futility

she was your star, and around her we both spun

you as the earth to her fire

and me as the lonely moon, tugging at the waves inside you

when you turned your back to me, I wept in the cold of your shadow

for she alone held your light

now that she’s gone, we stay cold together

fumbling in the dark over wreckage we can’t forget

struggling to find light in the deadness

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transience

So tell me now if I should let go. Tell me now because I’m falling fast into this cocoon of security and of comfort. For once, I move away and you pull me closer. I used to sit by with a sinking heart as I watched your mind float away into a tormented world I had no place in. You seem to have left that behind you because you’re always here now, but will you stay?

I don’t know what I did to deserve this but I want to hold on, I want to believe it and I want to feel you. It feels real but I don’t know why it would be when transience has always been the essence of our story. I feel this affection is conditional, and the condition is that I act like a good little girl, that I don’t ruffle feathers, don’t cry too much or for the wrong reasons, that I’m always ready with a wet mouth aspiring to please and distract you. I’m not sure I can keep trying so desperately to prove I’m worthy a fidelity that may not even exist.

hell season

Maybe I put too much blame on you. Maybe the blame should be on the circumstances, hell, maybe the blame should be on me. I’m the one who keeps coming back for it. Maybe it’s not for the love, maybe it’s because something inside of me needed this. The insecurities that have long since turned to hate have shamed me. Again and again, I’ve run from this pain only to return upon a whirlwind of fantasy and find myself on my knees, a fire before me. Embers burn and glow in my eyes and I am transfixed by this fire you cannot see. The sense of desperation you impart beckons me into the flames if only I could be brave enough to burn.

Well, maybe this is hell season. Maybe there was just no other way for me. Maybe if your love was easy, if there was no struggle for your affections I would be in blissful ignorance resting upon the laurels that soothe me with the fallacy that I am enough. Maybe that security would have stunted me, made me soft. Maybe I’m sick for coming back to this place that makes me hate myself, but here I am in the fucking fire and I’m getting real comfortable now. I don’t know how long this will take but I’m starting to like it. The shame has burned away and the fire rages farther inside forging steel guts and thick skin slick with vim. Am I worthy now? Don’t answer, I’m not done here. If I needed to burn like this, then you were well worth the pain but it doesn’t mean I have to thank you for it.

we ran screaming

I have this thing inside me that screams a lot. I’ve spent years trying to shut it up, years living in a hole of shoulds, a life of fear. A small, safe life. And when I was self-medicating my hole became my comfort. I thought, at least I’m being responsible, other people should be like me as I peered sideways, green-eyeing everyone else. I would see people doing artistic, daring, unconventional things and wonder why I couldn’t live a life like that. Who was going to give me permission? Or I would see people living life the way I thought I should, and some of them actually seemed to like it. I wondered why I couldn’t like it, too. I wondered what was wrong with me, why I couldn’t read those books I swore I would, why I couldn’t dress like that or be that shiny. I wondered if I really cared about anything and I was so lost I didn’t even know what I liked. And I thought it was too late for me, so I stayed in my hole. It was the responsible thing to do, to die slowly, quietly.

But always there was this screaming thing. It was the reason I was so exhausted. It had been fighting for years trying to move my arms and my legs, find a foothold, climb out of the hole. It had been screaming and fighting this life I didn’t want, this life of shoulds, and not only had it been fighting alone, but it was fighting through all the bullshit I had been throwing at it to get it to shut up. It was painful to have something fighting inside me so I stuffed it down with food, with booze, tried to knock it out with pills, drown it out with gross attention-seeking behavior and constant stimulus. But it wouldn’t die. It kept screaming. I kept thinking I needed to drink because I kept feeling it, and how was I supposed to live happily in this hole of shoulds with a screaming thing inside me? Shut up shut up shut up I would tell it. I couldn’t trust myself because I couldn’t even hear myself. I hated myself because I was ruining myself.

How I quit drinking is a story for another time. (Mostly just white-knuckling and blind faith, to be honest.) But when I did, the screaming got louder and I had nowhere to run, I had to listen. It told me my life wasn’t my own, that I had thrown myself into this hole of shoulds. It showed me instead a life imagined in snapshots of inspiration, glimpses of color. It showed me pieces of myself and said here, now go play. I looked knowingly at the pieces with tears in my eyes, and then I looked up to see the world come rushing back to me, I breathed deeply and the universe filled my lungs.

I became one with the screaming thing.

