“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 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.

Every day is a cloudy day when you can’t even be bothered to open your blinds.

I love the smell of water in the air. It’s so fresh, and it makes the air feel soft as I take a deep breath. That scent adds some sort of fluffy tail to the lasts wisps as they trickle in, tickling the back of my throat, making my lips curl towards the sky. It’s amazing how different my entire body feels when I’m wearing a genuine smile. It’s a feeling I recognize and cherish.

But just as quickly as that familiarity invades my bones, it also begins to seep right back out. That smell of water clicks with other wires in my brain, and I’m rushed into a common scene; me, in front of my bathroom mirror. My clothes lie all around me, and my eyes are focused only on my reflection. I’ve done a good job hiding the scars for years and years, but I can’t hide them for more than a day from myself. And the image I see in the mirror, it always hurts so much…

I love the smell of water, because I love being in water. I love swimming and floating in a lazy river. I love cannonballs and diving into the deep end and going down the waterslide 1 million times. I love playing catch, making insane dives off the pier thanks to the soft landing the water provides. I love relaxing on the beach, sprawled out on a towel, working on my terrible tan lines. I love chowing down on watermelon and popsicles and cans of root beer. I love all of that…I loved all of that…I loved the water when I was a kid. I looked forward to going to Turkeyfoot Lake every weekend. I couldn’t wait to spend an entire day swimming, followed up with barbeques and backyard baseball. I loved catching fireflies at dusk, and lighting sparklers when it finally got dark. I loved my summers.

I loved being in the water, so of course I love the smell of water. But now those memories make my stomach cave in, because I know what will happen now, if I tried to relieve any of those moments. So many questions would be asked, and I wouldn’t be able to answer more than a few.

“When did this start?”

Before my first trip to the lake, I was already cutting, but I was just starting. I made sure to keep things small and in more hidden places, like my thighs and legs, places people wouldn’t see so readily. I already understood at 9 exactly how fucked up this shit was.

“Why did you start?”

I don’t have a good answer for that. The best I can do is this: I started cutting after I stopped peeling my skin and biting my nails. I would pull the skin from my fingers in 1st grade, I remember. I peeled that skin until they would all bleed, and it drove my parents and teachers insane. So, to avoid being yelled at, I progressed to more subtle, accurate methods. A pen prick here, a tiny slash there. It was just easier to maintain.

“Why do you feel the need to hurt yourself?”

Does a cut hurt? Honestly, I don’t know. I’m sure a deep cut would sting. I’m sure if somebody stabbed me, or a samurai sliced my stomach open with his katana, I would be in pain. But these little lines running the length of my arm? Those don’t hurt. They are shallow, hardly breaking the surface. They look worse then they are. But to answer your real question, I don’t know why I feel like I have to hurt myself, especially when I know my scars will hurt others much more than they hurt me. Lately I think it’s because I know the more scars I have, when someone finally does see them, they will see so many scars that the hope they can help me will immediately be lost. Basically they have become a sort of insurance, a fail safe to ensure that I fail.

“Why do you want to fail?”

Because I want to die.

“And why do you want to die?”

Because I can’t fix me. I can’t fix who I am. Dying won’t make up for the horrible existence that is me, but I can’t make up for it by continuing to live either. So my choices are to either keep going, or call it a day. I need to call it a day. It’s what’s best in the long run, for the world and me.

“Then why are you still alive?”

…because no matter how hard I try, I can’t completely give up dreaming that I’ll find a way out someday…

“So what will you do next?”

I’ll think about change. Then I’ll talk about change. Then I’ll plan some changes. Then I’ll make some changes. Then I’ll slip up. Then I’ll slip up again. Then I’ll give up on changing. Then I’ll find myself at the bottom again, in awe of how the bottom just keeps getting deeper, and I’ll start the whole process over again.

“And what happens, when the bottom never comes?”

It will mean I’ve either grown some wings and taken flight, or I hit the bottom, broke both my legs, thus making it impossible for me to ever climb back out.

“And when you can’t climb back out?”

I stay down there, and I starve.

“And then?”

And then…. I can finally accept myself…. and I will finally be able to die…

Fractals of light hook the eventide sky, their luster reflected across my line of sight by virtue of the dispersion of hydrogen, the scientific affair of your balmy days breaking through my numbing nights.

