Take Another Look











{September 20, 2009}   Rebellious Boy ends up with AIDS

“I have so much to tell you, the problem isn’t that I’m running out of time, I’m running out of room, this book is filling up, there couldn’t be enough pages, I looked around the apartment this morning for one last time and there was writing everywhere, filling the walls and mirrors, I’d rolled up the rugs so I could write on the floors, I’d written on the windows and around the bottles of wine we were given but never drank, I wear only short sleeves, even when it is cold, because my arms are books too. But there’s too much to express. I’m sorry.”

-Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

It’s kinda creepy waking up somewhere other than where you went to sleep. When I am out looking for a place to stay, I think about how far I’ve come, but the need to keep going never leaves, so when I get stuck staying someplace, the first thing I want to do in the morning is bolt. My hostesses tend to be busy sleeping in until the sun has indented their face with crisscrossing burns done by people passing the window, creating alternate shadows. The methheads that stay up all night create some trouble for me when they forget who I am or why I stay. They like to interrogate me in the mornings, which is when I am most ready to do anything to get out of there for no matter where I am I have to fight the urge to cut and run. It’s been ingrained in me. I’ve forgotten how to look back and I no longer know how to remember what my past was, except that it is a whiz of impressive images and people. Sometimes I stay awake wondering if the number of people who were cruel match the number of people I’ve met who meant well, but the worst thing about it is that the people who meant well really didn’t know the least bit about help. They take my departures personally, too, and I can’t have that. So if I have to pick, I’ll go with the cruel person just so that somebody else can get the good-intentioned one. I can handle it, and I might as well handle it, maybe I deserve it, because I have locks all over my body especially where my eyes are, they might as well just be slits that taunt those who try to steal my belongings in the night. So many different kinds of belongings just as there are so many shades to betrayal, and so many shades of betrayal, and so many kinds of gray I stopped counting, which is why I can barely function, why I have to keep running. But I promised my father I would never stop counting. He’s probably still standing at the loading dock, waving and waving since he doesn’t know I actually left. I don’t know what my dad looks like crying, I bet if I tried hard enough I’d remember. I bet I don’t want to remember. I was so confused I didn’t understand that leaving a place had to do with leaving people, too. Found my home life confusing so I may have villianised both parents just as a safeguard to prevent me from staying. But I think that explanation is cockney. While I can believe my subconscious was that smart when I was that young, I can’t believe my subconscious survived. Right when I left my dreams were about the young man i couldn’t get out of my head, and in one dream I was standing there with a gun in a tree, tears falling off my face, about to pull the trigger as the man’s mother spoke to me. Back in real life, not my night life, after the guy used and discarded me like a piece of meat (virginity is clinical, he told me later, I was doing you a favor, he told me later) I had dreams I was walking up a hill, leaves were falling, everybody was infected with AIDS, I shivered. I woke up, was the dream an attestation to what I’d been through, a prophecy, a warning, or just my mind working through the trauma of being used because I thought that it couldn’t happen to me because I’d thought I was invincible? Now I move around so recklessly or probably just so hampered that I can’t remember the gist of my dreams when I wake up. Maybe if I tried to remember, but that seems like effort, the one thing I find myself not exerting anymore. I can remember having those dreams, which is key, but that part of my mind that used to fight so hard to recall and restore is out of luck and needs repairs, just like machines we too need to be fixed sometimes, it could be something really simple like needing an upgrade, or it could be a problem nobody knows how to fix. The worst is feeling like a machine that just whips uselessly in the wind. It’s atrocious to talk about ones own mind that way but why not, we talk about everything else without regard for what we are talking about. We talk about computers and we sometimes attribute them with qualities they don’t have, just as we sometimes take perfectly complex people and reduce them to cogs in a machine that may or may not be fixed. We may become attached to a soda machine and think that it is gentle. I once knew a guy who became obsessed about a jukebox. It was his muse and he wrote amazing poetry until they took the jukebox away, and it was horrible to watch him losing the one thing that had inspired him. It drained him of all life, and now he is like a guitar that can only strum the same few notes. His communication mostly stays in the same place as he jumbles when he talks, because I imagine the words getting gummy in his mouth and not coming out right, since when he talks about what he believes, the conspiracies about the bugs planted by the CIA and how the water in the city is poisoned to make us stupid so we vote for the president, I nod solemnly, for anything is possible, and nobody should ever forget that, and yet we do, over and over again I have to remind people.

“During the day I can’t start anywhere, and I don’t know where to begin,” November says to me. I stare at her for signs but I can’t find any that match what I understand about her. She is so much a mystery to me, and yet I should understand. In a way I am intimidated by her. But she is my past. I always feel like my past is better than me. That’s something November probably knows but wouldn’t admit to knowing right now.

She talks as if she is unaware that she is talking. The likelihood that she will remember me is very low. But if I could make an impression onto her, I sense that it would be forever burned into her irises.

