Leeches

Leeches. Leeches everywhere. Not covering every centimeter of every surface, but everywhere I go, I always see a few.

I walk to the bathroom and there are two on the counter top. Flip up the toilet seat and there is one on the other side. Back in my room I find them hiding in plain sight on my computer monitors, and behind clothes and other things disorderly strewn about the floor. I don’t find any in my bed.

I make a point to visit as many places and rooms I can just to see if I can find any leeches there. My car, the garage, I check the refrigerator, not for food, but for leeches. Everywhere I go, I am greeted by the presence of a few leeches preceding my arrival.

They don’t seem to move. They are like movie set props, maybe they only exist in their own reality, but I know they are real. I don’t dare touch them. I don’t disturb them, but I don’t trust them.

In my backyard I can see them, those little black dots on the trees. They are lined up in a convenient path. One tree, one leech; onward they go into the vanishing point of the forest, and I follow their trail for over an hour until the woods’ dominion ends, giving way to a house with washed out yellow siding, dehydrated moss, and speckles of dried mud.

I walk in and I can hear something toward the back end of the house. I walk up the steps that bear a deceptive familiarity, and enter a large bedroom with two partially blinded doors that appear to lead to a balcony. A little bit of light slips into the room, enough to see that none of my companions are with me in this room. I don’t remember seeing any leeches since I’ve been in this house. The sound of a repeating, almost grumbling motion is coming from beyond those doors, so I beyond them.

We are on a deck, looking out, fifty feet above a canopy of treetops. While out there, everything is soaked in green, up here, everything has a yellow tint. There is rocking chair in front of me. It’s a drunken device, and it can’t make up its mind on its balance; continually threatening to keel over in each direction. From the back, it almost appears that a giant leech is slumped in the chair, but as I approach it and swing to the other side, I see an old man instead of a giant leech.

I stand directly before him, and we look at each other. I’m not sure if he sees me. He has two tiny leeches on each of his temples, and another where his neck meets his chest. I can’t seem to maintain eye contact with him. My eyes act like an enraged bee, swooping in at all different angles, but breaking off just as our pupils touch. I eventually drop my gaze and climb up to his several times before I manage to hold it. As if it were the draw bridge to my mind, the lower half of my jaw drops. I’m gaping as if I’m about to say something, but I know I have no words. Still I try to muster, but as I motion for speech nothing is heard except the sound of birds and their chicks chattering in the distance.

I keep trying, but I can only produce distant chirping. An exposed window, my mouth stays open, and I realize I can’t move my tongue. I feel something there. Just as I’m about to try to swallow my hand in an effort to rid my tongue of what constricts it I look back to the old man. The chair remains, but he’s gone. Meanwhile, half my hand is in my mouth, and I don’t know where I am.

Leeches. Leeches everywhere.

You Are the Hardest

Write this once, write it twice, write it again. In a few months, likely write it again.

You are the hardest person to forgive.

You have to wonder to yourself. You’re snared on that rusted hook, caught by the collar like a defiant dog pulling away from a taut leash.

You try not to consign that you probably gave up the best thing you ever had.

Even now, you still can’t forgive yourself for breaking someone’s heart. For breaking it so completely.

At one point in time, you told someone you know that you wouldn’t mind if you were met with rejection and tortuous relationships in the future, as if you deserved it, but, really, it is just a means to keep feeling guilty. A means to hold on to that unwillingness to forgive yourself.

But you still can’t.

Remain unforgiven.

It’s a part of life, yet you just don’t believe you were meant to break anybody’s heart.

Grown Man Problems 1:1

1 After a failed nap attempt, James took to the couch and tried again. A time passed and his eyes laid to rest. 2 Soon, his father walked by the living room, and saw him as he lay. He stopped and asked him, “What are you doing?!” 3 This jarred the son out of his new found slumber. 4 James wept. 5 All he wanted to do was rest. 6 These shouldn’t be grown man problems.
7 When leaving the house to go to the gym, his father sees him at the door and asks, “Where are you going?!”
8 These shouldn’t be grown man problems.
9 Upon leaving the house to go out with his friends, his father sees him and asks, “Where are you going?!”
10 These shouldn’t be grown man problems.
11 At times when someone comes to pick him up to go somewhere, his father looks out the window, sees him at the door and asks, “Who is that? And where are you going?!”
12 These shouldn’t be grown man problems.
13 When the day passes that the son goes outside to check the mail, the father comes running to him from the bathroom, pants on the ground, and asks his son, “Where are you going?!”
14 These shouldn’t be grown man problems.

