My apologies to my loyal readers but like that good ol’ chap from Mad Men Pete Campbell last week was as he eloquently stated, “Not great, Bob!” To prove this point this past weekend I am going through my records and find my 808 State New Order remixes from Rephlex Records. I was super excited because I had forgotten all about been having this record. So Excitedly I put it on my turntable and it’s the goddamn Eagles live album. Yes, the fucking Eagles. What kind of sociopath would do this to me?
To top it off even if it had been the right record it wouldn’t have worked because both my Technic 1200’s are on the fritz, and not working.
While organizing I also came across some letters from my nephew, when he was in prison, who I haven’t seen or heard from in years. They hit me hard and instead of you know maybe talking to someone, writing a gratitude list, or just fucking writing about it here I decided the best plan of action was alcohol. My brutal mistress.
Sometimes I am the sociopath when it comes to drinking because I know all it does is hurt me and everyone who cares about me. Yet for that mere moment that was all my brain chose to see. It’s pathetic really- it’s easier to confess here than to confess my feelings before a sip of sin is on my tongue. It’s even worse now because I made sure to damage a relationship in less than a week of drinking. A sweet soul that had inspired so many beautiful words that I utterly burned at the altar of intoxication- not even remembering the careless words I uttered to destroy her impish nature.
So know I am going to be Michael Jordan, and make alcohol my grudge against the world. The grudge against my past self. Nobody did petty like Jordan because he was the prince of mindfulness always in the moment, and always clinging to any slight to keep him focused. With this mindset I am going to look at alcohol like the high school coach who cut him, and treat it as vicious as he did his teammates when they were underperforming. No matter what I will be fully conscious to the moment to not let myself sleep walk into the easy facade that brews from the falsehood of peace through a drink.
Now back to my nephew. I have already lost two- one through murder, and then not even a year later another who died shortly after birth. I never met that nephew, and because of the blinding nature of that previous loss I sometimes don’t even think to mention him when discussing family that have been taking from this earth. In a way I feel I have lost three now, and that letter just made it sink in more. I haven’t read them all yet- I put them away for now. But I do wonder how he is doing these days. I hope he is enjoying the clouds zig zagging through a sea salt blue sky from the rooftop of a car, and not the bars of a prison. And I hope in the future memories of him will make me think of hope and not despair. Think of gratitude and not drowning. Think of myself as an uncle he can be proud of, and not worried about.
So with this I am going to embrace this failure as fuel for the fire. The pain as a learning experience to be better. With the simple mind state of just don’t drink it. And all I know this week, like the Dude before me, I will not being opening up any more records with the fucking Eagles in them.
Sometimes’s someone energy can inspire words to flow with the power of Niagara’s Falls. Washing away self-doubt and letting clarity run through your veins. Some call these muses because such beauty is rarely seen in nature. These special beings seemed as if carved from the most skilled carpenters hands, and blessed with those intrinsic values that inspired the poets of yesteryears. Sometimes you find a muse in the strangest place. You can’t seek out a muse- the world seeks one out for you. Mine came from an enchanted forest in a foreign land. A mystic with an elf like joy that cleansed the anger in my soul. With fresh eyes, and a new found clarity the words came back. I realized the sadness that once fueled the pen to paper was bound to flame out like the joy that a simple sparkler gave as the child grows old. The simplicity of that emotion turns to ash as joy now brings the fireworks rocketing to touch the top of the clouds. You can’t control a muse- their whimsical nature leads to a choose your own adventure novel where the ending is never known. Just like the passion they install in you will lead your inspiration on the paper til your fingers bleed truth. A muse is dynamite- it will eventually explode. It is the artist’s duty to ride the ripples to bring such beauty to the audience. A muse is a gift and a curse- just like writing is. Feeling too much can destroy someone so they can inspire many. My words bleed so you can weep with joy. My muse changed my perception so my words can change yours.
I wanted today to follow up a little bit on Fhrate today with the last chapter I dedicated to him in my book. A few people hit me up asking about him, and wanting to know more about him so I will oblige. I been searching for some of his writing I kept but I have had no luck find it yet- but that search will continue. In some ways without him I don’t think this blog would exist. Although many before had told me I had a talent in words I never truly believed it to he told me so. His writing was so impactful on me that his co-sign gave me faith to leap into that writing ocean without fear. The fact he had told me he wanted me- not himself- to write his story still baffles me to this day. I don’t think either of these two chapters really give him the justice he deserved- but at least they give you a glimpse into someone that made a profound influence of my life in such a short time. And whose life was taking away way too soon by his own hands. Here below are two pics of Fhrate- I think both are equally fitting for the duality that was him.
