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Daniel

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(no subject) [May. 23rd, 2012|06:21 am]
the mouth is oiled
the tongue is cocked
the words are bullets
we aim for the back
and shoot
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(no subject) [Nov. 8th, 2011|09:20 pm]
"There he is again," the old man thinks. Sitting on a porch swing, he watches the boy walk past his house, as he does each morning. He thinks of him as "the boy" but he must be in is early 30's. The boy waves each time he crosses the street, walking towards the sidewalk that leads uphill until the boy is out sight, behind neighbor's trash cans and unkempt shrubbery, but the man on the porch swing only stares at the boy in his frayed brown pants and dark hooded jacket for a moment. The boy always has ear bud wires dangling beneath the jacket's hood, so there's no point in speaking. Surely the blaring music would drown out any "Good morning," and a wave, well that's inviting friendship and the old man wants no part of it. Let the boy wave as he crosses the street. Maybe one day, as he waves while crossing the street he'll not notice the speeding car going downhill. That would be something. The old man would say, "Good morning. You should look both ways from now on," The boy passes safely and is out of site, his top 40 hits blaring. The old man diverts his attention back to the passing traffic. It's nothing against the boy, but it's early morning, too early for friendly greetings. Half asleep by the slow back and forth motion of the swing he stares at the cars passing, most likely on their way to work. He's waiting for a car wreck. It's a ritual. The coffee, the porch swing, and the waiting. Why he would want to witness a catastrophe, he doesn't know. "Maybe today," he thinks. He would settle for something as simple as a fender bender, no injuries. Insurance is exchanged and the vehicles go their separate ways. But he has seen those particular incidents on several occasions and now he's ready to see the collision. To be a witness to such an act would enliven him. He has his coffee. He has his porch. And he has view of the busy road. If a tragic wreck were to happen, he would call 911, explaining the situation calmly. "Two cars collided. There's smoke and both cars are pretty smashed up. You better send someone soon," He would give the address, then sit back on his porch swing, swaying calm and slow, his mug still in hand. Moments later an ambulance would arrive, police cars, and a fire truck. He would hope someone would need the jaws of life to pry an overturned car open, pulling a bloody and unconscious body from the wreckage. They would be placed on a stretcher, and immediately hauled into the ambulance, lights flashing then speeding off with sirens blaring. The other car's door opens easily enough and the driver stumbles out, bloody lacerations on his face from broken glass, but aware of what has happened. The man on the swing waits for questions. "What did you see?" And suddenly the old man, staring at the passing cars, his hands hot from the mug of freshly brewed coffee would have no answer. "I saw a boy walking across the street. He was listening to music, you know, one of those gadgets with the tiny headphones. He waved at me as he was crossing the street. I waved back and kept an eye on him to make sure he made it across safely. That's when I heard the crash. I'm not sure how it happened, 'cause I was distracted, but it looked awful. If that boy hadn't been there I'd been able to seen it all happen," The old man waits for those speeding cars to crash. He doesn't know why and that scares him. But there's always the boy. "What did you see?" officer so-and-so would say. "Just the boy, walking uphill,"
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(no subject) [Nov. 7th, 2011|11:53 pm]
Depression. I can not say there is an aspect of the disease that is worse than the other. One symptom is neither trivial or gargantuan. Depression functions as a whole. Losing a button on your favorite shirt is no more devastating than losing a loved one or having your shoes come untied several times as you walk to work. They're all equal. It is there always, and happiness is a game you play to ease the ones you love, because depression is not selfless. You aren't depressed to hurt others, although it typically does, in the end. You fake it because you do love those that love you, and you hope through your facade of casual conversation and laughter that they may feel at ease. There is a misconception that depression is without joy, and it's untrue. I have genuine joy when I'm around those that I love, those that matter to me. The joy comes from their happiness. When a niece or nephew laughs, holds my hand and leads me to color pictures, build blocks, or have a tea party with Barbie and her stuffed friends I am glad. When siblings share silly stories of youth I am glad. Those moments push me out of this darkness for a time. It's the guilt that hurts most, knowing I can not change, that despite the joy I feel, that disconnect from what it means to live fully is not there. I always return to my singular life, where I am alone with awful thoughts that keep me in bed until I have to wake up for work. I know I have options. I want to choose the right option for me, the choice I think is best for me and everyone else. I want those brief moments of happiness to last, and carry me to the next day. Wanting it is a step to recovery but wanting isn't enough. I'll need to take action, take control. I hope that I do. And I'm not sorry for sharing this. Fuck the stigma. If you've never been depressed something's wrong with you.
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I walk [Nov. 1st, 2011|03:54 am]
I walk everyday. I walk the same route, down the street of Bardstown Rd., cutting through the parking lot of the local hardware store, past the McDonalds, and two hair salons that are typically empty except for employees stagnant in their profession until prom season, then I cross the street to the parking lot of Mid City Mall. The building houses a grocery store, thrift shop, jewelry store, a room for aerobics for women, jazzercise. There's a Dollar Tree where the laundry detergent is a dollar cheaper than most places, a library sadly empty, a cafe that recently closes two hours earlier. The economy. I walk through Mid City Mall from the front parking lot and exit through the back, continuing on to the next crosswalk. This is Baxter Ave., which happens to share the name of the movie theatre that's also part of Mid City: Baxter Avenue Theatre. Minding the passing cars, speeding to work, I wait carefully until I can cross. Now I walk on Goddard Avenue, picturesque with every front lawn covered in flowers. I say, "Good morning," to those outside tending to weeds and raking leaves. They wave and smile. I walk to the end of Goddard Avenue and cross Barrett Avenue, where the cars exceed the speed limit. I'm careful here. Sometimes it takes five minutes until I can safely cross the road. Once I do I make a right and walk uphill Barrett, passing shot gun houses. One house in particular has several dogs fenced in on the side of their house. They don't bark. They're docile. I don't look at them. One house has a porch swing, and some days there's an older man sitting drinking something from a mug. I've said "Hello," but he's yet to respond. The swiftly passing traffic holds his attention, but he still looks at me when I greet him. Maybe he's waiting for the day when I'm careless. Once I've reached the top of the street I make a left and walk downhill, past a flower shop on my left and a funeral home on my right. There's also a shop that steam cleans rugs. Warm mist bellows from the windows, and my glasses fog. Two to three steps past the building the mist fades and I can see clearly. I walk across a small bridge, spray painted with curse words, and I kick away bits of broken beer bottles until I'm on the grass. The sidewalk ends here. If it's foggy my socks absorb the moisture and I'll spend the rest of the day with moist and pruned feet. To my left is the gate to the cemetery. I pass tombstones. I know the names of the graves, and the deceased who have loved ones who still visit, leaving behind holiday balloons, flowers, and cheap trinkets: a small porcelain angel with it's hands held in prayer. Day after day I walk, and the balloons deflate, the flowers wilt and the tiny angel figurines crack and darken. I walk knowing the dead are not offended. The flowers will be replaced. These rituals are for the living. I walk out of the other side of the cemetery and make a left into an alleyway behind my work. I pull my ear buds out. The time for music is over. I'm at work, and I do. I clock in and put on my smock. Eight or so hours later I take off my smock. I push the ear buds in and I walk, the same way I came. Step after step.
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(no subject) [Jun. 2nd, 2011|01:30 am]
I don't know what I'm doing, except for screaming silently, within myself. It's the safest place to scream; silently, in your own mind. I sit on the steps of the back porch and look at my surroundings. Buildings, street lights, alley ways. I listen to passing cars. I listen to the drunken laughter of people stumbling to their cars, or to their homes, or to a home that isn't theirs. I hope they're okay. And I hope they...

