Tiny Windows

A peep hole

There’s a clock in this apartment. After 8 months, I still don’t know where, but I hear it. I hear it constantly. What do clocks do? They tick.

They tick like a never ending itch, reminding me of the one thing I can count on in my life; consistency. My ears just want to scratch it, but they can never satisfy the stimulation.

I woke up on my girlfriend’s couch again. It was 2:37, or maybe it was 2:14. Another sunny day wasted. The way the mid-afternoon sun seeps in through the blinds and thin red curtains gives the room a sort of dusty, tarnished brass hue. It always reminds me of two things: that dream I’ve been having every two weeks, and the fact that I have been hiding out in my girlfriend’s apartment since July, but I haven’t seen her in 9 weeks.

I’m back on the couch. I hear that damned clock ticking still. The last thing I remember is trying to remember where my girlfriend ran off to, and the discomfort of synthetic wool on my bare skin.

A couple cars just drove by outside, I can hear the mist slapping rubber and pavement, it must have showered while I was out. I should, too.

There is a clock that I have no qualms with. The microwave clock. It actually tells me the time. Almost a quarter past one. Now I hear myself breathing. It’s a sleeping pattern, but my mind has my body handcuffed to consciousness.

I hear noises coming from the back door in the hallway of this rundown shit hole of an apartment complex. It’s the neighbor across the way just getting in, as well as an accompanying, hushed voice. It’s unfamiliar.

I don’t remember getting up, but I do remember feeling the light from the peep hole bless my eye with warmth and alertness. I can’t really see anything from this vignetted vantage point, but I hear noises from inside the kitchen of the neighbor across the hall.

A couple of hours must have passed, and I’m still glued to the peephole until, finally, a man who appears to be homeless comes up the outside stairs, enters the inner stairwell outside my girlfriend’s door and straight through to the basement door. I hear him descend the cement steps and scuffle about until it finally muffles out, and the momentum of his movements slows to an inaudible crawl.

Satisfied, I saunter from the kitchen door back into the living room and resume my post on the couch. I don’t remember any of my dreams and I sleep for 11 hours.

2 weeks pass, and my peeping episode grows. First a habit and now an obsession. On Monday, I spend 9 hours in total between my girlfriend’s two doors, just observing and waiting for God knows what to happen. Maybe He’ll make it clear what it is when I see it, though.

Front and back, front and back, front and back I go.

Yesterday, I put in 7 straight hours just at the front door until the UPS guy comes and sends me curling back into the depths of the couch, then I post up at the back door hole until 3 am as I listen to my girlfriend’s neighbor and his red-locked, red-rimmed bobble head of a love interest, Theresa, down a Coors and smoke at the top of the outside stairwell while they talk about how they wished to move to Denver.

They come and they go. Four times they do. I wonder what each sliver of audience they might bring. An hour and some beef passes and no return.

I look back at that same couch, my tomb, across the kitchen in the room over. Maybe it would welcome me. I step away from the door and ask my body if it feels tired.

I feel the rims on the bottom of my eyes tethered to the ends of my eye lids like bungie cords. My lungs calmly sprawl and curl up, and even my flowing blood settles from crashing waves to a tranquil stream of melatonin and Lord knows whatever other deficiencies my paranoia gifts me.

I hear the outer stairwell door husk open and clammer shut. I don’t remember moving, but next thing I know my left eyeball again attaches itself to the peephole.

It’s the homeless man. I’ve now seen him twice. With all disregard to anything around him he lumbers into the door between my girlfriend’s and neighbor’s apartments while he compulsively scratches head as if he were lighting a match. The sound of his footsteps dissipates until my ears fall off the trail.

The door, left cracked open, releases a dim light that tip-toes out of the basement and into our little hallway. It invites me beyond my door; my window; my 2 centimeter gateway to omniscience. It beckons.

I stop breathing for 5 minutes. I can’t hear anything, except for a scarce shuffling. It must be in my head, but every time I think the allure is departed, another shuffling from below plucks my mind like a stray hammer bumping into a piano string.

I unlock my girlfriend’s back door and slip it, against the silence, open enough to lean my head out. I become a statue as I conjoin with the stillness of the early morning for the next two minutes.

The faint brushing and rare infrasonic thuds from the dim light beyond becomes a little stronger outside my shield. With that strength, the invitation turns into a weak grip and leads me to step out of my girlfriend’s apartment entirely.

Time passes. Anywhere from a few minutes to a lifetime. I find myself two steps away from the top of the stairwell. I make less noise than my own shadow and tilt my head downward against the cinder block wall. I pick up the hushed reverberations from the basement on the other end of the stairwell wall. A rank smell dimly permeates my nostrils and tickles the less fortunate, finer tunings of my tongue.

