blog, poem

Bedroom

I want to stand in awe of you.

I want to point my lens and linger over the shutter with a boyish hesitation that leads only to a grin. The snow is heavy and falling in a gentle way. Like snow in a book. A blinking skyscraper radio antenna sets the cadence of the night outside. It is dreary cold, but we are warm and tangled.

Behind your bed, the wall collapses into a nook that runs the length of your body.  Cuddled into it, your body silhouettes, and I want to snap the shutter. Click.  The chilly air is humming against the window pane behind you, and beneath your feet falls twenty stories suspended by sand and steel. It is quiet. The city is still as the flakes gather on the dampened cement below. Down below, a taxi cab slides across the icy tar like a stick of butter on warm porcelain.

The red light blinks through the foggy glass. Blink. Blink. Like a toddler gazing upon a zoo-kept python, you press your nose against the pane and peer into the night. You are in awe, and me too. I want to tame your lion hair. It is a mane neglected, a worn trophy of the love made, a lazy fluff. Blink. The red light spreads opaque through the dewy cloud gathered on the glass.

In your bed I stretch my sleepy legs. They are sore from the run. In your bed I roll onto the heavy quilt and stare into the ceiling, like Galileo, like a child on an empty hill beneath the sky. Your bedroom is mine. You are mine. You are mine for now, and for ever, as a jumbled blotch of words and colors. The photos burned onto the frame are lesser than the ones in my head, the ones I want to form into words, into pages in a book. The snow falls like a story, and through the powdered haze, a distant red light flashes. Like shipwreck.

You are nestled in your window island, terribly far away. Terribly far away.

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Musings

I’m a sucker for striped shirts and empty white hair.

There’s something strangely human about opening the door of your home and knowing if someone else is there. You know before they speak, or turn the faucet, or close the underwear drawer. As if they left their presence on the threshold.

All of us have friends who are mad at us. They get mad the moment we start to do what we want and cease to do what they want. Ultimately, it’s a matter of possession. We want to own our loved ones the same way we own our favorite jeans. We confuse what ‘trustworthy’ is; i.e. it is the jeans that are always there for you.

There is a girl who stands taller than she really is. It’s because she talks about bigger things. She orders an Apricot Blonde and her voice gets loud when the conversation becomes about dreams. About ambitions. People are surprised to learn she isn’t six feet. She acts like it, though, and it reminds me of the word ‘monumental’.

“Everybody’s crazy.  Nobody makes sense,” she says.

I don’t know how they did it, but Zeppelin found the human spirit and plastered it on a vinyl saucer.

The reason I run so much is because of a lady at a race. She held up a sign that said ‘One day, you will not be able to do this.‘ I think the same goes for coloring your hair and going on dates and drinking liquor in swimming pools. I feel like there’s not enough time. It makes me think about the word ‘urgency’.

Plump, red grapes are Earth’s way of saying ‘you deserve this.’  They remind me of globes.

The reason everything is such a mess is because:

a) we think we are right, or
b) we are okay with being wrong.

My roommate and I scrubbed our shower before I left for the summer. He said “you can’t clean anything without getting something else dirty.” This thought has haunted me since.

Remember that nobody is ever impressed by how much you hate something.

Sometimes Monday morning feels like throwing a party when you’re hungover. I imagine this is what the first ten years of having kids is like.

There is a tangible energy abuzz in the air of a night when seemingly everyone else is doing something, together, and you are witnessing it from afar, alone. Fridays and New Year’s Eve are notorious for providing this nagging sensation.

Sometimes you can just think of someone’s gigantic laugh and turn yourself hysterical. I encourage you to try. This is especially fun in places where tension thrives, like a room in the library or the DMV. You start giggling and it draws the glances of the miserable, which only elevates the stress, wheeling the hilarity round and round like a hurricane.

I think all things melancholy are born on Saturday afternoons.

Few skills are more magnetic than knowing how to tell a good story. Along the same lines, saying someone’s first name, mid-sentence, when the conversation is thick with good thoughts, is wildly arousing.

One of the best ways to ease your mother’s mind is to take good care of yourself. When you are doing well, and you are healthy, and you are happy, it is the same as saying “I love you, too.”

