Death

I stood at death’s door

He beckoned me in with a noose

“I can offer you relief and cookies.”

Well I like both of those things

“Are you ready?”

I have loved, lost, and I have suffered. I forgave my abusers and instead I have given happiness to those around me. I know I have caused pain to many too, but I lived my best to not do so. I know if I leave I will ruin those around me.

“Such is the pity of suicide. The only relief is yours while everyone around you suffers. But our cookies are to die for…”

I catch the scent of vanilla. That better not be oatmeal raisin.

“Fool! Death by chocolate means chocolate chip, your favorite… But tell me what of your dreams?”

Dreams are dreams are sometimes pain. I cannot lose what I do not have. If I choose life, I will continue to work toward my dreams. But in death, I have relief from my dreams, my desires.

Death shrugged. “The choice is always yours.”

It varies day by day. Today I do not feel as strong.

“Then rest. Eat. Take a good shit. See people you love. Bring more happiness to those around you. Keep writing. And when you stand at my door again, stand with strength, dignity, and acceptance. Not in defeat and shame.”

 

 

Thoughts from sitting outside a cafe in Hollywood

I am a sojourner in the strangeland Hollywood, where you see the polarities of humanity, where one corner you see beautiful women parade down the street, and then the other a man cries his eyes out. His wails are haunting. No adult can show such utter defeat so openly. The smells of Hollywood exist in utter confusion as well. Walk by the wealthy and you catch a scent of perfume but once the cloud dissipates, the unmistakable whiff of piss reigns. I am a spectator in Hollywood, a machine that bends creativity to its will. The glamorous lights, the billboards made of dreams, and the subliminal molding of people in the cast of stardom. Its a contagion, this need to be someone. A dream within a city, where tourists hunt celebrities as they ride in double decker buses, where the homeless babble and stalk you if you wear bright colors; it’s dizzying, dazzling and it’s easy to lose your mind here.

Save a time and place for me

A song to play while you read

Do you remember one winter night, when I was not allowed to see you, we huddled beneath your two trees out on your front lawn. The sky was cold blue and the stars glistened. We had soup or hot cocoa or whatever -I can’t remember. But enough with the past; I want to write about you closer to you now. I like your telling eyes that stared at me as if I were a ghost and I like your playful nose that crinkled when you gave me a look crossed between love and hate and I like your lips that I couldn’t look away from. My pictures of you don’t compare. I find you more beautiful than ever. It pains me to admit because I know you’re hurting. Lovely, I’m hurting too. But I have a plan to write some happiness into our story. You tell me you’re leaving on a plane, but don’t worry I don’t mind waiting. If you’ll have me, meet me beneath those two trees, midnight on Christmas Eve. Give me one more chance to show you how much you mean to me.

Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud it is not rude it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…Love perseveres. 

 

Making Sense of It & “I know what I want” & A Parable

Making Sense of It

8 years ago, I asked you what you wanted most in life. Happiness, you told me. Love I answered to you.

I skated in the rain for hours when I saw your car parked outside my place. Lighting flashed across the sky. I laughed to the thunder. “I don’t care! I’m staying! This is amazing. I get a chance to see you!” The downpour soaked my clothes, and I felt bliss. My stomach twisted when I saw your silhouette. I called your name. “Hey! I gotta use the bathroom,” You called back to me.

“Why are you so dramatic?”

“Because I’m wild! I like doing dumb shit.”

Hear me out. I have a better answer now. I know it doesn’t have to be so extreme. I could have waited on the couch or whatever. But I want to prove to myself my conviction; this is how I know my feelings go beyond convenience. Jordan Peterson made the argument that Abraham sacrificing his son Isaac is rather dramatized because 1. it poetically drives home the point that faith goes beyond reason 2. shit in life will force you to meet extremes and at that point you can’t ask why. Why do anything in life? I remember an idea from Stoicism –that one should willingly face discomfort to build tolerance and strength. I’m starting to sound like a meathead.

