Another place


Another place:

A personalized room is still a prison. No matter what you put in it. If you spend enough time in a room you get itchy, and want to bolt. By bolting I mean packing up all my stuff and getting in a car, driving far, far away from here. I tried to make this room comfortable- a poster of Monet’s Water Lilies, Christmas lights, a full sized bed. After a time I reached my limit on things to add to this room. I want to leave this place, not put more stuff in it.

I’d rather be in a room with a slanted ceiling covered in texture and glitter, a room with candles flickering and Norah Jones playing. In the comfort of my lover’s arms, reflected in his eyes. A cozy room in a cozy house. The time I spend there is precious. By the fire, watching movies, with the warmth of his arms around me. Swaying to music, in our heads or playing through speakers. Playing house, as my mom would call it- doing dishes and laundry, cooking. Imagining what it would be like to have a place of our own.

If not there then in another room, with three purple walls and a blue one, peach colored sheets on the bed with roses on them from my childhood. A chair filled with stuffed animals, a nice closet, and high ceilings. Even waking up alone there is okay, because the sun is shining and the birds are chirping. The days I wake up with a knock on the door are particularly nice, since my mom is there to bring me tea, and tell me how glad she is that I am home.

I even miss the days of waking up to The Clash’s The Magnificent Seven, with the words “Ring! Ring! It’s 7:00 A.M!/Move y’self to go again/ Cold water in the face/ Brings you back to this awful place” playing on my dad’s iHome when his alarm goes off.

I’d even rather be in a less convenient place, in a little room in a little house in the country, in a room clearly decorated for someone in their childhood, with pale lavender walls, a twin sized bed, and a porcelain lamp made out of cherries. With a garden and hills and trees outside. A lake at the bottom of the hill, where you can swim all day when it’s warm, floating and looking up at the blue sky. On a cold day there’s always a fire burning in the wood stove, and candles flickering.

Or in a completely new place, that hasn’t been fully imagined yet: a one-bedroom apartment in Boston, that’s little and cozy, an opportunity to furnish it with my loved one. There will be the convenience of a world right outside our door.

There are so many options of so many rooms in so many places that I’d rather be. Yet I’m stuck here, with my full sized empty bed, Monet’s Water Lilies, and Christmas lights. Even with a bit of decoration these four white walls are plain, and scuffed, and the floor is grungy with bits of the tiles missing. And a most unpleasant noise comes from a fridge that rattles, and keeps me awake at night. For now though, this will do. On a good day, it’s not so bad.There are only a few weeks left and weeks trickle by quickly.


I’ve been there


I’ve been there:

I’ve spent so much time alone I can’t handle myself. After being cooped up I take long walks in the crisp night air, trying to get away. My emotions want to claw their way out from inside of me. They bounce around my entire being and I don’t know how to feel. I want to run, far away from here as I howl at the moon and the stars. I need a release. I’ve felt like my soul does not belong in my body, it doesn’t quite fit right and it wants to get out. Like Peter Pan and his shadow, except that life is never that easy. I cry, sobbing interrupted by the ugly wails that I can’t keep inside. I’ve spent weekends crying, not knowing why I was unable to stop. I’ve wanted to quit, to give up.

People ask me how I feel and I tell them I’m “okay” or “good” so that they won’t ask for an explanation. If they even would. Where is the divide between the people that you can tell your true emotions to, and the ones that you should say you are okay, even if you’re not?

Anxiety. Despair. Loneliness. Aging. Fear. Depression. Anger. Hopelessness. Damaged. Alone. Suicidal.

People that don’t suffer from depression have no idea what it’s like. I’ve come across some that think it is an emotion you can control, and that you “mustn’t encourage negative thoughts.” What they don’t know is that depression works the other way round, and can control you. While some cultures do not talk about emotions like depression and suicide, this hides the important fact that these feelings can be hereditary. Families in these cultures do not tell their family members if another person has suffered from mental health issues. Many people live in denial, thinking that they cannot acknowledge how they feel. Well I’ll tell you how I feel, for those of you that don’t know what it’s like.

Not being able to move. Having a hard time falling asleep but an even harder time getting out of bed. Being exhausted even after sleeping. Not being able to eat. Finding it hard to believe I’m attractive, when I once knew I was beautiful. Not feeling pretty, or amazing. I’ve been alone so long I’ve become unable to respond to compliments, except to give a half-hysterical laugh, and reply, “No, you are”.

