Put in Earplugs / 10.10.16 / 8:18-8:38

When I can’t sleep and it’s too late for pills and too early for coffee and the initial financial panic has subsided and I’ve rattled through the sadness of trying to remember my name and SSN, birthday and address, etc. etc. just to prove I’m not lost to the wilderness just yet and convinced myself of my place and time by reminding myself that M. exists and she’s mine and we have dogs and all three of them are in the next room and when I can’t be so sure that my mind is right even though I know – for shit sure – it is mine (or, at least, as sure as I can be without knowing anything to the contrary) I close my eyes tight as I can, so tight the blackness becomes kaleidoscopic and I listen hard past the murmur of the street and the constricting scree in my eardrums (too many shows and too little sense, it seems) and my own heart pounding for reason and breath for the sound of one or more of them breathing or coughing or snoring or rustling or something, anything to settle this moment among the money I’ve built up to be present and I know that I could just get up and look but my eyes are shit in the dark and besides, that would be conceding too much to the disorientation, conceding too willingly to the crazy. No, no. Actions are not allowed when the mind is a rustle of leaves on the creek and so I listen for as long as it takes and when I hear I can shape and remember and be at peace that, at least, I haven’t invented everything.

That I’m not alone in the universe.

That I’m loved or, at least, accompanied.

Not that that sense me to rest. Not that gives me much of anything more than a sense that when I open my eyes, today, I will not find myself in completely unfamiliar surroundings.

So I try and think of words. New words. Good words. Long words. Words of the day. Words of the year. I try and think of sniglets or portmanteaus or onomatopoeias – well, not onomatopoeias but the word onomatopoeia which I tend to forget from years of murmuring crude in the trenches. I try to think of words that would impress college girls back when I could impress college girls at all and mostly without being a middle-aging creep yearning for the kind of sex a young man could have if he could only get over his whole love, love, love bullshit and get on with doe-eyes and palimpsest because he was thin and smart and (literally) scarred.

Mostly, I try to think of polysyllabics but, mostly, I only ever end up seeing the word “salad” over and over much like I did this morning and I know or I think or I hope it’s a sign that I’ve grown too soft for my own good and with a little bit of greens thrown in over Budweisers and fries I might get back to my working stiff frame but it doesn’t read that way in the slightest.

It reads like stupidity and panic and stroke and emptiness raised up from the void to swallow the young hope I still reserve – when no one’s looking – whole.

Salad.

Advertisements

Look Closely at the Most Embarrassing Details and Amplify / 9.27.16 / 6:45-7:15

My nipples have always been a little weird. A touch too puffy and surprisingly offset from the center of my chest so that when I reach a particularly egregious stretch of physical inactivity (as I have recently) they all but disappear into my armpits.

I used to be able to lick them.

Back when I was at the peak of my fat kid I saw a picture of Trinity Loren sucking her tit and I thought that was sexy as hell and so I tried it thinking – I think – that if I succeeded a. some girl would find that just as sexy as I did and be totally turned on by the fact that I could emulate a doomed pornstar and, I don’t know, do me? or b. I would turn myself on beyond belief thereby equipping my future masturbation sessions with a dissasociative ace in the hole.

But that didn’t happen.

All that happened was some sad fat white kid licked his nipple in the shower on sunny SoCal afternoon and got really stoked and then really sad because a boy with manboobs is gonna be a boy for a very fucking long time and I was, I was even after I discovered bulimia, anorexia and sexual intercourse.

But that’s another shame for another day.

Today I’m talking about my nipples and how much I hate them and will until some displaced tropical malady takes them or I finally go as Pink as I wanna be and then I know I’ll miss them.

Because they are a delight to pinch and flick and wet and feel harden in the winter.

So maybe I don’t hate them.

I just wish they were in a better place.

Assemble Some of the Elements in a Group and Treat the Group / 9.26.16 / 6:55-7:25

It’s been twenty-one years since my time in the hospital and I’m beginning to forget which is a shame because I always thought that was going to be my formative event. My definitive era and maybe it is. I don’t know. Doesn’t really seem like it, though and any reasonable man would take that distance with a great sense of self-satisfaction and congratulate himself on his growth out of the destructive indulgences of youth.

But I have never been a reasonable man and so I’m clamoring with all this unexpected and unwanted time on my hands to piece together the names and faces that populated those seven days.

The only one I can remember, for certain, is Jason.

Jason was a red-headed schizophrenic with a cowlick and a lisp and we hated him. Eh, maybe hate is too strong a term for medicated, adolescent disdain but the kid was a royal pain in the ass from day one. Always getting up in your personal space. Always spitting when he spoke. Always sucking up to the staff as if they gave a flying fuck about his wants or needs.

