You are a sunburn; you came with happy times spent in sunny days, and you left me with the coming of autumn and the bright orange leaves. So were you ever really there? Will I have any physical reminders of your love on my person? I once heard that every cell in our entire body is destroyed and replaced every seven years. So in a short seven years I will have a body that you will have never touched… and that thought is both beautiful and the saddest fucking thing I have ever heard.
I don’t know how you feel about me;
You never say what’s on your mind.
One day your all smiles and roses
And the next you treat me like a waste of time.
You loved me in the morning
But by Noon, you were nowhere to be found
And I’m sure before I go to bed
You’ll be there when I lay down
It’s never easy, you and me,
Because I love you wholeheartedly
And to you am just some body
To keep you warm…
I’ve spent entire dreams on you.
Your soft hands return to me,
And I feel safe again.
I know it’s not real,
Just light from the Moon,
A lie that bends my seas.
I fight for every moment,
Breaking clocks and watches,
Turning hands back
While leaving others blinking 8’s.
But you always catch me,
And you insist I must go.
It’s not you, but it hurts,
And I know it’s a dream,
Not even in my dreams
Can I be the one to walk away.
I just need you,
Whatever you have,
For just one more,
And one more,
Please, I cannot leave,
So stay with me
Until I dream no more…
He creeps into your mind at the most inopportune times, stealing away precious brain cells and holding in the CO2 that you’ve built up in your veins. Whatever warmth you had seeps out through your open chest, replacing the justified anger with docile tones and heavy shakes. You feel leaks, tiny pin pricks along all the spots you kept secret, the spots that he now owns. Time erases nothing, but diminishes everything. He’s hands haven’t been there to stroke your senses, yet a single glance brings back a nervous tingle in your stomach, and the world melts like chocolate left out in the afternoon sun. You want to run away, but the sight of him is as quick as summer lightning, and his sound echoes like distant thunder, and you’ve always been a fool when it comes to storms…
You will lose yourself in his winds and rain,
And you will claim a home inside that hurricane.
But that home will be nothing more than a dream,
A space where his violence will swallow your screams.
Music is a big, big, BIG part of my life. My first blog post was about Ed Sheeran (and if you haven’t read/listened to the song in that post, check it out, it was something I enjoyed writing). Now, being a big fan of music but also being a quiet, reserved, afraid to order pizza over the phone, shops at midnight to avoid lines, and can’t handle crowds or the public in general, I don’t often come off as such. I don’t go to concerts or talk to my co-workers about such things, but it’s those things that get me through the day, every day. So, I’ve decided to start a “new” blog dedicated to highlighting songs or artists that mean something special to me.
To kick things off I thought I’d share a new-ish artist, Julien Baker. I first discovered Julien Baker by listening to the NPR Tiny Desk Concert Series (please check it out, it’s really a fantastic series. It’s setting makes each show feel personal, even though I’m not there in person to see it). Julien Baker has a powerful voice and a subtle touch on the guitar that makes it seem like it’s trying to surround your ears in feathers; it blocks out all other noise yet never comes off as being loud. Some of her ballads include piano pieces, which she also shows a very keen understanding of how to incorporate the sounds of low bass notes with simple melodies, so you feel the keys more than hear them.
But, the crux of Julien Bakers talent lays within her ability to write some of the most crushing, poetic, beautiful lyrics I have ever experienced. Her song’s flow, sprinting when called for but unafraid to completely stop, leaving your heart a few seconds reprieve and your brain the time it takes to understand everything she’s talking about. Because her music IS heart. It’s not just her heart, it’s every human heart. It connects the dots in your head, forming a clear picture of somebody we have all been; an insecure, well-intentioned, far to self-critical, messy, lovable human.
Julien Baker has become my favorite artist of the past few years and her most recent album, Turn out the Lights, gave me all of the feelings of her first album and then some. I highly recommend checking out her live videos on YouTube, such as her Tiny Desk concert I mentioned above, or her performance for Audiotree and Pasta Studios.
I’ll most likely be writing a deep-dive piece, similar to my Ed Sheeran Sunburn post, at some point in the near future, but in the mean time please enjoy the splendor that is Julien Baker.