The best part of taking photos is that in the moment, everything is unexciting, and routine, and nothing is special. Yet, when you look again, years later, when sprawled across the carpet, real magic appears. A photographer is like an angel from your future who paints a life your memory forgot.

I have all these photos of the people I love. I like looking at them, and I like looking at you.

I wanna look at you again.

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Love Letters (To No.1)

I’ll always fall in love, at least a little bit, with a cutie who’s left handed.

She’s got big ole eyeballs still, just like in the old days, when I was a young kid with a gold heart all ready to break. That same heart is still thumping, I swear it is, right down here inside my ribs. It’s just bronzed over.

I think we all get a little closer to each other when we use our first names, mid-sentence, deep into those talks. Those talks that always happen when it’s dark, when the car is parked somewhere, and we’re both staring forward into a big open night. And the air is thick because we know what we want to say but can’t. And our arms are crossed, and you’re opening all the way up, and you say

Sam, …”

and I feel it. I think our names sound different when our lovers say them.

She’s got a cozy room and a bed with messy blankets. There are postcards in the window and photos strung across a clothesline, photos of brick walls in her hometown, photos of a happy drunk girl whose laugh you can hear when you look at them real close. Sometimes I’ll sit on the floor and listen to her music and she’ll nap, and the sun will break through the blinds and remind me I’m at home, right here, with her wrinkled forehead and lavender fingernails, gnawed off with nervous tendency. She’ll make earl grey when she wakes up.

I think it’s too easy to have sex. I think sex is too easy because it’s at everyone’s fingertips. Lauren said it best: “nowadays, it’s easier to have sex with someone than it is to hold their hand.” I know people who fuck too much and they don’t know it. I think I’ve been there once, and now I know it. I think fucking is like eating junk food. You never feel good afterward, though, and that’s what kills. It’s fun to indulge when the pleasure is approaching, and you’re getting closer to it, like driving into town. But it’s a mirage. And then you put your clothes back on, and ‘one-night stand’ becomes last-night, and you gotta find a highway to clear your head.

She’s got an eye for things. She takes photographs all the time and none of them are of her, and all of them have that enigmatic quality that takes me away to a different place. Some sort of dazzle lives inside her lens, a magical aesthetic that I can’t figure out. She knows what clothes will fit. She talks about the things she loves.

And sometimes I’m sitting down, writing, in the library, in a chair. And her hair falls over into my lap, and her arms wrap me cozy and warm, and my first name is a whisper in the left channel. And all the bronze starts falling off, and all our clothes are still on, and I become a photograph on a clothesline.

And it’s all in my head, right now, these love letters to no.1, the smudge of her left-handed response tucked neatly into a light blue envelope, no return address. But my eyes are wide open for you, for your glossy 8×10’s, for your blankets, for your room, for your world.

Take me there.

 

 

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Thought-Mush

I’m thoroughly convinced that if we could extract a human specimen from the year 1739, a real Post-Renaissancey type bastard, and blindfold him, and place him in the center of Times Square, and spin him around like a child before a dangling piñata, and give him a real quick debriefing consisting simply of “hey bro, welcome to the future”, and quickly untie the knot, and yank that old handkerchief from his gangly and ill-kempt mug, and yell “tada!” like all facetiously and shit, and strike a real good thespian pose full of bent knees and irony, and beam a fat row of shinies at our poor old subject, our left hand out, grazing a chilly New York breeze, well…

Well I simply think that mother fucker would explode.

I think that the sheer shock of our world would send his old gulliver into oblivion, like an uncut potato in a microwave set on HIGH. A few seconds would pass, and the jester in tights would gaze around, mouth open like a great collapsed dam, drool gushing out in pure astonishment of the sights and sounds and suits and suites of La Manzana Grande, and a fantastic hemorrhage would split between his ears, faster than the lightbeams that Einstein spent years dreaming about riding, and the sheer lack of horses and carriages, and the sheer abundance of TAXI 777-7777’s in their wake, would simply send his Latiny-Smatiny brain right through his pantaloons, and the godsent stinky-faced mother fucker would instantly collapse, like a black hole, like The Witch-King of Angmar, like a timelapse of crumpling tin foil set to 1000x speed, you know, like, real real quick. And suddenly that bloke would be inverted onto himself, and we’d still be standing there all hat-and-cane, wide-eyed like the sold-out audience of a legendary comic, right before the punchline, almost ready to squeeze out a roaring HAHAHA even if the joke ain’t funny, even if the next line isn’t the end of the joke. We’d be there, goddamn, just hollering at that poor old soul, our trustee abductee, who simply couldn’t handle, or even fathom, or even understand, the chaos that is our everyday.

