Soy sauce.

I put too much soy sauce on my rice a minute ago, and I don’t usually do that. That made me mildly depressed because I remembered that the rice they served us in school wasn’t really all that great. And then I also remembered when I put too much soy sauce on my shitty rice back then, and the other kids made fun of me. They were right to. It was amusing. My packet had ripped beyond all repair. I made a mess. I am a mess.

I have the overwhelming urge to hurt you, as I’m sure you innocently marvel at my irreverence. Maybe it’s because of my rice. I’ll probably never do it though, reader. I don’t actually know you. You sure as hell will never know me, no matter how much I’m willing to divulge. But even then, I want to drive a stake through the part of your brain that manufactures all the melodramatic tactics that have gotten you this far. Right smack dab in the center of whatever gland produces the hormone that makes people have to talk you off of a cliff, when they’re on their death bed. All the self loathing and pity adds up on my time card. A handsome sum on my paycheck. All the fantasy. All the poker faces. Too many pipe-dreams, and I’m not a plumber.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, a stake through the brain or something. You’re a vampire, and half as romantic.

Or at the end of the day, I could just pour too much soy sauce on you, and remember why I hate salt.

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Debbie-Downer.

It’s been brought to my attention via the all-knowing hub we call social media, that a number of people I used to know have died recently. Not at the same time though… that would be pretty sus. 

I didn’t know them well enough to mourn.

I didn’t even know them well enough to be around to witness their lives, apart from what we shared in a classroom. I remembered their names, and even what they were changed to after the divorces forced them to choose between Daddy or Mommy’s last name. They mostly chose Daddy. He had the PlayStation, the sugar cereals, and let them stay up late, after all.

I predicted that their faces would’ve grown to look exactly how they ended up looking. I didn’t come to their birthday parties, though. Not my jam. Sorry toots, I hated sleeping on the floor cuz a year went by for you. Everyone’s basements smelled like brass. They gave me headaches. I always woke up terrified for the first couple of seconds, forgetting that I actually wasn’t sleeping comfortably in my own bed for the past eight hours. I never had dreams at sleepovers.

Some could call me a counterfeit friend.

A forfeiture.

Some would call them reckless motorcycle drivers with a lust for thrill. Early-Mothers with an opioid addiction. Boys shipped off to fight in a war they don’t truly believe in, shooting silhouettes they were taught to hate. Kids who played hide and seek in hard to reach places; their bodies lost, and donated to time, only to be found in ventilation ducts on a roof. A bit too good at hide and seek, Keith. A bit too good.

I would still call them good people, 

each and every one.

People who didn’t always know better

People who weren’t always treated better.

They were probably nice to me.

I was probably nice to them.

I remember making some of them smile, even. 

That’s enough to keep me alive.

It will never be enough for them, 

or their lead-foot, 

or their pill, 

or their trigger.

The thing is, when I knew these people as a child, you never thought twice about the mortality of the freckly red-headed kid, who always brought Yogo’s and a cereal bar to school and wore track pants everyday (the kind that made a swishing sound with every step), or the cutie with a happy family life, strumming on a time relic’ed, secondhand guitar at recess, with a smile bigger than the campus. 

You don’t have it in you.

Not then.

Not yet.

You never looked at the chick playing four-square and thought, ‘you’re probably going to get knocked up at sixteen, 

ditched,

bitched

and stitched, 

and die of an Oxy O.D. at twenty-one, with your brother left to fend for your child.’ At least I hope you don’t think that; Jesus Christ. How vile of you.

You never thought that one of your childhood sweethearts would be interrupted from strumming her lovesick-six-string, only to receive news that the body of her older brother was discovered cold and bruised, in the vent of a Micky-D’s, and then also have the gall wonder why she would never smile again.

You don’t imagine these things as a kid.

You couldn’t.

You shouldn’t.

But as you grow older, and your life is plagued and saturated by the lack of life, and even the theft of life around you, it’s sometimes difficult not to look at everyone you know and love and think ‘You are all going to die.’ Better yet, ‘I’ll have to bury all of you, and that’s heavy on the heart, as well as the bank account’. 

Might as well be a Goddamn sweetheart in the meantime.

At the very least you begin to find a solace in the fact that, ‘Yes, we are all going to die, fucking duh. You’re not special’. It’s hard to fear something so inevitable. Not much fun in that. You should probably get a hobby.

Buck up.

Pop a smile like a perky pill.

Hug, kiss.

And be kind.

It’s what the dead died for.

Show them it wasn’t for nothing.

A list of things I find romantic.

Vibrato; thick, heavy, powerful, controlled vibrato.

Perfect meter.

Imperfect meter.

Perfect pitch.

Imperfect pitch.

Technique.

Lack of technique.

Experience.