Chapter 17- The Trains Never Stop
I drove by a Denver train-yard the other day. Fhrate’s sad image floated back in my mind. He never made it East. He wanted to though. I talked him out of it. I was living at what was dubbed as the “Hell’s Angel’s Manor” in Dover, NH at the time; and Fhrate wanted to move in with me. He had all these glorious visions of us being each other’s editors for our writing. Even though I knew he was a better writer than me, for some reason he always wanted me to write his story. He was all excited about the prospect of heading East for the first time. He had it all figured out. While I was at school he would explore the area, read, and write. There was one catch though; he had legal issues in Denver to worry about. So I figured that running away wouldn’t help. I figured he needed to deal with that bullshit, and then come out. Also I realize painfully now it was also out of me being selfish. At the time I was selling weed, and drinking daily. I didn’t know if I could change my environment to welcome him. In a way I still carry that guilt with me every time I drink. I know in a rational sense running East wouldn’t make his problems go away- but maybe that would have been sufficient enough for the long run to keep him still alive.
After I left Oakland Fhrate started drinking heavily again. He quit his job and moved out to Portland. He kept drinking and ended up back on the road and rails. Eventually he bottomed out and ended up in jail. Turns out the girl he had been travelling with never told him she was underage. So Fhrate ended up in jail for a bit; but finally he got cleaned up and moved back home to Denver with his parents. There he was sober with a new girlfriend and was finishing up school. Things were looking up for him.
Everything was going fine in his life except he couldn’t cure the numbness. After the murders I came to visit my brother Brian in Denver for couple days for Thanksgiving. I kept missing chances to hang with Fhrate, but I figured I would be back soon and we could hang then. Little did I realize this was my last chance to see him alive.
The summer following the murders I was finishing making a dj mix. The last thing I added was Charles Bukowski reciting his poem, “The Suicide Kid.” For some reason this made me think of Fhrate. I hadn’t heard from him for a few weeks, but this was normal with him. And he had told me he was moving in with his girlfriend and wouldn’t have internet access for awhile. I asked Stef, and few other friends of his if they had heard from him and no one had. So I called up his parent’s house to see if I could track him down. His mom answered. I asked if I could speak with Sean. Her mournful voice paralyzed me. “Sean is dead.” Then she hung up.
I went into shock, grabbed a bottle of vodka and slugged it straight. This was the first time my first instinct was to drink when tragedy bestowed me. I hysterically called up my girlfriend Tiffany. Later she would tell me she had never heard me so distraught. It’s weird how alcohol allowed the floodgates of emotion to now course through my veins in time of despair. Gone was the numbness I had experienced in the fall- replaced with gutterail wails of pain. Through tears and vodka I tried to explain. “He’s fucking dead.” “Dead.” Was all I could muster.
A couple days later I called his mom back. She explained that Fhrate’s body had been found at the railroad yard. He couldn’t escape the numbness that trapped him, so he freed himself with a combination of grain alcohol and heroin.
In the end he finally found his way home. Or, at least, that’s what I need to tell myself.
It’s a rainy ol’ dirty bastard raw day today. In group this morning we delved into depression, and the stigma associated with it. Now I could care less if anybody knows I deal with it- as you can tell from this blog. This wasn’t always the case just because I was fearful of admitting that pain because it would became real. I convinced myself it would be easier just to think alcohol was the only issue which proved false. At almost a year of sobriety having gone through and actively working the steps, running a sober house, and having sponsees I was still miserable inside. It was until I was willing to admit to myself that alcohol was just a maladaptive coping system of what turned out to be bi-polar 2 depression that I was able to truly start to work on myself, and the traumas of my past. As you see this path has had a lot of peaks and valleys. But writing has always been my constant hope.
So today I wanted to share a chapter from the book I wrote for my MFA thesis. A book about my twenty something self’s journey running away from lost love, and the murders that happened to my sister, niece, and nephew- and how music saved and introduced me to a misfit of characters that would influence me for the rest of my life. This chapter features two of the most important people I would meet as a naive 19 year old for the first time in the Bay.
Chapter 2 –All I Saw Was Ugly
I spent the night of their deaths staring at a computer screen while talking on AIM. I am telling my friend Fhrate (pronounced like freight as in a freight train) what happened. He seems like the only person I know who would understand.
“I just feel numb, just numb.” I typed to him.
“I understand, man, well maybe not with the magnitude of what just happened, but I feel the same way all the time. I just don’t feel anything, and sometimes I wonder if I even really love my family, or girlfriend. That’s what I miss about drinking, because at least then I felt something. And even if it was nothing but sadness it was better than this numbness that replaced it.”
