My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Tattoo #51

June 15th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

So, this tattoo, #51, is from an Alanis Morissette song, These R the Thoughts, which is off her MTV Unplugged record. MTV Unplugged is tied with Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie (SFIJ) as my favorite Alanis record. MTV Unplugged is so great because Alanis’ voice is gorgeous and being outside the typical studio setting you really get to hear that voice. I’ve seen her in concert too, she just has a spectacular, raw, beautiful voice. MTV Unplugged shows her voice, and it has a few of my favorite songs off of SFIJ, which is why I love it so much. These R the Thoughts is only on MTV Unplugged and no other studio record. The song’s basically a series of worries, questions she asks herself throughout a day. The song doesn’t have any hooky chorus, it’s just a series of questions… Why do I feel cellularly alone? Am I supposed to live in this crazy city? Can blindly continued fear-induced regurgitated life-denying tradition be overcome? It’s so not a hooky pop song, or rock song, it’s a journal set to great music. My favorite section, part of which is etched into my arm, Why do I fear that the quieter I am, the less you will listen? Why do I care whether you like me or not? Why is it so hard for me to be angry? Why is it such work to stay conscious and so easy to get stuck and not the other way around? Both of those sections, the latter, obviously, sound so much like the questions I ask myself, the worries in my head.

In a larger sense, sure, I do worry that if I quit writing here, quit trying to get published in print, quit writing altogether, I’d just disappear. Nobody would care, or come looking for me, or even idly wonder, “Whatever happened to that guy, he wrote about zombies and sex, and loneliness and suicide and addiction and dark optimism and some girl? I think it was some girl. He had all those tattoos… What was his name? Michael something?” I think most writers, even the ones who get seriously paid, write because we love the craft and want to be remembered for what we did with it. We write to be known. I don’t think Jeff VanderMeer or K.J. Bishop or Michael Cisco would quit writing if the paychecks stopped. We have words in our blood and we cut ourselves so that all those words come pouring out, and we want people to watch. It’s a little bizarre, but we want people to watch. The words can’t just stay inside, the words flow thorough our veins and bounce around in our heads, we’re full up, so we have to get those words out and put them somewhere else. Yes, I do worry about getting quiet and fading into oblivion.

Really though, it’s much deeper than that, it’s less about a writer’s want and more about something personal. In the song, Alanis is talking about just one person. I only worry about one person not listening, not wanting to know me. The day we met we talked for three hours, I so wanted to know her, and I so wanted her to know me. I was scared that night, that first night, that there wouldn’t be a second. It’s something out of Shakespeare, something only story-tellers tell, but I loved her that night. It was just one long IM, but as ridiculous as it sounds, I loved her. She sent her picture and I only fell harder, I just left the picture open all night. I didn’t want her to be just a dream, it felt like a dream. No one’s eyes could be that beautiful, showing that much intelligence and warmth. We went to our first movie together, those eyes saw mine, I got lost in them. That was just about four years ago and I still get completely lost in her eyes, I just keep loving her more. Every-day I love her more. My words, they’re all hers, they’re all so that she can know everything that’s in my head. Lots of them are here, some of them ended up in print on Amazon.com. There are pages upon pages that no one, save her, will ever see, they’re hers, written for her eyes and no one else’s. Most of the words etched into my skin are hers. It’s all just so she can know me, and be close to me. How can you really be close to someone if you don’t give them everything in your head, beautiful words, dark words, scared words, every word? I love her more than I can explain, but I try, I so try, in flash fiction, in e-mail that’s written after bad dreams, in romantic paper letters. She asked, “Why do you love me and not someone else? There are thousands of women, thousands of mes.”  I didn’t have an answer all in a pretty wrapped box with a teal silk bow on top, the question just scared me. I’ve written a mixed media novel in answer to that question, digitally, in print, on my skin. I didn’t say the right thing, I got frustrated, it just felt like something you say before you disappear. How could she ask that and not know my head, and my heart? I got upset, overly so. Though, the simple honest answer is that when I’m with her, I never want to be anywhere else, with anyone else. When I’m not with her, it’s like part of me is missing, so I’m never completely anywhere since we met.

I got the tattoo when she felt far away, I felt like nothing I said meant anything. So, I got quiet, and I got scared. Now I’m here and she’s somewhere else. I’m lost and drowning in words she doesn’t want anymore, not from me.

No comments

Thinking about someone

June 12th, 2011 | Category: Life

I’m thinking about someone, I can’t sleep. It’s like part of me is somewhere else, and I want to be there, in that place, so I don’t have this empty feeling in my chest.

