7.30 free write

      Some things just are; and when all has been done, they very well may still just be.      

       They say that there’s a solution for most anything, and maybe they’re right; for no one meant that the solution would be one that could repair your emotions regarding a matter- the simple thing that is at the root of the suffering- simply how we feel about the things that just are. Lovely a sentiment it that all things may have some semblance of solution; sometimes the thing that just is, happens to also be the emotion. One of the fundamental steps of acceptance- a huge part of what the human experience is – is first being able to identify what you can’t change, and therefore work towards acceptance. Great, so through acceptance everything has a solution. Except that to me it seems like a fucking cop out. What about at the end of all the processing, positivity, diversion, gratitude, service, and denial- what when acceptance never comes, when peace never again alights upon you through all the years of seeking the ever-elusive acceptance; When all there is left is the giant fucking lie that it can resolve the resulting pain or that one can alternatively find something to well enough distract from what is undesirably branded into nearly every neuron? No, I think at the end of it all, some feelings just are, right or wrong- and in all the time, I’ve not seen myself strong enough to disallow the reaction to powerlessness to destroy me.

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P.18 the Last Letters

     I woke again to the bright lights of a hospital room. I was propped up with a few pillows behind me, so opening my eyes I saw my dad sitting in the chair to the left of the bed, slouched down a bit, looking at his phone. 

“Playing Sudoku?”  I thought I said, but he did not as much as look up. 

I knew he was actually dealing with work; he was head of one of the largest companies in LA, so he never got an hour off from business emails. We hadn’t had much to say to eachother in many years- my “illness” as I hated him calling it, had long put a frustrating chasm between me and any other humans- he never understood me or any of it; but I was still thankful beyond expression that his financial success had allowed him to choose to still support me, especially with me having been unable to work essentially since the turn of adulthood.

    I surmised I still couldn’t speak, so I just watched for a bit, glad it was him and not mom at the time. 

  He eventually looked up,
“Well good morning sunshine. You know, I think I actually like you when you’re asleep,” he teased. 

“You must be quicker than everyone else then.”

“Now we just gotta find you a boyfriend who at least feels the same.”

“You don’t make that much money.”   So that wasn’t in my head- I’d never been so relieved to hear the sound of my own voice. “You drove all the way out here? How did you even hear?”

“You signed us as your emergency contracts, remember? As well as Sherice, who is running around here somewhere. Don’t know where your mother is…”

Oh yeah, basically just a *return to if lost* address. 

     “Alex, does he know I didn’t mean to ditch him?”

“Alex? I didn’t know you guys even talked. Last I heard he was hanging out with your brother. Why?”

“Nothing.” I guess he just left. Oh well, I tried. “What does the doctor say?” 

“I don’t know. We’ve been here three hours and I haven’t seen anyone come through here yet.”

“What hospital is this?” I silently prayed he wouldn’t say Alhambra.
He paused for a minute. He looked extremely tired, it was probably almost when he would usually be getting up.                         

  “Huntington? Yeah. It’s a pretty impressive place huh?” 

       I breathed a genuine sigh of relief. Anywhere would have been a much welcomed upgrade. So I was out, I just didn’t know if I would be sent back or not. The moment I thought it, I was reminded of the book in which I had bled out my most simple request the night before. I guess even if it had its clause, I was out- at least for the moment, I’d learned to never get my hopes up.  I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I had written other things in that book. Or if I did- although the book was lost somewhere in BHC- if that thing would have come to pass as well; but what ill would befall me in return? It was likely just a coincidence, or God throwing me a frikkin’ bone, shards and all.

