Stream of Consciousness

Maybe Trapped Mostly Pensive

Cities familiar and unfamiliar

The voices come and go as they please. Some nights, I can hear them whispering inside my head as I struggle to sleep. My thoughts are a million per minute. Images flash behind closed eyes. Houses are empty. Vacant living rooms, cobwebbed and forgotten. A city where dreams wither and die. Street addresses that only exist once a week, or at a certain time of month. Former junkies wanting to tell their side of the stories. Superhuman beings wanting a chance to shine. An empty house. An empty room. An empty mind.

Some things I learned from someone who’s been to prison:

  1. The world around you doesn’t pause. You might be away for five years or a decade and forget this. When a family friend was released from prison, it had been quite some time. He made his ways through strange, yet familiar streets to find my mother’s home and asked for my brother. In the background he heard a child play and wondered out loud, “Is that little Willie?” That is how he remembered me. The last time we saw each other, I was still a kid in his eyes. When he was released, I was already attending college. 
  2. Never, under any circumstances, reach over their plate to grab something from the table. They can react in one of two ways. They will protect their plate by hunching over it, becoming as immovable as stone. Or they will protect their plate with violence. 


I gave up traditional journaling for bullet journaling. On the one hand, I’m far better at keeping a bullet journal than I am a traditional one. On the other, bullet journaling only feeds my insecurity that I’ll never be arty. That as much as I strive to be a minimalist bullet journaler, there will always be an itch to make it pretty only to hate what I’ve done. 

Sometimes I think about chunking the whole thing into the garbage and starting anew. But I have expensive tastes when it comes to journaling. And I buy expensive journals. And I think it’s more a presentation that I kept a record of my existence than it is a record of my existence.

Maybe if I kept a combination of the two. A journal that is both a list of my daily accomplishments and an analog of my random thoughts. Thoughts that aren’t regulated to bullet points, summarized and watered down to basic ideas. When my thoughts hit me, they’re rambling messes. Messes that can’t be boiled down. 

When I want to remember a conversation with someone, or a day spent with someone, I don’t want the corners of a photograph, but the full picture. And maybe that’s why so many people leave the bullet journaling for more productive things. Like work, but give up on the play.

Signs of the time

Political signs now hold familiar names. Names I grew up with. People I went to high school with are now running for offices. Running for mayor. School board. I remember them as they were. Who they were as teenagers, and it scares me to think what they can do if we allow them to wield any power. 

When I aired my grievance about how Texas will never cease to let me down after Beto O’Rouke lost the governor election, someone told me to run for local office. It was an odd thought because I wouldn’t trust myself enough to vote for me.

Depression beard

Last night, I shaved after going without for a month. Maybe today begins the one-month countdown to my birthday, and I’m not planning to shave again for another month. I first went without shaving during the pandemic. We were well into it by the time I opted to let my mustache grow. Confidence in my facial wasn’t ever a thing for me. It would come in as scraggly patches. When I caught covid again this year, I opted to go without until I had to return to work, but then apathy took me. I called it my depression beard, because that’s what it was. Something I let grow while I wasn’t feeling quite like myself. 

Now, I just don’t recognize my face without it. Weird. 

Parasocial Activity

Parasocial relationships are strange. I’m not talking about unrequited romance, but the phenomenon of being in a one-sided relationship with content creators. Maybe this has always been a thing–it most definitely has been, actually–but I recently noticed it with the women content creators I follow. Especially with the one I started backing on Patreon. And maybe this thought will spawn off into a post of its own, rather than just thoughts tossed around, never to be full-fleshed out.

Comment & Block

There’s nothing as cowardly as commenting on someone’s post and blocking them shortly after. If you have something to say and you’re going to say it with your entire chest, then don’t be a little shit goblin about it. But white men gotta white men, I suppose.

Photo by Tim Grundtner

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