It's easy to write about warm people. It's simple to just let their love and compassion flow effortlessly out into the world. They stumble upon the perfect one, THE one, and fall in love even if they don't know it. And for a while they don't, because that's the beauty of it. They don't know, and then suddenly they do and they realize that they're complete and whole now, that they've found someone who fills the cracks in their soul.
It would not be so easy to write about someone who flat out refuses to admit that they are not already complete. Then he appeared. I couldn't see him, but I knew he was there. Oh, this is a game then, I thought. I'll see what I can figure out about you.
I heard it so loud and clear. Shivering, I whispered, nice to meet you, Isaac. I let images flash through my mind as though I was trying to settle on the one that fit the personality walking at my heels. He's blonde. Which is odd. My characters aren't usually blonde. But he's blonde in a way that he can hide. At first I thought he'd walk slowly, shuffling his feet as though he was so focused on what was inside his mind that outside of it his coordination was all off. But then I realized he was keeping up with me, and I am quite a brisk walker. Isaac is one of those people who builds walls. He doesn't know it, but he does it. Everyone else notices. They notice, but they don't care. The only time people run into his walls are when they try to complement him on his playing.
Oh, did I mention he's a musician? That's why he's built the walls. As of now, I'm pretty sure he's a violinist.
But anyway, when people compliment him, try to tell him how the ways he plays that violin opened a well of feelings within them that they didn't know existed, he stares blankly. They blink, thank him again, and hurry off, wondering if the reason his blue eyes were so confused was that they'd lost their ocean of feeling to the music.
I wanted him to be chubby, perched somewhere on the border of adorable baby fat and visibly out of shape. But his shadow behind me is tall and bony. Not athletic, not chiseled or lean, just wiry. All sinew and nerves. Like when he plays, he might rip.
Then I'm home. Mom calls down stairs and asks how my day was. It was fine. Boring.
I know I left Isaac outside, but he doesn't want to come in. So it's okay.
No one warns you.
No one gives you a way to piece it all together.
No one gives you a sign to help you navigate what is ahead.
They don't tell you that you might expect worse than you could ever imagine.
The smell of piss.
On the person, on the floor, on the chair.
The kitchen becomes used as a toilet because there is no way the alcoholic can get upstairs.
The piss sticks to the skin.
Dries on the clothes.
No sense of pride.
From a high flying career.
Travels the world.
The manicured nails.
The superbly fitted outfit.
Hair fixed by a stylist.
No one prepares you for the day that is ripped away.
You believe that it couldn't possibly happen.
And then slowly, it creeps up on you.
You mop the floor, buy in food, wash the clothes, clean the kitchen...
You try and pour the booze away.
You approach the tumbler praying it is filled with juice, like the alcoholic said.
You take a smell, red wine.
And then you see the bottles hidden behind the sofa.
1 litre or 2 litre bottles of whiskey.
It is on the alcoholics breath.
It seeps out of the alcoholics skin.
You retch at how strong the smell is.
You sit in A&E whilst the alcoholic sleeps off the booze.
They wake. Blame you for being here.
When in fact they called 999 after they take a fall to the floor and are so intoxicated they cannot get up.
You are driving down the road, you see the police.
You pray it is any house but the alcoholics.
You think this is it this time.
Death has a smell.
You find the alcoholic, sat on the floor, covered in their own piss and faeces.
You cannot stomach the putrid smell.
The heart races, you go white, the police man catches your fall.
You explain who you are.
The police man is lovely and actually shows more understanding than anyone "professional" has over these circumstances.
He advices you go to the hospital.
He will take you.
He advices you this because most alcoholics, sober up and walk out.
He doesn't think she should come home.
I sit and continue to be spoken to as dirt.
I tell the doctor I will wait in the waiting room.
A half hour passes.
The come the tears, the sobs.
The alcoholic is discharged.
No one seems to understand this is a disease.
A mental disorder.
The doctors speak to you like shit.
Like it is you who is drunk and stinking of piss in her A&E.
Even when you cry she says there is nothing she can do.
"If I could wave a magic wand."
Well, fuck you.
Fuck you and your magic wand.
Your a waste of fucking space.
Of course I keep all this locked in.
I cannot take the alcoholic home.
I can't bear it.
The alcoholic dresses in her clothes that were taken off her as they stank of piss.
They have dried and the stench is hideous.
So much so you almost vomit on the doctors feet.
Once the alcoholic is dressed.
I escort the alcoholic out.
The alcoholic asks reception for a taxi.
The alcoholic leaves in a cab.
An hour later the alcoholic calls.
The house has been broken into.
Things are missing.
No the police broke it down when you couldn't answer it.
And no, you left it in such a state because you are always too pissed to know otherwise.
Alcoholism isn't just about the addict.
It is about the mess one leaves behind.
The broken heart of a loved one.
A young woman, weeping in the waiting room after being yelled at for bringing the alcoholic to hospital.
Alcoholism is bitter.
It is twisted.
It leads only to hell.
It leaves a mud slide in its wake.
It kills the head, the heart and the soul.
An alcoholic almost killed me.
What do you do when you've met someone but you haven't physically?
What do you do when that someone loves you?
What do you do when that someone asks if you love them?
