mondays

you asked about tuesday before you mentioned the hollow of my eyes. mondays were better. you could help me out if only i would promise one thing. i hated making promises.

i could hook you up, i’d remind you. i could make you happier. you, of course, didn’t need my offerings. i insisted while you persisted. two. one. more. one. none. could you even be trusted? our voices would climb in volume before eventually dissolving into laughter. it was always this way with you.

“butter,” i said as i recommended ways to save your memory.

the truth was that we could never melt because you’d be counting and i couldn’t stand to be average. 

when i was feeling whimsical, my facial expressions would make you fall apart. you’d become a complete wreck of euphoric tears; hysterical sobs.

“why are you so fucking funny?”

we engaged in cheers between shots and beers. i’d pretend to absorb your shady advice, ignoring the ways in which you always thought of yourself first. still, if i was funny, you were smooth. and i’d continue to work on my sarcasm. 

after all, i did promise, did i not? 

you’d find ways to reach me behind my walls yet you fully understood my need for space. and i had those days. we both did. sometimes we’d rate them when feeling bold or jaded. other times, without explanation, we just wouldn’t show. between us, all was understood.

upon my return, i’d find your detailed recollections of previous days. you’d relay every moment i’d missed in vivid detail with a strange tone of perfection. i wondered if you were secretly a professional. i’d respond nonchalantly as though i hadn’t just consumed a masterpiece of sorts. and i’d selfishly continue to consume these hidden works of art week after week.

“tell me why i don’t like mondays,” i’d demand, quoting one of my favorite musicians.

your eyes would roll but we both knew you relished your understanding of obscure references. for that reason alone, i would feed these to you.

i would then reference the ways in which i also loved to understand while simultaneously swearing that i’d had my fill of understanding as a whole. you joked that i should change my name to paradox. briefly, i considered it. 

still: mondays.  every single monday, you would serve me breakfast.

“tell me why i don’t like mondays,” i’d ask again.

“because you’re a pain in the ass.”

i couldn’t argue.

cerulean

she was thankful, she said. it meant a lot, given everything, and maybe she was a little bit sorry for her anger after all. it was nice to see a full circle return to sanity, refreshing to witness what once seemed impossible transform into tangible reality.

“i think i’ve been better, haven’t i?”

i couldn’t and wouldn’t argue, but i would absolutely change the subject.

“i’m a six point five today.”

“i was just about to ask you.”

i thought about how peculiar it all was. i interrogated myself internally about how we ended up this way and if any of it was meaningful or purely coincidental. i tended to choose significance over chance when asked to wager a guess on the intentions of the so-called universe.

“how do you want this story to end?” she asked randomly as spring snow fell from a cloudless cerulean sky. 

she seemed to view life through a fairy tale lens, speaking as though she were rapunzel and entire lives could be simplified with long locks and open windows. on top of that, i hated fairy tales. i told her as much.

but for me, she’d never cut it, she swore. never.

with that, clearly missing the point, her pinky curled into a promise. i feigned a smile and returned the gesture, effectively sealing the deal. i decided not to mention the fact that her heart was beating audibly to a ferocious rhythm of uncertainty and i used to be a drummer.

legion: partone

our mother always told us we had the most peculiar cry. she referred to us as, “you.” she did not know there were two of us, thus, we cried in perfect harmony.

“we’re hungry!” we’d half sing, half yell, our belly already full of snacks.

you’re hungry, sweetie,” she’d warmly correct as she handed us a banana.

“we both are,” i’d reply flatly. she’d hover for a second as though considering something before sighing quietly and eventually walking away.

she wanted us to be one. we wanted mother to be happy.

after some time, we eventually stopped referring to our multiplicity and began using the word, “I,” but that did not change the nature of our duality. we said it as simply and robotically as, “please” and “thank you.”

it meant nothing at all.

one bad night, mother was busy cooking, or so we thought. we were arguing out loud. it was escalating quickly, neither of us willing to budge on our position, but having to share one body. how would this be decided? who would take control?

so we did what any pissed off kids would do. we wrestled.

when mom walked in our bedroom, our body was rolling around the now bloodied plush rug digging the flesh out of both arms with our fingernails. i think we were screaming…in harmony, as usual.

mom screamed then, completely off-key, as she rushed over, pinning us down, holding each arm down with her own stronger, limbs.

“WHY ARE YOU DESTROYING YOURSELF, ADAM?! WHY?!”

“he wouldn’t let me! she wouldn’t let me! he wouldn’t! she wouldn’t! he- she -he – she – he – she…”

as we attempted to yell over one another with one mouth, our speech became complete gibberish and mom started sobbing violently as she released her grip. she fell over on the floor next to us, covering her face with her hands.

we hated seeing mother cry and we both softened a bit inside.

“i’m sorry mom,” we said.

“i just got caught up in pretend. that’s all, mama… i swear,” we lied.

mother looked up into our eyes then. through her own tears, she sternly reprimanded us through her tone alone.