Why would things have to turn out like this, huh? Can anyone give me an answer that would calm me down, turn my radical sense of self-loathing into a more calm, rational sense of mild self-hatred? I am aware; I am a creature of habit. I fall into the holes of life not because of poor luck or blind circumstance, no… I fall down because I am waiting for those around me to see that I am on the ground and for them to hold out their hands for me, so I can climb on their backs and have them carry me through life. A scatthing self-analysis, but an accurate one.
Then what was her hand to you in all this? What did her hand represent? Use some of that flowery word magic, you pathetic excuse for a sentient being. Make it as simple as it has to be…
Her hands…were home…
It wasn’t just her hands though, right? It was in her smile that took away the past and made the future. It was in her eye’s that I found myself hoping they would be looking back at me. It was in her legs that walked towards me at a park or in the driveway or across a snowy parking lot outside a Red Robin in the early evening of February Ohio. It was her..she was home…
How does this shit happen to people? How can we have evolved so much, accomplished so fucking much, and still, STILL, cannot escape the basic insanity that is the concept of “love”. Why is it that no matter what I do I am still driven by the desire to find more love? I know what I am..what my life has become, and yet I am still here, endearing, and for what cause?! Why am I still breathing, eating, surviving?! I can’t sleep anymore, not even when I’m exhausted, when I overdose on pills, when I crash my body, push it until it screams at me and hates me as much as my mind and heart hate me. My dreams are coming back, and they are all the same, so simple. They are me, doing normal things, living a normal life, but with friends…It’s the saddest shit, ya know? Cause I could have friends..I had so many friends…but what did I do? Pushed and ran and became this…fucking loser.
~No, you’re wrong. You were always a loser, somehow people just put up with you.
Ah, yes, that is more akin to the truth, or at least my reality of truth. I am a monster. How many times have I come to this conclusion? Probably once an evening now, ever since I can remember. That would be why you have all those scars across your arms. That would be why you can’t stand the sight of yourself in the mirror. That would be why you took a path you knew, a path YOU FUCKING KNEW YOU COULD NEVER COME BACK FROM. YOU SET YOURSELF UP TO FAIL, TO PUSH EVERYONE AWAY, TO LEAVE NO ROOM FOR A COMEBACK AS YOU HAD BEFORE!!!
~You have nobody left, because you trusted the decision you made when you knew nothing.
Yes…I trusted myself to know who I really am. So here I am…breathe it in slowly now, this poison, these words that will surely kill you. God, if words were knives I wouldn’t be stuck wishing for an easy way out like the coward I am. If my words were knives I could have bitched out so easily, long before I hurt anybody, and before I ever gave myself false fucking hope. Now all I can hope for is a death from fate. All I can hope is that my destiny leads me to my demise. Personally I hate fate, destiny, all that bullshit. I hate it because if it WAS real, well holy fuck, sucks for me, right?
Yeah, I know…If fate was real then..then at least I wouldn’t have to hate myself so much…
Ha..haha…even in the end, I’m looking for ways out!! What a joke! What a terrible, utterly unsatisfying, fucking joke! Even now, EVEN AFTER EVERYTHING I STILL WANT AN EXCUSE TO LOVE MYSELF!! THE ONLY FUNNY PART ABOUT THIS, ABOUT THIS WHOLE FUCKED UP LIFE, IS THAT I HAD THE OPTION TO LOVE MYSELF! I had the option all along! And yet!…
~You wanted to love, to be normal, to be human, huh Calvin?
I did..I really did want to be normal, to see myself as anything but a monster…I did try, didn’t I? I put in the effort, gave it the ‘ol 1,2, right? Please…someone…anybody…fucking tell me I tried…tell me I gave it my best…ANYBODY PLEASE TELL ME I TRIED TO BE LIKE YOU ALL, TO BE NORMAL! PLEASE!….
~Calvin…they are all gone. You know that Calvin, so why don’t we stop this?
Now I’m begging…begging for myself huh…wonder which one is the real me? Am I asking for one more chance, one more hand to reach out and save me? Is that what I am asking for? Or else…
~You already know who we are.
Yeah, I know…
~So Calvin, I’ll ask again, as many times as it takes. I’ll never grow tired of asking and I’ll never stop. I’ll always be here, you know that. I’m the only one who will never leave.
Please…for 5 fucking minutes, please…please just disappear…please….
