Personal

Dear Moisés,

You once told me about the cactus you kept in the bed of your truck. How’d you drive, parading it through the city. You told me people would give you looks. Maybe even a quizzical lift of the brow. 

I wish I saved those emails so that I can paint a better picture – the one who painted with your words. Because all I imagine is a bed of sand with your cactus planted in the middle. I don’t imagine the nopal, but the saguaro as it is the most referenced in popular culture. 

I feel that this logo is off center. Maybe I’ll leave it that way.

I can’t remember the color of your truck, or if you ever told me the model and brand. But I think of an old red pickup, the sort abuelos drive. 

We reconnected when I was in college. You found a review I made on Amazon and that led you down the rabbit hole to whatever social network I was using back then. Probably MySpace. We emailed each other, old friends catching up. You were always pushing me to share my work, find my voice. 

And I eventually did, though I’m sad you never got to see me recite one of my poems on stage. Never heard me voice my characters.

I still wear the rings you gave me. These biker rings that appeared on Facebook. Rings that became the bane of my former employer’s existence. Rings I wore to push the limits one October and never took off until my weight got away from me. 

And the moment my fingers allowed me to put them back on, it brought me so much peace. I can’t explain to you how exposed I felt without them. Every time I forget to wear them, a part of me is missing. And I’m sure you’d have loved to know that. 

In some small way, I always felt that I carry you with me when I wear them. When I thought of buying new ones, I second guessed because these rings were from you. 

Among other gifts you sent me, a Harley Quinn tee shirt, copies of your sister’s books, a book I never read, and several inappropriate birthday cards. How I loved those inappropriate cards. 

I’m sorry that I stopped making that effort. Sorry I never held my word in writing those things for you. It’s easy to say that life gets in the way. That I was raising a child when I still didn’t feel like much of an adult. Sorry for never writing or reaching out when that illness began to take you. You were a better friend than I ever deserved. 

It’s just that I scare easily, and I make it a habit to keep people I love at an arm’s length. I always think this will make the pain easier to take, but all it does is leave room for regret.

And there is a lot I regret these days.

As you know, I don’t have much faith on what lies beyond this life. Whether we simply stop existing or go into a higher plane of existence – be it Heaven or whatever. But I do hope that I see you again. 

You once sent me this song and told me that you were the pretty girl. You didn’t care if I was Dr. Dre or Eminem.

Personal

“boxed in and labeled”

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

New Introduction

I made a conscious decision scheduling this post for the tail-end of Pride Month. For starters, today is Pride Day. It just seemed appropriate for the post. I chose today because it feels that everyone makes the bigger deal at the beginning of June. That’s when we see the most corporate marketing for Pride. That’s when we see influencers beating their chests about how much an ally they are. As the month winds down, people who aren’t a part of the community just stop caring. There’s no financial gain to it.

With that said, this is not the original intro to this post. The original intro consisted of a story of a friend coming out to me. While I kept that friend’s name secret, I nonetheless began to have second thoughts. I only have so many friends and it wouldn’t take too much a detective to figure out who I was talking about. While I know this friend’s family is fully aware, I don’t know where our mutual friends stand.

In short, while this story does contain me as a character, it is not my story to tell. Most of the post remains the same. The ending has been altered to because it tied back to the introduction.

Continue reading ““boxed in and labeled””
Stream of Consciousness

“There’s gotta be some butterflies somewhere”

A dream:

In a sea of infinity, they managed to carve out some privacy. And while conversations around them drown theirs, their words are the only things they can hear. He’s nervous. Of course, he is. Because it’s been a while since he can hold a conversation with someone of her magnitude. Not that the others were a waste of time, it’s just they’re not her. They’re what he had to go through to get to her. They were the things that got him to the thing. Not obstacles. They’re never reduced to that. It’s just that, in this moment, everything he went through seems to a precursor to this one. Without the others, he wouldn’t have made it to the here and now.