I sat by you and listened to your breathing. You had a little too much to drink so you slept. I bought you your favorite Taco Bell burrito and I’m remembering the times I’ve glanced over to you sleeping. I couldn’t believe you were next to me again. I stayed up all night to fall in love. I held you close only to say goodbye in the morning. Who knows when we’ll see each other again. You and I know we won’t force it this time. But this I feel in my bones, my blood, my blueprints; you’re the one.  A digression: I’ve had this feeling 3 times in my life, and 2 out of the 3 holds true to me. 1. I’m meant to do something with writing. I got my job because of my writing and I will surely work and write something beautiful. 2. Spencer and I will be best friends. I had this feeling at thirteen. 3.  You and I

Will things be different? Yes! I know I can live without you. I don’t need you. But you would make me damn happy. And that’s how I know I’ll appreciate all of you now. You are your own person, and my happiness is my responsibility. I watched you in the dimmed lights. You said to me, “It’s funny. It’s like we switched. You want happiness now. And I want love.”

“I promise to smoke less if you promise not to purge as much.”

“Let’s promise to be as happy as we can, moment by moment. Let’s choose happiness. Life’s not worth living if it’s constant misery.”

“I know what I want”

I went to get my car checked. At the dealership, I met Juan, who recently got engaged to his girlfriend of 10 years.

Congratulations, I said with all my heart, that’s awesome.

Thank you man really appreciate that, he replied, do you have a girl?

I did. I recently ended an 8 year relationship, but I realized she’s the one. I told her my feelings and I’m going to wait for her. I don’t care if she sees other people. I want her to be happy.

Oh that’s good to hear, but you shouldn’t hold onto her. You can’t pause life. You should get out there too that way you won’t bitter if it does work out between you two.

You know my best friend said that to me too. I appreciate you guys telling me this.

He’s a good friend. He’s watching out for you. Yeah what he says is true, and it comes from a good place.

Yeah, you guys are completely right. But I realize I don’t need a person to be happy. I’m finding happiness on my own, so I don’t want anyone else. I want her. That’s how I know, you know?

He smiled at me.

A Parable

IMG_3399

I have this plant in my old room, at my parent’s place. There were four stalks fitted in a glass bowl. I watered them religiously, but they couldn’t grow. One day, I overwatered the bowl and one began to die. Only from its death, did the other three continue grow. I took this as a sign that I was meant to leave home; only by leaving, can I develop into a person capable of helping them. I’m happy I did.

Our Anniversary

A lot has happened since we met. I imagine myself at 16. If I could tell him how everything would end, I think he would be sad; he might not even want to be with you anymore and those 8 years might have never been. But I’m not sad about us. I’m happy we had our time. Maybe we’ll have more one day.

I feel like I’m starting at the beginning again when I had none of you. You were a dream I never thought I’d fulfill. I laugh at how I tried to woo you. Our story was never happy, but we had our share of happiness along the way. I laugh at our awkwardness and our stumbling. There were a lot of times you and I doubted whether we were meant to be. But we made a whole lot of something out of nothing. Things are different now. I won’t pursue you to hell and back. I’ll let you be.

Take my hand and lets you and I dance on that bench
Take my hand and lets stroll in the rain to our favorite diner
I’ll watch you eat chili cheese fries with pastrami
Wait for me in the darkest night, I’m sneaking out from the second floor
I took the leap but forgot to roll. I ran over, asthmatic, wheezing, breath heavy for you
Darling, I should have called you beautiful more. Don’t you remember I tried to everyday
Stare at me, please. Stare at me like you did with all the love in the world
I’ll cook a damn good steak for you. I know how you like your peppers –mustard fried
Can we share earbuds like in the movies? I want to dance with you
Swing you close and kiss you. I miss your eyes that don’t fully close
Can we share a cigarette? I know you don’t like that I smoke now
Can we play our games again? I’ll let you win and I’ll bundle you in the cold
I’ll call you a pet name, though ‘honey’ sounds like something old people say
‘Sweetie’ I’m saving for my daughter. Can I call you lovely? Lovely Lily,
Won’t you come home one day and we can be a family

an invitation into my head

Thoughts & A Fateful Trip & Smoking Weed with A Spiritual Healer

Thoughts:

Lately, faces don’t make sense to me. It’s like my mind can’t process them. I’m looking for you daily, among the faces. And when it’s not you, I feel detached like I can rip the chord from out of the walls.

Life can be very long; I’m trying to enjoy as much of it as I can -especially the waiting. I dance in line. I admire the clouds. I sing to you in my car. And when my mind is turbulent, I write until I’m exhausted.

