November 25, 2011

Find Others Amid The Lost

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What is the issue?

I drink whiskey out of the bottle and take a shower at five thirty in the morning after watching a screener copy of Like Crazy. I’ve always loved the cliché of tears in the shower — how obviously hidden they are — right now it’s all mine, never forged, as unique as these tiles. I have never drunk alcohol this early, late, whatever. It’s a novelty for now; I have the next few days off; everything passes, vices cease. I will eat again sometime soon, the kind of hungry where hungry feels full. I tell myself it could be the other way around. I see age as a restless rest stop. I am a mess this birthday. I feel like that asshole carrying the globe.

I have been awake for three hours now. It’s not just this heartbreak of a recent relationship, but that my life entire is hurting. Myself has broken up with myself. That it is a metaphor for where I am. That I am ready to love, ready to be myself, but I can’t help feeling abandoned. I’m trying not to solder these three themes, but consider it part of living. I have friends, people that love me. For this I am nothing short of thankful. I am sick of thinking Am I being myself?, the lies of waiting for these ‘options’ or ‘experiences’ that will never come because we are in love with our hyper-nearsightedness, this insidedness, this frosted glass cataract to other people. The biggest lie after the postmodernism rager that we are forced to clean up is that we are so inalienably alone, that we are so unique, special, unable to be understood. When all we need is in front of us in the everyday – unmissable — bullet casings in sand.

There was a party with my friends. It was wonderful to see them, but this weight. I saw everything laid out like a military strategist’s map, countries/oceans the who-I’ve-withed: hurt, cried, f-cked, made love, hugged, biked, kissed, laughed, cooked, drove, lied, laid with, cursed, talked silence. They: transparent pushpins connected with string across this schematic of life. I have this vague memory of a church, the pushpins/string were missionaries, and look how they are everywhere. They stay, leave, get killed. I went to bed at the middle-end of the party. I did not feel bad. I wish I drank more.

I cry and the tears look like semen stains on my comforter. All I want is to cease thinking about the sad intermissions of things coming out, it matters not from where — I just want these DIY eye drops to abate like construction or war, things that remove us from each other. It just snowed outside; it is twelve degrees; the snow does not leave the ground alone. Cold weather we’re having I say to sandbag any external emotional outburst.

I cough like I have a cold, only my lungs are settling in to the un-tar. Fourteen days of nothing, strange from two packs a day. I am all or nothing, bundled antithesis. People smoke to be young, to reach back to the first feelings of the warmth, the virgin, the first time. Marketing works. To me, smoking is all child-like mannerisms, everything a buffet plate, this infancy that forever promises. I love and hate this.

This was forced. You don’t think about this delicate nest of a body when you’re falling. Now, depression at the walls of my skull (ever put all five fingers around your eye’s perimeter and think about what yours looks like?) this barbarian with a battering ram, smashing smashing. And I feel it. I say don’t, don’t, don’t. It is not gifted with the sense of hearing. I need others; I hope this every day thing I do has lifeboats.

And that’s the thing. I am so sick of being selfish, when the world is begging to be loved. Surrender to the not-us. I try and think this everyday. I fail. I think again. We are all holding up globes.

I will write away everything that is holding me back. This is all I am able to do this moment while I create this, what I ask of myself. I can be healthy; I don’t have to destroy myself to feel alive. These ideas die alongside this Columbus Day-esque idea that you think you found everything first, that it’s all about you. But I will hold this rag doll of life close to my face, like when we find toys cleaning out an old room. Find others amid the lost and hurting things. TC mark

image – wwarby

Alexander Helmke

Lives in St. Paul, MN. Writer of fiction and a founding editor of Revolver, a new arts and culture magazine out of …

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