Well, one of these days, I’ll be married and I’ll have babies like the rest of the nation and I’ll live in a nice brick house with an automatic garage door and there will be wooden railings and I’ll have a car to drive into the city every day. One of these days, I’ll be one of those mothers who worries about the wellbeing of her children and perhaps I’ll even stay up late into the night, thinking about what they have become and how it wasn’t what I had expected but perhaps I’ll still be happy. Perhaps by then I’ll be off my medication and I’ll have quit smoking and I’ll have my very own business cards with my name on it. And I’ll have a closet that is full of clothes — business clothes on one side, and home clothes on the other. I’ll think about the times when I was young and when I dreamed of girls I went to class with and how they’d chase me around in those
dreams nightmares in which we’d go to confession and Father would refuse to see me because he said that it was getting late and soon it would be dark. I have a lantern, I had said, but he merely shook his head in a strange, strange sort of agonized way. Well, I’ll have purchased a king sized bed so that we can each have our respective sides of it; no more fighting over the duvet like we used to when we were young and broke and lived in our one-room apartment on the West Side. He sleeps unsoundly and wakes at the slightest of noises; the whistling of the wintertime wind and the branches being knocked against the panes of our master bedroom window would surely send him back into this waking world. I am silent but not motionless. That wakes him too. The dreams nightmares won’t ever stop, will they? I have wondered it for long. I think about how we transform into people we’d never thought’d enter into this world, until we embody them for ourselves. Indeed, ten years ago I was different. Indeed, ten years ago I never would have pictured myself the way I am now. I think about them — my unborn children — and I wonder, what will you be like? Will you be as desperate, impulsive, and whimsical as I? Or will you be like your father — patient and soft, but unbending? I frequently doubt myself in my capacity to contribute to this world, granted, I am still young. I am resistant to doubt and I desire a life without it. I want to be all that I can for my children but I also want to be all that I can for other people’s children. It’s quite a mess; this world’s a mess.
I hope you’ll understand.
Recently I spent some time thinking about how we can both be something and nothing at the same time. We are something to some people, and we are nothing to others. What originally began as an investigation of the meaningfulness of my relationships evolved into something of an existential ilk; I began to think about how people die every day, and most people have no idea. Most people, it would be so, never knew the dead. We don’t know who they are, what they were like, and perhaps the saddest thing is that we have no idea that they even existed. In fact, we will never know that they had once existed. They’ve come and gone in the same way that you have come and that you will go.
Once there was a time when emotions flowed freely out of my body, concomitant with the ink that flowed out of my pen. It was wonderful. I used to stay up late into the nights thinking about things I shouldn’t have been thinking about, but thinking about something was better than thinking about nothing.
It was a technique I had developed over time, over the course of many days, weeks, months, and years; with routinization and with familiarity, it slowly became a favoured practice. I thought about the very things that would make my insides feel raw and tender, because feeling nothing was utterly terrifying. I preferred this state of being, despite the discomfort, pain, and sadness it brought, because being was better than not being.
It was then that the darkness became my pet. The darkness is lonely by nature. And so I would disappear into it when I wanted to be alone. I listened to the silence. I looked at blank darkness. I was completely still.
Even now, I feel a strange sense of comfort when I am alone in the dark. I feel at ease. I feel like I am supposed to be here. I feel like I am supposed to be in the dark.
Perhaps it is something about the fact that in the darkness, there are no rays of light to distinguish me from my surroundings. There is nothing to tell me that there are in fact not one, but two, bodies that lay still upon my bed. And what is there to distinguish our bodies from our bed? Nothing; it’s merely the idea that makes it true. There is nothing to distinguish us from our bed. There is nothing to distinguish us from one another. So, we rely on our senses to tell us that we are separate and distinct.
But what if I don’t feel that way? What if I don’t feel that I am distinct; what if I don’t feel that I exist? Then, perhaps I do not. Perhaps, if I don’t think that I exist, then I do not. I am not sure what it is about the darkness that creates such an effect. I am only merely fascinated by the fact that in the dark, we must keep ourselves existent with thought; if not for the thoughts in our minds while we are in the darkness, what is to say that we are really there? What is to keep us from becoming simply, and nothing more than, another invisible object that lays somewhere in the infinite darkness?
