Friendship? Part I

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I’m going to keep part 1 brief, as this type of conversation tends to evoke quite a bit of emotion lately.

I can’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have friends. Even when I was homeless briefly in Colorado where I knew literally no one, I ended up with a handful of life long buddies. I truly do not see my life as anywhere near the same without the people surrounding me.

They fall out sometimes though don’t they? Sometimes its brutal and final. Sometimes it’s accidental and seemingly for no reason. Sure, you see each others posts on social media, give them a few likes, that doesn’t count – we’ll save social media for a future post. 

Someone wonderful returned into my life recently, and with the use of instinct in correlation with logic (see previous post) I decided this is a beyond great thing to happen and it is the best thing for me. This person wasn’t only my best friend before, but much more than that. Reconnecting with that type of force after losing it is a strong smack in the face. So many feelings and thoughts, fears and concerns, and above all: hope. 

But what happens when that person tells you of bad things your other friends did during the separation? How they disrespected you, talked bad about you, or completely disregarded you. See, I have already cut a lot of bad fruit from the tree lately, through mistrust to complete belligerent anger, so my friends list has lowered considerably. Then you get new information that others wronged you. It makes you think who I’ve wronged. Do I accidentally slip away from people? Talk smack about them? UGGGHHH…..

This post is part one for a reason. I have so much more to say. So much more to search for. People are so hard to deal with. It’s hard to be one! But I am not ashamed to admit that I need them. We all are experiencing this reality in a different and very personal way. I’m going to try to see things from others perspective to see if I can crack the code on this batshit existence.

Instinct VS. Logic

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Sorry for my tardiness my people. Life tends to come at you fast and always dish out a random number of stresses and encounters you weren’t prepared for. I’ll try to keep my consistency in check from here on out.

As I said above, life is messy. My life this year alone so far has been CRAZY as hell. Not that I would have it any other way, but it does make one think. When I have too much free time I tend to ponder down rabbit holes. From which I usually come back unscathed….. sometimes.

I had a conversation with a good friend a few months ago regarding the gut, and whether or not it should be trusted. I went on to argue that brain and logic should be priority first for the gut may not be able to be trusted. The friend said that was bull hockey, and that they always trust the gut. It was a short conversation. I didn’t give it much thought until recently.

I think I made logic a priority because I had made so many stupid decisions in the past. Things that lead to people being hurt, losing opportunities, or lost people I loved. The truth is I was just hazily riding through life, on auto pilot. Sure I used to trust my gut, but I had no brain involved in situations. As I continue to try to better myself and my life situation, I have found an important thought: The gut and the brain live in me, idiot.

Both of these VERY important elements of me, are apart of me. They both serve a purpose. Things keep happening for me. Jobs, friendships, relationships, wonderful fun things, bad things.  Have you ever deliberately tried to work with just logic or just the gut? I tried a whole day at work only using my gut. I got angry, made mistakes, and ended up being suspended for three days. When I came back I tried to be completely logical. And in turn wasn’t the most helpful to my fellow co-workers. These two things must merge to have a good and fulfilling life. It’s time they tie the knot.

Create a union between instinct and logic. Gut and brain. Make sure those fuckers are best friends. Your life might depend on it. Scary concept sure, but helpful all the same. This is so crazy to me. I sit down to write, and I end up being my own therapist. This is drugs. This is medicine for me. From this moment on I must trust my gut, and bring my brain into all situations. Let us see where this takes us, shall we?

 

 

 

Dreaming Alone

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Something I’ve never cared to admit is that I am afraid of being alone. Even to myself most of the time. I’m not really sure where this sensation comes from. I’ve had family and friends almost always in life, supporting and putting up with me. I’m not being so cliché as to say this has to do with having or not having a lover either. Lately I have felt TRULY alone. You know what? It might be the most important feeling in my life.

Having been such a different person five months ago is weird. I considered myself a piece of shit and at a very low point. Depression, anger, and any other negative emotion one can think of. Now today, five months later, I am a far superior version of myself. Now I am more thoughtful, kind, careful, have bigger commitment, and I am happier and healthier than I’ve been in a long time. In such a short time. That is what is scary. If you have in your twenties, hopefully a good sixty years left on Earth….. and for life to change so drastically in a matter of months… god my head hurts. In 5 months I could devolve into an even worse person than before. In 5 more months I could be successful and buff and incredibly kind-hearted. 

