I will not see your face with my eyes, nor touch your hands with my own.
I will never hear your voice outside of my dreams, I cannot watch you live.
A life is not made of time.
Supposing I knew you, I weep in secrecy for what I might have known.
I can tell the story of what may have been and what was, I can interpret my intuitive emotions into language and create a space for you in the hearts that might understand.
When I was twelve I had a kitten, he ran away before he was two months old.
When I was nineteen I had a crush on a girl that didn’t return the favor.
When I was thirty-two I forced life to my will and captured love and family.
When you were-
When you were-
Perhaps I didn’t do it right, maybe a mistake on my part left you on the other side of the veil. It could be that I wish it was my fault, I’ve always been more comfortable wearing blame than my own face. It could be that random chance left me an unintended consequence.
When you were… No.
You were not, you were almost.
I will never forget your name, the sound that means my smile. I will never let go of your possibility. I will be what is, I will be your life. You exist in me.
I will hold your image, bouncing curls and sad eyes over a glowing, crooked smile.
I will say your name in privacy, I will call your name through the mist of what might have been until my lungs stop drawing breath and my mind can finally let go.
There is at least a small chance, still, that this life is my dream and one day I will wake to find that nothing was lost.
I had a dream that I was sitting with my dead sister and my dead brother
and I was describing to them the way that Dennis the Menace park in Monterey had been dismantled, destroyed and abandoned
which was strange because the park hasn’t been, it’s still there and functional
but I told them in detail the way that the train had been melted down
and the big slide ripped out
and the tables were burned
and as I told them, in my dream, it never occurred to me that they were dead
and when I woke I felt the pieces come together and the picture fell apart
because somewhere between a group of kids playing at the park and an almost-forty-year-old man having a dream
some dreams were lost, some dreamers woke, some nightmares came true
and I massaged my temples for at least twenty minutes while my wife slept and the darkness changed to dawn, my head and neck and shoulders aching and refusing my request to slip back into sleep
when we were kids we would play and laugh and it never mattered if we got hurt because we were going to live forever
In loving memory of Ruane Richardson and Ethan Eayre
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.
There’s no cheat sheet for life. We each get our own instruction manual when we’re born, but it’s written in a language we have to learn.
I can remember a story about a boy, he grew into me. That memory is meaningless in my life, despite being the only foundation I have to define myself.
What I know of myself today is that I am capable of things I never expected. I am talented and strong. I am expressive and openly emotional.
Those few things don’t define me.
I am mid-way through a life expectancy, and I have yet to figure out how I belong in my own life, beyond a very strong attachment to my current situation.
I choose to let my emotional reactions to experiences be the prow of my ship. I cut the waters of my journey with how I feel. I direct my path by what feels right to me.
I am secure in this choice. It suits me.
I have been faced with opposition to my choice for as long as I have existed. Close or distant, family or friends, I have been told how wrong I am, over and over.
I have not, I will not allow anyone else to choose my path.
My path must be travelled by my feet. Nobody else is required to live my life.
I don’t know you, and I don’t know how you have chosen, and with all due respect,
I don’t give a damn what you choose.
Your choices may impact my life.
Mine might impact yours.
We are not solitary islands, separated by oceans. We are interactive and interdependent in this reality. We are pieces of a global machine.
My choices will be mine, and yours will be yours, and that is just fine with me.
So give me your indifference, in this difference.
We have our own lives to fuck up.
When I walked through the door, I saw her. I was briefly angry at my mother for having her there. I was 22 years old and I didn’t want to deal with a bullshit set-up.
When I saw her, my anger left. I became nervous, and the next three seconds stretched into forever.
Her eyes met mine. I panicked.
I looked at my sister.
My sister saw me panicking, glanced at Jennifer, then smiled at me and nodded ever so slightly.
My panic dissolved, courage flooded my mind, and I
Reached up and pulled my hair out of the ponytail I was wearing, and I could almost hear Jennifer’s thoughts as I looked back at her after shaking my hair loose
Oh damn, he’s sexy, oh shit his hair is beautiful, haha, he is trying to attract me, oh my God, he likes me, ooh I can deal with this boy
She looked back at me and licked/bit her lower lip briefly, and I knew
That she knew what I was doing
And the three seconds were over, and I knew
That I couldn’t kill myself, as I had planned.
On the second day,
We went to Denny’s and my mother fell. She was hurt so we went to Monterey Community Hospital.
My sister took my mother in, and Jennifer and I sat. We talked about things, but really,
We were sitting and staring at each other’s mouths.
We walked around the hospital grounds and she told me that it was easier to walk and talk, her therapist used to walk with her along this path while they talked.
Back at the car, we sat again and as she spoke with nervous energy, I was building courage to kiss her beautiful lips, watching her form words was mesmerising, and I was about to lean in,
When I saw my mother and sister walking to the car.
That night, January 13, 2001, after everyone had gone to sleep, I was on the floor asleep and I had a nightmare.
I woke up and saw Jennifer sleeping a few feet away.
The light was coming through the window and fell perfectly on her lips.
I stared for about 20 seconds and she looked at me
I can feel you looking at me
I felt all of the chances I had not taken, every cell in my body urging me forward, I went to her
She watched me
I leaned over her and
lips so soft met mine
her body eagerly pressed up against me
her hands grabbed the back of my neck
And I realized…
I’m already lost.
my car sits motionless,
surrounded by impatience
nobody knows I’m here
My phone buzzes
Telling me that traffic is heavy, heading north on I-25, and I am surprised every time, because this is not a highway,
This is not a thirty-nine year old man, smoking another cigarette and listening to ‘World Class Rock’ on the radio,
I am not this.
I am, however, getting irritated by the intrusion of turn-signals as impatience dressed in expensive clothes and fancy cars keep changing lanes in front of me,
Don’t they know I don’t belong here?
The Lexus tries to merge into my passenger-side door and pulls away at the last second when eyes find me in a mirror, and I wonder if life will notice me too late, will reality crash into me just before seeing me here?
Can you save my heavydirtysoul? (Twenty-one Pilots)
I am sitting on a beach watching my daughter and sons play in the water, the sun shining on my tired face, as I see myself standing on the stone jetty that my brothers just jumped from, they call me to join them, but I see something in the water they don’t,
There’s a dark figure floating just under the surface of the waves, beckoning to me with a promise of the end,
It looks peaceful, calm…
We all float down here (Stephen King, It)
I’m watching her walk into the airport, and I know I mean to tell her to stay away, a scared stupid fool, and my heart begs me to run after her, go get her,
Go get Her
But I don’t. No matter how many times I see her walk away, I never go after her, and nine years later-
I am not here, thirty-nine years old and sitting in a car, smoking a cigarette and hoping the concrete dividers would pick up the pace as they crawl past me,
I’m not here, and nobody knows it, they don’t see me.
Impatience rides my bumper and hits the horn, because I am not close enough to the car in front of me.
All my life I’ve been searching for something (Foo Fighters)
She is there, looking at me, and I am lost. She is my dream, crashing into me just before I swim away, she wants me and I cannot stand how badly I want her, I can’t believe that this is happening, I was only here to say goodbye…
I wonder if life sees me, like she did. Not the image of me, not the idea of me, not the preconceived notion of what I could be or what I was…
Just me. A few flaws, a few strengths, a few laughs and a few years, anger and love and passion and desire and imagination, all packaged in disguise.
I exit the highway to my destination and I know, I am not this. I am not thirty-nine years old and working for a living, I am not a second-time college student struggling for grades, I am not a twisted soul writing poetry for internet eyes and digital hearts, I am not this.