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get straight

November 10, 2011

I’ve noticed that, when I write, I come back again and again to two subjects: my father and my sex life. I don’t think I’ll ever fully get over what his addictions have meant for me, for my family. I don’t think I’ll ever quite shake the fear that there’s something inherently wrong with my blood, that there’s a weakness inside of me waiting to be borne out by time. It frightens me to think that, after all that I’ve done…after all the work I’ve put in…that at any moment everything could collapse, things could go beyond my control and I would be at the mercy of the past. It sounds hyperbolic, but there are times when I swear I’m looking out of his eyes, reliving the past. I don’t mean to be like this, but I can’t help it.

A tecato will waiver and stumble, lean and linger. But he won’t fall over. I am sure this is a metaphor for something. I’m sure this means something. Until it doesn’t.

I rode the 4 train down to school once and something was in me that shouldn’t have been, making my eyes droop, my head spin. And a man got on the train, sat across from me, and wouldn’t stop staring into my eyes. The whole ride he just smirked at me.

Like sticks to like.

The truth is: I’m okay. I have been for a long time. I’m forgetting to eat lately, but I could stand to miss a few meals. Everything will be alright. I think about things more than other people do. I don’t mean to be like this.

Sometimes I want to throw myself into movement. “I like you so much/I fucked other people/to get rid of it” sounds like a good idea, the best one I’ve heard all day. I want to sweat and strain and hurt myself and at the end of it all I want peace, quiet, sleep, nirvana.

At the end of yoga, you are a body. A body that will be in pain presently. You are a mind, a mind that has been stilled. And it works better than almost anything I’ve done. I want that feeling always.

I have these racing thoughts and I’m sure he did too. There are moments when I finish his sentences, when he cuts himself off and stares at me in disbelief. I know you. I am you. This is why I throw myself into the language. This is why I walk the way I walk, why my eyes glint the way they do. I’m swaggering for two, making up for lost time, pounding the pavement with something running in my veins that won’t let me be.

Keybumps in the bathroom again but I know anything you’d sniff smoke shoot swallow would leave you slumped against the wall for days, eyes glazing over contemplating your own morality, mortality.

“Poetry is a game of loser take all.” Reaching for the brass ring just to bend it, burn it, break it. Bent spoons and scorch marks and your memories flooding my veins. I’m sorry I can’t get over these little tragedies. They’re not mine, but they’re here.

And maybe this is what I am fleeing from. Wasted potential. Breaking every heart within ear shot. Including my own. And yes, it makes me sad. And yes, I’m filled with despair when I imagine the nights he spent haunting the South Bronx, the Lower East Side lookinglookinglooking and never finding that hit like the first one. The one that slammed you against a wall and left you reeling left you thinking ‘it doesn’t get better’ because how could it?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 10, 2011 1:28 pm

    there is no specific pain or experience quite like loving an addict, being a party in their life while they live out their vices. i can’t imagine what it is when it’s a parent, and i don’t at all want to be presumptuous enough to act like i get it. i don’t. i get the theme though, and well – i don’t know. i don’t write about my ex and my experiences during that time anymore, although i did some of my best writing then. i don’t have a point in this comment, besides that i want you to know that i have at least the foggiest notion of the feelings you speak of here, so you’re not alone in them.

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