Saturday, June 30, 2012

She says I don't know how to "sleep in." That when we attempt to do such things I always rise too early. I get up and move about much too soon.

It's past noon now. Almost one o'clock. I imagine it's sweltering outside but I wouldn't know. I'm in a basement. Blinds closed. Shades drawn. Air conditioning flowing.

The Girl still sleeps and I wonder if I've satisfied the notion of sleeping-in or whether I should lay back down and try to fall back under.

And there's so much I need to do today too. So much to get done.

Oh well.

Friday, June 29, 2012

The heat. All anyone can talk about is the heat. It boils us down. My clothes get drenched.

I debate showering before work. I think about it.

But I don't do it.

Instead I stay in bed with Her. I call realty agencies. I smoke cigarettes on the back porch in my underwear. Nothing else.

Too hot for anything else.

Am I drinking enough water?

And these days pass easy enough. I'm concerned. Overly concerned about too many things. But it all passes. I wipe it all from my brow.

I hate the summer.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

There's this moment. Always these moments. But there's this one. And it strikes me while I'm driving towards Clarksville on 32. While I'm driving to Roots Organic Market because She said She wanted to go.

Because we had nothing better to do, and the salty mood I relapsed into was making Her anxious.

So, Roots, She said. Yes, let's go.

So as I drive there. Thinking how depressed I am and how hopeless everything is and how dark and bleak and grim the future is and on and on and on, I stop.

Something stops me.

And it might be the cool evening summer breeze or the way the sunlight is making the clouds turn orange. It might be the hypnotic repetition of the white painted lines my car zips past.

But I stop. I stop and I turn to Her.

And the lighting is so mild but it still manages to radiate within Her hazel eyes. And the wind is whipping Her brown hair playfully about Her face. And Her skin looks so soft and She just looks at me with the most tranquil expression and I know I'm traveling sixty miles an hour on an open highway, but I can't look away. I can't look away.

I just can't.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I search Craigslist for most of the day. In between the hours I spend smiling at customers who could careless for my smile. For my attempts at friendliness. For my conviviality.

They just want coffee. Just as I just want a place to call home. A place to settle down. Relax. Inhale. Exhale.


Why is it so hard to breathe?

So I hound Craigslist for something of the sort. Till that vein that runs along my temple pulsates with such intensity that all of my attention is diverted towards it. Till I have to place an index finger there in fascination. In bewilderment that my body is capable of producing such an occurrence.

Then I realize that the Girl is sitting across from me. Sitting across from me in a Starbucks in Canton asking if I want to leave. If I'd like to get something to eat.

And I must not be fully forming words because She keeps leaning closer and closer and asking what? What?

So I just hone back in to the waves of blood or fluid or wasted thoughts or whatever that are surging down my face.


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Right. Words. Must write words. Must write daily.

I painted once. I did it while stoned or drunk or whatever. Mainly while I lived in Bethesda. When I was drinking and smoking regularly.

But I painted this one piece. It was just streaks of colors. Carelessly lathered onto a canvass. With big black words over top.

Always words.

But they said: Did you write today?

And this painting has hung on one of the walls that have made up my bedrooms for the past few years. Hanging there. Asking me. Daily. Questioning.

Did you write today?

Now it rests in a black plastic carrying bag in the corner of a basement as my place of residency teeters on the edge of a cliff.



This head ache is destroying me. It is definitely destroying me.

Monday, June 25, 2012

I wake this morning before the sun rises. Before life seemingly bustles to life. The house is quiet. Roads are vacant. Wind is still.

I breathe smoke as I navigate my way to work.

And I'm so exhausted. So very exhausted. The three hours of sleep did little for me. The nightmares. The disturbances. The nagging realization that my life is spinning out of control.


The sun rise is gorgeous though. Something I haven't seen in quite a while. Something I've missed.

Something to get up for.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tears. The tears come easily today. They hang about my face. I drive around Baltimore with them. I drive and they fall and fall. The sunglasses I wear to try and disguise my anguish do nothing.

How silly. How feeble.

And my head pounds. It won't stop pounding. An incessant thud. A twenty four hour pain.