7.28 

Where is passion, where is hope

Where have gone all the things I used to know

How vast is the illusion we use to keep us moving

I need a one to hold on to, a new proposed solution
Watch on the breeze

Day after day in the same routine

Circle and separate 

that’s all love had to say

We’re forever chasing after

What we’ll never capture
The fire is getting low

But I still live in tomorrow

Better to count to five and leave my mind behind

For the scariest beast only resides between two eyes

And in the end all we have is consequence

So in the moment make it your best
Lost on the breeze

Day after day in the same routine

Circle and separate 

that’s all love has to say

We’re forever chasing after

What we’ll never capture
Everything has grown old

And I’m afraid there’ll be no more. 

P.17

      I became acutely aware of the blood coursing through every vein as though it were suddenly acidic, a mild burning against the walls of each artery. In a series of flashing images I saw my vocal chords, my heart beating, the blood flowing through doors ever trapped open, insides pulsating with a feigned life, the deep red striation of muscle tissue, and finally as though looking down on myself from the outside. I varied between these two vantage points before settling  somewhat back in my body, but had lost motor control of any speech or voluntary movement. I simply watched my body convulse rather rhythmically for some time; I suppose some kind of seizure- which would not be the first time, only for the severity of it. I had a dog back at home that had partial and absent seizures, and he would always come find me to just hold him. I’d also experienced the same a number of times, but disconcerting as they were, I’d never told anyone. 

        It was no more than ten minutes of this before I felt myself being picked up. I could see, though it still went in and out of being fairly blurry; it was likely Derrick carrying me, perhaps looking to get me for group. Next thing I realized I was on the couch by the front desk, then lost track of some time before being roused back to a foggy awareness of a light being shined in each of my pupils a few times. I came around a bit more to be surrounded by paramedics, moving about in a seeming slow-motion, asking me questions I could not respond to.  I had stopped convulsing, but was annoyed that my arms and legs were restrained to a gurney anyway.                          

     A particularly young paramedic was starting my IV port in the back of the ambulance- back doors wide open- while I would guess a couple of the other technicians were taking a few minutes to try and obtain any information from staff. I was half watching him poorly execute putting the needle in the wrong vein, three times stopping seemingly to shoo something away with a fairly perplexed expression- perhaps a very persistent bug, of which I may have heard the rapid hum of its wings. I’d had a hundred IVs and knew he had put it in wrong, but had yet to regain speech that I should protest with. 

I didn’t realize I had checked out until I opened my eyes to blackness.  I was curled up on my right side; taking A moment to recollect where I was. Feeling about in the darkness, I noticed my clothes had been replaced with a sheet or something. I heard a voice from behind me, that sounded like it was some great distance away, echoing slowly through the blackness. 

“Can you hear me? Hello?”

It didn’t even occur to me to say anything. I was too tired. I just wanted to lie here in the blackness forever, I didn’t want to see or talk to anyone, or do anything ever again; I was definitely too tired for that. 

“I don’t think she’s conscious yet,” I heard the voice say, with an edge of annoyance. 

I continued to lie there in the rest of a temporary nothingness, wondering how long it would be before I wound be forced back to the world exceedingly more tiring than nothingness. 

“Honey I need you to wake up.”

“Leave me alone…” I muttered reflexively. 

“I need to know, are you on any drugs? What did you take?”

“No.” 

“Are you sure? Do you remember? Did anyone give you anything?” The voice echoed. 

“I’m not on drugs,” I repeated firmly. I really hadn’t taken anything. I couldn’t. Otherwise, people always thought I was on something, most often when I wasn’t. I was just born anxious and hypervigilant. 

“Okay, we’re going to run a drug panel.”