Anyway. I think about shit like that a lot. Like, how nuts this fucking world is.

I like girls. I just goddam love girls. I love women. I just love women to death. I really do. I love kissing women and I love looking at a real pretty girl that knows she’s pretty, and I love smiling at a real pretty girl that doesn’t know she’s goddam gorgeous like Aphrodite, and I love dancing with a silly ole eccentric kind of chick, out dancing at the pub, just grooving like a big beautiful fool, her curls bouncing around like a company of cake-and-soda nine year olds at a birthday party, in a jumping balloon, shooting around like springs, for hours and hours. Her hair is bouncing everywhere, and she’s jumping around all silly to the sound of like “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons themselves, and I’m just trying to stay out of the way of her noodle hair that has vigorously taken over the dance floor, and the entire bar, and is now flowing out onto the damp roads of midnight, over the whole city, stretching as far as love can take you, and even further, ’till it’s just me and that hair, dancing around to good falsetto tunes of greasy-haired men and the smell of mediocre gin.

Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just lose everything you have.

That it would be more relieving than anything, at least after a couple of days. You could find a place to run some hot water into a yellowed-up tub, in a Motel 8 or Hacienda somewhere off a highway, and you could lay there in that godlike hot water and just crack a big ole smile, and start laughing like a fucking madman, like a mad clown, at the trivial nature of owning things. You hear stories of folks who like, lose their entire estate to a fire, and a couple of months down the road they say something heroic like “I’ve never been happier! I have my health, my thoughts and my dog, and that’s all a man really needs anyway!” and a part of you wants to hold a real big bony middle finger up to that plastic smile on the TV set, and curse him for being so typical, just so cliché in the face of his tragedy, but another part of you is just damn jealous that this guy could take his life anywhere, jump on a train and head for the hills, for a city built in the clouds, for Atlantis, for Rapture, just pack up his dog and his thoughts and his memories into a duffle and live in the alley of Nowhere, USA, and you’re stuck with your satanically sharp set of cutting knives, and your discount recliner, and your thread counts and your iComforts, and suddenly you wonder what IS the boiling point of my life? and you semi-erotically, semi-thermodynamically, start to fantasize about your house going up in flames. You crave a good hot bath.

I like to look around at everyone. Sit in the coffee shop and look at every funny face that passes by and makes noise.

I’ve got sensitive nipples that get real hard in the cold, when I exercise, or when I’m vehement, like when a girl sits down quietly and recites her story about being raped to me, then finishes with “I’ve never told anyone else in my life before,” and I start breathing heavy through my nostrils, looking at my lap, and there they are, the nipples, hard as a rock, hard as her past, hard as those bloody visions of vaginal injustice, sticking out through the fabric of my shirt. My nipples also tend to become chaffed when I run, but only the right one, and only when I run real far, and but did you hear that people are still being raped?????

???????

I’ve got a cynic that’s buried in a vision of a better world and a happy life and a default setting that requires me to be nice to fucking everyone I know, even the folks that don’t deserve it, even the ones that have broken me into a million little ants of my former self, ready to rebuild the colony after a real big flood (that’s actually just a curious, yet criminal, nine-year old with a garden hose), but I’ve never been raped, but I was a shaken baby, and god damn it I thought I never would write that down, and now I feel that sudden rush to the heart, to the nose, to the eyes, right before you kinda cry and lose your shit, out of nowhere, but I can’t because I’m in a coffee shop and a sad song is playing, and I’m wearing a pink shirt, and that shit would be too good for anyone watching, headlines read LOCAL EFFEMINATE BOY TEARY IN STARBUCKS, SAM SMITH ON RADIO, but I spent my first Christmas in the hospital, tubes sucking goo and pressure from my skull, needles the size of number 2 pencils gauged into my brain, like The Matrix, pulling the trauma of the shaking and my jelly-like brain right out of me, leaving scars and dents of events I’ll never remember, that I never knew happened, if it weren’t for those scars, and those photographs, and statistically speaking I should be dead, or mentally dead, but yet here I am, and here we are, and I’ve never really told many people that before, and ain’t that just something?????????

