P.36 the Last Letters

       I couldn’t bring myself to write a single word of the autobiography that day, but spent an inordinate amount of time lying there staring at a blank page. I really just didn’t give a shit about my past, and I was pretty damn sure no one else did either. Therapists always thought the problem was in your childhood- that you had been abused or something- and I’d had a perfectly fine childhood from what I remembered- though admittedly, that wasn’t much before my early teenage years.                                   The moment I decided to just blow it off for the day, I remembered the lucid words of the woman in the wheelchair in the Alhambra ward basketball court cage: that I would need to write for me– that I was the one who needed to read it, to see it- and that people would take or leave the truth whether I censor myself or try to entertain or not. Perhaps she was right- that despite how painfully difficult it was for me to drag myself through writing something that I don’t believe would be of any consequence to anyone- that writers were writers because they wrote what burned inside of them; no matter how presumptuous, egocentric, ill- paced, vapid, or tedious their tangible expressions may seem to the reader.                   

“So You Want to Be A Writer…”  I muttered, rolling over with an exasperated sigh. I only had to share it with the house residents- I didn’t need to impress anyone, It was just that I hated doing anything half-assed, and would take me a lot longer than three days to avoid neglecting details that would never stop nagging at me.                                                    

“God if you think I should write this worthless autobiography I need some kind of motivation, muse, or sign that I should waste all my time digging up things that I’m fairly certain don’t matter anymore. Because I think this is stupid and you know how hard it is for me to write things I don’t give a shit about,” I said aloud, burying my face in the pillow.                                             In my mind I saw the old man in that chapel in Oxnard who had given me the last journal and told me to “write down everything that happens.” I shifted again, spacing out somewhere in the boughs of the oak tree at the window, continuing to watch the blurred memory in my mind. Only then did I recall anything else the man had said, of which he again looked at me very seriously and said that in the future I would doubt, but that I needed to “not doubt that God really does talk to you.” Perhaps he was simply out of his head, speaking nonsense like the nonsensical thoughts tirelessly running through my own head.

“I don’t know if I even really know me- how is anyone else supposed to?” An inordinately large hummingbird zoomed up to the window, beak all but scraping the glass. He hovered there for perhaps somewhere around five seconds or so- then with a sideways motion that made me think he would have asked me what I was doing, the light caught his ruby- feathered chest. 

“Sorry buddy, not in the mood,” I said as though he could hear or  understand, as he zipped off. 

      I suppose I had indeed been given a lemon or two- and without much delay; my dumb sign I had asked for, and was always asking for because I tended to be really dense in regards to believing in anything positive- what I had written in this book had also happened. So I guess God was still listening. Maybe even in a generous mood. 

I turned to a few lines below the request for a lemon, first pausing to go back and write a small “thank you” beneath it. 

  I wrote, “Dear God, please let me die- very, very soon- or as soon as possible. I’m tired. I want to go home, but not home where I grew up- that doesn’t feel like home either. Nowhere does. Never has. I need to go somewhere far, far away from myself, everyone, and everything – but I can never get far enough away from the things that torment me day in and out; but you already knew that. But I know we made a deal, and though I confess I regret now that you spared a life that only went on to become entirely worthless and burdensome to me- give me the strength, the will, and the direction to fulfill my purpose here; but please bring it swiftly and after, do not forget my heart’s desire and request for rest and home.” 

      I took a safety pin from the inner lining of my grey jacket- just like I did that day 11 years ago- and drawing a few drops of blood, retraced over the word home. 


8.11 free write

There are two sides to everything

Every story; To you, to me

There are two sides to everyone

One we hide, and one we try to love

A coin with two faces

the same, but opposites adjacent

Revealing both the bad and good

Don’t let that be misunderstood

For perhaps not feeling the way you should

There are two, ever at war

Pushing and pulling

But never knowing what for

One side is you, the other me

One to choose, one to lose

And both incomplete. 


       At the end of another nerve wracking day on 2 west, I had just barely begun to drift off into the almost-sleep that I had settled for the past few weeks; and a sound roused me back to full attention. It had started out quiet but was growing louder and louder, a drawn-out wailing echoing seemingly from somewhere out down the hall. I cannot very well begin to describe the kind of chilling terror the voice traced down my spine, making every hair stand on end. It didn’t seem the type of scream of simple misbehavior or outburst; it was clearly a cry of sheer agony, as though it’s owner were being tortured in some unspeakably terrible fashion. I rose, noticing no one in the other two beds. I went out into the hallway, as another scream reverberated though my very frame.
Looking in each room, they were each completely empty of its former residents, but still I could not find the bearer of such a haunting cry . Surely they wanted to be found? A part of me was so terrified with every pang in my chest of the sound, that I did not want to find it, or them; but I couldn’t bear the sound, I had to at least try and help.

With each empty room, the blue glow of the night overhead lights seemed all the more sinister against the cracking, chipped paint. I walked further down toward the front of the hallway, seeing that even the nurses desk was empty, there was absolutely nothing but the blank countertop- as though no one had ever been there. Another piercing wail resonated down the hall. Every time I got closer to it, it seemed to change direction where it was coming from, and would again be on the other end of that corridor. The front doors were still locked. My apprehension turned to panic; Was I being lured? Something just wasn’t right about that voice. How the fuck could I get out of here; there was no way, was there?

