Friday, July 10, 2015


There is a certain feeling that nestles down in your heart when you enter an abandoned house.
An unnatural emptiness that seeps through your scuffed twelve-year-old sneakers, 
Causing you to pull your jacket closer. 
Carefully touching the deep brown varnished hand rail. 
Wincing at the creek of old protesting stairs,  looking around to see if anyone heard. 
They hadn't. 
Touching the bubbled white with tiny pink flowered wallpaper at the door jam. 
The gravitation to the lit,  empty room is necessary, 
But the clouds are black and the trees bend and sway in the wind. 
The kind of wind that it takes only a glance from curious eyes out a window to chill. 
This time I pull both jacket sides close. 
Cornfield a dull tan with the poor shaving of the combine razor leaving scraggled roots of stalks. 
And the old tractor trying to quietly sleep under the protesting trees.
Its so still. 
So still compared to the picture displayed by the window that I must go to the next room, feeling dread prompted by the dark space to the left where you enter the attic. 
I can't pull my jacket any tighter around me. 

We had gone to my grandfather's house for Thanksgiving,
Now filled with us and my new grandma's married in family. 
It was so difficult to remember this additional cousin's name. 
But everyone giggled as I loudly whispered,  "What's lingerie boy's name?" to my aunt. 
Not that I knew what that meant, 
Not that anyone knew how I had concluded the two sounded close. 
Kids sticking olives on their fingers and sucking  them off, all laughing. 
My new older cousin Cassie had said "shit" outside. 
And my mom looked tired. 
Then one day she couldn't take it, the meanness that didn't take leave when the alcoholism did. 
Grandma, now not my grandma,  promising to call. 
She didn't. 
And there I was, visiting the empty home. 
Except, it wasn't empty, just my grandfather downstairs. 

There are some cacophonous stirrings so loud that the heart screams until the prefrontal cortex vibrates with every beat.
It's there, subtle
So loudly that my neck and shoulders hitch up into the base of my spinal column
Until I crumple into sleep.
"I have feelings for her. I'm breaking it off."
The phone is cradled in my hand, illuminated from being pulled away.
The ceiling is that damn popcorn texture.
"Are you there?"
Clearing my throat, "Yes."
"You abandoned me."
"I thought it was best to stay here for the summer and work on myself."
"Why couldn't you have done this last summer?"
"I did what I felt was right. What I thought would make me a better person and better girlfriend."
"You abandoned me. I gave you my whole heart for two years. She wants to be as committed as I do."
My head rolls to the side, I need to take the damn dishes to the sink.
A tear rolls onto my pillow.
"I'm sorry."
"Yeah, me too."

What made his house feel that way? I often pondered.
Absence of soul or self or love?
Rinse and repeat.
The choices of upheaval and bonding that turn endlessly.
Key turning in the lock,
A dog wagging himself side to side in greeting.
Darkened familiar doorways and a screech of sliding windows.
Summer air.
Rough concrete underneath and smoke curling to the sky.
"This place is kind of depressing, no offense."
I nod.
It is.
And I wonder, is this what empty feels like, from the other side?

It  was finally the day. 
The day that I hung my head and arm out the car window,
Dissolving into air, beauty, and infinity.
It was hour three of the trip,
The mushrooms leaving my neurons awake and a light of dry,  crackling existentialism.
"Can you see it? The worst is over."
We had driven to the ends of the city and back with a soft glowing cigarette between our fingers.
Music pumping and throbbing through blasted speakers.
"The monsters in my head are scared of love."
I'm so happy...
"Fallen people listen up! It's never too late to change our luck."
My friend grabbed my hand and squeezed and smiled at the power lines wizzing by.
My other hand softly moving my bangs from my face, also smiling softly.
I could see myself in my apartment, sad and chained to the expectations of someone that didn't love me.
Then casually closing turning a page with the scene displayed until I could no longer envision it.
No more use for it.
"So don't let them steal you light."
"Don't let them break your stride."
I pitied him then, for the cruel things he said, for the things he needed to do because he hurt inside and so hurt others.
"There's a light on the other side, raindrops falling behind."
Lighting another cigarette I sunk lower in the passenger seat, alive with the knowledge that I loved and was loved
Even if some of the other things hurt with a dull, invasive ache,
This was the most beautiful moment.
"It's a revolution."