2017-2018

This isn’t easy. It’s one of the most emotionally painful and tiring things I’ve endured; there are days I lose hope. My body feels heavy. I’m moving through fog now. This rope we had around each other had been severed, at least externally and superficially. I know there’s still a faint, almost invisible thread connecting us. If I’ve truly changed, then I need to be patient. I must follow the thread at the pace I’m allowed. Sure, I want to scream your name, but I must delay my own gratification. I must stifle emotional outbursts. This pain is the price to pay; it’s my fare back to you.

2017 and 2018 have been the most painful, incredibly formative, and the most fun years of my life.

2017, I left a dead end job for an office job, which I’ve always dreaded. I figured it was what responsible adults did. The commute was 2 hours one way, so I’d wake up at 5AM every day. Every morning, I would make an egg for Lily, until she was sick of eggs! I remember kissing her goodbye every morning. Well I couldn’t afford to be weak anymore, so I went to the gym every day as well. I became a lot stronger than I ever imagined. I was lifting almost 4 plates for squats and deadlifts, 2 for bench! Of course I still had this dream of writing a novel. Every day, after this incredibly boring data entry job, where my co-workers didn’t like me much, I went to a Portos to write my greatest novel haha. (This is the second book I wrote, and it wasn’t very good. But it was definitely a learning experience!)

The job left me horribly unbalanced. I did my best to stay positive and work hard. To make it straightforward, I was simply not a good fit for the environment and people. But my denial of this lead to months of contemplation of suicide. Many days I found my way 40 floors up, and stuck one foot over the ledge. After my Acid trip, I quit. Life was not worth living if I kept to that life.

Simultaneously, my parent’s housing situation began to fall through. My dad has never been too responsible. To his credit, he was the only parent working while my mom fought through mild schizophrenia and depression as she tried to raise my sister and me. But my dad’s greatest mistake has hurt two families. I’ll leave it as that. Anyways, he racked up an exorbitant amount of debt. My family began to fight and it was very emotional. Bankruptcy was the plan. But then it would fall upon my sister to take care of them when she finished medical school. This didn’t sit well with me.

I went to the only person I knew who could help us. I went to Lily’s mom. Through the years, she offered to pay off my student loans in one, single day. I always refused. I never wanted to ask for money despite those years struggling. But this was different. There was a way to help my family, so I begged her to help. Oh how my pride hurt… She and Steph really helped us, and together we agreed to a caveat that would give my family time and money, but ultimately protect my sister from spending the rest of her life raising my parents. Medical school is difficult enough!

Through this, I kept writing when I applied to a writing job for a nonprofit in Hollywood. It was quite the boost of confidence when the director said he was impressed with my writing! Well I had money then, and I decided to move out. In my mind, I knew I had to leave home to become a stronger person who could help them later on.

Lily and I moved in with my best friend, Spencer. It was idyllic until it wasn’t. Spencer’s girlfriend committed suicide. I remember the day Lily called me and I kept saying ‘what’ in disbelief. I told my boss and immediately left work. We were all in tears. Well from then I did my best to be even more supportive and loving for so many people, I lost myself. I became angry because I always put my needs second. I adopted a victim mindset rather than own up and become a fucking man. I had planned a concert with Lily and Spencer, during which things build up and I lost it. I broke up with Lily that day. It was ugly and everyone was staring. Some people were laughing lol. The three of us drove back, missing the act I wanted to see.

After we dropped off Lily at her parent’s, Spencer said something insensitive about how his loss was greater and I was reduced to tears. I told him he should stop discounting my problems. I told him he was a horrible, selfish friend. I told him all I ever did was try for Lily and him. And he has no idea of what it was like to try so hard, to give your complete self, and watch it fail.

I lived at the place, but we stopped talking. I had lost the two most important people of my life. I was alone. Without being redundant, my story On Being Alone is a fictionalized version of finding myself again. I am thankful for my adventures and the people I met during that time. Thank you Jack and Tara.

Well during my adventures, Spencer’s mom had a mild stroke. Her business fell through. Hearing this, I remember I had this thought I was a curse to everyone around me. I wanted to commit suicide right then too this time by hanging. But seeing the funeral of Spencer’s girlfriend gave me a lot of perspective about the important things in life. I realized I had to put aside my anger and to help them. During this, I became more honest and respected my own boundaries. I helped him through those difficult times, and we’re brothers now.

Without making this post too long, my parent’s situation has become precarious again. But my sister and I have to remain strong and not let this overwhelming pessimism reign. I have to be the light for my family –I have to bring happiness when I can and to keep everyone together. This is something I can do. I must become the person to guide them, to help them, to support them. While I may not be able to provide much financially yet, I know I can provide hope, a sense of unity, and peace. I was raised to think these things are stupid and useless, but I now know these are things people need to continue down the darkest paths. I guided my best friend from his girlfriend’s suicide. I can guide others then. I must become a warrior ready to face my depression, my anxieties, the discomforts of each day, to defeat it, and become the man I’ve always wanted to become.