“I have a story to find, but within the story, there are so many other stories that the mere magnitude encompasses me. Forget words. Forget grammar. Forget every great line ever heard. It’s a matter of stripping down to the bone. No, I can’t do that. I can’t do that because every time I do, I am never good enough. The person writing the story can’t figure out what time to write in, because there is too much going on. Sometimes a world just needs to slow down, but the people in it can’t tell if it’s the world or them that is moving so fast. Finally, the society forgets itself by collapsing. Someone, somewhere, is trying to find the words to explain. But these words have to be sufficient for everyone. They cannot just be words that make sense to one or two people. The whole world has to understand. And every once and a while you meet a person, for whom, no explanation will make sense. And that person can be a very dangerous person. Goodnight,” November says, and speedily blurs into the crowd as if the conversation between us had never happened.

I sign onto my yahoo account. Reality is stripping down. I don’t understand. I find an email from the past. At least, what I think is the past. I insisted on such high voltages of stimulation. Maybe it was like somebody attaching electrodes to my head. Didn’t I ever stop to wonder if too much stimulation could be a bad thing? That sometimes I needed to sit down and absorb the same piece of information ten times? I used to do that. All the time. Now it’s just facility and speed.

I see the AOL account I had when I was 14, but that lasted until I was 19, and still exists excepts remains unchecked. It’s an IM between me and my friend Brendon, who is still on my best friend list now.

moondancey: maybe im just a no sense person never going to be understood maybe i’ll amount to nothing which is fine i dont know who i am im lost to the vacant sky of today which is consuming me like a dark butterfly chasing me why today me?

Annoyme: it’s a good question

moondancey: instead i long to be captive to some other world where people dont hurt each other and i hear about it and cant react because what reaction is necessary when they are ready to do what they can to manipulate me but i dont know about it it’s all behind my back because i am already gone i can feel that how it must feel when im gone why cant they then they must feel nothing is all i can think about when the words amount to nothing anymore the way i wasnt before different now no more.

I find casual fragments that surprise me. Nonchalant but decisive fragments, like I am making a decision that I will stick to for the rest of my life. At some point in my life, I wasn’t as changeable as I am now.

i decided i cant ever kill myself too many people have done it

is wanting to live a shallow or deep desire? maybe all i feel is desire all i want people to feel in my playing is desire or something maybe i should give up music maybe i should work harder to be perfect a fucking machine or something maybe nothing is right maybe i should stop talking one might think i was drunk at this point to be writing this

i don’t know if i like this century, but what choice is there?

silly thought- i am silly

I remember when I didn’t question how much people loved me. I believed in my friends love like it was gravity. Except my parents. I only questioned my parents love.

I used to remember all the good things, and remembering the good things kept me safe, but now I don’t feel so secure, going from house to house to apartment to apartment, and when I can’t get a hold of him, I feel like I am losing myself, and I count how may ways life is keeping us apart, and I think it doesn’t matter, but it does, because I think I act out in strange ways that don’t help at all. But how do I know how to help, my whole life has just been to Go, Go, and Go, and I never learned how to pack or how to prepare myself for leaving. They taught me to fight, or to scamper away like a mouse. Forsaken, I feel useless not knowing anything but what I was programmed to do, which is get away from what is chasing me, which may be my attempt to rise above this and make something of my situation. But then I am misfiring any time I stumble around not making the best of my day, of my time, which is easy to do.

I feel so ashamed because he works all night at factory where they build airplanes. And he stopped going to work, and began to follow me at night, when I began to prowl. When I woke up in the mornings, I would find him peering over me. I would scream, and kick, and tell him to leave me alone, that I would call the police. Each time, he took the time to pick me up, even as methdealers surrounded him. I buried my face in his clothing, and I heard him tell me he would leave me behind if I kept kicking and screaming him, but he didn’t leave me behind, and I didn’t stop kicking or screaming him. He was saying “shhh.” He clasped me as if I was a dead bird that needed to be resurrected, and he kept whispering the same thing over and over again, which became comforting, even if I kept trying to bite him all the same.

He accompanied me from place to place, until I felt like each place was like every other.
Then he had to go back to his factory, or he would lose his home. So run, I asked of him. I didn’t understand, because to me a place is any other place. I think he expects more of me, which confuses me. There was a period where I spent every waking moment being as efficient as possible. I worked and I worked at the same place in the same mind frame. Now my mind is always someplace else, and to get it back, I might have to go back to all the places I left parts of myself at, like the meth dealers house, and I don’t know how to do that. Pieces of me are littered all over this city, and how will I know what is me and what is junk? All I know is that love was supposed to save me but I counted on it too much and now I must be betraying them by not being my best every day, by not trying harder, by not making more money, by not doing what I was ready to do when I was done with school. I had all this inertia from leaving work because they put all this pressure on you, and you think that the moment you have any time to yourself, you will become your own slave master, and work at what you want to work at, but weeks passed and the pressure became less and less until I uncovered the horrible allure of hanging in limbo, not going anywhere but not leaving. There isn’t really any allure to it, but I use that word because I see others drawn to it, too, and I feel like we are all disappointed in each other, but at least here we can look one another in the eyes and say, I am not doing my best, in fact, I am so far I have forgotten what my best could be. I’ve wondered for years now if my best left me behind a long time ago.

