7.25

Told myself I need to make a choice, a change, Find my voice to face what I’ve been avoiding like the plague

Staring down the other side of real life as the commas in my mind bring me now to realize

I’ve become stronger and faster but how much of this will matter

When I’m No longer that sure

I can handle what’s coming in the next chapter

But wonder what this hunger’s chasing after

Why we keep on climbing up the very same ladder

And I may suspect some answers but I’m too afraid to ask,

Confession is I’m both here and there, always missing the past

Because every good thing appears so it can pass

Fact seems if it makes you happy it’s probably never gonna last

Actually It’s kind of sad

that even love seems just a balancing act

of trying to care without becoming attached

Because most are aware what happens after that

All these questions multiply setting unquenchable fire in my mind, a million little quips wield and imply, like a weapon meant to threaten, with suggestions far more dire than its size,

And it’s eating me alive but I just keep it all inside, paranoid and trying to hide the noise of a guilty mind, thinking everything’s a sign trying to point out faults within my life, bottle it up until I’m terrified when it comes back around to bite, surfacing at the worst time,

Know I’m not the only one who feels so unknown and alone in a world full of a million lonely longing souls

Who doesn’t want to show what’s really going on in my skull

what’s grown up inside my soul

Or how I can’t seem to be honest and open with anyone anymore

Cuz I don’t like thinking of everything that’s broken in this world

All the Things I can’t control

And all the time stole

Feeling like we look at each other but don’t truly see, you might hear my words but don’t really feel me, and I might let you touch my skin but that doesn’t mean I know how to let anybody in,

Asking myself was every time that I could feel felt,

Just an illusion I created trying to heal myself,

Fighting to hold on to something that was never really there

And the questions I’m ever aware are just a prerequisite for breathing in the air

I fear I’m the only one who feels this scared,

And I know some people care but I believe it’s not that much

Like we cross paths here and there but we never really touch,

It must to be all my fault, some key only I hold,

Because syllables are real small but these emotions will be my downfall,

Though we still have to overcome every single obstacle

While Knowing that were not in control

Growing and Perfecting the art of Pushing past it all

Only to ignore my heart beckoning that my passion has grown cold

Am I really growing better then or am I just growing old

Are you really happier than you were back then or are you just letting everything go

So I can no longer hold onto the stories I was told about how it’s all supposed to unfold

When I don’t find the truth comforting at all, and I just don’t know anymore.

7.6

Wish I was the kind who could sit back recline and enjoy the life, mindless and submissive like the ideal type, But despite all the lessons I’ve acquired I still find myself running right down to the wire,

In pursuit of another endeavor that I knew could never preclude me from the truth forever, are my words heard by heaven or straight from the devil, when they feel like all I have when my spirit is troubled

And so every comfort is fading away that once deterred the perpetual ache of a hunger I no longer can satiate, a thirst that grows worse by each passing day, knowing this shall never recur

But feeling anxious and displaced when I’m not striving at race pace after a prize that’s evasive

Say it again I already know not to blame God, But we used to be friends, we once could actually talk, But go on and instruct me with my back up against a wall, how all of my thoughts are ugly and wrong, perchance I’ve hung with fallen angels too long, hope that I’ve not truly changed so much that I’m too far gone

And if this is all just my mind finally growing up, maybe I should leave it all behind along with the hope and love, Because hope doesn’t feel so much like hope anymore, and love seems a fairytale I’ve purchased too many times before,

Oddly enough, The moment I began trying hard to do what I was told, was close to the one I started to lose my heart and soul,

And I know I’ve had a bad attitude for a while, But the platitudes are getting old and I’m sick of masking them behind smiles, Meanwhile,

Ashamed and conflicted , Just when I’d committed to doing it different, One little comment or question and over again I’m afflicted with opposing suggestions

Reading between the lines that were never meant for interpretation, like can’t I shake all the invasive intimations

Claim I have my own vision, But if I can’t act on my intentions with precision, After the fact will I regret not giving in, for causing this division, Afraid of making the wrong decision, or of failing it again

Is this all for naught, are we all born just to rot, this doesn’t seem worth it like before, I don’t believe there’s any purpose for it anymore,

Never thought I could feel so stressed I don’t recollect how to draw a deep breath, Like the clock on the wall is ticking me to death, every minute slipping by a weight sitting on my chest,

Clashing voices battle on in my head, question what happened to the passion I had back then, Perhaps I should give up on my dreams and try to be more like them,

Is all my faith decaying to resignation of coincidence and insignificant cohabitance, perhaps the best that any of us have to give,

Look for some form of love relationship, but left swipe left right, all of these faces look the same tonight and everyday, know I should embrace it, but just want to walk away, it almost makes me feel more sick, when I think about all of it and can’t help but admit, thinking the kind of life just doesn’t fit me, being a wife and the life of domesticity,

But surmise it’s all there is left to see,

Guess I missed the last flight to my destiny

tongue bleeds from being bitten between my teeth,

I’m sorry, right now I can’t hear a thing you’ve ever said before, fear I’ve let us both down, and I just don’t know anymore

Because hell is much deeper than I had foreseen,

wonder if heaven is even as high as we had been hoping,

Now I don’t believe in meant to be

Lately I don’t believe in anything.

6.28

Waking up late again

Thirty eight past ten, hurry through the day again, a hurricane that doesn’t end, need to reframe but afraid when I never can, when I’m barely holding on to what remains, frayed ends,

Feels like I’m doing more than everything I can bear, trying to put it all back together,

But little seems to ever add or measure up, scared my best is never enough, pushing on through giving tears sweat and blood,

For a minute thought I had a sure direction, but now that I’m in it I’m first second and third guessing,

Self- imposed duress pressing down on me, it seems I don’t know how to rest , with the future swiftly closing in on me,

wish I could stop feeling the need to apologize for ever revealing what’s on my mind,

When did I begin to learn to always hide behind ideas that weren’t even mine,

No obligations so high for anybody else as the expectations that I tend to put upon myself,

Perhaps a facet of the problem is I don’t actually trust in God,

Issues stacking up, I should solve them, but my actions they do not,

Repetition on repeat and stuck in reverse gear, My steps must be missing something key or even worse here,

When Lessons learned just disappear,

thought I wanted God’s will for me here, now I’m too afraid to willfully give Him ear,

Asking do I really want to hear,

When the truth fills me with fear

Guess I don’t want to listen

Wish I didn’t exist and

Sometimes life can

feel like a prison

Like oh thats nice just giving your opinion,

Always keep it to myself when I most need to talk to someone else,

Aware nothing’s going to spare

from the turn that’s coming,

How do I return from becoming jaded and overcontemplative, relearn to like everything I’ve hated,

simplify my mind, stop trying to quantify what’s unseen by the eyes, stop wasting my time worried that nobody would truly like or want the real me, stop ruining a good thing, stop ruminating on how I should be,

I swore no more getting lost in my head, now It’s quarter to four and I don’t know where I’ve been, but redicent, not ready to let anyone in, but I don’t really want their medicine, pills to numb everything I’ve ever been,

Because without the memories within, Who would we be then but taken by the wind ,

Is mindlessness the only fix synonymous with happiness, and if that’s accurate, guess I’ll have to stay anonymous after this,

But truth is not real hard to find,

answers often even easier to define,

I can tell because it’s usually whatever it is I don’t like,

Don’t be proficient in giving life advice,

it’s ridiculously easy when you’re on the outside,

but the things that are right are typically difficult to want to hold on to tight,

I don’t know that I believe nearly anything I did all my life,

but know no matter what doctrine I decide, No matter which side I stand on divided, I still find myself guilty and terrified.

