It was May
and I was drunk
and I was sitting on a rock somewhere far away from my mind
and my heart and all those other things that you need to survive.
I was thinking about the ocean
and how much my feet hurt.
I had walked all the way out there
to look at the waves and lost my shoes
along with my mind and my heart and
they’re probably swimming out there somewhere;
I’ve just lost sight of them.
The ocean is funny and sad
when you hold it in your hands your fingers can either feel like they own the world
or as if the world can, at any moment, slip through the cracks.
Time is funny too,
and like the ocean,
you can only hold a little in your hands.
In other ways it’s not like the ocean at all,
trying drinking Time and I’ll think you’re on some drug that I’d like to get my hands on.
People describe time and the ocean similarly
and for some reason I think I’ve got it figured out
but I’ve got it figured out in only the way someone sitting on a rock in the middle of the night with no shoes and heart can.
They describe the ocean and time by telling us about how enormous it is,
they try to tell us how deep it is,
how wide it is,
how tall it is.
They can stand up and tell us facts about the beginnings of it and how they think it will end but when you look at the fine print both of them say that they have about 90% left to be discovered.
When you look out at time or the ocean who is to say how much your seeing?
Is the the horizon over there or is it just how far my eyes will reach? Can I predict the tides and the sky and the next person to stumble around the corner?
Maybe I should just go to sleep.
Back when fate was something so true we could hold it in our atlas laced hands things might have been different.
You may think that life can only be an ever consuming sleep but I wish to remind you that does not inhibit us from dreaming.
I believe that one day I will wake up with a knowing;
grasping at any tendril of that which may have been left behind,
with unconsciousness still lingering in my vision.
We learn, criticize and hope
laying in piles of uncreated art.
It is a sad comfort to be human;
a relief much comparable to tearing yourself from a particularly terrible dream.
And we will startle,
again and again,
repeating lines for emphasis,
until we find the truth.
It is then that the dream is over and we return to what is.
I'll talk about God until I meet him in the middle.
I'll talk about God until he comes to me in that dream.
I sleep on my stomach with my back to the stars
and I send my condolences to the moon.
the wires are humming again
she's covering her ears
while eyes flicker
and breath quickens
she asked me to help her kill the parts that hung off her like the tails of ghosts that she claims trace the hallways
she tried to cut out the hardware that embedded itself in her skin
I could hear the metal hitting the floor as I lay asleep
but when I awoke she claimed it was only the bugs dancing in the night
they knocked over the candles and that blew out the light
I used to believe everything she said when she used to talk about how the sky was every color
she said she could see them in my eyes
my eyes are darker than night now
the sun lives downstairs
but he rarely comes to check on us anymore
I don't mind
I need you to understand that
the divine does not become divine
by sitting at desks
my double helix had light shining through the cracks
but that only explains why
there is an ache in my fingers
and a need to run in my feet
as long as there is not only darkness I can make my own way
a spotlight illuminates the desk
at which I sit
I am a soul being carried in a cradle
and my hands keep slipping
my eyes are starting to blur
and they just keep watching
sitting in a sea
I can't even hear them
I am writing a script at age 17 that I will refer to again
until I am dead
I am writing my future
and I'm not sure who my arms think they are
but they write me entering stage left
and when I exit stage right my cells will have replaced themselves
and my arms will be different arms
the only thing I can hope for is that they will have held what they needed to
I do not know the girl I am writing about
but she knows all about me
she doesn't hate me
I know this because she smiles when she thinks of me
she loves me
but I am her burden
affect her decisions
and that is so heavy for my pen
I still see her light shining slightly through the cracks
she will whisper to me
"It's perfectly okay"
"I was afraid too"
and we will take solace in our decisions
The script I'm writing is for both of us
I just hope we can meet
in the middle
I am writing my script
I am afraid
Imagine this with your eyes closed.
These are the labored seconds before you open your eyes to the day.
A subtle ache hums in your bones and it takes an amount of effort to pull your eyelids apart.
And the light rushes into your eyes.
Being in an abusive relationship is like waking up in a plain white room that used to be full of color, and you look around wondering when it got to be this way. How could you not have noticed the color seeping from the drywall?
Did it happen while you were asleep?
No, you think, this must be how the room has always been. You must have imagined the color, colors are silly anyway.
No one else lives in rooms that are full of color, this must be normal.
There is an emptiness in your back that will not fill itself with your skin no matter which way you twist or turn and you vaguely remember taking a part of yourself and giving it to another.
Hushed whispers curl around your ears and for a second you can feel someones breath close to your neck.
The voices are familiar, loving, they caress the skin and if you listen close enough you can almost make out what they're saying.
"you're worthless lovely" they say
that can't be right
See, what they don't tell you is that abusers are wonderful, you don't fall in love with monsters, they can be your best friend, your neighbor, the person who sits next to you in class.
The whole point of being with someone is not to make you feel terrible but to make you feel wonderful and that is almost always how it starts out.
