she says
i'm going to call her in a month. that i'll regret this. that i'm fooling myself with deliberate and childish illusions.
and i know she's right.
as are suggestions that the choices we make should revolve around concepts like personal happiness that will last.

why are the links to my archives so sketchy?

put a lid on the pot and steam for approximately 20 minutes

Stewing. Mostly listening to music. Then the mood strikes and I dial. Selfish and childish with each click. I know he’s at work, and I sit cross-legged on the floor in front of the portable stereo. Tape queued. Wait for the tone. Wait for it. Then I hold the receiver to the speaker and allow every last note of James Taylor’s Fire and Rain to trip through the wires. And I hope when he gets home – the feeling I’ve got will suddenly be transported into his body – the compression of the chest – the shortness of breath – a twinge between the shoulder and neck – the knowledge that there’s someone else out there who’ll hold you and let you cry – even without good reason.


Earlier today I wondered about distinctions made between honesty and neediness. Perhaps the distinction can be derived in the motivation – people viewing themselves as victims fall prey to neediness and people viewing themselves as survivors are just being honest?

That sounds a bit more self-serving than I intended. I shouldn’t probably even be worrying over these concepts. I’ve got good friends that I can trust and depend on.

this isn't my Canadian Paul


but you should go there anyway

perspectives – extrapolating from the tips of conversations

An integral distinction exists between survival and strength. Although the two terms are in many ways interdependent, they are certainly not synonymous. I survive. It’s what I know how to do. But strength is another matter that seems to be intricately balanced with weakness. It has to do with the ability to exercise voice and logic, and I lack that capability far too often.

This kind of honesty leaves me feeling stained like fingertips from the print of yesterday’s cheap newspaper. It’s what can keep me at a distance from the people I care about. Because when you tell these kinds of stories, you become something other than who you are – who they thought you were. When you say all the things I could say – some of which I’ve said here – you become the subject of a raised eyebrow – the hushed voices upon your approach. Ultimately, you become the unhealthy. The broken. And nobody wants to be with that person. People with problems, even in the past, don’t make good friends or lovers. It’s a stigma that keeps me from participating in too much self-revelation. People only believe they want to know you, then mostly there is judgement followed by self-immolation.

Mostly, I wonder in these situations if people can recognize the difference between honesty and neediness. I’ve certainly never been looking for someone to fix me. Having never viewed myself as broken to begin with.

Thoughts like these are what simultaneously hold me here and keep me running. They provide me with the realization that I’ve made it through worse times, but making it through those times taints my future possibilities as well.

I like who I am.
Even my flaws and inconsistencies.
I am that person as a result of everything that has come before.
I do not regret, therefore, any of my experiences.
And I don’t think I’m so fucked up –
Not any more or less than people who’ve lead relatively normal lives, I guess.

on being wrong

tonight – honesty hit me in the head like a steel-toed boot
i don’t say what i mean to say often enough
and when it really counts
the difficulty lies less in the discovery than in the resolve
my guess is
resolution will taste more like lemons than whipped cream and baileys

a notion I won’t breathe into a satisfaction by saying aloud

"These seconds when I'm shaking leave me shuddering for days"
“Anna Begins” -- Counting Crows


Earlier today I saw myself kneel down in the driveway that runs along the length of our house. Hold my head in my hands and cry real tears. The sharp rocks and edges of asphalt tearing into my skin. If I believed in a god, I would have been praying.

This picture filled my head as I stood on the edge of the drive – facing the street. While the things I need faded slowly into the distance with the retreating cars.