No comments

The last post

June 09th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Thoughts on Music

The last post, that weird italic paragraph, I found a new Nirvana song that brought that into existence. I was listening to this song, The Other Improv (Demo), off their With the Lights Out collection, and it just sort of took over the post. It’s a fun song, one of few I’ve never heard. Their playing, the music sounds done, but the lyrics, it sounds like Kurt’s just making most of them up as he goes. Lots of Nirvana songs seemingly don’t make sense, but the lyrics are written and set, and if you take them apart you see the parts with meaning. Kurt liked mixing sense with nonsense, the nonsense often being the hooky, pop sounding parts that rhyme.  With The Other Improv, you hear he has the general idea of the song in his head, but he’s making up most of the lyrics on the spot. It was fun just hearing him create a song rather than perform something that’s already created.

I’m thinking about Monica, so I just started writing flash without thinking about anything but the words stumbling out of my head and posting it unfiltered. I saw her, it didn’t go right, I got scared of what she was saying, I reacted wrong. I don’t want this, I love her so much, so fucking much. I can’t fuckin’ sleep. God, I just want to go home. It’s like half of me is always someplace else, my head is never completely anywhere, with anyone. It’s like I’m in this car, drinking down some dirt road, and no matter how far I drive, the road just keeps going and I can’t go home. I’m in this bad dream that doesn’t stop when wake up.

No comments

Blood and Glass

June 09th, 2011 | Category: Life

I’ve never written about it here, but ever since I was fifteen, after reading The Catcher in the Rye, I’ve had this… recurring want to put my fist through glass windows. Whenever I get so lost, so frustrated, I imagine going through the house and putting my fist through every single window. We’ve never had a garage like Holden Caulfield. I imagine the glass cutting my skin, digging into my knuckles, tearing veins, arteries. That pain would drown out every thought in my head. My head’s such a disaster.

He just loves her. he loves her , when he looks at her, time stops. She goes and goes and goes, and time goes and goes and goes, until everything’s gone and gone and gone. He’s just rambling now, waiting for sleep and bad dreams.He’s just rambling so that he’s not thinking about her, but that’s wrong, he’s rambling about her, so he’s not not thinking about her. He’s never not thinking about her. She’s somewhere else, he just wants her close, maybe the rambling makes her close. It does it does, a little a little, not enough. Not enough. At night, not enough.

3 comments

Not feeling amazing

June 06th, 2011 | Category: Life

So, a few weeks ago, I had some sinus surgery. This did not help me, physically or psychologically. I was pretty hazy on Demerol leaving the hospital, the kind of hazy that produces thoughts like, “What if I’ve died and this is actually Hell?” For minutes at a time these thoughts seem completely true. Then, “No, shut up, don’t be stupid. You’re breathing, you’re not dead.” I remember all the nurses, Lauren (my assistant), even the parking valets, they’re all talking about how “tough” I am. They said, “Mike’s so tough.” They said,  “Nobody’s tougher than Mike.” I never feel tough, I was busy arguing with myself whether or not I was dead and in Hell. I felt tiny, scared, old. I think people mistake quiet for tough. I’m not tough, in my head, I’m not tough. I wanted to go right back to my little room, have more Demerol and forget the pain in my face, all the scared in my heart. Though, the drugs, that’s just a fix for a fix. Drugs, liquor, either/or, they’re just a fake feeling of warm, safe, the pretend versions of a love’s touch, kiss, warm brown eyes to tell you you’re not alone. Those are real fixes, for me anyways. That’s all I ever want.

I’m still not me yet, I’m on some anti-biotics that are making me feel sick, which makes me nervous. My head’s a mess. I’ve been trying to hold it together for weeks, and obviously not.

1 comment

Lots of singing

June 05th, 2011 | Category: Life,Thoughts on Music

I have this little plastic tube in my throat, a trach, so I don’t talk. I haven’t spoken a word in, like, three and a half-ish years. You CAN talk with a trach, but the method doesn’t work for everyone, it didn’t for me, lots of choking and what-not. The last sentence that stumbled out of my mouth was, “I love everything about you.” To which it was replied, “I don’t love everything about you.” After that, the choking quit being worth the talking. I met someone else worth the choking and the talking, someone worth absolutely anything. I wanted to say just, something, some little thing I always wanted to say with the voice in my head, but I didn’t get to, and she’d probably reply similarly to the last time I bothered saying something out loud. So, yes, I don’t talk. Most readers know this, but it’s always good to do a little re-capping.

Anyways, back when I did talk, I liked to sing. I sounded like shit, but I liked singing along with Kurt, Elliott, Aimee. I’m told I at least sang on key. Now, I still sing, just, no sound gets past my lips. This has actually created an odd habit, Since I don’t make any sound, I’ve come to feel like I can sing whenever around whoever, in the car, at concerts, getting wheeled into various operating rooms with my iPod Nano, I’m singing like crazy. I probably look crazy, but it really does help to take my mind off things, getting completely lost in the music. Last night I turned my surround sound really loud and sang at the top of my non-voice. I wanted to not think, I wanted to be wrapped in music, lyrics. Really, I wanted to crush a bottle of Percocet into a glass of vodka, with lime, drink that and see if I woke up someplace better, but settled for screaming along with Nirvana’s Live at Reading concert. Just closed my eyes and screamed soundless screams, trying to make the world go away.

