“Something is only considered trash because someone comes along and labels it as trash. So when I say I’m trash, it’s not that I’m inherently nothing, but after 20 some years of experiences, I can’t define myself as anything but trash.”

There was nothing I could have done..

~Do you really believe that? That there was nothing you could have done, nothing at all?~

I just wanted to be loved, to feel what love was supposed to be, that forever and always type of love that grows stronger each day, bringing smiles and family and so much warmth…I just wanted a love like that..

~You had it, all of it, and you know you never deserved it, but you got it anyway, you lucky bastard. And now you are blaming fate, destiny, God, for the outcome? You had all the help in the world, and even still, you lost! You lost EVERYTHING!. That’s not destiny, that was YOU! ALL YOU! THAT WAS ALL YOUR FAULT, JUST.. just you..~

So I never could have held onto it, because that’s who I am, huh? I can’t feel comfortable. I’ve never felt comfortable in my own skin, seeing the world through my own eyes… So no matter how much the world gave me, I could never, ever, hold on… I couldn’t, I never could have…

~We’re just a pile of excuses; walking, talking human debris. No, we’re even less. We’re less than garbage, less than dirt.. The lowest of the low…We’re truly the definition of a scummy, wasted, worthless existence..~

“I loved the way she touched me, the way she ran her hands over my past without reservation.”

Her hands trace over your body,

And as they move down your neck

The butterflies in your stomach

Melt into a solid mass

Of fear and uncertainty

For what her hands will find…

The scars you’ve tried to hide

In your summer hoodies

And forced affinity for jeans.

 

Her fingers reach your shoulder,

Burning a trail down your arm,

But the heat it quickly replaced

With an empty regret.

Reflexes kick in, and the tears begin,

Until you realize her hands,

They never stopped.

 

You expected a shudder,

A slight intake of breath,

But no; she never wavered.

She gave the same affection,

From your head to your wrists.

You know she couldn’t have missed it,

The war you’ve etched into your skin.

Yet she acted as if those scars

We’re just another part of you.

That thought alone

Is enough to make you cry.

 

You begin to pull away,

But she holds your arm in place.

Her touch is still fire,

And you feel that if she stays

You’ll both end up as ash.

Still, she won’t let go.

Even more so, her lips find your wrist,

And her fire has turned into the Sun.

 

It’s crazy, because you know,

Those scars are there forever.

They will fade, but never disappear.

But in that moment, you could swear

Those scars didn’t mean a thing.

The anxiety is still present,

But so vastly diminished

It might as well be gone.

And in its place, you find

A feeling you thought

You’d never find again;

Acceptance.

 

The scars weren’t erased,

And who can say if her fire

Will be here to stay,

But for a moment, you weren’t afraid

And if you found it once,

You can find that feeling again.

Who knows; maybe one day

You’ll wake up and see yourself

And realize you’ve always deserved

Forgiveness.

 

 

“In the end, it ends how it began; you weren’t there, and you aren’t here, and I’m sure I’d be fine, if you just stayed..”

It’s nothing more than simple math; if you add 0 to anything, it doesn’t do a damn thing. I used to think I was a 0, that I was just nothingness floating through space, not contributing anything of value, but also not taking anything away. Over time I started to feel that I couldn’t be a 0, because my heart felt so heavy. Surely I’ve picked up a few things over the years, giving me some sort of value. I finally took the time to look back, back into my life, and it all become clear; I had picked things up, but none of those things stuck. Behind me is a trail of recyclable litter, useless garbage, and death. I took from those around me, but I didn’t put those things to good use, and ended up just throwing it all away. So I’m not a 0, I’m a negative value. I’ll rip away from others, steal the things they would willingly share, if I only would ask. I leave nothing, learn nothing, and become so much less than nothing…I am less than nothing…and I can’t imagine a scenario where I could ever make up for what I’ve taken from the world. I can’t even the score. I can’t give enough to cancel out the net loss that is my 27 years of existence. I can’t do a goddamned thing…for the world…or for me…so please, understand when I say I want to die, it’s not because I’m trying to make up for my sins, or atone for anything; I never could do those things. All I can do is fade away selfishly, using my last moments to take just a tiny bit more from this world. But that will at least minimize the damage I would do if I kept on living, and it will give me a chance to rest…so please, understand…I just want to stop being this monster…I want to stop this feeling, cancel out this knowledge I have about just how terrible I really am…I’m tired, so please…don’t hate me when I die.

“For every day I spent believing I deserved to be alone, you promised to help me find all of them, so you could show me that there was never a time when I didn’t deserve love.”

When I’m talking to you, I never feel like I’m ever talking “at” you. Like, when I’m telling you a story about work, or about something I did as a kid, or something I imagined I’d do someday, I know your listening. I’m not sure how I know, I just do. It probably has to do with your eyes, and how they might not always be trained on my lips, but they never shift out of focus. Your hands also play a part, because they sit so calmly in your lap, not shifting or shaking, never appearing jittery or anxious to be on the move, except when than make their way into mine. Whenever I’m talking to you, it’s not like I’m just sharing words and stories, I feel like I’m sharing me. I feel like I’m sharing me, with me. You’re a part of me, and as a part of me it’s only natural that I’d share who I am with you. I want to share, and you want to share. When I’m talking with you, it’s like I’m just talking to the best parts of me, the parts I always forget I have. You remind me how much I have to offer this world, and I really, really hope I make you feel the same.

“My thoughts are a ship, and I’m no sailor. But the prospect of sinking to the bottom of the sea…it doesn’t sound entirely terrible at the moment.”

You’ll find me in Belgium, on the coast of the North Sea. I’ll be swaying on the current, the salty spray of the tide running me towards the Strait of Dover. It bears my essence as it crashes, a crushing cerulean weight to turn rock into sand and sailors dreams into restless sleep. 

