Posts Tagged ‘thank you’

simple steps to restore love.

2 October 2010

presumably there have been times in all of our lives where someone we love has stopped talking to us due to some slight, whether real or perceived, that we inflicted upon them. it could be that we cheated on them or accidentally slammed their fingers in a car door or urinated in their sink because lifting the toilet seat was inconvenient. regardless, no amount of apologizing can coax them to renew the conversation with you. some of us have sent jewelry and flowers or asked our assistants to look into whether a galaxy or constellation can be named after our former flame without a change in demeanor. the frosty glances will continue forever unless we can find the correct combination to unlock their hearts.

fortunately i have discovered the solution thanks to did you hear about the morgans? first you’ll need to convince the person of your dreams to meet you for dinner. maybe you still have some cherished possession that you want to return, maybe the dog you shared since it was a puppy was run over by a car and you just picked up its remains which were separated into two decorative urns. just make something up. it doesn’t even have to be believable if your object of attraction is a girl because they’ll do anything for a free meal.

eat quickly so that taking a walk afterward doesn’t seem like a ploy. the other person will understand that you couldn’t have possibly said all you needed to in such a short time. if that, in and of itself doesn’t work, bat your eyelashes and stammer when you speak to illustrate how uncomfortable you are. eventually your partner will suggest a leisurely stroll to calm the nerves and clear the head.

now for the most important part: witness a murder together, preferably one that has been perpetrated by a wealthy crime syndicate with plenty of trained killers and the latest technology at their disposal. when the police mention the witness protection program following a close call at your apartment, resist the urge to hire jack bauer as your personal security detail, and instead let them fly you to wyoming or montana or wherever it is that sam elliott and mary steenburgen reside.

when you arrive you’re sleeping separately, but over the next few days you converse more, you deliver more heartfelt apologies, and you begin to listen more to the sage advice offered by the u.s. marshals in whose house you are staying temporarily. then, all of a sudden, you realize you’ve bought him bear spray to ward off the predators that frighten him and he is always there to remind you of your assumed last name (foster) and fake relationship (cousin) with your custodians. trust blossoms between you. you understand that life doesn’t make sense without each other. you cannot fathom a world without his floppy brown hair and sarcastic quips, and he never wants to, um, sorry i cannot think of any redeemable qualities that pertain to sarah jessica parker, so i’m going to have to make something up.

here goes: he has so much he wants to share with you still, and while you can sometimes be a porcupine, quills poised to lodge into anyone who approaches, he knows that for him alone you’ll roll over to expose your underside, soft and sweet as a ripe peach.



30 August 2010

i cut myself a little over a week ago. i assure you that i wasn’t trying to kill myself. it was more like a young girl, locking herself in her room, music blaring, while she runs a razor across her inner thigh just so she can feel something in this terrible world. honestly, i’d rather be dead right now from self-afflicted wounds than admit that i’m a pathetic little teenager seeking attention, but it’s the truth, sort of. at least the sentence about cutting myself and the next one about not trying to kill myself are true: i mean, i barely even broke through the skin when i slid the knife back and forth across my upper arm a few times, i merely wanted to see how it felt (i’d remembered from years ago not feeling anything when i tried the same thing and this experience was consistent — the cuts produced a small crease, and the following day a scab formed, making it seem worse than it actually was).

recently i told someone that while i’ve had suicidal thoughts for most of my life i would never be able to carry it out. my ideas of death over the years have been focused on hoping something would happen, like a satellite falling out of the sky to crush me or an errant hoof hitting me square in the temple (you know, when i’m cleaning out the family stables).

i came across something i wrote over eight years ago: every time i breathe, the earth’s supply of oxygen is depleted to such a degree that other people begin to gasp and, after the blood vessels in their eyes burst and form branches, die. a couple of years ago, while walking between the lines of a crosswalk, i started to become plagued by the thought that, instead of pavement, the road was composed of babies, staring unblinkingly into the sky. no matter how gingerly i stepped, my footfalls crushed them, suffocated them. since then, i haven’t been able to walk through the full length of a crosswalk. i wonder how much longer it will be before i decide that breathing is not worth the possible fatalities.

i want to draw lines across my back yard, forming a grid. in one square, a land mine would be placed. if i were feeling especially charitable, i’d take bets (in which square resides the blast? how many steps before i choose poorly?) with all proceeds going to a worthy cause, like my parents’ son’s funerary preparation fund.

i know what you’re thinking — how is it possible that this guy used to be even more melodramatic? — but let us try to overlook this stunner. the fact remains that i’ve obviously been failing at treating my mental health on my own, and pretending that sometimes-debilitating depression and suicidal ideation is somehow necessary for creativity has robbed me of a good number of satisfying endeavors. and it goes further back then the text above: it’s just that my writings from the womb have been obscured by amniotic fluid and such.

it’s not too late to change. life is what it is, not what it was (yes, that is a conor oberst quote, evidence the melodrama is still present).

q without u.

