My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Perfect words

June 03rd, 2011 | Category: Life,Thoughts on Music,Writing

I’ve said that I admire Elliott Smith as a writer, I think he was a genius. He’s a writer whose level of brilliance I aspire toward. He captured human experiences so perfectly, told these perfect little stories of love and loss and sadness and loneliness and addiction in just a few hundred words. Theres’s a special skill in that, no less brilliant and beautiful than the tens of thousands of words that writers like KJ Bishop, or Michael Cisco, or Jeff VanderMeer put into their stories.  It’s not easy to capture how it feels to lose someone you love, to capture it in a way that is universally accessible, in just a handful of words. Smith’s Sweet Adeline off his fourth record, XO, is a gorgeous example of describing the end of love and the aftermath of that ending.

Waiting for sedation to disconnect my head, for any situation where I’m better off than dead.

He felt that, put it into words, perfect words. It’s how I feel right now, and a thousand times before right now, and probably a thousand times after right now.

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Thirty

December 31st, 2010 | Category: Life

So, I’m thirty today, and I don’t feel in good spirits.

I had this dream last night that I went for a fresh trach. They put me under for the procedure, I felt the drugs and I felt myself fall asleep, everything seemed so real. Then I started thinking something was wrong, I was someplace dark, and I kept thinking that I should be in the recovery area and I should have my computer and I should be talking to people, but I was just all alone in this unformed, incomprehensible, dark place. I kept telling myself it had to be a dream and I just had to wake up, but I couldn’t wake up. I kept trying, but I couldn’t make myself wake up. I was really frightened, if I couldn’t wake up, it had to be real. I started calling someone’s name, and calling, screaming. In all my dreams, even if I have my trach, I can still talk. That should have tipped me off that none it was real, but no. I kept calling for her in a voice she’s never heard before, but I was just alone in that dark place. I was terrified because I figured I really was dead, I’d never get to be with her again. That’s the part that scared me about being dead, I wouldn’t just wake up and go back to her. She always makes me promise to come back to her before trach changes, and I always promise.

I was so scared when I did wake up, my heart was pounding, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. She was next to me and I felt that warm, safe feeling, but not for long. I remembered she’d be gone soon, and I remembered some other things I don’t care to write, and anything that felt warm and safe went away. I just want today to be tomorrow.

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Rigor Amortis Launch!

October 01st, 2010 | Category: Life,Writing,Zombie Erotica

So, Rigor Amortis launched today, the collection of zombie erotica and romance flash fiction which contains one of my stories. It’s a really good collection, stories ranging from sweet to sexy, disturbing to terrifying. Rigor Amortis mixes horror and love, death and sex, it bends genre barriers until they break, creating unexpectedly wonderful stories. If this sounds interesting, pick up a copy on Amazon. I’d love to get some feedback on my tale sex and the undead.

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Rigor Amortis trailer

September 29th, 2010 | Category: Life,Writing,Zombie Erotica

So, the trailer for Rigor Amortis is live and eating brains! In case you missed it, Rigor Amortis is an anthology of flash fiction, tales of zombie romance and erotica, and it includes one of my stories. One might see “zombie erotica” and be a little taken aback, but trust me, zombies and sex are like chocolate and peanut butter, they just work. I can’t really explain why they work, they just do. You could buy the book for yourself and find out, that’s what I’d do.

Rigor Amortis comes out this Friday…

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Well, goodbye

May 25th, 2010 | Category: Creative Flash

So, in about ten minutes I’m going to die. I woke up late, my alarm didn’t go off. My alarm didn’t go off because the power went out. The power went out because, well, and this is so fucking stupid, apparently some giant fucking monster sauntered out of the Pacific Ocean and decided to crush San Diego. Who knows what woke the thing? Maybe it was off-shore oil drilling. Maybe I played my music too loud. Maybe this whole Goddamn thing is my fault because the fucker doesn’t like listening to Heart-Shaped Box at 4 AM. I don’t know, nobody seems to know. Just before the radio went out they were talking about casualties, people abandoning their cars on gridlocked roadways trying to get away on foot, trampling each other to death and getting nowhere. There’s nowhere to go, between the fucking Cloverfield Godzilla Sea Monster and the military trying to kill it, it’s nothing but chaos outside.

