Daily Page: Talk about your current outlook on life. 

Ugh. My outlook on life depends on the minute. Mostly I want to unravel completely, but you can’t do that and be employed. You can’t force an unravel. 
I want to be able to spend some time sorting through the pieces. I’m not sure how things added up this way but I think I might have a hunch. I remember her hesitation when I asked her to marry me. I remember my own hesitation in asking her. I think I felt her drifting and I wanted to tie her down, secure her, stick her to me. 

And when she told me that I needed to stop drinking in order for her to marry me, I think she believed that I wouldn’t be able to do it. But I did. For her. For our relationship.

I did so much for our relationship, things I would never do again. Things that were really signs that things weren’t working, but I found a path around it, even though it was clear we weren’t going to get through it. 

So my outlook of life? Partly cloudy with a chance of breaking sun. 

I am a 

living

Document.
From

Front to back page

Adding, subtracting

Editing

Multiplying, dividing. 
But I would rather

Erase my memory

Of you

But retain

All that I have learned

From the experiences

That are attached to

The memories

I would like to destroy.
I am a 

living document.

Audience and Shit Pellets

Audience and Purpose and Shit Pellets

I have approximately 25 notebooks that have written in over the years. I started writing fairly regularly when I was a freshman in high school. Most of my friends were starting to dabble in doing drugs, and I had no one to talk to about my fear around it. Incidentally, my writing really took off when I started lapping up tabs of LSD on a regular basis. Most of my early writing, really, is a log of implicit peer pressure. It was clear that, when I thought about it in writing, I wasn’t sure what was so bad about defying Nancy Reagan and Just Saying Yes. You can see that my sense of right or wrong was shaped by my friends at the time.

Until, of course, my cousin suddenly found himself in the middle of a severe and debilitating and still life-changing case of Manic-Depression {we all called it called it a case of him doing too much Acid, his parents calling of it was silent because they were, and still are, in some weird sense of denial about the whole thing} and a number of not-really-friends-I-just-do-drugs-with-them ended up in rehab for heroin. In some strange turn of events, at that moment, I became preoccupied with “not liking boy,” {which is what I called it when my best friend called me out on “it” and what she subsequently called “i-can’t-be-your-friend-any-more-because-you-are-going-to-hell”}. Gayness saved my life from narcotic addiction, I think, although it certainly didn’t save me from becoming a Drunk.

But, Audience and Purpose. That’s where I started. I don’t know who I am writing this for. And, since no one knows that I am writing it, there is a chance that no one will ever read it.

But, I used to write all of the time. When I first went to school, and changed my major from engineering to English, the shift was spurred on by my notebooks. I always wanted to be the kids who was constructing convolutedly brilliant formulas in my notebooks. Instead, I was thinking through the world through language, not through logarithms. And I began writing wild amounts of poetry. Up to about 25 notebooks worth, now. I have rarely–like, I can count on one hand the amount of people rarely–shared them with anyone. In fact, I have rarely shared them even with myself, hardly ever having the interest {which is most certainly about courage, not innate desire, but forget I ever said that} to look back at them myself.

Which might finally, breathlessly, bring me to Audience and Purpose. I have never considered an audience because the content of my writing is the content of my inner life that I would most like to bury bury bury. Sort of the way that an alley car buries it’s shit–makes a nice little, neat little, discreet little hole, pushes it our with a strangely stoic look on her puffed up, strained face, and push that dirt back over that dirty little toxic pellet. My purpose has always been to get that shit out of me. And, truly, there is no large audience for other people’s packets of shit pellets.

But now I’m sober. Almost a year. A year on November 6th. And I definitely don’t write like I used to. I mean, there are a lot fewer shit pellets to hide. Thus, I have no idea what to write about, and I certainly don’t have any idea why anyone would give a shit about what I have to say.

