RSB. Or, It’s Been 5 Years.

Before there was you, I loved with a young heart*, after, maybe a less fortunate kind of love.  Ravages your heart, it just kind of stops, beats real slow, then you wake up one morning, like every morning, your head processing the array of mornings, similar, & it’s just gone.

It repels you.  Every word is an unbearable weight, annoyance, & it ends all the same, with not even a day lapse sometimes, & you’re on to new mornings.  

You should be warned that it takes awhile to find out what that persistent rattling is, but when you finally see it:  Your heart pulling its empty cup against the same ivory iron bars that have housed nothing but It since you stopped calling, realization comes clearer than anything else might ever be.  On its walls are dusty, displayed photograph memories that pull back on nostalgia’s big brass knocker, until thinking of “What Was” holds it up no longer, & it falls & rests with a deafening echo against the door.  And although you think that it won’t, it does eventually fade, & it seems so distant, then, that it really could have been a dream that I ever loved you as much as I did.

I held your picture in a hand pressed locket when I slept.  It only delivered you to my dreams once.

*Before there was you, I loved with a young heart.  I never even imagined love to be so analytical, practiced, routine; protected by layers of brick over cement that kept me cool in warmer weather, while all at once taking my innocence and naïvety, but to its credit, not with empty hands.  In exchange, I learned how to speak.  Learned to keep as even as possible.  There was, after-all, no one there to ignite that crazy flame that used to burn so bright I would scream myself to sleep, awaking akimbo, tangled & sweating in bed sheets that were always mine.  So you learn to use what you’ve got and make the best from it all.

Admittedly, on Winter work mornings, I would look East and see the mountains I braved for you, & almost fooled myself into feeling the heat from the bright sun & not the heater balancing precariously between feet & face.  My stomach gripped with nostalgia for Arizona Summer, where I drove those endless winding roads to see you, stopping at the bottom of each to catch my breath.  To breathe.  Ani, playing loudly through open Mustang windows that did nothing to stifle the pressing heat, the ticket in Yuma, Ani, egging me on like she always does, knowingly writing our Love.

Rearview.

It doesn’t seem to make much sense, these feelings of nostalgia for a Winter I never had. But each chord brings me images of huddling, tightly bundled in a coat and scarf, tears biting at my cheeks in the wind. No matter how far in my earbuds go, I am brought back here. And my stomach drops with the dull sensation of loss or one sided unrequited love. It’s a trap, I think. To get me to play into the seasons like an old sweater. (See how casually it fits now, even after all these years, even after all the space you put in between?) I’m not falling for it this year. I’m changing the album. Michigan really is in the rearview, now.

Yeeup.

And so it happened.  Oh, and again, too.  Yeah, only more deliberately this time. And, ohhhh, how it doesn’t matter.  Or shouldn’t.  Because I have an entirely separate happening that is great and good and lovely and all that it’s supposed to be, plus the frequent glimmer of surprise.  Like, I’m flying to Denver this weekend.

But anyway, it did happen.  But this time I didn’t feel like I was going to die.  No more dry sobs caught in my chest.  No more heart in my stomach waiting to be shit out.  Nope.  I casually made an exit, returned, saw what I saw and proceeded to dance and care only a little.  Until someone grabbed ahold of my greater sense and, not to mention, voice, and I glided over at the end, when the lights come on and up and you are forced to see what people really look like (not good, but not bad, either, more just there), and said something real snarky, that of course got me into a whole other wave of situations.  All that could have been avoided had I not had to move my skateboard from the seat, thus allowing me adequate time to leave before there was a face or two by my window.  I should mention how my voice at that point sounded like Tom Waits from a dry cough turned complete ravaging of my vocal chords without a symptom.  This had happened before.  That’s why I was not worried.  Anyway, I told Zeke I’d just give him a fucking skateboard for his plaque if he got his cousin away from me.  He didn’t.  He placed his cousin in my front seat and left with a girl who was looking for a three-way.  Anyway, long story short, the gas station was closed so I went to the other one.  And drove home at 3:30 on abandoned busy interstate roads at 3:30 in the morning, happy that I had finally, for once in my life, told it how it was, man!  Yeah, I really stuck to my guns!  For ten whole hours!  I really thought Ani would be proud of me.  I know she was.  She was sending me silent congratulation letters by the mouthful.  

Time.

