I told this girl about God while I was drunk in her living room. We were talking about love. She said, “Yeah… I see the love in you.” I’m not saying that it was right, but I do think it’s true – God uses some pretty foolish things to get inside of you.
We had the most sporadic, passionate conversation about God; about what ails you, about the hallucinations that I had as a kid. About the family that she always wanted, but never did. About the marriage that she wanted for her parents that spilt over into a broken childhood, and fearful relationships.
She said, “God! I can’t help it!” She said, “It’s all that I’ve known.” She said, “All I want is a hand to hold onto.” She said, “And I’m scared of being alone.” And I didn’t tell her it’s alright. I didn’t tell her it’d be fine. I didn’t try to search for words or answers to questions that aren’t there to find… I just sat with her inside the silence of the night, and sparked up another cigarette, and offered her a light. Because sometimes you don’t want the input – the wrong or right – you just want someone to zip their lip and sit with you and sympathize.
I think it’s that thought – sitting in your car in the cold – sharing winter coat pockets with the hand of a person you don’t know. And if ever your eyes didn’t lie, I could look into your soul, cause that sadness all comes out in the freezing truth of the snow… A good friend once said, “It’s hard to live with the dead and not end up dead and especially once you’ve shared the same bed…”
Well, mom, I didn’t mean to hurt you – I just left – but you can rest assured, I’ve got a lot of regrets, and there’s something deeper-seeded that I’m trying to protect, but I have not found that, yet. I’m returning to the arms of lesser love, “nothing good ever happens after midnight” god above, she was right! We packed away your past into boxes, and all of the little foxes slipped through my grasp, singing, “your heart beats so, so fast on top of me!” Awkwardly, your forward behavior is shocking me and I wonder if this is meant to last.
But I found that dead rat in the parking lot, stapled it to the wall, singing “he loves me, he loves me not.” I’m lost! But if it turns out to be a battle not won, but fought, then I’ll have left you with the scent of every hated failure you forgot.
Welcome to Albuquerque, where everybody’s lonely! Where everybody needs to feel you out before it’s homely, “but nobody’s willing to put forth the effort to get to know me!” I’m learning to allow things to just happen slowly, but I just want somebody here to hold me.
“All your words run together.”
But you know how we get in the winter - once all of the leaves start falling, falling off of all of the trees. (I swear you can see their colors changing in me…) We strip bare like them, there, and if anybody cared they could see we’re all stripped cold down to our souls, we’re vulnerable and lonely. O! If I could, I would walk away from myself! But I’ve lost all worth in the eyes of everybody else – and your eyes are bluer than any I’ve seen… And your bluer eyes have found me completely wanting:
“Hey, if you fall any deeper, could you fall into me?” (Honestly, there’s not a lot of honesty beneath thin pieces of clothing between you and…) well, you’ve see the best of me, the worst is yet to come. (But when I come, you’ll find your monsters penetrating deep inside and in-between, the innocence you stole, and the tip of my tongue.)
“Help me find my body – I’ve lost it in your hands… but my worth cannot be measured in your eyes (because they’re dead).” And if you magnify that death, well that is your eyes, and such beautifully blue eyes are so sad inside. And if you magnify that sadness, well that is your life. (How can someone so dead be such a beautiful blue outside?)
Well, Merry Christmas, darling! I wrote to tell you that that concrete factory turns into a city of lights at night, (and if you wait for it… just wait for it – you can watch it happen right after the sun sets out of the sky). I pray earnestly in the mornings, but at night, my sight blurs as black as your eyes did the last time I tried to tell you I loved you, and that I was happy that you were mine. (I don’t tell you so soon), but I haven’t been kissed in so long and this night altered the very course we walk on, and five years later, I’m still singing those songs… listenin’ to Isis! Well, it became my theme song for life because life didn’t used to be like this!
I WRITE TO STAY ALIVE!
And December 25th, 2005 is the day that I died (started taping back my eyelids), pumping my lungs with fake air and good highs and absorbing you night after night smile like I believe you when you tell me I’m priceless – but you lie. I can see it in your eyes, I can see what you’re thinking as you pour me another shot of whiskey – keep drinking. (There you go girl, it’s fine, I can buy your love for $14.95)
BUT I WEPT RED! I WEPT RED FOR YOU! I GAVE YOU EVERYTHING! And now I’ve got letters marked “Virginia” written on loose leaf sheets, lengthy paragraphs from my mother, written in red ink, about how she’s so proud of me – her little bird with her big wings – her clipped wings – her newspaper clippings with pictures of butterflies, pretty things that she’s been pasting to her journals to remind her that she’s not beyond saving.
“Don’t be the gold ring in the pig’s snout, and be sure to write if you ever need us to help you out.” I put this journal away for so long, and tried to wrap my head around those years, those eggshells that I stomped on. “Let’s get something perfectly clear, there’s nothing left to uncover – there’s nothing left to bury here.”
I write to stay alive.
Lust without love is brutality personified.
“Whatever you were looking for at that point and time in your life, was never me, and you were never mine.” See, it’s getting warmer back home, and I know you’re getting colder all alone, but I can’t figure out if I’m lonelier when you’re here, or when I’m on my own. It’s amazing how quickly a beating heart can turn to stone, and out of the mouth, it’s overflow becomes… well, what overflow? You know? But now those years pass by as quickly as the pages I flip through, and I’ll always deny it, but every now and then, I miss you. “No one’s eyes speak to me like yours do.” I don’t want the wrongs or rights, I used to adore you… now, it’s all I can do to forgive you.
So September sometime, two thousand and nine, this girl and I, we drank a little wine and talked a lot about life. And she said, “See, last July, I finished this diary of mine – and I planned to keep all of it locked up behind closed doors. But I don’t know anymore, I just don’t want to bear this alone anymore. Could I tell you what’s on my mind?” It was a passionate conversation, a sporadic conversation, a don’t-interrupt-and-I’ll-try-to-tell-you-what-happened conversation, a look-I-don’t-want-the-answers conversation, it was a secret, I’m-gonna-take-my-chances conversation.
And I didn’t tell her not to cry. I didn’t tell her it’d be fine, I didn’t search for words to remedy the pains she kept inside, I just sat with her, decided it was better to be quiet while she tried to fight the silhouettes I see still clinging to her heart against the light. And that’s alright. Each word lifts it’s burden and flies away with the smoke into the night. Sometimes, you just want somebody to be silent.
That little brown book carries a lot of weight, I regurgitated my heart to those pages, and to me, they reverberate through time and space. It is what it is. It is what it was.