She asks if I want Her to carry out all the tasks we've lined up for the day. Canceling a gym membership. Retrieving a scale and towel hook to return to Ikea. Running to the drug store.

And I say yes.

Yes, yes. Let me sob in the car alone. Let the sorrow take hold of me by myself. Let me crack and tear as one.

She tells me a text I sent the other day reappeared on Her phone this morning.

It read: this has been one crazy week.

Indeed. Indeed.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I send texts to a friend I met at Sheppard Pratt. She tells me when it rains, it pours.

And now I'm soaked. Now I'm drowning.

And this backyard is so beautiful. So very beautiful.

I look up at the white candle lantern I hung under the porch the other night. The wind chimes. The solar mini LED light posts I dug into the ground.

All I ever say now is goodbye.

How sad.

Friday, June 22, 2012

I sit in the car. I said I would wait.

Just be a minute, She said.

So, in the hundred degree heat, I wait. I wait for Her to grab some Beatles albums so we'll have music for the ride to Ikea. For the ride to go pick out some furniture. Some new housewares.

Because the day before we made the decision to move in together. Because we decided to live together.

So, in the car, in the heat, I wait.

I browse my phone. I lean my chair back. I close my eyes.

I wait.

It's not long before the heat gets to me. The heat and the time.

It's been too long. I'm sweating too much. I can't take it.

So I get out of the car. I walk up the driveway. Up the steps of the patio. Into the kitchen.

I walk towards the stairs. Towards Her room, but I see something in my peripheral through the dining room. Something of interest.

It's Her. She's standing in the bathroom before the sink. Splashing water over Her face and staring at Herself in the mirror.

I smile and move closer. It's a hot day. I understand.

But everything changes as I close the distance. Everything always changes.

There's another body in the bathroom.

It's Her mother and she stands there in a blue flower dress with tears in her eyes.

And suddenly I realize the Girl isn't hot. Isn't splashing water on Her bright red cheeks because of the heat and humidity.

I freeze. Gawk silently.

I watch as the mother tells her daughter that everything will be fine. That as long as her daughter is fine, then she, herself, will be fine. Not to worry. It won't be easy, but these are good things. These are good things.

They embrace. They stand locked in each others arms. And I'm soothed into such a state of joy that I don't even realize when the mother turns to me and thanks me.

Thank you, she says. And as she hugs me I feel the tremble beneath her skin. The shudder throughout her being.

And I feel honored. I feel truly honored.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I smile today. I wake up and smile.

There's this Girl beside me. There are these woods outside my window. There is this comfort in my chest.

I feel good.

So I sit up and kiss Her on the cheek. I raise Her with my lips.

And She stretches and curls under the covers. She yawns and moans then says how She needs a cigarette.

I need a cigarette, She says. And I nod my head. I agree.

So we rise from the bed and push aside the sheets of palm trees that I pinned over the bare sliding glass door leading to the back porch, light our smokes and climb on the wooden guardrail. Swing our legs and talk of dreams we had. Of plans for the day. Of the future.

And I feel good. I feel good.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Words. There is nothing to write here.

I spend last night driving in circles. Listening to music that peels away at my skin while smoking cigarette after cigarette. I sip the old chai tea latte I made myself earlier in the day and even pull over to the side of the road at one point. Push the button for my hazards. Sit and let traffic zoom by.

My sleep is broken and provides little nourishment.

It's supposed to be one hundred degrees today. I can't wait.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Drugged. Everything I do is drugged. My movements. My thoughts. These words. All drugged.

I am dowsed in honey.

And maybe this would've been something I yearned for. Maybe this would've been something I'd drive distances to find. Meet with people I've never met. Exchange green paper for substances in plastic bags. Maybe there was a time as such.

But not now. It's not so now.

But it's currently expected of me. It's what was assigned to me by a man of medical stature. A man who seemingly knows what he is doing. Knows what's best.


I can't function. I waver between two different planes. Uncontrollably. I toggle back and forth sporadically. I can't stay grounded.

This is awful.

I wonder if the cats suspect anything.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day comes and goes and I'm relieved I think nothing of it. I'm relieved the entire occasion slips my mind completely. That no one asks the question, what did you get your Father?

Yes, that's pleasant.