Do I do this on purpose?  Do I endure these things as some kind of test to my new self compared to my old self?  With age I thought these things were to dissipate – I thought that was one of the benefits of growing older.  Walking in I felt great, untouchable, my head held higher than anything, or rather anything that wasn’t my Ego.  My fucking Ego.  Anyway, I was great.  And then the appearance came and I wasn’t any longer.  Spun and shook, immediate reprieve to my car where I filled myself with repeated words of strength until my stomach was steadier, my head more on my shoulders again.  Standing in line, I tried to avoid the window, what it showed I wasn’t sure any longer, and didn’t really want to find out.  I was met with worried faces that I love, and pushed off their comforting words with a wave of my hand.  Dance it off.  Until the maze of people landed me too close, and eye contact was made.  There was nothing there.  There shouldn’t have ever been anything there and I think that’s what gets me the most.  Self-impossed suffering I thought I left behind in the tenth grade.  I was doing so well in my pseudo-isolation. I should have been stronger and stuck to the plan.  But everyone knows what happens when you pretend the plan is so easily laid out that all you have to do is keep your wits and emotions and feelings straight and level, walk with open eyes and keep your hands to your sides at all times.  And it was the coldness that got me.  But most of all, the deliberation.  It all worked out so easily for you.  The timing of it was genius. Really.  I couldn’t have written it out any better in my head.  And I did.  I played that shit out.  And it was the exact opposite in practice – what I thought would never happen.  It grabbed me first by the breath, then by the stomach until I was just standing alone in the middle, waiting, stranded on my own little glass fucking island.  FIght or flight was never relevant.  I left as soon as she was done talking.  Offers to follow home, I felt important like a drunk driver, without ever drinking in my life.  Something guided me back to the similar spot I sat and waited, only long enough to decline invitations last time.  The light of my book was making me sick.  So I went into my parents house and hid in the bathroom for awhile, until deciding that I was waiting for a ghost of something that was never to materialize.  There are times when I should throw my phone in the ocean.  When the immediate gratification of technology should be as far from me as possible.  I already sent one, and kept myself from sending anymore until I drove the empty Interstate home, in a never-fully-awake state, listening, ironically, to the same songs I listened to back in tenth grade (lyrics just slightly dusty in my mind) and sat in my car for a long time before sending another.  A very honest tell-all, well, as honest as it ever got.  And there was a call that I ignored with my head in my hands, expecting another response, but there is still nothing.

So why, then, am I going back?  The anticipation?  Do I want it?  Do I need it?  No, I need to forget, I think.  But then, I really don’t know…

Moving Day.

I’m moving in a few days.  I said goodbye to Kenos tonight and Bridgette cried.  She thinks everything is in a cycle right now and that everyone is growing.  She’s scared I won’t come back and visit.  I will come back and visit.  It will be so good to live through another summer of drama.  Not that I regret previous summers, just that this one feels like it will be better and easier.  There’s that word again.

It’s strange how easy these things are moving and progressing.  I never saw myself in this position –my fear of everything seemed like it would hold me back infinitely, but I am conquering it all and moving forward so quickly.  But I feel in control.  Maybe that’s it.  For the first time in my life I feel like I am making positive and rational decisions in everything I do.  No more cop outs.  No more pushing things off to blame something else.  People bring out sides of you you thought were dusty and shelved for good.

It’s just downtown (and the gay part of downtown!), but it feels like so much further.  House hunting in Costa Rica every night before bed makes sleep come so peacefully, and my dreams like waves until I wake up smiling. There will be a skate ramp from the second story window, I promise, J.  It’ll feel so good to get out of the United States.  To fulfill one of my dreams.  To always be warm!  To see rain storms and surf clean waves!  To be a family with dogs instead of children!  Of course, Australia and Bali are first, but still.  Costa Rica!

I suppose I will back track for a second.  Love doesn’t feel rational.  When I think of you my heart beats louder.  You’re always in the back of my mind, there’s always a subtle smile there now.

Thank you.

Hello. I’m on an airplane.

The wireless didn’t work on the trip here, but it was titled”RideCock Air”.  

On this flight it works.  I never ever thought I’d see the day I’d get on an airplane.  I’ve missed funerals, weddings, births and birthdays just because it meant boarding an airplane.  I was petrified, I am petrified, sitting here by the window, trying to see through the weather to the city lights below.  I don’t know where I am, but it’s definitely somewhere between Minneapolis and San Diego.  In four hours I will be back home.  Soundset was amazing.  There was even a tornado expected to hit right before Atmosphere closed the festival; but it’s okay, they gave all ten thousand of us a heady 20 minute notice to evacuate.  I kept chanting “I am not dying away from the ocean, I am not dying in Minnesota” while we sprint in the pelting rain and hail to the ridiculously red sports coup rental car.  It didn’t touch down quite where we were, and Slug made up his performance at the after party, in the air conditioning while I sucked on a pineapple juice.  It was good of him to play, he’s just that kind of guy.