~Calvin, I gave you chances. You had love, more than once. You had friends, more than once. You had a beginning, more than once. You can only be so selfish, Calvin.
But you were always there..always. I could feel it, like a bug bite that just wouldn’t stop fucking itching. You never left my mind, always found a way back to the forefront of my thoughts. How could you be so strong? How could you outlast everything? How…
~Simple; This is you. We are one. Now Calvin, do I really need to ask again? We really have been awake quite a long time, haven’t we? It’s been exhausting, truly taxing. Being a monster as we are sure does take up a lot of energy. Of course, had you LISTENED to me from the beginning, we could have avoided all this pointless chatter and saved so many, saved so much.
Shut up…shut up…SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU FUCKING PRICK!! JUST SHUT YOUR GODDAMN MOUTH FOREVER! YOU ARE WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME! IF YOU…IF ONLY YOU NEVER EXISTED EVERYTHING WOULD BE GREAT! MOM WOULDN’T BE CRYING ABOUT ME! DAD WOULD BE PROUD OF ME! MY SISTER AND BROTHER WOULD ACTUALLY LOVE ME AND CARE ABOUT ME! I WOULD HAVE ALL MY FRIENDS STILL! I WOULD HAVE..I WOULD HAVE MY LIFE!
~Tsk, tsk. Ever the dramatic one, aren’t we Calvin? Logic agrees with you; if I was gone, everything WOULD be better for everyone. So the question I pose, once again, is why is a monster such as our existence still breathing Calvin?
Because I don’t want to be a monster…
~Ah, but a monster you were born. No fault to Mom and Dad, of course. And look! Even your siblings turned out just fine! It’s not the end of the world! Sure, you could have saved some tears, but in the end this really won’t cause a ripple effect. People cry even for the bad guys, right? In that regard, even being a monster, we deserve some tears, right? Come on now, let’s start seeing the same picture here. It only makes sense. Stay calm man. Now, I pose it to you once more, and please take your time to respond, but know that I will ask again if the answer is wrong; Calvin, can we finally rest?
Why do you have to exist…why do you have to constantly be here, in my ear…why can’t I ever just let you go, huh? Why can’t you just fall off, fly off, disappear, FUCKING DIE!
~I knew we’d get here! We always do! I CAN just die Calvin! You just take that small step, that little leap of faith, and voila! Presto! Ancient history! Never again shall I bother anybody!
You really never let up…for a monster, you sure have some kind of amazing persistence…
~See? You can find good things about us, can’t you? Ah Calvin, you still don’t want to see it; the beauty of being born a monster. Of all the beautiful things in this world, the landscapes, the potential, the people, none of that can cover up the ugly nature of humanity. BUT, as a monster, we never had the rose tinted glasses those real humans wear. Sure, they get to feel real love, something you can only feel when you love yourself, but you never had to be like them, to live in a perfect world and have a monster like us crash everything around them. In that respect, you never had to know what the fall was like, did you? Not that you didn’t try, Calvin. O yes, you tried. Time and again you found love, and man, you sure did put up a fight trying to fit those rose glasses onto yourself, didn’t you?! Hot damn, those were the days! Still, you never quite got there. After all, you were just a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You stuck out like a sore thumb man! I laughed my ass off more than once at that sad skin you wore! I mean think about it! A monster, trying to act like a regular human?! Hahaha, o Calvin let me tell you, it was a riot! I saved pictures if you want to see? Ah why am I even asking! Of COURSE you want to see!
I can’t shut you off…I can’t shut you out…I can’t drown out your voice…I can’t run away…I can’t hide anywhere you can’t find me…
~It is a testament to our stupidity that you still won’t just admit who we are. At this point Calvin, who are you trying to fool?
I am a master of deception! I am a wordsmith! I make the page my tool, bending the ink to my will, right?! I have managed to trick some very smart people, yes?!
~Yes! Take pride in that, Calvin! You are definitely willing to use some very ruthless tactics to trick others, now aren’t you?
NO! I AM NOT RUTHLESS! I NEVER USED TACTICS! I…I used the words from my heart..I used the feelings in my heart…
~Sigh…really Calvin, you still insist you ever had such a marvelous thing as a heart? Another benefit of being a monster, you never had a heart to break in the first place!