I still have dreams of him though. He still penetrates my thoughts. Conscious or unconscious. He's still there. Will always be there.

I tell Her of a dream I had the other night. How he wasn't trying to kill me, but another common scenario was played out.

In this one, he simply returns from being absent for an extended period of time. He simply left for some reason and is back for another. Simple as that.

And it always feels so real. All of them always feel so real.

I tell Her these things and ask how one can truly get over something like that. How anyone can truly get over anything that scars them. Anyone that scars them.

She says She doesn't want to talk about it. That it'll make Her uncomfortable. But it rustles about in my mind. It still uneases me.

No, I will never get over these things.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Work. A slew of lifeless hours. Uneventful hours. This is what I wanted, isn't it?

I make frappuccinos into the night. Over and over again. Pouring ingredients into a blender and watching them turn to mush. This is how I spend my weekend.

And it's not so bad. I could think of worse times. I definitely have some worse times tucked away somewhere.

Like when we leave One World Cafe and we're sitting in my car at a red light and She turns to me while smoking a cigarette and says, I want to tell you something, but you can't get mad.

And I laugh. I chuckle and tell Her that's an awful way to preface whatever She's about to say, but sure, I won't get mad.

So, She tells me things that make me cringe and forget the roads we take to get home so She has to point and direct me when we near a turn because my mind is far, far off.

Yeah, there are definitely worse times than hours of making frappuccinos.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I sit in an office watching videos on how great Starbucks is. While sipping on a red eye and battling sleep. Battling the urge to topple over in my chair and curl up on the tile floor. Unconscious. At peace.

However, I remain in my chair and make quirky comments whenever an employee stops by to clock in or out, or grab something from his or her jacket or purse. I appear amiable. Jovial. Alive.

And now I lay, always laying, fighting sleep once again. My eternal enemy.

And it's not just a bout with sleep; it's a bout with time. If I win the struggle I have with staying present, then I'm met with an endless amount of minutes to use. To fill. To do something with.

And what to do with all these minutes?

I'm so tired. So very tired.

This weekend towers over me.

Friday, June 15, 2012

I wake to the smell of burning hair. To an acute pain stabbing through my thigh.

I shoot up in bed. Bend forward and grab my leg. A small pile of ash sticks to the site of the sting. Of the pang that startled me to life.

I sit baffled for a second, disoriented and confused.

What is going on?

Then clarity washes over me.

Of course, of course.

A cigarette hangs between Her index and middle finger. Smoke slowly rising from the glow.

Yes, of course.

I wipe the ash from my thigh. A bald, red patch of skin resides underneath. I stare at it before removing the cigarette from Her fingers, taking a drag or two, then extinguishing it in the coffee cup next to the bed.

I debate waking Her, telling Her what She's done, but Her closed eye lids flutter and lips tremble in the most subtle manner. So, instead I kiss Her forehead

Then I go back to sleep.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The shells we become. The people we're capable of suppressing. Of holding in and down till we forget why we did it in the first place. Why we chose to escape who we are.

I'm on the phone with my mother when I get to Her house. I pace the driveway as we speak. As the conversation ends, Her mother appears on the deck with a cigarette.

Do you know what's going on with Her? she asks.

I shake my head. Furrow my brow. Look concerned.

She just rolls her eyes and heads back into the kitchen. I follow. Inside she tells me that her daughter isn't having the best of days. Isn't coping too well with whatever. So, She decided to take some meds. An excessive amount of meds.

Lorazepam, she tells me.

And I google it. I read up. Learn as much as I can as I ascend the staircase.

The room is dark when I enter. Blinds shut. Lights off. Spider-Man plays on the television.

She sits with Her back against the wall smoking a cigarette. With heavy, uninterested eyes.

I move cautiously. Watching Her. I remove my shoes and sit down on the mattress.

I smile at Her and get little in return.

The room is freezing, as always.

Her movements are sluggish. Her hands rise and fall as if they're receiving falty signals. As if they're lost in a fog. Her jaw is tight. Tense.

I reach out and touch Her forearm. Trace my fingers down to Her palm. To Her finger tips. Then back up.

I wonder how much of this She can actually feel.

