Thursday, September 7, 2017

One Week

Sunday, August 6th, we closed our fringe show.  That night has some bittersweet memories that are mine, and I won't go into, but there was a beauty in it.  And a sadness.  We'd put on our show, and had some small amount of success with it, and now it was over.

I found myself alone.  Members of the cast and production team, each gone their separate ways, and there I was.  By myself, as I so very often am.  I couldn't bring myself to leave the place yet.  I sat in the empty parking lot of the Fringe Factory, staring into the night sky, and smoking my cigarette.  It was calming.  As smoking so often had been over the past decade.  It soothed my troubled soul, and allowed me to melt into something else.  And so I melted.  Lost in though, and the tragic romance of the whole thing.  (There is always tragic romance, if you don't bother looking for it.)

In that moment, something strange happened.  I...I dunno.  I can't explain it.  I was exactly the same, and forever changed.  I didn't want to be a smoker anymore.  I didn't have a reason.  There was no compelling argument.  There was no motivation behind it.  There was no stimulus, or promise of reward.  I just...

I didn't want to be a smoker anymore.  So I quit.  Right then and there.  I quit smoking.

And then I immediately felt the panic that happens when you quit smoking.  Even though the nicotine was still fresh in my blood, and the smell of cigarettes not yet gone from the air...I felt that thing, that you can only know if you are an addict.  If you have been there.  If you don't know the feeling, I can't tell you what it is.  I can only say it's one of the most horrifying feelings outside of imminent threat.

So I started smoking again.  Not ten seconds had passed between quitting smoking, and starting again.  And I felt better.

And I felt worse.

I still wanted to quit. I was ready to quit. I didn't quit. Instead, I did something else.  Something I decided would be just for me.  Something that went unannounced, and without fanfare.  Instead of quitting, I gave myself a quit date.  This helped appease both the part of me that wanted to be done, and the part that was nowhere near ready to be done.  I sat there in the night, overwhelmed with a variety of emotions that I won't ever discuss, and told myself that August 31st, would be my last day as a smoker.

This was all just me.  I never...not once...discussed this decision with another person.  I didn't talk about it.  I didn't let anyone know.  I left myself room to fail, knowing that since I was accountable only to myself...I was most accountable of all.  I didn't want anyone else to know, because this was something that could be mine alone.  And I carried it with me every single day, in my back brain pocket.

Once that decision was made, it was really very easy.  I never felt anxiety leading up to my quit day.  I didn't ever feel like I had to extend it, or change it, or change my mind entirely.  I was still ready to not be a smoker anymore, and soon after, I actually began to look forward to it.  The internal fear that comes with letting go, never came.  I was going to quit smoking on August 31st.

The day arrived, and I had a not quite full pack.  I smoked at my normal rate.  I didn't change or adjust anyhing.  The only thing I didn't do, was purchase the next pack on my lunch break, as I normally would.  I still went ito 7-11. I bought a soda.  Probably chocolate...because there should always be chocolate.  The lady behind the counter knows me, and my habits, and when I didn't ask for a pack of my normal brand, she offered.  I simply said no thank you.

That evening I went with a friend to another friend's house.  Just to hang out and visit.  I only had one cigarette left.  Just one.  One lone nail, sitting in its near empty box...and I was never not aware of it.  I knew that it would be my last.  It was a wonderful evening with friends.  Finally the time came to go home.  Upon arrival, I went to the back patio, as was my daily routine, to smoke.  I didn't make a ceremony of it.  I didn't try to draw it out, or take it slow.  I didn't romanticize it, as I am prone to do with just about every goddamn thing I ever do.  In fact, I was largely distracted with a home project, and worked on that while smoking...hardly paying attention to the cigarette at all.  When it was done, I put it out, and emptied the little bowl I'd been using as an ashtray.  I finished the project for the night, and went inside.  And that was that. 10:30 p.m., Thursday, August 31st, I smoked my last cigarette.

My first true make or break moment came the following morning.  The entire drive in to work, I fixated on just stopping at 7-11, getting a pack, and saying fuck it.  It'd only been about 9 hours since the final smoke on the back patio.  At this point, it wouldn't even be as though I'd quit.  it was just a night of sleep without, and nothing would have changed.  I wanted it.  I wanted to make that stop so bad.  It's been a VERY long time since I've exercised that kind of self discipline, but...

I didn't want to be a smoker anymore.  I watched the 7-11 pass by through the window.  I went to work.

That first day was awful.  I knew it would be.  All I could do, was look forward to 10:30 p.m., just so I could say that I'd made it a full 24 hours.

I made it.

I am still getting nicotine.  Some people quit with the help of gum.  Others the help of the patch.  I have a vape pen, and it's working.  Some may call it a cheat.  I don't fucking's working.  I am grading my nicotine levels down...and will eventually put that away as well, but until I'm fully off the's what I have.  I am not a smoker anymore.

The second day was rough.  Not as bad as the first, but...pretty rough.  The third was actually...well...I could feel it getting easier.  The fourth day was okay.  The fifth was amazing.  Almost easy.  Habits were starting to die.  Times that I would typically light up, were passing by unnoticed...until I noticed that I hadn't noticed.  There was a certain thrill that I just may be able to get through this.  Day six was hard again...frustrating after the ease of five, and today...

Day seven...

One week exactly...

Has been the worst day yet.  I don't know why.  I don't know the psychology, or biology, or anyology behind it..but...

Today was actually worse than the first day.  Most likely because I expected it the first day, but thought that after a week, maybe it'd ease up a bit.  Especially since day five was such a cake walk.

There are very real, very physical reactions.  I am experienceing those things.  Headaches.  Shakes.  Anxiety.  Tight chest.  Stomach tightening anytime I even think of eating.  On edge.  Oh my fucking christ am I on edge.  Little things driving me crazy.  I'm forgetful.  Not because I'm forgetful, but becuase my mind is so goddamn focused on one thing, that nothing else is getting any mental attention. I need distraction, from the distraction of severe drug deprivation.  It is literally the ONLY thing on my mind...and I can't fucking stop thinking about it.

I've been sucking the ecig, like a goddamn newborn on mama's tit, and I can't get enough.  I can't stop the pain...both physical and mental.  I wan a cigarette.  I don't know that I've ever wanted anything so badly in my life. I my stupid stupid brain, I KNOW, that with just one puff....all of those things will go away.  I will no longer be on that edge.  I will be calm.  I will be relaxed.  I will be able to think again.  I will stop thinking about how much I want one, because I will have had one.



As badly as I want one...

(and sweet mother of god, I do)

I don't want to be a smoker anymore.

It's a funny thing.  I've been asked many times, since I went public with quitting...why?  Why am I quitting?  Why now?  What made me want to do  And the answer is...

I have no fucking clue.

It isn't a health thing.

It isn't a money thing.

It isn't a self improvement thing.

There is no girl I'm gonna get...or reward I'm gonna achieve.

It isn't an anything.

I've never been able to give satisfactory answer to those questions...because I don't have one.  Under that August moon, I told myself that I don't want to be a smoker anymore.

And so I'm not.

It sucks.

It sucks real bad.

I very literally had to lock myself away from humanity tonight, and that was very much the right decision.

I don't know what tomorrow will be like.

I don't know for how long I can keep not buying a pack...except...

I think maybe forever.

This is the worst thing I have ever done to myself, and I do fully aknowlege that I did this to's just what I have to do now, because...

I can't really tell you why.

I don't know why.

But I don't want to be a smoker anymore.

So I won't be.


Fuck you.  Because I hate everything and eveybody forever.

Or at lieast until...

You know...

This also passes.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ready to roll for initiative.

If I have ever hurt you, I am sorry, and please know it was not with intent. I have been hurt, and I know that hurt was not the intent.

