Sunday, July 26, 2009


It was one of those winding-down weekends of summer when you realize you haven't done half the things you said you would, but instead of rushing to cram it all in, you catch fireflies in the night and forget that someday you'll have to grow up. He was trapped in the suburbs, and we decided to rescue him, or maybe he rescued us from South Oakland as we pulled away from the T-station in his bright red Jag. Suburban dinner at a decidedly typical Italian joint. Throwing lettuce at her. Bitching about nothing in particular, as he relates his days of watching Lifetime TV and smoking cigarettes with his mom, confirming what we perhaps already knew: that he had become a middle-aged woman. Flash-forward fast track back to the 90's. Backstreet Boys with booming bass blasting, windows down, and we're all singing a song whose words we don't even know. Home to the fireflies and family photos. Suburban backyard, knowing that these are the stories you will have from college, and these are the friends you will never forget. Knowing that no matter what else is going on in your life, now is all that matters and it is perfect. All fronts are down and everything comes out, and that's the way it should be with friends like these. And you drive across the river, and the song comes on, and it's loud. It's the perfect one, and no one talks because everyone knows that something this perfect can never happen again. And I looked into the sky at night and at my friends around me in that car, and I thought that I'd never been happier, and I knew I was home. And around the corner a hometown ice cream shop with portions bigger than you can handle, standing under a bridge as the last rays of the sun fall away, and the conversation continues, and you think that nothing has ever been more right than this. Back to the car to a party with old friends and friends you've never met, and you are always welcoming, and you know that so everything is okay.
Never lose it. This is happy.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Character Sketch?

I am meaning without words, certainly, and certainty with an uncertain countenance, counting all the beats between and among. It's not that I'm not listening to the same music but that I hear it a different way, and it's not that I don't understand people but that I understand them differently. Just as there are many layers to a melody, so there are many layers to who you are, and no one can hear all the notes alone. You might even forget that you have one in some places, and it takes the rest of us to remind you to "listen to the e's", in the music of your life and the world around you.

I am a trapped breath, a stifled thought, a quivering tone that says too much and not enough in a time too small. And you've all been there before when the words don't come and your voice rebels, and for maybe a minute you wish you were somebody else. It's not anxiety so much as an imperfect performance of personality--a personification of the desire to get it all and get it right, like the kid in the front of the room who desperately attempts to transcribe the lecture word for word so that he can be sure he won't miss a beat. Is he just another overachiever with no excuse for his behavior, or is he paranoid? Terrified of life without knowledge and the security of it? Terrified that he'll get it wrong and never get another chance? And you know that when he does, he'll try his best never to make the same mistake twice, but that's the part I consider my vice. I'll try and try, but the mistakes just hide, chameleons like me. They change their colors more often than I, and it's like shooting darts into the night. Be my flashlight.

I am a room full of things that don't fit together or anywhere else but paradoxically seem to be just right where they are. I am old posters and haphazard paint jobs and pictures of long lost friends in boxes on your floor. I am the clutter and the laundry that never goes away. I'm the keys you can't find and the gross, unidentifiable dinner plate you wish you hadn't. I am a shelf full of books and secrets just waiting to be heard. It's a mess, maybe unlivable by the standards of most, but you think it's home, and you know exactly where everything is and that that's exactly how it should be. And even if it doesn't look like I know what I'm doing, I know that everything is in its place, and if it isn't, I know I'll find the right one someday. It may take till the day I move out to find that perfect spot, but you can be sure that I know it's there.

I am the pleasure found in patience, the power found in perseverance, and the person found in people, and I pray that I may never forget that I am proud to play as ME.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday into Sunday