Now I was sure I knew exactly what was at play here, and I knew that as always, there was no getting out of it. I closed my eyes for a moment, feeling the atmosphere around me. I could see in my mind’s eye, and feel it on my skin, tracing the familiar shiver of electricity down my spine; pointing me in the right direction.

I turned and looked back; one of the strip lights halfway down the hallway flickered a few times, and the very last light at the other end- the one outside my room- blinked out altogether.  The same old terror violently scalded through every corner of my mind, and gripped at my throat, but I took a step forward and slowly willed myself back down the hall once more. The cry had again changed its direction of origin, again splitting through the thickening oxygen. I reached the door halfway down the hall, and gazing into the blackness was met by three pairs of eyes that shone out of the darkness. Immediately the hands of a translucent shadow were about my neck, and every part of me- dragging me to the ground and into the room where no light cast itself. Someone would surely wake me soon. 

It wasn’t more than a few minutes of grappling in the dark with these beings before I felt a shaking on my shoulder, and opened my eyes again to be looking up at the wide eyes of the night-shift supervisor. 

“Are you awake now?! Dear god you’ve been screaming bloody murder long enough, scaring all the patients.”

I stared blankly for a moment, “Yeah, I’m sorry. Please don’t mark me for it.” This woman already disliked me.  

“This is happening too often and you can’t keep disturbing the other residents. I’m putting in a report to Dr. Cillian. Either you get on a medication or they’re going to move you to 2 South.” 

Like their goddamn flashlights every 15 minutes weren’t disturbing anyone. But if I got sent next door, I was fucked.  I’d heard all the stories about how many people had been attacked, raped, or other things over there. The staff were busy, unaware, or just didn’t care. Everyone just  wanted out, and that pressure slowly drove everyone a little more crazy than we all were before. I was feisty and strong for my size, but I was also exhausted and not in my right mind for a fight yet. 



I felt a moment of relief, realizing I had finally slept at least a few hours, judging by the daylight outside the marred window. I realized everyone was gone; at check in, vitals, or daily intentions group.

Oh shit, I’m fucking late again.                                                                                                                    That’ll be another strike. I jumped up and dashed out into the hallway, but as soon as I got up and started to move, the spinning started again. I stopped and steadied myself against the wall just outside the door. I still couldn’t breathe right, the leaden weight on my chest, the pain in my neck, and the same familiar feeling of a drugged- out, irrational panic. Yet I hadn’t taken anything. I stopped just outside the door to steady myself against the wall. I guess the sleep didn’t help. I was still so distant, everything warped and my eyes registering in the same maddening slow motion that I laid awake trying to ignore. I righted myself and made my way to the dayroom, now filled with most every resident of the ward. The nurse glanced down as I walked in and I saw her make a mark on her clipboard. And I’m screwed again.

It was another small room- the one we all spent our meals, free time, and groups in either here or the hallway; unless granted behavior- based privilege to go out to the dining hall or the small, burgundy-carpeted room to exercise in whatever manner one can find. I always seemed to be losing my privileges however, because  I always managed to screw up somehow . There were no windows in any room but the bedrooms, of which was the beautiful view of the parking lot and a brick wall. If you didn’t know better, you could otherwise think the entire place was some underground bomb shelter.
I took my place next to my tattooed hallway buddy, tilted my head back against the wall, and closed my eyes to detract from the dizziness.

“Hey where ya been?” he whispered loudly in his California slur. I could tell he had already taken his benzos today.

I never could understand how anyone would want to intentionally feel drugged out of their minds. I always denied the sedatives no matter how I upset I was, or how bad the anxiety attack. Maybe I was arrogant, But I preferred strong-willed. OK, so I probably should confess to being a bit arrogant, but it was only because for so many years as a minor, usually what someone thought was “in my best interests” ended up fucking me over in the end. I didn’t open my eyes yet, lost in the all the directions my mind was spinning off into; each thought triggering ten others which in turn bred more.

“Why didn’t you wake me up? We had a deal; You know I couldn’t be late again.” I tried to blunt the tone of my frustration, but it was always fueled by the constant spinning, screaming static in my head.

“Oh….Sorry dude… I was out for smoke break.” I heard him give an exaggerated yawn.
I feigned a smile, “oh yeah, I missed that too huh.”

“Sunshine! You look like you’ve got something to say!” Mr. Illuminati was putting me on the spot, likely to convey that he hadn’t missed my tardy appearance. I opened my eyes, to see a roomful of eyes boring into me.

“Victor Frankl;” I countered, “when we can no longer change our circumstances, we are then challenged to change ourselves’,” I said.                                                                                  Oh how well I knew it; how I told it to myself a thousand times, and oh how I had consequentially grown to loathe it.

