16 January 2017

Bracing in the Mornings

Some people wake up in the mornings and invest in themselves.  They drink a cup of coffee, take a shower, eat food.

Some roll out of bed, grab an energy drink and shoes, and run out the door.

Some laze about for a while.

It takes me about 30-45 minutes, on an easy day, to get up.

I sit up fast - I've undoubtedly slept through every alarm again.  I stare around the room I hate, blinking hard and reaching for the red bulls by the bed.  I might eat a couple bites of whatever food I had the foresight to put nearby.

I think to myself - okay, let's get up and do today.

And then I realize that I have to do today.

And my entire body tenses.  I am filled with an overwhelming, drowning feeling of terror.  I'm not ready.  I am not ready to wash tools.  I am not ready to interact with people who want to know about my life or their bodies.  I am not ready to use my words.  I am not ready.

Calm down.  Sip your drink.  Take your time.  Do your makeup.  Put on clothes.  It's okay.  You have twenty minutes to get it together and act like a normal person.


Act like a normal person.

05 January 2017

Two steps forward

I'm eighteen.  Fit.  Fucked up.  Meek.  I've never smoked, never had a drink, never had sex.  Full of energy, full of big thoughts, full of questions for the world.  Full of everything - simply full.  The most novel thing is being able to drive anywhere I want at any time, and I grow attached to my vehicle as my home on wheels.  I may leave the car to go into other residences, but they are borrowed, not mine.  This car is mine.  This bridge and the rocks and life underneath it are mine.  This town is mine.  I fall into the earth every time I need to bring myself back to baseline.

It works - I inhale the grass and dirt and twigs.  I remember that they are my source.  I follow everyone like a stray waiting for scraps.  And at night, I lay down in the elements and I humble myself intensely.

I'm twenty-two.  Not fit.  Just as fucked up.  I've found a voice in my core, and I use it to voice opinions and defenses that I will never stand behind.  I can be loud.  I can be silent.  I swing between a hard headed determination to pursue what I want and a deep loathing that prevents me from ever really wanting.  I sit on the curb and read the chronicle while the sun rises in the cool, moist air above the treeline and lights my paper.  The beginnings of the fear of going indoors has been planted inside me.  Now I take maybe ten minutes to myself before stepping over the threshold.

How many times did I tell him and my closest friends that I wanted the relationship to end?  But my voice still had more compassion in it than personal interest.  I stayed.  I sat in the grass and distracted myself with rescues and waited for time to pass.

I'm twenty-three.  Fit in the wrong way.  Fucked up more than I have ever been.  I spin through life, I breathe in water, I choke and sputter and slip beneath the surface because at least it makes sense to drown.  I run.  I take my beloved car, my home, all over the state.  I take it to Montrose, again and again.  I have lost nature and found whiskey.  Found kamel reds.  Found xanax.  Found a gun.  My will exists on an unwitnessed paper towel in sharpie in the cabinet of the armoir.  I have no home and I do not go to it - I don't go to his parent's house, and when we move back into our own filthy hoarder's storage unit of a house, I don't go in there, either.  I stop at the doorframe.  I think about the shotgun.  I think about taking it out to the yard, way in the back corner.  I think about waiting for someone else to fire one off so I can time it just right, so the vultures will carry off my pieces before 7 am, before he comes home.  So there is no clean up.  So I can sink back into the ground that I miss, so I can nourish the birds that he so loves.  So I can fly, and be dragged, and be torn up.

But instead, I wait in front of the door.  I sit down on the bucket on the porch in the pile of filth that vomits out the entryway a little more each day.  I rest on that pickle bucket and I smoke a smoke and I rage at myself for not being able to simply. Walk. Inside.

I'm twenty-eight.

Not fit.

Probably fucked up.

I have little pieces of purpose in my life that float around inside of me like puzzle pieces.  Sometimes they fall into place, and some days I pull them apart.  Some pieces are under my couch.  Some are in my ear, like a buzzing bass humming through far away ear buds.  Some touch my lips and twist up my stomach.

Some days I walk through the door.

Some days I wait for an hour or more in the car.  Mustering courage.  Trying to be ready to step into that life some stranger in my shape created, fostered, cultivated.  I don't know who she is, but here I am in her place, trying to keep things together in case she comes back.  In case someone sees through my act.  In case one day I can get back to my own dimension.  The one with the right baby.  The one where we never got married.  Where nature didn't steal my child.  Maybe there we are together.  Sometimes I think that's not it at all - I'm just dead alongside her, rotting the way it was supposed to be.  Holding my tiny ball of a future in my hands like I have any way at all to express the love I carry for her.

I cannot live separated from her.

I can't breathe.

There are good days and there are bad days, but truthfully - none of them are really mine.

Maybe this year I'll find a way to live in my own life.  Find a person who allows me to grieve, survive, love.  Maybe I can forge a new direction in this other woman's life I'm leading and do right by both her and me.

I mean, maybe, right?

02 January 2017


I smile the entire day.  The more he speaks, the more I can't help it.  He's too new for me to read - I'm watching his face, looking for his responses.  Am I oversharing?  Is he upset?  Is he interested?  I'll back off and keep to shallow topics.  It's too soon for anything more.  We have time.

I exhale.  I calm down my need to run.  Because it feels good to be with him, just the two of us, spending time like we have it all.  I've never moved so slowly, never melted like honey, relaxing into the evening hours.  Attuned and dripping off of his words with comfortable, warm ease.

I grin wryly.  In the late evening hours, someone messages me.  I come back with responses that are quick, teasing, and unfair.  I know where I'm at now, and I don't need any specific reply.  I'm prepared.  I'm confidently lacking a base, and ready to move left, right, to hold out my arm and say, bluntly, no.  I make no excuses for myself.

I shake.  I tremble like a leaf, like a cat in the cold, out of control of my own skin.  Just like I was before.  Out of control.  I watch with amusement and frustration while my legs, hands, and voice tremble and ignore my commands.  Wherever my body is, my brain clearly isn't with it.  Disobedient.

I leave.  The woman on the television cries while she recounts her forced loss.  I simply go.  Out the door, around the corner, I just keep walking.  Close to home.  Too close - so keep walking.  When I come back, I dodge eye contact and sit beneath the counter in my booth.  By some stroke of kindness, nobody engages with me.  I breathe it out.  I exhale it.  This is not the time or the place.  I will be in control, for the next forty-five minutes.

I communicate softly.  He messages me now, to make plans, to continue our pattern.  I'm finished with patterns.  I'm finished with people who want to control me or guilt trip me.  I'm finished with being asked where my bite marks came from, or told I shouldn't get more.  I am not your possession.  That you would even attempt to assume control over me infuriates me.  You will not have it, you won't, and neither will anyone else who tries.

Maybe that's why I'm so blown away by this guy and his "old fashioned" date.  He didn't try anything.  He didn't push anything.  He verbalized everything.

Slow like honey.

Sweep me off my feet.