I will hurt again. I will be hurt again. I will once again set myself up for the pain that is inevitable with breathing... and not talking. I'm very good at that.

What is, is.

The foundation of reason.

I have been very involved lately with the thoughts in my head. Some I will share. Most I will not.  I am not intentionally enigmatic, if you find me so. I just... prefer to not share the more significant parts of me,  and so I therefore elaborate and exaggerate the insignificant.  That IS intentional.

It has been a very very long time since I've wanted to let someone else have that.  There were a couple times over the past while I thought I may want to let that out again.  I was wrong.  So back in to me I go.

I've been thinking lately. (A terrible pastime, I know.) Most is for my brain stuff,  but some I'll share.

I've been thinking about the merry-go-round... but that...

That's going in to the play I'm writing,  unless it gets cut in final edit.  So you'll just have to come to the fringe fest this year for more on that.

I've been thinking about lies.  The lies we tell other people,  because they are the lies we have told ourselves, and believed. I've been telling a whopper for about a decade now.  Until I found my truth.  This one's gonna  sting for a while,  and the end result will be invisible.  Tarnished thread in my own little tapestry.

I've been thinking about decades.  How each for me is like some strange chrysalis, and I'm now very near my ten year mark in SLC.  I feel transformation  coming. I'm not yet sure I'm comfortable in this new skin.  It's different.  It's neither pretty, nor shiny, but it's mine, and I must wear it.

New realities I must adjust to, and as I've always done,  I set the emotion aside, and go in to my head.  My head.  My stupid lying to myself brain, that thirsts for epiphany,  yet closes its own throat when epiphany arrives.  That's a neat trick.

And there's more... So much more... and I know the tone of all this is maudlin, but the tone is perhaps as misleading as everything else.  There is no pity in this self.  Only discovery,  and a charmed, if not overly romanticized sense of selves colliding.

I've been thinking about all the times I've died.  Killed myself, or by myself been killed. Been reborn, once more with new illusion. Do I rise each time stronger? Wiser? Or just with a new map of lies with which to navigate this altered reality. 

Is my frustration born of new doubt, or lessons not yet learned.  Or once learned now forgotten to be learned again... and is there a difference.

Is this heartache new? Or a newly opened old wound? Is this longing mine? Or does it belong more to the fantasy of who I wish I was? Or used to be?

Can necromancy be used on only the best things we've left behind, leaving still to rest those parts we intentionally murdered?

Aren't I too old for identity crisis? Or is this the crisis that comes at mid life? Is it really a crisis if it's all in my head, and my outward appearance remains the same? Is it crisis if I can still sleep at night,  or is it the same crisis that has plagued my entire life with lack of sleep?

And most importantly, how can I justify the new discoveries, with the existing desires?  It is said that a true contradiction can't exist in nature.  There is ample philosophical diatribe to support the thesis,  but on the other hand Freud said everything is dicks, except cigars, and I'm pretty sure Freud was full of dick shaped shit, and maybe everything that is said is contrary to everything else that's said and there is no such thing as objective truth, but if that's true, then one could argue there's no such thing as objective lies, but that can't be true so a goddamned rhetorical contradiction, which if nowhere else exists in my brain, which to my knowledge is natural, and ergo a contradiction does exist in nature so fuck you hypothetical semantician. I think two things, therefore I am two things.  Very very contrary things.

I am my own best hypocrite. A veritable Janus on the rock, and both faces are true. And both faces lie.  And so...

I will hurt.
And I will be hurt.

And I am I am I am

True to all of my selves.

Without apology, or exception.

Because this is what it means to be human.
To be alive.
To be open to new experience
And new truth
And because tomorrow I may be different than I was today
Does not mean that I didn't mean every single word I said yesterday.

I simply, and absolutely refuse to be limited in my experience by stagnation of principle.

The grey Jedi.
The chaotic neutral.

The Paladin of disorder.

Christ does it hurt.
My god how I laugh.

Just because your truth is not my truth does not mean we're dishonest.

And as always...there is the quest.  The hero's (or anti hero's depending on perspective) journey. 

Love in every step.
Beneath every breath.
Under every star, and atop each grain of sand.  The motivating agent on every decision... truth or lie... laughter or tear drop, all of the words spoken...

And not...

Is the oh my god you've stolen my breath by simply existing...


Someday that love will kill me.  It will.  I will supernova because I've lost the strength and ability to contain it any longer.

But until then...

My god, you've stolen my breath by simply existing.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

A lot of unrelated paragraphs.

I'm much more a road hazard when listening to the classical radio station, than any other. No really.  Any normal station, I only have to sing along.  When it's the classical station, it takes both hands to conduct the orchestra.

There are a ton of things in my brain, and I can't seem to wrap around any single tangent and give birth to true cohesion, so here's to no sense and nonsense.

There are currently three unwritten plays, and one needing revision, all fighting for front and center, and the one needing most immediate attention is dozing in the back.

I think a primary reason I don't online date, is because I don't have the energy to prove to strangers that I'm not the dirtbag they kind of have to assume I am.

Also I don't date.

I also have an uncanny ability to blow it with any woman within 2.5 conversations.   So as long as I keep my time and attention with them under that, there's still a chance.

I think the greatest indicator I'm a horrible person, is that I actually really look forward to saying, "I told you so", to Trump supporters.

Last week I tried quitting smoking.  I went 37 hours before I quit quitting.  I learned nothing new about myself from that experience.

I used to think I was a very patient person, but then it occurred to me that it's not patience if you're not really waiting for anything.

My thoughts are far less pornographic than my social media presence might indicate.


I also have WAY more fun.

And laugh.  A lot.  Every day.  If you don't, you should try it.  It's fun and easy.

The intricacies and delights of my life are defined by accident, and bad timing. I almost never get what I want, therefore by extension I've gotten everything I ever wanted.

I've also learned a lot about love.  Not really though, but what it is to me...and that's enough.

Things I like:

Outside nighttime smoking sans shirt and shoes, mid March.

Easter candy.

Ice cream.

Playful kittens.

Telling stories.

Listening to people talk passionately.


Meaningful looks in crowded rooms.

Emotional bonds that transcend description.


Script analysis.


A gajillion (that's not a real number, that represents the impossible nature of listing all the things I like).

But mostly I like being alive.

This is my favorite fucking thing of all.  Every second of every day that I have awareness, I am aware that I am doing my favorite thing, and lately I've been far too painfully reminded that this is not an option for everybody, and will someday no longer be an option for me.

So while it's still an option, I'll do the things I like.  I'll do all the things on my impossible to realistically number list.  I'll do those things with people who would like to do them with me.  And if they don't want to...that's okay.  Won't stop me.

Make your list.  Or do your things.

Or don't.

I ain't gonna listen if you try to tell me how to live my life, I'd be a hypocrite if I told you how to live yours...but...

I hope there is joy.

Goddamn I hope there is joy.

And I hope you know that if I love you, well...

There's not a damn thing you can do about it.

Monday, February 27, 2017

This little piggy...

A woman is more convinced by what she guesses, than by what she is told.  He remembered this only after he had told her everything.

In my youth I had more than ample opportunity to attend county fairs, and rodeos.  This was simply part of life in Wyoming.  A reality I grew up with....I grew up in.  It is no longer a part of the reality I exist in, but the memories remain.  These events are fraught with the most entertaining combination of child and animal abuse. The mutton busters were great.  Little kids in football helmets on sheep.  Always a good time.  My favorite though was the greased pig chase.  This is, well...exactly what it sounds like.  Some asshole would grease up a pig, scare the shit out of it, then turn it loose while a bunch of kids tried to catch it, all while drunk parents stood outside the gates screaming, "Come on Dusty,  go on catch that sumbitch", and sipping on Pabst signature Blue Ribbon from a plastic cup.