But I don't tell Her what I know. And She tells me nothing in return.

So we sit with Spider-Man, pretending that this is just another night. Just one more night to get through.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

I am miserable. A whirlwind of misery. Don't come too close. Don't get swept up.

I will consume you.

She tries to pull me from the depths I've dived. She tells me not to worry of my insecurities. She tells me it's all fine.

But I ignore Her. I get up. I get dressed. Tell Her I'm leaving.

She tells me to text when I get home. I say nothing. Walk from the bedroom. Shut the door behind me.

Once I back out of Her driveway I speed down the street. Fast. Far.

Keep going. Keep distancing. It's the only thing I know. It's all I know.

But when I arrive at my house nothing has changed. I've saved no one. The torment actually spread farther and farther with each mile I drove.

I stare out at the sky as it turns grey and darkens. As my feet settle into the pavement.

Then I text Her. Tell Her I'm home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I sit on a bench in Fells, sipping on hazelnut coffee. There are two men sitting on the curved stone bench before me, smoking what I'm convinced is marijuana.

A group of four young white girls in skirts that playfully flap in the wind walk by with paper cups of ice cream. Two dogs out for an evening stroll with their master bark at a tree. Or something in the tree. A squirrel, perhaps. Or a bird.

The engine of a motorcycle groans like an upset belly.

Taxis peruse the square, searching for a source of income. A helicopter passes overhead.

I drove up here for a reason. I believe there was a reason. I'm not sure I achieved it by sitting alone on a wooden bench, sipping on coffee I don't recall paying for.

No, this could not have been the reason.

But it appeases me. Regardless, it appeases me.

The constant breeze. The warm tones of blue from the sky. The glow of the street lamps. The unintelligible, soft flow of conversation. The faint smell of sea water.

This seems good enough. A good enough way to spend the evening.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What to write of these mornings?

I take steps. I progress as a person. As a human being. As a growing consciousness. As someone who cares to go beyond the point at which he finds himself.

Beyond where I find myself.

Yesterday I find myself sprawled on the carpet of my bedroom. Toying with my iPhone. Browsing websites that hold little interest. Debating whether to watch movies I've seen too many times. Pondering whether to spend the entire day like this.

On my belly on the carpet.

It doesn't sound so bad. I'm exhausted. Fatigued. Beat, as they say.

But instead I get a text from Her. And it beckons me to DC. To the national mall.

So I rise from the floor. Hop in the shower. I drive us down to our nation's capitol. And we spend the day amongst the museums.

Bettering ourselves. Enhancing our lives so we can enhance others. Pass it along. Continue the flow of knowledge and personal wealth.


It's too bad the night ends with Her sobbing in the passenger seat of my car after She's received an overly aggressive incongruous message from Her former best friend demanding that interactions between the two cease.

So I wind up stopping at a gas station where one ragged man is slumped on the sidewalk, leaning on plastic pallets, and another approaches asking for gas money, all so I can purchase more cigarettes to ease the tension.

Right. Bettering ourselves.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

These lives we're leading. All the lives we're leading. How they bustle about and move around. How they evade each other and coexist. How they collide and destroy themselves.

How a past life can shatter a future life. How something that has happened in the past can annihilate possibilities later on. Things that haven't happened yet. Will never happen as a result of one unforeseen occurrence.

Mind boggling. Simply mind boggling.

I sit sweating in my car this morning. My left foot rests on the dash and the sun burns my ankle. I look down and see a scar there. A scar I was unaware of. Looks like a scrape. A rug burn, maybe. When was I rolling around on a rug?

I've just bought a root beer and a coconut water from a small market on the corner because the minimum charge for credit was three dollars. I have no cash because I haven't worked in two months. So I wound up buying two beverages.

All I wanted was the root beer.

Too bad I chugged the coconut water first and now I sit bloated and perspiring in the heat, thinking of how many lives I've lived and how many will never come to be.

Sunday mornings.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I see someone I haven't seen in two months. I see him outside the AMC theater in Columbia. He stands there with his girlfriend, who I also haven't seen in two months.

They spot me first. I can tell when I recognize them; they've been looking at me for a few moments. Surprised. Baffled.