To Those Girls

To that girl over there

I don’t think you notice me.

If you do, then you notice me

hiding away behind the whites of my eyes.

So I won’t get to tell you, but if I could, I would.

You’re annoying me,

because you’re so pretty that I can’t help but stare

And when I turn away and look at a wall

It just makes my eyes dry up

Thirsting for just another glance.

 

To that girl I know

But I can’t tell you

Because you’re my friend

And I fear I’ll only run you off

Your legs are a rumor.

Starting from the end

Crawling up from your feet

Each inch a varying story

Obsessively, I’m just looking for the truth

But rumors are endless

And we can’t find the beginning

Yet there they are

One long rumor

I’ll never find the truth.

 

To that girl I just met

Did I ever tell you

That the most beautiful thing on a woman

Is her smile?

Of course I didn’t

But now I am

Maybe because it reflects everything

I never will be.

Maybe because if I see it

I think I did well.

Maybe a lot of things

I will never know.

But your smile in particular

Makes me forget everything around me

Except how lovely, that face

The person behind it

And how much I’d love to, in the future,

Keep you smiling.

 

To that girl I’ve known

Since before you were a woman

Remember that summer

Lou and I went on a road trip

The story of getting lost at cliff side

And the winding yellow brick road

Looking for Oz, we said

These days

I’m unsure that story actually happened

Or if that is just what is happening to my eyes

When I watch you

Floating, sifting, each step taken

As if all those perfectly placed curves

Were rewriting history

And I’m sorry that you’ve turned me into a lecher

But if only you know what you do to me

But even in my head

I try to stay on my best behavior

You corrupt me.

Please continue.

 

To the lady on the street

With the long brown hair

Layers of bristles arranged like a wildfire

For a second I gaped

A few hours from now, I’d have forgotten your face

But for a strong moment I thought

Of a world with you and me

And no one else.

Everything I’d do to make your happy

Just like those long locks

Bringing out something deep

Majestic from your eyes.

 

To those girls

Intoxicating women

And the thoughts I’ve had

Words I’ve kept

Have a few

a series of tweets

Self-loathing is a very interesting tragedy, especially watching it grow up from self-loathing to self destruction. I don’t like any edition of myself anymore, but now I’m just creating new variations and injecting things in them to further hate. And I think at this point I’d just prefer to not have anyone out there who cares for me at all, only because I am just too much of a problem, and I’d rather not add problems into people’s lives.

I like being radiant. I look at the last few years and realize my world has been collapsing, to the point where there are very little left surviving in my sphere, and I wonder to myself: How did I become this? And where did the normal, good person to be around go to? How did I let it come to this? I miss my actual self, yet I don’t know if he can be resurrected anymore.

Finally, when I was in high school, a girl I really really liked told me something to the effect that she doesn’t like it when guys have muscles (in the sense, that is how my stupid, helpless, emo, “I think I’m in love with this girl” brain interpreted whatever she actually said). And really, ever since, I’ve been almost self-conscious about my body in the weirdest way. But you know what? I look freaking fantastic with no shirt/clothes on, and I’m not going to let something that I should feel good about become another weapon of my own self-destruction. So take that, self-loathing and destruction. You might be winning big, but at least I got a run on the board.

high gravity days

I’m having what I call a high gravity day. I’ve had a high gravity week, really. Every day since Tuesday has been a high gravity day.

A high gravity day is one of those days where I wake up and it takes everything I have to get out of bed and function like a normal person. I’m bloated with anxiety, my little parasites of depression pump through my blood stream, and I border the line of becoming an inanimate object. I really didn’t have days like this until about late fall of 2010. I was at my worst from December of that year until about April or May of 2011. From that point, they’ve been spreading out, anchoring me with lighter objects. Except for this week.