It’s chilly.

He’s busy down there. For half an hour more, he slowly stirs along in that basement. Later, I hear the brash clank of the washing machine being fiddled with, but he doesn’t try to start it.

I hear muttered sounds, the kind the one only addresses to oneself. It’s so gentle to my ears that I struggle to distinguish what is sound and what is negative space.

His feet scrape toward the steps. The air moves with him and my nose confirms. I back away and quickly ooze through the door like egg white, fugitive from a smashed shell. I try to shut my girlfriend’s back door quickly without a creak nor a slam. It’s unknown if I am successful on either front. It doesn’t really matter. I’m back at my tiny window.

I wait for him.

I see a shadow at the end of the stairs. It’s still for a time, then the door pardons itself out of his way and he stands outside the pair of apartment doors. He’s holding a grocery bag in his hand. I’m not sure if anything is in it. He turns and faces my door. For a second, I didn’t budge. Then he steps toward the neighbors door. He fondles the handle.

It’s locked and he shows himself outside.

I suppose I’ve seen enough. I lock up, resign to my couch and tell myself I’ll go outside tomorrow and try to find my girlfriend. I sleep 10 hours and don’t remember a single dream.

What Stays Personal? Thoughts on Personal Blogging

I am an endangered species – a personal blogger

The blog. A web log. In Internet years, these things have become antiquated. When blogs were new, the concept was mostly personal. You didn’t have news entities or people making a living off of the thing, people just wrote about what they wanted and put it out there. I’d wager that most anyone doing such a thing in the early days of blogging never did this with the idea of anyone else really reading it, we just did it because we could, so why not? It was the same principle as building your own website in the 90’s. You probably had nothing of worth to really share or create, or if you did, you didn’t stick with it long enough to get that good at it, but it was something cool to do online, so why not? There’s no better reason to do anything!

Closely associated with the birth of the blog were services like Xanga and Livejournal, which turned into everyone you knew having one. This was kind of an unfortunate time for the Internet. At least with Tumblr, everyone can just post stupid

Xanga - The reason why we all shouldn't share our thoughts and lives with everyone.
Xanga – The reason why we all shouldn’t share our thoughts and lives with everyone.

pictures and quotes, because as soon as most people (kids) start putting down words, it just gets messy. Either way, the public, digital diary — everyone was doing it. It’s something I’m no stranger to. I was effectively doing it with our websites at the time GTAMAC — which was a precursor to SwB Crew, and all early iterations of our SwB Crew websites were as much about us writing about whatever we wanted as they were putting our movies online.

Needless to say, as soon as I discovered you could write these entries without having to manually update .html files and upload them via ftp, I was convinced there was nothing more bitchin than that.

Basically, what I’m getting at is that I’ve been writing a personal blog for a long time. It is part of me. To me, it’d be weird if I didn’t have one. And to this day, I have no expectation of anyone ever reading anything I write and publicly nail to what is effectively the digital town square, but people do. People I know do. People that I write about do, and people I write about don’t. People that I will never see again have been characters in my writings, and people that I have to see everyday have been.

That’s kind of a tough line to walk. If you are reading this, then you likely have read something else I’ve put on here, so you know how personal I like to get. I don’t know why, exactly, but for some reason it is very comforting to me to bare all on here, and when it comes to myself, I try to, but I have to expose other people to do that. There have been dozens of occasions where I’ve hit that PUBLISH button on WordPress right before I’ve gone to sleep, with a moment of hesitation as I wonder to myself — Continue reading “What Stays Personal? Thoughts on Personal Blogging”

Back to zero

Well, I’ve had this hunger to start writing again for a few weeks now. In the past few days it has swelled out of control and feels insatiable, but unfortunately I haven’t had the time until a time just slightly before now– and that time I filled with nothingness and space instead.

There is no empty space left inside my head at the moment though, so its time to call the movers and start unpacking. This is where the count begins, starting from zero. You know, that is a phrase that I’m essentially borrowing from Fight Club, or I guess more of a concept. In the movie there is always this talk of starting over– back from zero. In that case it is resetting the financial system and ultimately society, whereas for me, it is more like resetting my archive of thoughts, the historical remnants of myself, my entire identity. I guess I should take a couple steps back real quick. I used to have a blog, if that’s what you want to call it. It still exists. I have decided to retire it though. Just thinking back on it, it really pulls me back to what now feels like a more trivial life, though I’m sure that if I am going to assert that now that when I’m 28 I could easily end up saying the same thing about when I was 23. Point being, that I am a different person now. Though shaped by who I was back then when I really used it (mainly 17-19 or 20 years old), I am a uniquely different shape than what I once was. Thus, I feel like I should detach from that former and let the past sit as a reminder.