I hope they're blissfully ignorant. I hope they don't sit quietly screaming on back porches. I hope they love their life. I hope for the happiness of every person I see. Idealistic. Naive and stupid. But it's all I have.

I paint now. I used to a long time ago, and now I've started again. Not for myself, but for others. If I can bring the smallest bit of beauty to someone's life then mine is worth living. I believe that. If I can create something that brings someone else the tinniest bit of joy, if it makes them smile, or ponder, or reflect, than my life may mean something.

There are so many people in the world, and too often we deem ourselves the most important one. That is not true. What I know for certain is it's of most importance to let others, all the strangers, all the friends, all the brief encounters of people you will never see again is to let them know that they matter. And to accomplish that is to be kind. Be as kind as you can be. People deserve to feel significant, and that's my lot in life; to let them know that they are. Fuck knows I'm not always good at it, but it's what I try for. I don't believe in heaven or hell, but I believe in kindness. I wish more people did, but what the fuck are you going to do? Well, I'll tell you what I'll do. I'll have my bad days. And I will have my good days. And I will be kind. Everyday, I will try to be kind.
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(no subject) [Jan. 25th, 2011|01:00 am]
I slipped several times on my walk to work today. Passing cars saw, and I pretended they were witnessing a free-lance street dancer. My arms would come up, as my feet slid on the frozen snow, my hips would turn right then left in an effort to balance. I was just doing the hula you guys, several times over. Pshaw. Of course I was. Had I fallen, it would have been intentional. It's called interpretive dance, assholes.
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(no subject) [Jan. 18th, 2011|02:24 pm]
I am disintegrating. I can feel it. I'm becoming less. I'm becoming lighter.

Maybe I will go to the grocery. Buy an apple. Fuji or red delicious? Red delicious. I could go to the thrift store afterwards. Scan the wares, but not buy anything, unless I come across a must-have, like an old book, one I have already read and loved but forgotten about. I would come home and put the book on the shelf, and forget.

I could clip coupons. Even if I won't use them, I would enjoy the act. I would be precise at first, cutting along the spaced black lines, then less so as I become impatient. I would split them into categories of "use", "not use", and "possibly use". They will end up on the shelf, along with the forgotten book, and expire. I don't use coupons. I should though. Every penny, etc.