Everything is so shaky in the balance. Everyone states that we go through ‘phases’. I don’t think that is true. We change so rapidly. Those phases were really us just on different levels. We were higher, we were lower, we were even lower, and then higher than we have ever been. I feel like, if I make a promise to stay true to myself, be alone, FEEL the alone. Get to know myself on a deeper level and grow. Practice consistency, practice patience. Be the best version of myself. No more phases. Be aware of the highs and lows and know I am in control. The only way I will be able to do this, is alone.

Being alone isn’t something to fear. It is a gift. I have at this very moment the most opportunities to make myself awesome. No one to answer to. No one to get lower with. Being alone is a superpower. Now is my time to shine. Buckle your seatbelts.

 

I know I said I would post more. I have three different things that I am going to post, but they felt to rough to put out just yet. Hope you enjoy them when they come. One more letter left.

Breaking down the barriers Part I

I have never considered myself religious. Although for a few years now, I have become somewhat spiritual. This began when I started to question the universe, existence, and why we are really here. You know, that old chestnut.

My family used to go to church when I was a lot younger, but that seemed to die out pretty quick. Maybe it didn’t speak to them. To be honest religion was kind of frightening to me when I was a child. I would question every single thing I did, fearing that the devil had me in his grasp. My imagination was too big for my own good when I was a kid.

How you are raised can determine a lot of your qualities in adulthood. When you are born there is a tiny empty basket with your name on it. Then people come and throw values and morals and ways of thinking into your basket. Television and the media add a bit here and there. Societal and social conditioning programmed into the squishy human shaped creature that you call you.

No wonder most people’s twenties are so shaky. They leave everything they’ve known, all their comforts, and have to learn what life is truly like for the other 75% of their existence. Try getting a bigger basket, and then add your own opinions and rules and learned behaviors.  Is this something my mother would do? What would my best friend think?

Life will always be scary. Mysterious. Take a deep breath. Look up into the sky. Repeat after me: “Fuck it”. Look deep within for a while. What in that basket is truly, 100% yours? Rearrange it. Decorate it if you must. Don’t forget to be yourself. You could always just do what I did.

Burn the basket.

The Delicate Dance of the Lost and Found

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Current Listening: ART IS DEAD by Bo Burnham & Blue Blue Blue by Mike Slap

 

I had a really good blog post going. Came back to my computer and it was gone. So alas, it was lost to Limbo. I thought this site had auto save…

I sometimes have the thought that I’m taking on too much at once. I recently had this thought because I am about to take on yet another job. I’ll be working 7 days a week and still be a full time student that goes to the gym 4 days a week. I think sleep will fit in there somewhere. Maybe it is a lot to take on. But it also seems when I have too much free time I do stupid things like be lazy, worry too much, fall in love, or watch entirely too much television. Bring on the busy.

Have you ever had something be so apart of you, but then it just disappears? Fades into the background, lost and forgotten. Like a hobby, talent, way of speech, or even feelings. Sometimes we intentionally lose things. When you find them again, is it painful? Exciting? Maybe these things come and go when we need them to. The delicate dance of the lost and found.

I’ve come into a bit of conflict lately. Nothing huge, just dramatic. It goes without saying that some people just do not like me. Which is totally fine! Sometimes my very nature invites conflict. I am stubborn and won’t change for anyone but myself. If I see something that is wrong, or stand up for myself, I know in my heart it is for a reason. You want to knock me for that? You’re taking the stairs while I have a key to the elevator. I’ll see you when you get to the top.

Recently I’ve been painfully aware and observant of people. Every single one of us has a story. Has emotions. Bad days. Secrets. Weird habits. Love. I was going down to the docks to look at the stars and decompress. A car pulled up and parked in a familiar spot. There was a man and a woman inside. Music shaking the windows with vibrations. They were laughing. How long have they known each other? Are they just friends? Is this the last time they get to see each other? Everything in life is so beautifully complicated and dense. There is always so much going on. You should never stand still. Get up. Make your little story BIG. Write it in pen. And give a big middle finger to anyone trying to stop you.

 

I will be posting more often throughout the week. Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

Comes and Goes Like Waves…

Currently listening to: Downer by STRFKR and No Rain by Blind Melon

 

Another week flies by. It is amazing how much can fit into seven little days. A metric shit ton apparently. It feels as though I am on this high-speed train on a track of constant change. Nothing stays the same lately. Things are happening fast. Things are wonderful. Things are scary. The best part is life isn’t boring. Silver linings.

It’s amazing how depression works. You could be super happy, productive, social, and healthy…. then BAM! Here it is again. Seemingly for no reason. It comes and goes like waves. Like a disease that lies dormant until something sets it off and brings it to the surface. Like an old friend that you weren’t too keen on seeing, but just shows up and asks to stay the night.