How I’ll achieve my dreams:

5AM – Wake the fuck up. It’s so hard.

5:10AM – Light exercise: 50 goblet squats, 50 deadlifts, 50 pushups, 50 situps

5:30AM – Shower, no more than 10 min.

5:40AM – Meditate 10 min

5:50AM – Eat light breakfast, pack lunch if there is food.

6:00AM – Get to Lee’s and write Mo Rose story/ thoughts, read something.

7:40AM – Leave and drive to work

8:50-9AM – Arrive at work

9AM – 5PM – Do my best work, to take pride in my work – I’m helping thousands of people with my writing! Maintain an unconquerable spirit, remember to maintain my center, be nice/ empathetic to everyone

5PM – Lock up, run for an hour

6PM – Drive back home

7:10-7:30PM – Get home, chill out, don’t take driving so seriously. We’re essentially standing in line

7:30-10:30PM: relax, eat, shower, skateboard, and maybe some Pokemon lol.

Repeat!

“You never arrive until you are dead.”

I hope you have a great trip. I hope you come back with great experiences and stories to share with me. I hope you grow in the ways you need to. And if you’ll have me, I’ll see you Decemeber 24th midnight.

Lily,

You are the glimmer in your eyes
The grooves around your smile
A sweetness to my days
The last I see of my nights
I am a poet when I think of you:
You are a rosy blush after a drink
A slight tilt of the head
A huddled ball when it’s cold
You are the person I wish to hold
To love and cherish, to be better for
My media naranja; my heavy heart
I’ll write my way back to you
From the doubts and fears, find faith
Grasp from the good of my soul
And display it for you to see
My loveliest,
You are the best I’ll ever know.

 

Poems and whatever

Dispel

I had an affair with dying
that I had almost forgotten I committed to living.
While dying made me feel alive,
By some luck, I saw the end;
Death offered me everything life did not
–death offered me nothing.
Untangle my flesh from your skeletal hold
How cold your bones felt, I kissed you goodbye
and left our dark bedroom
Yes, I had almost forgotten
I committed to living.

 

Only Way

Be my own person I wrote on my mirror
When I only want to be yours
I’m budgeting my checks for you and me
When I know you wouldn’t want that
When I reach for my phone
Can you feel my sadness
Can you feel my happiness
When I read your letters
I’m hurting for you when I know I shouldn’t
I didn’t make you happy anymore
So I had to sever our cord
Can’t you see it wasn’t easy
It was the most difficult thing
I loved you with everything I knew
But it was the only way
It was the only way you could be your own person;
It was the only way I could become good for you.

 

Balance

I am of two worlds, two disparate gravities
Stand at the border, and feel the two callings
One part universal Lizard, the other cosmic Monkey
It’s a tight-rope walk between the two
‘Walk the line!’ A voice jabs at me, ‘Move!’
To the right, boredom and death
To the left, a pit of madness
Pick a side, sometimes you just fall
Look to those in galaxias, they’re not so different
They’re trying to balance.

Death & Cookies

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… There’s no going back.”

I wish to be free of my desires, but my desires put me on a path to something more than myself…

Death shrugged. “The choice is always yours.”

It varies day by day. Today I do not feel as strong. I will rest. I will eat. Take a good shit. See people I love. I will bring happiness to those around you. Keep writing. And when I return, I plan to stand here knowing I lived a life worth living.

 

Me in Time, Me and My Dreams, You

My best friend asked me how I would define myself, and right then I had a really honest answer: I am an ordinary person trying to be extraordinary. I put myself on an 18 hour day schedule. I run, hating myself for smoking the night before. I write at Lee’s in the early morning. I read after work. It’s strange –all this extra time is just more time missing you.

The last of my two dreams, I dreamed about my dad.  One dream he told me to let you go because he says that’s apart of life. he tried to give me a shot that would cure me. I refused it. I fought him. I was obstinate I didn’t want to be like him. My dad also had a 10 year relationship before my mom. I don’t think they really loved each other, and I recognize that as my father’s mistake. He embodies strong qualities in myself, but maybe I don’t have to accept his reality.

Another, my family and I were looking for my dad, even though he was literally right with us. Stranger yet, Tara was with us and she was most enthusiastic about helping me find him. My family kept telling me how beautiful she is. We found Sifu Ben working in a fast food chain. He left work happy with his wife after. I’m not sure what to make of this one. I did recognize Sifu Ben as a father figure for those few years. There’s some Jung stuff about father archetypes. I will look into this later.

I dream a lot about being with you again, and I find myself really happy. It always sucks waking up, cold and dreary mornings and I’m fully conscious. I need to not lose myself in my dreams for you.

 

 

Save a time and place for me

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 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. 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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

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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.