Weigh what men that love me
the way analyst add up pros and cons
on Excel spreadsheets. Fiscal year
ending, lost my notes in budget meetings,
I’ll be damned if it isn’t fun
to put the smallest gestures
against the guillotine
of my affection. Cut the head
and see how far
the river runs.
Twenty something and full of stupid, sliding into your DM’s without a shame in the world. “Wyd” texts after midnight are a 3-2 pitch with the bases loaded, and I’m watching from the bench thinking I might just steal home.
I’m the type of guy that needs to set 4 alarms to wake up on time, dressing myself up in moments that don’t mean a thing to me. But I’ve read enough Dostoevsky and Nietzche to make just about anybody think they do. Boredom is an understatement: what I suffer from is an emotional atrophy. When you can’t stand grand-standing any more and need to feel something, so the nearest dead end starts feeling like a welcome sign.
Some addictions aren’t so easy to kick – especially habits that text you back to say they miss you too.
“sure,” Her text read. “whats one drink”
“Ask Socrates.” I replied
“that was hemlock” She replied. “you fucking nerd 😓”
And I knew it would be a good night.
Pain is the strangest of all human phenomena. A shapeless enigma with no definitive form or figure; vague and endless as the psyche that houses such a gray and wounded monster. There are times when people hold on tightly to their personal tortures, for the sake of vanity or some basic inability to let the past rest and remain unfinished. Modern day grave robbers digging down Facebooks and Instagrams until their thumb strikes that cold and empty coffin, crowbar it open, and find nothing but photos they don’t belong in and that empty feeling they started out with.
And other times pain is a beast prowling on the hunt, an ambush camouflaged in the most innocuous disguises. Like hairpins and people wearing ripped jeans, or the smell of grass and concrete the day after it rains. A predator that feeds primarily on the supposedly forgetful, makes prey of the most stoic or hardened person. And when it leaps from out of nowhere like a wildcat in the tall-grass, there are no fangs or screams, no death or desperate fight or flight. Just silence, and the bloody aftermath of someone who remembers.
Pain is the strangest of all human phenomena, my favorite thing to bottle and stick under a microscope. I like to collect them, like pets or dangerous diseases. To see what makes them tick, if they are a family or genome I can label and self-identify. Put them strangely on display in silly dresses, prose and names. Lay them on a coffee table and see how harmless they are in public. And in my quiet walks back home from nowhere in particular, no baggage to call my own, when the grass shifts a certain way and I know that pain is coming- I brace myself for whats to come, welcome what beast might let tears and taring sear me to the bone. Yet these days nothing leaps out any more, and I stroll home empty handed and disappointed.
But my little jar is ready.
I could have killed a man today. Fantasized my fingers around his neck
for the better part of two hours as he sat beside me, snoring.
Beating his head against the sink until I felt blood againast
my thumbs and the neck stomped resisting the repeated movement.
Lying limp in my hands as wet noodles that I wash and rinse and drown
in the toilet before calling the police.
Here should be a reason that the kill is justified
but I can’t remember what it was.
All that comes to mind is a blind
hot white rage, and a reminder that the reason
I could have killed a man today, and it would have been so easy.
A quiet corner office bathroom, somewhere God might grant me
enough time to bash his face in and not be caught in the act.
That I might suffer the joy of seeing light exiting his pupil,
that his grin might fade and I can spit on his smirk.
And when we were there and he said Hey-
How my blood lust peaked, and felt the promise
and excitement to end him coming.
We exit the cab and he says “This way,” and I see his eyes.
Wide, proud, bold, knowing it well. All the things I hated,
but most of all – helpless. Glossy as gray and cloudy skies
that refused to rain. “Why are you like this?” I asked, instead.
And he broke down crying.
He sat there like a leaning tower or masterpiece, one crisp and folded slack leg folded over the other. With an elbow angled on the arm rest, he tilted his head slightly, and Autumn hair tumbled down his shoulder the way the tree in my aunts yard did when I shook it that one cold November. The one where it snowed and there wasn’t a single car on the highway. The night Eddie kissed me under the blinking neon sign that spelled J-NIOR’s DIN-R.
“It’s not polite to stare,” He said suddenly.
Batting his eyes twice, he turned to slowly look at me, and I noticed splashes of green and yellow surrounding the black center of his pupils. They were dark and a little mesmerizing, cold, but inviting and full of cunning. The dark and ominous of glance of a man who’s far too aware of the his own attraction.
“Sorry, I forgot I was in public.” I said. “It’s been months since I’ve gone out and-…”
When I get nervous, my immediate instinct is to talk until I’m not any more. To push through the fear and shame, carry that heavy stone we call anxiety uphill and set it down at the very top. Any awkward moment or unbearable faux-pas gains a bit of character once you own up to it, and the majority of people will treat you kindly if you’re humble enough to admit your flaws and lay them so vulnerably at their feet. Others may give it a push, but from the top you can watch it roll back to the very bottom where you no longer are. Once you carry your mistakes and accept them, you can never be crushed by them.
“You talk too much,” He said laughing and smiling handsomely.
And I felt a crush start to develop.