Discomfort

These familiar faces surround me, they have returned from places far away, come back home for this festive stretch of time, to half celebrate the end of one year and the start of a new one, the closing of strange chapters, they tell me things I have no desire to heed, they remind me of the role I fulfill in their dark souls, they have made me feel more alone than ever, here at the end of the year.

I think of the water washing up at level with the bank in the cold evenings as I stare at the twinkling lights across the river. My stomach rumbles as I think of the fulfilling prospect of hot food. I am happiest when I follow my friends back toward the restaurant. 

I hope to begin anew again soon.

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Conundrum

Specks of sadness dance in her dark eyes as she tells me of her life on the road, always moving, always unstable. Her next deployment is across the sea and over the mountains, thousands of miles away from here, from home. He wanted to be with her, she said, but then she received news of the assignment and so he stopped asking to be with her once the reality set in. She has one more year of service before she is free to be herself again, to reclaim her freedom. She said she would dye her hair green when she returned home.

This weekend I will try the new coffee roastery by my place and go for a walk afterwards, under the cool and brightening Los Angeles sky. She will head back to base and make preparations to set off for one year. She will leave everything behind and venture into unknown territory, to the other side. The point is that she will be so far from home, from her family. It will be one year before I see my friend again. It matters not what side I stand on, because I love her more than all the politik combined. I admire and appreciate her courage, and I am reminded of the value of my freedom. Freedom to choose, freedom to be. Let me never forget. I will miss her dearly.

Weirdo

I see the way the eyes betray the assertion,
the way the truth swirls like thick smoke in the core of the retinas.
I can hide much fiction without difficulty,
but the eyes, they betray me every time.
I see the way they look at me, these old eyes,
the weight of their stare,
and how deeply they feel for me.
They apologize to me, out of reverent pity.
These eyes grasp the gravity of the situation they have created,
and they know the depth of their actions.
They see how ill-equipped I am for this world,
how woefully exposed I am to the dangers that be,
how my state of being could change in an instant.
They are my creator, these aging eyes,
they are the eyes that bought me into the world,
and they are the eyes that see who I have become for it.

Palpitation

For a fraction of a millisecond, I see it.

There beyond the bluffs and the sea, the long dive below.

I see my mortality eternal, etched in layered hues of blue and gray.

I see how the best counterpart of my spirit is also its worst, its most nightmarish twin soldier. 

How love can be too much to cling to and account for, how it is nearly unbearable to fathom when I stop long enough to think on it.

How in that seemingly negligible fraction of a second, it seems entirely possible and tangible, this terrifying reality of existence.

How I might know this reality through lapsed dreams in the dark, where my consciousness is veiled under cushioned placeholders.

The night grows dreary, cold, distant.

I want to leap headlong into that dark bluff, and I want to frame you for it.

There is a Light that Never Goes Out

Take me out tonight
where there’s music and there’s people
who are young and alive.
Driving in your car
I never, never want to go home
because I haven’t got one anymore.

Take me out tonight
because I want to see people
and I want to see life.
Driving in your car,
oh please don’t drop me home
because it’s not my home, it’s their home
and I’m welcome no more.

And if a double-decker bus
crashes in to us,
to die by your side
is such a heavenly way to die.
And if a ten-ton truck
kills the both of us,
to die by your side
well the pleasure, the privilege is mine.

The Smiths