I’m going to take a bath to Paul Simon’s Peace Like a River and imagine the love of my life.

~

I know that a lot of folks read The Leaky Faucet. I really, really, cannot thank you enough. Every time one of you comes out of the woodwork and lets me know…well, that’s magic. So if you could do me a favor, my dear reader, and reveal yourself, publicly or otherwise, if you got to the end of this piece, to where we are now. And just tell me your favorite color, just so I know you’re there, that you’re a face in the dark rows of velvet seats, invisible to the bright lights of the stage that is this space.

Just tell me your favorite color.

Grazie mille.

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On Books (or: An Epitaph for the Immortally Dead Men)

One day, I will write a book.

I will write an entire book, from start to finish. I will bind it in a deep, forest green. It will look terribly simple on the front, the title written in a pale, yellow Times New Roman. The back will feature absolutely nothing. Inside of the book will be words, mostly, because that’s the fodder for imagination.

I’ve been reading quite a lot lately, which is something I typically can’t still still long enough to do. Like everything, I have no patience, but at least enough to almost finish something. That’s how it has been with books lately, except I really love finishing them.

One book I’ve read recently is called Slaughterhouse-Five. It is written by Kurt Vonnegut, whose name I have been mispronouncing my entire life. Here is one of my favorite lines, which I have highlighted with a cheap, yellow marker, in the copy that I’ve bought:

“I don’t think Trout has ever been out of the country,” Rosewater went on.  “My God – he writes about Earthlings all the time, and they’re all Americans. Practically nobody on Earth is an American.”

Ain’t that just something?

This book also features other fantastic literary nuggets; alphabetical orgasms, if you will, such as:

On the ninth day, the hobo died. So it goes. His last words were, “You think this is bad? This ain’t bad.”

“Valencia was snoring like a bandsaw.”

and

In went water and loaves of blackbread and sausage and cheese, and out came shit and piss and language.”

I’ve been reading these books and I’ve been feeling all sorts of things. I’ve been hallucinating vividly and I’ve been giggling to myself in the corner of the coffee shop. I’ve paused a hundred times to look up at all the passing people and wonder if they’re catching on to me, on to my secret, on to this feeling that all of my books have been giving me.

I feel like I just found infinity.

And I don’t wanna share it!

You know, there’s a voice inside your head when you read. Except it’s not your voice. It doesn’t really have a sound at all, actually, and that’s something I can’t stop thinking about. Who is that voice? What is it, in all of its androgyne and colorful monotone? Who’s reading to you all these little words right now? It ain’t me. I promise.

I read a book called The Little Prince two weeks ago, and that’s because of some wonderful human in California who told me I should. It only took me an hour to read, but I’ll think about it forever and ever. Ain’t that just something? Here are a couple of things I highlighted from that book in my cheap, yellow marker:

“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”***

A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.”***

and

“When someone blushes, doesn’t that mean ‘yes’?”***

***It must be emphasized that The Little Prince was originally written in French, and these are simply the closest versions of those thoughts, replicated in our silly bastard of a tongue.

I am experiencing a spiritual awakening, and it is simply because of all these books I’ve read.

It’s funny to think about hearing the thoughts of dead men. Nowadays, we get about 80 years, give or take, and Orwell got 46. And 64 years dead, he talked to me, in that little monotonous voice inside my skull, and he made my blood pump through my heart, and he carved a few new valleys in the gelatin that is my brain. Orwell isn’t dead. Orwell is conquering at the imperishable age of 112.

You know, I think everyone has forgotten how to be sexy. I think we all forgot, because our whole life is an image. It’s a filtered photograph on the screen of some horny teenager, masturbating in spouts of 6 seconds at a time to a scanty-clad pale, naked body on the other side of the state. The image disappears and he’s feasting for the follow-up.

There’s a 25 year-old woman somewhere who is drinking water for dinner. In the morning, an IV of morphine will push her into a sugar-filled fantasy-land while silicone inflates a pair of plump, throbbing nipples. In three weeks, she will throw out all of her used brassieres in the advent of the Semi-Annual Sale. Also, she’s still drinking water for dinner.