I’ve been thinking about leaving this place. Putting my nose to the grindstone and saving ungodly amounts quietly, then disappearing. I don’t exactly feel like leaving Oregon is for me yet. Maybe somewhere bigger, and more beautiful. Ashland? Bend? I want to go somewhere where I am invisible. Somewhere I can rise from the ashes and reinvent myself. Exciting prospect that.

I opened a letter from a friend a few days ago that said they appreciate how I roll with the punches. How brave I can be. How I take on the world and problems with a smile and always bounce back. You can’t possibly imagine how much that was needed in that moment. I fucking love people sometimes.

To whom it may concern… i.e.: anyone who cares to check out this page. I will probably be posting more on here more frequently. I’ll still be doing a Friday retrospective as per usual, but I’ll be dropping more stuff. Stuff from my stories, poems, anxieties, and random brain droppings. I started writing again, in my beautiful new journal, and it has felt so good. Like a superpower has returned.

Mantras are important. Find a phrase that ignites emotion. That lifts you. And repeat it here and there throughout the day. “I love myself” “My family is everything” “I am important” “Don’t be an idiot” “Hooty Hoo” ….. whatever sets your soul on fire. I promise it does wonders. Create those pathways.

Another snippet from a work in progress.

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There have been only a few times in my life where I truly felt crazy. Most of those times it was due to drugs, but I don’t think this is the case. I think when someone says, “the little voice in my head was enticing me to do it”, or “I had a little conversation in my head…”, That they are totally sane, and in their right mind. Now, when I say those things, I actually, LITERALLY, mean them. I mean that I talk to myself, and myself talks back. If that doesn’t sound crazy, then I think that you might have some mental health issues as well.

I had a disgusting night out drinking, a holy bar bender for the ages, the ended with an almost fatal concussion. I wake up in a hospital 18 hours later, confused, and in so much pain I wanted to puke. I can barely open my eyes from all the crust in my eyelids and then I hear a familiar voice. The voice tells me to get up. It tells me to wake up and stop wasting time. The voice then tells me to get my ass out of bed and is sounding very impatient. I rubbed the crust out of my eyes and open them to the realization that I am the only one in my hospital room. Then I think why the voice is so familiar… it was me.

You see, at first I thought that I was obviously concussed, and possibly hung over. How could a disembodied voice be talking to me? I must be dehydrated or something. Painfully and slowly, I get out of bed in my hospital gown and walk over to the bathroom in my room. Turn on cold water in the sink and splash my face several times to refresh myself. I take a rough towel off the bar and pat it against my face, flinching from a bruise I obtained the night before. Then I hear the voice again.

“Hurts doesn’t it? Wasn’t a very good idea to get in a fight now was it? That idiot had three friends, not a battle you should have started.” The voice echoed in my head.

“Hello? Is somebody there?” I say, slightly panicked.
**********

Something I wrote while waiting for the bus.

****************

It didn’t take long for him to get to the railway from his apartment. On a Friday in the late morning he found it very strange that there was hardly any traffic.

He parked his car too close to the curb, tires screeching on the sidewalk. He put on his jacket and grabbed his satchel. He barely glanced at the ‘No Parking’ sign his car was near. He proceeded into the station as if he would never see his vehicle again.

He got his ticket after a short wait in line. The cashier politely asked, “Is that all the luggage you have Sir?” Without answering the man took his ticket and went to his gate. When he arrived in the outside boarding area, he instead sat on a nearby bench while others boarded.

Several minutes flew by. The cold winter air whipping the man in the face. He didn’t move a muscle. All he was doing was clutching his bag. He still sat there not moving even as his train departed. He needed the ticket to be here, just as instructed.

Finally the man moved, to check his watch. 4:04 pm. It was time. With shaking hands he slowly reached his hand into the satchel. He removed the only two contents in the bag, a small pill bottle with no markings, and a note that read:

If you ever want to see them again, do as instructed. 4:05 pm.

With zero reluctance, he unscrewed the small bottle and poured the contents into his left hand. Three fairly large grey pills. They were the shape of footballs. One at a time he popped them into his mouth, with each subsequent pill harder to swallow as they scratched their way down his throat. With the final swallow he began to choke slightly, coughing. An older man started coming his way, but the man just shooed him away with a hand gesture, he couldn’t afford the attention.

Now having his composure back, he sat up straight against the bench and waited. A few more minutes passed. How long do these pills take to kick in? He thought to himself. After once again checking his watch, he realized it had been eight minutes since the instructed time. Have I done something wrong? What will happen to them if I fail? Panic surged through his veins like a gasoline fire, consuming all.
Fear taking over, he stands from the bench and starts pacing back and forth. He retraced his steps and recalled what had happened up until this point.

