Mornings at Lee’s

The coffee steam, the cigarette smoke
caught in the first light
through unwashed windows

The scent of croissants, Vietnamese songs
early birds’ silence–
A day’s work awaits.

A cup, an hour and half’s writing
A dollar fifty an hour to produce
To ponder, to ferment thoughts I harbor

We sit blinded, awake
at the center of the cathedral,
dome ceilinged, white walled

To the oldsters gathered in troops
huddled in cold and smoke,
may I join you one day

To talk of bygone times
of a life well lived
of places traveled and a love won

Today I write shaded in sunlight,
ritualistic, full of hope

my feelings 2

Pasadena Wandering

The slight trickle of Spanish fountain,
the silent garden of a night’s wandering.
Stillness of air, distant women laughter
and dim lights, silhouettes of diners –I am unwell.
Mosaic walls, strangeness meddled –California Pizza Grill
Surrender surreality of time; I had been here before
As another person in your hands

A sprout before Church bells –tall and casting
Ringing of a wedding, singing and toll toll toll
Reality was reality; I had been thankless
Profundity comes at a price
A smile forced, another drag of smoke –poison
To quell my head. Futility

Astral projecting –my being to you in China
Sail the Yangzi River, rice patty hats
Tourists, but the best kind. Take your spirit
As we fly to Paris,
Ghosts, we stroll through drenched streets.
A dream of a dream, you and me
Back to me. Back to you. Serenity.

 

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

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.