forsaking all others

I wonder if he’s ever forgiven me for the choices I’ve made. This memory floods back only after recently using that camera. The same one I carried the day I went hiking with friends and the rocky ledge we’d tried to traverse gave way. Allowing each one of us to spill down the side of the mountain like marbles let loose from their bag. Scattered and torn we flew. I stopped hard against the trunk of a tree. Had the wind knocked out of me and worried more about the cracked camera lens than anything more vital as we drove the winding motorway to our respective homes. It was only later, when I started hemorrhaging in the back seat of the van that the world starting spinning in uncontrollable irreversible directions. Later when I regained consciousness, friends told me that they were worried about internal injuries. That they rushed me to the nearest hospital – only to find that I had lost something else. The stern face of the doctor telling me in a dream that I shouldn’t have been so careless. All I could think about in the hours that followed was my Uncle Dale. The only tangible evidence of him throughout my life – a story of how he died during a rock climbing expedition in Peru. The name Dale echoed in my head even as I made the call to California and sobbed over and over again I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. It’s difficult to lose something that you didn’t even know you had. That you thought you didn’t want. That wasn’t completely yours. And the fact that he’s never allowed forgiveness to say, It wasn’t your fault, leaves me feeling unimaginable and complex responsibility.

tattoos continued

Jules says the tattoo is a bird with black wings and is meant to represent the Greek mythological figure Nyx. He wants it because Nyx was born out of Chaos. He says that is the connection to me – that out of chaos we became who we are now. It’s enough to make me cry. We are who we are because of those difficult times and because of each other, and the fact that he might permanently mark his body in honor of that concept reminds me just how important friendships can be if we allow them.

Yesterday Paul suggested that I learn French. If you did, he said quite seriously, you could move here and we could get married. I argued that I wouldn’t need to know French and that we were both currently engaged in long term relationships. But what he really wants is a baby, and that’s something that neither Andy nor I can give. We’re all unconventional anyway, he protested to my protestations. He’s right about being unconventional. I suppose we are or perhaps should be. In the end, I told him he sounded like a weak sitcom plot. He quickly let the subject drop.

But it did give us the opportunity to speak about Jak again. Told Paul that I remember having many conversations with Jak about marriage. Bonds that last forever. He wasn’t a fan of much western tradition. Jak always told me that neither one of us were meant to be married. That we were restless – tempestuous – and better when left to our own devices. I think I was too young in those days to understand what he meant. Now those discussions feel like premonitions. Girl, he said, If two souls are meant to be tied together for all eternity – well, then, they will be. And I think there must be some kind of truth to that. At least for me.

test post -- blogspot issues

life changes instigate drastic shifts in appearance

Rang Paul and asked if he would design a tattoo for me. We discussed ideas and concepts. He’s done some beautiful work in the past for himself, Jules, and Andy. He’s just done a new one for Jay that supposedly has something to do with me and they’ve all promised to send pictures. The whole conversation came after discussing scars and intentional vs. unintentional markings with a different friend. Not unlike a conversation I’ve had of late with someone else who talked of making a video to capture these kinds of permanent marks on the body. And how these spots on our bodies define us, in lots of ways, or at least remind us where we’ve come from. Are scars beautiful? Yes. They can be. Especially when you know how to read them. Do I regret the loss of mine? Yes. Sometimes I do. As if their removal made the receipt less real. And now there are only words and vague memories on which to rely.

I’m thinking of something that covers my back from one shoulder blade to the other. Not a picture, but a pattern or a symbol. Something tribal and deliberate. We’ll see. There’s something we’ve discussed that would be a sleeve of sorts – starting at the shoulder and extending to the wrist. It originates with an African symbol that represents lessons learned from the past.

Makes me feel like I’m only just exchanging one set of marks for another.

I asked Paul if he’d had any contact with Cam recently, but sadly they’ve not spoken since they parted ways at art school many years ago. Said he’s no idea where he might have gotten to these days. Cam’s got the only pictures of my body before the dermabrasion and other treatments, and lately I’ve considered trying to get my hands on them. Likely, I’ll not try any harder than this.