“it isn’t real, adam.”

“i’m sorry, ma…,” we said as we touched her shoulder lightly.

mother wiped her nose with the back of her forefinger.

“i know, sweetie,” and she began to pick herself up.

“just wash your hands, dinner’s almost ready and your father will be home soon, okay?”

“yes, mother,” we replied.

stinkbug

she said it would always need to be a secret if the knowledge were bestowed upon me. being a demi-god, however, she knew exactly what i would do. with each blink, she analyzed algorithms of every movement of all of the strands of my straw-like hair. she foresaw. still, she let me play the game.

she said it would always need to be a secret if the knowledge were bestowed upon me.

“why?”

anyone would want to know. it was simple enough of a question, but i knew she would never answer. her smirk evolved into one of those deja vus which lasts entirely too long until you cannot tell wake from dreaming. i had seen the exact moment time and time again and i was sure of it, but of course i could not figure how or why. this moment had been forever coming…perhaps repeating…and yet it was unrecognizable.

though vague, i saw through the illusion, for mere milliseconds.

those people that brag and boast, “i know something, but i cannot tell you.”
clear as glass, you probably saw through their illusions? did you not?
and have you never mourned the loss of the delusion of “humanity” in the night time?
did you cringe and perhaps pull the blankets a little tighter around your shoulders?

little black bugs, bed bugs, and slugs don’t have a reason to mourn.

i suppose neither do we since we prefer counting sheep to being in sects.

the right to bear stains

yesterday i had the pleasure of conversing with a wall. she said her name was ego. she also claimed to know me in ways that i wasn’t brave enough to comprehend, and yes, i’m aware that suggests i had some control in the matter. furthermore, she stated that i lack understanding even during my more accurate moments.  it was implied that i could use some guidance.  my response shocked us both, maybe.

“okay,” i said, and with that, i decided to let her lead. i am not a follower by nature.
her road, though radiating, was rocky. i was tossed to and fro, but i did not flinch.
yesterday, i was not afraid.
“let me teach you a thing or two about fear.”
“okay,” i heard my own voice agree as i bravely committed to the unknown.

she was going to take everything.
she wanted it all.
i was to crumble – that was the lesson.

so i did. and even saying that, i am still downplaying the situation. i shattered when i did not believe i could be broken. i found myself, at sunrise, gazing at that same depressing spot where i let my eyes rest every time i knew with complete certainty that none of this could ever mean anything at all.

moments later, i found myself in the dark. i had a vague memory of attempting to put myself to sleep permanently. i was pretty sure i had dealt with myself once and for all, but i could still feel her presence.

i was falling down a long dark tunnel before being violently forced backwards. this falling was accompanied by a screech i could only understand to be her voice. it grew louder and louder like an incoming train until it vibrated inside each and every one of my pores as though a tornado was passing directly through me.
she swallowed me whole prior to regurgitating me back up. my rotting cells were infused again with actual biology and all at once,
i felt.

she, then, seemed to be some sort of mixed up undertaker.  i began to believe that she had revived me against my will, or at least without my permission. aside from the bulimic revival episode, her manners were exquisite. she never displayed rudeness, unlike the others. we spoke of cities that did not exist on any map i’d encountered and of knowledge which escaped language. i found comfort in her essence during that period and eventually in myself, as well.

it took her eight straight weeks to admit, finally, that what i thought were my fresh lively eyes were, in fact, dead eyes.
that’s what she said. she said my eyes appeared dead.

“have you ever seen someone with cataracts?”

my aura, she swore, had blurred.
i think “blurred” was a polite word choice. i sensed hesitation.
so there i was with all of this knowing lacking any hint of concrete fact. just this sickening knowing that logic could not whisk away.
was she the elevator man – the tech support from the afterlife of Vanilla Sky?
or was she simply a messenger, trying to tell me, ever so carefully, that i had died?
not metaphorically the way it had seemed during that sunrise, but
actually died?
did my vessel actually reside, decaying, elsewhere?

maybe i was no longer living in the sense that i once was or believed i was. things, certainly, had changed. if our reality was somewhat seamlessly connected to the “after-life” experience, what signs could be given? and could one actually be vomited back into existence?

i was no longer sure that i was alive in the traditional sense.
i did not mean this metaphorically.
i was afraid that i was actually,
literally,
dead.

suddenly i recalled one of my favorite quotes: “everything you need to know you can find by looking at your hands.”

i frantically began to examine the lines on my fingers and palms, checking for discrepancies, only to realize i never really knew my own hands in the first place. analysis proved inconclusive. ghastly thought forms threatened to project as they fed off of chaotic spirits of fear which surrounded me.

“SILENCE!”

immediately the dark energy was replaced by a dull hum which calmed me. but who had given the command?

she was nowhere to be found, but i did notice a stain on a book from my childhood that had never been there before. and then another in the exact same place on a different book, and then another, and another, and…

downfall

a monumental mistake was the widely held belief that subliminal messaging was not and could not be effective.