The Flannel

You know, sometimes there’s just nothing to fucking write about. I mean, I could tell you how my birthday choo-choo-choos alongside the Erin Express, and the irony that is being sober and having been born 5 days before St. Patrick’s day. Or I could tell you about how by Senior students snuck around and signed a card for my birthday and how that fills my heart because I am at this new school and it makes me feel very very appreciated by these fabulous little cherubs that I really work so hard for. Or maybe I can write about watching 127 Minutes and how when he had to cut through the nerve in his forearm to free himself, I could really truly swear that I could feel pain in my knee, the one that had a ganglion cyst in it that was causing me constant chronic pain because it was leaning against my nerve and sending tingles into my foot and how I was to become an athlete again but how I am afraid that I will become addicted to it. So afraid of addiction, even the good kind. The surge of endorphins scares the ever-lovin’ shit out of me because it makes me feel so super and super equals drunk and drunk means I’m not grounded and not grounded means that I am not good to the people I love and so somehow some way this means that a) I can’t workout because enjoyment = drunk = bad and b) that guy in that movie, he got into that position because he was so afraid to connect, wanted to go it fucking solo, addicted to solo, and that’s like Julius Caesar and he died because he was prideful.

But all of this is really to avoid writing about that flannel shirt in that picture. That picture of me at 17 and her at 15 and us in front of that fountain in Disney World. Because every time I look at that picture, I feel such a mixture of elation and pain. But I don’t know how to begin that story. Wait. I know how to begin that story, but I don’t know how to end that story. I don’t know if it ends with me calling her the December after September 11th (me at 25, her at 23) and her telling me that if I cared I would have called her right afterword to see if she was safe in Brooklyn and that going to NYC Pride was just flaunting my sexuality. Or does it end with the time we had sex listening to Pink Floyd’s “Great Gig in the Sky” on vinyl and we sat outside of my garage and tried to figure out if what we did and felt and touched and tasted counted as sex? Or maybe that’s the middle? Maybe it starts with me getting set to go off to college and going out for dinner with my Dad and me saying to him (me at 18, her at 16), “I just hate to think that I might never be able to bring the person I am with to Thanksgiving dinner” and him saying “you probably won’t” and me feeling like what he thought didn’t matter because we would last forever. And then I went to college and you started listening to Phish and doing LCD and cheated on me with Mike McGrath and I was at college and you called me and said, “it’s over. It has been over for a while” and I didn’t have any friends at college yet because it was only November and none of them knew I was gay and I was so alone, so I went to a frat party and danced with some boy who had Glo-Sticks and planned on having sex with him because if she didn’t love me no one would and maybe (I could hear my Dad’s voice whispering) I should stop trying to be so different and I should have worn those dresses that my mom always tried to put me in.

Really, though, it is about that picture. But I just get so manic when I think so her and how my coming out story happened. It is so visual and I feel like I have to get it all out quick and not look at it like it was going to punch me in the face. I think of her sometimes, and that last phone call we had in December 2001. I was sitting on the floor of a roach-infested apartment on Baltimore Ave. in Philadelphia, and I was terrified to call her. After I hung up, I deleted her number, even though I had just entered it into my new cell phone. When her boyfriend answered the phone, I could tell that she was there in the background, asking him to tell me that she wasn’t home. But he and I chatted – the three of us had hung out a number of times before – and as he covered the phone, I could hear her muffled voice trying to push the phone away.

And that flannel. I was wearing that flannel that was mine that she was wearing in the picture in front of the fountain at Disney World. After we broke up the first time, she pushed me away as well, simply pretending that I didn’t exist, as if to pretend that the lesbian love affair that she has that she was so afraid of had never existed. The narrative I wrote for myself about that is that our love cured you – before me, you were afraid of sex and touching because you were raped by your neighbor (you were 7, he was 16) and our love cured you so that you would feel safe to love again. But you damaged me, telling me that it felt like I was raping you when we did that stuff that we figured must be sex even though neither of us had a dick, and so I have carried that scar with me because you drew for me a connection between my own pleasure and the assault of those I love. Doomed to forever feel that if I wasn’t fixing someone, I didn’t deserve to be loved.