Their conversation is about nothing. The best ones usually are. He smiles; she returns it. Her hand brushes his. The air escapes his lungs. For a moment, panic sets in. The idea of someone touching him, albeit accidentally, is enough to set him off. There’s an anxious moment. Sweat begins to push up through the pores of his forehead. Though he’s been in here for a short while (and it is his first visit), he already has all the exits memorized just in case he needed a quick exit. Such as the panic attack that can push through from the skin-to-skin contact of another human being. Regardless of how attracted he is to her.

But it doesn’t come. The panic subsides. Evaporates into the cool night air. The party fades into nature. They’re standing on the street. He wonders exactly what any of this means. He takes her into his arms. It’s become source of comfort. Being this close to each other. To feel her warmth. To know that he’s human, though not a complete.

He contemplates the gravity of her. Of the situation. He doesn’t understand it. Maybe he doesn’t need to. Or maybe he isn’t supposed to. Most likely, he doesn’t care to. Because the empty moments of nothing conversations mean everything to him. And for the moment, maybe this is all he needs. Or wants. But he isn’t fooling himself.

Personal

“I Can Be Your Addiction”

Next week will be my second year at the library, marking this the second longest job (if we count the Edinburg Roadrunners, that is) I’ve held. And while I’ve seen several coworkers come and go, the family that I started in the children’s department is still going strong. I managed to go from the new guy who felt like he stood out like  a sore thumb to someone who assassinates his coworkers on a daily basis (we’re the children’s department for a reason).

I’ve managed to make friends outside of work, as well. However, not offline. Not really, anyway. While I started using the Whisper app as a means to fuck around online, creating bogus confessions/secrets ripped from the words of my characters, I buckled down and managed to, you know, reveal parts of myself that I wasn’t willing. I still abuse the app by posting non-secret whispers asking for random people to speak to me while I’m at work, giving me something to make the work day go just a little bit faster. What started with Katie spawned into several local (which breaks my first rule of socializing online with strangers—do not talk to someone you might bump into at the supermarket) has spread with a few other females and one guy (apparently, the only reason guys use the app is to hook up with “DTF” women).

The urge to take that dreaded step forward has increased tenfold as new voices of motivation appear daily on my phone via text and private messages.

Before I close this post with an Owl City/Carly Rae Jepsen music video, I want to say that a piece I started working on for this blog has been resurrected—I think Ashton was the only one who knew about this post—and once I got it finished and edited the kinks, I’ll post it. Hopefully just in time for the new year.

 

Doldrums

Awkward

"Be silent, and sit down, for you are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof." –Rumi
“Be silent, and sit down, for you are drunk, and this is the edge of the roof.” –Rumi

An old friend visited me at work the other day. Someone I haven’t seen in a while, but it wasn’t as awkward as most reunions. Several years ago, I re-acquainted myself with a girl I crushed on. She never knew how I felt about her, so when I told her, it got silent. Understand, this was years after the fact. It still felt a little weird. Awkward silence. “Well, I should be going.” “Yeah. Yeah. Nice talking to you. We should do this again sometime.” “Yup. Just give me a call.” “Whenever you’re free, I am.” “Nice seeing you.” “Bye.” “Bye.” Haven’t heard from her since.

There are moments in life that are just awkward. I do my best to avoid such moments. When I see a family member at a store, I quickly duck behind the closest heavy-set man until they’ve passed. This has become increasingly harder as the years have proven I’ve become the proverbial heavy-set man to hide behind.

You say I went to school with you? Oh. Wow. That’s great man. How’s it been? Shit. I’m sorry, my phone is ringing. You didn’t hear it because it’s on silent. How did I know? Bitch, who you think you are? FBI? Do I need my Miranda Rights read?

I’m not a fast man, but ninja skills are acquired when I see an ex-girlfriend. Well, that one’s not true, because I’ve maintained a healthy, post-relationship with most of my ex-girlfriends (there aren’t that many).

