lights in the mist.
And I don’t want to be when and where the angels fall, weeping and gnashing for them all, lack of repentance; a fantastic appall
I don’t want to be when I’m without you no matter what you do, you could lie to me through and through, you could kiss her the way I kiss you
...With color, shape, and feeling...
Yours used to leave me reeling, now I find myself nightly kneeling, strongholds and principles violently peeling and there’s a line in the sand
Loyalty and love went hand-in-hand, our romance was a candyland, full of golden flecks like the river panned, like shining flakes in schnapps
As soon as the cap from your canister pops, it’s like time stands still, it’s like the world stops, that first precious inhale and my heartbeat DROPS, pounding ever so shallowly
Nicking my throat, blood does occur, as I swallow what we finally were, turning my song voice into a guttural purr, inside it’s not my heart that’s astir, but a teeming, insatiable thirst
For the one that I have come to put first, the one that threatens to make my lungs burst, the one that pollutes the breath against which my lips are pursed and there are no lights in the mist
I’m balled as tightly as a fist, wrap the leather around the wrist, tightly now before I’m missed, before aerosol takes me away
You’re more than my habit, you’re the only way, you’re the light at the end, you’re the bright of new day, you’re everything I wish I could say, you’re all I want to consume
… And with you in my heart, there is no more room
I learned to fly a number of years ago, not in an airplane, but actual self-sustained human flight. So my habit is flying. This is done by sheer force of will.
I discovered this many years ago as a boy, one who loved to run on long legs yet gifted with a stubborn curiosity. It was on a long distance run that I learned how to fly. Now people think human flight is some ridiculous act of pointing your hands like Superman and shouting, “up up and away!” but it’s much simpler than that. The secret is this: as you run you simply decide that once you push off, your feet will not touch the ground; you're simply refusing gravity. I call it flying by force of will (or FFOW).
And before some scientist starts reminding me about the laws of physics, there’s no magic involved in terms of FFOW, you still have to push yourself. Imagine riding a frictionless invisible skateboard; you run to get momentum and then glide, and to make turns you need to drag a foot and lean. It's easy to master.
I'm kind of surprised more people haven't figured this out. It's a habit that I enjoy.
Habitual, a ritual. I think it would be easier to say 'no' if I practiced, practice makes perfect, perfect. I stare at the idea of perfection in daily admiration, I yearn and long to achieve this unachievable ideal. To be beyond criticism, beyond judgment—these are meant for beings much greater than I. No human is perfect, no human can be perfect. It's written in the rulebook, and I've always been a strong advocate for following the rules.
What do I hope to gain by saying yes? Yes, yes, yes to everything, except I can't do everything, no one can. I do my best to avoid conflict, to dodge that bitter discomfort of frustration, that sharp jab of anger, that seeping slime of disappointment. I don't want to let people down, so I say yes.
I wouldn't recognize myself without others. I've heard that our soul is what remains in our identity after we subtract external influences, but I can't say I agree. My soul, if it exists, is buried somewhere inside of me, underneath a pile of unopened cards from acquaintances and long-forgotten friends. I am the sum of everyone I've ever met, for better or for worse. Maybe my soul is the mathematician solving the equation of my identity? No, mathematicians are far too busy to deal with addition and subtraction, and my identity is far from calculus, linear algebra, differential geometry, or any other fancy combination of academic-sounding words.
That is to say, I say yes. I say yes because I am grateful to others for giving me the gift of myself—no, that can't be right, can it? Can it?
I don't say no. It's a habit, this avoidance. It's a habit.
Can I reasonably blame this habit on anxiety, or do I need to assume some deeper level of responsibility? That's a joke, by the way—of course I assume responsibility, of course I know this habit is unhealthy. It's a joke, but not a very funny one. It's a joke, but I'm not laughing. I know I should say no, but it's easier said than done; isn't everything?