I first met Fhrate three years earlier in Oakland under a blank canvas sky which captured a yard dead to the world: weeds, soil with no hopes of prosperity, a fence without the guts to stand. This yard led to a house where in the kitchen, sitting Indian-style, was a gutter-punk Buddha, sewing needle in one hand, dental floss in the other, with a hooded sweatshirt adorned with patches resting on his lap. This was Fhrate, with short-cropped black hair, and a fresh razor mark gash on the back of his neck from cutting his hair himself. I was surprised by how tranquil he looked, and how shy he seemed, given the stories he wrote made him come off as a maniac hobo who explored America in a constant haze of drugs and alcohol.
He put down his needle and approached me with a small smile.
“Hi, I am Sean.”
I was meeting him for the first time, yet, I felt like he was an old friend because of our numerous conversations online, and from reading his stories. Even though I was surprised at how shy he was, I really shouldn’t have been, because the person whom he had written about was a character of his past, a drunken train bum who was kinetic energy in motion, never happy unless in constant flux, realizing the only way to escape life was to be constantly running from or towards new problems.
His eyes were sad paradises of truth and seemed listless when he talked about his dead-end job.
“This girl, well, woman, I think she’s almost forty. I am not sure if this makes her more desirable, or makes me feel old, but anyway she keeps asking me to go to the bar with her, and my other co-workers, and I have to say no. It’s not fun to bitch about your job when you’re the only sober person in the room. Plus, I have that a whole alcoholic thing to deal with. And I would be left in that weird state of not knowing if I should make a move on her because I work with her, and I wouldn’t be able to laugh it off the next day at work on us just being drunk. Plus, I hate that fucking job.”
Fhrate was sober again, which was ideal for him, but somewhat of a disappointment for me. I was nineteen years old and came out to Oakland in search of this great myth. I had just finished On The Road a few months earlier, and I was ready for this wild adventure where there would be loose women, kicks, and all that other bullshit you fantasize about in life after reading that book. Maybe the problem was I wanted Fhrate to be a character in a book, and real life is never that tidy. He was bored with life because he was living it by the rules of what he thought he should be doing, instead of what he really wanted to be doing.
His eyes lit up as we entered his room, and he showed me a map on his wall of all the railroad lines he traveled across America. His face contorted into a grimace when looking at the East Coast, “I have never had a chance to travel that far East yet.”
Next to the map was a calendar of different trains, and Fhrate could tell you everything about each one, and even all about the do’s and don’ts of train hopping.
“All right, first things first-if you can avoid hopping ‘on the fly,’ do so. It makes more sense to get on an unmoving train that one that’s going twenty miles an hour.”
His voice sounded like a dusty vinyl recording of William Burroughs played on 45.
“Also, don’t be afraid to ask workers what trains are going where, but avoid the bulls at all costs. Also, I wouldn’t ride piggy-backs.”
I heard piggy-back, and in my head I pictured two old fashioned hobos, complete with sticks and bandanas tied around each end, attempting to hop a train with one man riding on the back of the other.
“That’s a trailer on flat car. You should avoid those because there’s nowhere to ride really, leaving you exposed to wind, rain, and prying eyes. And don’t ever get on someone else’s box car. It’s just rule of thumb and travel. It is also a sign of respect and it lends itself to caution. However, in the in the event you do get on an occupied boxcar, just acknowledge your mistake, dismount, and find another open car. The real concern is that, while you may meet some real solid brothers and sisters on the road, you may just as easily encounter some fucking psychopathic assholes. If you get on an asshole’s boxcar then that asshole feels he has certain entitlement, like to your wife, wallet, pack, or coat. “
For a few seconds Fhrate grew silent, and seemed to be back on the road longing for that one train to lead him to whatever he was searching for, or maybe, he was thinking instead of just the joy that is escaping from having to search for anything in the first place.
“If you should be in or around a yard, and you know you’re coming up on a hobo jungle, always make your presence known. The tried and true salutation/announcement is ‘Yo Camp!’ Possibly yelling out ‘Hobo!’ will put the resident campers at ease, if they think you are kindred ‘boes. Also I wouldn’t carry lots of cash. “
After the train-hopping lesson we ventured to his living room, and watched a Scribble Jam tape from 1999 to kill time, before heading across the bridge into San Francisco, and over to Stef’s apartment. Stef was a dj who, at 40 years old, was ducking the norm of what life told her she should be doing, and instead living life how she wanted to. This may have been fueled by her love of hip hop, and records, as she was heavily involved in the music scene in San Francisco, where she ran a magazine called Vinyl Exchange, and was also kindly letting me crash on her couch for this trip of mine.