It's silent again, or maybe that's me. I take it all in and let the sound of the cars pull me back from the blur the room became without you here. The web unfolds and I think of the days I can't count from now--like the one when I learn to drive and can look out of the corner of my eye and see you by my side with your hair spiked up and your smile pointed at me. I think of the we that comes from you and me. Yet it's radial, and I know somewhere there's a thought caught up in these gossamer strands, struggling to break free and screaming as my mind crawls closer and closer. And closer I come to see that something I want may never be. A little something maybe someone like me. But around the web I go again, and I see a different universe that seems more complete. I see them all the time and feel what it's like to be in every one of them, and right now I'm going through something that makes me want to run away from this one and live in the other where I know that I've run through that smoke with sticks in my hands and my brother in the . If I pull enough pieces of all these times and places together, maybe I can create the perfect universe. I can create the perfect self, and the one that would have been there with you tonight--the one that could be there on all those future Saturday nights with friends. Instead I'm here and wishing I knew how to be someone else or maybe just a more social me. And sometimes I wonder if that's really what's wrong. Maybe that's why I like to perform. I get to be around a lot of people yet still be separate from them--a wall of ability and aspect that keeps the crowd from closing in on me. I have to stand apart because I'd lose myself in everyone else. But I know that doesn't have to be. I've been one of the others before. I know what it's like to not feel like this--to not feel like every social situation could end in disaster with my soul lying lifeless on the floor. And I'm not sure that it's been infrequent other than recently that I've been that kind of person. I was growing into being alright, but then something happened to shoot my confidence in the foot, and now I'm trying to limp back to where I was. And all the while it feels like everyone else is running full speed ahead. I keep wondering if I'm getting worse. I don't remember having this much trouble last year, but maybe that's because I'm finally getting out and doing things. I'm finally opening up to friends and letting the walls crumble. People are starting to see who I really am, and maybe that's a little scary. What's also scary is that there are people who think they see who I am. Believe me when I say that I really want them to know and that I really want to know them. It seems like we've been trying for years now, and it may never work out, and I may forever be a stranger to people so seemingly close to me, but I'm not the type of person to give up on anyone. And for those of you who may be wondering, that includes myself. I don't know when I shifted to talking to more than one person. I didn't even notice the shift in writing style. I guess it doesn't matter. I feel like I'm all over the place tonight in more ways than one, and I almost ruined the evening several times over. I finally decided that the best way for me to not fuck it up was to stay home alone. I think it was the right call. I may feel a little strange right now, and maybe it was only right to night, but I don't know what would have happened had I gone with you/them. I'm scared of becoming something you don't want me to be, and I hate making you feel like you have to be something you're not. I really worry about how much more of me you can take. I don't want to stop writing because that means I have to live with the silence in this room until I can get my brain to give me some peace. You have no idea how hard it is for me to fall asleep unless I am absolutely exhausted. Even then, I have trouble turning off this fucking head of mine. I've learned to tune out the rest of the world quite well, but sometimes I get lost inside my own head, and I haven't figured out all the ways out yet. I just want to be able to function like a normal human being 100 percent of the time. I'm so scared that shit like this is going to keep me from being able to do what I want to do with the rest of my life. There are people outside of my window right now. Too many of them were talking at once, and the noise just filled up my head like water in a balloon that's already been stretched way too much. Nails on a chalkboard and that dizzy feeling you get when you first stand up after a night of really heavy drinking. All in an instant. It doesn't happen all the time, but tonight is one of those nights, I guess. I guess I made the right call. I want to know how to stop myself from shutting out the rest of the world. I don't want to be the one sitting in a corner staring blankly because that's the safest thing for my brain to do. I feel like it's happening way more often than it used to, and I'm really not okay with that. I wish someone could help me with this, but I feel like there is no way I can make anyone understand what's happening with me. Even I don't fully understand it, and that particularly frustrates me. I have this obsession with knowing/understanding people and things. I try to know as much as I can because I feel like that reduces the number of situations where I will be caught completely off guard, thereby reducing the number of times I completely lose touch with reality. There was such a long period of time when this didn't happen. And I really don't remember when it started or how it came to an end. But I know that it's possible. I know that I can be okay.


Some poetry is lost to the world like the kid who plugs up his ears to block out the sound, eyes on the ground, marching in time to the cadence no one else hears. I see him sometimes standing in line feet marking time. His hands are always busy and so are mine and I see that same spirit in his eyes and it feels like I never see it anywhere. I'm sorry I stare, but your eyes want to share

Those who say the notes are all black and white can't look past the page they're written on. And when it's gone? I grieve for greyscale musicians and wonder if the whole world looks that way to them. Even the technical comes in Technicolor. The paper can't play, and the sheet can't sing. So what can you bring? You can coat the page, slide it in, let it suffocate between layers of plastic, and keep the corpse tied to your side. Or you can let it breathe, loved and beaten and squeezed of the juices of its rhythm. You'll feel the flow of the drip-drip-drip grow as you swim further in. Begin being and find the soul in every hole between the notes and let it wail like you never knew you could and maybe it'll teach you a thing or two about who you need to be. Be. Just be what God wanted your hands to be and reveal the pump that gives push to the pulse that powers the playing and pour it all in. Let it bleed through the bead and breed with every passing molecule of air and learn to swim in the music or go deaf to the beating of your own heart.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Mr. Rogers

"It's not easy to keep trying,
But it's one good way to grow.
It's not easy to keep learning,
But I know that this is so:
When you've tried and learned,
You're bigger than you were a day ago.
It's not easy to keep trying,
But it's one way to grow."