I smile and close the distance.

I don't have to think too hard to remember the last time I spoke to him. I remember well, actually.

It was the day I never returned to work. It was the day I sent him a message instead of showering and changing into my uniform. It was the day I drove myself up to Towson. Nervous. Anxious. It was the day I parked my car and headed into the walk-in clinic. Told them I needed care. That I was a reason for concern. It was the day I took my future and laid it out before me. Laid it out and began toying with it. Experimenting. Prodding. Poking.

So, I approach them and I shake his hand and I give her a hug.

She asks how I'm doing and I say ok.

I think this is the truth.

We make small talk on the movie we walked out of and the little things we occupy ourselves with.

His girlfriend tells me to come and visit sometime.

I tell her I need to.

He tells me my beard looks good.

I thank him. Laugh.

We part shortly after. With another handshake and hug, we part. And I walk away thinking only of breathing.

Just keep breathing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Days trickle by.

I wake to four missed calls from a friend. We're all not doing so well. We pass it on. We let others have it when we're done.

How vague am I being?

And my nights are too heavily sedated. The mirtazapine has become my enemy. My dreams are so long and intricate and vivid; I've grown to hate them. I hate that I can't escape them. I hate when I wake in the morning and feel so groggy. Feel so heavy and movement feels so foreign. I hate when the best idea I have is to close my eyes. Rest my head back down. Return to the fantasy I just left. The other realm. The plane that entraps me.

Right. Well, at least I'm not hungover. There's always that. There is always that.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I drive to Fells. I park my car next to Hers. In that parking lot we sat in for so long one night, debating where to go. What to do. As some Hispanic guy vomited a few yards away. Over and over again onto the sidewalk.

I park my car there.

And there are still other odd characters on the walk to the coffee shop. The child walking around in jeweled high heel shoes. The homeless man digging through the ashtray atop a garage can for unfinished cigarettes. The girl arranging coins in a particular order on the front steps of a closed store. Her boyfriend standing beside her, waiting. As if he's waiting for her to finish tying her shoe.

I walk past them. Get to the coffee shop. The barista asks what she can get me. I ask for Her. I ask to see Her.

She's in the bathroom cleaning toilets.

I wait. Circle the shop. Browse through the drink case. Look over the muffins and pastries.

Then She appears. With a spray bottle and a roll of paper towels. She appears.

And for the first time in a few days I feel at ease. I feel calm.

She makes me a drink with six shots of espresso. It's called the Jitter Bug.

I drink it as I sit and watch Her roll garbage receptacles to the curb. As She wipes off the counter tops.

As She makes me smile.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I stop by a friend's on the way home from Columbia. After I've rock climbed for the first time in two months. After I've sat with a loved one over pizza and root beer and discussed where our lives are headed. How they're dividing.

But I stop by a friend's. He sits at the kitchen table, playing with his iPad. I pull up a chair.

We start with light conversation. Jobs. Living situations. Weekend vacations.

But then he turns to me. He leans toward me in his chair. Pushes the iPad aside. Looks into me.

He tells me about positivity. About exuding it into the world. About embracing it in any circumstance. Standing by it when it stands alone. Fighting for it when it's outnumbered.

His girlfriend enters in a white bathrobe and rests an elbow on his huge shoulder. A roommate walks over and stands in the door frame of the kitchen. They watch as I sit and absorb wisdom. Take in the gifts he is giving. They observe how deeply I'm processing this information. Whether I'm worthy of such things.

This is me putting positivity into the world, he concludes. This is me passing it onto you.

This is him being a good friend, his girlfriend adds.

I thank him. I don't know how many times I thank him. I offer some sort of reimbursement, but he refuses. I offer my hand and he shakes it. I don't know how many times I shake his hand.

I stand and continue to spew gratitude. Everyone smiles and wishes for the best.

I move backwards toward the door awkwardly. Saying parting phrases and thanking and thanking.

He heads downstairs with his girlfriend. The roommate sinks back into the kitchen.

They've done what they could.

The rest is up to me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ok. So how to deal with this now?

How to deal with the wrenching nausea pushing up my throat? How to deal with the pressure squeezing my intestines dry? How to deal with the spasm shooting down my jawline?