7.27 Free Write

Thousands of pages and they don’t say a thing

Just documented ages that never end in anything

All having gotten so far away from everything

That it doesn’t matter anymore what tomorrow brings

I’d throw it all away

Just to never have to wake and face another day

For so terribly much Nothing 

This is a war with no victor

No matter what I do

I’m the only one who’ll lose

A hundred pills and a steel self-will

You can try to tear apart every part before you kill

But in the end, I know I never will

We’re all working through our hells up this useless hill

Getting steeper still with every season

And I’m getting weaker because there’s no reason

To keep breathing just to suffer

Keep needing for another

Day that 

I throw it all away anyway

Just to make it through another day

I sacrifice all my flesh and vein

But I’d cut them all away

Just to get out of another day

I guess this is the way that I disappear

To get out of a play that I can’t see clear

But I don’t care 

For every bone I break

I may make it another inch

But stop and take a breath for just a fucking minute

And you lose all of it

So I would quit

Cuz I’m about to snap

Do something stupid that I can’t take back

But I can’t step back

Because Im trapped

There are no new words, only different faces

Only misheard in all the same old places

So I throw it all away just to make another day

Feeling alone cuz I can never seem break away or through

From the deepest part of me

The only thing that really seems true. 

P.16

     “2 South!!! Let’s go!” The drill- sergeant lady with the buzz cut was rounding them up to go back. They began to form a line and file out. 

“Well, pleasure to make your acquaintance. Hope to see you again; Though I hope I don’t see you again, for your sake.”

“Likewise.” 

He grabbed one last cookie, saluted with it, and joined in the disappearing line. They called 2 West and it was another afternoon as usual-   the clock ticking once for every two or three seconds, the invisible tension, a thousand thoughts, four more cigarettes, and a two-hour long group full of everyone’s demons crowding in beside them, and suffocating my skin. 

        Evening visiting hours eventually came, and I sat in the basketball cage with my guitar, waiting for Alex for over an hour. Halfway out. Maybe I won’t have to see anyone after all. I still just didn’t feel right- even for me. Since I couldn’t focus at all, I mindlessly ran though all the same old songs of muscle memory, focusing on the next breath; telling myself just five more minutes- but I’d been telling that for the last year or two and the end of those five minutes never really came. 

     Soon after, a familiar face appeared in the doorway; he stood looking around for a minute. I got up to wave him over, gave him a quick hug, and sat back at the farthest table. 

“Wow. I’d still be just standing there like a turkey in the rain. I would not have even recognized you..”

“Yeah, I get that a lot..”

I’d been significantly underweight my entire life and had somehow just gotten up to a more normal weight. Somehow being I honestly had no idea how. My hair had gone from being short, straight copper red to jet black, wavy, halfway down my back. Even my facial structure had somehow managed to change in subtle ways. Old friends walked right past me in the supermarket, and I didn’t mind at all. I was tired of the questions, the comments, the reminders of the life I no longer had and the person I no longer was. I guess I didn’t want to recognize me either. 

“What’s it been- three, four years since we’ve talked? Tell me everything I’ve missed. How are you? Are you working now? How are you and Emily doing?”

“Yeah… Sorry about being an ass and ignoring you all that time. I’m finally doing better. Not able to work yet, nearly died of sepsis in the hospital last year, and Emily left me. No warning, no reason, no nothing.”

“Holy hell….I’m so sorry Alex…”

“I was surprised and saddened to find out from your brother about what you’ve been through as well, in that time. This turn of the century’s been a real bitch huh? If I had known, I would have tried to do something to help. Would talking about it help?” 

“Thanks, but not really. I don’t want to talk about me. I’ll be fine as always.” 

       For the next bit I did everything I could to remain as engaged and attentive as possible, but the foggy, detached feeling- the inexplicable presence of some unnamed doom kept pressing at me, demanding with a more violent urgency the more I tried to ignore it and focus on what Alex was saying. What the fuck was it? What did it want or need? Or did I need something?

     Alex was talking about an album he had recently discovered and had been going through, but at some point soon after I realized that his lips were moving but I couldn’t process anything he was saying- all I could hear was a deafening high-pitched din in my ears. The low grade dizziness I’d grown accustomed to now completely blurred his face, the pain radiated throughout my body, up into an excruciating stabbing between my temples, and I could feel my stomach threatening again. 