6.16

Thought that I could let this go, that it wouldn’t bother me at all, thought I could let it pass by without reply, then I wonder why it keeps coming back up in my mind

I told myself I wasn’t going to get attached, Now I’m the only one that I’m mad at, when I care too much, I’m the one always left with all the love, Why can I never let go, find something that feels like home, and I know it wasn’t realistic, didn’t really change the feeling then did it, am I the only one afflicted with recollection and the memories it brings on that never seem to leave, of things that are no longer but feel they still should be, secrets left unsaid, questions filling up my head, burn the rest of this confession, wish in turn to just forget them,

I feel stupid and so foolish For the things I can’t explain, it’s peculiar how an illusion can sometimes take away the pain,

I know you may have thought I’d say something sooner for sure, guess I was trying to keep but couldn’t find my words, far too busy working to pretend I wasn’t hurt

Because I do recall our agreement and despite it all I never dealt well with leaving, and try as I may I can never erase the feeling,

It pains me comparatively how easily most people seem to forget, so I never really felt like them, when collectively I remember everything from start to end,

I’m beginning to suspect that people don’t feel things the way that I do or expected them to, and it scares me to know but I won’t apologize for being who I was from the get go

There’s a lot more that I would want to say but I guess I’ll have to save it for another day, it wouldn’t fit on this page,

Like how I never told you until today that I always had a way of making sure you were okay, And knew when most days you tried to do the same, Checking in on the few sentences that I used to be able to post, the sound of a notification on my phone that brought a smile to my face whenever I felt alone, which is often,

And You know, I still see you even when you don’t believe I do, And there were times I still needed you even when you didn’t want me to, so yes I understand we’re both busy people who have plans and paths we still have left to take, I guess I just couldn’t let you walk away thinking I forgot or didn’t care the same

And in the case that I don’t really get to speak to you again, I hope that you can remember me the way I was back then, when we were free-er, the path seemed clearer, and all that you held dear felt near, before hope began to disappear and look more similar to fear,

When you warmed up a part of my heart that I couldn’t accept then was so cold, or broke apart some of the ice that had collected in my soul, and I hope you know after all that time I care and can’t forget, when no matter how hard I try you always seems to be somewhere in my head.

December 17th

No I’m not looking for love this time

I don’t want another one of their lies

When he said I love you

I replied you know that’s not true

we don’t talk about it, only run away

Like we always do, two of the same

Said he really wanted to get some but I only wanted to forget someone

Where has my heart gone, when I knew it was a lie all along

wish I could say I didn’t know the pain of the truth

That I can’t give my heart away when it’s always there with you

guess love is just a useless drug that’s for everyone but us

So I’ll draw upon all that I am to leave behind something real

To make them feel so that I don’t have to

And keep on denying the fact

That all I want is what I can never have

I guess love is just a useless drug for everyone but us

I know I’m not the only one

Who feels they don’t belong

Living underneath the surface

In love all alone

I know I won’t ever find what I’m searching for

Suspended in time

I can’t waste it anymore

So I sang your soul a symphony but it seems you weren’t listening

Set my soul to fire just to watch it burn away

ghosts intertwining chasing the echo of a better day.

December 10th thoughts

Let go of the things you can’t control, live in the moment- Everybody knows it, that nothing in this world was made to last

But if you don’t care, I don’t care, yes I’m scared but not unaware of the truth that I deny

I won’t tell you who to be or what they want to see, won’t say what they want to hear or tell you not to fear, but can you do the same for me? You don’t have to overcome all the sorrow and your pain, we’re not here tomorrow, only for today

Are all these dreams only lies, when it seems we’re living on borrowed time, all I can want is something to hold onto, that’s as real as in my head, anything to feel alive again

Haunted by the fear of never finding that something real, or when you get there to realize that dreams are the only things left to feel, that your heart will never be reflected back to you

And it’s amazing how a song on the radio can bring all the hurt inside flooding back just like the first time that it happened, tired songs keep playing on a scratchy radio, slight variations of melody keep saying the exact same things though

I don’t always know what You’re trying to say, but it would be easier to have this conversation if I could peel back the decade, to before being apathetic and jaded, before the brightest colors faded

So we become actors on a tightrope walk trying not to look backwards or we might fall off, now I can’t help but ask the question of where do I belong, the hardest of confessions, scared all I love is wrong

So what am I to be for the rest of my life, I don’t want a family, not the type to be a wife, and in the end I’m not so surprised to find, to suspect I was a villain all this time.

December 5th thoughts-free write

Days like today I feel like a walking contradiction I may be standing still but my thoughts just keep on spinning

Keep thinking that I’m lonely I should try to make some friends, the kind you only need a few, with whom you don’t have to pretend

Or maybe even find just one but don’t know where to begin, when spending all my time on the run, can’t seem to let anyone in

And trying my very best more than any time before, the clock a weight upon my chest, always looking back and forward

I can still remember when I thought that love was real, when we were young so naive and still knew how to feel

Now all that I know is this weighing on my soul, keep saying that I’ll find the beat but days keep taking toll

When my mind’s on fire and I don’t know how to rest, see the time’s been wasted, trying to make it up at best

Keep on taking second tries but can’t seem to rectify, when I feel so much inside that I can’t say it aloud, put a song to paper but the words they won’t come out

To be honest like I promised but no one was around, to hear it anyway so I locked the verses out with the crowd, now I’m all alone, trying to find something to show

All these voices between the lines competing for my attention, has my allegiance been divided and I’m lost in my direction

They say the truth will set you free but words they don’t say much, sorry to disagree but the first did no such thing for me

If with their touch and with our words we cannot know each other, I must find another way to speak with one another.

