Tag Archives: fear

the desperate

 

people can smell desperation.
being social animals,
they pass the desperate by
sniffing in fear
instinctively knowing
this one has been cut off for some reason
a rotting limb
a toxic trash.

the desperate can be found
in the heart of the city
the pulsing downtown.
wherever people collect
so the desperate are drawn
driven to suck what they crave.
what society will not give freely
they parasitize.

in the center of things,
yet humanity flows around them,
unwilling to touch.

in the center of things,
forever on the fringe.

excluded
for fear of exclusion.

because everyone knows
the stink of desperation
is catching.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Losing her

 

There is a still voice in my head.
If I meditate I can hear it.
If I follow its mandates, it gains clarity.
It always speaks the truth.
It is the juxtaposition
Of my intelligence
My years of experience
The leanings of my heart
The echo of the Tao.
Unexpected bubbles from the subconscious.
I know it when I hear it.
It always speaks the truth.

She turned down meeting me again
She had a good reason
And I refuse to push.
I trust our friendship.
But the voice said
In clear unarguable certainty

You’re losing her.

I don’t want to believe it.
But the voice never lies.
Maybe I can push a little harder
Regain the fading attachment.
But I am her friend because
I never push.
Everyone else pushes.
Everyone else gets her time.
If I push,
I become the squeaky wheel.
I become the annoying commitment.

I wish I had never thought this thought.
Now it has been given form,
And the power to strengthen
Into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Are friendships made of fairy dust
Entire worlds jointed together with ephemeria
Just to sparkle then fade?
Are they really composed of convenience?
Am I the only one
Who goes on loving just as hard
Even after I have been left loving alone?
Friends like these
They rise and fall on Fortune’s wheel
Into my life, out of my life
Do they still think of me?
I think of them.
If they came back into my life
If they showed the slightest inclination
I would welcome them with puppy enthusiasm
Happy they are home again.
Am I the only one?

I am afraid to lose this one.
I trusted adulthood
Would keep us connected.

 

But the voice never lies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Journal – past fears, future fears

 

Reading about Huntington’s
Brings back memories of caregiving
The stress, the pain, the joy, the pain, the guilt
The pain, the pain
My heart aches, it’s full of love for her
But I’ve got nowhere to put it.
She knew what she meant to us.
We told her we loved her.
Remember her calling “I love you” to our backs as we left
When she finally managed to get her tongue around the words
Was it three years ago that we lost her?
Is that all?
Is that a lot?
The wound has reopened
And it feels like she’s still in the nursing home
I’m once again feeling that terrible weight
“I have to visit her, it’s been a while.”
Seeing her crumpled up
Like an empty can.

Sitting in my car
The car she gave me
The car she loved so much
She would still ask after that car
Say things like, I’m glad you have it now.
I would sit in the cab
In the nursing home parking lot
Stare at my young hands
Resting on the wheel, just where hers did
Wonder whose hands they were
Building courage, every time
To go see her
For her sake, to go see her
Because of what she did for me
Because she gave me so much joy
Because we laughed together in that car
Getting pizza, renting movies
She drove me to college in that car for a year
We gave a rides to a pathetic classmate of mine
Mom scolded me for not talking nice about her behind her back
Although we were both exhausted by her unending need.
I would sit in that car
Alone now
Behind the wheel now
Despair gnawing on my brain
Dread gnawing on my gut
Knowing I would have to face her again
Face her dying again
Face her confused tears again
Watch her cough and choke again
Her hands clenched into cold blue granite
Argue away her demands for ice cream, diet coke, diet coke, one more diet coke
They said only two cokes mom… okay I’ll sneak you one more
In my childhood I said yes ma’am
I obeyed without question
It was my joy to obey
She accepted me well; I never rebelled against her
Until she was dying
Then
I finally learned to tell her no
I’d spend an hour
Either fielding her demands
Or talking her down from a mental precipice
On good days, I just got to listen
As she rambled through her own fanciful mind
Picking gems here and there for me to examine
Her imagination truly unfettered.
Every day hurt.

I’m going to have to go through it all
All of it
Again.
The spiral is coming back around
And points this way.
It’s still far off
Barely visible on the horizon.

