i spend my days leaving doors open behind me, hoping there is something you might want to come back for; keys on the table, raincoat, coffee, another broken nose.
— he had learned to separate from those shrouded in ambiguous and unclear intentions because it only caused him to be unsure of himself. he learned his worth, he stopped entertaining those who didn’t know what they wanted. he deserved clarity and directness. he demanded it.
(i’m all for loud intentions. intentions so loud they silence any doubts. intentions so clear it becomes easy to see through them. honest energy. give me all of you, or nothing at all. i no longer fall in love with half-lit flames that have potential to become bigger. i no longer settle for semipotent love. i want it all.)
— he no longer lives at that address everyone became so familiar with.
the man everyone knew yesterday is gone. he exists as a creation of something much stronger now. he packed his bags and stopped living in the comfort zone they tried to house him in. their keys no longer open the doors to his soul.
his kind of love. if the love doesn’t electrify his senses, illuminate his soul, fill his dreams with magic, and give him déjà vu in the morning, he doesn’t want it. he’s worth much more than surface-level love. he’s worth that extra mile, worth that extra effort. worth passionate bones that can hold him up, never settling. — match my passion, match my energy, match my fire. otherwise, channel your vibes elsewhere. your love is not meant for me.
dreams disguised as memories, dressed in coats of humanlike skin. he missed all the things he couldn’t remember. (everyone told me to stop pouring breath into the mouths of monsters i won’t let die.) there were older versions of him that only existed because other people gave them oxygen, but he was not obligated to keep those versions alive to make others happy.
i am not flawed, i am not flawed, i am misunderstood, toxic masculinity.
maybe we forgot the words — maybe we forgot how to say them. but no matter the silence between us, i will know where to look in the middle of a crowded room.
RED EXIT SIGN./ BREAK ME IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
you asked me to wait (just a little longer) but I’m tired of holding my breath.
uneasy in a room filled with others, smothered by crowds. anxious from the noise heard in raging halls – bouncing off the fucking walls. he wished to be alone. hidden behind silence, isolated by fist fights. away from everything.
there was a hole in the ceiling and his room was too small to house all of his things.
the account was nearly overdrawn and the stress from it all felt like tons weighing upon his fragile shoulders.
he was broke. he was broken. he was tired, but he had his red boxing gloves and punching bag, and that was the richest feeling.
he didn’t have much, but he had everything when he swung his fists.
Often he pretended –waiting patiently for someone to notice the sadness in his eyes, but if asked, he’d claim to be fine.
trauman. emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may be associated with physical shock and sometimes leads to long-term hallucinations.
When I was a boy, I used to wake up thinking that the world was ending. Staying up was my go to – wondering if ODing on caffeine was a thing. I would get so tired I couldn’t tell when my mind played hallucinations on a loop or if sleep finally took me. I swear people were watching me from the hallway, from the outside through translucent curtains, from behind. Monsters in the closet. Staring at me when I wasn’t. And reappearing when I looked away. Until the inevitable nightmare came. It never missed a night. It was brief, though it lingered.
Under his skin.His scars, invisible. He was hurt in places no one could actually see. After the war, my nightmares became real and caffeine could no longer help. The nameless faces of soldiers who died waiting for a medic, I can still hear their pleads, I can see their torsos scattered throughout the slippery terrain – where mud was made up of dirt and blood – every time I close my eyes. War changes people. I’m tired of looking for something to numb the pain and pretending nothing is wrong.
sinking ship. i built the ocean around me (in the bathtub) when i was five years old. i dreamt of being a pirate, wanted to run off to the navy like my father, but you called me a sea monster, a weather phenomenon. i want to see the world, i want to hold something without breaking it.
i found home in this survival. salt-stained tears leave me and there are no words to stop them. but i will swim to keep myself above water;find me somewhere out at sea in the middle of thunderstorms and devastating waves.even the rain lets me hold it before it leaves.
love me like the ocean loves the shore. sometimes hard, sometimes gentle.retreating a bit to let me breathe, but never too far, never for long.