The internet rages on about fat-shaming, skinny-shaming, big assess and the thesis statement of All About that Bass. They will make flipbooks of the “ideal” woman from the 50’s and empower themselves with the words of Kennedy’s closet fucktoy. They will blame photoshop for Justin’s dick and stylishly worship the winged heroines of the apocalypse.

Sexy, my loves, has nothing to do with your body. You will learn this only when you read more books.

Sexy is a vocabulary. Sexy is confidence and radiance and a magnetic laugh. Sexy is knowing what makes Venus spin backwards and the taste of red wine. Sexy is a glowing bead of sweat on the brow of a 6:00am run. My god, sexy is the way you move, the way you think, the commentary of your dancing hips bathed in the lanterns of a summer patio party. Sexy is the imagination and the expression of the soul. Sexy is what you don’t show. Sexy knows when to fuck and when to make moonlight love, when to wear a black dress and when to wear nothing at all. Sexy is the elegant antithesis of that stupid, minuscule image you have in your head of the ideal ass. Sexy is why the book is always better than the movie. Always.

I’ve been reading these books and they’ve been turning me on. And you think that lacy underwear is the trick.

It’s funny, to hold faith to one book. I’ve read ten books at least that brought me some sort of enlightenment, and have pushed me farther away from worshipping the crucifix. But a lover of jesus isn’t looking for that at all. I could throw a believer in a sea of literature, in an ocean of knowledge that puts a bible to shame. They’ll drown in martyrdom, willingly, stubbornly, holding the failing raft that is the new testament.

I bring that up only because a 52 year-old man is sitting behind me with a group of three, 15 year-old girls. Collectively, they’re not even his age. They’re as desperately impressionable as a wet sponge, and all I can hear from his flabby mouth is “Christ is the answer.” Their eyes are glassed over as they nod like puppets. He smiles plastically.

Just as easily, I could lean over and whisper “Don’t eat your breakfast and you’ll lose 5 pounds a week!” And they would listen. And they would skip breakfast. And that is because they’re 15 year-old girls.

Ain’t that just something?

I read this book recently called The Alchemist. Some people say it saved their lives. Personally, it makes me want to go to the desert. In that book, Paulo Coelho writes:

The simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them.”***

***Similarly, this book was originally written in Portuguese, which they speak in Brazil.

I guess I’m just clinging on to all these words, the stories and hearts of dead poets. And it made me want to write, to dream, to breathe,

to touch infinity.

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January

I’m nostalgic and I just wanna write.

It’s funny just how quickly it all moves. I read my favorite post from last year, called “July ” and it inspired me to write the follow-up, which is this one. I remember that summer day so well, because it was my favorite one…and somehow it’s all completely changed. It wasn’t even six months ago.

I just ordered some Thai food. I’ll probably go get that once I’m done writing. I like that when you order Thai, or Chinese, you have to speak really clearly. Well, you don’t have to, but you sort of automatically start speaking really clearly, like you’re giving a presentation to an old folk’s home, because you know that the other little voice on the end of the line didn’t grow up where you did. They come from somewhere else, and they probably miss someone there, someone who rides a bicycle in the summer and has hair that gets messy in the wind. I think that’s a really nice gesture.

I’ve been having these really vivid dreams. For months, I’ve just been seeing all sorts of folks from my past. And they’re warm and they smile, and we’re in a town or on an airplane or in the basement of a nice home back east. Last night, you were in my dream, and you kissed my forehead, and I remembered what it was like when you still looked at me with fire in your eyes. And I had to cross some sort of busy highway just to get to the bus that would take us both away. I didn’t get all the way across, though, because cars were zooming past me like lightning, and suddenly I just woke up. I didn’t want to wake up, but I did. Dreams like those, they’ll wake you up.

I’m sitting here and it’s really quiet, but it’s not the nice kind of quiet. I think that January always brings some sort of void. Maybe it’s because everything happens so fast during the fall, and this is just the echo of a very huge bang! like smoke from the firecrackers at midnight. I think everyone feels it, because when I walk on a busy street, people are looking at their feet. I wonder sometimes if men know the importance of a good shoe. I don’t think that’s what they’re thinking about, though, when they walk around downtown in January.