How to deal with this pain? This distress? This encompassing sense of anguish?

This wound. This wound. This wound.

I'm no gentleman.

Grizzy Bear appropriately plays from the speakers across the hall. How appropriate this all is.

The incessant twitch of my foot. My sweaty palms. My empty stomach that's been ripped apart.

How utterly appropriate.

And the weather's been so beautiful lately. Such splendid days.

Sent from my iPhone

Monday, June 4, 2012

A part of me is missing. Maybe multiple parts. Maybe a whole section. I'm just not sure.

And I don't know what the significance of these parts were. I don't know what purpose they served or what tasks they carried out. I don't know why or where they existed.

All I know is their absence. All I feel is their absence. The lack of them. The space that now resides within me.

The space that feeds off attention. The space that beckons me to fall in. The space that continuously reminds me that I destroyed something. That I took the power I have, that I made the decision, of my own free will, the conscious decision, that I raised my hand and crashed it down on something. That I caused death. That I am capable of such a thing. That I am just as horrid as I always feared.

Damn. Damn. Damn.

I just need a little time to make things right. Just a little time.

My words have never meant less.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I want to write of Her smile. I want to see Her smile. It's all I want. It's all that needs to happen. It's all I need.

But I sit across from Her in One World Cafe and watch as She slowly scoops a few black beans and an olive from Her vegan quesadilla onto Her fork, then stops.

The motion ceases.

And all of a sudden there are tears streaming down Her cheeks. They stream down and drip onto the green button down She's wearing. They make dark circles on Her green button down.

I tell Her to look at me. That things will get better from here. That the worst is over.

But the tears are relentless. They form and fall with such ease. With such efficiency.

The waitress approaches and slows as she realizes what's taking place. That she's walking into something painful.

I try to grin at her. I don't know what expression I manage. Something strained and pitiful, I'm sure.

She asks if I'm finished and I nod my head. Throw my napkin on the remaining tortilla chips. She takes my plate, but leaves the quesadilla sitting before Her. With the black beans and olive still on the fork. With the tears still falling.

With me still praying for that smile.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

I kill myself. I do this throughout the afternoon. Into the evening. Into the night. Into the early hours of the morning.

I kill myself.

Not deliberately. Not so. It just happens. Just as the rain falls atop my gray, worn hat as I stand, soaked, before Her Chevy Blazer. As Her ignition runs and She sits sobbing, pounding on the steering wheel, telling me how She can't leave because She's too worried about me. Too concerned for my well-being.


Funny how, minutes before, She pushed past me when I tried to dissuade Her from leaving my room. Tried to convince Her to stay. Tried to make things better.

Oh well, okay.

So after standing there. Glancing up at the sky as it pours down on me. Rains down on me. Pounds me down.

She coaxes me into returning indoors. She persuades me to do so.

But it's all a trap. I realize this far too late. When I'm in my room with my housemates eagerly staring at me for some rationale. For some composition.

But I can't give it to them. I can't give them anything.

So I leave. I venture out into the storm. Into the treachery of the night. I go out. I welcome it.

What awful ideas. What horrid notions. What foolish ideologies.

Let's hope I forget these moments. Let's hope I forget me.

Let us hope.

Friday, June 1, 2012

The parrot squawks from downstairs as sunlight peeks through the blinds. The air conditioner pushes the smell of stale smoke throughout the room. Her Chihuahua's warm body is curled against my leg, under the blankets.

A door opens in the hallway, uttering a drawn creak into the morning's silence. Brisk footsteps make their way to the bathroom and the turn of a lock follows.

I lay, as I always lay, staring up at the ceiling fan. At the blotches of white on the wall from where the blue paint has peeled. At the cobweb in the corner. The pieces of tape that presumably once held something besides themselves.

I should be sleeping. I think of how I should be sleeping. I mull over it. List the reasons I'm awake. The possibilities as to why consciousness currently presides over unconsciousness. Why I'm trapped with open eyes and bombarding theories and scenarios. Why I can't just relax and melt and drain and dry out and sleep.

Why can't I sleep?

I don't settle on a satisfactory cause so, I just lay.




What terrible way to start the day.