VOLONTÉ



when you said today that suicide was an option

Dear David,

When I was in middle school, I never went. I failed 6th grade. My father died when I was seven, and it really screwed up the gears in my head, so much that I made myself sick from going. My mother wasn’t around, so I lived with my grandmother for some time.

I knew I was different. I felt like I could never fit in with the other kids. It never left my mind, and it made me terrified to be around them. I believed I didn’t belong, here or anywhere, and that the other kids felt the same way. Everything that once seemed familiar began to slip away; everything that I enjoyed only left reminders how things are different now. They didn’t mean the same thing like when I was younger, my games and television shows, my books and friendships. They didn’t mean anything.

Sometimes, it’s impossible to swallow how alone we can really be, and it comes out instead in pain. Pain in your chest from being rejected. Pain in your head from worry. The way I got out of going back to school was chronic stomach pains, gagging into a toilet bowl until something measly came back up. Eventually, doctors evaluated my condition and discovered it wasn’t all in my imagination: the pain seeped into stress-ulcers and my body responded. This pain: it cripples your mind like a runner with a broken leg. It’s real. It’s important.

The pain will never really vanish, but it gets easier as we learn how to carry it. Some choose to live with their chronic pain; some choose to end it. You will always have that choice, like I have that choice, every day, when we wake up: Can I go onward?

This fear shows itself like a skyscraper in flames, and I’m racing the fire to the top with nowhere else to go. Do I burn into ash from the heat or jump from the building to the far ground below? Burning to death would be slower, more painful, but I might be saved. To jump would be to give up on hope.

I choose to carry the weight and give this pain meaning, for nobody’s benefit but my own.

Let me know whenever you are ready to talk, if you want to talk at all. Remember, despite how isolated you may feel, we are all in this together, for better or worse.

Mr. C

grad school and isolation and being seen as responsible and staring at the holes tunneling beneath eyes and wondering if you still smoke menthols and bagworm nests and a cat who smells like rum and miniature cities and singing by yourself in a crowded bar and is this enough

Spiraling. Plummeting. Failing.
They’re all just words.

I have successfully made every person who loves conditionally hate me.

Is this living yet?

I’m writing again.

My professors seem to have more confidence in me than ever.

I think it’s time for me to start using some of that confidence, too.

I haven’t felt this low in a long goddamn time.

Nothing seems to be getting done. Nothing moves, nothing persists, nothing happens from nothing to nothing; nothing has meaning.

Rei walked out. I guess I walked out a long time ago, maybe before the whole thing started. I’m weak, that’s the only thing I learned in the last year.  There’s nothing left for me here in this town. I don’t know if there will ever be anything for me at all. It is how it is. I’m too picky.

I like to think back when I was excited to do something with my momentum. Before the drugs and infectious relationships. Before I started seeing myself as given up. Empty memories in a warped living room. Pictures soaking in panged nostalgia. Everything adds up to this. Everything burrows into isolation. Everything and nothing, side by side, locking hands like dweebs; isn’t it a sight.

Annie Oakley by Miniature Tigers

Looking forward to see these fellas tomorrow night.

(49 plays)

You stopped by today, hung over with pigtails.

I packed a bowl, and we talked about the correct environment for music, your choir career at Georgia State, and the stacking of journals. I like the dizzy spin everything around takes whenever I meet your eyes listening to the pleasant husky tone of your voice. Call into work; tell them you’ll be running late.

Everyone falls in love with you, and you pretend not to notice. What a flame, those forced expressions and fluffed bravado. I’m the same as the rest. So I laugh, and the heart shaped scab on your temple lives only in a dream.

Get to work. You have a long way to go.

Am I ready to start over?

Love seems to be a lot of empty notions and idealistic pushing.

There needs to be pages on the desk,
and You left me with writer’s block.

What a waste. What a terrible waste.

You left your toothbrush.

I use it now. It’s not that I miss swapping the bacteria of our mouths or the countless times we stared at each other, jaws ajar, while we moaned sudsy quips before class. When you left, I realized how feeble my own toothbrush is. There’s no grip, no direction; it only rubs the wrong way. I just needed a better toothbrush, and I don’t feel motivated to go out and buy another one. You can’t simply buy a new toothbrush; it must mold to your mouth. Everyone develops varying pallets. We all have a flavor to get off on. It remembers you, and I am slowly beginning to see those verdant eyes beaming across candlelight, red hair floating beyond tender shoulders in that black dress, fade into the surrounding darkness.

Your toothbrush does the job.

I read somewhere over a year ago in a sensational Daoist text that there are micro-cosmos within us all. A balancing act between the forces that hold our bodies together and the energies that dismantle them. Original thought, like breathing, a byproduct of this clashing energy. Lao Tzu pressed that our bodies are the reflection of the chaotic universe. What can never be full will always be empty, look into the stars and view the engulfing black; we, a well of bottomless ideas, must accept our emptiness as truth.

I wake up from mixed dreams: fairies dancing on butterfly wings, rough girls with matted hair, upside down faces whispering in marble art galleries, a home. I study the way light squeezes through the silver sliver and wonder the same for myself. Where am I seeping into?

Am I the light or the darkness?
I know the answer.

Has it been a month since she packed her bags and left for Indiana? It’s funny sleeping next to someone one moment, and when you wake up a year has vanished. Everything fades in slumber: the passion, the words, and knotted feelings who show themselves around whiskey and water. I am wrung out, scrambling up an old ruin of myself hoping to find something familiar. There is nothing left whole.

An old favorite said, “I wanted the whole world - Or nothing.”

Where is that one I love,
She’s gone back home to the ones she loves;

Why do I waste all this time waiting