A brief story: The Argument (rough)

He adjusted his tie. Dad always tied it too tight. Especially when he was wrought with worry. He coughed when the pressure released itself from his Adam’s apple.

Such a peculiar term, he thought. He opened his mouth and faced the passenger seat as if he were to process that thought into words, but his mouth dried. And in his forgetfulness, he sighed a very sad sigh. His shoulders slumped heavily and he readjusted his grip to the steering wheel of their very old but very loved Ford Focus.

Light stung his eyes in his awful posture, so he lowered the visor. The CD sleeve still held all of their favorite albums and even a couple of burned mixes. Taking the disc most decorated with pastel sharpie, he shoved it into the aftermarket player in the ash-covered dash.

“Ooh La La” by the Faces boomed from the old speakers. The very first song. The most important song. It reminded him to never leave angry, but he did anyway. The silence after their argument was deafening. Maybe this will drown it out, he hoped.

I love this song, she thought while staring out the window and hummed. Her clenched, interloping fingers loosened as the wave of the song’s chorus softened her anger. She sat in the passenger seat, in silence with her twin who was dressed, “to the nines.”

Arguments between them were rare. They were twins after all.  They knew each other more than anyone else. However few, their arguments were vicious. Mostly because neither wanted to believe that they didn’t agree to something — that the other couldn’t understand one’s reasoning. This argument was just that.

She felt compelled to apologize and make amends. The day was dreary enough. The fog was so thick it clung to the windows like wisps of cotton candy. The buildings and traffic lights barely pierced its veil once within a certain distance. It was like something from a bad horror movie using too much dry ice.

She turned to her brother with a shabby smile and asked, “Why so gloomy?”

Startled, he slammed the brakes and jerked his sight to the passenger seat. His sister’s grin faded like fog in the sunlight and an unexplainable wind pushed the remaining funeral programs from the seat to the floorboard.

His chest heaved as his breath caught up with him, panting as the papers all flipped to the picture of him and his sister.

 

 

10am

Same as it has been for the past few months

My mind is somewhere else when I’m stolen from a dream

Haunted by feelings that don’t seem to leave

Two different lives lived and divided by sea

I’ll never know if this is real; a subject you’ll never speak

But what if I wanted to do something?

But what if I didn’t want to dismiss it?

You’ve found a part of me that I’ve never seen.

I can’t.

I won’t.

I refuse.

Glitter Pot

If you ever want to feel truly loved; truly adored
Make an artist fall in love with you
Their unique adulations are never fake
Never created for the own self indulgence
They seek and will find that one shimmery, glimmery,  glamorous pot of glitter
That resides inside all of us
All of you.
And they will caress it and embrace it into their warmth
You will not be placed on a pedestal, no
Because they will feel it safe and better cared for
By the depths of their being
Protected by their rib cage and the rest of the lifespan they carry
And sung into their every day cadence, taught to everyone they greet
Because you deserve to live eternally
To be known and remembered
Yes, if you ever want to feel deep, meaningful, and real love
Love them back…

The Secrets in our Youth.

At some point, we all experience the illusion of immortality in our youth. It’s a warm, blanketing feeling to know that you’re young, smart, and the entire world is ahead of you. When those curtains fall to the ground and reality is revealed, your last little bit of innocence crumbles with it.

I lost a friend yesterday. I hadn’t been in touch with him in many years, but I am mourning his absence.

His death (along with two of us who passed while we were teenagers) is a reminder that those days in our youth, our “group” really was something special. Our bond was something magical and we all still hold each other very dear. Even now, I can’t talk about the things that happened. Not because I think people would frown upon our actions, but because it’s a secret shared only between us. Keeping it that way is like clutching on to something glittery and golden. An active current that lives at the very core of all of us, that keeps reminding us of who we really are. Because we were the realist when we were together. Yes, even in our ignorant youth.

Rest. Peacefully rest and let these broken pieces of our hearts go with you to your next journey. We’ll be okay. After all, we were loved by you. I hope we can all be together in another lifetime.

Thirst: A recurring, passing thought

I greeted you warmly with my hand against your cheek while we stood in the snow. If only I could have told you how excited I was, how my stomach was in knots and my heart attempted to climb its way out of my throat. The night was almost like day; the coldness so bright while bathing in the moon’s light. We stood quietly alone, secretly admiring one another and listening to the song of Winter’s loneliness. I could feel your presence vibrating like you were more than a passing thought. More than a lovely daydream. I resisted the urge to wrap my arms around you, to finally feel your warmth against me, to reach for your kiss. I resisted because no matter what my dream deluded, it wasn’t the real you. Even if the snow were to melt, if the moon traded places with the sun, it isn’t you. All that I was left with–that is, all that I would allow–was a simple, “Hi, Joe,” while my hand cupped your smile.

