My Whole Expanse I Cannot See…

I formulate infinity stored deep inside of me…

Jul 2

Tattoo #23

Category: Life,Tattoos

So, my friend, Kim, is over, all lazed out in my cushy red leather chair. Kim all pale, black hair tied back in a pony-tail, her soft blue eyes watching Fight Club with my blue-green eyes watching Fight Club just the same. She looks all languid and cozy, an angel without wings to fly away. Still, before I talk about Kim, and Fight Club, and my twenty-third tattoo, I should talk about my room.

The room’s practically a goth club, dark purple walls, doors painted black, a deep red ceiling to match the cushy leather chair. The purple walls aren’t bare though, that would be boring. They’re covered in art, some unique, some not. Cemetery photos, koi swimming in a tranquil pond, a sad looking girl sitting in a chair, pieces drawn or painted by friends with talent in such things. Sure, I have a few mass produced pieces. There’s the Brooklyn Bridge canvas from Urban Outfitters, the bridge where Henry Letham was in too much pain to stay. There’s the wrought iron IKEA mirror. People say it’s a comfortable room, dark, yet warm, inviting. Not that it was always so. The way it is now, all stylish and alluring, it reflects the me in my head. Two years back, however, it was drab, empty, with pale green walls covered in anime artwork that seemed brilliant when I was twenty-two. At twenty-six, the room reflected nothing but apathy. I didn’t like it, but I didn’t care enough to tear it apart and create something more me, something beautiful and decadent. It took a little shove to wipe away the apathy, it took a woman. This woman, I loved, the sort of love that makes a fellow happy to take a zombie bite for her. Two years ago, we were apart but still friends. Not that I didn’t want her back, not that it didn’t drive me crazy just looking at her. I wanted her with me again, in that room, tearing each other’s clothes off at night, waking together in the morning. So, when she said to me one evening, in that dull room, her sitting on the floor leaning against my bed, “look, I just don’t think I could be with a guy who has anime art on the walls,” I got clear. I forgot about the trache, and not talking, and months in the hospital. In a few weeks, I created a space that reflected the me that wanted a lover, and friends. Not that apathetic kid who spent every night alone, with only academic knowledge of what it’s like to touch a woman, naked and vulnerable, until she begs you to come inside. We did tear each other’s clothes off again, we did fall asleep warm together, waking up in the little goth lounge I created for us.

Fast forward to me two years later, to me without that woman I loved, gone for good this time. I don’t hate the room, I don’t want to burn it down. I want to bring new life into this space. Just now, I’m thinking about a woman who I want next to me in the dark, someone who’s smart, and gorgeous, and different. A woman who makes the room feel like it’s supposed to feel. I think about slowly kissing her, running the tips of my fingers under her chin, down her neck, toward the places of her I haven’t seen.

Fast forward to me and Kim watching the end of Fight Club, to the part when the narrator says to Marla just before the whole controlled demolition thing happens, “you’ve met me at a very strange time in my life.” That line really hit me with Kim sitting there. I met Kim not too long ago, but we hang out a lot. We get along perfectly. Yet, it always strikes me that people who meet me now, post-trache, post Sara (the ex from paragraph two), don’t really know how different my life was three years ago. I was a shit writer, didn’t have assistants, didn’t leave the house without family, didn’t have any friends who weren’t online, didn’t paint my nails, didn’t have tattoos, didn’t drink, didn’t know what it was like to get high, never had a girlfriend, never had sex. In three years I’ve changed all that, and I lost the ability to talk, and almost died in the middle of everything. I lost Sara twice, the first time was bad, the second time was worse than getting trached and realizing that I’d never be able to speak again. People see me out with an assistant and think I’ve been doing it forever, but I’m still having so many new experiences, and learning, and adapting. Whenever I do something new with an assistant, or a friend does something, like, gives me a drink through my feeding tube, I get all excited. It’s not so much that I’m surprised that I have all these new experiences, it’s that I’m just astonishingly happy about them. Independence is like a drug, and the more I live the life I’ve always seen in my head, the more I know I can’t go back. The thing is, I’ve never thought like I’m disabled, I’ve never expected less for myself than a fellow who can walk. I mean, I’ve never expected to go hiking, or swimming, or to drive a car, not that I even want those things, but I’ve always expected having friends, and lovers, and autonomy. My problem was, and to a point still is, access to levels of independence that most people get without even thinking. I get really frustrated and often very depressed if I’m not moving forward, or if I feel like I’m moving backward, people don’t always understand some of the reasons why I get so down. I always want to tell people, “you’ve met me at a very strange time in my life,” and now I don’t have to say it. It’s etched into my arm.



5 Comments so far

  1. Annie Flanagan July 2nd, 2009 2:06 pm

    This is beautiful Michael. You definitely have a distinct sound to your writing. I’m glad you are ‘unstuck’ and writing. Maybe I can dust off that journal and make an attempt.

  2. josh July 2nd, 2009 2:42 pm

    Back with a bang! Great, insightful post.

  3. Ormolu July 2nd, 2009 3:04 pm

    I like this, especially the end.

    Good to see you back, Mike.

  4. Tina July 2nd, 2009 5:30 pm

    Thanks for coming back and writing – I’ve missed you!

  5. Dan Mahoney July 2nd, 2009 7:22 pm

    Awesomely, awesomely written. Thank you for this.