I admit something, right here, that I’ve only told one other person: I know my body isn’t regulating itself correctly anymore. I can’t really say much beyond that, I think it is mild, but I just know it isn’t, there is no way it is. Earlier this year, Robert got checked out at the doctor and all of the test results revealed that his body was producing adrenaline at the wrong points in the day (as a combination of diet and habits), which was a large part of why he would wake all night, sleep all day, and spend each of those ends feeling depressed — OR SOMETHING KIND OF LIKE THAT — I’d wager that this is likely where I am as far as that goes, and not something more complicated, but of course, I don’t know, nor can I, really.

I couldn’t afford to go to the doctor if I needed to, or to any other sort of practitioner right now, and that is just about parallel with my life. I just accept it.

See, today is a high gravity day, and I think perhaps, while my body helps trigger these days, once my brain encompasses itself around the notion, I’m legitimately screwed. Usually, when I have one every 2-3 weeks, I can spend anywhere from an hour to six wounded, then I regather my willpower and energy, if I’m smart, do some praying, then I burst through again and usually carry out the rest of my day, at least able to wear the guise that everything within me is ‘normal’.

Everyone’s lives are riddled holes, glitches, and unanswered questions, mine no different, I just feel more hexed than most of the people I know around me.

The past year or two of my life is just a story of continually failing relationships and friendships. I don’t know, at this point I can only say to no fault but my own, why else would things so reliably breakdown? Yet, the thing is, I consider my relationship skills, if there is such a thing, to be quite good. Very flawed, sure, but I just know that I get my sense of extra-consideration from my mom, so even when I’m being a punk, I usually feel naturally inclined to take consideration for the other person– it does a lot to make up for all my other problems, yet it seems to get me very little gain in terms of my friendships. It gets hard when you have to shuffle who you can turn to, rely on, confide in, trust, and cry for help every 3 months. It gets hard. I know that I’ve some who have been as reliable as a great crag, unmoving, but it is hard to ignore the huge crater.

I don’t know who remembers those old Bugs Bunny cartoons where Bugs would find himself in a wicker basket as they stuck swords into it from all angles. Right now, that’s where I feel I am in my life. I am in this awkward position where I don’t know if I should wriggle around and try to make it more advantageous, of if I need to stay entirely still and wait for the last couple blades to be put in place before they start getting removed.

In fact, my entire existence often feels marred with failure. This year is no exception. I ride the wave of apparent success as a means to keep myself spirited, but sometimes that momentum comes off as a total lie. I set out 3 goals for myself while I was around my lowest, last summer. First, go back and finish school. Second, find work. Third, move back out on my own.

I only really found success with one.

Sure, I had a part-time job for a while, but that doesn’t count because it was a means to an end; a way for me to pay the last bit I needed for school, as well as things like gas and food. It never would have helped me do anything such as start an actual career, or what I really want from work: get me out of mom and dad’s house. And today, I have work, and it is a good role for me, but I’m not sure how much longer I can last in a situation where I am not consistently getting paid. We won’t even comment on the third goal.

Even in my goals, the things of which I pile all of my ambition and willpower like an assortment of explosives and set flame with every last joule of energy I have, I fail.

And that takes us back to the basket with the swords. Like a wave nearing shore, the question rises: can I continue to be forward thinking, and stay in the position I am in now, or do I have to go into emergency mode and readjust for now?

I don’t see myself getting out of this tangle now without a large culmination of changes. I need to get out of this house because my entire life is stifled as long as I am in it.

Let me sidestep real fast. When I was going through the thickest of the inferno that my relationship with the ever lovely Ms. Seale (I do mean this, if anyone questions that I do), I fell into a confront – battle – retreat cycle. Confrontation was met with all the mayhem we had to deal with that nobody had any actual control over with. Battling was all the madness that actually had to happen as I did my best to be there for her, and retreating was me slinking away at the very instant the battle phase ended. Like a burned, shriveled mutant, I’d drag my body across the ground and find the deepest, darkest hole the earth could offer me. This often manifested itself in the form of my room. When I lived in Bruin Hills, I’d sprint up the hill from her apartment to my own, breathlessly jaunt with the key and lock until I fell through the opening door, immediately stomping into my room, shutting the door and play computer games. When I lived at Belmont Terrace, it was pretty much the same thing, just sub the hill thing to walking down the steps to my apartment and add in tripping over Jasper, the Alien Dog. When I really needed a hide away, I’d go home. I’d often bring my desktop PC with me, set it up in my room, and as soon as I closed that door I was in my fortress of solitude.