November 27th

So can we finally have an open conversation between just the two of us

One not veiled in the convolution and ideal evolution

I was hoping they were right in saying I was wrong

We’re getting closer to the edge, suspicions correct all along

It was no fool who reasoned to throw himself headlong into the fire whole

Now we’re both holding our breath, running on through the next season’s hold

And I know that we have no choice but to carry on my dear, so hold your head up high for me, pretend you do not feel the fear

Feels like we’re up to our necks, fighting to forget these regrets,

it’s a shame nothing beautiful can stay, but promise me that we won’t fade away

Because we ran and we ran but we could not hide

Now I pray everyday to see you on the other side

Now having All these lessons learned

Only one thing’s for sure

I wouldn’t ever want to live forever

Having asked all the questions and given all the answers

Smile right And play along with all the other dancers

But when all is said and done

Know I’m not the only one

No I don’t want to live forever

There is no comfort or peace in the truth now

Why go looking hard when Pain is all you found

Blessed are they who never opened their eyes

Who remain innocent and naive inside

Just wish we could still live in that hope of lies

But Only hope that one day we meet on the other side

7.19

Whose is the voice singing over me, with so many noises it’s getting harder to breathe, and I can’t decide which it is that’s led me from when I first began, the hand that’s held me safe in every place I ran

Sometimes I think I can feel You all around me, electric shivers locked in my skin, sometimes I think I hear You calling from some distant place, surely You cannot mean for me, if You know my thoughts and shame

Perceiving each one before it is even done, intertwining until they can seem to be almost one, it’s always been most parts of me are so far out of reach, that as I’m living surviving life, I pray You understand me if You catch sight

Most times I’m convinced You’d hold these pains and regrets over my head, though they already haunt me every hour I remain this side of heaven, though now I’m walking around like a loaded gun, still You bind danger from my path, when I’m out for blood, seething and rash

When I make a decision in my heart I tend to take things way too far, by the ironic scorn of the full moon in Capricorn, I made the climb alone, to prove to myself I don’t need anyone, retracing my steps here for every lost year and lingering regret, feeling like a time machine on the night before my death

What love is left will shed these tears again, I will give up my flesh when I see this is the end, I wanted to feel so much more than the numb of another painkiller, only our tears break through the words that will not be found again, they have become more worthless, so let our spirits cry in their languages

Whose is the voice calling out to me, in the midst of what seems the perfect ending, what are You trying to say, I know there’s more than the little I can explain, But I don’t know this place or this feeling, I can’t recognize my own face, watching the story play out from up on the ceiling

Growing in strength with every day still feels just like falling further into the silent place, Now there’s so much less holding me back than any other place in time, I guess I’ve finally arrived somewhere near the other side, hoping to find someone before communications disappear in their entirety.

7.12

How long am I going to keep telling myself that I’ll get to it later, try to write out some of these thoughts that are killing me more quickly than I can find the words to really say, but if I can find the sound, maybe I can leave something for when I’m not around

And it’s when I’ve got no one that I’ll push them all away, when I feel more misunderstood the more that I try to say, you say to explain but soon as I chain two thoughts together seems you come back around with how I could do better

When I’m giving it everything that I’ve got, but all I can hear is all that I’m not, like I’m sorry I can’t change myself too well, swallowed it all back down to just keep kidding myself, that eventually I’ll connect with someone somewhere, but I’m guessing it’s me that’s distant and sometimes I don’t even care

But I know I can and often do too much, they say that maybe that was what my crutch was, just let it all go, yeah so fucking easy though, one more thing slips through my hands and trying to not grow cold but I’m thinking I understand

Why those people will do most anything to feel, because after you let it die some of the wounds still never healed, and I’m giving everything I can but the only thing left is the silence and stagnance, I’ve got to get back some of my passion from the remnants

But I can’t find it, I just wanted to know You could decipher some of it, when it may sound arrogant, and I could be wrong, but I’ve sure felt misunderstood all along.

7.10

Who are you God, because You are turning out to be much different than I thought, I know I ran away for so long, did whatever I wanted, and messed it all up in the end, paid a highest price, then chased You down again, trying to get an answer, gain some reprieve, and there saw a great many things that you would not believe

I know I can be stubborn as hell, though maybe I wouldn’t have seen them if I hadn’t of been myself, Went out there, learned my lessons hard, and it still feels like the end, though it’s unfortunately just the start

Now I keep my thoughts to myself, but know You still see and search them, intertwining in my mind like no one else, how I sought to change myself, as the more I saw the more I felt, and now I simply cannot be the same, save for a heart that’s filled with pain

And even though I know without a doubt You’re always here, right beside me, it doesn’t save me from my fears that are overtaking me, are You so well aware of how I never cared for knowing I’m not alone in all of this pain, that it only makes it worse knowing it’ll always stay the same

And that I can’t really help them, or if they claim that it did lessen any pain, well I can’t personally say anything makes mine go away, not anymore, like every day forward is adding another stone to the weight of these broken dreams

And these new eyes are killing all that I’ve ever known, leaving no relief but to close my eyes and revisit forbidden memories alone, of a life and a person obviously gone forever, but hard as I try, I can’t exorcise them from my head

I know I said the testing of a man begins when there is no benefit left in passing, now it’s my turn and I’m moving forward but only acting, and I fear I’ve lost my compassion somewhere back in the history of my hope, lost in the crashing of everything I’d known

I raise my eyes to the horizon with every morning, moving forward with the difficult choices, but now every word causes my heart to physically hurt, I must be getting closer because I feel so cold, and standing here with everybody else, I only feel more alone everyday in a sea of sinking souls.

7.4

Sometimes it seems there’s more than these empty conversations filled with empty words, that the heart whispers in a language that with ears cannot be heard, when two hearts reflect in speaking without inflection, ever waiting wanting searching for its sacred silent protection

Where I could stay for hours and wish to never leave, where the stars breathe out their secrets, carried whispers on the breeze, in an illuminating darkness with no walls or defenses to move, no silly play pretend that I’m not more terrified than you

All the talk about love but when it comes down to any time apart, it seems it’s not enough, with a spark that dies out quite so fast, they say if it’s real that it will last, but I’m not sure anything does anymore, all I know is I can only feel your touch, and if I’m honest for a moment, for me that’s not enough

Alone again feels just fine anyhow, as you’ve evidently already got me all figured out, and I’m always assuming the problem is me, but I couldn’t feel or hear your heart from the beginning, and your source of life is not mine, so how will we ever see eye to eye

If everything is so carnal, so obviously simple in your view, there’s no such thing as magic, only what you can see right in front of you, but I’ve seen too much to concede to your assertions as truth, seems something spoken in the silence is separating me and you

I can’t seem to translate to you why this sunset makes me sad, even though I know it will rise again after that, or how it will never look the same twice, or just how much every day it’s looking more like life

And I know that you hurt just like everybody else, but don’t know how much or how I could help, they told me don’t let it in, don’t let this life ruin your innocence, but I’m still scared it’s just that there’s not enough left to love with

They say you always think now you can’t ever love again, until one day you do and how you least expected it, Now I’m standing where it feels like the setting of all I’ve known, the decades crashing down, heart still sinking like a stone, a rebirth with so much behind it that I can’t find the words

Although I know the world is actually still the same, and after everything, I’m the one that’s changed, I’m not really asking for help, in finding the best bet for success is keeping to myself, when so many of the voices calling out to each of us are battling so fiercely to turn us on eachother, it can seem that there’s no real compassion left here for one another

With every raining arrow of guilt and the shame that’s aimed to kill, I’ll take it with a grain and hide my heart somewhere far away from the battle.