We screamed as we climbed out of that fucking hole and we ran screaming into the daylight. Now we scream for joy and sometimes we scream just to feel it. We’re crazy and we’re wild and we don’t care anymore. Maybe someday we won’t need to scream so much, but right now we’re just happy to be making up for lost time. If this is what it means to love oneself then maybe I’ve finally figured it out…or at least figured out how to try. All I know is that self-medicating is self-mutilation. If you have something screaming inside of you, it’s screaming for a reason. Listen to it. Let it be weird, let it be crazy, and for God’s sake let yourself like it. It’s you, after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

peeled

I have thirty-two days. The first few weeks were tough to get through without booze but my body felt better every day so that kept me going. But something has changed. I can’t stand to be in my body when I’m working, or around anyone. I see girls so freely sharing themselves, so comfortable. I just want to run away screaming. I don’t want anyone to look at me but at the same time, I so desperately need them to. No wonder I’m not making any money. I don’t know if they handle it because they’re more comfortable with themselves or if they have something fucked up about them that allows them to be so careless, so giving of their bodies. Maybe we’re just cut from a different cloth. Maybe all of the above. I remember from a young age feeling very naked at times. I feel naked now anytime I go out in public. I’ve fantasized about wearing a fucking hijab. I’m not kidding. I’m so tired of men looking at me, assessing me and judging me. I’m tired of people thinking about fucking me when I feel so broken, their lust feels cruel. I feel preyed upon and it makes me so angry. But the anger just makes me tired because I know I’d be too ashamed to express it. I wish I could walk through the world unnoticed, I wish I could just be left alone. Being alone is probably hurting me too but I just can’t bring myself to be around people. And it doesn’t help that I just can’t stand anyone. I can’t stand this culture I’m in, I can’t stand the posturing and the way some people just all seem to talk the same. I can’t stand the contrived earnestness people try to speak to me with at work. I feel like they’re trying to pry me apart. I want to run but I can’t run. I have to sit there and play the game with them. My stomach recoils as I watch their eyes bore into mine, ready to be entertained, enjoying themselves. I’ve always been this way. I cannot stand for people to try and pull out my inner workings so they can examine them. I don’t understand why people feel entitled to that. Why do people try to crack me open? It’s not from a place of benevolence, it’s perverse curiosity. Or perhaps sometimes it’s just an unexamined impulse they have. A man asked me last night “What makes you smile?”. I suppose some would find this question sweet, but I wanted to smash his head onto the table. I know he just wanted a fun little anecdote he could put in his pocket and walk away with, self-satisfied. But I cannot stand to let people take pieces of me.

I’m not totally ignorant, here. I know I’m supposed to play the part, I know I’m supposed to have stock answers ready for this type of bullshit. After all, these interactions aren’t real, they’re designed to not be real. But I’m just so fucking raw right now. The armor I used for so long to shield myself from my sensitivities has been stripped, and for good reason. These used to be the moments where I would load up, take another shot, a way of saying “fuck you, I don’t feel any of this” while I essentially buried my head in the sand.

Now I have to build armor that’s real. I have to feel my feelings blah blah, I have to do a lot of fucking things. And I’m tired. I just cannot do what needs to be done right now and at the same time, I can’t afford to be like this. I can’t afford to lay in bed all day just because the world hurts too much right now. I don’t know what to do. I pray this will pass if I just let myself rest, but at what point does self-preservation become self-indulgence? Everything demands something of me, everything is screaming at me to get up, get up. But I just won’t. I can’t push anymore. Being at home alone in this hole feels like shit but at least I’m safe here.

The Leaving (Pt 2)

Sadness creeps in at the end of each day and I’ve got nothing and no one to save me. Can’t even rely on the self-pity that comes with mourning your give-a-fucks for me because I’ve known for a while now that you’re all out. Or maybe you never had them to begin with. Is the chair that sits next to me too uncomfortable for you?

You’re tired and time will just make you more tired. You’re tired of me being sad, I know you won’t come around when I feel crazy. There’s no more room for me to be anything but a delight, a pleasure. There’s no room for my darkness, no room for me to mess up and no shoulder to cry on.

You listen but you keep me at arm’s distance. I don’t know how to inhabit this space. It makes me hate you and it makes me hate myself. But when I leave you accuse me of not caring. You can’t see that I’m just trying to live somewhere that doesn’t hurt so much.

I’m alone. But maybe that’s what I need after all this time.

violent means to a soft place

I don’t mind when it gets to be too much

When it hurts just a bit

I’ve learned to relax around the pain

How good it feels to be taken, to give in

Allow it to hurt

Allow myself to like it

 

And I can’t help myself

 

As maddening as you are, nothing keeps me tethered to this bed like those thick hands around my throat

 

You release, I flinch

Don’t make me beg for it

 

But then you clasp them around me once more

I watch you study me beneath you

Curious to see my struggle

Oh, but I’ve learned not to struggle, and I’m never afraid of you

I’ve learned not to fear

To let breath escape me, just for a time

 

I hear your breath quicken

Excited by my submission, the darkening of my face

I take one last look at you, what you’re doing to me

 

I couldn’t stop you if I tried

 

My body pinned while I escape

Into soft plumes, up, up

You release me again, just when I need you to

A single hand

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