Anyway, J is asleep beside me right now, I can tell because his mouth is slightly parted and he keeps twitching and jerking his leg.  Ryan Adam’s new cd is still pretty good.  The lady next to J has her two giant white horse pills lined up side by side on her apple juice napkin.  She dropped one on the floor, but rubbed it clean and she seems to be satisfied by the outcome.  There is a mother and daughter in the seats across the aisle playing Uno.  I really want in on that.  I also really want a gingerale but I can’t be bothered to put my food tray down since the girl in front of me already reclined her seat onto my knees.  I preferred the first flight, in row 23, because it was closer to the wings.  Row 30 is a little too far back and I’m catching too much shaking.  There was a 1/2 hour delay on the first flight, but the pilot made up the time by rising way higher than he probably should have, thus making my sinus feel like they were going to pop right out of my face since I’m recovering from a month long cold.  It’s pretty much out now, though, or at least definitely on the outs.  I’m down to probably six nose blows a day!  It’s really turbulent right now.  I don’t like this.  The red car was red, I mean really red, not at all like my old Mustang. . . it was clean, flawless, very shiny, too.  There’s a man standing in the aisle, it looks like he’ll be there indefiinately.  

Oh, it should be noted that the lady with the apple juice and pills got a little upset when I had to use the restroom.  But I tried to time it when the cart came so I wouldn’t have to go later when she was trying to sleep, because I’m sure those pills are some sort of sleep aid/Xanax/muscle relaxer.  My sunburn is a little tender.  The girl in front of me has reclined further, I want to start a steady and rhythmed kick to the back of her seat.  She’s not even trying to sleep, just being annoying with a Boston hat. 

Flying has already become something that I just “do”.  I just “fly”.  I’m very proud of myself for this revelation. 

Work, I Guess!

ALL I WANTED WAS THIS FUCKING THING TO FILL UP MY SCREEN!
These things change.
They’re always
“Changing” when I’m always
“Leaving” or see:
“Taking a brief/not so brief hiatus”.

Don’t judge me for it. Or do. Yes, do. Hard, sullen, smite-y. I’ve been busy, you see. . . handling piss cups and entering data so fast that Internet tests don’t even register my speed any longer. Consoling and counseling my new friend and her inevitable ten year break up. She depresses me if I let her. She doesn’t mean to – neither do I, but sometimes it happens. It comes in one great and noble wave, knocking me off my lumbar supporting (deteriorating) chair and onto the rough carpet that is found in every single office around the world. It’s brief, though, infrequent too. So,
I just stand up, shake the grief from my hair and get back to it. Oh!
Fixing discrepancies. . . something only she and I are allowed access to! And I get reeeeal moody on the longest days (shorter this week! There is hope!), until DC and AC tell me I’m being hella bitchy. It’s really only to them, and it’s usually a joke anyway, because I know they can take it! We eat lunch together at the fucking cafeteria tables they drilled into the floors, talk shit about people behind our sandwiches, laugh too loud, disturb other diners, talk more shit about how they need to “mellow out!” However,
I make a conscious effort to ignore whichever hoarder hands them to me at the very end of the day now, hidden behind my headphones, because it’s the first step in being polite when people do that shit.

Somehow I started babbling about work too much. I tried to enter my PIN number at a gas station last night and was baffled as to why it wasn’t registering. Then I realized I was entering my log in PIN from work. So I applied to two jobs last night at ten thirty.

“Goodnight, and Goodbye.”

It’s been four years.  I’ve waited for you – breath baited, hopes perpetually high – waiting.  Sitting.  Wondering.  Dreaming.  Our life was to be so pure, but so hard.  Such a struggle.  I’ve always thought that true love was that. . . Forever struggling because there was no other way.  I know this is not true now. 

You are not mine.  I am not yours.  And as much as that is a lie, it is also a very deep and meaningful truth.  It took four years to finally figure this out.  You’ve been touched by another, others.  As I have.  And up until this past year, that’s all it has been.  But out of a friendship built around mutual love for words and beats blending perfectly, I am beginning to see that love is not a struggle.  Love is actually quite simple.  You open your heart and someone is there that you can trust with it 100%, never doubting intention, never doubting if something you say today will be spun out of context to gain leverage and a leg up tomorrow.  Love is being there, or a short drive away.  Love is waking up smiling because they are next to you by choice.  This is the beginning.

But I am a brick, a stone, a thick layer of bark inside from trusting with guards up.  For thinking that trust is negotiable, persuaded, justifiable, sneaky, back handed.  But love is chiseling away, layer by layer, with patience and understanding and adoration.  This too is love.

In a year I will be in another continent.  In another year, one more.  These aren’t pipe dreams.  These are feasible dreams fueled by passion and an unwillingness to fail.  You make your claims, I know them well by now, like the palm of my hands, but nothing else has been pure.  Only in the downtime do these things seem relevant.  Always there will be a piece of me with you, and you’re forever with me.  But now I feel lighter. 

 

I feel safe.  I feel loved.  

Dizzy.

I’m dizzy, my head is spinning from too many elevator rides. Life vertigo. More persistent now than the last two weeks when everything was just kind of moving at a hum. Now it’s moving too fast. I tried to stand up but then I fell back down, braced myself on the wall, breathed in to find my center again. Because it’s always there. People come and go but yet here I am.