Well
I’ve done things I’m afraid of before.
I’ve gone to the dentist
I went and went until I wasn’t afraid
I’ve taken the worst they can throw at me
And trounced that fear.
I’ve ridden roller coasters
I’ve jumped from great heights
I’ve walked alone down dark hallways with the lights off.
I visited mom.
I can face fears.
I can face reality.
I can face grisly horrors
I can face and embrace the darkness.
Shit happens.
We all gotta die.
We all gotta lose someone.
It’s okay to be scared
But being scared is a waste of precious time.
I am strong
I am brave
I can take a lot of fucking punishment.
I can take a lot of grief.
I can take a lot of burden.
I’ve been there.
I will be there again.
I’ve been well taught
How to bear things with stoicism and grace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The thing outside

A little horror story.

Alfred Hitchcock said, it’s the things you don’t see that scare you. I wrote this a few years ago as an exercise on that concept.

 

 


 

We shivered in the dark, listening to it scratch against the door. Turning the lights out had not tricked it. It could smell us.

“Let’s go out the back,” my little sister Anita said, casting a nervous glance behind her.

“It moves too fast,” I said, but I glanced behind me as well. It was worth a shot.

Slowly we made our way backwards, feeling behind us, not taking our eyes off the kitchen door. We could hear it outside, scrabbling against the old grainy wood softly, insistently. We got halfway to the back door and then the scratching stopped.

Anita froze. We stared at the door, waiting for it to do something, but nothing was happening.

“We have to shut it inside. Then we can get to the car,” Anita said, pulling the car keys off of the counter and handing them to me.

“Are you crazy?” I whispered back, risking a glance her way. “That means one of us would have to open the door.”

She didn’t flinch. She stared at the door, her long braid resting on her shoulder, her eyes focused, waiting for some noise or indication of what it was doing now. All scratches had stopped. The other side of the door was silent. Too silent.

“Do you think it’s going around to the back door?” Anita whispered.

Suddenly I couldn’t move. I heard a desperate sort of gasp escape my throat.

“What?” She turned to look at me, alarmed.

“The back door isn’t locked,” I choked out.

Anita never hesitated. She dashed to the back room, and I watched her as she raced, her feet thumping loudly on the hardwood floor. It would hear that, I thought. It would hear that and circle around. I could see everything happening in crystal clarity, but was stricken by a horrible paralysis, unable to speak or move fast enough to prevent her from doing what she was doing.

Anita was a yard away from the door when it clicked open before her. Something pale was coming through. Finding my feet, I turned, unable to look, and ran toward the kitchen, toward the door, toward safety.

Anita screamed and screamed.

I burst out of the kitchen and slammed the door shut behind me, but the thick wood only slightly muffled the sound of my little sister dying.

I called her name through the wood. I cried out into the blank night. I kicked the door and pounded until my fist was bloodied with splinters. All this I did. But I could not make myself open that door.

When I paused for breath, there was a wet noise from within the house. It was lingering, distracted by the blood.

I still held the keys in my shaking hand. But I didn’t want to drive away from here, not if she wasn’t with me. Next to the car key was a smaller key with a cheery owl key cover which Anita had bought ages ago; the key to the shed. Where the power tools were kept.

I smiled joylessly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Let’s go to the fair

 

This one is a few years old, from back when I was young and bitter, heh. I’m glad I got older and am now very slightly less bitter. Ahh, it’s good to be breathing the fresh free air of being very slightly less bitter.

Yeah I’m in a weird mood today. Need blood. Anybody wanna loan me some blood? Need sleep. Anybody want to borrow my hyperactive-only-at-midnight kitty? He’s very large and noisy and destructive. All he asks is for constant attention and food and play from 11:30-1:30. If you can wear him out, then pin him down for ten minutes and withstand the battle damage, he’ll go right to sleep like an angel.

 


 

Let’s go to the fair
And have a nice time
Eat cotton candy
Make ourselves sick on deep fried foods
Spin until we can’t see straight
And win a giant stuffed animal
By popping balloons with darts

Yay, that was fun
I feel ill

It was worth it
To see you smile
You smile so rarely anymore
My sweet thing
It doesn’t take much
Or rather
It takes an entire fair
Organized and operated by hundreds of people
Sixty dollars for tickets, food, gas
And you need to get tossed around violently by machines.

But it’s a small price to pay
To see you smile
Dear god I’d do anything to see you smile
Fuck don’t leave me

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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