I’m…I’m not you…
~Calvin, of course you are buddy! We are a team, one in the same! 2 halves to a whole, huge, terribly empty monster!
I don’t…I won’t accept that…I won’t accept you…I WON’T EVER ACCEPT YOU!
~Like I said Calvin, I can wait. When you are good and ready to finally get some sleep just let me know. I’ll be right there, pillow and blanket in hand! Tell ya what, I’ll even write a bedtime story for us! I’ll call it “World’s worst father!” It will be a picture book, mostly. Really just a mirror would do I guess haha.
~O, no! I got it! How about a picture collage, huh? I’ll get all the pictures of those friends…hmm..now that’s strange…I can’t seem to find any pictures with us in them.
Just stop it already…
~I can stop whenever you decide to stop Calvin.
~Sleep on it, huh pal? I mean I know it’s not real sleep since it can’t last more than an hour at a time and it only leaves us feeling more and more exhausted, but I’m OK with it. If anything it allows you to see that real rest will only come when we finally see eye to eye.
I miss home…
~Idiot. You are home. Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. People have warm homes full of memories and comfort and love. Monsters live in caves; alone. This IS our home buddy!
I can’t stop crying…I can’t stop it…I want to stop, I don’t want anymore tears out of self-pity…I don’t…so why won’t they stop…why won’t my body listen…why won’t my eyes listen…
~Shh, it’ll all be okay Calvin, it’ll all be okay.
Please…God, I beg you, please…
~God would never listen to a monster, now would he? Of course not! How would that look?! God has appearances to keep up after all!
It’s just me then….
That’s not who I am…
~You are, have been, and always will be Calvin.
~Yes, you are finally on the true brink…It’s about time. Now, say it nice and clear, for the world of both monsters and men to hear! Loud enough to drive away those pesky dreams and give us the space we need to finally get some rest!
I am…not…what you are…
~Ahh! Almost had ya that time haha! Well Calvin, like I said, and like you already know to be 100% true, I’m not going anywhere. So walk away again, I’ll catch up tomorrow. I’m not your shadow, Calvin. I’m not your reflection, Calvin. I’m not your inner demons, your devil’s advocate, that tiny Satan like dude who hangs around on one of your shoulders as you ponder questions of morality, Calvin. I am not imagination, I am not make-believe, I am not an outside force twisting its way into your subconscious. I am you. You are me. We are the monster. We are Calvin.
I won’t lose…
~That’s what I love about us, Calvin! Nobody can lie quite like us!
~Sleep tight, buddy. I’ll be there, bright and early. Same time, same place!
…I won’t…I can’t…please, somebody…I don’t want to die…
I realize, of course, what these decisions I have made over the past few years have lead me towards; a slothful life full of wasted moments that have somehow become wasted years, turning this mind into mush and these years into a wasted life, a wasted potential, a waste of a waste, truly God’s ideal of the perfect sloth, a biblical lose, a tremendous cost to a human psyche that only ever holds on by mere threads and is foolish enough to risk those lines with the edge of a knife, dangling between the blades of the three witches scissors, caught up as a fly in the venus trap that is the sweet, most unholy allure that is this fight against what I think I can never hold with my own two hands, what I thought was your smile as the background of my phone, the backdrop of my life, but whose life is that if you have all the power? See, so I realized, of course, that this slothful life was so far from God that no light could save me, and while it hurts to be alone, hurting is all I need to know, so this is no grand gesture, no noble sacrifice, merely the only option left after all those decisions made in poor lighting after long days I chose to stay alone, away from the sun and sky and humans and nature and away from anything, since it all reminded me of you…
Sure, could I make the effort to create change? All I have left are ways forward, since my cowardice will not lead me towards a peaceful sleep that is this envisioned ideal of death. Unknown darkness is so much more menacing than this darkness I have created for myself; a home built as a blind carpenter, built on rocks of the most uncomfortable shapes possible, built with no human health in mind, built with towers only to keep others out and not to protect those within, built like a labyrinth to confuse the eyes, the nose, the wayward soul so it may never feel as if a single moment can be wasted on such peaceful thoughts like picnics and smiles and hugs and her…
I have so much…so much freedom, right? What an ugly joke; I’m asking myself like I don’t already know the answer..I have the freedom to get up right now, to go anywhere in the City of Akron, the State of Ohio, the Country of the United States of America. I can get a passport and travel the globe, I can buy plane tickets to Korea or Germany or Alaska, I can buy a bike and travel all of Europe, rent a car and drive from Vietnam to China to Russia. I have that kind of traveling freedom.