In Stef’s room, through the maze of old rap posters and flyers, was a single rose hanging on the wall. It was a rose Fhrate had giving her. This was a side of Fhrate he usually kept hidden from the world, and this sweetness was first thing alcohol would take from him as it transformed him into a different person that seemed hell bent on self-destruction. That flower sums up the paradox that was Fhrate, and his constant struggle with alcohol, which always seemed to lurk in the darkness of his soul just waiting to fuck up whatever good things he had going at the time. Stef cared about him enough to understand this, and a set a steadfast rule that she would not be around him if he drank. So maybe the flower was Sean’s way of telling her he understood, and was sorry for all his actions, and any time he may have hurt her before.
The next night I met up with Fhrate outside the club for the 10th Anniversary Anticon show. Outside the club I met a friend of his named Ian, and his bottle of vodka. He offered me some, so we headed into the back alley to pass the bottle back and forth, while above us the third shift stars went to work.
More people joined, and then the bottle was empty. To combat this we retreated to the inside of a convenience store, where Fhrate, the only one of us over twenty-one, bought beer for us. Outside the club a circle formed, and the beers were passed back and forth. Fhrate couldn’t resist, and joined in.
A fractured memory later, drunk, with ears ringing, we decided to keep drinking after the show with a graffiti artist named Demo, who had flown down to the show from Chicago. He was there with his girlfriend, a fiery little brunette, and her honey-skinned friend who just wanted to take pictures of San Francisco.
They invited us back to their hotel and by 3 a.m. I was hunched over the toilet puking, as Fhrate was out getting late night grub with Demo. Fhrate never returned, and disappeared after conversing with some homeless folk, and losing Demo in the process.
As the shadows of morning crept through the blinds I lay awake. From my hiding spot, a hard bed with starched white sheets and mattress springs that scratched and dug into my exposed spine, I noticed the wall was a sickly pink, like a diseased flamingo begging to be shot at the merciful hands of a poacher, and even when I closed my eyes I couldn’t stop my head from spinning and twirling as if I was on the deranged teacups of a dead Disney Land. Out the window was a seedy motel. The proprietor of sin was a dirty soul with a vast paunch belly built on greed. He had an unshaven face caked with gray whiskers and pockmarks. His eyes were wasted on only that which was perverse, blind to the notion that the girls he thought of as whores were really just angels lusting for their wings.
Silence was broken. Awoke in haze. Commotion down hall. Banging on doors. Yelling, then Fhrate. He wore the results of his slumber on concrete with eyes as red as a brand new kickball. I quickly got out of bed to deal with him, and get him out of the motel before he did any more damage, or woke up any more guests.
Fhrate needed more booze, but was broke. Then an idea came to him.
“I have this fifty dollar Gap card I got for a present, and as you can see,” he pointed to his gutter-punk outfit of Carhart pants, and a black sweatshirt with patches he had sewn all over it, “I am never going to use it, so we can to sell it, and split the money.”
We approached the Gap, navigated through a crowded market area filled with sight-seeing tourists with fanny packs and fresh faces, while Fhrate antagonized a homeless man sleeping on the street, and woke him up by kicking him softly.
“Rise and shine. You can’t sleep all day.” The man grumbled a little bit, but just rolled onto his other side, and went back to sleep. I was beginning to understand the belligerent drunk side of Fhrate, but yet I was fascinated by his actions and even thought this is what it must feel like to have walked around with a young Bukowski.
Outside the Gap a Jesus freak was telling the world, “Repent For your Sins,” and “AIDS is God’s cure.” Fhrate approached him with a grin and put an arm around my shoulder, “Jesus wouldn’t mind that we fuck all the time, right?”
We entered the Gap and I did most of the talking since Fhrate was half drunk, and dressed like an undercover prophet in thrift-shop garb. I approached a lady shopping alone who had an ass that looked like a nerf football stuffed in spandex.
”Excuse me, would you be interested in saving ten dollars? I have a Gap card I am selling that’s worth fifty, but I’ll sell it to you for forty.”
She looked at Fhrate and then looked me up and down. It was the first time I really felt like an outsider to regular folk society, and realized this woman probably thought we were drug addicts who stole the card from a nice young married couple, probably with an adorable new-born, and were fiends dead-bent on going to take this money to shoot up, and would then go on some raping and kill spree like she was taught in the anti-drug movies of her high school days.
”No,” was her answer as she quickly walked to the opposite side of the store. That scene repeated itself for the next twenty or so minutes until we found a black girl, who realized we were not trying to swindle her, who bought the card off us. As we left the store, a mother and her daughter walked in and Fhrate screamed, “Aid’s is God’s cure for all the yuppies and their children, and I am here to infect you all!” I pushed him out of the store, and with money in his pocket Fhrate headed to the corner store, where he bought a bottle of Long Island iced tea, and some smoked malt liquor that tasted like it had been brewed in the womb of a grizzly bear. As we walked Fhrate apologized to the homeless man, and showed him his bottle of booze, which for some reason made the homeless man smile, and understand there were no hard feelings. On the corner a dealer was slanging dime bags of weed and Fhrate, who never smoked, decided to buy a bag off of him.