He was also a savagely sloppy masturbator. I think he might have been compulsive but who am I to judge that now? I’ve been known to lose whole days to porn and humorless erections but at the time there was something about the way he handled his dick that was just downright unsettling.

We only spent one night together. I’d been ousted from my room on account of a new kid needing to utilize the restraints and bunk up with the kid and as soon as it was lights out the motherfucker went to town. Huffing and puffing and hissing spit as he jerked off under his rayon blanket. It was hideous. I could barely keep my own erection for his merciless assault. I don’t think I did but maybe. At that point, I was more than used to jerking off in company. Three years in a dorm will do that. Hell, when I used to live with Josh and Bonk we used to have masturbation contest. Josh always won which was something he was unduly proud of and I always lost which – a few years on when I was finally fucking – would prove to be something of a burden.

Sometimes, you just need a quickie, you know?

Anyway, I remember getting up at some point during his rabid little marathon to go to the bathroom and when I switched the light on, I came find the room was positively drenched in cum.

It was like some German shit. Total bukkake nightmare. Cum on the mirror. Cum on the tiles. Cum on the can. Cum was fucking EVERYWHERE, man and some of it was still dripping and warm like he’d been marking his territory right up until we said goodnight.

Admittedly, I was somewhat impressed. This kid was Peter fucking North. Of course, I wasn’t going to admit that and no quiet nod to ejaculatory prowess was going to keep me from bugging the fuck out and wailing on him in his bed (dick still in hand) growling “What the FUCK, man? What the FUCK?!?” over and over again.

He just laughed and pulled the blanket back daring me to come into firing range.

I didn’t.

I left the room and headed straight to the nurse’s station to demand I be moved somewhere less grotesque.

“There’s cum everywhere. I can’t handle it.”

“Well, it’s that or you can spend the night with a violent psychopath if you’d like.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

Go to an Extreme, Move Back to a More Comfortable Place / 9.24.16 / 6:25-6:55

So, you’ve decided to kill yourself.

Fair enough.

We all die sometime, so why not get the jump on the motherfucker and make your death your own?

And before we go any further, please know that I am not here to stop you. I don’t know you from Adam and really haven’t given a shit that you’ve made it this far so why should I care if you go any further?

I don’t say that to be demeaning, mind you. You’re a person, after all, and all people – no matter what they may tell themselves after dark – have some reason for being, some impactful qualities no matter how incidental or inane. Everyone’s touched someone, for better or for worse. Everyone’s impacted each day in some way unless they’ve gone full shut-in and even a shut-in’s gotta eat, pay the rent, the utilities, etc. etc. So it really doesn’t matter how far removed you think you are from the species by allowing yourself to be alive at any given point in your life, you’ve made a difference to someone.

You’ve certainly changed the course of my day.

I guess it’s like that butterfly tsunami thing. In fact, it’s exactly like that only, usually, our impacts on the day are far less invested in mass casualties. Still, the impacts are there and they fan out exponentially. Some would say they go so far out into the world that they come back in one way or another. It’s certainly possible. Maybe that’s karma. I don’t know.

What I do know is that you’ve lived to this day and, in so doing, you’ve made a difference any time you did…well, anything really. It might not have been a big “D” difference like planting a tree or killing a man but difference is difference and your simple existence has done it day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year and it will even after you leave here in a bag or a box or whatever means of disposal you prefer because someone’s going to have to deal with the dispersal, internment, etc. etc. and that person exists and so they take the actions of your end onto their proverbial wings and fan out into…

Well, I’ve never much cared for metaphors but I trust you catch my drift.

HA!

See what I did there?

Puns aside, my point is I don’t know you and I never have and so who you are doesn’t register at all with me but what you’ve done probably has.

Kelly Clarkson / 6.9.16 / 7:34-8:04

To say I miss you would be an insult so I won’t say I miss you, though I’ve already said it twice. Since you left me, there’s been a hole.

There’s really no other way to put it.

There’s a hole in the bed we shared for forty-six years. In the house we roamed for the seventeen since we retired. In the Buick that’s still running due to some inexplicable miracle, the same Buick you tried to insist I get rid of.

Who knew the Buick would outlast you? Outlast us?

The goddamn hunk will probably survive me, considering the mass eating away at my brain.

It’s funny, that mass.

It’s taken away my hands and feet. My taste buds and some of my hearing. But it hasn’t taken away thoughts of you.

I still feel you, still smell you in my bed clothes. I swear I hear your footsteps on the staircase in the middle of the night, right around two when you needed that glass of water that would nearly make you pee yourself first thing in the morning.

But that just may be the tumor.

For all the holes in my life now, thanks to you, the biggest one is the pit of anger I find myself falling down every time I think of you.

Two years. For two years, you’ve abandoned me, left me here, rotting.

I’m so angry with you, I shake when my nurse touches me.

You would hate her. Call her a hussy. And nosy.