I don't really remember if anyone ever caught the pig.  Probably.  I don't remember what the prize was if they did.  Hell, maybe they got to keep it.  Take it to the butcher and fill the freezer.  I don't really know.  I do remember kids falling down a lot.  Getting bloody. Trampled. Crying.  Cheering. Tons of laughs to be had all around.

Maybe there's a god above, 
but all I ever learned from love
was how to shoot somebody
who outdrew ya.

I would watch and laugh with the rest of the folk dressed in their farmland finest. I would eavesdrop the conversations about the weather, and the coming harvest, and the local gossip.  Wanting nothing more than escape.  Wanting to be the angel staggering on tenament roof.  Wanting to rage against the dying light.  Wanting to be that mind, starving, hysterical and naked, destroyed by madness.  Not knowing then that the madness was in the wanting.

And I often felt like that pig.  Scampering.  Running.  All these strange hands reaching for me, to catch me. To control me.  Fuck I dunno...take me to the butcher and fill their freezer.

I still feel that way sometimes.

He watched her. She knew he was watching, but he wondered if she was aware the scrutiny.  He much he needed a way to let go of her. She had caught him. She knew.  And she knew that when she had, he immediately became uninteresting.
He knew this also, and was desperately attempting every method to escape the snare of her.

And now I share this rock with so many strangers, and have discovered that although we call it by so many different names, it's all just chasing greased pigs.  And there is trampling, and crying, and blood, and laughter, and some drunk asshole cheering us along.  What seemed novelty at the time, is now so much background distraction, on a much grander scale.

Visions. Omens. Hallucinations. Miracles. Ecstasies, Gone down the American river, but this time without exclamation.  Because we've taken this trip so many times, and now when I rage against that dying light, the guy in the window above me, tells me to get a grip, shut the fuck up, and quit thinking I'm special.  The tenament rooftop dance has ended, and my card is empty.

He made every attempt to lose his attraction.  He watched her through worlds eyes, and noted everything this existence defines flaw.  He made her voice nails in his head.  He painted her gray, and erased her from his desire.  He took from her the power she'd given him.  He knew she'd never miss it. He let it fly on the wish of other things, and closed the night alone.  Knowing the flavor of that false kiss. He left the night reborn.

One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.  So said once a madman, and I hope he did.  I hope I will.

A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved going the opposite direction in this too big world.  So said once the same madman, and I still hope he found the words.  I need him to have found the words, because if he did, that means they exist, and maybe I will too.  But then again...he was a madman.

We're all mad here.  So said once a mad cat.

The pig used to squeal a motherfucker.  I might too if being chased by a multitude of strangers intent on my capture. Like that pig, I have no where to go, but I have to keep running, because the alternative is not running, and not running means I may just end up in someone's freezer.  Or my own freezer.  This world is too big.  There is too much.  I will miss all of the good stuff, but goddammit if I am not intent on not missing the good stuff.  I will see the things I want, and do the things I do, and live in abject poverty, and abstract delight.  I will watch.  I will listen.  I will jest, and my god will I laugh, and my god will I lie.  I will give you the exact fiction of me that I want you to have.  And I will keep myself for myself.  This is far more fun.

Every day he remembers her.  And her.  And her.  And her.  Every day he feels the name of her scratch the blood in him, and he thanks her.  Every day he remembers the little things.  Everyday he plants a new seed somewhere else, that will not be her, or her, or her, in hopes that the future forrest provides the shade that will hide him from her, and her and her.  He walks the days a vision of calm, while the fire inside comsumes the hope he had of her.  And her.  And her.

There are so many stories to tell.  So many little treasures to hide in plain sight.  There is in each fucking moment, of each fucking day, a new flame to fan, and fire to build.  There are worlds to build.  I'm currently building three, and it is slow, but my christ is it rewarding.  I watch these people who don't exist anywhere but inside my mind shape new words, and new pain.  Tell new secrets to old friends, and I can't do this...I couldn't do this...

If I wasn't like that goddamn pig.  I have to run.  I have to squeal.  I have to find my way away from hands that would trap me down, and fill their freezer.  I have to turn over the rocks that everyone else walks on, so I can see the bugs underneath....also running and squealing to keep away from my hands.  I have to write on this page....all the things that don't make I can write on other pages the things that do.  I have to let the words happen.  My brain cup runneth over.  My heart cup is empty.

And now I will put this one to rest, so that I may move on to another.  I'll stop chasing the little pig in my head.  In another place up in that dusty attic, are four campers who probably don't like each other as much as they tell each other they do.  Or...maybe they like each other more.  I don't know yet.

In another place in my brain in a man in a bathtub, who can't see the woman who is also in the bathtub.  Or maybe he can only see her when she is.  I don't know yet.

In yet another gray cavity is a woman mourning the loss of her husband.  He recently died, and left behind something she's discovered, that he never got the chance to explain.  It's all very tragic.  The things we don't say to each other, and the moment we realize we'll never be able to.  Really probably doesn't matter....

It all ends in tears anyway. - Jack Kerouac

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business. -Tom Robbins

On a warm Las Vegas night, early in 2006, my wife came back to the apartment we had shared for some time, to gather more of her things.  I helped her load them in to her car.

Once she was finally ready to leave, we stood in the driveway and held each other.  I could feel her tears.  I was glad, because I genuinely wished I was making some of my own. It's not that I didn't feel the pain, I just...

I just held her.

Finally there was nothing left.  She told me she loved me.  She got in her car, and she drove away.  I stood there, and watched the taillights. Those red squares becoming increasingly distant. Until I  couldn't see them anymore.

In my memory, she never returned. A few months later, the divorce was finalized.

Not quite a year later, I was preparing to leave Las Vegas.  I didn't really have a plan, but I felt that Salt Lake City was probably it.  I didn't leave with fanfare.  There was no real announcement of departure.  I didn't tell many people. A couple. A few.

She was one of them. We had a very brief moment.  Spent with some words.  An exchange of sentiment.  I'm not going to share much of it, because it's mine, and I intend to keep it, but it was nice.  It was...

And every day, of every year since, I see those taillights.

And I remember that I have known love.  Love like that.  It was transformative. It made me different.  And although we are not together, she will never not be part of me.  In this, there is gratitude.

I tried it again a short time later.  That was also nice, though in the end, it was confirmed in my mind something I'd suspected before.

I am, and I hold, a different kind of love. I am not meant for certain things, and sometimes my aloneness is lonely, but ultimately I think, for the best. 

So much I think, I do much to cultivate it.  I don't date.  I don't pursue.  I don't make myself available.  I use my social media as a barrier.  I make myself generally less desirable.  Less...

I make myself less.

I have frequently and often stated my dedication to my bachelorhood, and I hold to it.  This is, I assure you, not simply posturing.  It is calculated and intentional.

A few days ago, I engaged with someone I hold very close to my heart, in conversation about love. You see, although I have, and do maintain my singular status, I also understand that to close all the doors in life, limits opportunity of experience...and my god do I love experience.  That said, it is not an absolute zero in the scale of probability that I will remain single til death.  It's very likely that I will...but...

So in this conversation I explained the type of person it would take get me to make that change.  I also explained how and why I don't think that person exists. I don't think I explained it well, but it did help me clarify in my own mind, exactly what it is I'm not really looking for.

Because every day, I see taillights.

And every day I love.  And I do.  I love you.  So fucking much it keeps me awake sometimes. But not just you.  I love...I love this fucking life.  I love every tainted breath I take.  I love that emptiness inside me.  It's a goddamn drug. It's heroine, and cocaine, and LSD, and caffeine, and nicotine, and I get to put a name on it. And sometimes it's your name.  Sometimes it's her name.  Sometimes it's a name you'll never know. It is every name, of every person, male and female, old and young, married or single, who has ever had an affect on me.