Content with his booze, Fhrate and I headed back to the motel to see if Demo and his crew were still there. When we arrived we found just the honey-skinned photographer, who only warmed up to seeing our return after she found out we had weed. Fhrate tried to roll a joint but couldn’t get the papers to stick.
“You can’t even roll a joint?” she said.
“Can you?” I asked.
“No, but I figured one of you could do it. It’s not that hard.”
The joint was not going to work, but I had an idea.
“Hey, do you have a can? Like a Coke can anything like that?”
“How the hell should I know?” she said.
I found a Pepsi can and rinsed it out, and then crafted makeshift bowl out of it. We smoked as Fhrate kept drinking, and by the time Demo came back, Fhrate was freshly drunk. We explored San Francisco for a couple hours until Demo and the girls finally ditched us after Fhrate caused a scene in a pizza place by berating the workers.
”Y’all communists and Fascist bastards who think they control the world through your three-dollar slices of pizza. My shit tastes better than your pizza, you fucking cunts.”
We spent the rest of the day wandering the city as ghosts left to haunt themselves. Fhrate kept drinking, and I shambled after him.
As the sun started to set, lust hung in the air, billowing like wispy white clouds that hover over the immense Rocky Mountains. I was lusting for knowledge, a lust to end the confusion that engulfed me like the heavy morning Pacific fog of a decaying shipyard. Rusted steamers, cracked masts, torn sails, the ghost of wanderers past: nothing but ugliness and lost dreams.
Fhrate once told me if you stay up late enough and search long enough under those stars, that the whore we call America will finally show you her beauty. But I was three thousand miles away from home and all I saw was ugly.
The night grew cold, and Fhrate became more distant and drunk. We walked to the BART station where Fhrate could hop a boat back across the bay to Oakland. He had already spent all his money from the GAP card on alcohol and weed, so I paid for his ticket. His eyes were hollow, and he seemed like a shell of the person I had met a few days ago. His sad figure haunted me as it disappeared into the darkness, and I wondered how long it would take him to find his way home. I returned to the street only to shudder at my own reflection as it passed me by in a store front.
Reading this back it’s painful because both Fhrate and Stef have passed away. Fhrate through suicide a couple years after I first met him in the flesh, and Stef from a heart attack at only 55. Being so young, dumb, naive, and lustful for adventure I was greatly shaped by their influence on my life at that young age of 19. It’s strange for people, who I physically in person had such limited amount of time with, became so vital in my personal growth at the time, and to this day. This occurred because of the internet’s ability to close the gap of connection. Even through a lockdown one of the blessings of the internet is that ability to stay connected. As I continue this voyage to find clarity knowing I can still explore human connection in this world- and I hope through my writing I can keep connected with you all.
It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you without a strong story to step to. My dear readers as typical the writings been far and few between. To make this up I am devoting myself back to you. I have put myself in super lock down. In order to battle the bottle I have gone all out- the Navy Seals have been called into to finally kill that terrorist of my life alcohol. No longer will I rant on Facebook, and wake up to the horror of the modern day drunk call showing up in people’s messages. No longer will I wake up from a blackout and do a scavenger hurt to find the damage my kamikaze landing inflicted on the world. So this is day two of operation lockdown- shout out to Heltah Skeltah.
Operation Lockdown is a 30 day boot camp to get my mind, body, and spirit back in order. It’s also a lockdown on any ability to get alcohol. I have heeded the words of Public Enemy and realized right now I can’t trust myself. So I have decided in next thirty days I will not leave my house unless I am with someone else that will keep me accountable. Yes strange times call for desperate measures and when better to do this than during a quarantine. Each morning from 9-12 I have Intense Outpatient group meetings. Then I set aside time for reading, writing, exercise, mental hygiene, and self-care. As I develop a more coherent daily routine I will post about it.
But for now since I am so benevolent, and don’t want to write anymore about myself anymore here is a story about elves- yes elves. I will be the first to admit I know nothing about elves. The beautiful soul who asked me to write this patiently pointed that out to me after she read it. But she enjoyed the story, and maybe you will too.
The mountains were once my curse. Sent there by a cruel father for my refusal to marry an elder’s daughter. I was disowned for wanting to pursue love. I was banished to the remote area reserved for lost and troubled souls. The elves nobody wanted. Constantly hunted by those who hate us for ducking the norm. The treaty for the elder elve’s is the current way of life- the most beautiful females left in the land are paid off to the highest bidder- whether it’s elf, beast, or giant.