Being in that room, with myself, with my own devices, while necessary, was something that I increasingly found myself doing. As soon as that door shut, it was an entirely different state of mind I’d enter in. My mind, body, and soul knew that I was very damaged and weak, and this was all I could do to heal up enough to face the next day. Being around people was like surrounding myself with needles, and leaning a degree in any direction would place those needles upon my skin serving a prickly warning that if so much as take a step that my nerves are going to be invaded with a barrage of sharp pain. I conditioned myself to two very large things:

One, that I would habitually spend each day feeling the need to shell up at some point and play Team Fortress 2, Quake, or Civilization for a few hours, even if I didn’t want to. Something in my would just yearn for it like it were water or food.

Two, that my room, and especially my parents house, will trigger this nest mode in my mind and subsequently the rest of me, that I was in “I’m hurting, please let me curl up and bleed a while so I can start scabbing up” mode. That is all this house is to me anymore. It hurts. The place I spent most of my childhood has disappeared to some parallel universe, and replaced with this haunted lookalike.

I can’t function here.

Honestly, I moved back here around May of 2010. I’ve yet to truly unpack since then. My room is often a consolidation of various mess, and I don’t bother to do anything about it because if I am not even going to bother to unpack my life, why would I care if it has any order. It is not like anybody comes to visit me in my nesting shell. It takes days when I am really fed up with everything, with being here, that I slap myself internally and clean it. That, or the promise of someone coming over. I hate it. I don’t like living in such a disorderly state, but it reflects my life and what mental state this place puts me in.

Let me step back in, now. I don’t see myself getting out of this tangle now without a large culmination of changes. I need to get out of this house because my entire life is stifled as long as I am in it. I can’t get out of this house until I am making enough money to afford to. I’m not nearly as effective getting myself in place to make money at my current job because I do a lot of my work from home. I am highly productive out of the house, but when I am home, it is a new struggle to cram into these walls. I can’t always justify going out to do my work because I am in extreme savings mode, and I’d either have to give up the occasional weekend where I cut loose some and just try to enjoy life, or something more. I can’t always leave when I want to anyway because I have to share a vehicle with my parents. I can’t pay for any of these things anyway because I need to pay my loans. I can’t even get that stress out of my head because every time I am about to talk to them, I see that they have already called me 22 times that day, as if I didn’t know about the $40,000 I owe, which just angers me back into a point where I’d rather default in some kind of foolish protest than talk to them.

It goes on.

I need to find a new girl in my life to hold my attention. I can’t find such a person because I am rarely out in this house, or part of the world for that matter. I can’t fully get over the last girl who unintentionally did more than a number on me because I can’t find anything new to distract me. I need to find more new friends to fill in the holes that have developed (naturally) from the other ones. I can’t — you get the drill.

I could write these until the seasons changed, and even for the smallest things. The point is, I don’t feel I can really do anything right now, but I feel like I need to change almost everything, and I can’t change anything without changing everything. And in that regard, almost nothing has changed from a year ago, nothing at all. I have it in writing. If I want to put myself in a deeper hole to climb from, I can go read it (I’ll spare myself today).

And that brings the wicker basket questions. If I stay fully committed to my current job situation, I put myself in a good position long-term. I am already an invaluable asset to the other 3 guys I work with, they give me a lot of autonomy, and responsibilities that make the intern label I have a bit of a joke. And let me note, I am, at the least, partially-committed to this thing no matter what. But it is how long can I keep myself in a position to be all-in on it. Especially at this time now where my responsibilities and time commitment is about to ramp up once again. There is a horizon with this thing where I can now see myself with cash flow, potentially within the next couple weeks, but the question is would that be too late to wait for a ship to come snatch me up from treading.