I tell myself I should break this habit, but the truth is, I'm not sure that I even want to. This habit, this perpetual state of agreeableness, is not without its benefits. I hate interpersonal conflict far more than compromising on my desires. I hate frustration and anger directed toward me far more than acquiescing, than agreeing.
I am not selfless. I have a self, and that self is entirely dependent on others. I know that's not healthy, I know, I know. If knowledge really were power, I'd be a king, a god, but since power is power, I sit alone atop my empty throne of introspection. I know my people-pleasing tendencies—'tendencies,' what a nice and euphemistic way to put it!—aren't healthy, I know. Is this a habit or an addiction? I don't think the two are mutually exclusive.
Theoretically, I could say no. I know how to produce the proper sounds, I know how to insert the word in proper contexts, I know how to use it in a grammatically correct manner. But, like all those academic theorists, my knowledge stays within the confines of my mind, my ivory tower, except I don't like ivory and I'm vaguely afraid of heights.
It's habitual, a ritual, saying yes, not saying no. I've gotten better at standing up for myself over the years—no, really, I have, I have, I've made progress, some progress, not enough progress, not enough. Not enough. But some. And isn't that better than none? My legs are quite long, but these steps I take toward self-acceptance and self-compassion are so small. They're almost insignificant, but not quite, because isn't any progress in a positive direction enough to be significant? Things are better than they were, and isn't that something worth celebrating? As long as we don't allow ourselves to become satisfied with less than we deserve, as human beings, then I should like to think I'm permitted to celebrate my slow progress in the direction of jubilant autonomy.
Is that alright?
Buck is lying in his bed, restless from the pain which ravages his body from the cancer treatment. His body trying to heal, it filled his mind with the trauma of the past. Fighting to get some rest, he focuses on his fishing trip.
One in the morning he gives up on trying to sleep and get dressed. He goes out of his apartment in the fresh cool air, fills him with renewed life. He organizes the car to make room for his fishing gear. He returns to his apartment and gathers his things, placing them in care and order. He takes inventory in his mind and everything is there.
Two in the morning he goes to fill the car with gas. Then with renewed vigor he enters his car and points it to the Mountain Lake some forty miles away. His thoughts are no longer on the pain and trauma of the past events of his life. But hope enters his heart as he escapes into the night on the drive to his fishing spot.
Watching for deer on the road he sees several; the sight of the deer brings back healthy memories of going deer hunting with his father. It was always a time for a family adventure.
He arrives to find another like himself escaping the bounds of everyday life. Buck introduces himself and makes a new friend Bill.
“Bill, you arrived first. Pick your spot on the dock.” Buck can tell Bill is having a tough time getting his gear out of his car. He sees the pain, which he too is accustomed.
“Buck, you are a true fisherman. Today, most people would walk right by me. Leaving me here to fend for myself,” as he shakes Buck’s hand.
Buck looks to the sky. The twilight has not yet arrived, and the sky is full of stars.
“Bill, look, you can see the space station traveling crossed the sky.” Bill is still struggling with his gear.
“Buck, I will take the west end of the dock; I think I have my stuff together. You know I am sixty-six years old. I just recover from back surgery. This will be my last fishing trip for some time. I go under the knife again next week.”
“I am sixty-seven years old, and I understand the pain.” Bill now smiles at his newfound friend as they head to the dock.
The twilight is a deep gray, making out the water from the dock. With flashlights glowing in the dark, both anglers prepare their lines and casting them into a void of darkness.
Bill continues his conversation about his surgery, and it migrates to his trauma. They share their stories as the reel of Bucks pole sings a song of a big fish on the line. The water comes alive with the splashing and movement of a fish of epic size.
Buck has his pole in one hand and the other rustling through the dark dock for his net. Buck, unable to retrieve his net in time, tries to stop the fish from going under the dock. The fish shows his under belly dives under the dock. Disaster set in motion as singing of the reels drag lets line out. The line finds a sharp edge of the dock, frees the fish. The pole reels back into Buck’s hand with great disappointment it is the big one that got away.