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The World According to Mr. Rogers

"What makes the difference between wishing and realizing our wishes? Lots of things, of course, but the main one, I think, is whether we link our wishes to our active work. It may take months or years, but it's far more likely to happen when we care so much that we'll work as hard as we can to make it happen. And when we're working toward the realization of our wishes, some of our greatest strengths come from the encouragement of people who care about us. "

3 years ago

I read your most recent post today, and for what I thought was no good reason, it made me run to the living room to dig in that beer box in the corner for a journal whose pages ran out long ago. The first entry is written on the very first piece of paper in the book. You know the one--the one without any lines, the one that speaks to the creativity of the little bound book's new owner, crying out for something special to forever mark the subsequent ponderings as corollaries to the meaning of the bigger picture.
July 25, 2006

I just took my contacts out, which means that I'm having a difficult time seeing anything. It's hard to fall asleep. I'm on the 19th floor of the Litchfield Towers building, far enough off the ground to completely avoid the sounds of traffic on Fifth Avenue below. The only thing I can hear is the ventilation system...and the sound of this pen scraping against the blank page. I'm glad I don't have to dorm in Litchfield. I'm only here for my PittStart session. I get to meet with my adviser tomorrow morning to schedule my classes. It will actually be in a few hours. It's almost 3 AM. I spent until 2 talking with this awesome girl named Nicole. She's so much like me. I think I'm going to have an easy time meeting people in the college environment--much easier than I expected anyway. I don't have a roommate tonight, so it's pretty much my thoughts and I hanging out until morning. I hope we get to go to Myrtle Beach. We've worked so hard to save the money and plan the trip. Why isn't anything ever easy? Why is everything a battle? Some questions just can't be answered, I suppose. I want to finish the first page of this book, even though I'm running out of things to say. I'm not even writing at a desk. I'm sprawled out on the extremely high bed in an extremely uncomfortable position. If I had my contacts in, I'd be able to view the whole city from the window behind my bed. All I can see now is a blur of red, yellow, and green lights against the black of night. That in itself isn't a bad view. It adds a little mystery to the atmosphere, making me wonder just what's out there, sort of like how I'm wondering what's out there in my future--the future that is about to begin a few short weeks from now. I wonder what sort of events will light up the night sky of my collegiate years. What constellations of friends will I form? Will they be the Big Dipper that guides me home to safety every night? Will the same passion for life blaze within their souls? So much is left to be discovered. So much may never be discovered. I guess that the joy of life is not only in the journey, but in knowing that one's journey is never truly complete. There will always be some stones left unturned, always paths that we were never able to travel. We can't have everything, and the grand struggle in life is really deciding which paths we ARE going to take and which stones we are going to turn. Life is all about these choices. Our different choices make us unique beings. Now that we are in college, we must again choose: We must choose who we are going to well as who we are not. I wonder who I'll be, and I wonder what about me will change once I find that out. <3

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I've been thinking about this one for a couple of days. I hope it is apparent that many of the things I have posted in the last few days have been written in haste and hysteria, and a great deal of them are inaccurate. Many of them have also been found to be false in light of new information recently received. I will not point-by-point apologize/qualify/clarify. Just know that I do now realize on which points I was in error and the number of people to whom I should be eternally grateful. It is true that those feelings did exist, regardless of their validity, and that is why I will not remove them. However childish those comments were, they remain a part of my past and something that I need to have there in front of me to remind me of my errors and of how far I have come. I suggest that we move forward from this experience in a positive way and leave these negative comments and all the negative feelings that have surrounded this entire situation behind us. Feel free to comment anonymously (or not) if you wish for a more specific note to be made or if you have anything to add.

One more thing...I can't believe people actually read this!