“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.

“Pain is unavoidable, and sooner or later everyone reaches a breaking point. It’s okay that you’re broken, because being broken means you can be fixed.”

I am drawn to you,

Like starlight to black nights,

Or else the rough sea

To a sailors dreams.

If I am to continue,

My darling, I do so

From your spark

It has ignited the tinder,

Shaved from my chest,

Giving rise to a heat,

A roaring light.

You’ve gifted me the Sun,

And with it a simple hope,

That even though I am alone

I can find my own way home.

“I wanted to feel your warmth, so I let you set me on fire. Now I am ash, and you don’t think you did anything wrong.”

I was a kid, and you weren’t the adult I thought you were. I wanted to be cool, to be something more than what I was. You said you saw potential in me, and I wanted you to be right. You said you saw someone special, somebody who could be somebody. So, I let you take that body, MY body, piece by piece.

You started small, trimming my branches, taking those low hanging twigs to stoke your fire. I was more than happy to give you those things you wanted, to keep that fire going. I gave you everything, and when that wasn’t enough, you started to take things, things I didn’t say you could have. I know you saw me burning away, but you didn’t stop…It didn’t end until all my bark had been stripped away, and every one of my branches turned to cinders.

But maybe I’m being too harsh. Maybe I’m projecting some of my current anger and fears into what we had. I know our past must not have been as bad as I remember it, that you can’t have been as bad as I’m remembering you now.

 

Or maybe I’m just trying to protect you, to protect me.

 

I can admit I didn’t like everything we did. I didn’t like how fast things seemed to progress, but I don’t recall every telling you to slow down. I didn’t enjoy being laughed at for wanting to go to my friend’s roller skating birthday bash, but I can recall ditching them to go looking for an “adult” party with you.

I didn’t enjoy the taste of alcohol. Every drink, even a sip, would make me gag. I thought I would throw up every time, and I know on many occasions I did, but that was just another part of the fun, the cost of a good time, right? The memories are fussy, but I can still remember you offering me drink after drink, never telling me I had to, just saying how happy it would make you if I would just relax, chill out, have one more drink, because it would be the next drink that would really loosen me up, and then I’d be having the time of my life.

I didn’t enjoy the smell of cigarettes. I hated the smoke, hated that little dot of heat so close to my mouth, but most of all I hated the taste. It felt thick, like I was swallowing honey. Only that honey was a bonfire. And the bonfire was missing all the elements that make them so great, like slow burning wood, clear summer nights, and friends who never shoved the bits of smoldering bark down your throat. A fire like that is no bonfire. If left alone it’s a wildfire, but when it’s set with clear intent, with a target in mind, I believe that is called arson.  

But you didn’t technically shove those cigarettes down my throat. No, you just calmly pulled out your pack of Marlboro Reds, stuck one in your mouth, then dangled another in my face, like it was some sort of treat. And you wouldn’t just place it between my lips. You made me beg for it, like a fucking dog. You would put it close and pull it back, blow some smoke in my face and let out a little laugh. You could tell, your friends could tell, anybody with eyes or ears or an IQ above 1 could tell that I didn’t like this game.

 

Because it wasn’t a game.

 

I know my mistake, and I hate myself for that mistake. But I’m also able to admit that it wasn’t just me. I was naive. I wanted my old life and you. I never thought they’d be mutually exclusive. Even when I felt the tugging, I just convinced myself it would all work out. I’d smoke a few cigarettes, to look cool, but then I’d stop. I would drink some when you took me to parties so that I would fit in, but then I’d stop. I would kiss you, and let you get to second base in your car because I didn’t want to be a prude, but then you’d stop. I would let you talk me into staying the night in a hotel over a holiday weekend, and I would let you join me in the shower, and I would let the hot water wash away my arguments, because after a few minutes you’d stop. And when I decided to stop drinking at your birthday party, so you said you’d drink enough for the both of us…and I fell asleep on your couch…and I somehow woke up in your bed…and it was dark, but I could feel you trying to position yourself on top of me…and I was still buzzed…and I wanted you to have a good birthday…I wanted to be a good lover…I didn’t want to think about not wanting it…because I was so sure you’d stop…

I didn’t say no. I didn’t cry or scream, punch or kick. I didn’t do a damn thing. I might as well have been a fucking baked potato, for all the difference it would have made to the situation. So it was my fault. It had to be my fault. I was wrong to feel betrayed, because it was my choice, my lack of action, my inability to tell you to fuck off.