i can hear the forest breathe — the way it sighs when the air passes through. like a song that never wants to end. like a whisper that knows i will hear it even though others never could. it’s almost sensual, the way predators circle their next meal, biting, claiming, glimpses of the pursuit, dragging prey deeper into the forest. he ventured into the bosk,stepped on disfigured shadows cast by the canopy above, followed disembodied promises; time stood still and he waited for someone to find him.
no birds sang for him - only haunting phantasmagoria, blinking in and out of existence, hummed a mocking melody. tunnel vision where recondite regrets stood instead of trees, and thick, thorny bushes pricked him every time he lingered on a memory for too long.
silence isn’t lonely.
he lost himself. somewhere between yesterday and tomorrow, but no matter how many times he counted to ten and told himself to give up, he couldn’t leave his hiding spot. he couldn’t see.
i cry with my eyes closed so i cannot see how bad it hurts. everything breaks once, you said, but give anything time and it will heal if you let it.
this was my first lesson of survival.
people who knew clyde thought he had a tough childhood. some dads played sports. his dad needed a punching bag.
some people feared his father’s military approach at discipline but he was thankful for the early exposure to fists. this way he’d grow accustomed to the pain and develop the quick reflexes needed to fight back.
people saw a tyrant; he enjoyed time with the desensitized man he called dad. he looked up to him. his dad was his hero. clyde was a master at self-deception, he believed his father’s words, he believed it was all father-son quality time even as he stared in the eyes of homophobia.
always in me, there is a moon and some nights it lights my sky, while other nights it emphasizes my brokenness. there is a star and some nights it caves within itself, while other nights it expands to devour other worlds. an ocean, sometimes it’s calm, on some nights it drowns the people who get close to me. they never know how to swim. always in me, there is a thunderstorm and on some nights it understands me, while other nights it takes my breath away. there is a great sadness, sometimes it hurts — sometimes it is silenced by laughter. please make me laugh.
Something had gone wrong. He’d gone to that war a quiet, thoughtful sort of person, it was his first combat tour and he hadn’t yet picked up boxing. He was fresh out of school — phi beta kappa and summa cum laude, his fraternity was no longer by his side. But after five months in total war, he realized that those high, civilized trappings had somehow been crushed under the weight of simple daily realities. He’d turned mean inside. Even a little cruel at times. For all his education, all his fine liberal values, he now felt a deep coldness inside him, something dark and beyond reason. War changes people; he learned this first hand. It was a hard thing to admit, even to himself, but he was capable of evil. He wanted to hurt the nurse in his platoon the same way the enemy hurt him while he was a prisoner of war.
For weeks it had been a vow — “I’ll get him, I’ll get him.” — it was down inside him like a rock. Granted, he didn’t hate him anymore, and he’d lost some of the outrage and passion, but the need for revenge kept eating at him. At night he sometimes drank too much. He’d remember getting shot and yelling out for a medic and then waiting and waiting and waiting, passing out once, then waking up and screaming some more, and how the screaming seemed to make new pain, the awful stink of himself, the sweat and fear, the medic’s clumsy fingers when he was finally found and the medic got around to working on him. He kept going over it all, every detail. He remembered the soft, fluid heat of his own blood. Shock, he thought, and he tried to tell him that, but his tongue wouldn’t make the connection. He wanted to yell, “you jerk, it’s shock — I’m dying!” but all he could do was whinny and squeal while holding the entry point of his wound.
He remembered that, and the medical tent, and the combat medics. He even remembered the rage. But he couldn’t feel it anymore. In the end, all he felt was that coldness down inside his chest. The guy had almost killed him, and there had to be consequences.
That afternoon, near the makeshift barracks, he asked another soldier to help him get even. “No pain,” he said. “Basic psychology, that’s all. Mess with his head a little.” The other soldier responded: “Negative.” The brunet to his comrade: “Spook the fucker.” The other shook his head and added, “man, you’re sick.”
“All I want is —” “Sick.” The soldier looked at the brunet for a second and then walked away.