I consulted a magic 8 ball in a hipster vintage clothing store and it didn’t give me the answer I wanted.

IMG_3306

I am a man who cannot be swayed. I have a vision and I know it takes time and effort. I am strong enough to endure the pain. To paraphrase Nietzsche, those with strong wills risk the danger of being stupid because they close their ears to counter arguments.

A Fateful Trip:

I had a good feeling about the trip when I saw this in the first place we went into. Coffee wasn’t great but the cigarette was.

IMG_3211

It was one hell of a trip. We talked to so many strangers, and we actually hanged out with a lot of them. It never hurts to ask: ask and you shall receive. Our driver Victoria gave us a bunch of weed, so we wanted to invite her get donuts with us. “This is making my day!” She said laughing. She was kind enough to meet us three hours later after Spencer realized he lost his earphones in her car.

We were running on three hours of sleep, but we made it a goal to stay out. We walked around the city, exploring. I bought you a gift from the Saturday Market because I thought you’d like it. I know I might never get to give it you, but fuck it. The rain had cleared away the day we arrived, but it was still rather cold.  Walter and Joe invited us to their clothing shop to chill and talk. They showed us a bunch of different places. We then wandered around the largest book store in America, when Spencer realized he had lost the tin case I gave him from France that held the caramels you got me. All good though. We trek across town with this angry Russian Driver, when we pick up Scott. The fight is that night, and I’m very excited to watch so Scott, Russian Guy, and I discuss.

Turns out we were too late. Our friendly waitress had already thrown the tin away. “I’m willing to dumpster dive for that tin.” The waitress, her manager, and the group eating are impressed by my conviction to retrieve it, but rules and shit. They don’t let us. We get back to downtown where we chill at a bar. Cigarette after cigarette, we find ourselves in a haze. Shannon and Alyssa, from the bar next door, talk to us about their lives in Portland. We order some sandwiches and decide to stream the fight.

We meet Liz, our host. Turns out she’s this amazing person. She’s a doctor who helps kids correct their speech problems. But she’s also endured a great loss. She’s widowed. I didn’t think too much about it at first, but it almost seemed like we were meant to meet her. She was able to give Spencer new perspective on his loss. She also tells me about abuse, depression, and pain being a part of the human condition when I shared my story. More on this later… We smoked cigs until our lungs hurt. I rolled a shit joint so none of us got high.

Next day, it’s raining. We get a lyft out to the forest, where we zipline from trees rising 150ft tall. It wasn’t as exciting as bungee, but it was cool flying from treetop to treetop with the misty clouds and drizzle. Turns out, no cars go out there. Luckily we befriended a couple from Utah during ziplining. So we drive out to get burgers at a local tavern. “I don’t get country music.” They show me some songs, but I don’t know if I’ll ever understand country music. Thank you Jarren and Brayden for saving our asses from walking an hour in the rain. Happy to have met you guys.

IMG_3273

We meet Liz in downtown for the best pastrami sandwich I’ve eaten. At this point, I feel an inexplicable longing for you. They’re drinking and I’m happy to have their company. We end up in this strange hippie hipster part of town where we walked through a giant vintage clothing store. That’s when I found the magic 8 ball. You can imagine how distraught I was. But we consulted it about Liz’s new boyfriend and Spencer’s job prospective. Things are looking good for them! We’re at a bar now, where this dog has grown fond of me. I stood outside in the drizzle with my cigarette. Liz and Spencer seem to have picked up that I’m a little bummed. We head back where we meet Travis, a spiritual healer, who’s also staying at the home.

He teaches me to roll a joint. And we find out this guy is pretty amazing. He advocates for 23 and me, which analyzes DNA. He then makes sense of the results, and then prescribes vitamins, herbs, or food to better regulate people’s bodies and moods. The way he talked about happiness baffled me like shit is my depression really that avoidable that I could have just eaten some of this and that and I’m good? This guy fought through cancer by traveling the world, studying with shamans, healers, and all sorts of interesting people. His whole family had cancer because their town was poisoned. All four of us chill outside with blankets, high out of our minds. It was the Portland experience I needed. Strippers make me sad anyways.

The next day, we get breakfast with Liz and part ways. It almost felt like Spencer and I were meant to meet Liz and Travis. We were both in pain, and interestingly they were both healers/helpers in a way. I shared my thoughts with Spencer and he seemed intrigued by my rather romanticized perspective.