And there are so many of you.
And you.
And you.

And on not a single name, not a single person, not a single entity of consciousness in existence, do I place even the smallest expectation or obligation.

In fact...that is key.  That is paramount.  THAT is the crux of the mystery and puzzle. The absolute necessity that there never be expectation, or obligation.

There is only life.  This one glorious explosion of consciousness.  This brilliant supernova of observable experience...before that final sleep.

And I will live mine without apology.  I want nothing more than the same for you. That is how you will shape and break my heart.  I will never ever begrudge you not wanting to walk this rock with me.  I will only ever be grateful for the few moments that we did.

And there will be taillights.  There always are.

There will also be magic, if you choose to breathe it.  It is after all, the very essence of things.

And there may yet, be a story to tell. 

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Rust and Stardust

There is lightening tonight.  In the sky and in my head.  Flashes of electricity that briefly illuminate the darkness, and gives the smallest glimpse of things previously unseen.

And spark the night.

I got to spend time today with someone very dear to me.  We spoke of love, and fear, and the story we will tell together. We began what I hope will be the start of something fun.  Something new.  We will write a play together, and today we opened the door to what that may be. 

We spoke of love.  The love we have in this world, and the love that will exist in this world we create together.  We shared our thoughts and where we are, and what we want, and my heart leapt for her, because she has it, and is in it, and it scares her, and she's doing it anyway.

And today I got to witness bravery and joy. 

I shared with her some of my thoughts as well.  Where I am...not having it, or in it, and what it would take to make that happen, and why don't anticipate that it will.

She only got to witness the cynicism of a stone heart.

I win.

And from these two very different places in life, we will come together and write a play.  I look forward to that.

And in the sky tonight there is lightening.
And rain.

I like the rain.  Little drops of water.  Four billion years ago there was rain falling in this exact spot, on a planet that looked so much different, and in that water, life.

I don't know why my brain goes to the places it goes, but I follow along.

I think about numbers.  Prime and perfect.  I think about scale of probability, and scale of value. 

I think of a universe exploding into existence thirteen billion years ago, and I can't imagine a time so vast.

And nine billion years later...nine...billion...years as we understand them, (which in universal relation is meaningless, and is given meaning only by our understanding that a year is the amount of time ((another construct)) it takes for the the earth to make one revolution around the sun) our solar system was born.

We mark a year according to our sun. We count time further back than the existence of the thing by which we mark it. 

Then this earth went ahead being a rock in space for 4.4, of the 4.5 billion years...without us on it.

I mean seriously...shit happened. 

Multiple extinction events, before anything even resembling us came along.

And we're so impressed with our significance.

So we build because we can.

And we convince ourselves that it matters.

And so it does.

And the rain hits my face.

13 billion years ago, on an invented timeline, reality became real.  4.5 billion years ago, our little blue green space ship was constructed.
100 million years ago, our ancestors became passengers, and almost immediately began fighting over who gets to sit in first class.

And started a long tradition of not sharing.

And since no one really remembered how they got there, they started making up stories to explain it, then killing each other in defence of those stories.

We've been doing that ever since.

That 13 billion year old universe, and that 4.5 billion year old planet, and all of the mysteries know and unknown contained therein, don't care a bit about those pesky little monkeys who've been around for a cosmic microsecond, but....

Goddamn if we don't believe we're the center of it all.
And goddamn if we don't have to kill all the people who pray to different myths than we do.
And goddamn if we don't have to do every thing imaginable to this blue green spaceship, in order to better kill one another and collect more green paper.

And then after all those billions of years, numbers so vast I can't even fathom them, some few yesterdays ago, I got my ticket to ride this rock.

I learned the myths, and heard the stories of the good guys and bad guys.  I was introduced to green pieces of paper, and various ways to accumulate it.  I was told about all the various kinds of different passengers on the spaceship. A few times I attempted to find someone willing to ride along with that...

Discovered I am prime.  Divisible only by myself, and like those various numbers scattered in that universal language, content to contribute to the sequence, but forced by my own nature, into singularity.

However unlike those little symbols, I am aware. 
I have the knowledge of both what I lack, and what I am capable of.

This spaceship, and all of the passengers aboard, fascinate me to no end, and it is in that, that I have become a collector of words, and stories, and an inherent need to give them back again.  

And in there lies my joy.  My heart.  In there I can hide the parts of me I'm unable to share with other humans. In there I find secrets left behind by others. In there I can make sense of what it all might...

The rain and the lightening in the sky are gone, leaving only remnants in my head and on my face. 

I visit the ghosts of those who haunt me.  I tell my tales to the wind.  I converse with the old lady, and the fat man, who have lived in my inside and upstairs for as long as I can remember,

And her.  My her.  My captive woman in white, who breaks my heart every day, and tells me the things I don't want to hear, because they are true, and she is right.

Goodnight spaceship.  Goodnight you passengers on it and in it.

Remember for the small moment, that we are rust and stardust.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A lovesong for the lovelorn

A simple thing.  A phrase.  A thought.  But I am tongue bound and silent instead.  Resigned. Designed for solitude and watching. And I love.

I love, love.

I love this day and watching the people I love, love the people they love, and celebrate, and I wonder.

What was the combination of words? What was the play, or the act, or the book of poetry used to unlock that...what?

Reality caught up to fantasy, and played me fractured, and the story of it will make me laugh someday.

Like all my stories do.

I laugh a lot.

Today I bled distraction, and caught my breath. And wondered briefly where I've been, but it didn't matter because I had a great time, and brought back a mug that said wish you were here.

And that's the thing.
I have fun.
My god is it fun.

And sure sometimes I need a bandaid, or a face slap, but that's just part of the joy.

And not only do I anticipate making the same mistakes again, I look forward to it. To that brief interlude, that aria, that singular voice that sings me gently human.


And again.

Our fancies pass, and mysteries resolved and solved, but therein is deception.

For the blues in the rhythm is amore morte, and they all wear pink at the funeral.

And the man wearing black, said she'll never love you back, and it turned into a thought that quits.

But the music plays on, and the other dancers keep dancing, the players playing, and the world keeps spinning round round baby right round.

So I pound it against the rock, the stone, the sun bleached bones that cage it, to find the story inside...

Because the story.
My story...
Your story...
Our story together...

That's what I am here for.  I will bleed for it. I will ache for it.  I will crave more desperately for it, than for food, sex, or nicotine....

The story.
THE story.
the STORY of who we are
Versus who we may have been.

This is who I am.
The jester.
The joker.
The Astral bloke who will cry and decry mortem mortalis with the laughter of the living.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Swimming in the consciousness stream.

It really is the tragic love stories I'm drawn to.  Perhaps because they are more representative of my experience.
The play I wrote last year for the Fringe Festival was 4 scenes of people who all just had to do just one thing different.  Just one thing.

That feels like my life in review.  Just one thing different.  What if I had this instead of that.  What if I had said...instead of not.

I feel like I still live this way.


Or perhaps I'm simply living in fantasy.

I'm known for that as well.

Plays well with others.
Obviously intelligent.
Lacks focus.
Too much imagination.

Those were the things on my elementary reports.
Too much imagination was and still is my favorite...mostly because...

Maybe it is.  Maybe there is.  Maybe the worlds inside my head and heart are far too big...but...


but it still feels like not quite enough.
There is more to explore.
There is more to think about.
There is more to wish for.
And always...

my christ Always...

There are more stories to tell.

I'm starting now the work for the play for this years FF.
I anticipate more tragic love stories.
More broken hearts of people I've not gotten to know yet.

I think I give my characters the tears that I don't cry.

I also lack too much empathy.
Or...emotional connection...
Or...ability to human.