Good morning, it looks like I’m going to be back here for a while. The Internet always changes when I’ve been away for some time. Sometimes I don’t know what I am going to do with myself.
I don’t even know how to reblog photos anymore. Why has that changed? I feel so lost.
Everything has an opposite. Isn’t that what they teach you in primary school? The opposite of up is down, and the opposite of left is right. What they don’t teach you is that life is much more complicated than that. They don’t teach you that the same word can have different meanings — at least, they don’t teach you that until later. Quite a bit later. Homonyms, they’re called. What a strange word. It’s because of homonyms, that sometimes the opposite of left is stayed and the opposite of right is wrong.
What about things that don’t have opposites? What’s the opposite of sociopath?
If there ever existed such things, I think I am one of them.
I am more than aware that my greatest flaw (and strength — they are one in the same) is that I feel too much. I am incapable of indifference just as a sociopath is incapable of love. Perhaps I am just as fucked up as they are.
I let people take advantage of me because that’s how I get access to my emotions. I crawl beneath crowds and feel the soles of their boots tread upon my back. I do all of this so that I can prove to myself that I do in fact exist. I must feel, or else, I forget that I am real. But then again, what is reality? How does one define reality? What are the components of it, how do we get there, and how do we know we’re really there when we think we’re there?
I have a lot of doubts. I hunger to understand the nature of human beings. I want to understand religion. I don’t believe in God. I was never afraid of dying.
I stopped majoring in philosophy when I realized that it would get me nowhere in life.
Death does not take you. It does not take you on a day you’d hardly expect, and it does not crawl into your bed with you on a quiet and moonless night to tell you that it’s time to go. Go where, you ask him.
Home, he says to you. But I am already home, you tell him. And he shakes his head before he smiles at you, and suddenly you feel your bones inside of you turn soft and he takes your hands and opens up a hole in the parquet floor and jumps in, and naturally, you tumble down behind him.
That isn’t how it is. I know him. He won’t ever do that to you.
What he will do is much worse. In fact, he has already started. He has been doing it all your life.
Death grows upon you and slowly untangles the veins in your arms and empties out the awe inside your mind. No wonder nothing seems as awe-inspiring as it once did, when you were a child. Death picks at your skin from the inside and dries out your bones, one by one. It crawls along inside of you, using your nervous system as a freeway system — whether you are a cat or a pigeon or an architect or a waiter or a Communist. Death is deep inside of you. It grows when you grow.
And even when you are gone, death lives on. It’s kind of funny to think of death as it lives, isn’t it? Death isn’t anything. It’s funny to think of that, too. How could something that is mostly nothing be so tremendously frightening? There isn’t anything that is more frightening than nothing, surely.
Death’s in me. It’s in you. It’s in everyone, and it’s getting bigger and bigger every day, like the things in the windows of our cars when we get closer and closer to our destination. It grows like a baby inside the womb of its pregnant mother, and we feed it our old skin cells and fallen-out hair. We get acquainted on a first name basis. We’re inseparable.
We can’t live forever. Who would want to? Life is horrid. Yes, yes, is Death home? Can he come out to play? No? Well, I can wait until after he eats his dinner. Hopefully it won’t be too dark by then. I’m not afraid of the dark. I just like being able to see the beauty of the trees and the rocks and the fences and the daffodils and the porch swings.
And after dinner, Death appears in the doorway. His hair looks nice. Can you come out to play now, Death? You can? I got a new soccer ball the other day. Want to try it out? We can go to the park. It’s not far.
He stares at me, but he doesn’t say anything.
What is the matter, I ask him, but he says nothing. And then he flies down the steps of the front porch, racing way ahead.
Last one there is a rotten egg.
Went into work, dropped my things on the table. Checked the time. Fifteen minutes early. It’s a first. Looking around, it occurs to me that I was surrounded in a mist made of strangers — “MT got his old job back,” says the boss — and suddenly the room got even lonelier. Don’t want to see MT go. “So he’s leaving?”