“Buck, that was the biggest fish I have seen it these parts. I like to tell you about the time I caught a state record...” Bill realizes this was not the time. “Buck, I am your witness that was a record fish... Sorry it got away.”
“Bill, no worries the day has not started. It is a good sign that fishing is going to be good.” Looking up as he repairs the damage and cast his line back out in the water. The twilight has begun, gray light turning to a steel gray with blue. The sky to the northeast, the small whisked of clouds show a light pink crown, and the lake is alive with fish moving in for the meal of the freshly hatched insects hovering above the water. Hundreds of bats take their fill of the flying food. The sound of an osprey waking cry, and wild turkeys awaking and the fresh air giving life and hope for the day.
Bill tells of his battle in the court to pay for the injury which placed him in a hospital when he got hurt at work. The battle with the pain and the court was more than his marriage could handle. She left him after twenty years for another man.
I understand been there and I have the coffee mug and T-shirt. Buck remains silent, not wanting to reflect on his own past, but to look forward to his next fish on the line.
Bill continues his story of his life, loss and pain. The sky is developing into a golden yellow as the pink on the clouds turn red. The light reflects off the lake as Bill’s line races from his reel.
The time is right and they know why they have come to the Lake. The fish are biting and one after another they reel in a nice trout. The day light begins and the fish are biting, the adventure Buck and Bill have been waiting for has arrived. No longer is pain, grief or the trauma they have endured present, it has left them both as the sun’s rays hit the lake.
Life around the lake is everywhere; a new day with hope of life has arrived.
"and then the guy got shot!"
"The guy I was telling you about! you weren't even listening!"
But it wasn't that they weren't listening. It was that I have the terribly obnoxious habit of starting conversations in my head and finishing them out loud. It drives my husband up the walls!
My brain moves a million miles a minute all the time. There is no off switch. I get overly excited about almost everything. Fun facts, funny quotes, funny videos, comic book facts, video game facts.. everything excites me to the point that I can feel it vibrating up my spine!
And then I want to tell everyone everything. I swear I tell people the begining. but I guess I always happen to tell them the end.
" Did you know they can fly?!"
i think my most casual, common habit is a quite dangerous one.
the boy who assaulted me got me hooked on nicotine at fifteen.
i hate him with my guts.
it always hurts now from this illness.
each time i walk up the stairs, i feel myself grow weaker.
when you touched me, you infected me
with a never ending poison.
Smoke enters my throat.
Exits my hope.
Trying to quit.
But it's a bitch.
I will learn the errors of my ways.
But not now, in later days.
The Plight of Two Creatives.
Idle tapping fills the air in the room from a small corner. A blank screen, no words appear onto the screen as cursor blinks. The source of the tapping, a figure. They're situated, hunched over in posture. Eyes seem like they are shifting from one monitor to the next.
The figure's glances halt, as their tapping turns into clicking. At which words appear onto the screen as if something clicked into place with a train of thought. Stopping for a moment's breath before giving a glance towards a corner, that acts as shelf. A tablet, without a screen yet nonetheless - a tablet.
"I want to do more than writing and chewing on my own imagination..." Their quiet grumbling thoughts wafer, before resuming. "Yet, I'll stick to writing until my head comes ablaze with creative sparks and the brilliant motivation gets me back into drawing. Hopefully... I crave to put pen to digital canvas, and product my beloved."
The time flies as clicking of the keyboard fills the air. The typing dies down and their words seem to be coming to a close. The sparse glances from before are long gone as the pages seem to be needling and threading together. Sewing together, sewing to life - a tale, only the writer's eyes can cite and readers will experience. As the words fill this digital notebook, literary words and descriptors that are at best, novelty. They flash a gentle smile, as their thoughts seem to whisper, "Soon."
Every day I write three pages in a cheap notebook with an expensive pen. My stack of notebooks is higher than my knees. I rarely read my past, but when I do, I amuse myself with my wit. My husband knows that should I expire unexpectedly, he better burn the pile, or I will haunt him forever.