I’d rather just sit here with my Goddamn breakfast, my last meal of Fruit Loops and a bottle of vodka, than die out there in that sea of inhumanity. I’m just talking into this tape recorder because it seemed like the thing to do, to save a piece of me. I’m going to get smashed or burned to death, but maybe this tape and my voice will stay without me. I don’t know. Maybe Cloverfield Godzilla whatever the fuck it is will be the end of everything and my stupid voice on this stupid tape won’t mean a Goddamn fuckin’ thing. I don’t know. I really don’t know much of anything after twenty-nine years. I wish I could laugh about this because it’s so absurd, but I can’t. I hear sirens and gunfire, smell smoke and a million dead fish. I’m going to die and I’m scared. I’m thinking about someone who isn’t here, someone I love so much. If you’re alive and you get to hear my voice on this tape, I love you and I wish we’d had more time. I know it’s pointless to say that, but it’s all I can think about just now.

I think I have time to polish off this vodka. I don’t know what’s going to happen to me after I close my eyes for the last time. I wish to God this would just stop, but You’re not going to do anything, are You, you fucker? Maybe You’re not even there and I’m just sitting here talking to no one. If You are there, and You are listening, I’m sorry. I don’t know, I really don’t know anything.

I don’t know what else to say, except, well, goodbye.

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Mirrored

July 20th, 2008 | Category: Life,Random Thought

I love it when something I’m reading reflects things that I often think on. I’m currently reading The Tyrant by Michael Cisco and last night I came across the following passage…

When Ella was thirteen, she realized she was going to die, and for a month she lay awake every night in terror, flat on her back afraid she might vomit, rigid, nodding and starting nearly jolting herself out of bed, finally she would fall asleep. Now she sleeps better but with no warning she is sometimes ambushed and paralyzed with terror of death … Looking around the car, she can see each of these faces in its casket, grey flesh limp, eyes fallen in, nightmare caverns of stiff nostrils black as pitch, sagging ears, slack cheeks drooping away from a wired jaw and permanently sealed, livid mouth … The opposite bench is empty, in the black pane of the window above it there’s a wan dewy frowse, Ella, and above all she can see that face in its casket, purple-black bruises make a wide ring around her eyes, her hair dry as hay, weirdly friable and clumsily gathered on the stiff cushion – “just fucking burn me” she says with cold lips sutured shut.  In her mind’s eye she’s searing, melting and shriveling in the flames, locks of hair flap here and there in gusts of fiery wind – and that would be something like life, it would be a decision – as if she had set the fire – instead of that passive acquiescence to rot away in a wet hole.

I’ve had that exact kind of experience. I remember as a kid, maybe ten or eleven, something like that, I’m in the van looking out the window when the idea hits me that one day the sky and the trees will keep going, but I won’t, I’ll be dead. My mom, my brother, they’ll die too, but even then I realize I’ll probably die first. Everything will keep going, but I won’t. Then I start to think about everything that happened before I was born, how I didn’t exist and time kept going until I did. I remember being absolutely terrified for a few minutes. I remember that experience vividly. Long before the last year or two, before tasting it so many times, I’d thought about death and time and existence.

Sometimes, especially at the mall, I look around at everyone with their cellphones and shopping bags, I think to myself that we’ll all be dead. People who are so young and stylish, texting their friends and drinking chocolate lattes, they’re all going to lose everything that seems so important right now and they won’t exist. I think how some will grow old and die quietly. Some will get sick and die in hospital, slowly, they’ll know it’s coming. Then, of course, I think of myself dying, how it’ll probably be some kind of acute respiratory failure. At least for a few minutes I’ll know what’s happening and I won’t be brave about it. Everyone in the entire mall will be gone, but the world will keep going and that day at the Macy’s and the Starbucks won’t matter at all.