I can quit my job and still find more work. I can get an office job doing non-sense email work, organizing projects and coordinating different tasks, I can keep working credit and collect deductions, I can run a kitchen, or cook in a kitchen, or serve anywhere, be a host, be an expo, I can do inventory for a grocery store and just count things all day, or work for a factory and count things all night. I could be a cashier, a cheap security guard, a weekend guest sign-in personnel for a retirement home, hell I could even turn this writing habit of mine into an attempt to cash in with a few blogs, build a following and get people to read what I write. I have that kind of job freedom.
I can eat McDonald’s, or Burger King, KFC or Taco Bell. I can order Chinese takeout, or a pizza to go, or go sit down at Luigi’s Italian joint and have some pasta and breadsticks, or go to Crave and have fancier fare. I can go to a store 5 minutes away and buy canned soups, box soups, bagged noodles I can turn into soup, ramen and beef, pork chops or some chips, beef jerky and orange juice, yogurt or cheese, or protein bars and soda, bottled water and vitamin water. I can cook fresh vegetables or make a fruit salad. I have so much freedom when it comes to picking what and when I eat.
I’m such a waste. The lowest of the low. Potential abound, limitless, but nothing to show for it. I talk like I want to be something, to help others but that’s not right. I just want others to see me trying so they can validate me in their eyes. I only care about how I look..I don’t give a damn about really getting better, or how I feel, I only care how others see me, how I come off, if they think I’m doing good, if they think I’m doing okay, giving it my best, making strides forward, if they see me as striving towards a better tomorrow. But so many people have seen right through me..I’m so selfish, so awful, so empty..
I hate myself.
I hate everything about me.
I hate my stupid hair and how I play with it so much, as if I could ever get it to look good, when I’m such an ugly monster.
I hate my stupid laugh, because it’s loud and comes at the worst of times because I have the worst sense of humor. It sounds like nails on a chalkboard, and it grates my ears and makes me wish I would just choke on my own spit and never make a noise ever again.
I hate my arms because they are covered in scars that only prove I was to weak to push that extra inch, where I would actually reach a vein and bleed a bit more, so I could do the world a favor and just disappear.
I hate my eyes because they look so tired even though I do nothing to warrant that feeling.
I hate my nose because it’s too big, but also to small, and it’s in the middle of the face that I hate so much.
I hate my ears because they hear how small I sound, I hate my hands because they can’t hold anything aside from my own greedy desires, I hate my heart because it beats away just fine, as if it has the right to keep beating, to keep pumping blood throughout this wasteful excuse for a life.
I hate the burns on my right arm I got from working as a cook because they remind me of the wasted weekends I could have spent doing anything, but I spent them as a nobody cook where nobody gave a damn about me.
I hate my skin, my smell, my stupid legs that keep walking me to and from work, but won’t really take me anywhere at all.
I hate my thoughts, all so ugly and unsightly, so conceited and lacking any empathy, any real love and care.
I hate…I hate that I can write about everything that has ever happened to me and twist every story, every experience, every single memory into another thing to hate. I hate feeling so empty. I hate feeling like I need to be saved and I hate knowing I can’t be the one to save me. I hate waiting for my time to start moving again. I hate waiting for someone to make my time move again. I hate it. I hate time, clocks and calendars to mark how much of a waste I have been in numbers and dates, months and lifetimes gone by the wayside, thrown towards the sky and combusting into nothingness because I am just a stupid speck of dust who ruined a perfectly good moment on the morning of August 10th, 1990, bursting into the life of 2 perfectly fine adults who would go on to be amazing parents to 2 amazing kids. I am a black spot on so many existences and I could make up for it all by dying.
What a thought though, right? Thinking my death would atone for the sin of my very existence. I can’t make up for who I am. I can never suffer enough to make up for what I am. I can only continue to hate myself. No praying to God; evil such as me does not deserve something as amazing as the idea of God. I am a monster. Monsters can only hurt, so do the one thing that makes sense, monster.
I hate myself.