I could see a matinee. I would sit in the back, like a creeper, but I'm not: only slightly embarrassed to be alone. When the movie is over I could have lunch at the City Cafe. I would order the veggie club (the only dish worth ordering there) and watch the light dim outside.

I need to do these things, to feel less, less. To feel heavier, more real. I could do these things. I would. I won't.
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(no subject) [Jan. 10th, 2011|11:01 am]
Drunk, he grabs my hand and pulls me to the dance floor. "For old time's sake," he says as though it had been decades since we'd been together. What does that phrase even mean? For the sake of old times, as though our lives depended on remembering for a moment what it felt like to be an "us". I remember well. They are not yet old times.

The next day, hungover and sullen, I sat on the bed reading. He comes in, rummages through the closet.
"Do you ever wear this shirt anymore?"
"No," I say not looking up from my book.
"What about this one?"
"No," again.
"You're not even looking,"

I look up. It's an old blue flannel shirt, I cut the sleeves off three years ago and drenched it with fake blood as part of a Halloween costume.

"No, I won't wear that anymore,"
"Why are you being so mean?"
"I'm not. I'm reading,"
I never cared for clothes. He should know that.

Later I hear the sewing machine and know my shirts are now becoming what I assume to be another abandoned project: a coat, a bag, a blanket half-finished and left behind because he got hungry. But an hour passed with the steady hum of the sewing machine and my curiosity pulled me away from reading.

"What are you making?" I say, indignant, almost mockingly. We both know it will amount to nothing more than a lump of fabric, discarded and forgotten amongst the needles and spools of thread.
"A moravian star,"
"That's what you're doing with my old clothes?" You're making a gift for him?
I do not say this last part, only think it, but it's implied in my tone. He's always been too dense for implications. Or at least extraordinarily clever at ignoring them.
"Why does that matter? You said you never wore them."
"That's not the point," I say, but I'm stuck. He wouldn't understand the point even if I explained it to him. That was my old life with him, being deconstructed and stitched together into his new life, with his new love. "You are being dramatic," he would say, and he would be right.

Back in my room, back with my book, I hear someone else ask him about his current project, his gift.
"Yeah, and he's making it with Daniel's old clothes,"
Yes, thank you, at least someone understood.
But he responds, "They're not even his. They're mine. He just wore them,"
For a moment I want to throw my book to the ground and yell out the bedroom door, "No! You're wrong! They were mine,"
But I stop myself. Was he right? Had I even bought that ugly blue flannel shirt? I thought so, on some thrift adventure, maybe that time we went to Goodwill to buy a vacuum, but I wasn't sure. Even so, I could not remember him wearing it even once. If not mine the shirt was at the very least once ours. I'm defeated, and can't stake claim on anything anymore. I'm too unsure of what I own. I don't think it's very much. Certainly not the bed I was sitting on. Maybe the dresser or the step stool where the TV rests? No. I owned the book I was reading, so I continued that.

Last night I dreamed I lived in a cabin. Plain wood floors, plain wood walls. I lived in the attic and I awoke to find the entire downstairs had been painted by him. The brown wood was now covered with blue lilacs on bright canary yellow, and white magnolias on purple. The colors hurt my eyes. I found him still painting, and he asked what I thought. "It's too much," I said. "I liked the way it was before,"
He looked at me, indifferent and continued to paint. I ran up the stairs, smearing still wet lilacs and magnolias with my hands and legs as I went. By the time I reached my bed I was a mosaic of blue, yellow, and purple. I rubbed my hands over my body, mixing the colors, until I was a muddy brown, until I matched the color of the wood in my untouched attic. I know this all sounds very symbolic, but I don't think it is. It's just life, and it's just pain. It was just a dream.

I woke up and finished reading my book.
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(no subject) [Mar. 4th, 2010|11:14 pm]
On my 30 minute walk to work I've seen:

a fire hydrant unscrewed and flowing water down the street

an igloo

a five dollar bill

a man asking directions to the pet grooming store

a box of condoms, unopened (pity)

several dogs/puppies/a kid on a collar

and a gentleman that walks his poodle daily,

I don't mind walking to work.
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(no subject) [Feb. 26th, 2010|01:18 am]
I'm afraid he'll notice my freckles when he meets me. I'm sitting at a tablet in a coffee shop, locally owned of course. The place is full of pictures painted by local artists, and they amount to splatters of paint on canvas. There's a stack of games on a shelf next to my table and I'm tempted to grab Trivial Pursuit from the shelf and start reading myself trivia questions, just to pass the time. I'm on a blind date and he's late.

"What famous document begins: 'When in the course of human events...'?"

A: The Declaration of Independence.

"What civil rights leader did Dorothy Parker leave the bulk of her estate to?"

A: Martin Luther King Jr.

"What political system was gradually dismantled in South Africa, starting in 1989?"

A: Apartheid.

He still hasn't turned up. I ordered a panini.
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