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Tim Isabella Dec 2015
The best way to find "home" is to take it with you. "Home" is not the quiet street you grew up on. "Home" is not the school that was three blocks away that your mom would walk you to in the mornings. "Home" was not the place where you broke your arm. "Home" is not the beautiful apartment you moved into with your girlfriend when you finally started learning who you are. It's not that simple. "Home" was never a place. "Home" is the feeling. The memories. To look around and know that you're safe, and that the people around you love you. "Home" was never the ****** job you enjoyed because it was close and they had free coffee and donuts if you were early enough. "Home" isn't the place where those nightmares originated. "Home" is quite often the place that you die, if you're lucky enough. "Home" is the feeling you get when the golden-orange sunbeams ignite all the floating dust particles as it leaks in through the windows, and you can smell the candles burning from years ago, from your first memory of seeing that happen. "Home" is the place where you stay up with her till two in the morning making cookies, when you both have to be up for eight in the morning. "Home" is the place where you dance like goofballs in the living room, or, maybe not like goofballs, maybe like two people who were long since destined for the gallows but found absolution and salvation in the others welcoming smile and embrace. "Home" is the place where you lay your head down at night, and the last thing you see is the same as the first thing you saw that morning, and the next thing you'll see when you open them again; her. "Home" is wherever you want it to be, with all of the people that you want there. "Home" comes from within, as well as without. The best way to find "home" is to take it with you wherever you go. Keep it in a locket, or in a picture you can pull out of your wallet or your purse, or keep as your phone background because it's the 21st century now and everyone has cell phones and that's just what we do. Whatever the case is, whatever it may be for you...just, **go home.
Tim Isabella Dec 2015
I remember when I bought my first guitar, I was fourteen years old, my momma said to me "Son, you better get good at this" and I assured I would and that I'd practice every day. I got pretty **** good at it, too. I remember when I was a child in the hospital, suffering from a brain that was telling me to die, my momma came and she brought me some notebooks and some pens, and told me to write it all down, she said "You write down your demons and you keep them in here, so they don't get out, and you write everyday, son." And I did, almost ten years later, I write everyday. A month from now, I'm driving my mother to Baystate Hospital in Springfield to get a portion of her brain removed. She could wake up and have no memory of us, so I guess it's a good thing that she made me write everything down, just in case. I can remind her who she is. She can read about who I am, and my brothers, and my sister. She'll get to read about the times I broke my arm, the time we thought my little brother was missing, but he was just sleeping under some blankets. Maybe I can leave out all of the nasty things I've said to her. Maybe I can leave out how unreasonable I was and how I ran away from her. Maybe I can leave out the part where I signed myself into DSS custody and never told her about it. I may never be able to take them away from myself, but maybe I can take them away from her. Maybe she can read about what a loving family we are, and I can leave out the part about my sisters past drug addiction. Maybe I can leave out the part about my father breaking her heart. Maybe she can learn that we all just love each other and that we're all happy. Maybe we can all finally just be happy.
Tim Isabella Nov 2015
Seriously, though
What the ****?
Why can't I suffer from something fun
Like an uncontrollable ****** disorder

Random points in situations that don't call for it
Entirely unprovoked, untriggered
Bam, I *** in my favorite blue jeans
And then it's done

Sure, it would be awkward from time to time
I'm sure an ****** at a funeral is frowned upon
But it sure as **** beats sheer, utter terror
For absolutely no apparent reason

They just aren't beautiful anymore
They used to be inspiring and insightful
They would fill me with profound ideas
And this unique way of seeing everything

But now, they're just a hindrance
Another relationship done and over
Another friendship severed because
Why save someone who's just drowning on land?

If I had a dollar for every panic attack
To ruin a friendship or scare away a girlfriend
I would have enough money
To afford to do something about them

