If you are to stay with a piece of everyone you have ever known, then I suggest it be their hands. Good pilgrims have soft palms, and their prayers are always granted. Who needs a rabbit’s foot, when we are all born barber-surgeons?
When a really terrible song is played on the radio, and the reaction is one of unmeasured anger, I think about how much blame should be placed on a diseased mind, and how maybe it is just time to admit that I am an entitled brat of a child. I walk onward with my nose in the air, barely supported by my cruelty-free fed, crooked legs. Though it appears life rattles through my bones, the hollow tells me a different story. I believe what I want. I believe what is easiest to comprehend. I believe what allows me to opt for the path that takes the least amount of effort.
All my dreams are now of the house I grew up in. Wretched, haunted, cold shell. All of my thoughts are now of my father, who is always ill. And I care in all the ways he was never able.
Sister is missing again. I will never know the loneliness that has always plagued her, since my own is partially self-imposed and slightly enjoyed. My need for control prevents me from taking any substance that would cloud my mind. Addiction is too common for me to romanticize. Where would I place my superiority complex, if drugs push it out? How can I ensure its safety? We are all fucked in the head, I know well, but sometimes the noise in nice, like Sunday’s apple pie.
Everything about Juliet has always bothered me, starting with her birth. We are polar opposites, made to stand too close to one another. I notice the way we go at each other, and it is beyond sibling rivalry. Our war is less about a conquering, and more about absolute annihilation. I think this would not be the case, if only she would leave me alone. It has never been difficult to forget about her existence, when she is not near. Then, it is obvious that we only feel for the other what is necessary to keep up appearances.
Sister will always be a curved sapling in a neglected garden. She will continue to do what cannot be undone. Her blood grows thick with sin. Out there, she learns ways that will drive her further away from any potential she had to be anything other than the embarrassment I avoid telling anyone about. I do, and this is true, want to love her.
Sometimes, when I mean to pronounce the name of any man who stands beside me, someone who is so far removed from who Robert is and who he will ever be, I say my executioner’s name instead. There are songs I know Robert would love, and that is reason enough to keep listening. I taste the distance between us often, and it is a bitter thing. I have held our history by its tail for so long, it has been absorbed into my skin. And now he has gone to explore the sea, while I decompose by choice. Common sense may have cast him out, but emotions reject logic, and they continue to ache for him.
I am an abandoned playground. The skeleton lays atop me, while the fantastic beast smiles at the absurdity of it all. My oxygen is still stolen on a nightly basis. Good luck has a way of siding with fools. I would steal it all, if I could locate the vault, or seduce the banker. And just when I can feel it turn in my favor, an earthquake will shake it upside down.
There is something oddly comforting about engaging in conversations regarding depression and failure. All I can suggest, is never talk about anything downtown, under the protection of city lampposts, because you will fall in love. And when you weigh your value on society’s scales, not a one can help but walk away feeling they’re malnourished. Everything can be connected, if you find the right pieces, or if you don’t mind an abstract picture. Understand that nothing and no one can escape gentle abuse, and subtle neglect. This is when it becomes important to have the capacity to imagine the black mare, always waiting in the meadow. She will take you away, where you can collect yourself again.
Nothing soothes like the sweetened water that will soon be pissed out. And this is okay, this life of repetition. One foot in front of the other is oh-so-captivating. It doesn’t have to be a burden, or dull, or exhausting.
Three winters ago, my heat went out. I found myself upset at having to deal with something so ordinary. It was a particularly cold winter, which is rare in California. Without the money to fix the issue, I was forced to wear layers upon layers of clothing indoors. Within weeks, my skin began to flake and would easily bleed. It hurt to breathe, to move. I would keep myself warm at night by burning my books in the chimney. I want to forget that, because it is fine now, it is fine.
I had a peach tree. I never missed it, until I no longer had it.
I stare into what I have seen a million times before, shyly anticipating noticing something new, because a different angle can reveal so many things. I do not need much these days, I say. Then I grow silent, waiting for a devilkin friend to mock my insincerity. This make-believe riot will always be a part of me, and I no longer mind the noise it produces. Not often, anyway. I am still bitter, like a lemon ripe with juice. But I am warm and coated with brown sugar. I still pace back and forth and dig a hole for myself. I still beat at the walls, and stomp on the floors. But, you see, things like that can sound like music, if you want them to. I have come to learn that words written in stone, or with them, are not permanent. Time will always win, so it is best to cooperate.
Do not misunderstand. I can still complain, and I will. Oh, I do not know anymore. I am a rainbow, then the moon, then nothing at all. I am first divine and abundant, then become the whispered message that is impossible to interpret. The complexities do not always have to be quieted by pills. Now, and perhaps not for long, all of this is fully accepted. The inconveniences do not frighten me. I do not reject them.