21 August 2010

today i saw a psychiatrist, and i don’t mean i watched an episode of fraiser, and i began taking the following medication. currently it has just made me feel extremely anxious, which i’ve read may continue for another week or so. more on this soon if i can succeed in winding myself out of bed (see, that was a really funny joke. geez, just watch the commercial).

i really like the thought to work???? caption. i mean, thanks for testing the drug so vigorously, wyeth pharmaceuticals.

unbiased self appraisal.

1 June 2010

i had a dream where you cut off my arms, starting with the hands and working toward the shoulders, slicing me into sections a couple of inches at a time. then you moved to the legs. i woke up and instantly called you at seven am, and you told me you would be right over. i didn’t expect you, knowing you would fall back to sleep as soon as you put down the phone. i showered and ran some errands, returning home before you called again to say you had just woken up.

i’ve realized that you’re not to blame. i’ve been cutting myself, keeping myself from succeeding. every time something is within arm’s reach, i pull back and make excuses for why i cannot continue. you’ve made me realize that i should hold myself accountable and that the struggle can be worth it. you’ve taught me that i’m better than what i’ve allowed myself to become and that i’ve underestimated myself. i’ve been oblivious to this and the ways it’s hurt you, and i greatly regret that.

when i was younger i subscribed to mensa magazine for a short time before deciding that it was pompous to display one’s genius in such a way. i’ll remember two things from its pages though. one, that puns are the highest form of humor. this declaration was accompanied by photographs from a halloween party where everyone dressed as their favorite pun (yes, reader, i’m also glad i didn’t attend). one couple was chicken catch a tory, the woman in a chicken suit and her husband in long-flowing wig and cavalier garb. two, an article about low-end jobs and reasons why some people of such advanced intellect would undertake such demeaning labor. those highlighted answered that they were just looking for something that paid the bills so they could use their ample free time to work on philanthropic and creative projects about which they were passionate.

in my own life i forgot the second part. sure, i’ve gone through things that required my full attention, but my complacency and lack of dedication is a mind-numbingly egregious offense at best. i put myself on a pedestal, pretending i had a reason to be there. to use the vernacular of dream analysis, i cut off my legs, piece by piece, but still told everyone i was running. i wore this starving artist tag like it was a badge of accomplishment, as if jotting down a few words every now and again is a form of artistry. i clung to the city of charlotte, as if failure in a large city is better than potential in a smaller one.

i bet you knew i was eventually going to address you again, and i am now. you couldn’t comprehend why i was comfortable treading water. at this point, it baffles me also. you stood by me though offering encouragement, and i will forever appreciate that. i’m trying not to make promises because, without action, they’re just a bunch of nonsense words, but i know a few are going to creep in. you know, something along the lines of first acknowledging that i’m a deeply-flawed individual, then adding that i will make sure that you are always happy, every single day, even if i have to do something outrageous like descend niagara falls in a barrel or bring back a fer-de-lance from costa rica (by the way, please consider other options).

i’m remembering that each day is a new day to make oneself better. and one day builds onto the next.

the lee oriental rock garden.

21 April 2010

in posting about the lee oriental rock garden in phoenix, arizona, i’m reminded of the adage a picture is worth a thousand words. i’d argue that whoever coined that phrase was just not a very good writer. Photographs are limited in what they can express. It’s the difference between watching a sporting event on television and attending live. You miss the scope: the play developing slowly until it crescendos; the crowd erupting all around you, leaping to their feet in triumph; the scent of the air. Pictures cannot possibly encapsulate all of this within their borders.

(The above is, in a way, an excuse, since the images that accompany this entry do not match the grandeur of the place itself. rather than admitting that i’m just not very good behind the camera, let me add that i’ve also looked online through other people’s attempts, witnessing a similar inadequacy, further lending proof of the form’s limitations.)

louis lee began creating his rock garden in 1958 because he didn’t want to have to worry about a lawn. over the next forty-plus years — he didn’t stop until shortly before his death of cancer in 2006 at the age of ninety two — he collected rocks, buddha statues, beer bottles, toys, desert plants, trophies, and various other items, slowly constructing a labyrinth of narrow paths and low archways in his front yard, completely obscuring his house from the street.

upon entering the garden, there is a bowl among an elaborate display of rocks, christmas lights, and religious and mythological figures. above, a sign reads no admission charge. donations are appreciated; below, writing encouraging visitors to make a wish. from there one can travel in a myriad of directions, each way packed with complex imagery and found objects. framed newspaper articles and photographs line the corridors. one could spend hours viewing a single section of the property, as it is all densely layered and every detail has been manipulated by lee’s hand.

while navigating one feels a sense of calm, bordering on spiritual, as if experiencing a dream. the entire place is peculiarly elegant, sort of alien (i found myself often thinking, i can’t believe a human being is capable of this). architecturally, and otherwise, the site rivals the great pyramids of giza. slight hyperbole aside, i think the comparison works, in that lee toiled, albeit with much more happiness than the ancient egyptian slaves, for the majority of his life to build, for all intents and purposes, a tomb, a place for generations to come and marvel at the splendor. here’s hoping it lasts as long.

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