“it’s been proven,” said the masses, their heads all ajar.

the ultimate downfall happened the way depression’s onset has been described: “gradually and then suddenly.” to be fair, awareness was not widespread. even those with hints of knowledge had a tendency to intimidate and fumble at the mere prospect of awakening another. awakening was rare. it’s been said that the awake knew they could never win, but continued attempting to spread the word if only to feel they had washed away some of the bloody filth inflicted upon them by the controllers.

the craftsmanship sickened. they created aesthetically perfect vessels, entirely void of soul. blind to the differences, we immediately fell down, worshipping their apparent superiority. with empty eyes, they ruled the collective conscious. they created and controlled hatred, greed, and perhaps to the most detriment, lust. humanity immersed itself in soulless vessels until the actual soul was unrecognizable. the actual soul became as an alien.

a vessel once tweeted, “everything you need to know you can find by looking at your hands.”

i glanced down at my fingers briefly in confusion. then i continued to scroll.

and scroll. and scroll. and scroll. and scroll.

“everything you need to know you can find by looking at your hands.”

excuses

you skated on granite countertops.

but surely you were laid back and not in the least high maintenance, you swore, because after all, you would eat off of paper plates with no problem.

i winced at that.  you laughed.  i’ll give you credit for that.

i always made excuses. i admired how forgiving you were each time i’d rudely rush off.  i sensed love even in the way you’d shake your head with that attitude,

“you make me sick.  i can’t.”

like that, you’d pull down your sunglasses and make your grand exit.  and i’d drive off quickly then, as though desperately needed elsewhere, in an attempt to be free from your disapproving gaze a mere second sooner.

you were, undoubtedly, a pride-hitter.

i left you with strange phone numbers and vaguely familiar email addresses when i’d hastily announce my spur-of-the-moment decisions to “fall back.”  and you’d laugh at me each morning when i’d return the same way –

“hey.”

anyway the saga seemed more beautiful broken, we both agreed.  you’d smack me, hard, when you thought about the reality of my absence and i’d smirk, deserving it, loving the pain just to feel anything…anything at all.

i always made excuses.

dive

now you can dive off the top of bridges which don’t really exist and you can create your entire three dee virtual reality from scratch. and you can play god and you can not need him for the sake of technology and for all of the other so-called life savers discovered by some powers that may be.  and when you hear that she doesn’t pray anymore, you can internally sigh in disappointment for her while downplaying it. you can feign unwavering strength as you promise you’ll “say her prayers for her, then” with a desperate laugh you hope reads as nonchalant.

afterwards, you can exist with your head in your lap in the bathroom wallowing in sadness about murdered faith for too many moments before finally acknowledging that you, too, have undeniably reached the same fate. you can wince with disgust as you become aware of your ignorance to this seemingly undetectable act of violence. and you can stare into your own irises as nausea settles deep within until you are unable to recognize any part of yourself.

the dissociation may overwhelm with such ferocity that you might swear jean paul sartre spoke from pure experience in his novel length description of self alienation.  you might remember the time you foolishly gazed into a mirror on lsd.  maybe you can draw connections from those young hollow eyes to your old empty soul.

you can feel broken then; defeated. you can drink, if you think it would help the grieving process.

you cannot, however, deny what has now become strikingly apparent – that even with all of these attempts at discovery and intuition and ‘seeing beyond,’ not one of us will ever begin to fathom the fountain of lies from which we unknowingly quench some thirst.

we are blind to our love for this blood; for this trash.

you can question, then, if you actually fear the zombie, the vampire, and the roach for their ability to reveal your own reflection when you’d least like to see it.

luckily, you can give yourself permission not to answer.

about a girl

i was painfully hopeless when we happened upon each other.

i tried to make myself fall.  i felt it.  she also would have known had there been more opportunity for contact.  i had been burying myself – using  deafeningly loud music to drown out the distant grinding noise that i had begun to hear after the fall; a fall about which i could no longer speak.

and now i was using her instead.  she was softer on the ear drums…enticing to the eyes.

she hated english, valued math.  clearly, this wouldn’t work.  tiny personality conflicts tended to scream whenever i was concerned.  there were so many beautiful people everywhere, yet i found them to be soulless.  how could i bury myself in the soulless?

but i listened anyway as she spoke – so young and cluelessly – and i didn’t argue.  she played video games.  that was enough for me.  we didn’t discuss the unlawful aspect of our relationship.  we didn’t discuss much, really.  mostly she just spoke, and if for some reason it became my unfortunate turn to speak…mostly i just praised her.

our relatively few conversations took place mostly over video.  her – beautiful.  me – my usual mess.  sometimes there would be words,  other times only silly faces followed with laughter as we struggled to deflect the reality of our complete lack of content.

mostly, though, there was silence between us.  again, words weren’t her forte.  and in those days, i wasn’t much in the mood to talk.