Monday, May 18, 2009


I am an adrenaline junkie.

I work best under pressure. Back when I had to write papers for classes, I would sit down at my computer at around 8pm and write a paragraph. Then I'd get distracted, watch Se7en and Memento, and soon it would be an hour before the paper was due and I'd love it. Every minute of frantic typing and running to the classroom made college worth it, because I sure as hell didn't learn anything.

Heart-pounding. Gut-wrenching. The heroes of our stories find themselves in situations described with these words. I specifically put myself in these situations, because I don't feel alive unless my pulse is doubling and I have those butterflies trying to burst out.

There are some times in life when you just need to figure out something or, as Kurt Vonnegut Jr. says, "the excrement will hit the air conditioning." When you pace the same five-foot line on your floor, saying, "Oh crap, oh crap, holy hell what the hell do I do? Oh crap this is not good." I work myself into a frenzy thinking about worst case scenarios and how to deal with them. Just to feel something that isn't complacency.

I'm losing myself.

*I rationalize. I explain it away. I remind myself that the feeling I'm feeling doesn't actually exist. It's not real. It's the response to a probability, a statistic, a possibility, but never reality. I confront the situation to avoid the sensation. I never hid under the covers. I wanted to see what was coming to get me. When nothing ever came, I gave up fear.

Monday, May 4, 2009

100 Seconds of Solitude

You do this, right? Get home after a long day that isn't over yet and purposely miss your bus stop, or sit in your driveway or garage or wherever you park before you get home, and just sit, or stand or lean, quietly, with the car off, maybe the seat belt off, or standing next to your bike, or leaning on a wall, for minutes of solitude and silence, no cell phone, no iPod, no email, no dishes, no computers, no chores, no bed reminding you of the sleep you're not getting, no piles of projects waiting patiently for you to be inspired, no guilt, no shame, no happiness, no ecstasy, no I should be, no Why don't I, no Maybe it's time to. Just peace.

Just you, breathing, eyes open but not looking at anything, every sound tick-tickering around you, settling down, hanging onto those few moments before your life becomes a never-ending series of musts and wants and needs all over again.

You should do this, if you don't already.

Friday, May 1, 2009


I say "I want to sled right through this." I want it to turn from ice to snow, to form powder around the windowsills, to be capable of blowing away when the sky sneezes. I want it to be meltable by the sun's unavoidable warmth. Yes, there is a glacier in my chest. Last night, through the tinkering dark streets near the bus stop, it started to shift and break apart; shards of migrating ice pressed against the gaps in my ribcage and made it difficult to breathe. When I made it onto the bus and the hugs and hands no longer cluttered my mind and my mouth was free to stop muttering words of betrayal and hurt, the dizziness overtook me, the sadness expanded so palpably in my chest that I marveled I was still standing. Thick breath and tears conspired to exit my body simultaneously. I took a seat and felt the floor of the bus beneath my cold feet, felt the way my toes filled the space of my shoes, and it stabilized my thoughts. But the sadness did not ebb. I really get the phrase 'sad sack' now because there seems to be a viscousness to sadness and it lives in the body in this way that makes the flesh literally a cellular sack containing it. I want to have it drained from this sack of mine, to create a little tear in one corner (perhaps where my heel meets my ankle, so often chafed by inflexible indifferent shoes) and as I walk around the streets in these bleak nights, devoid of verdant anything, I will leave a trail of wetness that is black as tar and as dense as imploded galaxies. With each step my heart will have more room to expand, 'till by the time I reach my home I will float straight through the locked gates and into my bedroom, my body a zeppelin so full of air and light and hope.