Half of me says, “sit James, you’ve worked the long-play patiently this long, it is a waste if you squirm out and go raging bull at this point.” The other half is raging bull. He tells me that I need to do everything I can to get out of the house, right now. Immediately find a second job to make sure I can sustain it, and also, to keep me out in the world. Keeping me out in the world means that I am not having to rely purely internally to prop myself up. Yet that takes away a lot of my flexibility for these other things that are currently developing, potentially taking away prime positioning. The thing is… wholly, I need to do both of these things, and I guess that is because half of me says I need to do the other.

And I don’t know.

I told myself that I could hold out for another couple weeks. I’d be much like Wesley from the Princess Bridge, propped up on a lean-to, rapier barely contained in my hand, the mere illusion that I’m still going in this state, but that help would be on the way. And if it didn’t show in that time frame, that’d be my cue to hit the self-destruct button, blow everything to the sky, and make drastic emergency changes.

I just didn’t plan on getting ground down so fast this week. Now that I’ve spent the last couple hours trying to display this in written page, I feel enough is there to propel myself back for today, but what of the next day? And day after? This doesn’t preclude the fact that I already forced myself to remain in bed until 2 pm today because I didn’t want to get up. That already happened.

You know, it’s not that I have the world going against me, I really don’t. It is more that once you remove the core things that I have in my favor, there really is nothing going for me, and hasn’t been for a while. Maybe I have another 38 years of wandering in the desert.

For now, I’ll keep writing about it and telling myself I do it so that I can look back and remember where I came from– when the time comes.

Hey future me, remember those high gravity days? Of course you don’t, you tepid bastard. I envy you.

a letter

an unpublished, unshared letter written on December 26, 2009 at 3:42 AM. Honestly, doesn’t feel like much has changed in my life even since then..

Marlhazts, brugizzin– ok, so I totally made that one up, but I think we covered about every possible one in the past already so I needed to bend the rules on this one.

This is a hard letter to write. I don’t really know how much I have resolved. I’m in an interior struggle. A self-contained tug-of-war. I also have circled around everything so much that it is hard for me to know which part of this cave network to enter from. Finally, I don’t know what words I will end up with on paper, nor the potential fallout from what is written. I wish I could be fair to you.

First let me say, I love you very much. I know without a doubt that this break has been good for both of us, and that would of course strengthen our relationship so much. On top of this, you’re one of the best friends I’ve ever had. You’re my best friend in my life presently, I feel like that is something that bridges even a little further out than just love in the man-woman sense.

Anyway, like I said, I am amidst a massive internal battle right now. I know certain things. I know how strongly I love you and value your friendship. I have an idea how far my life is from where I feel I need it to be, and I think to where God wants it to be. I think I know how long these things can take to rebuild too. I know that I don’t want to break-up. I know that sometimes our wants don’t always align with our needs. I know that timing isn’t always determined by us, no matter how hard we can try. I know how much, down the road, I would love and be so blessed to get the honor of spending the rest of my ife with you. I know and have the idea of a lot of things.

I don’t know many things either. I still don’t know much about this break. I don’t know its dimensions, its boundaries, its terms, its life expectancy. Wow, I don’t really know anything about it except that it is there right now. I’m sure that sucks for you, since if anyone should have an idea on that it should be me. I don’t where I am in my life right now. Life has many different phases and stages. The nature of these varies based on where we are in our lives and how long we have lived. I don’t really know if I am hitting a different phase of my life, though I fear I might be hitting a short detour or bump in the road. I don’t know where I would end up or anything else if this were the case. The most frightening thing to me is that I don’t know if being in a relationship is feasible with the possible course my life might be heading. I don’t know what kind of person that makes me.

Every time I take a step in one direction right now, I am pulled in the other direction by an equal gravitational force. If my left eye looks left, my right eye wants to look right. If I look up, I get ambushed from below. I am confused. I am sad. I am scared. I don’t want to risk losing things, I certainly wouldn’t want to lose you, but I don’t feel like I am the pilot of my life at the moment. I fear that my course will take me away and I may lose what matters most– you.