6.30

The stars say they don’t know who you are, is it shining down now showing our true hearts, hard to believe things will ever look the same, as we wonder and wander if we’ll ever really feel again

Or just old repeats of the same fucking stories with a different face, ever moving forward from what’s past just to erase, or attempting to outrun what is to come, locked in this moment forever are both of them

Wish I could help you to forget the way that it is here, but barely keeping my own head up and don’t believe in any saviors, your pain is my sorrow, but today I’ve got to let it all go

We’re running straight on now to the end, with no way to carry on but to understand when we’re dead, perhaps if I keep on with living a bit faster, I can get what I want, the slip that I’m after

Because either way no one’s getting out of here alive, I’m out for blood today and don’t care if I die, there’s a fear that’s hollowed out inside, but I’m not going to let it show this time

We’re moving on though with the season’s shifting tide, and in the wake of all these moments, it’s change or get left behind, because this transit of Saturn has been quite the bitch, like ripping my guts out and shredding them to bits

Then shoving them back down my throat, only to force me where next to go, like a cosmic taskmaster that knows exactly what it’s after, to change all that I’ve known, rolling with punches but they just keep getting lower

Now I’m even farther in to the middle of it, seeing all their pain and I can’t help a bit, seems that no one even genuinely gives a shit, and I’d confess to being just as encumbered with it

My chest is so tight I can scarcely take a breath, as I’m edging my tires even closer to the edge, throw another back, hoping for a heart attack, don’t know why I showed up here, I don’t even care

When every day we’re numbing out, I’d rather feel the misery and pain than let the rest of my soul go, let the rage take the wheel, it’s the only thing that I can feel, and I should know better, I’ve got to get this back together

When I’m still and alone again at the end of another day of spinning and playing pretend, dizzying in endless succession, my stomach retches in learning the next lesson, as I bite my tongue not to cry aloud for help anymore

I sit in the silence of my heart staring out from the chaos up at the stars, and I feel You near, pressing in closer as I’m choked by my fears as they’re closing in on me, but still I’m angry and I have nothing to say, all the questions I know will never be explained

And I don’t want to raise a word against You, after all that we have been through, but I feel that I’ve been left behind to crawl, I’ll take the blame but wish I’d never been born at all, now we’re trapped in between Earth and hell, just searching for a high enough to not kill ourselves

I know it’s not supposed to be this way, I can recite all the ideals, but I can’t even be myself anymore, Just fighting not to feel, but it just keeps coming back like a disease I can’t shake, No matter where I go or what I do it always seems to chase

And here I’m caught between playing the heartless bitch and the one they look down upon as a foolish kid, when I really just wanted out of all of it for all of these years, still here fighting through one more day with blood sweat and tears

And I’m too angry to speak, though I know I’ve no right no be, after all, are we not all born to pay, a life sentence of broken dreams just to bend and break, but I’m no one special, just another scared child, and I’m sorry I couldn’t really help them

Sorry if my love has grown cold, if You and I never really knew each other at all, If I imagined everything and really after all was just the one that went crazy, I’m going to run, I’m going to scream, taking all this shame and shit right off the cliff with me.

6.24

Another day through, the next right move, another mountain to climb, the next fake smile, another breath to hold, the next emotion to control

Another pill, build a stronger will, the next positive spin, another “I’ve got this”, the next “just one more day,” but another comes anyway

Fear trapped within, no use in talking about it, been there done that and it’s never enough, all I can do is fucking show up, time to tear down the walls, but not everything just falls

If I write it down plain, will it recompense for what I can’t figure out how to say, I want to talk with You, but can I speak with the pictures haunting my brain, just like the songs You sing over me when I can’t say a thing

My voice seems that it’s getting farther away, choked out in the motions of the next charade, so I no longer know what’s real or true, search me and know why I do as I do

Will I finally see this clear in the midst of all my demons here, with all of these voices screaming at me, which one is mine, there’s a song trapped beneath, that I cannot find, but it’s never stopped singing

Like an angel ever tarrying one step behind, carrying me through every day I lose my mind, driving the highway with no destination again, who am I that You should be chasing me, ever taken by the wind

There’s nowhere else to run, though You know what I have done, stared down my life to erase for the mistakes I can’t unmake, what is Your love, the mysterious unseen, and if I don’t make it, I hope to fall ever chasing this greatest mystery

Because today I’m simply too weary to pretend to not be me.

6.22

And now that we’re on our way to where we absolutely have to go, I’m afraid to see if my love has grown cold, they say when this life comes next for your name, you’ve got to burn bright, don’t let it extinguish your flame

I’ve seen it before, so many with the time, who barely notice the fade, and now it’s come for mine, holding tight to not lose our fight in the ever changing tide, promise me you won’t let it in, don’t let it kill your fire

The one that once blazed far outlasting the rest, the eyes that ever gazed right past their bullshit, not just another fucking fake and empty shell, you’re about to give up but only you can save yourself

Because this is it, everything looks different, like watching all my life flashing by on a small TV screen, and suddenly think I see just what it means, now time isn’t moving the way it did before, how do you get back in after the ashes have covered the floor

It’s like watching the world from way up in the atmosphere, in all these old dusty stills, though I swear I’ve already been here, I’ve seen this somewhere before, but who can explain how, there is no more time to waste now, change has become the very air, the rising and falling of tales everywhere

Never have I seen or felt anything like this, when I finally understood it for what it is, with open eyes for nearly the very first time, from the outside looking in on what I thought was my life, standing beside the old skin, with no place to hide behind the illusion

Felt so much that now we’re going numb, looking all around it’s the same question and problem, simply spoken or shown in all different ways, some on the run and others find escape

This world has turned us out, what can bring us back now, promise me when it comes for your name, you won’t let it in, don’t let it take your flame.

6.16

Push it back down, throw out the thoughts now, and with it goes the rest of the soul, erasing these words to chase the next chemical

We’ve gotten so low we’re thinking that we’re high, forgotten to even write the note for suicide, can you take and kill the little left of me, fabricate a thrill and I’ll admit defeat

I never want you to see the weakest side of me, I’ve been living on the run again and can’t feel anything, when you put your hands on my skin, will I ever remember who I am

This isn’t me, I don’t want this, seems that you’re chasing after the wrong kiss, I’m no good you’ll see, but I’ve never been so skilled at playing make believe, feels all that’s left is to pretend, I’ll leave you for the wind when my world’s upended again

It’s all coming down with the changes these days, And I’m fighting in vain notbto get too far away, but I’m finding it hard to believe in any words you say, that I could be so different, when we’re all just as lost and searching for forgiveness

Only apart for a day and it can seem crystal clear, that I’ve grown a million miles away, and you can’t hold my heart from here, from where you are, I don’t know that we could ever really even touch each other’s scars

Why can’t I feel your heart, I’m finding it hard to believe that you don’t just want something from me, while I’m too numb to decide, too dead to say why, as the dreams in succession keep blurring with real life, it’s getting harder to tell what’s real and what’s still trapped inside my mind

Could you feel my heart, with the words I cannot say, if you sit within the silence, will it speak to you plain as the day, I can’t feel this anyway, numb to the pleasure and left with the pain

See how far I’ve come, what I thought could not be done, shame I lost my heart somewhere along the way, shame the passion’s gone and all these words are vain

Burn another page, push the needle further in, to carry on we have to change, so you’re breaking in my skin, though I only ever think of wanting to leave, wanting to recognize someone or something in this place where we’re all grieving

And there’s no way out, no way back to where we came from now, this world will leave you lonely, I’ll ever run back to my only source, even if to sit in silence from this point forward, the words don’t come, when they don’t say enough anymore.