Although Paul did mention that he’d had word from Jak. Said he only mentioned it because I asked after Cam. Jak’s been home visiting relatives – apparently he moved to Africa a few years ago. Failed to ask Paul exactly where he’d gone. He’s changed his name to Jax – pronounced sort of like Jacques. Strange to think someone I cared so much for has been living all this time so far away. Paul said he asked about me – and was apparently surprised to hear that I’d married “the white man.” I laughed at that and knew exactly what he meant. Said we should all come visit him soon. That it would inevitably change our lives. I’m sure it would. Just as sure that none of us will ever be able to go.

this site seems interesting

Strange Days
will have to keep clicking there now and again.


received an unexpected postcard from Mike to say:

I’ve lost the path to, not the desire for, your thoughts.

and maybe I’ve lost my way as well
only needing words from a sweet distant boy to wake me up
take me by the shoulders and shake
perhaps it was the starkness. the realness of the words
handwritten on a piece of paper and mailed
personally to me
it’s important to have something to touch
to hold tightly between the palms of hands
reminding us that we are alive and capable of human emotion
and that someone else gives a fuck
about anything at all

It’s the promises we make to ourselves
that hurt so much when they’re broken.

And I wonder, sometimes, if it isn’t really my voice that is broken – rather than my will or conviction. I suppose it’s easier to believe that way. Makes me feel much less responsible and afraid. Perhaps that’s all lies are good for.

The plan and the emergency contingency have all but faded into the distance, and I’m left here – staring like a child into the palm of my hands looking for the answers. Even then all that comes clear are Wolf’s words again and again in my head – when if not now? And I know she’s right. I know she’s been right all along, and I’ve just got to find a way.

Last night I realized

that I’m always standing just outside a door
in the dark
smoking cigarettes
waiting for something

Right now – it’s the waiting that’s the problem.


comovedy says this site is spooky.

Quite right. As any story filled with ghosts should be.

i'll be back in about a week.
best --

auroral perceptions

If you've ever wondered how I feel sometimes, listen to Tom Petty's "Free Falling." It's there, somewhere, in the graveled chorus. The yearning that begins to swell at the diaphragm and spreads slowly upward into the throat. Lingers on the tip of the tongue. Like the moments preceding release. Until I open my mouth and everything spills out into gigantic reflective pools around me.

are you awake?

I know the answer before he provides one. He's only just gotten to bed hours ago. There were friends over and late night drinking. He isn't angry. Sounds relieved to hear me on the other end, even though I've not said anything at all. He asks what is it that I want? Whispers it in a sleepy headed voice that I've grown to depend on. Like an invisible hand against my back that pulls me into the fold.

I needed your voice. Sing something.
I don't know. Something soft and wonderful and lovely.
Shine on your light. Lead me to your home . . .
I love that song.
I know.
Though apartheid's a greater issue. I long to hear "I miss you"
He's getting into it now. Wailing D'Arby's words like a sanctuary.
All I know is I'm lonely
And I need to be with someone tonight

He sings other songs afterward. A few of his own. Plays me something new on the guitar. Tries a bit of the Commodores' "Easy." Even though I assure him that he's no Lionel Richie. Finishes with a sweet soft Foo Fighters' "Walking After You" before we say our good-byes and I love yous.

things that feel good

shrugging off responsibility to mess with my blog template

An excerpt from:
-- Galway Kinnell, 1971

Dear stranger
extant in memory by the blue Juniata,
these letters across space I guess
will be all we will know of one another.

So little of what one is threads itself through the eye
of empty space.

Never mind.
The self is the least of it.
Let our scars fall in love.


I’m thankful for a good friend who mentioned this author to me just recently -- while passing notes to one another about the importance of memories and rocks and sugar coatings. I’m a lucky lucky person to be allowed to know, to know, and be known by so many amazing people.

I call.
He isn't home.
I whisper into his answering machine:

if ever
there will always be
there will always be



I don't identify myself. He'll know it's me playing wicked games with the recording of voices over miles away to decipher in a drunken stupor at two am or three am. Maybe he'll save me until the morning and listen to me again. See if he can make out any sense to it all. Mostly he'll probably just smile and hit delete and whisper curses back at me in the dark hallway that leads into the family room of his empty house. And I'll smile back from the picture he keeps hanging on the oatmeal colored fridge in the kitchen. But I'll be at least a decade younger and still living only a short walk away.