I mentioned the Odyssey to you at one point. I feel like I’m hitting my Odyssey. I just want to be home at last, but I know full well that such an odyssey is filled with many obstacles, delays, and interesting stops. I lay afloat and lost in a sea of thought and feeling. I look up at the stars and constellations and try and read my feelings, my thoughts and get an idea where this life is taking me from these heavenly signs, but I can’t figure it out. It makes me worry and yet realize that I may stray off and never return back to the home I long for. Yet, I could return back and find nobody left home to welcome me, or maybe I struggle to find my way back for some time, and I make it back just like Odysseus and there are his loved ones, waiting for him. Or maybe I even get guided quickly and safely back home. The point being, these are all very real possibilities. That isn’t fun.

I have days where I really feel that I need to spend a prolonged amount of time on my own, just living for James Curtis– in a way further following this self-fueled break of sorts. Then again, I think that if it is the case, you have to do these things while you’re young and still can. I hate to admit it, but I do have these days where I really feel it weighing heavy on me. Of course, these days are especially awful when I’m overwhelmed with feelings of how much I care for you. It hurts to even say I love you sometimes because I feel like I could end up seeming like a huge con or liar. Furthermore, I just find myself living a paradoxical existence. If I love someone so much, how could this even be a possibility? Yet it is! It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know what to make of it. I don’t know how to feel about it. It distresses me, yet I can’t be in denial about the possibility.

What is even worse, I often find myself having to play out this scenario in my head. It is so selfish too. In these scenarios, it is so hard. In these scenarios where I enter deep space, I still know how much I’d want to share our close friendship. Yet, I know that probably wouldn’t be possible. Would it be fair to you? Certainly not; to the highest degree. So in these scenarios I have to assume that possibility out of the question, which makes the thought even worse. Then from there, my head always figures it is a toss-up, because for one, I don’t know where I’m going in deep space and for how long. So do I lose the most special one in my life for good? Do I somehow get her back? If I even got that lucky, could I ever forgive myself– even for, at the least, just potentially gambling this away?

There is no scenario that is fair to you, even the best case. That really sucks. Once again, it  is just another degree that contributes largely to my struggle.

And does it make any sense? No. I have a feeling you may even be reading this and thinking that to yourself. But its real. I’m being tugged in different directions. Heck, I wouldn’t hold it against you if you came to the conclusion that if someone can feel they love you but feel pulled away from that that they aren’t worth loving. I feel villainous for it. I just… can’t help it. I don’t have any answers though.

Here is the thing too, I know that I need to really figure this out, I need to have some solid ground on if I really need to just go live purely for myself for an extended period, or if I can really come back to it sometime soon and maintain this soft break status– But that just isn’t fair either. I can’t keep you on call for so long. I can’t keep you on the tight rope for too long, I know this. This makes things even harder.

This isn’t such a black and white matter of loving each other so much and being able to stick it out like it was with in the past, because the very nature of things might be calling me to potentially have to give everything up. It isn’t a matter of loving you at this point, it isn’t at all. I love you more than ever, I promise you that. I miss your friendship so much right now. If it was just a matter of love then things would be simple. There are things here which are too large for myself to grasp right now. I think that is why I might be hitting this new phase. The only way I could make sense of it all is I would need such a phase to explore this larger, unknown object floating about and truly comprehend it.

I really fail at properly loving you. I don’t know what else to say at this point. I am afraid. I do love you so much. I am so lonely right now, I am often miserable even if I have temporal happiness. I know I must struggle, though. I probably need to. I might even be long overdue for some mistakes in my life, Lord knows that I’ve spent so much of my life trying to avoid them.

I don’t want to leave you. I don’t know what I need though. I want things to be simple, but that just doesn’t seem possible right now.

I am a walking paradox. I am a walking violation of universal principles and laws of physics. I think I am more confused after writing this. I am sad. I don’t want you to be sad, I don’t want to make you sad. I am probably repeating myself at this point.

I am sorry, Kara. I would understand if you can’t put up with this right now, or if you don’t want to risk getting anymore hurt than you probably are. I know you love me and want to help me anyway you can. I don’t think there is much you can directly do though– that is the worst, I know. On top of this, if the only way you can really be there for me is by leaving me, well, even I don’t have any comprehension of that.

Once again, I am just so unsure and confused.

Once again, I’m sorry.