We fly to Vegas for a layover, where we ride the Roller Coaster from New York New York. That shit was horrifying. Worse, my glasses almost flew off my face during the spiral. Worst, I lost Jack’s lucky lighter -best of luck to you, Jack, wherever you are and to whatever you’re doing now. Thankfully, I still have another lighter from him… We eat shake shack, and I’m reminded of the times we came. I miss you, but I try not let the thoughts bog me down. We get home at 12 midnight, meeting a few more people along the way.  Thanks for the travels, and happy birthday, Spencer. Glad you’re my brother.

This song was in my head

 

IMG_3358

Smoking Weed with A Spiritual Healer:

“Yeah, do you know the movie Erin Brockovich. It’s basically that.”

“How are you not just this completely angry person after all that? You’re so mellow.”

“I was angry. I didn’t understand why people could be so careless, maybe even evil. But I realized my anger wasn’t getting me anywhere. I had to let it go. Anger is useless.”

“Sometimes people don’t realize we’re all reaching the same destination on the top of the mountain. One person may be walking through an area with a bunch of trees. And then another person might be standing in pouring rain on the other side. We’re all walking different paths, but we’re a lot more connected than we think.”

“The thing about karmic energy is that you don’t always see the results of it. Your good will sets off a chain of good will that you might not experience immediately, but somehow it reaches you in some way.”

“But how do you know if your actions are even good? Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing a good deed for the sake of doing a good deed or I’m just trying to convince myself I’m a good person.”

“I like that. The fact that you question if you’re doing good is good enough. Maybe in the long run, your good deed isn’t good after all. But that doesn’t take away the good it brought. Someone will still benefit from it. Someone might suffer. I think heaven and hell is right here. All we can do is try to bring more of heaven here.”

***

“I always wanted to learn some more about chakra, qigong, and energy. I learned a bit from a yogi.”

I think my face lit up. I was so excited I could offer this guy anything. “Yooooo! I learned some qigong when I learned wing chung. I don’t remember most of it, but maybe I can show you something”

“That’d be awesome.”

“Dude I just remembered this one is called Heaven and Earth.”

“Haha dude that’s awesome.”

“This one is like bow and arrow.”

“I feel something about this one.”

 

***

“I really have to ask you about something. I was abusive to my ex. I hated myself for it, I burned my hand.”

“Oh let me see.” He laughs. “That’s good. That you can see anytime.”

“Yeah that was the idea.” We laugh together. “What I’m getting from your stories is that sometimes you just have to surrender to your situation. My personality is also that I want to fight for things I believe in. But at the same time, you’re saying that feelings and emotions guide us and they should be listened to. So I’m a little confused. If I think about what’s best for her objectively I think I should stop wanting her and let her live a happy life. But at the same time, I can’t shake these really powerful feelings. So do I surrender or do I act?” I searched for the rain sounds. It felt like my ears were stung and inflamed. I was high out of my mind.

“That’s a good question. I think there’s a way you can do both.  You have to act and surrender. You can tell her your feelings. That’s acting. Tell her you still love her. That way you’re honest with your emotions. But you also have to surrender to the possibility she might not come back. But as long as you tell her you’re open to loving her and that you’re committed to change then maybe karma will reward you. I think you’ll be tested for your anger. Maybe it’ll be something completely irrelevant like some guy cuts you off in traffic. Or maybe you’ll encounter a man being abusive to his girlfriend, and you’ll have to convince him by saying ‘look i know what you’re feeling. It’s not worth it. there’s another way.’ Or maybe one day you two do get together and she hits you. And you’ll have to endure it. You’ll have to say, ‘I understand, and I’m not angry.’ I think you’ll be tested. And if you pass, and you’ve truly change, maybe the universe will reward you. Who knows it might be another relationship with someone completely different too. But maybe you two were never meant to be. Whatever happens, happens. But for now, it’s a matter of time.”

I fell into a deep, restful sleep that night.

 

 

Until next time, here’s all of me

“The problem with attachment isn’t you can’t own anything. The problem is not letting go when you’re meant to let go.” Something along that lines. Jordan Peterson said this. He’s awesome.