5.23

So here it is, all those words that you think should never be said, because the truth is that you broke my heart when you walked away, and after having come this far I know you’ve left for the last time

I watched you from the distance as I buried my heart in that box underground, it took me the longest time just to figure out where, when, or how, now I’m looking around to find it so I can try to give it away again, confession is I was watching you from the very beginning

But the words you’d never say again would never be enough, I cared for you from when it first began, but I guess you’d rather be gone, surely you can tell me how long will it hurt every time you come to mind, every time I can’t find the words for the lives we’ve left behind

I can’t recognize this place, the look in my eyes or my own face, I waited so long for what I pray was not simply fool’s gold, fell off the edge in a free fall with nothing left to hold onto, but I guess you’d understand that now

Now we’ve both become so much more or less, turned out and aimless in this wandering wilderness, I can only pray you are well and finding your own way, that the love I couldn’t show you will follow you through the night and rain

You meant so much more than I think you’ll ever know, more than you would have believed, it’s true I loved you so, and I didn’t want to leave, but now that you’re long gone there’s no reason to stay in this empty room all alone.

5.17

Some things are too painful to look at twice, even when you know it’s probably the truest advice, turn off the radio because it’s singing at you, reminding of how the only peace that’s not faded are all these cheap imitations we’re chasing

know we’ve got to get out of this or we’ll never be alive again, know I’ll pick myself up again, if we just stay stuck in the abyss that we all fall in, they say stay positive, it’s all we have to give, but tonight I don’t want to play counterfeit

You’re always better than me at these games, I’m not giving up, I just don’t want to play

I know we don’t want to stay in this rainy weather forever, problem is when you grow up and nothing makes it any better, but smile so we feel that it’s not wasted time, we could run for the rest of our lives, if we both believe that nothing makes it right

I’d much rather see your tears than the mask you’ve created to weather all these years, I can see right through you, so do you see me too?

5.16

When I finally come back home, after all that I’d done wrong, You ran to meet me from a great distance between, seen from upon the horizon, unsure of which way to go, chasing after lovers who can never stay though

What a fool am I to think they’d understand, that any place or one could ever hold my hand, I know You’re the only one who will ever move fast enough to catch up, to me when I’m on the run again, though a thousand thoughts of you forever fill my head

Prodigal on the mountaintops edge, running from our demons screaming from within, when you are hurt and surrounded again, just search the words that I never said

Can your pain be mine, is mine Yours tonight, we both know I’ll run again, there is no one who can fix our heads, but still you’re always on my mind, You’ll always be my home inside.

5.12

Seems another day is lost again wrestling the thousand thoughts in your head, of all you’ve seen and are supposed to be becoming, and I wonder which one to hear

Was it just a demon singing me to sleep, waking me with song, filling me with these dreams? A leaden soul no matter which way you go, and the battle can leave you frozen

For all that’s living still inside in your head, without a single confession that you ever actually said, do not be deceived to think it is not heard, for it is even felt, every faded thought and word

A devil’s got my number tonight, I always see it coming but can’t help but wonder why fight, been off the edge for weeks, only telling secrets in my sleep, and I know your back’s no stranger to the weight when it calls your name

Who’s side am I really on, can we really help each other find the strength to go on, when it can feel more like drawing on empty, each surviving in our worlds that never really meet

I’m trying in vain to reach out to touch, but have never been able to break the glass disconnecting us, keep trying or just hide, never belonging on either side, just tell me that you at least do not feel alone and maybe sleep will restore a comforting illusion of home.

5.11 free write

Perhaps if I could use less words somehow, it would be construed as more profound, because they were right, and everything’s just fine

Be glad you didn’t get it so bad they say too, but dear I’m afraid I couldn’t keep up with you, run away before the world ruins you with its truths, before it comes to be, what cannot be unseen, an entire world on its knees

You know once I was blind and now that life has uncovered our eyes, the terror in the silence is that we are lost for our lives, and nothing in this world can reconcile

I will not lie, I still weep for what has died, soul, fire, hope, flesh, that I fear will never live again, I would take away all of your pain if I could, though I know you can’t help me, if you would only let me, I would

But don’t ever let go of me, because just as you dream and long, I too live terrified that I am too far gone, the more we open up the more we see just how vast the oceans that are separating us

Paste on a smile for everyone else in the land, but don’t ever let go of my hand, it’s never felt so much like the very end, For who can hear a voice that cannot cry out? And love, I fear that we are lost, never to recover.

5.10 free write

You say go, don’t know where to though, that they’re waiting for me to show, but who though? The wind is sweeping me away, and inside never a place so vacant and grey, but being alone in a crowd is worse than being on your own now

I can feel this place has grown empty, silence traps my ears as a new ending descends, and strength to face an impending beginning again, as I search the faces through every crowd, but still you are nowhere to be found

The heavens claim that its true, but what of if I find you, I’ve seen how it goes, comes and goes as soon as it’s low, they don’t think it exists, because too few know what love is, and I wonder if I’ll be one to find the courage

Come full circle, nothing will make you whole, spend your whole life looking for the next open door, but tell me what are you really searching for? We all have broken hearts inside, or patching them up with the best looking lie

Like it’s never enough, and you’re not the only one, though I know that never made it feel any better to repeat the same obvious dogmatic letters, and they say go, but where to though

When will I truly understand, get out of my own way, translate from head to heart to hand, pull the melody from out of my soul, the one that’s been so heavy and boring this great big hole

When the words don’t ebb and flow the same, the ones I need caught in a web of shame, but we’ll always be alone if we can’t find them to say, God grant me the courage to say them anyway

And to go, though I don’t know, concerned I won’t care, and words suspend worthless in the air.