Stare at the dirty carpet. Kick it with my shoe. Caramel popcorn stuck to it.
I’ll clean it later.
“Everybody’s leaving,” I say. Stare at the carpet some more. Exhale a little, but softly.
“Everybody always does,” says Boss. Then a pang of sorrow. It creeps slowly in through the gaps between my ribs, but then it’s like water in my lungs. I am silent. “People come and go,” says Boss, “they always do. That’s life.”
Take a moment, and then a breath, and then the truth. ”Yes,” I reply. “That’s life.”
With her upon my back,
her fragile fingers gently curved around
my shoulder bones
I tell her not to be afraid of falling.
We soar through across the cityscape
where the buildings grow out of the concrete pastures
like the resilient fungus that grows
in the places we’ve never lived.
Her eyes are like glass
when the wind strikes her
but I turn my head and kiss her gently
to keep her from crying.
She comes to me in dreams
on nights that follow mornings and afternoons
that were spent
in complete secluded silence.
She whispers into my ear
as she puts her arms around me
“I never said
that I was real,” I tell her
but she just tightens her grasp on me.
A moment passes and she lets go
“Neither did I,”
she says, with a pained expression upon her porcelain face
The sun shines softly through the window
And I’m only barely awake
But at least I know that the world hasn’t stopped
Just because I’ve momentarily stepped out of it
I don’t mean to go through life wondering whether or not I should look behind me, keeping vigilant for the things that may be following me around. They are mostly holes that were created, but never filled; I liked to keep spaces for the people I missed when they weren’t close, just in case they decided that they needed me — I’d have clean sheets on their beds, which would be made neatly, ready for us to crawl into.
I recall there was a time my mother got me a balloon to hold at a carnival, but the ribbon slipped through my fingers and I watched in horror as it rose higher and higher into the afternoon sky and I knew it was gone for good. It couldn’t be stopped, once I had lost it, and perhaps that’s what made me the saddest: the damage had been done and the hopelessness overwhelmed me. That’s what being an idealist is like.
I have never broken any bones before but I think I’ve lost count for how many times my heart has broken for other people. My heart is a funny thing. It cracks open for people who are lost like me because it wants to be filled with little bits of those people, so that I can carry them around inside of it wherever I go. I want pieces of people to keep, like jewels and gold in lockboxes, so that I can take them out to look at when I felt alone.
I am made of carbon and hydrogen and oxygen but it sure doesn’t feel that way. I’m made of the stories I tell people when I’m not sure quite how they’ll react if I were to tell them the truth. I’m made of unfinished thoughts and a lot of frivolity. I am made of dead ends.
The night surrounds me but I’m indifferent. Darkness doesn’t frighten me. Even nightmares aren’t as bad as they used to be.
You shuffle into bed beside me and put your hand in mine.
We’re safe now.
Seems so far
When we ran away from our homes
In search of somebody to wake up next to
When the next day was barely fathomable
Because we were hungry
We were more than that
We were insatiable
We were lost
And we were afraid to move
For fear the creatures of the night would detect us
The heat from our bodies
Would give us away.
We never thought anyone
Would give us away.
But we swam through the ocean
We passed submarines
We made ripples
We stood for the worst
Until the storms subsided.
We watched the world dissipate behind us
As their homes became smaller and smaller
Because trains always travel
At a constant speed.
It’s us who get smaller and smaller
As we get farther and farther
There isn’t any going back now.
I learned to drive
My car looked really nice,
You told me
I thought you always looked nice.
I still think that,
But usually you’re too far from me
That even if I belted
At the top of my lungs
On top of the apartment building
That takes all my money
You wouldn’t hear me
I don’t think.
Oh, please tell me
How did we ever get to be this way?
I received a slip of paper in the mail today.
It was an organ donor form. I wrote down my name and address. Then I signed it.
I was sixteen when I saw this form for the first time. I already have to start thinking about what I’m going to do with myself when I die, I remember thinking.
"They can have your organs," he said to me, as I sealed the envelope shut. The postage has already been paid. "But they don’t get your heart, because that’s mine."
"Yes," I agreed. "That one is yours."