My first year in high school was my last year in high school and I swear on my life it wasn’t my fault that I was the epitome of unreadable literature. I was raised like a weed in a rose garden, I was taught to be the stone which will not erode, I was trained to stand against a hurricane without fear or concerns for my own safety.
My first year in college was not my last but I fought the system the whole time. I was a spark plug in a water pump, I was a boyfriend in a lesbian marriage, I was a cup of coffee inside a box of frozen pizza. I argued my point of view and my professors would tell me, this won’t help you, and I replied, how small can I make my thoughts, how far from my home can I go, how am I supposed to create a new version of myself that looks like everyone that has never been me?
My first year of marriage was a boy begging for Turkish delight in Narnia, I promised what I could not deliver and I gave what I didn’t have. She was a mystery in her surrender and I cowered in corners, afraid of my own ferocity.
We found our way, eventually.
My first year as a writer was wordless.
I am here and I will be here.
This life has no meaning.
So, my sweet dream
Here we are again.
You know the words I wish I could say,
They are carved into your heart
As they are burned into my soul
Maybe is such a terrible curse.
We held each other’s eyes as though we could change the reality, we hoped and knowing the answers never mattered.
Your sweet smile was a cold fire on that forgotten landscape, clear and simple we prayed, our movements echoed through eternity as we imagined what might have been forever, what could never be one day, that anchor cut loose and we drifted away from our only chance.
If time had a pen, we would have maps and the journey would always take us home, we would dance in front of bonfires and the chanting mother’s would bless the rebirth of winter with a sacrifice freely offered and accepted by the ancient.
If, maybe, these ideas are not as hard as truth, these thoughts do not provide a loving touch.
Here we are, my sparkling sapphire.
We have limits and rules for our insanity, we have stolen the fire from the mountain and left in its place a key with no lock.
In uncertainty have these words stripped my skin from bones too old to grow.
Belief has borrowed flavors, and we taste the memories of what has never come.
Your love will decode my cypher and you will know my cruelty. I have chosen a road away from our Paradise, you will wait with no name for the return of visions lost in pieces.
I will secure the gates behind my hands, so that none will know my betrayal.
I know, and you know.
And I can’t find the way,
No method in my mind
To leave this behind,
The traps that I find
I want to go home
Too tired to roam
I left a feeling alone
And never touched it,
But now It’s reaching me,
It’s begging and beseeching me
To return from the far away roads
To the place that I know
To where I started the show,
My heart started to grow,
My mind started to know,
All that matters
I want a ticket on a plane
Before I can’t afford it
I want a place to remain
Where all my love won’t be hoarded
In tiny boxes and bags
In finery and rags
On a throne or in the gutter
Commanding armies or
I want a plan for escape
With minimal red tape
And a happily-ever-after at the end
I want more than I’ve earned
But look how I’ve learned
I won’t leave any stones unturned
To find my home, to not be alone, to remove from my bones this longing and aching, to seal up the cracks in my breaking, to once again start giving more than I’m taking,
I need a vacation
And I don’t want to take me along
This woman explodes my mind
I swear to God, I am not proud of it,
this wishing and unwishing,
and the wishing and unwishing of more,
as if that could make these things be something
or nothing, or take them all away,
or even add a maybe to them all.
This wishing and unwishing is killing me.
If I could go back and take it all back,
or change it all I would,
God help me, I would.
There are so many things I would change
and so many things I couldn’t,
and wouldn’t, and would never want to,
but if I started to change one thing,
I would never stop.
I would wish to be the keeper of time
to whisper my secrets to you,
and we would sit beyond time and I would tell you,
“you can change this. I have kept your time.
I have kept your seconds.
I have kept your…
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They talked about what was lost, what had been taken away
They cried about broken trust and they poured out their rage
I sat in the circle wanting to fix them, not speaking
They took turns revealing wounds and scars and falling to pieces
They saw each other as safety, recognition of shared experience
I cried quietly and wanted to undo their past
They looked at me and asked the question
I couldn’t speak
I couldn’t share
I hadn’t lost anything
I could still see the untouched, innocent, pure picture of me, in my head
I couldn’t reach him, but he wasn’t dead
So I didn’t tell them I understood, because I didn’t
I didn’t spill my hurts, my pains, my betrayals,
I was scared that they could tell the difference
If I showed my wounds
They would know that I hurt so much more for theirs
If I told my story they would hear the disregard I held for myself, they would know that I could see the hurt, but not feel it, I could remember the pain but never touch it, I could still hear the little boy crying and screaming in my mind but I couldn’t reach him to offer comfort,
So I didn’t say anything, in that room where five teenage girls explained how they were abused, and I never explained why I was there.
I kept my words inside and I never thought much of it,
I couldn’t feel how hurt that boy was,
I could feel the pain of those girls and my sisters and my friends and all the girls and women who had been hurt, I could see how they would suffer without end, and I was a boy turning into a man, I had no time to fit suffering into the plan, whatever I felt was moss growing on the other side of the wall, I know that it was there but I couldn’t reach it at all
But I could have spoken up in that room
I should have
That little boy deserved some respect
When I started sharing the things I write, I had a lot to say. I would write four or seven or nine pieces a day, and at least three times a week I was discovering new parts of myself.
I haven’t been writing as much since my sister died.
I’ve been contemplating the balance of life. My sister was so many things to me, and so many parts of my memory are wrapped around her. In a lot of ways I worshiped her, as boys worship their mother. She was the protector, the teacher, the nurturing presence in my life.
In a lot of ways I was angry at her, I still am. She had so much that others never get and she threw it away. She was capable of so much more than she did. She killed a lot of dreams, mostly her own.
I saw her as a unicorn. Magical, impossible to capture, perfect.
I was blind to the way she saw herself.
There are lots of differing opinions about self-image. Some say that the way one perceives their self is irrelevant, some say it’s everything.
I say that self-image can be heaven or hell, and it can change at any time.
My sister was horribly abused and it twisted her life. My sister was wonderfully gifted and it was beautiful.
She was a unicorn. She also had flaws.
I married the love of my life. It was not easy, it wasn’t fated. I had to make it happen, she had to make it happen. We spent a long time apart before we were lucky enough to get it right.
We each turned down other opportunities, we each tried other paths. We had lives apart and we have histories, separately.
My wife is a unicorn. I am a unicorn.
We have flaws. We have magic. We have damage. We have healing. We are devoted to our WE. We are human and we have wandering minds… We’ve both held fantasies that bring jealousy, territorialism into play.
Balance in life doesn’t mean equality, justice, it doesn’t mean everything works out for everyone.
Balance is the eye of the storm. All of life rages, all of life has pain or healing. All of humanity has the capability to be awful or amazing.
I had some of the best parts of my sister.
I saw some of the worst parts of her.
I have most of the best parts of my wife.
She has most of the best parts of me.
What I have come to realize, about my sister, my wife, myself, all of the pieces of glorious magical humanity that live in my view, is that unicorns shit.
Magical, perfect fairytale beings, out there making miracles, shitting just like other animals.
Worship as you will, see the magic.
Understand that flaws are present in every person. Don’t just say that you accept the flaws. Understand. Know that you have magic and you have flaws.
My sister is dead, my wife is a person, I am a jerk sometimes.
Balance is the eye of the storm, and remembering the wind.