5.2 free write

I know I really need to talk to You, times like these there’s nothing else that I should do, but instead I’ll spend so much time just trying to run away, with all the terror, thoughts, and torment tearing at my brain

I feel all of this shame, never before have I been so afraid, and I know You see but every time I go to even try to speak only tears come and the same feeling that I’m too far gone, that all along it was me that was fake, that I am the one who’s too far away

I know You see inside so why am I trying so hard to hide, scared that You’ll see what You already know, scared that You’ll leave me here all alone, when it already feels like nobody even knows me, and every time I try to speak I feel stupid and inadequate and want to take back all the words so I don’t waste even more of them

I feel that it doesn’t even matter what I feel anyway, like welcome to the planet, and oh so commonplace, it’s like there’s nowhere I can go to get away, to avoid being broken down any more than I can take, when I’ve already so long been in that place

And I can’t recognize my own face, on the outside looking at a life I can’t erase, l know there’s nowhere I can go, no one I should turn to, when all of us are trying just to make it through

And I’m afraid to be broken, not sure I want to grow anymore, even though I know You probably weren’t the one who closed the door, and all of these words as they multiple inside make me only want to run and hide again

Because I don’t want any more pain, don’t want to choose another road to take, feels like maybe I don’t even want to change, and they say that I just think too much, how can I not when I feel so out of touch

Like I’ll never measure up to the standard of faith and service, and deep inside I contemplate if it’s even worth it, will I ever stop drifting even further away, once You were my gravity and I ever gravitate, but can’t find anyone at all when I’m trapped out here in space

I don’t want to be broken, don’t want to grow any more, when it seems it’s not worth it, though I know I said this before, I feel all alone despite conversation, even though I know no one can fill what seems vacant

I get so agitated at times I can’t stand myself or care, and wonder all the while if You’d understand it’s really that I’m hurt and scared, and hate when it seems in trying to explain, I feel like a child in about second grade, knowing it’s more than I found the words to say

I don’t know what or who to believe, Whether they’re pointing fingers or just as confused as me, all we know is the will for today disappeared long along the way, and there’s little hope or reason much less to want to stay, and I hate that it’s true more than admitted to

I’m angry, I’m confused, don’t know what more to do, I’m hurt, I’m afraid, vocabulary’s going right back to first grade, I’m lonely, I’m depressed, my life’s a fucking mess, but trying more than ever before

I need to talk to You, but don’t know where to begin again, I’ve said all this but still haven’t scratched the surface, feels like the words aren’t even worth it, but will You hear and love me anyway, just like You did when I was in just second grade?

4.29 free write

I keep on holding my breath just to keep the tears away, no word, no sound, no truth, only lies now, tripped up once and falling on the ground

I’ve been pretending for so long though, the only evidence of the truth are the songs on the radio, don’t think I’ll ever know another, maybe we don’t even really know each other

But it comes as no surprise, seems most of us are locked up in our own minds, it’s okay if you don’t want to look at the truth, I don’t want to right along with you

I know we are all crazy in our own ways, I just don’t want you to see, want to be alone today, but we are all hiding our something, but how far does it have to go before we cut our ties with all the lies of a better time

Tomorrow’s past is growing cold, today’s the last chance of a miracle, went all the way out there just to find that we are all scared, now I can’t help thinking maybe it is better to just believe whichever lie makes you feel alive again, tell me real hope didn’t just die, right along with what’s been lost inside

See me today and I’m not sure that I could tell you the difference either, but we do know something’s changed, and today will probably never go away, But hate to admit that I am more afraid

I’m just not convinced which is the truth or a lie that I’ve sold, and now the only evidence I find are the songs on the radio, and I’m holding my breath again.

4.28 free write

Thought that I knew what I was supposed to do, but just can’t seem to find the words to, trying to hear what’s the next move, but I’ve never felt so far away from You

But I know that You are here, holding me up and counting my fears, but all I can hold is my breath from here, show me where to go next, though I don’t know if I’ve the strength left

Never thought I’d get this far, but neither thought it would be so hard, just when I think I know, there’s nowhere left to even go

What is it I’m still searching for, in this world of so much nothing more, speak all the words in all the world and still feel alone, I know You are all I really need, so why do I still feel so hungry?

I know You hear all these thoughts so faded, and the silence that’s singing me to sleep now, maybe if I can write them down in these spaces, I’ll find a way to say them somehow

Im struggling to recognize amidst the sea of voices, when I fuck it all up given my own choices, I’m not hoping, but keep on going, of no reason I can see, a common thing of such familiarity

Ever scratching right beneath the skin, push it back down just to breathe in, we all have a silent scream trapped inside, as a distraction, part of the divide

I don’t really care for make believe games anymore, can’t even seem to find a conversation not so vapid and bored, so what is it I’m still searching for, in this world of so much nothing more, speak all the words in all the world and still feel alone, I know there’s nothing more I really need, so why do I still feel so hungry?

4.25 free write

Too tired to cry, but I keep on trying, as I’m rising higher and higher, but can’t help but wonder all the while why, when all I want to do is trade in tomorrow, when today is all we’ve got and always full of sorrow

So push it right back down, pretend for one more day, though I can’t see it now, they say it’ll be okay

But I wish I could believe

Today I stand here stronger than I’ve ever been before, I won’t be stepped on any longer, know what I can do and more

Hold back another scream, I climb this mountain on my own, and though I’m by myself, I am never alone, don’t you know, I made my friends in the stars above, quiet my heart, I don’t need their overrated love

So when the darkness descends upon you again, learn to recognize the friend in it, I just wish we could believe, but by the time these words will ever reach you, it already hurts all the time and never goes away, but they say it will be fine,

but I can’t see it today, too strong to say a word, too tired to admit I am afraid.

4.18

Child of the Devil, blind where I’m headed, yeah I’ll give you the second, but now in hurt my mind is on fire, all these words so long I’ve held inside

You say I’ve got to learn to use some of this anger that I can, all that I’ve got when it seems no one understands, criticize everything I do and all I am, while I’m trying so hard just to appease you, too tired to gain the upper hand

Seems I know exactly where I belong, hiding right beneath and all alone, pick me apart and watch me fall, but now I can see you never knew my heart at all

Sorry that I can’t be like you, I don’t know how to forget, how to feel what you say is the truth, but unconventionality permissible too, but only when most convenient to you

I don’t believe anymore, tomorrow’s gone too far, only further into the nightmare, so let’s erase the middle and burn out at the start

Now I know right where I belong, beneath everything you deny to keep the fear from rising, I remain one to the end of time.

The Lesser Darkness p.9-10

p.9

“Bara’-shema”

the man read. “I will be calling you Shema, then. If you don’t like that, well- that doesn’t really matter,” he declared.

“What does that even mean-”

“Some to know, Few to find out,” he echoed in reply.   “Oh, while I’m thinking of it…” He again got up and fetched a scroll of similar appearance- though much larger and older looking- from one of the drawers beneath the collection of bottles. He grabbed a cloth Messenger satchel from another table, dumped it of its contents, threw it onto the red table, and then tossed the scroll to me- of which I missed and hit me in the face with an ironic thump.

“Ha! There’s your sign!” he chimed, amusedly.

“I’m giving you this, but give me your word that you won’t open it until you get to where you are going,” he said with an abruptly stern air.

“How can I open it when I get there if I don’t know where I’m going?” I prompted.

“You’ll know when you get there, of course.” he replied, matter-of-factly. “You hear little bits of this and that in the Winds, you meet Him, Her, or It here and there- you piece it together and you’ll figure it out. Who knows, perchance you’ll even figure out what you really want somewhere along the way- I’d guess you’ve no idea anymore, eh? But you won’t be changing the subject, don’t open it until then- swear it,” he repeated.

“My yes is my yes,” I replied quietly.

“Good, you learn fast.”

“I’m in awe of how helpful this is.” I returned dryly.