Unfortunately for me I fell for the most intelligent, beautiful, and defiant elf – a girl who escaped from a cowardly father seeking true love. She was betrothed to a brutal slob- a beast with no honor or secrecy. A brute who used violence as currency, and cared nothing for her gentle soul beyond his own filthy lust.
She escaped to this foreign land an innocent lamb in a world of slaughter. At first she paid me no mind. I thought I was just a thief for her beauty, and too ugly for her to care about me. She embraced those that were deceitful for those were the men who roamed these desolate lands. She did not know any better. I was determined to liberate her freedom- her beauty was more than a sunrise- it was the radiance itself melted with the heart of the innocence, and combined with joy of lost fire works in an abundant sky.
She was the ideal elf and I knew I needed to protect her from all. I fought off all the sadistic suitors of any kind- won her over finally from my oath of honesty, faith, and devotion. I knew this beauty would never be safe from those that prayed on her purity so I left with dust tinged with red blood at our feet, and fled through the night.
I took her to the highest mountains with nothing more than a notebook in sight. I knew my words would become her delight. Under the underfed stars our romance delighted- nurtured by those same star’s kamikaze lights. I held on to her as the world collapsed. My passion for her was like the stars battling sunlight each morning-never ending and inevitable to happen each day. The sun their mortal enemy for shooing then away. Yet both entities are beautiful and bright in their own way- yet always fighting a silent cold war for which one will be the beacon in the sky that wayward lovers look for when they are seeking out their path to their lover’s heart. The air turns black, sleeping breaths sync, as the wind plays a lullaby, and the world around us closes for the night.
I haven’t wrote to you my silent audience in seven months. That’s not an apology- just an observation. Not much happened in those months-I felt I was trapped in the Mr. Robot plot line when Leon is watching 90’s sitcoms- so yeah I watched a lot of tv and maybe I can start dissecting down shows for you in the future. You would like that right? But alas me first must go through the drudgery of what got me posting again. First, a month or two before my last post, a brand new med provider, who only knew me from reading a chart from her overloaded casework sat down with me for less than 15 minutes had lowered a dose of meds I was on when I was feeling better than ever because she felt my doses were too high-and well that wasn’t her style. Even though the med combo she changed was giving to me by an award winning psychiatrist when I was in the BCU( inpatient- psyche ward for those that aren’t into the lingo). And before that med drop I had done so much trauma work to find peace with the murders themselves I was feeling better than I had in a decade. The change down in meds led to the depression to return. But it was to me the worst type of depression: the one where you don’t go through a crazy suicidal spiral you can you use to fuse writing, but instead where you just lose interest in all your loves- most crucially my love of writing. Eventually I started living in a purgatory where each day at school working and teaching the kids became a sanctuary where I felt joy- and after the last bell of the day I felt just like Halloween decorations in an attic just existing to be used on a day celebrating terror, masks, and fear. This purgatory led to the anesthetic of vodka to fill the void. Never understanding why I couldn’t figure out my depression, why I was so full of hatred in my gut, and why was I not fighting back anymore. Than around Christmas I had a manic episode where I was living in a delusion where money didn’t matter, and the only solace I found was in cam models online. I wasn’t in it so much for the general idea of their existence- not say that wasn’t an enticement and perk- but it was more to have conversations beyond the character they have to play. At first I mostly talked to a newcomer from Russia who in one of her model pics was reading an Emily Bronte novel. She absolutely hated doing this because she was too sensitive and naively thought she could find human connection with such a job since was young and enjoyed sex. Instead she was mostly treated as someone who literally didn’t exist- just a pornhub video come to life where the person on the end of the other screen becomes the director using her simply as an object for his sexual hang-ups. She soon left- I didn’t blame her. After failing to find a girl that intrigued or interested meet I met a Columbian girl dealing with a dad with cancer, and a schizophrenic brother. She was honest, and soon we became snapchat friends. She was brutally frank with me as she said that I had a very handsome face, but she was worried because I was out of shape and drinking too much, and needed to go to the gym because of my health, and I wasn’t getting any younger. All of this was true- I had gained about 25 pounds since that last post and became the fat John Wick Version of Fat Thor, and I hadn’t hit the gym in months. And just for the record neither model ever hit me up for me to send them money. Anyway after the manic episode ended- or at least when I finally realized it was over- the suicidal thoughts crept back after a year of never having that question flow in my head. I tried to pretend I was fine, and didn’t need help, but the thoughts and impulses became worst so I went to the