But I was a kid, and now I’m not. I might still blame myself and hate myself for everything, but I’m grown up now. In fact, I’m still growing up. I learn more every day, and accept more of myself every day. I’m far from being wise, but I’ve gained just enough knowledge to see the past for what it was.

 

It wasn’t all a waste. There were some good days, mixed in with a lot of ‘meh’ sort of days.

I know it wasn’t all bad.

But you…are just as terrible as I’m remembering you, and probably even worse.

I’ll still blame myself, because that’s part of who I am, but I am done making excuses for my memories.

And I’m sure as hell done making excuses for you.

I started this blog 1 year ago. At that time I hadn’t planned on still being around after 1 year, but the fact is I’m still alive, and that has to count for something.

WordPress reminded me today that I have been blogging for exactly 1 year. I didn’t think this blog would do that much. I didn’t have any social media profiles back then, and I was alone. I figured my blog would get 0 followers and nobody would ever read a word I wrote. But as time passed, I found out that some people did want to read the things I wrote. Some of those people were even kind enough to give me feedback on my writing. I hit 50 followers and was really shocked. I mean really, I wasn’t sharing my work on Facebook or Twitter, nor was I becoming an Instagram poet, but I was finding people who read what I wrote anyway. 50 turned into 100, and just today I hit 232.

232 people I have never met, but people I now know. I love coming here to post my work, but even more than that I love coming to this space to read what others have posted. It’s so varied, so many different voices from every corner of the globe. It’s every human emotion, sprawled out onto my computer screen, and I have the pleasure of reading through it all at my own pace.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone who follows my blog, and to all the blogs I follow, because they are willing to share their hearts and souls with the world, and I find that beautiful. If you would, please consider sharing my blog with those whom you think might enjoy some of my writing. I know I’m not a real writer, but I love writing, and I have enjoyed sharing it, and would really like to keep going, to keep growing, and to see where this path might lead me.

Again, thank you to everyone who follows my blog, I am forever grateful!

“I am October, Ohio.”

I am October’s colors, my skin the reflection of bruised peaches and burnt honey. I stick to all things green, suckling away at their breast, until only a shriveled husk remains, clinging onto skeleton branches, begging the wind to let them be. My winds are not so kind as to carry any calls for help, even if it would be in my self-interest. I am October, Winters harlot and Summers whore. I welcome September with amber whispers, while Death waits in the kitchen for crumpets and tea. Before November arrives, I will have suffocated every cul-de-sac’s front yard with the flesh of ancient oaks, and laugh along with the children as they make piles of the refuse skin to jump and play in. I am October, a fire without heat, burning the sunset past the horizon, leaving life tinged the shallow shade of a red run dry. I am October, because we are the same; we are only beautiful when we are dying.

“Everyone is a someone, and while you don’t know who you are right this second, it’s still a fact that you will always be you.”

Walking around the corner, I looked up, searching for the sky. The buildings blocked any shine from the Sun, and all I could think was “what a boring view.” An endless universe exists up there, and I can only see a fraction of a fraction in the best situations, and here I am, living in a place that takes away from my already scant view of the universe. I can’t even see the sun rising or setting, instead relying on nuclear powered clocks to tell me when I need to start my day. Those same clocks have dictated every aspect of my existence, and they have no idea who I am. To be fair, clocks are inanimate objects, and thus are exempt from having to pick out the traits that define my person. Clocks can’t be expected to know who I am, but it shouldn’t be asking to much that I might know who I am.

I’ve lived my life, but I’m not living, am I? A part of me is screaming for some adult logic. I’m busy thinking about the infinity of the universe, but I still haven’t finished my bachelors. What could someone with so little experience do? I need to follow the advice of those that came before me, and trust that the path they have put me on will guide me into a great person.

But would that person be me?

“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.