And somewhere in that swirl, I’m sure you’ll be there too. No matter how far I go, from shoreline to shoreline, begging refuge from coastguards and strange light towers, I never drift far enough to find an Ocean without at least an ounce of you.

I’ve taken to sleeping at the bottom of the Sea, because how could a shadow find me in that darkest of blues? It’s quite a long trip; exactly the type of long trip you expect from a one way ticket. But as the saying goes, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

In this curious case of a hopeless sailor, nothing ventured would be ideal. If only I could sail back, before Belgium and the sight of Dover. If only I could sail back, before the world I knew had you. If only I could sail back, never leaving the comfort of my own, familiar lighthouse.

If only I could sail back…perhaps I wouldn’t need to travel to the bottom of the Sea to find peace…

“I want to give you pretty things, like seashells, forehead kisses and promises I’ll never break.”

My smile isn’t what it used to be. I’ve managed to put some miles on my smile, which is inevitable for anybody who’s ever allowed another person into their heart. That sounds negative, but it’s a neutral fact of life. Honestly, if I were to meet an adult whose smile shined as if it had never been touched, I wouldn’t trust that person. Nobody would trust that person. We would all call that smile “fake” and take everything that person told us with a grain of salt.

A smile isn’t beautiful for how big or bright it is. A smile is beautiful for the soul behind it. My smile as a kid was a big, goofy smile, with every one of my teeth out on full display. It was innocent and genuine and reflected my good fortune to have amazing parents and siblings and friends. My smile is a thin line that barely curls at one end. I hate showing my teeth, or even opening my mouth, so I know my smile must look miniscule compared to when I was a kid.

But I’m still smiling. I like to listen to NPR in the mornings and at lunch, and after getting through the dense political stories, they always have a lighter piece that makes me crack a smile. I like listening to my coworkers talk about their kids, and when I see the pictures of their birthday parties or trips to the beach, I can’t help but point and chuckle and smile along with everyone in my office. I like watching stand-up comedians, and short skits on YouTube, and re-runs of Who’s Line is it Anyway, and since I’m often (always) watching alone, I laugh out loud, and my mouth can’t stay closed, so all my teeth are showing, and my lips are curled up, and I can feel my cheeks lifting, and my dimples showing, but I don’t even think about it in the moment, because I’m just enjoying the moment.

I don’t have a smile at work while I’m trying to make month end adjustments on my balance sheet, but I smile a bit when it’s finally done. I don’t smile when I’m prepping up dinner for myself, but I know that when I take that first bite of a new recipe, and it’s not a complete failure of a meal, I feel a sliver of pride, and I eat my dinner with a smile on my face. I don’t smile when I’m driving to and from anywhere. I don’t smile when I’m out shopping, or shoveling snow, or applying for new jobs. I don’t smile during Autumn, nor in the weeks following the New Year, and never, ever, on May 3rd. I don’t smile more often than I do smile, but the fact remains that I do smile.

So, my smile isn’t what it used to be, but it’s still there. It’s a bit smaller, and the moments when it comes are further and further apart, but it’s still there. And as more years are added to my life, I’m sure my smile will shrink and shrink even more…but it will never fully disappear.

My smile isn’t what it used to be, but I’m still smiling, still hoping, still living. I’m still here, and that has to count for something.

“You walk around in the shadow of your sins, looking for an Ocean to drown out the last dredges of your humanity.”

Whenever I’m alone, the darkness starts to set in, and I devolve into a mess of guilt and cruelty. I recognize my own sins for what they are; conscience decisions made in the face of a two-faced God. All of the good I’ve accomplished in this world is credited to my creator, while any evil committed in his name is still paid for with my blood? I am forced to bear the burden of being a creature who commits ill deeds by his own self desires, but my God, the center of the Universe, the benevolent God who created all, he takes none of the blame. I never asked for these feelings. I never asked to be brought into this world. I never wanted to have the choice, the human choice, to do wrong. Why would my God create an existence from such pliable clay? Leave me in the sun, and I melt away, or leave me in the cold, and watch my exterior crinkle and crack, until I’m a pile of hatred and regret. A good worker does not blame his tools, yes? So God cannot blame that clay. God cannot blame the stars he scattered, nor the Angels he banished. God cannot blame time, for he is timeless. He cannot blame the unknown, for he is all knowing. God cannot blame a single soul, for every inch of every soul was forged in his image, by his hands, and his hands alone. God cannot blame who I am on his failures, because he cannot fail. So I’m left taking on that weight; Mount Olympus on my back, the Garden of Eve the chip on my shoulder, and the words of a God who demands I accept him before he would ever accept me. Tell me, does a father need to have his son ask for help to receive it? Does a father not bear the responsibility, to look after and teach, to lead his children down a path of kindness? Is that not the role of a parent?

I was born with sin in my heart, because God told me so. I can only be forgiven through his blood, because he told me so. I must find God, and give my life to God, in order to be saved. That does not sound like a loving father. That sounds exactly like a prideful, arrogant, petty child. Those are the demands of a spoiled brat, the decision of someone with self imbued omnipotence.

God created me, and I am a mass of spineless sins, choking on the despair born in the very first thought of my existence. I am blamed for all that is wrong, while it is demanded I return all acts of good back into the hands of my creator. O what a truly merciful God! What a completely outstanding  example of fatherly love! What a marvelous, magical, monstrous saviour, our so called merciful Lord!

In the end, I cannot rely on God to fix me, because he has nothing to do with me. I must reforge myself from the scarps of my soul I’ve scattered across the skies and the seas, until I have saved enough of me to walk towards a heaven where I can truly be free.