You see I do know how I feel about all the things.
I very often don't give a fuck about how I feel.
That seems unnatural...but there it is.  I don't form opinions about how I feel.
I just feel.
Then I think about how I feel.
Then I put it in my " that's what that is." brain folder, and just...well
there is sits.

But I have no idea how other people feel.
I am other people's emotions illiterate.  I know how I'd like them to feel, in relation to how I feel...but...
I can't make that a thing.
I can't force upon another human...responsibility for my own emotional responses.  And quite simply, unless they tell me what they are also feeling...well...
I'll never know.

And since I don't play guessing games with such things...or make assumptions...I just...
I simply live in the reality that they feel nothing in relation to me...or to what I'm feeling...or
fuck I don't even know what I'm trying to say.

Here's the baseline.  I make no claim to be a "smart" guy...but I do okay.  I've read a few books, learned a few words, and have formed a few thoughts, and that's gotten me by.
I've made a lifetime endeavor of studying the art, science, philosophy, and craft of storytelling.  This is what I do, and I do it with great passion.
Funny thing is, my passion face, looks a lot like my I'm bored doesn't really physically read...but it is there.
I am constantly on fire with it.  I burn for, and with it.  I love stories.  All of them.  And the creation of them. And the telling of them.  The fucking life inside of fiction.

And my life outside of fiction is sometimes stranger than.  Sometimes less than.  Sometimes easier than.  Sometimes harder than.  Sometimes completely indistinguishable from...but...

Love, man.


That's the kick in the ass i'nnit.

And on that, I am the greatest contradiction anyway.

So fuck me in the nuts with love.

Okay I'm wandering.  This is apparently a fuck all stream of consciouness, and in all likelihood profoundly uninteresting.  It's helping me to word vomit, but will no doubt prove no use to you dear reader.  Feel free to disengage at any time.  I won't be offended.  Hell, to be blunt...I won't even know or notice.

Okay, back to it...

I am an intellectual.  This is no claim to actual quantity or quality of intellect.  I use this more as distinction.  There are so many people among us who are more emotioinally or viscerally driven.  I am not.  This is not to say that I do not experience the emotional or visceral.  Of course I do.  I feel things.  All the time.  If you prick me, do I not "goddammit"?  I do.

I actually feel a full spectrum of all sorts of things. It's all in there.  At least to my knowledge.  I am capable of the rainbow of feels.  Thing is.  I Don't Care.  I do...but...okay...

I don't let that matter too much.  It matters.  It matters a considerable deal.  To me.  BUT...

Once I have the feel...I almost immediately take it to my brain box.
I don't just feel it.  I feel it, and then I think about it.  I categorize it.  I mark it.  I file it.  I color code all of the aspects of it.  I investigate it.  I question it.  I place value on it.  I give it a quality of relevance to my life.  I chop it up in to pieces and look at the guts of it.  I ask if there is fun to be had in it.  I wonder why it's there.  I wonder why this other person, or other opinion, or other action, or outside event, caused it.  I question if it can be replicated.  I want to know it's origin, and destination.

In other words...I move it from one place, and put it in another.
I have often referred to this as my emotional disconnect.
It's not that I don't feel.  I very much do.  It's that WHEN I do, I disconnect it.  I take it out, take it apart, and put it back together again.

And when I'm done with the science of it, and put it away...
motherfuck if it isn't still there.
And sometimes that is REALLY goddamn annoying.  Distracting.  and


Because now I know how to make it happen when I'm acting.
Now I know how to give it to a character I'm writing.
Now I know what it is when other people talk about it.

But then there's the real life.  The life where none of it matters.  Except it all matters.  Except it doesn't.

And again I become contradiction.
And a contradiction can't exist in nature.

Yet here I am.
And there you are.

And we all of us prove the rule a lie.

General Unified Theory my ass.

Because I am quantum, and you are cosmic.

And love is the gravity that works in polarity.
One way bound by all the rules that govern what we know...
and another way, in complete opposition, defying every one of those rules.

And by fuck...somehow, we're supposed to coexist in that universe.
And the string between us seems so fragile.
And so much theory.
Except that's wrong.  String theory isn't really a theory.

Speculation at best.

And that is all I have.

Speculation.  And without evidence, speculation doesn't hold up.  We can make guesses based on what is observable, but without the verification process, it's just so much fantasy.

So do what you need to do.  Say the words.  Do the things.  Be brave.

And again my hypocrisy shows like a slip.  Bravery.


My favorite of all the noble attributes.

So what if, it's not that I'm lacking bravery?  What if it's more

What is.
Everything must always be built on a foundation of what is.
And sometimes no matter how much we wish what isn't to be is...
Wishing doesn't make it so.

And experience has taught me far too well

That the heartbreak of unrealized and unrealistic fantasy, is far easier to digest,
than the heartbreak of acutalized reality.

Inside of fantasy is still...well...

a recognition of my own humanity.

Outside of fantasy that's much more difficult.

And in that fantasy...
In that hallway of doors...
In that maze of dreams...
She has always been there.

She has courted me forever.
In every memory.
In every story.
Since I was in kindergarten, staring out the window, while the other kinders were learning about colors....
She was there.  Singing to me.  Dancing with me. Guiding my gaze and placing herself in every story I've ever seen, read, or written.
She has always had that smile, and those eyes.  She has reached inside me.  She used to dry my tears...when I used to cry.
She has been my mother.
She has been my grandmother.
She has been my wife.
She has been my child.
She has been my constant companion.
She has been my eternal mystery.

And she is she is she inside of me
And she kills me with the idea that maybe...


could it be?

could I?

Is it?

Is there?


Thank you she...but the he in me reminds me of all the other things.

And he and she can argue now for a while...
but I've got to sleep

and it's all just nighttime braingames anyway.

Tomorrow will be real again...

and in the real...


Saturday, January 28, 2017

Once there was a Mormon.


I'm twenty years old.  Sitting in a stranger's home in California.  I'm wearing the white shirt, tie, and black name tag of a Mormon missionary.

Elder Stoddard
The Church of 
Jesus Christ
of Latter Day Saints

My companion is leading the discussion, and I'm doing my best not to zone out.   I haven't yet fully started on my personal path out of this particular religion.  Hell, in this moment, I am balls deep in it. Giving it away for free, to anyone who'd let us in the door. I have however, started asking myself the questions that would get me going down that road.

There are all sorts of neat little psychological tricks we play with ourselves.  Especially when facts and belief don't line up.  It's called a double bind, and I am not very good at it.  I know a lot of people who are.  In fact, most of the people that I've been surrounded by my entire life, are veritable masters.  Not me though.  Right now, in this house in Northern California, that smells of cat piss, and stale kitty litter, I am asking myself all of the questions that we were taught in our youth, to not ask.  To simply accept on faith.  Right now I am putting faith and fact together, and coming up with a whole handful of bullshit.  This bothers me, because if it's not true, then what the fuck am I doing here?  This is not comfortable.  In fact, this is distinctly troubling.  I am in my mind, questioning not my faith, but the very nature of faith. I'm not wondering if I have faith, I'm questioning it's place in thought, reason, intelligence, curiosity...I'm questioning the very philosohpy of faith itself.

I am pulled out of my thoughts, by a familiar sound.  I look at my companion who is still talking.  "Bearing his testimony", in the common church venacular.
He is also doing that thing with his throat, where is seems like he's trying not to cry, but also starting to lose that battle and crying anyway.

"I know this is the true church", he says.

Since my brain is still lingering on my own more private thoughts, everything inside me rises up and screams "HOW?"

How do you know?

I want to stop everything right there.  I want to take him by the face, and look him directly eye to eye and beg him to tell me HOW? How? Please.  Please tell me...because I don't.  I don't know.  I can't say I know with any degree of honesty....

and that's the crux of it all.  I've been saying it all along.