 

Purpose VS Experience

Belle Isle Fountain 3
Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan

I love people, places, things. I love to smell the salt of the sea, the fresh rain in a hay field, my childhood memories that fill the room when I brew a pot of Folgers. It’s safe to say that, even though it can be incredibly difficult and painful, I love to live life. Most of all, I love that word: Live.

As I have hinted in previous blogs, I struggle with depression. I have been suicidal a few times, even as a child. It is an illness that is coded within my DNA. I have moments that my brain misfires and I lose control. Even now, I still fight. But every day, I put on a smile, throw out some jokes, and my friends make everything better. They remind me that my life is worth it, the day was worth it, I am worth it. They’ve saved my life multiple times and are completely oblivious to it. So, to repay them, I give them everything that I have. It’s what they deserve. It’s what I deserve (even when that’s hard to say).

Lately, there have been an influx of closed minded people crossing my path. Well… Not necessarily closed minded. They just haven’t opened their curtains yet. Some never will. Some like being ignorant of things and need structure to obtain stability and control. Change frightens them and that can be okay, but change is as inevitable as death. Death is also frightening. So much so, that I’ve started looking away from it. I know it’s there, slobbering all over my shoulder while it whispers sullen desires, but I choose to look at the brighter side. I chase after it, really.

I choose to live my life by experiences. Sure, I have goals, but I don’t discredit my life between them. I don’t need to reach my goals to be happy. It’s my journey and what I make of it. I want to experience the most I can out of life so that when it’s all over, my hunger will be satiated. Saying or requesting to have a purpose in life is too much of a burden, I think. There are no guidebooks to tell you which path to take. No Oz behind a curtain telling you that he plans for you to work at Burger King the rest of your life. At the most, let the wind guide you and take in all the sights and people you pass along the way. Touch as many hearts and minds as you can, but don’t be afraid to let them do the same. You’ll never know what you’ll learn and you get to experience so many kinds of love. It sounds like a fortune cookie or some silly philosophy, but I’ve found that this is the best way I can be. And trust me, it is utterly freeing.

</soapbox>

 

8 Realities of a Deceased Parent.

Finale
Summer sunset at my childhood home

If you’ve had the luxury of growing up with both parents (and both parents are great people), it’s even harder when life happens and they’re taken away from you. These are our truths, no matter how long it has been (1 month, 1 year, 10 years, et cetera), or how old you were when you lost them.

  1. It will always hurt. Time doesn’t make it easier. The reality of it is, we’ve repeated it to ourselves so much that we’ve just numbed ourselves to it. We will still have outbursts where we miss them so much, we’re inconsolable. After a good crying session, we go back to being numb. Some people may call this acceptance, but it’s still a numbing mechanism.
  2. There will be a piece of our heart missing. There isn’t anything anyone can do to fill it. It’s a permanent fixture. Don’t even try. Either you accept it or you move on.
  3. It may be subtle, but it does change us. Our perspective on life has been altered and we now have to figure out an alternate route. We may act out in odd ways that we didn’t before (good or bad). This is what I like to call a ripple. Some people settle back to similar versions of themselves, others may not.
  4. We will always talk about our parent. Yes, we will have moments that remind us of something. Sometimes it’s a good memory, sometimes it’s a sad one. We may even repeat something we’ve told you before. Understand that this is how we still keep them alive. I’ve mentioned my dad so many times in these posts and I don’t even care if people are tired of it.
  5. Don’t get annoyed. That is the absolute worst thing you could ever do. Don’t you dare get frustrated if we are brave enough to share our moments with you. Don’t whine about how you’ve heard that story before or how many times we’ve said, “I wish you could have met him/her.”
  6. Ask us to share our memories. Helping us to grieve is one of the best things you can do. I love sharing stories about my dad and I love hearing stories about him. It gives me a sense that he’s still around. I even have a playlist created just for him that I like to listen to it on road trips.
  7. Time angers us. To me, I am upset that life still moves on. The electric bill still needs to be paid, the seasons change, you have to go back to work. I didn’t have time to breathe. It also means that I’m further from the last conversation, that last hug & kiss goodbye. I’m also afraid to make any dramatic changes because I know my dad won’t be there to witness them. But life happens. Still.
  8. There are no words of wisdom we can give you. Death is inevitable, so you will soon know of our pain. Everyone grieves differently. I can say, being surrounded by people who loved them just as much as you helps. Being surrounded by people who love you also helps. That’s the best that I’ve got.

I will conclude with a cliche to appreciate everyone in your life. Even the annoying people. The petty stuff is never worth it.