I overheard some students today at the coffee shop and all they could talk about was people on television. They could only talk about people that they know on campus. They kept talking about changing their majors by using abbreviations like “comp” and “polysci” and “soc-“. And somehow they all looked the same, and they all sounded the same, like a battalion marching in cadence. They just sounded the exact same. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t believe them. I couldn’t believe anything they were saying to be real, honest thoughts. Why do we fill the air with such empty blabber? I felt sorry for these young people that could only talk about television.

I read a perfect book recently. It’s called “The Little Prince”. Have you read it before? I went to a bookstore and I found it on the very bottom of the shelf, nestled right next to my favorite book, which is called “The Catcher in the Rye” (and actually I forgot to tell you: I had to sit down cross-legged to find this book, and the carpet left a funny pattern on my leg, which I noticed later when I started reading the book). (Oh, and I also forgot to tell you: I bought this book because someone told me it was their favorite book, and when someone says that, I think it’s important to read that book, so that you know what that person’s soul is like). (Oh, and please remember one more thing: all grown-ups were once children, although few of them remember it. That’s from “The Little Prince”). (I think I’m going to read a lot more books now).

Recently, I decided I wanted to become better at drawing human faces. I think that a lot of people are really beautiful, and the best way you could make them believe that is by showing them their own face. Except it’s their face made by your hands, the way you see them. I admire people that can draw faces really well because they’re quite difficult! If you ever try, you will notice that people have two differently shaped eyes. Most of the time, one of these eyes is just slightly more closed than the other, like the person is almost ready to wink at you. You will also notice that girls are much more difficult to draw, and that is because they are much more beautiful. It’s quite hard to draw beautiful things. It’s quite easy to draw ugly things.

I think that nobody comes from one place in particular. I think that you actually come from a hundred places, because you’re always moving around. For example, I think that I come from a city in west Texas, but I also come from the corner of “University” and “Broadway”, and that’s because I spent quite a lot of time there, thinking about myself, and drinking coffee, and talking with strangers. You come from almost everywhere. I think that’s why we get nostalgic, like the way I feel right now. We get nostalgic because we can remember things, and people, and places where we used to be. It feels strange to remember them, because they feel closer to your heart when you think about them, even though they’re very far away.

Anyway.

I think that it’s probably time to go get my Thai food. I ordered the “Stir-fry Veggie Noodles”, in case you were wondering, with medium hotness. When I get to the restaurant, there will be a man there who wears a wedding ring and smiles all the time. He always calls me “sir”, even though I’m much younger! I think he comes from a country called “Nepal”, which I understand is near India, and I think is also where Mt. Everest sits. I wonder who…well, I just got a really really scary phone call, and that leads me to this:

I think that being alive is really something else, and that remembering things is why we love to live so much. I wonder what it would be like if we couldn’t remember anything. I think that would be very frightening, and I don’t want to think about it. I would rather be alive, exactly like this, and remember everything.

I’m nostalgic and I just wanna write.

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The Beetle’s Causeway

I have coffee.  Let’s write.

Two years ago, I wrote a book about a beetle. This beetle actually was not a beetle at all; rather a boy, with a bicycle, and a relentless call to adventure. I’ve been thinking a lot about that story lately and the analogy that inspired it, and I’d like to share some thoughts tonight.

I’d like you to imagine yourself as a little bug crawling up a tree.

Like a termite, you live between wood and bark. Every move you make is traced behind you, etching into the oak the wood shavings of your life. Occasionally, you bump into another little beetle who is doing the same, and he finds himself wanting to glide along your path. After all, it’s much easier to push through the splinters with a friend.

Soon enough, though, he remembers this path is not his. So he wheels around to the other side of the trunk, leaving you to your lane. And you keep carving along.

Sometimes the beetle friend stays a long time; other times he bites you for getting in his way. Sometimes the beetle friend wants you to help him with his path, since you’re a very good gnawer and you love to work. Sometimes you can help. Sometimes, though, you can’t, even though you really wish you could. So you leave him to his work. And you keep carving along.

Time moves away. “Ah,” you think, “I sure do miss that old beetle friend!”