I know this church is true.

I know this church is true.

I'd like to bear my testimony. I know this church is true.

That line.  That sentence.  Repeated over and over and over again, by every member eveywhere, all the time.

I know this church is true.

I know this church is true.

I'd like to bear my testimony.  I know this church is true.

From the time we begin to learn to speak, we are led up to the pulpit.  Placed in front of strangers, and have those words whispered in to our ears to be repeated for the congregation.

Over and over.  Month after month.  Year after year.

I know this church is true.

I know this church is true.

I'd like to bear my testimony.  I know this church is true.

And my own hypocrisy slams me in the stomach.  I feel sick.  I can't breathe.  I've been warned about that too.  That sick, can't breathe feeling we get sometimes when we ask too many questions, or doubt the truth of it all, is Satan.  That's his power, trying to overwhelm you.

Oh yes.  Someone, a very long time ago, figured out that when two truths conflict, and one has to go, and reason finally overcomes unreason, there may likely be a strong physical reaction.  They figured out how to explain that reaction, in such fashion that is will be supported by the standing mythology.

And I want to on my knees BEG my companion to tell me how he knows.  How do you know? You say you know, but HOW do you know...because I ALSO say that I know, and I sure as shit DON'T know.  In fact, I'm pretty sure it's all a load of shit, and if it IS true, then this is the absolute most important truth in existence, and if it isn't true, then what is? What are we doing?  What does it mean?  How do you know?  Are you lying too?  Because...

Because I'm lying.  I don't know.

I don't know this church is true.

I don't know this church is true.

I'd like to bear witness and testimony, that I don't konw anything, and I am a liar.

Instead I smile.  I clutch my scriptures.  I nod my head.  I agree with what he says, and when the time comes, I say the prayer before we leave.


I am 27 years old, I am alone in my car, coming home from work, stuck in traffic, and my brain breaks.  Over the years, I have become less active in church.  I don't enjoy being there.  I don't like the repetitive boredom.  I don't like the us versus them attitude I feel every week.  I have become much more interested in more intellectual pursuits.  Lately I've been reading a lot of Socrates. Plato. Nietzche. I've just finished reading the Tao Te Ching, and the Discordia Principia.  These are words and ideas that I can relate to.  Far more than anything that Joseph Smith or Brigham Young ever committed to paper.

However, I am new to Vegas, and as happens with any life change, my wife had suggested that we start going to church again.  Start over.  Get back to the root of it all.  I agreed, and have been for a while.  It's boring, but as long as they leave me alone it's bearable.  The problem is, recently they've asked my wife and I to teach the eight year old primary class.  Funny thing is, I really do like the little fuckers.  They're full of life and curiosity, and have really warped sense of humor.  But...


But the powers that be, want me to lie to these little hellions.  I don't really have much of a problem teaching them basic Christian concepts like loving one another, and kindness to others, but they're at an age now, where I'm supposed to tell them shit that I don't believe.  I've been able to kind of ride the fence of not believing, but going along with it, in order to not make waves...seems a LOT of people do that...
But now I can't.  Now I'm supposed to indoctrinate these young, impressionable minds, with mormon truth's that aren't.  I've been trying to reconcile some way to do this.  How do I keep my wife happy, while also trying to find a way to disseminate information to kids, while also trying to live my own truth...and...


 I am alone in my car, coming home from work, stuck in traffic, and my brain breaks. The double bind, unbinds. I hear the crack. Reality in front of me shatters like glass, falls to the ground, and in front of me, I now see the world again.  Exactly the same, and brand new.  I laugh.  It is not a gentle laugh. It is the laughter that would be weeping, if I were the type who cries.  I am not.  There is joy in the laughter yes.  There is freedom.  There is the weight of the universe, now lifted, but there is also the pain of 27 wasted years.  All punching me at once.  I laugh.  I laugh and laugh and laugh, and I cannot stop.  I am happy, and I am devistated.  And I laugh.  It came from nowhere, and isn't going anywhere.  It is loud, and it hurts.  I realize, that for my entire life, I have been inside of the world's greatest joke, and right this instant...I finally understand the punchline.

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps; for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are, and what they ought to be.  - William Hazlitt

The foundation of reason, the single block upon which knowledge can be built is the very simple premise,

What is, is.

Only what is, can be known.  It is impossible to know what isn't.

What is, can be seen, measured, tested, verified, reviewed, and repeated.

After what is, is verified, then you can build.  You can structure.  You can extrapolate.  You can predict.  Sometimes, you can even assume.

If you build on what isn't, then what isn't will crumble.

And so to build a bridge into the unknown, it becomes imperative to first establish what is.  Once we have firmly planted on is, then can we travel in to what may be.

And my god did I laugh.

And I pulled in to my driveway.

And although I was wearing the same clothes, and seeing out of the same wonky eyes, and carrying on my face, the familiar crooked grin...I was no longer me.  Now I was I AM.

After nearly three decades of heavy religious study, sometimes getting into the real deep shit, I finally understood I AM.

"Thou art God," Mike repeated serenely. "That which groks. Anne is God. I am God. The happy grass are God, Jill groks in beauty always. Jill is God. All shaping and making and creating together — ." He croaked something in Martian and smiled. - STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND

And I walk in to my apartment.  I am new.  I am reborn.  Baptized in brain break and laughter.  I have shrugged off every teaching.  Every rule. Every sin.  Every single thing, that my church had tried to tell me that I could or couldn't do, and knew instantly that I now had only one rule.

For myself, I have only one rule.

Do not, with intent, initiate harm.

That's it.  That is my rule.
I will never allow my desire to become the obligation of another human.
I will never cast moral judgement on another human.
I will never shame another human.
I will never tell another human what to do, what decision to make, or how to behave.
This is my life.  I will do what I want.
It's your life, do what you want.

I will build my actions, and knowledge first, on what is, and then go from there.
And I will love.
Because goddammit...
what else is there?

I tell my wife that I will no longer be going to church.  I am not Mormon anymore.

What are you?


Thursday, January 26, 2017

To live a life.

"That's the most stupid expression in the world. 'I fell in love'  - as if you had no choice. There's a moment, there's always a moment; I can do this, I can give in to this, or I can resist it..." - Alice 'Closer'

I'm writing this on a Thursday night. As always, there is music in my ear.  I never write without the aid of music.  Tonight is Chopin.  That doesn't matter.  As always there in incense burning.  I find this calming.  It helps with the brain stuff.

Tuesday morning, I woke up with a clarity.  A strange little focus I haven't had in a while.  There were no bells.  No alarms.  There was no particular event.  There was nothing that should have instigated this clarity.  It was just there.  Like an old friend who calls when least expected.

In the time between my literal and metaphorical waking on Tuesday, I have been to work three times.  I have smoked 60 and 80 cigarettes.  I have been to rehearsal.  I have eaten.  I have showered.  I have written a few texts here and there.  Posted some insignigicant shit to my facebook. In other words...outwardly...I have not changed at all.

Inside, I am entirely new.  Or rather...a return to the old.  I am...renewed to what once was, and is again.  I feel better about that.

There is, it's hard to describe, a strange emptiness, but also...freedom.  Untethered to a certain fiction, that eventually I discover, is really more burden than is necessary.

And I am once again the me that I prefer.  

I am calculated.
I am calm.
I am the lone traveller of the path, I intentionally forge.

Without the weight of unrealistic fantasy, I find myself flying again.  Things have returned to the familiar color of my personal reality.

And I sleep again.
I did miss sleep.
And it is sleep that restores my absolute knowledge that in 2012, the life defining decision I made, was without question, the right one.  Sometimes I get distracted.  I guess that's okay...but distraction doesn't come without price.