She tried to report my shaking as seizures but I pulled her in close one day and just said your name. She got it then, though she didn’t share my rage. Instead, she looks at me with pity now.

You make people pity me.

And I want to say that I hate you for it but that wouldn’t be right.

If anything, I feel alive again because of it, but it doesn’t fill the holes.

Only you could do that.

But you’re not here, are you?

I should just let go, right? Let go of my anger, let go of the empty feeling associated with you, let go of you.

But I can’t. I can’t let go of you and of my pseudo anger and hatred towards you because I’ll die. I’ll finally let go and I will die and I don’t fear death. No, it’s not death I fear.

It’s the thought there’s nothing after. It’s the possibility that there will be no you, no us.

So I lay here, day after agonizing day, holding onto memories of you, of us, while my brain fails me, my body rots, and that goddamn Buick laughs at it all.

Each day that hole widens, traces of you slipping through. Forever.

I miss you. Goddamn it, I miss you. And I don’t want to.

Do Something Boring / 5.24.16 / 10:26-10:56

I am sitting in a room.

I am sitting in my room.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care and that makes me worry about what kind of person I’ve become.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care and that makes me worry about what kind of person I’ve become or if I’ve become any person at all.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care and that makes me worry about what kind of person I’ve become or if I’ve become any person at all or maybe I’ve always been the kind of person who didn’t give a shit about sleeping on clean sheets.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care and that makes me worry about what kind of person I’ve become or if I’ve become any person at all or maybe I’ve always been the kind of person who didn’t give a shit about sleeping on clean sheets and that seems exceedingly likely to me considering what a “man” I’ve always been despite my best of intentions.

I am sitting in my room considering my sheets and wondering just how long it’s been since I last cleaned them and I don’t care and that makes me worry about what kind of person I’ve become or if I’ve become any person at all or maybe I’ve always been the kind of person who didn’t give a shit about sleeping on clean sheets and that seems exceedingly likely to me considering what a “man” I’ve always been despite my best of intentions which are or were…what exactly?

I don’t know.

I can’t remember.

It’s just a silly thing to say, I think.

A silly thing to say, I know.

A silly thing I say because I don’t know and I don’t think about who I am or was with any clarity anymore.

A silly thing to say because I know now that I didn’t think with any clarity before.

A silly thing to say and yet I say it all the time even though I know it’s silly or perhaps because I know it’s silly and so what if it is a silly thing? I can say something sometimes. I can say something silly all the time.

I can say silly things if they please me and could say them with even more regularity if their silliness pleases the peanuts.

But am I really saying something silly or am I trying to say something silly or am I lying about saying something silly and if I am then why am I bothering other than to set my brain of course from the very real and round and off-puttingly brown stain I keep trying to cover with pillows rather than just get off my ass, strip my bed and go to the Laundromat.

Haunted / 5.23.16 / 2:30-3:00

My body betrays me constantly.

I feel things that aren’t there, hear sounds that never existed, taste foods that want to kill me.

It’s more than the feather-light touches that dance across my back or caress my cheek. It’s the tickle of multitudes of legs along the shell of my ear. It’s the sharp poke of a fang stabbing my hip. It’s the pinch to my areola, hardening my nipple, wetting my apex.

It whispers to me when I’m not paying attention. I must always pay attention. If I don’t, the low resonance fucks with my eardrum, the treble cracks the tiny bones, and I have to hold my hands to my ears and my head between my knees for it to stop. No matter where I am.

Otherwise, I’ll bleed.

And the blood is loud enough as it is.

Every beat of my heart is an intimate earthquake. Most times I wish for it to stop. I wish for it to cease its pedantic tuning and let me go.

Or give me control.

It thinks it knows best, my heart. Along with my warring brain, I have no autonomy. I am a slave to this living shell that just keeps going.

Betraying me. Overtaking my lack of will to live and making me stay, keeping me existing.

I don’t see the point of it. Digging deep, I find nothing but gore. Nothing roots me here. Nothing wants me here.

Yet my body pushes on.

It’s been a long time since these sensations, these spirits of sight and sound and taste, haven’t been my own to keep. The source has been memories, thoughts, or wishes.

I fuck and suck and listen to ghosts. Phantoms. The company that insists on reminding me of my loneliness. The loneliness that sees no end.

I don’t blame them, the others. I understand the recoil during my moments. The moments that stretch and repeat enough to be a constant. I want to recoil from myself. I want to pull away from this sack of flesh and bone and transcend into what I hope to fuck is better than this.

But my body. It’s not my own. And it betrays my needs. It betrays my desires for the world to see. To laugh at. To compare.

To never alleviate. Or fulfill.

I live in a house that is a gilded cage with no lock or key.

It is not of my making. I do not own it and neither does anyone else.

I wish to sell to the highest bidder.

But I cannot afford my own misery.