I wish I were forever grateful. If hardships were prescribed for my growth, then I should be grateful. Thanks for the parking ticket. I wish I could do more with this knowledge that I can’t park on this fucking street. Let me try that again. I’m grateful I have the money to pay this ticket off.
I wish I never took things for granted, and that I were mindful all the time. Count my blessings, and truly know the value of what I have. I wish it wasn’t in my nature to keep reaching for something better. There’s a silver lining somewhere in there. I wish I didn’t care, but I do care a lot.
So something’s wrong with me mentally… I see the world differently, incorrectly. I experience emotions too deeply. I’m volatile, sorry. I wish I could spin this positively. But I don’t think I can fix this. Please don’t mind me. I’m just brain vomiting.
An electric rose blooms yellow, and I’m dreaming. I wanna unplug. Let the emotions leave me because I’m heavy. I’m tired of being alive. I’m tired of waiting. I wish I were more graceful. This is the time to be grateful.
Ink blooms on paper
Flowers of my fingertips
My thoughts are empty
My head isn’t screwed on right today. I’m whirly. I’m flying a plane around this room, and these birds are circling me. I want to twist my head off and throw a blanket over it, hide it in the corner, while little Alans go on an expedition into my decapitated body. They’ll wear little head lights, and when they explore enough, they’ll say, “It’s so simple. The fucking red wire is connected to the blue wire.” Their leader, an Alan with a thick mustache, will phone to headquarters, to Boss Alan. “Boss, let’s just connect the red to the red!” But that Alan is bureaucratic. You can tell because he wears a tie. He’ll say something like, “NO. We have to tear it all down. Tear it all down and rebuild! For taxes purposes.”
You ever put yourself together? I feel like that’s living. I’m the pinnacle of me. I’m the epitome. Nah, your head’s screwed on weird. Break it all down. Build it back up like the pyramids. There’s a slave in me to the process. The dreamer says, “Build it better! Build it with a little less depression.” “NO! We need that! That’s fucking what it means to be Alan,” said the Depression Lobbyist. “What?! Who let this guy in? How did you get in here? Security!”
“Ha ha! It’s too late. I’ve already added it to the blueprints. And you know what? I mixed up all the papers so you can’t find it.”
My head is in the clouds. I feel light like vapors. I don’t need drugs to be this high. Not when you got crazy in your jeans. Here I am in my corner, raving mad. I’ll throw my voice into this endless stream of lunatics. BAB BAB BABBLE.
The room is spinning. My head is spinning. I am excellent. Today was excellent.
Mom kneaded the dough as dusk fell through the panes. In another time, my sister and I would take chunks of the dough and shape little figurines. Mom would get angry and shoo us away. When I was older, I told her I wanted to help make dumplings with her. It was a lie. I just wanted to play with the dough. She’d look over to my shoddy work, unsatisfied, and then she shooed me away. I never learned to make those dumplings.
I can still hear the sounds of my home from another time. My father snored besides the piano, which my sister used to spend hours practicing. I’d go out to the garden with a stick and whack my mom’s flowers until she screamed at me to do something else. My little black dog would dart around the yard, slobbering. Back then, my mom would tell me how we didn’t have grass. It was just rows of spinach, squash, and cucumbers.
I sat in my backyard. Chili and Roscoe roam about the overgrown weeds. To think we’d say goodbye to this place after so many years. I’d like to invite the sunlight into our home before we go. Though I’m more of a visitor now, I can get stuck reliving those afternoons. When I really try to remember, it’s like watching a reel flash by and then somehow I’m no longer that person. None of us are the same anymore. I’d like to believe better times are coming.
We flew off that ramp the neighbors made. We’d bike down the hill as fast as we could and then we’d shoot off into the air. I really thought I could fly. Then I crashed onto the asphalt. The smell of gravel stayed in my nose for hours.
I wonder about my own perspective a lot. I can’t tell whether the things I experience and see are true. And I know if I can change my perspective on a lot of things, I wouldn’t be such a miserable person. But then it gets more complicated if you consider others’ perspectives. Is living just a series of exchanges between people’s perspectives –this attempt to make sense of each other’s understanding and trying to fill in the blank? It’s overwhelming thinking that every one of your actions can elicit multiple interpretations from different people. The only sane thing to do is not consider anyone but yourself because you’ll never really know what another person is truly thinking. And maybe that’s why life’s better for selfish people…
The weird thing is I can’t turn my brain off to others. And I can’t tell if I’m overthinking or there’s actually something there. But even then, does it matter if I notice how a person feels or reacts to things? I try to tailor my actions and words to them. Somebody told me you’re not meant for everyone. Somebody also told me that if everyone likes you, then you’re doing something wrong in life. This is good for me. Self-advocacy; if you can’t advocate for yourself then no one else will. I’m sure you can’t be extreme about any of these things either. Otherwise, you’re an asshole. So again, it’s about balance?
And then there’s projection. It’s also a matter of perspective. How can people not project when they only have their perspectives? Isn’t that just functioning as a person –to take in whatever’s happening around you, try to process that, and then react to it? But I think projection is when you fucked up and didn’t consider that your interpretation could be wrong. So you’re an accidental asshole. God, I sound like a robot trying to be a person. But this is stemming my fear of overreacting.
This is why I get tongue-tied. So much is lost in translation between my brain to my mouth. I wish my words could truly capture what I’m feeling and thinking. But it often comes out in an anti-climactic slurry: ‘duh, nice weather heh’. Very rarely do I string together a coherent, meaningful thought in conversations. It’s like playing guitar hero, and you have to hit all the right buttons. Subject. Verb. Object. Oh no you messed up! I steam potatoes? Words are hard.
I made it through. I made it through. When I heard this, I thought I could cry. I sat there in the sunlight. My life had flipped 180. I crossed these things off my list. These things have been on my list for years. I promised myself I’d never go back.
But shit has a way of piling on, and this is probably what it means to be an adult. I’m caught between restless and tired. It’s sleep and go, and it doesn’t stop until I’m dead. At least, that’s what I figured.
Strange ideas keep popping up in my head. I think something’s wrong with me. I think it’s in my head, in my blood. I think something’s wrong with me but somethings wrong with everyone. Every night I feel that I’m being watched. I check the rooms to see if I’d find a stranger there. I know I’m delusional, but I know if things weren’t good, I’d believe them.
My car got smashed in. I called it hit and run but it’s probably Karma. That’s a strange faith I’ve found this year: fate and Karma, but no God. So I smile more and sigh a little less. That’s how I’m making sense of all this.
We drive through rain and desert. We’re listening to Frank Ocean. I think whenever I hear this song, I’ll think of this moment. I smell of cigarettes, but I tell myself I like this smell. We stink of sadness, and I’d like to imagine there’s people our age who never smelled this scent. But what do I know?
The woods ring with running water and birds chirping. A layer of fog sleeps on the woodchips. Dew drops cling to the blades of grass. I’ve visited this place many times in my head, and each time I know I’m an intruder to its tranquility. The earth crunches beneath my feet, and I feel clumsier with each step. I fumble around these spirals. My eyes twist with them into obscurity. It is here I wait for meditation. It’s not easy for me to acclimate to the natural silence. I bring so much noise with me. My breathing is loud. My bones creak even when I sit because I won the genetic lottery. And there’s nothing to do, but to die in silence. The roots entangle my limbs. The soil eats my flesh, and I am my bones. Have you ever touched your cheek bone, and imagined the flesh stripped clean off them?
I remember sinking my teeth into ribs. I yank away, and the meat rips clean off the bone.