“Well, luckily I’m in a particularly favorable mood today, because I can feel the rain is coming again soon here, so I’m going to show you three things- what you want, what you need, or what you understand.”                                            

He reached to the floorboards under the red table, removed a couple of them, and dug around in the sand for a minute before producing a flat, rectangular, tin box. “if you still don’t trust me enough at this point that the meat wasn’t poisoned, you’ll have difficulty with this next one, but I’m accustomed to opposition- though it’s always a refreshing thing to still encounter now and then…” He set the box down in front of me- of which occupied a decent amount of the minuscule table’s face, and flipped the lid to reveal 40 divided sections, each filled with what resembled miniature cranberries of all varying colors; blends, shimmer, or even phosphorescence. There were tags in each division, so small I had to lean in and squint to read them. They read: Purpose, Numbness, Contentment, Beauty, Business, Past, Apathy, Love, Sense, Accomplishment, Worthiness, Separation, Validation, Peace, Illusion and countless others of the like.

“These are what most of them come for-” he began, “Everyone wants one more than another, for whatever their own reasons are- All parts of life, part of the unquestionably, cyclical institutions we all come to know. But all of these are merely temporary illusions to make you feel whatever it provides for the time it lasts; and I’ll tell you, all my years of study have never permitted the knowledge of how to extend their effects. At first it seemed like a profitable way for a man to make a living, but after enough years it grew from mildly bothering me in some way, to deeply disturbing me some days- but I admit that despite all this, I have often used them myself. The Work, the Wait, the Journey- to me seemed to unfailingly take more than I could ever procure for all the effort.” He methodically tapped the face of the table as though assessing some distant matter and continued, “Now I know this sounds selfish, but I am just a man as well- one who knows and has seen the order of things, and this is what I’ve become proficient at: helping people feel just a little bit better, for just a little bit of time.

People find themselves wherever they always do. They wander- some longer than others- but many find it too lonely, too ‘absurd’ , too unbearably tiring, or they simply cannot stand the anxiety of never knowing what– good and bad, though increasingly most often the latter in these times. Many start to seek out Routine; Security, Surety, Acceptance-” he pointed at a few more of the sections. “Love is always the most popular, the most sought-after, and consequently misunderstood of the lot; with Validation and Security following closely behind. He laughed. So very many, running around looking for “The One”, but how many ask me how to become the one- Few, too few.”

“This is true,” I interjected tersely.

“Ah, the proverbial drop in the ocean we all instinctively flow back to. But I think love may very well be in a great many of the places that are everyday overlooked or unseen. Love that at all changes the world, love that changes lives, is often found only in the most difficult places and people. It’s simply not always so obviously over saturated in the name of self-interest…” He stopped, with a barely perceivable change in his countenance, as though a certain remembrance had suddenly lost him his fervor for discussing the subject.

Well,” with returned animation, “Luckily I’ve got six different kinds of Love formulations- I thank the Greeks for the idea- so I never run out of that one.”

“But why even bother wasting your time here with these lunat- eh… people? And all for what’s nearly equivocal to nothing?” I had long ago lost my faith in the establishment of helping the human condition, having settled into finding most charitable efforts fruitless- particularly in personally accepting them.

p.10

“I can’t precisely say… Perhaps the last bit of humanity within me? Pity, understanding, solidarity? I too had my Time of the same vain strivings. The Vanity of Vanities- all for an illusion for which we each must assign meaning to- to keep our soul’s will and hope afloat on seas that never cease raging nor flow in direction. After it all, I ended up myself preferring to stay rather than go- the familiar to the distressing. If it’s a matter of nobility, I see the objective difficulty of it. But without creating a shelter, it’s a continual trek underneath a Sun that never sets, and a Moon that never rises, to permit any rest inside. You follow?”

“Yes. I believe I truly do…”I replied pensively.

“I’m essentially just giving them what they want. It’s not always the absolute best, or the most interesting- but it is permissible. But some truly are happy remaining within the confines of that handed down through the generations. They end up here thereafter the wandering and the lessons- others start here and leave- bitterly dissatisfied with an insatiable craving, and rightfully so. But forcing matters of change- much less people, Rarely if ever goes nor ends well. But you would know that.”

I was led to believe by his manner of speaking that he found few listeners of which he could relay these thoughts.

He reached across the table, tapping my arm, “You’re still bleeding.”

I glanced down to see that running along the length of my forearm I had evidently cut myself somewhere along the way over the rock faces- likely on one of the many jagged, broken branches that jut up in between the cracks. It appeared rather deep, though most of the blood was dried, with only a few drops on the table. It was just like me to never notice the type of thing until I observed an untraceable trail of blood.

“I like it- adds character,” he volunteered.

I could not conclude exactly what he meant, or if he knew why I always ended up tripping over something sharp.

“Ah, where is my mind-”

He got up and stood over by the long, wooden table with the vials and bottles. “I got distracted – it’s been so long since I’ve had remotely intriguing company.” The ‘Seeing ‘ Seeds aren’t in that box anymore.” he continued rummaging through the bottles, dumping them out and picking a few different colored seeds from the hundred. “I had to hide them elsewhere when the girl-whom I’m sure you met- found them. Took me a week to figure out where they were all disappearing to…”

“Yes, what is she doing here? She seems so obviously out of place.”

“Oh, the girl won’t stay- I could never let her. She thinks she’s a part of this, evidently excited to be of the age to begin partaking in the education of jobs, tasks, duties, our grand Illusion of business, or whatsoever it be- but I’ve watched, and I see it in her heart for higher heights and it’s intrinsically lower depths. It would sadden me to see the girl go, but it would pain me much more to see her stay- or God forbid- inherit contentment with this place. She plays with her small words and impossibly fragile form, but let it not deceive you; she sees and hears that something is missing and vacuous with this place. I’ve known she’s been sneaking in here and reading every leaf and scribble on these shelves since she very first arrived- many books of which are unfit for her age; unfit knowledge for her Time to know of the most difficult truths and lessons this world conspires to teach each of us…

Her parents unknowingly aim to instill Fear within her- to try to keep her safe- but regardless, she’s always running off alone into the forest and towards the Higher Mountains. However, I do not know if she has seen or knows the exact nature of what wicked terrors reside there and in between…. Her mentors fetch her back and bring her to me, asking me for some of the Contentment Seeds that they may give her; that she may stay and relax enough to learn the things they learn at her age. I feign compliance, but always simply give them some plain old Birch Tree seeds.

He placed four seeds in front of me on the table, “Here they all are now, take one and see what you will. I can’t tell you which one is which however.”

3.21 free write

It’s true, but they likely won’t tell you, that living’s the most painful thing you’ll ever have to do, and it’s true, it never gets any easier to make it through

Though everyone may leave you all alone, you’ll always have this melody to hold, lift your eyes to the horizon and know, I never would have let you go

What are we even searching for, I can’t take this hurt anymore, time will lie to you, your eyes will cry unto the very end, but I will be waiting back at the start, until after the stars turn dark

I will not lie to you, we’re all headed down into the bitter truth, and for the pain in any line I will ever write, it’s multiplied a thousand times, the words were never any good you see, not to you, not to me

Though everyone leaves you all alone, you’ll always have this song to hold, lift your eyes to the horizon and know, I never would have let you go

What are we even searching for, I can’t take this hurt anymore, time will lie to you, your eyes will cry unto the very end, but I will be waiting back at the start, until after the stars turn dark

but the time will lie to you, will it be too dark to see the ending.

