“I’ve tried leaving my heart free to wander, but everytime…every single time…it always comes back…to you.”

I wanted us to be happy, but I also had an unhealthy definition of happiness. I thought of everything we were, and made it into everything you were. I did things that might make you smile, wrote poems that would light up your eyes. I was content to make your happiness my happiness.

But that just showed how little I understood about life, love, and friendship . You loved me, I know you did, so what would happen to you if you continued to see me giving up my everything just for you? I know you wanted to shower me in love, but I didn’t give you a chance. That affection turned into addiction, and nothing I did was ever done with myself in mind. That’s unhealthy, and of course this made you unhappy. But I couldn’t stop. I should have stopped, and the rational part of my brain was probably screaming at me to stop.

But I was gone.

I turned my love into conditioning, and before I knew it the only thing I could offer to you were the things you already wanted. I couldn’t grow with you, which meant my love couldn’t grow, our love couldn’t grow. Loving somebody is complicated at times, but at its core love is about sharing. I didn’t want to share anything with you, I wanted to smother you in my twisted fantasy. I wanted you to ask me for more and more, until things came full circle and I was demanding that you demand more from me.

Today I found myself thinking about you, and about where you might be. Than I thought about myself and where I’m at right now. I have no idea how I got to this point. How many mistakes have I made in the past 5 years? And how many of those mistakes were done with the intention of sabotaging my chance at happiness? But more pressing than my trip down memory lane is the immediate question:

“Am I happy now?”

Well, I’m happier today than I was yesterday. I think my weekend was a tad bit happier than yesterday, and I know that 2 weeks ago I was so unhappy that I wound up in the mental health ward of my local hospital after my boss called 911, worried about the last text I sent. It included my resignation and reason for quitting, which was something along the lines of “I don’t deserve to be paid for the shit work I do. I’m not the right person for this role and I don’t want to hold you back. You don’t need to cut my last paycheck, just think of it as a fine for being that asshole would can’t even put in a proper 2 week notice.”

This November has been noticeably worse than last years, which was just a tab bit worse than the year before that. I don’t remember November from 4 years ago, but I also can’t imagine things ever being good. I know things must have been good…at some point I must have been happy…right?

“Am I happy now?”

I’m…alive? I am working again, and I am writing again. And that writing has lead to me making some submissions for publication. Alas, I was submitting poems, essays and short stories to various journals, magazines and contests, only to be rejected 99 times out of 100

I’m not sure if I’m happy right now. If I had to give it a score, I’d say my life reflects my recent submissions for publication; 99% of the time I know my life is garbage, because I’m a fucking landfill of a human. But there’s still one, one tiny reason to hope. I wouldn’t call it happiness, but I’m out of options, and who knows? Maybe when you’re as empty as me, it’s better to make a bet on a slim hope rather than trying to stretch out that last, decaying piece of happiness to last me the rest of my life.

“Distance, like the stars from our Earth, the very same distance from my heart to yours.”

The twinkle in her eyes isn’t from stardust, diamonds or pearls; Her eyes shine from her own wonder, her curious nature for everything around her. A polished stone set in metals pales to capture the allure her eyes hold, for her eyes are to alive for such similes to hold a sliver of justice.

She is not a star, some solar entity floating in space, whose light takes lifetimes to reach those around her. She is home, in that comfortable sense of belonging to something that means everything. She is the familiar creak of decade old stairs in the way her smile crinkles around the edges of her mouth, she is both the soft touch of pillows you used to build forts with siblings and the firm cushion that captured so many tired tears…

A stare from her is the reflection you saw in the mirror when you were 10, before the world and the nightmares turned all thoughts dark and your image into a shadow, something to be feared and despised. She isn’t…she wasn’t just some pretty face, some human body to pass the time with, to float through life with. She was…brilliant in how she tricked a boy into loving himself, into thinking he had a real shot..I can never hate her…I can never hate anybody because she made me focus on me..and now I can’t look away, but I don’t like what I see..and she isn’t here to quell my demons, and I’m so tired of living in the dark…I’m tired of fearing death and fearing life, of being empty of anything aside from fear..I’m running on autopilot, and I just can’t do this anymore..I need someone to save me..somebody please tell me they can save me..

I’m walking around without a destination in mind. I used to think that was a waste of my time, but now I know that I don’t need to have a specific goal so long as I keep moving forward.

I think I enjoy the night

Because it feels like

The beginning of the end.

I can use that darkness

To find myself again.

In the morning, it’s as if

The broken bits of me

Have become presentable,

Even taking on the form

Of avant garde art;

A patched up soul,

Center stitched heart,

All held together

By a long forgotten truth;

It’s okay if I make mistakes,

And even though it hurts,

I can still believe

That I deserve love.

“I can’t stop shaking, and I can’t change. I’m setting myself up with every chance at success, knowing full well I’m going to fuck it up.”

I’m not doing anything that should warrant such an extremely negative reaction from myself. I’m eating a sandwich while I finish up some work, but that last bite…it’s hard to explain, but that bite made me feel so hollow, that it was all I could do to keep myself from crying. I took that bite, and immediately dropped the sandwich and just started shaking. I couldn’t chew, couldn’t swallow, couldn’t do a damn thing. I felt so small, yet so bloated. I wanted to disappear, but wanted someone to notice me, to tell me I’d be okay. I wanted somebody to remind me that eating a sandwich is a normal thing, and it shouldn’t cause a mental breakdown. But everything causes a mental breakdown now…I haven’t gone a single day without breaking…and I’m tired…

My body is tired. My back is screaming at me to get up and do something, even if that something is jumping off a bridge. My hands and face and mouth are all dried up, unsightly, scaly things. I’m sure my reflection is haunting, or at least a consistent visitor to every sort of nightmare the human mind can concoct, but I wouldn’t know for sure, because I avoid mirrors and glass windows and still bodies of water, knowing that if I saw whatever it is I have become, I’d do anything I could to destroy that monster…I’m so tired of being the monster…for once, I wish I could just be the hero.