I’m definitely not obsessed, but I do think about these things. Sometimes, like Ella, I don’t sleep.

8 comments

Inspiring?

July 13th, 2008 | Category: Life

A reader recently wrote…

“I wonder sometimes how you feel about being an inspiration. Because you are, as many have noted (including myself).”

I’ve actually been thinking about this and wanting to write about it for awhile. I understand that people think my life is admirable and that I’m brave, but I feel oddly about it. I mean, if my life and the way I write about it helps people, I’m glad, but I’m not trying to be inspirational. I look at myself and I see a list of flaws a mile long. As I think about it, the idea that I inspire people, I’m trying to figure out why it bothers me. I guess there are a few reasons. I feel like people admire me for things that I’m not. People tell me that they love my “positive attitude,” like I’m some sort of motivational speaker, but honestly, I’m naturally melancholy. I’m a little dark, sometimes I’m a lot dark. Sometimes I feel like Aimee Mann is absolutely fucking right about everything. Sometimes I feel like she’s writing about me. 

but you sit there in the darkness, 
and you make plans but they’re hopeless
Another favorite:
So here I’m sitting in my car at the same old stop light 
I keep waiting for a change but I don’t know what 
So red turns into green turning into yellow 
But I’m just frozen here on the same old spot 
And all I have to do is to press the pedal 
But I’m not      

People are tricky you can’t afford to show 
Anything risky anything they don’t know 
The moment you try – well kiss it goodbye 

I have felt just like that so many times. Wait. Before we go any further, I have to say right now, the core of my melancholy isn’t solely from my disability, I definitely don’t want people thinking that, that answer is way too easy. I’m not that archetype. My disability causes obstacles, definitely, but my frustrations are more born from difficulties that I have getting around things that are in my way. I don’t lie around wishing that I could walk, it’s more that I just want the workarounds to be easier. My family’s just as fucked up as anybody’s, but for as long as I can remember, being disabled has been a non-issue. I was never told that I’m “special,” nor was I raised with the idea that being disabled means that I’m expressly limited or broken. I wasn’t raised with the saccharin-sweet idea that I can do “anything,” but I was also never told that couldn’t do things. My disability just has certain facts. I can’t walk, or drive a car, or play football, but so? There are a million other things to do. I grew up with the idea that I can always try just about anything, though I probably have to do it differently. So, if I am melancholy, unsure of myself, it’s more because of general anxiety than me being disabled. So, I hope we have that straight.

At any rate, I’m definitely not one with an eternally sunny attitude. I’d feel better if I didn’t get complimented for it. I am drawn to dark music and fiction for a reason, and that reason sure as shit isn’t because I’m constantly chipper.

I’m not perfectly brave either, but I feel like people think that I am. I’m nervous and uneasy as often as anybody. I’m scared every time I cough a lot. I’m scared before every trache change. I’m scared because so many of my thoughts go unsaid. I’m scared of dying. I’m scared there’s a Hell and I might go there. Sometimes I’m scared to leave the house, or even sleep. I don’t feel particularly heroic. I was so freaked out after seeing The Diving Bell and the Butterfly that I drank a bunch of brandy and passed out. That definitely wasn’t the brave thing to do.

Now, here’s the tricky part. I’m melancholy, prone to reverie, doubtful, fearful, yet I’m also endlessly hopeful that as bad as anything is or feels, there’s a chance it will get better. I’ve experienced some spectacular things, so I totally know that life can be amazing. Good experiences are like heroin. I’ll endure a million bad experiences just for the chance to have things that I know are incredible. Something inherent in me keeps me chasing that fix. No matter how down I feel sometimes, I can’t quit. I’ve hit bottom so many times in the last two years, but whenever I hit that dark place, something about me lights up and I go again. Maybe I’m just an addict to anything that gives pleasure. I don’t entirely know. I just know that if I want to see Europe, or wake up next to Sara every morning, yeah, deep down, I’m willing to die for the chance. One can just as easily die living a life they don’t want.