      Attempting to stand up, I had the intention to say that I was sorry but just really didn’t feel well, but wasn’t sure if any words even came out at all, as my legs collapsed beneath me. I caught myself on edge of the table before Alex reached out, with an expression as confused as I felt. The sensation of the ground was missing from beneath my feet, but I somehow managed to stumble in the door and down the hallway to my room. The familiar, but now frighteningly intensified experience of spacial disorientation gripped me as I again sat down by the corner of the shower stall, stomach again emptying itself of its meager contents. 

    With shaking hands, I pulled myself up to the bathroom counter and looked myself in the eyes. I’d always heard and seen that the eyes were the window to the soul; somehow learned that we have to be our own help, our own source of strength and comfort. Maybe if I could just see- I would understand what was actually going on with every reoccurrence of these episodes of increasing violence. But I could see nothing but two completely blown, black pupils; nothing but everything that I felt inside. 

….

P.15

     The voice placed the most peculiar emphasis on each word, and in all of my life I don’t remember ever having heard such a deep, distinct, yet intrinsically soothing voice. The owner set his tray down, and sat across the table from me. He had dark skin and a visage that easily suited his authoritative, albeit kind tone- both of which I could see easily rivaling even the most iconic of Hollywood’s many voices; and for that brief moment the gnawing restlessness of my mind was quieted. 

“Maximus-or just Max-” he offered his hand, “Most people are simply too lazy for those two burdensome syllables. And may I inquire as to your birth certificate’s title?”

 “Kelly,” I reluctantly obliged. 

        He looked to be about my age-24- but carried an air of someone much older. We made small talk about the weather, the atrocities of the various wards and its faculty for a few minutes. I got the impression he cared no more for the kind of conversation than I did. He was clearly a highly intelligent individual, with a particularly calm and level energy. 

“So why are you even in here?”

“Fair question,” he looked puzzled. “I suppose I should ask you the same thing.”

“And you’re on 2 South? You appear by my limited analysis to be more lucid than anyone where I am, in the West ward.”

“Yeah I guess that’s where they put the ones they think are more ‘socially adapted'” 

 I laughed. “Really. And here I am, solitude preferable to most human interactions, because I’m ‘socially adapted” 

“Or just a decent enough actor around here. Cillian is the only one who can see half straight, unfortunately for us,” he added. “just take the pills and keep your head down..I know…”                                He was reminding himself; and for that moment I sensed a flash of dissociation. Ah. 

“Hmm..” he resumed methodically consuming his meal, periodically and inconspicuously slipping one cookie after another into his jacket pockets. That was a damn good idea. There was no food permitted in the rooms or hallway, but everyone did it anyways. 

“Let’s see. All I know is I went over to a friend’s house and next thing I know I woke up here. Nothing to confess. Your turn.” That same insanely calm demeanor. 

“Holy shit,” I laughed. “Just suicidal tendencies for me.” I pocketed a few packets of salt. 

“Oh, well that’s always a wonderful way to spend a Friday night.” he stashed another cookie. ”

     There were a few minutes of silence, during which the racket of the boisterous manchildren brought back the same familiar static in my awareness.

     “What is crazy anyways…” he began, as though verbalizing what he had therein been contemplating. Taking another bite, he stared out the window at the door of 2W.        “It’s all their assessment of what a highly relative normal even is. Frankly I think what most define as normalcy is insanely asinine in its characteristic contentment with the same goddamn unfulfilling routines and unquestioning relinquishment of passion, in return for only a passing favor- replacing the invaluable peaks and valleys with the comfort of ‘just doing it’ all anyways, not permitting ourselves to ask why- because that would be nihilistic or existential and *that* could likely then be referenced somewhere on page 763 of the DSM-5. No, normal people are crazy in all of their own unique, fucked up ways. So yes. I am on 2 South because I am out of my head, just like the crayon- eating motherfuckers who made the rules.”

       I couldn’t help but smile,                    “A normal reaction to an insane system- or something like that… You’ll be out of here in no time Maximus. I can tell you’re very good at the necessary charades.” 
….