Black Lake


Black Lake:

Arthur, the orange and white striped cat. lay buried beneath the earth. Above him was a place marker made out of twigs, a plastic Indian, and a feather.

Before that, two girls and a brother huddled together crying. It was snowing, the girls were five, and the boy was two. The oldest of the girls, whose cat it was, had wanted to help carry the body, but because she was little and dead bodies are heavier than living, she had no choice but to watch her dad carry him instead.

Before that, the family had gone upstate for the weekend, and brought the girl’s best friend, as well as her mom, her mom’s boyfriend, and their friend. The family had been gone for a month, and Arthur passed away the evening that they returned. The adults sat together with him as the cat died. They then decided to burry him the next day. The snowflakes were huge that day, and in the quiet, the adults were struck by how sacred life felt.

Before that, the gray cat named Spook hid under the table while children pestered Arthur. Spook was scared of people while Arthur was the more social kind who loved to be petted.

Before that, the couple brought their four cats upstate to their second home in the country: Basic, Masala, Arthur, and Spook. Basic ran away, returned for a bit, then disappeared for good, while Masala ran away soon after. Which left the couple with Arthur and Spook.

Before that, the wife received her Masters degree, and the couple visited the husband’s parents in England. There in the Lake District they decided to start a family.

Before that, the couple looked for a county house on Black Lake near Monticello NY. The woman was allergic to mold and most of the houses they had looked at were moldy, which inspired her to have a house built for them. Land was bought prior to their marriage, and shown to the man’s parents when they visited for the couple’s wedding.

Before that, two people had met during an Al Anon meeting. Donned in purple from head to toe, the man knew that the woman was trouble. And yet, he proposed to her three months later.




The crunch of leaves underfoot is always the worst. When the first sign of color highlights the trees, it is celebrated. They then turn brown and are shredded from the passage of too many feet. It makes me want to preserve them when their colors are still fresh. I always used to like dipping them in paraffin wax when I was a kid, especially when I got to dunk my hand in there until the wax would harden around my fingers.

I light a cigarette. Fall wouldn’t be so bad if I had someone to share it with. We could get hot cider, and go on long walks in the woods, then return home to sit by the fire, drinking wine to celebrate that we have each other. Or rake leaves into a pile so that our kids could jump in them while our dog runs around the white-fenced yard. That wouldn’t be so bad.

Instead, the only thing that embraces me is the stale scent of too many smokes and the occasional pang of loneliness. Blowing on my gloved hands, I decide to get some cider. If I can’t keep someone else’s hands warm this season, at least I can warm my own. With fall and the weather getting colder comes the nagging desire to find a mate. By winter I’m shivering my skinny ass off and cursing myself for being alone, instead of having someone in my arms while the first heavy snowfall falls gently outside the window. I curse myself for not having the guts to ask that certain someone out, and instead pretending I was okay with being just friends. Worse, I curse them for not showing up, except for in my imagination. What if I will always be alone? I don’t know how many recurrences I can take of being alone as it gets cold outside.

As I walk the streets unacknowledged, unnoticed, I find myself imagining being the other half to a solid unit. It’s nothing new for people to ignore me I’m pretty average. Plain hair, plain eyes, plain face. I watch the pretty wife with shoulder length blonde hair and blue eyes, holding the hand of her blue eyed, blonde haired son. That’s one hell of a rock on the hand that’s holding her little boy’s, someone must really love her.
I could be the guy who can always be counted on, to pick up his family after a long day of work. Hey honey, how was your day? Hey kid, how was school? My days would be complete just to welcome them home. The guy who picked out that perfect ring, for his perfect wife.

But I am no one’s other half. Cigarettes, a decent job, and a dingy apartment are all I have, along with the colors of leaves in fall as a reminder that I am alone. Maybe I’ll get a dog, they’re always there to welcome you as long as you feed them.

(Inspired by The Stranger by Albert Camus).

Pub tunes:


Pub tunes:

In a moment of despair, the man ties his wife to a rock and throws her down the well behind their house. You see- he had just returned to his house in England after the war to find his wife in another man’s arms. To cover the murder he hastily had a pub built over the well. Some say they can still hear the woman cackling at night.