accept that. There is nothing to fear. You will even find that there is beauty in it.
7) Wisdom comes from experience. Go out and see/do things for yourself firsthand. That’s where life waits: in those special moments consisting of the right places, the right people, at the right time.
8) It’s never too late to be the person you want to be. Everyday offers a chance for reinvention. Never let your past or present dictate your future.
Wishing you all a very educational, experiential, and fulfilling 2014!
Crunchy and curious
when will I see moon eyes again?
lost in the noodles
and freeze-dried peas
an understanding of it
a math formula to describe it
Grandma’s electric green Lima bean
an amorphous soup
a poor man’s meal
just try to keep your mouth shut
what you think you might know
don’t want to look like a fool
a liar, or a hypocrite
the answer is there in the broth
amongst the noodles
easy to read
laughing at those who can’t see it
in plain sight