I’d like to say that knowing he is there keeps me sane. Maybe it does. But because I’ve never known this feeling before, and because I don’t know if he has or hasn’t experienced this before, it makes a difference to me. It’s as if he could have betrayed me before he met me, and how is that possible? You can’t even hold the present against somebody you care about much less the past. Instead of it keeping me sane, my need for him makes me feel like I am out of control, like I am the only one out of control, because he appears in control, doesn’t he, he does. Knowing he could stop feeling what he feels for me, which I don’t know, those things cannot be calibrated or counted or seen or understood, drives me to blame emotion itself, for it can change on a dime. Maybe there is a way to turn my emotions off and on. All I know is that it is overwhelming, what happens, because he makes me feel and think at the same time, and nobody else is allowed to do this.

I don’t know what affect I have on him, because I don’t know how to ask in the right way. And sometimes in my insecurity I mistake not knowing for being alone. Because if I care for him I have to learn to give things space, things I don’t want to give space to, because I need to run, and run, and run, whether it is towards something or away from something, but instead he tries to get me to sit on a boat, and paddle slowly, and in it’s moderation, I can’t help but ask him all these questions, like what if we drown, or what if there is a storm, or are we really going somewhere or are you just pretending we are going somewhere? Do you want to go somewhere? Maybe there are sharks in the water. I have so many questions I want to ask him that never get asked when I want to ask them. I store them away for a later date but then that freaks me out, because the future is near but not certain. I have so many conversations I want to have but there is no time, because I wasted it running. There is no right time now for the conversations. Moreover, there is not enough space for the type of conversations, and so I feel a sense of loss where I should be feeling a sense of excitement, because I need to have faith that in the future there will be time, but maybe not space, that these things are always shifting, that nothing about this will feel concrete, at least not all at once. But what if not everything is the way I want. Since I used to run, I used to be uncompromising, and I don’t know how to be here, except what I am, which I don’t really know about. Sometimes I feel like I am standing over a cliff yelling and I don’t hear my own echo, and that is what scares me, is that I feel like he didn’t answer me back. But I don’t give it much time before walking away from the cliff because I think everything is as immediate as echoes, so because I feel like I have no time, that time is nonessential anyway, I throw my words away. I wish we had a chance to talk about it, I wish we did, but we have said so many things without words, and sometimes it’s so funny, I actually want to take back certain words and put other ones in their place. Or maybe I would say less.

Do away with the words, and bring on the cure, but in this case it is worth caring but the reality is not easy because I find myself experiencing slight tremors as in an earthquake, and I wonder if what I saw, which was so incredible it was blinding, is still there. Since time takes away the chance to know, I have to rely largely on hope, which has let me down in the past, but I cannot put too much stock in that, for surely it will let me down again, but that is okay. I need to make it okay.

I need to make it okay this is the most important thing there is. But I want and I want and I wish they’d see what I want because it is so beautiful in there if they saw but they turn away at the last minute or maybe it was before the last minute so maybe the want is not what they want, maybe too much want is too much but it wasn’t before so maybe it won’t be later even if it was for while, I need to know what they want too, but I don’t know if they want this, what do they want, do we want the same thing, shouldn’t I know this. Maybe it is not so important, as long as I know they care and I care. If only I could know we care the same amount, but that is like saying people should care about each other in the same way, in the same method, and that is not possible. For example people have so many different ways of showing they care, how can I expect anything to be similar at all. What word I am looking for is reciprocation, which is a huge thing, which is what I keep mouthing silently, looking for clues that it is okay. It is okay. I think it is okay. It’s okay if I can never know how he knew how to do what he did because I thought nobody could know what I wanted except he somehow found it until I finally knew what real tranquility felt like, even if it was only for one moment, one moment is like a lifetime, and in that moment I did not feel tied to desire, or need, or hunger.

This time finding my sensibilities isn’t through chemicals but through work. If I concentrate for long enough than I will have made myself a better person and I will have lost myself in my work and then I will have something to show for myself. But I don’t always like it because sometimes I want it all to go away for a second, because sometimes two people can be in such different places in their life that the places can’t touch, but maybe if they stretch they can still have encrypted conversations with each other. I know that there have been ways that a simple squeeze on my arm said more than a month of all my words said, and before he did that I would have said it was impossible, so maybe I am learning no matter how much dust I kick up in the process, time is driving me forward no matter how much I try to hold myself back. Is it fear? I don’t think it is fear so much as a “I made so many mistakes that I must erase everything I’ve ever done in order to do this right” which doesn’t really sound right. I am probably destroying too much, and while I firmly believe destruction and creation go hand in hand, you can forget how to create if you keep researching your subject until you’ve forgotten what drew you away from your sick life, what made you want to capture it in a book or in a photograph.

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mtecd says:

Wow – that was quite the read.

I enjoyed it though – you’ve a decent style.



Daved says:

Sounds like a lot of whining…



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