But I wish you could have just said, “You know what? I can’t have you in my life. I have moved on. I am engaged to be married to this man. I have to pretend you never existed to make sense of my life going forward.” Instead, you just pretended whole chunks of intimacy didn’t happen and the narrative that you wrote was that I didn’t deserve to be friends with you anymore because I didn’t call you after 911. Instead, a part of me died that day. The romantic part. The innocent part. Dead, just like the end of that phone call. We both knew that we would never speak again and I could taste the bitter ending of something I thought was beyond time.
One day, I’ll get to writing about that flannel. And the day that I told you I loved you after we lost that dime bag in my car that I never found. I’ll tell the story of us listening to The Graduate soundtrack and holding your hand. Or listening to “Bells For Her” as I ran my palms over and under your curves. I’ll tell the story of Denny’s and Henry Rollins and Fugazi and girl-sex and falling asleep on the phone and your safe harbor when my mom said to me, “Excuse me. Are you a homosexual?” I’ll write the one of playing field hockey together and how you tried to set me up with your brother so you could hang out with me more. And I will talk of showers together and you teaching me how to wash my face and how to love and how R.E.M.’s Monster really is their worst album and how we road-tripped the US together and how I wanted you to hold me under the clear skies of Sedona (me at 19, you at 17) and how you said those words to me again (“it’s over. It has been for a while”).

And that flannel. I can still feel the warmth of you in that flannel. It’s just a feeling, you know? So, right now, you know, sometimes there’s just nothing to fucking write about.

12/28/15 – .the fall.

Right now
Tonight
Lying here
I am pretty sure
I will never get
What I need.

I will never have
Love from someone
Who I don’t have
To give up part
Of myself
For.

I don’t even know
Who I am anymore
Or what I want
And the worst part of that
Is I thought I knew.

I was all set to have
My wife
And to hold
Until death
Did us part.
And now I am here
Alone
Wondering where the fuck
The last decade
And a year
Have gone.

I still wake In the
Middle of the night
And feel you next to me.
But you aren’t really there
And haven’t been
Emotionally for years.

I gave every last bit to you
And our relationship.
And what you gave me was
And overwhelming sense
Of loneliness.
I thought I was your number 1
I just wanted to be your number 1.
And I never was going to be. Ever.And now I am left, alone,
With no one who knows me.
I always thought you knew me,
And you always said
“You don’t know me”
And I guess I never did.
What have you hid from
Me this past decade?
When did you stop loving me?
Did you ever actually love me
Or was I just someone who gave
You access to the wedding
And to comfort
And to honesty
And to love without conditions?
Someone you thought you could fix
So they would think that they owed
You for life?
And right now
Tonight
I lie here
With a sadness
I never
Ever
Thought I would feel
In my friend’s spare room
Living out of bags
Afraid to be alone
Because I am afraid to feel.

.drop off.

Today I dropped you off at the airport, and 7 hours later, I was filling out an application for an apartment. 
You will never know how much I am hurting. Never. I thought I would be enough to satisfy you, but that never happened. I think I did all that I could to make you happy, but it was never enough. You just wanted me around for safety and for grounding and for anchoring. 

But I am more than just someone who takes care of others. I am more than just the center that you come back to. I am more than you ever took the time to find out. 

Drop off.

Social Me-dia

It is now posted on Facebook.

Trigger Warning: Divorce.

It’s our last date. #wearegettingadivorce #thisisnotajoke #bffs #wehavegrownapart #itsbeenreal #againthisnotajoke #wearereallyoktoday #bffovever 

And it is clear that I have spent most of my time imagining how to live without her. And she had been spending most of her time figuring out how to live with me. 

This makes it final for me. Facebook just makes it the beginning of real for her

.Pushing Off. – November 12, 2015

I made the mistake of saying to her when she came home that I am looking for apartments. She lost it a little because she is worried about what she can afford.
I felt awful about it. But then I asked if she would prefer if slept in the back. She said yes and that she wanted to be alone. Then after she went to the bathroom she said “can we schedule conversations like this?” Me: yes. Sorry I fucked up. Her: I mean you broke up with me in the middle of a PD too…..
Oh hell no.
I said: you tell me over and over and over again that this relationship isn’t enough for you, and you call that conversation me breaking up with you?!

She regretted saying it as soon as she said it. I could tell. But she is in this place where she is just going to start trying to hurt