It had been two days earlier, he had just got off work and needed to get some groceries before heading home. It was his turn to cook, while Jenny watched the kids. They alternate parental shifts to ease the load. He wanted to make tater tot casserole again, his wife made it a few months before and he hasn’t stopped thinking of it since.

As he walked down the isles gathering the ingredients, he realized he forgot something. Was one of the casserole layers corn, or mixed vegetables? He put down his grocery basket and took out his phone to call Jenny. Before the first ring was over, the call was answered. At first all he could hear was static, after which he checked to see that the call was connected.

“Jenny? Honey, are you there? I have a question about dinner.” No answer. In a small break in the static he started hear his two sons crying in the background. Strange thing to hear considering your oldest is twelve years old.

He hung up and hurried to the check out line, deciding on a bag of corn. He figured that if the kids were having a meltdown, he needed to be there as soon as possible to ease that stress off his wife.

As soon as he entered through the front door in the living room, the groceries were dropped onto the wood floor with a loud smack. The recliner was turned over on its back. The television was on. There was a single boy’s sneaker on its side. While taking this all in, he hears that the sink is running in the kitchen. Quick as he could he ran towards the kitchen, before tripping over his wife’s purse. What the hell is all this? What in God’s name is going on here? He thought to himself.

He quickly picked himself up, dusting off his shirt. Feeling a sharp pain in his knee, he limped to the kitchen. The sink was overflowing onto the floor. The knife block on the counter had been knocked over and from it there was a butcher’s knife on the ground. He looked closer at the water splattered floor and saw that some of the water was discolored. He reached for the towel that hangs from the refrigerator handle and then he saw it. Blood. Blood splattered on the freezer door, dripping down the main door, then onto the wet floor. It felt as though lightning struck his heart.

He immediately felt sick and dizzy with fear. His legs felt like they were stuffed with wet garbage. He slowly limped in the direction of the boys’ room in a haze. Why didn’t she call if someone got hurt? Why didn’t Anthony call me? The door to the room was ajar. Nothing. No one. He had never heard the house this silent since his first son was born. He leaned against the doorway to get the pressure off his knee and tried Jenny’s cell once more.

“This number has been disconnected or is not available at this time…This number….” The generic phone voice echoed.

He grunted a sigh with every limped step towards the master bedroom. That is when he noticed the sporadic drips of blood trailing from the kitchen to where he was heading, his bedroom. He grabbed the knob of the door and pushed it open with some effort with his shoulder. Nothing was askew, except the blood covered note on his bed:

The first thing you need to do is take a deep breath. Calm yourself. Regain your composure and read this carefully.

Your wife and two boys have been taken. They are alive, and for the time being, safe. I cannot at this time tell you why, for you must earn that knowledge as a prize. Everything will come to make sense soon enough.

You must follow my instructions exactly. You may not stray from the plan. Do as I say and your family will live long prosperous lives. Leaving the house, going to the police, or telling anybody will result in the death of your family, and then yourself.

Clean the house, as if nothing had happened. You cannot leave the house until 3:30 pm on Wednesday. Go to the Railway station on 3rd Avenue and get a ticket for anything southbound. Do not board a train. Simply sit on a bench in the boarding area. Only bring the satchel that has been placed under your bed. Follow the instructions to complete phase one. Do this and you will see your family again.

I wouldn’t worry about the blood. It is mine after all. That boy of yours is quite the fighter.

Do as I say,
Mr. X
**********************************

Snippet from ‘Me, Myself, and Why?!’

A few minutes off trail lead me to a large area that has a wall of hedge like bushes.I squeeze between two of the hedges to get to my old hangout. The crappiest little tree house I could ever imagine lay before me, well almost lay. Two trees were in the clearing behind the hedges, and about fifteen feet up the two trees start crossing like an x. In between the two trees was what looked like a giant cardboard box.

Upon closer inspection, you could see it was actually made out of wood. Barely held together by the trees, and with years of weather damage, it looked to be on its last leg. It looks like a dog house that flew in from a storm, but I missed it dearly. Rotting and gray instead of brown. It is only a foot off the ground, four feet high, five feet across. I shake the water drips off of my jacket and climb into the little hole of a door hunched.

To my surprise and delight, the tree house can still withstand my weight. Even with the newly acquired beer belly. The years of moisture and lack of repair seep into my nostrils. I imagine it must be what the neighbors souls must smell like. Cold, dank, and rotting away.