The Lesser Darkness p.7-8

p.7

She spun about sprightly and headed back toward the hut, practically skipping as she went. I remained for a few seconds, still taking in the bizarre array of antics all those around were thusly absorbed in. Not a single other person as much as raised their eyes from their business as I emerged from the trees into the starkly unnatural circular clearing. Of the diversity of people around, the girl was clearly the youngest amidst them. I was puzzled momentarily as to why she was the only one who seemed awake. She was standing with one hand on her hip, motioned for me to follow, and gave another exasperated sigh. I obliged, quickening my pace across what was now sand beneath my feet, until we came to the purple curtain.

“I can tell you haven’t been here very long- have you. But have they?” I pointed as discreetly as I could muster at the others, ever engrossed in whatever each took fancy to.

“Nope,” she chimed, “my parents just finally brought me out here for the first time, after my 12th birthday this last April. Just like they-”

“And you’re not the least bit weirded out?” I interjected.

I can tell you ask too many questions.”

I couldn’t help but allow a glimpse of amusement to cross my countenance at her tone- like a chiding parent, in a squeaky little voice.

“Go on, go in and talk to him! “she gestured again toward the entrance.

I hesitated still. Equivalent to my inclination to simply barge in, was my desire to even be there- much less to get at all involved. I already had more than enough confusion in my life. Despite finding her feisty spirit refreshing- I was still reasonably uncomfortable about the whole scene. I looked back over at her, and back at the doorway, which at a closer vantage was interwoven with shining gold thread. I instinctively recognized a small, metallic sound resonating from up above us, and glanced up to see a tiny red-throated hummingbird glaring back down, scarlet chest glinting in the dying light. Chirping in such a manner that I guessed he may have been reciting avian profanity; I had always wondered why it was generally accepted that hummingbirds were of docile nature, I knew firsthand that they could be little devils if in a mood.

The girl was making play fists and rolling her eyes again, so concluding that there would be no knocking, I pushed the curtain aside and furtively stepped inside.

The space was surprisingly large and well-furnished for the base state of everything outside; filled with a warm energy, I saw that the walls were in fact made of rich, sturdy oak logs behind the brittle sticks and straw. There were bookcases both short and lofty, stacked and filled in disorderly array with hundreds of shabby leather- bound, paperback, wooden, and hardcover books. Many were exceedingly thick, with the initial appearance of research and reference documents and journals. I didn’t see or sense anyone at all, and continued to observe the spread of tubes, vials, darkened bottles, syringes, papers, and seemingly plant matter strewn about on two rectangular wooden tables. There was a third table, bright red and only the size of a square end table, with three broad candles exuding a fragrance that brought me to feel of a frustratingly indescribable nature.

Time seemed to be crawling at half speed as I loitered around waiting for someone potentially as disconcerting as the public outside that violet tapestry. I decided to further tarry only long enough to study a staff leaning in the corner. It appeared to be made of a finely smoothed Yew wood, carved as one piece with two snakes encircling its length, heads nearly meeting at the top. I flinched to suddenly sense a hand on my shoulder.

 

p.8

I turned about, looking behind but beheld no one, until I spied the man sitting in a chair at the little red table. Only half veiled in shadow, he was an unshaven man of considerable years. Had he been just sitting watching me? Whose hand grabbed my shoulder? I had been standing back by the door, about to leave after I had been examining the staff; I marveled at how I had missed something so obvious.

“Rather captivating craftsmanship eh?”                                                  “Yes, particularly the eyes of the snakes…”
I was embarrassed by how oblivious I had been but was then also grateful I had not indulged my curiosity to look inside the darkened bottles with various tags on each.

“well it doesn’t mean what it used to to me- that’s for sure. Take a seat if you will?”
“I prefer to stand,” I instinctively countered.
“so be it,” he laughed. “So. No need to explain why you’re here, I would gather for the same reasons as most everyone else…”

“being?”
“Irrelevant-” he said, holding up his hand with an exaggerated emphasis on every syllable. “That is, the past has passed. What can I do for you today?”

“I wouldn’t know. I can’t even figure out what this place is. What the hell is this camp doing here? What’s wrong with all of those people?”

“Ah, straight to the questions- straight to the point. I do like you…” he trailed off, as if carefully measuring his answer.                      “I cannot tell you definitively, but I can tell you that we all come here, and we are all subject to the Laws of this place. Some stay, while others do not- both either content or discontent.”

“I hear a lot of riddles and nonsense.” I replied curtly.

The illuminated half of his face cracked a smile, “Ask better questions.”

My stomach protested loudly in reply.

“Oh yes-” he rose, moving to the tall bookshelf and retrieving a burlap bag. Producing two substantial sheets of dried meat, he placed them on the red table across from the chair, of which he was again seated. I began to feel foolish standing there, unsure of how to hold myself so as to not appear as weary and ill as I felt.

“I should have remembered- you’ve likely been walking a couple days.. Come now, eat. I’ve got better things to do than to poison those who don’t ask for it,” he chuckled, apparently quite pleased with himself. “Eat so we may continue this discourse with no unnecessary ill-will.”                    I acquiesced and divided my attentions to sating the fierce aching in my muscles.
“And do you have a name, or shall I simply call you the Guarded One Who Stands?”
“That works,” I managed between laborsome mouthfuls.

The food was already taking the edge off of my hostile delirium and I paused chewing, realizing it had been a while since anyone had asked that.                                            “I guess I don’t have a name- not yet I suppose.. I usually don’t think about it until someone simply starts calling me something for one reason or another. My name was once Zakuw- I don’t know why, but an old friend of mine way back in the day used to always call me that and then laugh. I never did figure out why or if it even meant anything. Funny how we met, in that day we used to walk the Catacombs at night for kicks. Peaceful place…Why am I even telling you this?..”

I could still hear his trademark laughter ringing in my ears. For the longest time he was the only person I ever spoke to, until he simply disappeared. One night he never showed up to walk along in the dark with me, and I was never any the wiser of where he went. But I eventually understood his disappearance when some decades later I developed the inclination to do the same thing. Friendships and relationships were too risky. Since then, I’ve long preferred to share my secrets with strangers, those of the Asylum who would not remember my name or face, or those I crossed paths with in the Silent Places- but never for long.

The old man wistfully nodded as if he perceived my thoughts.

“Anything in your pockets?” he proposed.

“No, I didn’t bring anything with me but these clothes.”

“Clearly you’ve no others…” he laughed again. “check anyways.”

I reached in my pockets and to my surprise was something, pulling out of the depths of my left pocket a tiny parchment scroll, about the size of a matchbook. I opened it to see only a few indiscernible symbols, appearing as that of a foreign language, and handed it across the table to him.