If I come off as inspirational, that’s fine, but it’s also not intentional. I just want what I want. I’m flawed, I break, I adapt and I keep going. That is how I want people to see me.

4 comments

Not for Michaels

June 01st, 2008 | Category: Life,Opinions

Whenever Sara’s cat gets into something he shouldn’t she says, “no, not for kitties.” So, whenever I see a movie, particularly horror, that I know she wouldn’t like, I say, “no, that’s definitely not for Saras.” Normally, that phrase isn’t necessary for me. Movies and books don’t scare me, they don’t bother me at all. However, I wish to God somebody had said that to me before I watched The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. At this point, anyone who hasn’t seen the movie and doesn’t want to know the ending should stop reading right now.

To put it bluntly, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly fucked me up like nobody’s business. Diving Bell is the true story of Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, a man entirely paralyzed save for his left eye after a stroke. Much of the film is shot in the first-person, looking at the world through his eyes. Waking up in the hospital, the initial sense of confusion and utter disconnect, the realization that he can’t speak, the frustration of not being able to communicate, the loneliness and isolation, it’s all there and it’s captured perfectly. Too Goddamn fucking perfectly. It was like watching a gag-reel of the spectacularly worst moments of my entire life. It’s amazing how I’ve thought the exact same things as him in certain situations. I’m better off than him in that I can use a computer and when I woke up two Januarys ago, I definitely wasn’t surprised I couldn’t walk. Still, we share so many other experiences. Of course, there’s one experience we haven’t yet shared, he’s dead and I’m not. Right when he starts to get a little bit comfortable, right when he’s perfected the use of eye movements and the alphabet to communicate, he’s hit with pneumonia and dies. One evening he wakes up coughing, mucus pouring from his trach site. It’s such a disturbing image and I can’t seem to shake it. I actually started coughing while writing this, needed a suction really badly and immediately saw that image. It was like watching how I’m almost certainly going to die. I’m going to have some kind of acute respiratory failure and no vent or medicine will be able to help me. I’ll drown, I’ll suffocate, I’ll die. That movie gave me a bunch of images to go along with things I already worry over.

Obviously, I’ll get over it, Diving Bell will fade some, but not yet. I wanted to drown it out with brandy, but I know that is the worst possible thing to do. I’m better off writing and getting things done. That is exactly what what I’m doing.

5 comments

Silence

May 24th, 2008 | Category: Life,Random Thought

Silence takes a great deal of fortitude, and I don’t always have it. I’m not even talking about having to type or spell everything I want to say, that is difficult in an entirely different way. Right now, I’m talking about being in a room full people and hearing the perfect moment for the perfect remark over and over again, but not being able to do anything about it. After awhile, I just quit listening, I get too annoyed, too frustrated. I get lost in my own head, it’s just Mike and Mike’s thoughts, and they’re not always good. The longer the silence goes, the more a certain degree of claustrophobia sets in. I start to wonder things like, “if I actually died, how long would it take anyone to notice?” Then, “No, that’s just stupid, you’re paying someone to make sure you’re okay, and Sara loves you too much to let anything bad happen to you. Also, you fucker, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. If your BiPap spontaneously stops, that’s God’s will and you’d deserve it.” Right after which I think, “But I really don’t wanna’ die.” The inner monologue never stops, my mind is never quiet. Being a silent observer for long spans of time is extremely difficult for me sometimes. I try to think about good things, cheery things, but I inevitably drift through dark places. I think that is my nature, I’m just prone to wander down roads of reverie and melancholy. I don’t see that as bad, it’s just how I am. How I’ve always been. I wonder if that is a cop out. Could I change if I wanted? Do I want to? I have plenty of time to think about it. Silence affords much time for thinking.

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