That's okay.  There is no price I'm not willing to pay, if there is something of value in return.
And there was.
And there is.

But that's all tedious, and specific, and...really uninteresting.
So lets get to the crux of it.

I have been consistently acting since I was five years old.  For most of my young life, I thought that's what I was. What I was going to be. What I was going to do.  It was the only thing that I loved to do.  There were many other things that I loved...but...
I did a LOT of things.  Explored so many various interests.  There were so many things that I enjoyed doing...but only one thing I LOVED doing.

In my early years of college, I took a directing class.  This was something new...the first thing in over a decade that I also LOVED doing.  Acting. Directing.  Both within a particular medium, but requiring different skill sets.  I loved it no more...but especially no less than acting.  It was oh so fulfilling in entirely different ways.

Toward the later years of my college experience, I discovered playwriting.  And there it was again. A thing to do, that could also be loved.  Different....but the same.  Acting/Directing/Writing.  I loved it so much, I ended up the TA for the playwriting class for three semesters, before I left school.  Script analysis became another passion.  All of these things, within the theatre world, that fulfilled me like nothing else in my personal existence.

For a very long time, I called this a general love of theatre.  I didn't really get it.  I was still keeping these things an entirely different moment of clarity I realized that it was not that at all.  I didn't love theatre.  I didn't love acting or directing or writing.  I mean...I did...I do...still more than anything...but

Also not.  Yes...but the deeper truth is, it's not any one of those things,  I love storytelling. Theatre, and those various aspects of it, are simply the medium most accessible to me, to explore it.  And I do. And I will. I can't....not.

I am a storyteller.  This is what I do.  This is who I am.  I am a collector of stories. I have dedicated my entire life, to the process, science, art, philosophy, and craft, of telling stories.  This is where my passion lies, and I do.  I love it.  I love it in every aspect and regard.  Music. Novels, Paintings. Photos, Dance, Everything. And I realize that storytelling.

Everything is narrative.  The story changes, depending on the narrator, but we are all of us, the stories we tell.  The costumes we wear. The masks we craft.  We build lives, and careers, and homes, and even other humans, all within the narrative we present to the world, and the ones we keep to ourselves.

Our communities.  Our societies. Our rules. Our politics. Our gods. Our love. Our pain. Our sorrow. Our little daily deaths and devices, are all stories told...or waiting to be told.

And in my moment of clarity...I remember...that I am best suited to stand outside of it.  To remain less involved in the intricacies.  To forgo some of the simpler...more human pleasures...sometimes at certain personal instead...



Attempt to understand.

To craft from what I see, the stories I wish to tell, and the manner in which I wish to tell them.  I am not for some things, because I am instead for other things.  I get to observe. I get to build.  I get to design.  I get to be the architect of something different.  I get to chronicle our little tragedies.  And yes...



Sometimes it hurts like a motherfucker...but...


This is a choice.  This is intentional.  I am not complaining.  I am not whining.  

I am grateful.  I am celebratory.

And there are many who would argue that perhaps I could have both.  That many others before me have found a way to make it work. Make it happen...and that may be...but...

I haven't.

And I have left destruction in the attempt.
Sometimes other...
Sometimes self...
I'd rather avoid both.

This is how I find the things I'm looking for.  This is where I discover the beauty that gives my life substance.  I know that I am not meant for some things...
and in not having those things...
I get to craft the stories about those things.

I get to see from the outside, all of the wonder that is less visible from inside.

Although sometimes...I can be distracted by some desire...
It is always in letting go, that I can see there is 



Our stories may one day be our salvation.
I have no hope or pretense that I will write, act, or create anything so significant...

But if I find the one that is mine...


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

More things than are dreamt of...

In his mind, he has with her, all the conversations that he never will.  She asks him the questions, that will never actually cross her lips, and he tells her the things, he could never truly say.  In his mind, he is honest, and in his mind she cares.

The funny thing is, that even in his most vivid, his most intricate, and his most detailed fantasy of her...they still can't be.  He cannot, even with the permission he gives himself, in the freedom of imagination, believe that there is a chance.

Because always in there, no matter how he tries to forget...
No matter how he tries to run from it...
No matter how many times he has ignored it.

That warning.
That message.
Those words from the unseen guide, as he stood in the gray of the swamp.

"If you love her, you must leave her."

Leave her alone.
Lever her to her own life.
Leave her far....far away from you.

But only if you love her.

And he does.
And so he does.

There are, it is postulated, worlds and dimensions, parallel and paradigm, without number.  In this moment, he simutaneously visits each one of them.  He sees a himself fractured. Split into a billion pieces of his own image, scattered upon each word identical. He is he is he is he is he ad nauseum, and with each he, is she.

She. Laying next to him in bed. The morning sun, elastic on her skin. His fingertips tracing her shoulder blades as she sleeps,  Her hair covering her face, and he has never known such peace.  In this world, he wishes he could freeze time.

She, Walking the midway of the carnival.  Mocking him, for how miserable he failed in winning her the oversized stuffed hippo.  He takes the mockery, and laughs with her. Knowing his lack of talent with his own hands. He has never known such peace.  In this world, he wishes he could freeze time.

She. Wrapped with him in a blanket. The small Christmas tree, sparsely decorated, with but a few small boxes beneath. Unopened.  They are not in a hurry, because they are together, and it is morning, and they have nothing to do, and the day is their own.  He has never known such peace.  In this world, he wishes he could freeze time.

She. Sitting in a chair.  Reading a book. Their baby daughter in her arms, asleep.  They have each others eyes.  Eyes that he has known, and drowned in.  He is overwhelmed with this thing that never seemed real, and it is real.  Here, it is real, and in this world, he wishes he could freeze time.

She.  Holding his hand. His breathing becoming more and more shallow.  The light in his eyes fading. He won't be here much longer, he seems already gone, except for the fact that each time she speaks...he smiles, and in this world, she wishes she could freeze time.

And in each world, the single thing they have in common, is the smell of the incense burning on the nightstand in this world.

He pulls back in to himself.  He leaves his parallels and paradigms behind.  He wishes each him, in each world the increase of joy he has witnessed.

"If you love her, you must leave her."

Leave her alone.
Leave her to her freedom.
Leave her to her life.
Leave her free from the pain of you.

And he does.
And so he does.

He steps outside. The rain and snow both, falling slowly from the calm night.  Decorating the landscape in a fleeting pristine, and although he hates the cold...tonight he finds comfort in it.

He takes notice of each piece of wet, striking his face.  He listens to the empty sound of nothing, and takes a breath.

He wishes he could freeze time...and so he does.

He sees the flake of white frozen water in front of him. He whispers to it, her name. He lets time resume, and watches the flake hit the ground. He watches it melt. He watches it become water with the rest. He wonders how far her name in that water, will spread across this planet.

And he does.
And so he does.

Monday, January 2, 2017

All for the best

Sometime in the early 90's, actress Sharon Stone said in interview, "My mind is a dark alley, you should never go in there alone."

I liked that when I first read it.  I thought it was clever, and fun.  I also thought I related.  Perhaps I did.  Perhaps I want to.

I've come to realize though, that my mind is more like the Room of Requirement. I have to walk past the doorway to the deeper recesses, concentrating intensely on the thing I want to access.  I have to make a number of passes before the door opens.

Typically once I get inside, I find...

...every time...

A very long hallway.  More doors, on either side.  Stretching for miles.  Or...further.  Who knows.  If there is limit to imagination, then that's where the hallway stops.  Each side of the hallway lined with doors, going as far as the mind's eye can see.

There is a room at the top of the hallway.  This room is a lounge.  This is where I begin my jourey, if indeed I wish to travel.  Sometimes, just coming in this room is enough.  In this room are two large leather chairs adjacent each other.  Between them is chessboard.  This is where I sit when I need to meditate.

