It makes me feel sort of sad, and alone, when I realize that my father’s parents are both dead. I feel sad, and alone, for my father, more than for myself.
My father came from a more traditional home; his parents stayed together, despite mutual animosity.
My parents split up when I was about two, and divorced when I was about twelve. I have seen my parents, together, in the same room, perhaps ten times in my life.
My mother has only one of her parents left. Like a lonely sock, without its mate. Actually, my grandma only needs one sock, because they took one of her legs last year, due to diabetes. Makes you think. About something, anyway.
I won’t see my parents for the holidays; I never do. They live too far away, in places too cold and isolated for my tastes, and I’m incredibly busy and tired during the month of December; it’s the last time I ever want to travel. I just want to go home, and continue plumping up like a fat little squirrel staying warm for winter.
Some things just taste better. Some don’t.
“I like margarine more than butter.”
“No you don’t,” my step-father says angrily. “Why would you say that?”
Because when I eat butter, all I can think about is how much it costs, and how much you resent having me eating it, and it makes me hate every mouthful. At least when I use margarine, I know that I can just relax and enjoy the meal, because I’m not costing you so much and depleting your precious reserve of fatty milk.
I stare at my mashed potatoes.
And why can’t you just leave me alone? Why can’t I just have an opinion that isn’t yours? Why does everything I do that’s so different have to be singled out and hammered into whatever shape you want me to be? Why can’t you just let me have this one?
We live in a small shack, in the woods. We have a kerosine lantern on the table, because there is no electricity these deep into the trees. We made our food on a wood cookstove, and our perishables are in a mini-fridge outside on the porch, which is hooked up to nothing. There is a nail in the door of the mini-fridge, to keep it shut. Three years from now, the pigs will discover how to push aside the nail, and open the door, and they will pull out a six-pac of beer from the fridge and tear the cans open and drink all of the beers, and we will come home to two drunken pigs half-passed-out on the porch. We have a well, for getting water; there’s a bucket on a chain, and you drop it down in the water, and then you haul it up, pour it into a different bucket, and then you carry that bucket home.
But for now, I’m just sitting at the table.
And my step-father is angry with me. He thinks I’m lying, and maybe I am. Maybe I don’t really enjoy the taste of margarine more than butter. I don’t know anymore. I’m sweating. I can’t taste anything. I want to throw up.
His face gets red when he gets angry. He likes to yell, and it freezes me in place. Except I don’t really freeze, I sort of shake in place.
He wants me to explain myself. Except he doesn’t. He hates it when I talk. I talk too much, maybe too well. And when I see he doesn’t want me talking, I start to stammer.
Stop making me explain myself. Just let me be.
I don’t know. I don’t know what my opinions are, after a while. I’m scared to have them. Whatever’s good. Whatever you want to give me, that’s good. That’s what I like.
It was just a little part of things. It echoes up sometimes though, when I’m standing in the kitchen, like a voice drifting up from the bottom of a well.
She’s Not Here, And Neither Am I
She’s a lewd little list of sexual preferences; wants and whimsies and things she thinks she’d try at least once, if she was asked just right.
She’s got a leash and a box of dildos and a nasty little smile that reminds you of a razor-blade when the lights are half-off. She’s got an internet connection and a bunch of digital friends on the other side of a camera. She’s got heartaches she sells by the pound.
She starts her morning with coffee and blood; bloodshot-eyes, or a big mug of thick redness, spilling out and over and down the page.
She leaves a little list of things she’d like right next to the bed. No names, just positions and scenes from films she’d like to try to emulate. Motion Pictures like Mindy Deepthroats The Moon and Quiver Hunt. She strays onto fetish websites, on the lookout for new desires to dream about.
I love her, I suppose, the way a gardner loves the sunlight he toils and sweats beneath. I love her like a razor loves flesh. She adorns my mind like the silvery tinsel garnish of a Christmas tree; she’s all shiny and bright, and when I get to close, she chokes me down.
Like Dying Or Something Else
I was a teenage vampire, and she was just another Miss Stake.