ER and checked back into inpatient at the BHU(Behavior Health Unit) about a year from my last visit. I was still delusional thinking I just needed a quick detox and med tweak. But for ten of the 15 days I was inpatient my head was pollen flowing through an aimless wind. I heard voices, hallucinations that begged me to believe they were honest, and a mind always on the verge about to collide with a mountain because of the fog. I couldn’t concentrate to read or write, so instead I just spent days walking miles around the unit, doing yoga stretches, and trying not to bang my head on a window to end the pain- or use the pain to stay in the fog long enough to finally succeeding in hitting the mountain to find the peace I was searching for. I only told my work, and my parents I was checking in. I didn’t bring anyone’s phone numbers, nor want anyone to call to talk to me, because I knew in the back of my mind I needed to experience this journey without distraction. Day 11 was the fucking worst. I sat, and walked with my big belly of emotions. I just let them come through me, feeling everyone, not judging, nor interrupting anyone that passed, and just being ohhh so fucking uncomfortable every second of that day. Usually in the past I would try to distract myself from that uncomfortableness; I would talk to a pretty girl, take an anxiety pill, or try to help someone out with their problems. But instead I just walked and let these feelings lash me on my bare back. Tuesday came with comfort and relief. I found a note in a random journal I hadn’t used in a year and that note cut me in half with how they viewed my words with such sincerity, and how I used those words to destroy her delicate and brittle soul in the end out of my fear of losing someone I truly could care about- but that part will be for another day- maybe another story- but it finally made me examine with honest eyes why that hatred was still in me. I had one piece of the puzzle missing left to truly explore. When I no longer could pin-point my hatred, and found healing from my eldest brother murdering my sister Tricia, my four year old niece Gillian, or my two year old nephew James- I raked my brain to find why was I still so full of hate? So I took a sword with a rusted spikes on the end to my belly to see what would spill out on the pages. What I found wasn’t pretty metaphors or gruesome destructions it was more simple. I hated myself and never wanted to feel the loss like I had before so I became a time bomb of self-destruction when anything starting going good. Not wanting truly wanting to get close to anybody, and tricking my brain against all reason that I wasn’t and could not be loved had become ingrained truths in me. I had suppressed so much emotion after the tragedy I had rewired my brain to never want to give anyone the chance to cause me the feelings as losing them had. That simple truth- plus a new med, and med tweak has put me back on track. I know what I have to work on in therapy now- especially in EMDR. I know I have to be more social not isolated, and structured throughout my day. And know I need to return to the gym, and back to my healthy eating style. And I know I have to be faithfully honest to myself, and you my fearless readers. So get ready for some rawness, some beauty touched with some joyous agony, and probably some weird shit too.
I haven’t wrote here in awhile- at first it was because things were going so well. The chaos was behind me so the words stopped flowing. My brain though- through years of repetition, repeating past cycles, and being able to grasp in its clutches the one thing that still caused me pain- however was sly. It’s like I jumped in the front seat of a Cadillac while never noticing the killer in the back, with a halo in his hands meant to choke out my existence. The thing was unlike before I wasn’t in deep despair- nor any longing for the embrace of a breathless existence. Things just became too normal- everything was going too well. It just made me too uncomfortable to be comfortable and free from calamity’s oasis. So embraced my old mistress and took a sip of the pleasure of my pain. Ruining the friendship of the person whose past pain was similar to mine, and could relate in a level so much deeper than most. Instead I found umbrage in embarrassing fb messages, and the matrix of dating sites. Not wanting a connection till my brain was on autopilot, and my past code took over control. My future was so bright that each night I blacked out the night- inching ever so closer to those future days I was actively trying to destroy. A catch 22 of the madness of despair. I named this blog Broken Resolutions because it was an ode to the past. And while today I start a new journey- I learned a new lesson. You can’t fix anything in the morning if you are actively destroying it each night. Comfort equals despair when your actively trying to change. The only thing I was mindful in those almost two months was my dishonesty to myself, knowing all the right lies to trick myself. So here again I am freeing my secrets- sending them out so they can’t hide in me no more. Feeling the night so I can enjoy the brightness of the day. Still wondering in confusion, but tonite I am sober. And tomorrow will follow. And from there just like doing lunges at the gym I am just going to enjoy the suck- knowing the only way to be freed from past sins is falling into the arms of the the destruction of that oasis of my past love, chaos. And if all else fails l’ll just pretend I am John Wick, and booze was my dog’s killer. Taking revenge on that bastard by never taking that first sip.
