was i writing again?  no, not really.  i was scribbling illegible marks on paper and smoking too many cigarettes with canker sores on my lips as i gazed at the sky night after night.  i was contemplating freedom vs. slavery and the nature of reality as “stars” flashed and floated above me.  i was experiencing strange sensations that bordered on bizarre and i was worrying and anxious and pointless all at the same time.

but you didn’t ask about any of that.  perhaps i overshared.

i have a name; first, middle, and last.  i have a vessel they call body.  i am somewhat conscious and i’ve been told that i “exist” on a rotating sphere they refer to as “earth.”  when my covering breaks, the gushing wetness is called blood.  and i need the wetness to continue this thing called existing.

and i’m supposed to want this to continue.  that’s what they say.

that’s what they told me.


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.


in elementary school, my best friend dubbed me a “reversed oreo.” i was the female product of a black man mixed with a white woman, yet by skin tone, i appeared entirely caucasian – perhaps a little on the pale side.

subsequently, half of my family is black while half are white.  furthermore, my older sister, one of eight total siblings, was adopted from india. my step-mother left africa permanently for the first time only eight years ago while pregnant with my younger brother. thus, all three of my younger siblings are, in the literal sense of the term, african-american.

i am a particle within a mixing pot and this is why i call myself gray.  to be clear, the shame is unrelated.

but nevermind all of that. nevermind illinois and being born here and still remaining here after twenty-six years with no plans of leaving and very little vacation time under my belt. nevermind the fact that i had very different plans growing up.

“where are you from?” a prompt once asked. i cannot stop asking, rather, “what am i from?”

for most of my life, i did everything too hard, in search of something i couldn’t pinpoint. i made a complete mess of myself. and then, i picked myself up, mostly. the search continues, but in different ways, most of the time. and sometimes, the same.

i’m from carelessness that doesn’t stem from ignorance and pushing much too hard and too often for the wrong things. i’ve been brave, bold, fierce, beautiful, weak, mean, cowardly, ugly – a complete disaster.

but when i’ve had the luxury, those few short times, of inhaling that thick salty coastal breeze, i’ve almost exploded. it’s been five or six years since i’ve smelled it. i hope that this works like a tolerance break, so that when i arrive again, i can expand into something i’ve always wanted to be but could never find.

perhaps i’ll go out orgasmically, like a bomb, whenever it is that the shore and i finally meet again. because maybe i’m from liquid, from oceans. or maybe, most likely, i’m from lighter fluid.

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