After that it just depends on which side of the door you're on.
The wall is as cold and smooth as marble.
And you lay with your cheek pressed against it, as if listening for a heartbeat. Spreading across your skin is a numbness that can only be compared to sleeping with your eyes open,
Don't pinch yourself, you will wake whoever is dreaming.
In health class they aim to teach us about ourselves and others and how to interact and how to make good choices and outcomes of our problems but what happens when your health class illustrates your past?
I have yet to count the amount of people who have came out of that room with tears in their eyes, because they finally understand.
I UNDERSTOOD WHEN THE FIRST COLOR I SAW AGAIN WAS RED AND IT WAS AT THE CENTER OF HIS EYES,
I SWEAR THEY LOOKED SOMETHING LIKE FIRE,
WHEN HE ROSE HIS HAND TO HIT ME AND EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN'T TOUCH MY SKIN HE LEFT SCARS DEEP BENETH IT THAT STILL HAVEN'T HEALED AND WITH HIS HAND IN THE AIR AND HIS WORDS LIKE THUNDER I PUT MY HANDS TO MY FACE AND CLOSED MY EYES WHEN I OPENED THEM HE WAS GONE AND I'D LIKE TO SAY THAT I NEVER LET HIM COME BACK BUT I WOULD BE LYING TO YOU
but open your eyes because in this room 1 out of every 3 people will be subject to abuse and I am not just a statistic but a reason to never shut them again,
I had too many people say that when I was sick every time before I saw him it was butterflies,
and I've had one too many girls come to me crying because they finally have a word to call their boyfriends,
and I have been to too many doctors to call my physical condition a random happening of events,
and I have too many reasons not to be silent anymore
it takes an amount of effort to pull your eyelids apart,
but let the light rush into your eyes
When he died I believed that everything would stop. The clocks would not tick and people would move as if suspended in water. Letting go of his ashes in the breeze would have been enough, but he held onto my fingers. I saw him land in the water, in the sea of green, and still felt him on my hands. It was as if he had never left. I never cried during his celebration of life, and maybe I was just too afraid of washing him away. I wish I could say that I never cried while writing this. It might have made me appear strong and confident. One cannot wish for these things. Appearing strong and confident is much more trouble than it is worth anyhow. Some things are meant to hit you, square in the chest, knocking the wind out of you. Unfortunately or fortunately, death is one of those things, death is a 1,000 pound weight that hits the front of your car, damaging the way you move and leaving you with a couple bruises. The problem is you live. Death has been romanticized to a fault, in which I thought that I might be able to catch my breath, if only for a minute, before moving on back to the present. Reality has never been a friend to me. Instead of slowing down it would seem to speed up. Leaving me to run to catch up, short on breath, short on water. Leaving me in rivers down my face, and exhaled through my mouth so that my rhythms would make a tragic waltz. I could have composed a symphony of my mourning, as if music could bring him back to me. It’s quite tragic, humans, at the passing of another they only think to cry. I believed that one would have to break my arms to get me out of bed that day. Yet, he died before the sun came up. I was awake, I remember being awake. An hour away in a bed that wasn't my own I said out loud "it is to early to be alive" and it was.
Two day's earlier I had perched myself on a chair overlooking the hospital bed. And I can't remember much about the room but I remember his eyes. Staring as if they were trying to drink my soul. Taking everything in as if it would be the last thing he ever saw. Looking at him brought a quiet calm to my mind. I drowned out the crying and looked directly at him, and he, looked directly at me. I swear a smile crossed his face looking at mine, and I did my best to smile back at him. Part of us both knew, this would be the last time we would ever lay eyes on each other. I touched his hand. He looked so small, under the lights. He was always the tallest in my life. I still saw the man who taught me to dance under those blankets. And in that moment, I know he saw me as the little girl dancing around at his feet. Some moments, you want to last forever, and I would gladly still be in that room if given then chance. It was not that the moment was perfect, it was real. And maybe the last peace I will ever see. A knowing, of the end, but simply watching. Walking out of the room, the last thing I ever heard him say was "I love you all" and he did.
No, time did not stop when he died, in fact it went so far as to carry me away. A three hour bus trip to an unknown city, and back again that day. Part of me must have known. I found out from a text message, a friend saying. "I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather", 2 hours from home.
My parents were too afraid to tell me.
If time did stop, it was only for a second,
and I think I heard his voice:
"I love you all"
"I love you all"
the world sits on the tips of peoples tongues
one day someone might talk a little too fast
and it will fall off
but until then we will be content to look for it in others eyes that we might happen to see while walking down a sidewalk
this is what searching for love is
we all hope to catch a glimpse of the world between cracked fingers
or within the echoes of thoughts we pick up from crowds
but I believe the best way to find love is to wait
wait on the edge of the room
wait between the silences
wait until the night has broken
eventually you will find the world rolling across the floor
with a mouth wide open