“Maybe dullness is associated with psychic pain because something that’s dull or opaque fails to provide enough stimulation to distract people from some other, deeper pain that is always there, if only in ambient low-level way, and which most of us spend nearly all our time and energy trying to distract ourselves from feeling, or at least from feeling directly or with out full attention.” DFW
Being able to embrace the dullness is a new feeling for me. Almost two months ago I finally recognized the reality of what I had been trying to distract myself from for almost fourteen years- three murders that turned into internal hatred for my own self because of my reaction to the situation, and my flight from feelings and life. That pain was so brutal I felt the only solution was the ultimate distraction from life- that being death. Suicidal plans, thoughts, and ideation are the last resort of a tortured brain that has nothing left to distract itself from, and all other alternatives have faltered.
With things finally going well, and the bizarre feelings of happiness I am experiencing, I realized that my brain was confused. As soon as things started going good my default setting turned back to thoughts of booze. This time, however, I realized these thoughts came because of my normal past actions of self-sabotage.
The ability to recognize this was halo in the abyss of darkness, and proof that purging myself in a geyser of feelings was actually worth it. So today was a dull day. I went to the gym, organized paperwork, put on new sheets and made my bed, read, watched wrestling, and wrote a blog. Not the most exciting Sunday but another day I didn’t need to create chaos to function. I still have fears that I won’t be able to write when happy, but I at least now that’s fear in the comfort of self-sabotage. So I am saying fuck that noise and continuning to write no matter what. And hell I might even start a new blog about wrestling next that will be strictly for my humanoids.
The day after Valentine’s Day is always a good day to reflect on love. To think about the wounded roses and thorns lost in the copse of smoldering bonfires where only the lust of smoke lingers. Through the haze thinking about all the corpses of lost loves- most of mine from self-inflicted wounds through the carelessness of my sins. Mundane curiosity makes me reflect for a moment at what could have been- but realizing swiftly that all my actions past faults makes me just grateful for my next chance at someone’s heart. Tenderness abides at the cold oceans wake; for February keeps so many hearts in sleepless hibernation. I am feeling catatonic, and yet so awake. Cuffing season and cuddling I sorely do miss, but springtime is coming across the snows mist. Soon the pollen will fill up the air as the sun beats down on the muddy soils despair, and I will trudge through this journey for three hundred and sixty four more days, knowing my heart is awake even if it’s shadowed with doubt.
“We fill all pre-existing forms and when we fill them we change them and are changed.” Frank Bidart
I have been reading a lot of David Foster Wallace lately and he is one of the few writers that I am always in awe of. His fiction is always able to depict a certain loneliness and isolation that is perfect in its own subtlety. It’s not in the same sense of the navel gazing of the Beat Generation writers which I devoured in my early twenties, and that as I age become less of an influence because of that precise lack of subtlety and egocentric perception of loneliness itself. And this is not a literary criticism piece either-I tend to leave that to professors and those “sophisticated” folks who use books like ammo to impress impressionable youngsters in a celebration of their own intelligence. Which to me is the equivalent of being a sports talk radio dj, or sports journalist, who falls prey to the hot take syndrome to boost their own importance over the sports and athletes they cover. Nor am I not privy to the inherent egotist value that lies in my own take on such others- but I am able to recognize that and hope I earnestly come through in this- which to be honest I have no idea where is going as I write down these words. I feel that loneliness in itself is a misplaced concept in this day and age. I send out words in hope of a connection, and as a way to protect myself from my own harmful thoughts, or those thoughts that drive me to numbness through alcohol. Yet these words are protected through the veil of this blog, and social media as a whole. The internet allows us a mask to present ourselves as a figment of our true self- it’s the same reason the twitter account of Sunny D can pretend to be suicidal to sell off brand OJ. Everything can me marketed and consumed even the idea of connection- it’s why Tony Robbins exists. He sells hope and success as a model that makes loneliness inherently evil and something holding you back. It’s why life coaches exist and peddle you the same self-help voodoo in slightly different packages. This is not to say these folks don’t help some because they do. But for the truly depressed, the truly disconnected, the ones consumed through suicidal ideation, or the soldiers still haunted by the horrors of a war they never left the ideology of buck up and think positive is no cure. DFW was able through his fiction to paint this picture so well because of his simple understanding of that ultimate desire to connect that our brains put roadblocks up to obscure. The same reasons we put up walls, self-sabotage, abuse substances, or push those closest away when we know a simple cure is front of us. It’s almost an allergy to our own self, because to realize our true self it must be in relationship to others. And for those lost in the lounge of loneliness there is nothing more nightmarish than others- a perfect catch-22. As I write I realize I am not anywhere closer to an answer to this loneliness conundrum other than I am not quiet as lonely as I was 35 days ago. Nor am I close to where I truly desire to be. Sometimes I still feel as lost as the narrative structure of this post, but at least I can be honest with my emotions about it. And send these words out hoping to connect with someone else feeling the same way today.