The chess board is dusty.  I think about blowing it off, and taking a seat.  This would probably be for the best. I look at the single white knight on the board, and feel the pull.  I know this would be the better choice right now.  There is a tempest beneath my surface, and I can almost hear the words of the old sage, "Peace. Be still."

I tell that old jew bastard to fuck off.  Sometimes we need the tempest.  Sometimes we need the chaos.  Sometimes we need the raging storm to come in and tear it all down.  Peace comes after the storm.  Not during.  There is a clarity that can only come while being battered by the forces we can't control.  Let chaos reign.

I turn from the chessboard.  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe another day.  Not tonight though.  Tonight I need to check on something.

I start toward the hallway of many doors.

Just to the left, of the hallway entrance, there is a large counter.  Very much like where once checks out books in a library.  And behind the counter is Beatrice.  Very much like a librarian.

(Yes, there is a guardian of memories in my brain, and yes her name is Beatrice.  You do what you want with your own brain.)

Beatrice is older than time.  Beatrice was there to witness the war between the Titans and the Gods.  Beatrice watched through thin wire frame glasses, as Centurions nailed that skinny kid to a cross.  Beatrice once punched Ben Franklin in the nose, but he was a little drunk, and he was a little horny.

Beatrice is surly. She is mine while I am alive, and then she will move on.  I am just another blip to her.  She is everything to me.

"Are you here to see Barnabus?" She asks me.

(I also have a Barnabus, but he's a different character for a different time.)

"You know why I'm here."

"You should really see Barnabus.  He's pissed."

I just look at her. We lock in a staredown, and she's much better at this than I am.

"Please." I whisper.  "I just need to check."

"No you don't." She tells me.  "It has been making some noise, but it's fine."

"I believe you.  I do.  I just..." I trail off.

"Fine. You know what to do."

And I do.  I've done this before.

"Thank you." I tell her, and then step in to the hallway.

Once I cross the threshold, I no longer need to walk.  The corridor does the work.

The doors on each side fly past me.  A blur.  Everything in my head cosmos moves at indecribable speed.  The doors a blur.  Each one a passage to a different place.  Some real.  Some very much not.  I see all the people I have known.  I see all the people who have existed in my life.  I see all the people who have only ever existed in my mind.  Some smile and say hello. Some scream at me to stop and listen to them.  

I don't.

I see  Barnabus in his room.  He's drinking coffee. Black. He gives me a glance, but then turns away.  We'll have our discussion later.  He's going to rip me a new fucking asshole....

...and I really deserve it.

I'll take that beat down, but not tonight.

The rooms continue to fly past.  Millions of them.  Each one full to bursting. Some I've never been in.  Some I'll never go into again.  Many need attention.  Many, I'd like to throw a grenade into.

I feel like I'm standing there forever...but...I'm in there now, and time doesn't exist.  It's very likely that when I finally come out of all of this, real time will not even notice that I've been gone.  Here though, I stand, and watch the memories, and the lives, and the people, and the faces. I see them all.  So...

So much.

I have to close my eyes.  It's too distracting.  It's too painful.  It's too happy, and sad, and full, and I need to shut it out.

Finally I hear it.  The sound I've been waiting for.

The steady thump thump.  The pulse of me.  The rhythm of my existence.

Funny isn't it?

We have from the beginning of us, associated all the things we feel, with that thumping bumping lump of flesh....but really...

Really it's all through the brain.  Everything real and imagined starts first in the mind.  And through the mind, we reach the heart.  The heart of us.  The heart of me.  The room....

I am not here to go in to that room.  I just need to check.  I need to see for myself.  Beatrice reassured me that all is well, and to my knowledge, Beatrice has never been wrong.  

But that's how we are.  That's who we are.  When we need to know...REALLY need to know...all the reassurance in the world, doesn't hold a candle to self assurance.  Everyone in the world can tell me that New York exists, but until I put my feet on the asphalt of it, it was never really real.  And I need to make sure this door is really real. In the sense that it is really real in the realm of my imagination.

(Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean that it is not real?)

And there it is.  The last door in the corridor, marking the end of it all.  Not on either side, but directly in front of me.

And there they are. The chains and locks around the door.  Criss crossing from top to bottom.  Across from side to side.  Motherfucking Jacob Marley chains.  Thick.  Sturdy.  Each one secured with multiple locks.  Hundreds of locks.  Thousands.  Combination locks.  Key locks.  Riddle locks.  Puzzle locks.  Each link of each chain, locked, and secure.

I check each one.  I pull.  I twist.  I make sure they are all holding.  I have to be sure.

I take my time.  I am meticulous.  The sound is overwhelming.  Hypnotic.  That steady thump.  In here it is larger than me.  Each thump rattles each chain, and each lock, threatening to burst through...but...

So far...holding steady.

I turn my back to the door.  I sit on the floor and rest against it.

I know why I have done what I have done.

I don't doubt my decision.

I ruminate on the cost.

And I listen.

I listen.

I listen to that thump.
I listen to those chains.

And when I listen past the thumps and the chains, I hear...


I hear her.

And that is the sound that penetrates deeper that any thump, or chain rattle.

There she is.

And all I have to do, is let her out.  To let her in.

And I sit.

And I listen.

And she...

She is speaking to me.  Words that I won't share.
They are not words of hate, or anger.  It would be so much easier if they were.


She is speaking in metaphor of hope.
And Fantasy.
And I know she lies.

Or maybe I hope they are lies.

Maybe I am the liar.  Truth is, that's far more likely.  I've had more practice.

And this is my torture.
This is my moment.
This is the gift I give myself tonight, so that I can wear my mask tomorrow.

I stand up.  I turn toward the door, and place my forehead against it.  Links of chain digging in to my flesh.  I listen to her.  She knows I'm there.  Her voice is close.  As though she too is leaning against the door, just the other side.

I apologize.

I offer grattitude.

And benediction.

And then there is silence.

The doors begin again.  Flying past me.  This time the opposite direction.  I am going back. In here my face is wet.  When I return, it won't be.

I close my eyes again.  This time blocking out all the passing doors.  I need to hold this on my breath.  I know the chains are on the locked door, and I know that I will be better in the morning.  But right now, in this timeless passage, I need this solitary moment to not be okay.

And that's okay.

And it is doors. And stars. And planets. And galaxies. And I see it all.  All of my creations that may or may not someday see light beyond this corridor.  I am weightless, and I see that I am bigger than everything, and smaller than it all.  I am in the storm, and I am the storm.  I am the creator of these worlds, and they have created me.  I am the stories I will tell, and they are the stories need told.

And I am again, now outside the corridor.  It is finished.  I am satisfied.  I have accomplished what I've come to do.  My worlds are safe.  The pulsating room at the end, is secure.  All is well.

"Did you get what you came for?" Beatrice asks, with more than a hint of sarcasm.

"You know I did."

"You remind me of someone." She tells me. "You are quite a bit different, but there are ghosts of the familiar.  He was a bit mad.  A bit bad.  Dangerous to know."

"He also became legend." I reply.  "I'm happy in smaller ponds."

"He let himself have more fun than you do." Her eyes are twinkling.  She knows my weakness.

"I hope to not hurt anyone in the ways he did." I tell her.

"He hurt nobody more than himself." She's baiting me, but I don't feel like biting.

"I dunno.  He's not the one who committed suicide."

"That's what I mean." She says.

"Fuck you Beatrice." 

I hear her laughing as I go to leave.  The gravel voice of an old woman in my head, and...

And I am laughing too.

I have checked.
I have verified.

I am the monster that I need to be, for me to live in a monstrous world. Peace be still and all that jazz.

Now if only Barnabus would get that stick out of his ass.