She pierced my heart like she was driving a tiny piece of metal through the head of my cock. She tied her hair in knots around my throat, so I couldn’t breathe or escape.
She put teeth to veins, and she gave me sweet release. Yeah, she coaxed it out of me, in shuttering gasps. Like dying, or something else.
I was smooth and handsome. I dated beautiful girls online. I was poetic, and mentally nimble. I was full of facts and fictions, and I knew how to blend them together.
She smiled, and swallowed me like a soft drink, like a bit of pop.
Against her lips, and down her throat.
I was too old for the movies, too young for internet radio. I found myself trapped between states, existing and digital, broadcasting desperation and hunger on every available frequency.
She smiled, and spat me across the room like smoke.
It’s Okay; It’s Alright
I am a sinner; to believe in (God) is to believe in my condemnation.
I am lost in a world without a light to look to. If I could pray, I know they would have to go unanswered. I am a sinner, and I am unrepentant man. My sins are necessary; sins of necessity. Sins of mathematics and thermodynamics. Sins of fate. If you can believe in such a thing.
I don’t believe in fate, but I do suspect sometimes that if time were seen from an outer perspective, all time and space could be seen to be happening simultaneously, which means that fate is real, in that fate has happened, or is happening, and everything is happening, all the time, forever, always.
Mathematically, it makes sense to me.
You can’t feel numb. You can only be numb. I can’t feel numb, so I just feel sort of cruel. I can’t win this game, so I sure as hell won’t be a graceful loser. I’ll take as much of the board down with me as I go.
I want to admit something to you; I want to tell you something real.
I’ve been swallowing up my anger for a long time now. For what feels like months. I’ve been tucking it away, I’ve been putting it deep inside myself. And I’ve been getting angrier and angrier.
Angry at… Fuck. You know. That relationship that fell apart. At that fucking young men who keep brushing up against my life who I’m not actually allowed to express myself towards.
I can’t tell that guy to go shove his head up his ass, and I can’t smash his fucking teeth down his throat. I can’t even joke about it. Or it’ll all go wrong again, like the song says.
But whatever. Whatever. So what if I’m angry. So what if I’m sick of hearing these names. So what if I just want to burn alone and alone and alone.
Yeah. I’m mad. I’m mad and I want to hurt something, maybe just myself. Light a lighter up, burn away some karma.
If I Could Go Out At Night
“Poetic revolutionaries,” she remarks, as she sharpens her knives, “are the worst kind. People who’d rather draw a picture of a cop getting shot, who’d rather sing a song about it, instead of just going out and doing the actual deed.”
She just likes to try to get a rise out of me. She says all kinds of stupid shit. It’s part of her psyche-up techniques, like revving up an engine before a race.
I want to judo-chop the universe. I want to do a backflip across the city. I want to see them flinch before I hit ‘em, and I want to ‘em faster than they can flinch. I want to be the thing that goes on that you miss when you blink.
We’re friendly little shadows, lined with razor-wire. We’re the invisible part of the city that wraps itself around streetlights and under the seats of busstops. We’re the protectors of the righteous and the punishers of the wicked. Call us vigilantes, vampires; call us things gone wrong, doing right by the night.
Necks snaps and lives get changed. We go out and have a positive impact on our environment, and then we go back home, and wash off all the blood.
“Never forget,” she warns me, all sticky red in the warm of the shower, “how much blood it takes to really change the world.”
Always Falling, Never Failing
I remember falling to earth, in a dream. You were there with me, and we were laughing. Do you remember feeling like you were falling and on fire? I remember when you and I were close enough to burn.
Now we wear big black boots and snarl facial expressions carved out of broken glass. Shadowy perspectives, you know?
Yeah, fuck their drum circles and their hackysacks. Fuck their clockwork hipster affectations. Fuck everything that’s not as dirty and fucked up and used up and angry and tired and miserable as me. Fuck ‘em with broken screwdrivers in their eyes. Fuck ‘em with passion and a little less total indifference. Fuck ‘em until they start to look pretty.