And then you have a wonderful thought! You pause for a moment, then crawl up the wall of your little trench. Behind you is a very long valley, ahead lies a monolith of wood to sculpt. From the top of your canal, you catch a glimpse of the beetle friend. And what you see breaks your little beetle heart, only a little bit.

He has found another little beetle friend.

They are both so joyous, laughing, swimming through the wood like a dart cutting through smoke. A hopelessness fills your little soul as you stare at the empty path beneath you. From this moment, the tree seems impossibly tall, the wood inscrutably thick, sinking you back into the trench.

Months and years pass and eventually you match the pace of an earlier time. The wood tastes better than ever!

Out of nowhere, another little beetle friend traverses your canal. Another pair of mandibles to nibble through the oak. Another path and another tree and another little beetle friend. Soon enough, another little beetle friend with another, separate little beetle path. Another little beetle lost to the woods.

And you keep carving along.

~

The new year is approaching. People start reflecting on the last eleven months, gearing up for some arbitrary strike of midnight to change a mindset or break some shitty habit. More obnoxious than the pagan-turned-consumer shit-show that just transpired on the 25th is the “In 2015, I will…”

But everyone needs their reset button. People are seasonal. I can respect that.

I’ve lost some loved ones this year. I lost some loved ones last year. I’ve lost a lot of loved ones over the course of my little life. I think we all have. Girls leave you, friends choose to move away, grandmothers die and husbands cheat. And sometimes even you are the one doing the leaving.

This year, though, I’ve noticed that humans have a tendency to possess.

We want to keep things. We want to hold things. We collect stamps and we collect likes and we collect other people and their lives. We’re needy and jealous and controlling and insecure and we can’t live without the affirmation or the friendships around us. It’s just a constant barrage of holding onto people and not letting go. This year, though, I think I figured it out. I think I really figured it out.

I want you to remember your last breakup.

Luckily for me, I had two this year. The first was with my best friend. We broke up because he chose to follow the love of his life, which was in the opposite direction of me. The second was with a girl that was much too busy to be with me. I suppose distance really is a killer.

Typically, I would be destroyed. I’ve been to the bottom of the well of heartbreak, and I’ve seen you there, too. Yet neither of these things broke me. They did not break my heart at all, and that’s because of one little tidbit of wisdom that has defined the past six months of Sammy G:

If you love a flower, don’t pick it up. Because if you pick it up it dies and ceases to be what you love. So if you love a flower, let it be. Love is not about possession. Love is about appreciation.” -Osho

I guess that’s just it. I think that’s the secret. I really do.

You always have two choices. You can choose to sulk in the loss. You can choose to despise and be bitter and fill your heart with words of hate and malice. You can seek revenge and you can blame and you can curse the name of the one you once loved. You can hold on to this person like a porcupine and hope that the quills don’t prick.

You can keep possessing this person.

Or you can just keep on loving them.

That’s what I learned to do. That’s it. Just leave the flower alone. Just leave the flower there and admire the fucking fuck out of it. Just look at that flower and all of its sexy petals and its cute little stem and its beautiful little anthers and stigmas (and yes I did just google flower anatomy). Just give that flower a little bit more water and worship that little thing. One day, a little bee is going to buzz over to your little flower and treat it all kind and gentle. It’s going to treat it a million times better than you because you’re a human with big fat clumsy fingers that crushes shit.

I love those little flowers. I always will, forever and ever.

I think everyone leaves. Everyone just leaves, at some point or another. Everyone is always moving away from you. You have a flicker in time, a moment, an explosion, and then a flash of fleeting memory to keep in your head. That’s it.

So here we are. The end of this year.

I guess I wanted to share this because I’m proud of myself. I’m really proud of myself for this because I think it saved me from a lot of hurt. Just a ton of hurt could’ve occurred, and instead, because of that little nugget of wisdom, I started smiling. I started imagining those two little beetles and their little beetle lives. I imagined a better path, with a better beetle, on a better tree than the one of my own.

I imagine a sea of trees, a million little mandibles and a billion little wings. I imagine a trillion little causes along a trillion little ways. I imagine all the beetles chirping as they etch along the wood, gloating in the light of the day and the advent of being alive. I can hear their songs echo through the cities of leaves and branches. The sculpture in the oak a testament to their past, the legacy of the bugs that lived and loved so well. Among them, there I am. A bug, too.

And I keep carving along.

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