Do you say yes and lead them on because you've never met?
Or do you say no because you've never met?
So then tell me what to do when you say "i love you" to that person but then realize you didn't mean to?
Do you cease conversations in hopes that they'll forget about you?
Or do you continue conversations and slowly rip their heart out bit by bit?
What do you do?
the place is packed
and you're slumped over the oak
the sauce rushing like a wild river
through your veins.
you wave a restless hand to the bartender
who walks over uneasily.
worried that one more
might set you off.
he carefully pulls your glass away
and motions to the owner
who comes up from behind
puts a hand on your shoulder
asks if you're all right.
but his hand is trembling.
he's even more leery.
a dead drunk
in the middle of a crowded place
is bad for business
and an irate drunk is just the same.
there's a fine line to be drawn.
though your words are slurred and incoherent
you somehow manage to convince him
that you're good enough to carry on.
he backs off
and you order another drink
brood over it for a minute
then suck it down
as the room spins in devilish rounds
and the many faces cast upon you
you try to stand up
try to maintain
stumble into a broad
who shrieks in horror as
she shoves you away
and the next thing you know
you're shot out the door
like a rocket
into the night:
a sight to be
from Slinking Under The Electric Bulb (2012)
I don’t want to be something someone asks you about just because they don’t know any other conversation-starters.
I don’t want to be the last drag of your cigarette only for you to say “Oh well I’ll just light another one.”
I don’t want to be a suicide note you read over and over again trying to understand why you never understood me.
I don’t want to be the symbol behind your sorrow, I don’t want to be the last lilac sitting in a vase on your kitchen table watching you try to keep it alive.
I don’t want to be that song you listen to over and over trying to recreate something that you never even experienced to begin with.
I don’t want to be that picture you keep above your bed, I don’t want to be the half-eaten meal you fed to the dogs instead.
I don’t want to be compared to that thing that is killing you that I can’t control. But I am. I am. I am.
My outstretched hand yearns for the silhouette in the distance.
As I look at her by the mirror, her reflection looks back.
She returns to the bed, now laying but an inch away.
The rings on our fingers speak for themselves, yet, we are not together.
I brush my nose against hers as my heart aches for more.
A simple tip up of the chin and a lean is all it takes.
But I know I can not.
She does not belong to me, and I not to her.
As I look into her eyes, she looks back and asks,
"Why do the birds fly and the fish swim?"
More questions without answers.
Roads without ends.
Two souls lost without direction.
I tell her, "For the same reason the grass is green and the water is blue."
She looks at me for a moment, then closes her eyes without saying a word.
I myself turn over, closing my own.
Momentarily I'll arrive in a place where the birds don't fly, and the fish don't swim.
A place with colors that don't exist,
and sounds you can not hear.
A place with imaginary answers for every question.
Goodbye, my dear.
I'll see you on the other side.
what happened to the
she doesn't wonder
why the sky is blue anymore.
now she looks at the sky
and sees red chemical clouds,
and asks why we're all so
concerned with ourselves.
what happened to the
she doesn't have those
bright shining eyes anymore
now she tries to pass me
a joint in the corner,
muttering something about
lies and broken promises.
what happened to the
i think we showed her
too much that was broken.
too much that was tattered
and wrong -
she doesn't see the rainbows -
there are clouds in the way.
she doesn't hear bluebirds sing -
there's a car on the street.
so i guess now
sit restless and anxious,
sweats all over,
armpits, foreheads, shoulders
people late for this, for that,
to there, for them, who or her or him,
tapping desks, thumping feet
staring on their cell phones
burning their behind against the chair’s friction
making money with their hands on their chin
Hot tea turned cold
vacant chairs awaiting
empty stares and swell sighs
at the unwavering Exit sign.
Sometimes feeling the grief of waiting
and hearing dripping anticipation.
Never gives up.
Ten years of waiting
in the same little tea house
serving the same drinks to
different people; for ten year
finding — and on a Sunday evening
a boy asks for my name.
"We could do it, you know."
"I could swerve."
"We'd die on impact."
I hear whispers. Then shouting.
Out in the hall.
"She killed my son!"
"I'm sure it was an accident"
"No it wasn't! The whore!"
My mother gasps.
"I could just jerk the wheel."
"Hit the guard rail."
I feel funny. I can't move
I try to open my eyes. I hear more commotion.
A nurse asks me how I feel as another calls for the doctor
He shines a light in my eye.
I am told I am lucky to be alive
I ask where he is.
I pass out
I got off on our exit that night.
I was too afraid of the possibility of survival.
Or worse, that I would survive
And my love would not.
I'm trying to move forward, but everyone is holding me back.
Nobody knows that it really isn't my fault.
These prayers I keep praying never work.
I swear if one more person says something stupid.
I swear if one more person tells me I just have to try harder.
Everyone trying to imply that they're better.
I tear myself down, and they only agree.
No one gives me the chance to prove myself.
I swear if one more person says "I'm sorry."
I swear if one more person asks how they can help.
I've lost all trust in anybody.
I'm just another idiot in this world.
I'm never going to do something great.
I swear if one more person asks if I'm okay.
I swear if one more person leaves.
I swear I'm going to kill myself.