Breathe in the rain like I breathed you in. I hear the pitter patter, and I’m lost in thought. My insides twist when I think of you with someone else. But I will never blame you. I will never harbor hate if you never come back. I don’t know if this means anything to you, but I believe you’re the one. Not now, but one day. Sure, I’m pretty fucking sad now. But I can wait. I imagine if I had you back in my life right now, I wouldn’t even know what to do; I have forgotten what it was like when I built my life around you. It’s just this terrible longing now. I admit I’d be overjoyed if I saw you. But that’s too easy. I’m not done growing yet, and neither are you.

When I think of love, I think it can go two ways.  I can love many persons in a life time. And this is true and not incorrect in any way. This is reality as I’ve asked many of my friends, family, and people I’ve stumbled across in a sad haze.  But what if I choose you, Pikachu? What if I choose to give meaning to our past, to our many days, to all our fights, pain, laughter, to this powerful sadness I’m feeling for you that I feel I can almost reach your wavelength? This all sounds Gatsby, but hear me out: After all my misadventures, I’ve reached this epiphany of sorts; there’s no wrong or right way to live life. It’s my fucking life. I only have one life, and I’m choosing to wait.

I’ve been delving into Nietzsche and Jung. I had this fear that if I allow time to tear us apart, we will become two very different, incompatible people. This is with the idea that growth and progression is linear. But then I read Jung’s circumambulation:

“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the self. Uniform development exists, at most, at the beginning; later, everything points toward the centre. This insight gave me stability, and gradually my inner peace returned.”

I am me and you are you. Our growth will always be this radiation of our cores. And I understand you at your core. I don’t mean to frighten you when I say that. But I’ve really tried to understand you throughout our years. There’s something about you and I that I can’t articulate. I was drawn to you, as you me. There’s something powerful about that, I think. Back then, I didn’t accept your fragility, so I didn’t love you properly. But that was due to my own insecurities. That’s what I meant when I said, you were never enough because I was never enough.

I was riddled with anxiety that I would walk the same path as my father. In my self-discovery, I had to recognize that I embodied many similar traits to him. He was never satisfied with one woman either, as I’ve learned from my mom. He always looked to others to fulfill him. But it was always with “good intention”. He wanted to help the many women he met. He wanted to provide because that’s how he shows affection. And I’m sure it was ego-driven. My dad embodies many qualities of my shadow; he’s incredibly driven and hard-working. He’s independent, resourceful, and self-sufficient. But he lacks introspection. Interestingly, these are my stronger qualities. I will cultivate these qualities inherent in me, but I will learn to find fulfillment in myself so that I can become a stronger partner.

I’m also learning there’s intimacy available wherever I go. It might not be the romantic type, but I’m finding fulfillment in many other relationships. I’m sharpening my ability to make people feel at ease. I feel as if I can talk to anyone lately. I wear my scars openly and I’m not afraid to share them. When I’m with my family, I can tell I make them happy. I take my mom out to eat as I’ve always wished to. I make my co-workers and Boss laugh, and I’m putting in the work to help them succeed. I’m advising my best friend and he’s a lot more receptive. I really feel like he’s my brother now. I care less what people think of me. I’m shirtless all the time and I look damn good.  Kindness is my strength and my happiness.

Anyways, there’s this Jungian idea that at the end of development, there is the return to the child, but with all the acquired knowledge from the journey. I’m not saying I’m done growing. It’s been a hellish time, but I do feel stronger, braver, and more charismatic than ever. But you are my childhood. I grew up with you and I feel that one day I’ll return to you. At least I hope so with all my being. I feel a lot of pain because I’m not letting you go completely. I think about you every day. I had to lose you to really understand that I wanted you all along. This isn’t to pressure you. Please don’t misinterpret this as a manipulation. I don’t think I can even sway you anymore anyways, and that’s great. I just want you to be happy and safe the most. And if he makes you happy, then I’m happy.

Just know I’m always here for you. It sounds terribly corny, but you’ll always have a place in my heart. I think that’s true for anyone and their exs. That’s why it hurts so much…  And you might never reciprocate these feelings, but that’s some powerfully poetic shit right there (I have thought of becoming a monk) So in the least you’re motivating me to write –sad writer cliché, you know? Take care of yourself. I’m proud of you. I’m always rooting for you. Watch me become something amazing.

awesome still have feelings for you mix