Vocabulary.

Unsent drafts.

Plane crashes.

Plain crashes.

Quiet friendships.

Suicide letters that go in a special box, that you never live up to. Or die up to.

Improper grammar for the sake of poetry.

Geodesic domes.

Expectations.

Sobriety; perspective. 

Bird nests; homes built of garbage-earth and debris.

Food.

When somebody really knows how to pet a cat. I mean really knows.

Drowning.

Asphyxiation.

Out-of tune-pianos. 

Body farms. 

Graffiti; in hard to reach places. Like painting on my heart. You’re a vandal. A felon. Sandblast it off before the kids see it on their way to school. Problem is, I love graffiti. Lacquer it. Permanent. Fuck you, I think.

Unrequited delusions of grandeur; Reciprocity doesn’t always mean equality. Shit in your own hand, or wish in it, I don’t care anymore. 

Pajamas.

D-minor. 

Flogging yourself in the back. You’ll never see the scars. Even they hide from you.

Food, again.

Trills and ornaments.

Travailing melisma and delicate, lyrical phrasing.

Bow control. From frog to tip.

Diminuendo, more than crescendo.

Death.

           Dying.

                      Dead. 

Metaphors for the poor.

Life.

           Living.

                         Dead.

Art.

My Home Improvement Fan-Fiction.

Today, my brother asked me if I would eat a Maraschino cherry out of Richard Karn’s ass for a million dollars. I said I would do it just for the Maraschino cherry. I like those. I like money too.

Win win, baby.

I can also do Tim Allen’s signature grunting noise very well. Uncanny, even. Behold my talents, as they overflow from my being.

Jesus probably touched himself, too. It’s okay.

There are those days where making every limb and appendage of you coalesce into a productive, waking, walking body seems like the harrowing ascent of Mt. Everest, or the descent of Christ into Hell to free those righteous captive led astray by the oh-so tempting devil. It’s a task.

I ‘ m  n o  c l i m b e r.

I ‘ m  n o  C h r i s t.

But this is one of those days.

I’m a sensitive person.

Not ‘Tumblr’ sensitive.

Not ‘little bitch’ sensitive.

Not ’empathic prick’ sensitive.

Not ‘crybaby’ sensitive.

But at times, I still shiver.

For me.

For you.

For others.

For family.

For God.

For lack thereof.

Call me cold.

I’m technically a man, but I still say boy. I’ve paid taxes. I’ve owed taxes. I’ve paid my owed taxes. American to the grave, I suppose. The only things that are different about me since I’ve become an adult is that I’m slightly more well hydrated, I need to shave, I have short hair, I have daddy-issues, my eyes don’t tell my brain the right things anymore, my neck hurts, and I can’t just masturbate out of boredom like I used to. 

Shucks.

I enjoy talking to fewer people, but I’m better at it now. I’ve learned how to forgive. I’ve learned how to be forgiven. I’ve learned how to be guilty. I’ve learned how to guilt. I’ve learned how to think. I’ve learned how not to think. I’ve learned about others, and I’ve learned from others. They help me learn about myself, and learn from myself.

I learn.

Answers.

i’ve been told by several people that i’m good at pretending.

it’s become a compliment, even though such homebrewed, bootleg, moonshine acting skills can get in the way of things.

i never fake how i feel, though.

That would be too much of a chore. i couldn’t keep track of that. i just fake that i’m good at controlling how i feel. That’s a little bit easier.

It’s not a matter of

optimism

or

pessimism.

Strength,

or

cowardice.

Coping

or

hoping.

Life’s not simple enough to just

wish

or

damn.

i fix up a sturdy facade of assuredness even though every piece of prose i write is riddled with the words

‘probably’

‘i think’

‘i suppose’

‘i dunno’

or

‘i guess’.

Yeah that’s right, i’m sentient.

i know that i say those too much.

~oh well.

i’ve spent a lot of time being ‘sure’ about things, convinced that every answer would show itself in a card,

or a series of numbers,

or in a person,

or a palm,

or a cloud or something.

It’s not working.

But —

now that i don’t look for answers in the same tired manner, they’re finally starting to show themselves. Sometimes in the same familiar and delicate ways as before, but mostly in new,

blunted,

ferocious,

and explosive ways.

Sometimes they come out of the grass

like a snake with a pretty face and a smile.

Sometimes they’re dropped like

a nuke, etching your very shadow

onto the wall behind you.

At least i stopped expecting either,

and started preferring both.

Sarahah.com

i live in a day and age where people can only post compliments anonymously on the internet, as to not be tracked down and discovered as ‘nice humans with feelings’. Tell me how you feel without hyperlinks and barriers, or bury yourself in your own weakness. We’re people, not screens.

Remember handwritten letters?

Me neither.