So here we are– on the new blog. You know what? I don’t even really like the concept of blogging. I don’t like journaling either. I do like writing though. I like writing with relevancy to my life and I like writing in exploration of thought. Sometimes I like to write more creatively, but essentially, I thought to myself, well why do I like writing on the ‘blog’ medium? Given the fact that I don’t like the concept or word blog, I came to realize that I like how I am able to write in this format. With a journal, I feel like you’re writing to yourself. Heck, you could write using whatever person and plurality you want, but you’re still just writing to yourself. In this format, I can write to an audience. The audience doesn’t actually have to exist, but just the concept that there could be an audience means I’m writing to an audience. I like writing to an audience. On top of this, I see writing to be the peak of thought’s complexity and clarity. With my mind, I need to write.

Anyway, so I’m back to zero with the whole writing and blog concept, but as of very recently, I’ve began to wonder if I am headed that way in terms of my self; who I am. If I think back, I guess I could identify a few, but probably not all, times where I have started over back at zero. Birth, obviously one; anytime a kid enters school that is a given– when I entered Fairview High School when I was 16 (almost 17) after homeschooling 9th and 10th grade would be another example. My first two years at Belmont were another instance, and quite a process. I guess I should first admit, I don’t know if I really am hitting this sort of resetting or not, and that is part of why I’m feeling the need to write about it.

A week or so ago, the concept was non-existent to me. Actually, I feel like the past month or two has been an internal renaissance. After a long and hard year (but let me note still a very blessed one), I felt like I was breathing fresh air. After taking solace in listlessness and apathy, I noticed that my steps were propelled by hints of motivation and ambition. After being holed up in a small box of a world, I had opened my eyes to a much greater ambience. I wanted to saturate it. I wanted to fill all the little holes and corners I had disappeared from or overlooked. I felt like getting out there and proving myself, whether it be in things that I had formerly gained reputation in or new challenges I could create myself– and for the first time in a long time it all felt possible. I really felt great.

Slip down the time line to what is pretty much the present and I’ve lost that empowering feeling of excitement, but I’m still feeling as motivated as ever. There is something just off with me, or at least that is what is in question. Is the something really off with me? I guess I have certain behaviors and tendencies that I have displayed the past week, maybe two, that indicate that there is something stirring within myself. And I apologize for the highly ambiguous and general tone of things, but I guess that having things brought to my attention, about myself, that I didn’t notice has led me to really try and figure myself out for the past few days. There is nobody who confuses me more than myself; what an inescapable maze I am.

It’s been a long month. I’ve tried harder in school than I have in a long time, but not only have I put earnest effort in, but I’ve sustained it for the longest period since 6th or 7th grade. Usually I just give a small percent of effort and come out pretty well, but where I would usually just tell myself, “I know this is all I need to meet standards,” I’ve kept working. I’ve toiled and tumbled with writing the smallest assignments, over researched topics until I get tangled up in the vast amount of information I have (and probably cause some harm to the quality of my work in the process)– ok, I’m boring myself here. Point being, I’ve been consumed for a pretty long time– given my propensity for laziness, that is (and school is the largest factor). So what I’m getting at is everything could easily be attributed the this sustained sprint, but is it really?

As of right now I’m very uncertain about myself. I’m wondering if I could be at risk for being in denial that I’m undergoing a rapid internal shake-up, but here’s the thing: I have no idea what could have prompted such a thing. See the problem? How can I identify whether or not I really have been entering a phase of internal change if I can’t link anything or any series of things to this. I suppose that if I assumed I was, the only thing that could come close to a catalyst would be this personal renaissance I mentioned earlier, but that just seems to broad and unnecessary.

If I just sit down and try to think I only end up feeling. I feel like a risk. I don’t know how I feel about that feeling. I don’t think I’m in a position in my personal life to be a risk of any sort. I’m starting to feel like I’m turning into a misrepresentation. I feel certain ways. I know the things and people I care about. I know where my love is directed. I am wholly thankful for the bonds I currently have, yet as has been revealed to me, I’m not representing that very well lately. I’m just a misrepresentation. What am I misrepresenting? Am I misrepresenting myself to all of these connections? Am I misrepresenting myself to.. myself? I guess I don’t have a clue.

I’ve become a great danger to the ones I love. I’m purely kryptonic to the ones who love me. I can’t say I’m sure what is going to happen, in the meantime my immediate struggle is figure out if and/or what is going on within myself, yet the caveat is, I can’t afford myself that time.

Because until then I’m just a danger..