“A very apt reply, I guess you were listening,” he noted with his signature shrill laughter.
I blocked out the remainder of the high-pitch drone of the group therapy guy who was always apt to remind us that he was a member of the Illuminati and wore his superiority Over all of us “sick people”. I was so fucking tired of people using that word to describe me. I’d rather be called a bitch, a whore, or anything else- any day of the week. I honestly wished I was heartless enough to to be a whore. At least then I’d have an income for the first time in five years. I felt terrible but couldn’t help but laugh a little to myself. If I could change one part of me, I would be able to better control- or at least ignore- my emotions. They always got in the way. Maybe then I would quit smoking entirely, and look for dopamine somewhere else.


Something isn’t right

I can’t sleep tonight

It’s crawling through my mind

Taking every good thing 

That I can’t find
Run from everyone

In chasing after a captive sun

But when it’s been gone for so long

Is there really any reason 

Or way to dream of being okay
I want to give; I want to set you free

But can’t even live with so little left of me
Is the feeling of silence ever unbearable to you

A loneliness that grows with age 

But you’re supposed to be able to break through

I can’t say why anyone stays

But to try and medicate 

What never goes away 

Do you want to be 

somewhere else

But who can save us from ourselves?
Where has the peace gone

Do you have some

That you could share with me

Or I can make believe

Where have the hours gone

Do you need to waste some

But the question seems to be 

Who can even reach me

What’s it’s gonna be

That’ll finally set you free

Do you want to be

Something else

But who can save us from ourselves?
So write a brand new chapter 

In the past

And for the next time after

hope that it lasts
As all these needles in my skin

Seem an inalleviable affliction

A solitary strand of red I stand

Never to be held again
I want to give; I want to set you free

But can’t even live with so little left of me


Everything’s more fucked up than it seems

Words never near enough to explain anything

The devil has me in hand again

Have you ever seen God in it

Everything’s more empty than it looks

Everyone so distant and can’t say what I should

Have you ever been to hell, this week

From the back of your skull where it carries

Have you ever been so thirsty but cannot take a drop

Have you ever seen 

Tell me, where did you find God 

With eyes sewn shut

Have you ever for long stood so still

You see the dark man at the window sill

You held my hand once

But I can’t keep my balance

Have you ever slept with hell

So dark in the corners of this cell

Felt your heart slip from your chest 

bones separate from the sinew and flesh

Have you ever had the ground’s deep waters

But run for days only to find rotten cisterns

Standing in a circle clear

where no one knows that I’m here

With skin so thin

That It always seems to gets back in

I can’t see, you can’t understand it

And we wander

Have you ever seen God here

I would meet Him anywhere

Have you ever been to hell, this week

I’m standing in this circle clearing

There’s a devil and a scream that I keep hearing

This is all I’ve got

Tell me, have you seen God?

Three Seconds  Thought~2

I had heard a lot of talk thoughout the years of in death seeing a little white light through the blackness. I guess mine was just a train after all.
I don’t remember a whole lot after that moment. No angels, a few demons; but no evidence of hope or meaning. All I know is that night was when I first found out that life isn’t so simple, forgiving, or easy to escape. It was just another beginning-still outfitted with all the same old contingencies and prices.

It was then that I started to feel less like a soul, and more like a pawn on a chess board meant for begrudged service and flames either way.
Also therein was that which I had learned most intimately in my first couple times around- that everything had its price. For every seeming benefit or advantage of another’s that I had been tempted to look at and covet; each eventually came to me in its own time and acquainted me with a different flavor of disappointment. Don’t get me wrong, I have my preferences for which are more or less tolerable- but at the end of each, always the same cavernous emptiness remained; The same inescapable feeling that I was trying too hard, all to get nowhere.

I reluctantly subscribed that there really was nothing but subjectively fabricated meaning, and the tireless endeavor of mankind to try and help others’ suffering, so that their soul may move on to the next one. It’s not that I have no heart for others suffering, or wouldn’t help whomever I could- but there came a point at which it all turned into absolute overwhelm. Put out one fire and surely enough two more would crop up in its place, such as to imply that it was better to never sweep out the house in the first place and that human suffering was inexhaustible and inalleviable.
There was a saying at one point around here that love was the most important thing in life, made the “world go around”, or was the answer to “absurdity.” I believed it for a couple turns, but eventually somewhere (in my possibly hollow chest) conceded to the conclusion that it was fear that drove most things in this world. Fear of pain; of loneliness, rejection, poverty, failure-suffering. Love was a proposed salve.                                     I had thought that at least once a couple lives back I had experienced, or caught sight of this elusive, idolized concept- at least in the sense that humans revere it.

I remember it the most vividly among the countless things I had ever claimed to memory.

But regardless of such, the sweetest things are often the most short-lived, whilst the most excruciating last; marring everything the eyes can possess, and enduring long past the test of time.
I’ve had plenty of tries to learn how to live with the darkest, most ignominious, hidden part of myself. I’ve had nothing but time, trial, error, and reproof to grasp how to not allow these things to destroy everything that I reach for to attempt to make a life worth living. Yet every time around I’ve somehow inadvertantly managed to always end up back in the gallows; the edge of one blade to another- or pistol, rope, needle, bottle, bag; famine, the murky depths, or the company of another Black Widow to kill the time in between any other blissfully lethal overdose I could find in a similar chemical.