Walking, walking, walking…wall.
Not a literal wall, just a person.
Not just a person, a girl.
Black hair on a round head, going just past her shoulders and straight down her back.
A blue shirt with blue jeans. A soft blue for the shirt, like a sky right after it storms, the kind of blue you think of when you think of baby blue, when you think of the lightest blue you can get right before it fades into white.
Blue jeans just..blue jeans.
Why does the boy remember her appearance? The length of her hair? The color of her shirt? The soft blue that still comes to mind every time someone asks him his favorite color?
Who can say why people can recall certain scenes so well and others just fade in time. For this boy, this shirt, this girl, this wall, all stick in his memory, like a first crush, a first kiss, a first love, all rolled into one.
Did he know then she would make him forget all those firsts, replace all of them in his memory with thoughts of her lips, the scent of her neck, the weight of her body laying next to his?

~Of course~
That’s why it’s called love at first sight, idiots.

We all have a crown, they just aren’t all made of gold and jewels.

“You can be King!” they proclaimed, eyes on fire with hearts to match.

“You can have greatness and adventure, enough to fill any heart! Nothing is outside of your will! Desires are merely unclaimed rights, for even the wonders your eyes have yet to see, even those views belong to you!”

How appealing, a world of no limits. If you want to taste the Sun, just express that wish and smile as the light rushes to spill across your lips and dance over your tongue.

“Your will is as the Universe, expanding with all creation, for you are all, and all is for you!”

A world to call my own, knowing it wants me, so long as I wish it so.

I want to be the one who would want to be that King. I want to have that desire for more, anything or everything more. Just…something…I just want to find out I want something…

Drink up the sky and breathe in this soil, this fertile patch of love the world has set aside just for us.

Help me find my way back into this heart, back into myself and the soul I’ve forgotten. I buried them both under years of tears, scars and screams at my blinking check engine light. I haven’t lost every part of me though. I’m still able to find a laugh, squint up at a winter sun and find hope while shivering on congested Ohio highways. Little things still matter, like smiling at the cashier while they ring up my midnight junk food runs, or becoming a regular at the local Pizza Hut, so you can text the manager on Saturdays and have your “normal” order delivered within 15 minutes.

I like small talk, office banter. It’s not deep, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s complaining about missing sleep and having to work late on a Friday. It’s hearing someone ask “what’s up?” and responding “Good! Wait, shit, I mean nothing, what about you?” and laughing at the over-used, lame-ass Dad joke, because cliches are often the best part of life, and it was funny the first time you ever did it and it will never not be funny.

I like spending hours prepping up food to make a feast. I’m talking entire Saturdays dedicated to trimming up some Top Round Roast and rubbing in all the best seasonings; salt, pepper, some paprika and a dash of granulated garlic. Mix that with a bit of vegetable oil and slow cook that sucker. Then making red skin mashed potatoes, a thick, southern style country gravy, and a side of roasted artichokes, all set off perfectly with a cold glass of apple cider. Being in a kitchen, around the heat and the noise, soaking in the rush of stimuli to my senses, makes me feel at peace in a way I can only replicate when I’m on a roll writing something.

And I like writing. Journal upon journal, notebooks filled to the brim with failed attempts at poetry, love novels, dystopian futures and screenplays. I write something every day, even when I’m tired and stupid and making bad choices at 3AM, I still get something down on paper.

So I still have things I like, so my heart can’t be all the way gone. I’m lost, but I can be found, because I can find myself in little things still. I’m lost, but I clearly haven’t completely given up yet. I’ve buried my heart and soul, but I can still dig them up. I can do it…I just need a push…

It’s not so simple, black and white and shades of gray. We exist as light, and can be bent to reflect the colors of the heavens themselves, at least in the right persons eyes.

My body lies still in sleep, unlike my insecure soul. My dreams carry weight; they are the leaves after the autumn downpour, so common nobody stops to stare, but to each tree it feels like a lead weight just shifted onto the branches, making each leaf cry out in turn:

“It’s now the time for my colors to bleed,

Coerced into the season of letting go.

Embrace this slumber that takes us together

Into this living death we welcome as home.”  

I’m not soaking in the sun anymore; the light dissipates faster and faster and comes later and later, and my back feels a little bit heavier with each passing night left hoping for the sun and living with the knowledge that it’s going to take longer today to see it than the day before. My time feels insanely short, like it’s skipping the even numbers on the clock, like the “tick” is not followed by the customary “tock”, and so somebody must be stealing my time.

~Or maybe you’re just done stalling…~

Disconnect; that’s the issue, so he can’t feel okay because he can’t connect the thought of “okay” with the corresponding emoticon on his smartphones obtusely glaring screen. The mask that he wears remains a deceitful facade; He is neither a hero nor villain, his dreams not so grandiose as to require such lofty titles. He is simply a loser who lost his own face in the crowd, so now even as he searches for some hint of recognition, every mirror becomes a window into a stranger’s world.

~Because seeing the pain from an outside perspective lets him pretend that pain isn’t his own…~