Late nights on the bathroom floor
Blurred and blacked out memories
****** fits and bleeding wrists
They just aren't beautiful anymore.
Tim Isabella Nov 2015
The first time you hear a gunshot in person is a coming-of-age event. Where were you when you heard it? Standing behind your dad, wearing earmuffs and protective glasses while he showed you how to brace for the recoil of a 12 guage shotgun? Going into a shooting range to learn self defense and studying everyone else because you're too nervous to ask how you're supposed to stand or how you're supposed to hold it? On the street in the dark with your friends, walking through the rough part of the neighborhood to prove how big your sack was? Blam. Bright light. Blam. Total darkness. Blam. Bright light. Three shots. A total of 2.3 seconds has gone by. You are suddenly years older, because of how much those 2.3 seconds of time ages you. Your friend's injured. Blam. Get down. Blam. Go home. 1.8 seconds. Everything is silent now. The only sound is the ringing in your ears, followed by the peeling tires of the vehicle. Smoke hangs motionless in the air. In your head, in your room later that night, in the hospital to bring one of them poorly stated "Get well soon" cards and in the graveyard to bring the other one flowers, you only hear one sound. Blam. Four years later. Training on a range with soldiers. Have the drill sergeant scream in your face that you don't know what it's like to watch your best friend take a bullet in the battlefield. Compose yourself. Two years later, walking to work through the bad part of a different city. You already know it's going to happen. This time, it's not to you, or to anyone you know, but you hear it anyways and you think of the first time. Unfortunately, it's not the first time we all like to think about, which is usually a backseat, or your parents basement, or in the school bathroom, no, this one's a bang that's much less enjoyable. We're told not to talk about it. We live in fear of it. A constant fear. You start to feel unsafe where you live. Better go by a gun.
Tim Isabella Nov 2015
Depression is an ugly Christmas sweater your mother bought you, but you never want to wear, but never want to get rid of, either.  It's not her fault, as much as you tend to blame her for it. It's not anyone's fault, really, but *******, that thing is just ******* atrocious and not very-well humored. You do your best to keep it buried and hidden, no one can know that you have it, it's an embarrassment and now, because of it, so are you. It'll be in the back of your mind, in the back of your drawers, the whole time. Any time someone mentions Christmas, you'll rub the back of your head 'cause it'll come to mind, and flood with it hundreds of other terrible memories. Almost everyone has one. Those that do, understand the importance and the significance of it, but those that don't, will always look at you funny. Wonder what the hell you're doing. Set that Christmas sweater on fire while you're still wearing it. Act casual. This is normal. Everyone stops and stares, but no one offers or tries to help you. Soon you realize that it's no one's job to. The only person in the room with a fire extinguisher is you. Are you gonna put it out? Or are you gonna let the whole house burn down? Suddenly the flames are out, and no one noticed them but you. Funny, the sweater is just fine. You can burn it, stain it, cut it, slash it, destroy it in any way you can think of, but it will still be just fine. Everything will be just fine. Tell yourself "everything will be just fine." Tell everyone around you "Everything will be just fine" This sweater will make you a liar, but even when, and especially when, you don't believe it, tell everyone that everything will be just fine, because it has to be. They can't worry about you. You want them to more than anything, but you can't let them know they should be worried. They should already know. They should already know. When they ask you "what's wrong" or "why the long face," you honest *******, you lie to them. You lie to their face. You look up and you tell them "Don't worry, everything's just fine. Can I have some more eggnog?"
Tim Isabella Oct 2015
It's six a.m., and I'm awake before the sun. I shouldn't be surprised. Couple things about New England...early darkness, late sunrise, and all the leaves turn the loneliest shades on the rainbow, and something about sort of just makes your bones feel cold. You see your breath hang and contort in the air while you sit in the motionless tomb you've grown affectionally refer to as home. That loneliness I mentioned earlier sets up a permanent residence, as well. It locks on to you, like some sort of symbiont. You'll feel lonely even in entire rooms full of people who also feel lonely in entire rooms full of people who also feel lonely. The sadness is intoxicating. The only thing colder than the outside temperature becomes the temperature of your heart. It's six a.m., and I'm awake before the sun. I have this intense combination of utter apathy, white hot rage, and despondency. At least the rage keeps me warm at night. It's the only thing that combats the incompacitating loneliness. Even your own reflection begins to lie and play tricks on you. The thing about New England, about these small hilltowns in Western Massachusetts, is that they're full of a few different types of people. People who stay and wanna stay, people who are going to leave and never come back, people who are going to leave but never do, and the people who leave and do come back. Out of those four people, I promise you, none of them want to be here. They would like to be anywhere but here, even the one's who wanna stay. It's not beautiful to us, anymore, these falltime changes, the winter wonderland that follows it. The debilitating conditions become hazardous to the essence of the lives we pretend we have. Don't be fooled; no one wants to be here, just some are on deeper levels than others about it.
Tim Isabella Oct 2015
I read the last sentence of every book I ever hold long before I ever even read the title, or the author, because, as a writer, and as a human being, endings are the hardest thing to write, and because I still don't know how to say goodbye to you. I remember when I read the text message telling me what had happened, what you'd done, I laughed to myself about what an ******* I thought you were, saying something like that, and then I went to bed. I remember thinking that I was playing along, going with the joke, not believing for days that you were ACTUALLY unlucky enough to ACTUALLY pull it off. I remember my heart beating painfully and in reverse while reading everyone's best wishes to your mother, and I very vividly remember the way a little piece of me then bolted for the nearest exit, like a punk rock kid running from the police. I remember walking into your funeral, and a small twelve year old boy with long hair and glasses, who told me how much freedom he felt from punk music, looks me up and down as if he was a bouncer, or there was some type of criteria or dress code I'd missed. The kid spots the long knife on my leg hanging from my belt and the red anarchy symbol on the silver ring I was wearing that now lays on your grave, tied to a metal flower, next to a cross I'd flipped upside down, and says to me with such conviction, without a doubt in his mind, "Sweet blade. You were Jon's friend." as a bold and obvious statement, not a question. I remember walking in slowly and not being able to make eye contact with a single person in that room, because I felt so guilty, and I had so much shame for laughing at that text. I remember dreaming recently that you called me on the phone and told me it was all some giant, year and a half long prank that you somehow managed to accomplish. It's a little frightening to think about, sometimes, I think, because I've been there before, y'know? I've been there, I have I've stared down the barrel before, I was just too scared. I took my finger off the trigger and threw the gun off the bridge I was sitting on. I called 911, and told them what happened. They couldn't find the gun, but I caught weapons charges. So many people, like me, in my life, so many people I've met in those program, in those hospital, in situations like mine, they're dead or they're drug addicts, but me, I'm still standing. I'm still standing. I'm. Still. Standing.  It'll be your 21st birthday in a few months, and we can't even go get a drink together. I'm sorry I didn't see the signs. Why didn't you reach out to any of us? I would've answered the phone for you. I'll never ignore a phone call. We met in hell, but we got through it together, and you, my brother, you will never leave my mind. I think you've figured out a way to live on forever, it was by living a life that no one could ever forget. So this is for you, Jon, and for Liam, and for Milly. Tell Cobain I say "what's up?" I love you. I miss you. All.
This one is for my brother Jon who took his own life in April of 2014.
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