I’d valiantly strike any mirror with my fist and enjoy watching a kaleidoscope of my own blood run across the now serrated surface.

I’d bravely shatter any glass windows, gathering the broken pieces into a nice, sharp pile, and roll around in that bed of crystal needles in a stupid, childish attempt to cut my way through this terribly uncomfortable skin.

And I’d heroically smother any image presented by a calm waters surface, forcing it under in a wave of self-righteous rage, inflated fear, and layer upon layer of bravado to mask my doubts…I’d drowned anything shown in that waters reflection, even if it means spending the rest of my forever at the bottom of an empty Sea.

I’m not doing anything that should warrant how much I hate myself, but I’ve come to view my very existence as a crime, a blight on society. I am a monster, and the only acceptable kind of monster is a dead monster. I don’t want to be a monster, and I wish I could know what it’s like to be the hero, so really I’m just killing two birds with one stone, but in this case, those birds are just me and my reflection. I just have to take that stone, grind out a nice, sharp edge, slide that makeshift dagger across my throat, and watch as that monster in the mirror gets exactly what it deserves…and I can go out with a smile in my heart, knowing I finally did something good for the world; I finally became a hero…

I wanted to give you the love I thought you deserved, and everything else…I figured that was the price I had to pay… for thinking I also deserved my love…

We thought we were floating

Amongst the clouds,

But when our fingers

Began to sink into

Their white underbellies,

We understood.

 

The air was smoke,

Born from a warmth

We mistook as the sun.

It was just another fire,

Another wasted

Spark of romance.

 

It turns out love

Can feel an awful lot

Like burning alive.

“Doing nothing is something; it means accepting that falling apart is as normal for us as breathing.”

I built you a home in my chest by clearing out everything that was useless. My skin was paper, so I cut it away into tiny shapes of cranes, and you smiled as my flightless birds floated on top of the bathwater. You watched them only long enough to see as they made their way from one end to the other, so I won’t blame you for not knowing that water and paper birds don’t exactly mix. My ribs were bleached chalk, so I turned them into the seasons. During the summer they became the white letters littering sidewalks and flat driveways. As Autumn soaked the leaves that shimmering amber of hard liquor, my ribs found root in your gardens and became your second bloom of pristine Candytuft. When winter gave you nothing but a bitterly bright tundra, my bones turned into powder, as soft as moonlight, to gently kiss your rosy cheeks. And when Spring finally came, I flattened what remained of my ribs into cherry blossoms. They were tinged the palest pink at the stem, but you didn’t seem to mind, so I ignored the color. Even as that pink began to run red, I didn’t stop. You were still smiling, with every petal that filled the air you were smiling so wide… so of course I couldn’t stop, couldn’t slow down….how could I, when I was making you smile?

“I’m awkward, but only when it comes to the things that matter most, like not hurting myself, or laughing at the new scars I don’t remember making.”

I love the sound of a car door opening, and the taste of orange juice after I brush my teeth. I’m a big fan of Indie YouTube musicians, and I can sing along with any Disney movie. I chug entire cans of Coke because I enjoy the tingling sensation it creates in the back of my throat. I can’t help but smile whenever I look at a clock at the exact moment when one minute ends and the next begins. Holding my baby nephew makes me nervous, but when he reaches out for me to pick him up, I’m overcome with happiness that this perfect little butterball wants me to hold him (even if it’s only so he can be close enough to my head to pull on my hair). I always laugh when my Mom and I go see a movie, and she packs all this candy into her purse, and amongst those candies are pickles in ziploc bags and her own salt grinder for the popcorn.

 

I love some strange things.

I like some weird things.

I laugh at some odd things.

I smile at most cute things.

 

When you left you slammed my car door so hard it broke part of the frame, leaving tiny plastic pieces that will be pricking at my skin for the rest of eternity. I started eating away my health while ignoring basic hygiene, instead filling my mornings with multiple energy drinks and a tin of wintergreen altoids. I sip away at my Coke through a straw, and every swallow helps wash down another pill or 2. My apartment lost power about 2 months ago, and my alarm clock is still blinking 8’s, and since we just passed the summer solstice, the clock hanging in my bathroom is now an hour to slow. My sister sent me a video of my nephew finally taking his first steps without any help, and she captioned the video saying “Now he can walk over to you and grab your hair without enlisting any aid!”. Seeing that picture and reading that caption made me cry, because I realized nobody in my family knows how short I cut my hair, and that was at the beginning of the summer, and it’s closer to Thanksgiving than the 4th of July. My Mom texted me the other day, asking when we would go see the new Marvel movie, because that’s been our thing for the past few years. Well, the past few years before these past few years. I’ve used the last few years to really hone my hermit skills, so brushing off her question is done out of reflex, before I even entertain the idea of doing something as normal as seeing a movie with my mom.

 

I’ve broken some expensive things.

I’ve ignored some important things.

I’ve cried over some tiny things.

And I’ve let down myself and everybody around me…because failure is my thing.