2 comments

Magnolia/A weird memory

June 04th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Thoughts on Music

So, I  watched Magnolia earlier, I really forgot its complete brilliance and beauty. It’s a long movie that doesn’t feel long, basically a series of interconnected stories, themes like, the past repeats itself, mistakes and regrets aren’t unique to the individual. It’s a fast movie in that the cuts between stories are quick, it doesn’t linger on one character’s life for too long. There’s also a lot of camera movement, not shaky Cloverfield camera, just lots of panning, zooming. The cuts and the camera give Magnolia a very fast-paced frenetic feeling, even though its thirty minutes shy of three hours long. It’s also a movie about really fucked up people, people dying physically, emotionally, people whose stories do and don’t work out. I was watching with a friend and she asked, “Are people really like that?” I didn’t feel like putting down the words, I just eyebrowed a “yes.” There’s a scene with Philip Seymour Hoffman, he’s a Hospice nurse trying to track down this dying fellow’s estranged son, trying to fulfill a final request. His son, played by Tom Cruise, turns out to be a pretty famous, pretty vile, motivational speaker, teaching loser guys how to have lots of sex with lots of women. So, Seymour Hoffman’s on the phone talking to one of Cruise’s underlings and says something to the affect, I know this is something like a scene from some movie, but I think movies have scenes like this because this actually happens. I mean, that’s so much of why we go to movies, because we identify with what we see, or we want to do or be what we see. I answered my friend with a “yes” because my experiences have been so much like the characters we were watching. Depression, loneliness, addiction, loss, regret, I know those experiences, felt them, feel them, been drowning in them. Yes, people really are “like that.”

Magnolia’s soundtrack is another reason I love it so much, Aimee Mann contributed most of the songs, specifically written for the movie. One particularly unusual, very moving scene, cuts to each character singing Wise Up. My favorite line, “You’re sure there’s a cure, and you have finally found it. You think one drink will shrink you ’till you’re underground and living down, but it’s not going to stop, it’s not going to stop, it’s not going to stop ’till you wise up.” It’s very surreal, but the scene totally works. It hit me really hard, I broke-down, sobbing. I breakdown quietly, nobody ever notices. Almost nobody. Listening to Aimee’s lyrics, crying, it reminded me of something.

It was four years ago, I was with Sara, my girlfriend then, kind of. We’d broken up, but started finding each other again toward the end of shooting our This American Life episode. So, she wanted us to go see a Chris Isaak concert, and I just wanted to go anywhere with her. The trach was still a little fresh back then, I’d still get nervous going out sometimes, so I’d have wine or brandy before getting into the car. Not the best way to cope, but it worked awhile. I didn’t want to not take her, I didn’t want to be weird and nervous, I just needed the crutch to get there. It wore off and I realized I was okay because I was with Sara, everything was always okay with Sara. So, we’re leaving the concert, which was great, we’re walking back to the car under a summer night-sky. I look up at the stars, bright beautiful stars. I didn’t want to be anyplace else, just right there, under those stars, with Sara. As we’re walking she takes my hand and out of nowhere starts singing Aimee’s You Do, off the Magnolia soundtrack. And you do, you do, you do, you really do… I never thought I could love her any more, but holding her hand, listening to her sing under those stars, I did, and I felt so completely loved. I quit the pre-outting drinks after that night. I didn’t need them, and we went so many more places together. We held each other and sang so many more times. Losing her hurt so much.

I never thought I could find again what I felt with Sara, but I did, so intensely, so beautiful, but that’s gone too. Losing Monica hurts so Goddamn fucking much. I don’t know how to be okay.

3 comments

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.

No comments

Quit me

June 03rd, 2011 | Category: Life

So, this woman I’ve loved for a very long time, years, she’s quit me. It’s, I’ve earned it, I think. I don’t know. I just have to face it, and deal with it, and not break. I really cannot break. I just have to not break.

1 comment

Tattoo #49

March 26th, 2011 | Category: Life,Opinions,Tattoos,Thoughts on Music

Tattoo by Fish, Doc Dog's Las Vegas Tattoo, Ybor City

This is my first foot tattoo, it’s from one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs, Angel in the Snow, off his posthumously released collection, New Moon.

I’d say you make a perfect

Angel in the snow

All crushed out on the way you are

Better stop before it goes too far

Don’t you know that I love you?

Sometimes i feel like only a cold still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

Don’t you know that i love you?

Sometimes I feel like only a cold still life

Only a frozen still life

That fell down here to lay beside you

It’s such a beautiful little song, and sad. Falling so hard, feeding so… apart.

No comments

« Previous PageNext Page »