The king of awkward moments came tonight, though. And it didn’t involve me. In fact, I don’t consider it all that awkward. Earlier, Jyg’s mother was getting ready to go out with some friends. Apparently, someone was setting her up with a friend of hers. Long story short, I get a text message. Sometimes living in a small city has its perks. You can tell a story about a friend, and the person who’s listening will perk up and say, “Hey, I know that guy.” And it’s a little bizarre. Like having dwarfs throwing pickles at you or having midgets kick you in the shins. Other times, it’s receiving a text message with the words, “It’s your brother.”

G’nite everybody! [Exits stage right]

Doldrums

“I Wish for You to be Something Similar of Me”

"Baby's black balloon makes her fly"

A few years ago, I made a decision that changed my perspective on this whole charade of life. And while I will not touch on the subject – even though the wound has healed, I fear it’ll be something that I cannot speak of – I often ponder the outcome had my decisions been different.

The Ballast

We’re all looking for that special someone. A few of you are mistakenly calling them soul mates, as if destiny has any role in your falling in love. While I don’t believe in fate, I do believe in the idea of a sole mate. Someone whose flaws are easily ignored. The person who, even after a disagreement in philosophy, you cannot stay angry with. Someone you can imagine waking up next to every morning. The person who completes you, who is your balance in this world.

Sometimes it isn’t romantic, but most of the time it is. In a conversation with Jyg, I poked fun at her for having Keyla(?) spend the night. The ongoing joke is that they secretly had an affair due to their strange closeness – let’s face it, I don’t think I ever had a friend I was that close to, so all types of closeness is strange to me. They had a falling out – meaning, they stopped working together and therefore rarely saw each other, not as in a fight – which I attributed (jokingly, again) to their breaking up. Last night, they spent some time together which sparked the joke again – which she foresaw and decided to keep to herself to save from the ridicule. She let it slip, of course. I, of course, made the joke. And it ended with her saying, “There’s nothing wrong with sleeping (as in actually sleeping, pervs) with a good friend.”

“So, you’re saying I can sleep with my good friend?”

“Joe?”

“He’d just make it weird.” After a moment’s thought, I added – as I hugged her, “Well, I guess I already sleep with my good friend.”

Definition(s) of Love

Martin – my assistant, not my brother of the same name – admits to loving his wife. He also admits to loving girls. He does not fear saying hi to a beauty he’s never met before. He honks his horn as the co-eds in short shorts pass by his car. He’d run over a family before giving up a glance at the sexy mamasita jogging by. Often, he adds me in his eye-fucking tirade, which I just smile and tweet his insatiable appetite for the finer sex.

Meanwhile, there’s my anonymous sidekick (see this post, and this one, and this one, possibly this one and I’m sure this one, as well) who’s the exact opposite of Martin. While he ogles girls – also having the habit of involving me in rating them – he doesn’t have the cojones to approach them. He’s made little headway in his “Plan A,” and seeks Plan B, C, and quite possibly D – it’s  nice to dream, I suppose.

One night, we discussed the subject of love – brought on by my joke (because sometimes I feel like being one of the guys, even it means failure) that Martin would be getting laid at Skip’s birthday party. While not the most philosophical bunch, I thought their idea of love to be interesting. There’s Martin’s half assed definition that allows him to look but not touch other women – which apparently failed when a player – rumor wise, anyway – asked him to pick up a prostitute. Meanwhile, Sidekick stated an adolescent point of view.

“So what happens if you hate all humans? People just disgust you. What then?” I asked. “Is it possible to love someone?”

Sidekick had no answer.

“And what if you meet one person that you care about. Who, despite everything you don’t feel, makes you feel like you’re human? Is that then love?”

Still he had no answers.

Blessed

If I were a religious man, I’d say I was blessed to have people in my lives who love me in some way or another. I’d also say that I was blessed to be loved by some who are no longer of this or my world. Blessings, however, have little part in this. It’s not fated, it’s just something that happens. And that makes life a lot more pleasant.

Note: Title of this post is taken from a poem by Terr Di Matteo.