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What do you think heaven is like?

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2/12/13 09:56 pm

One time I said "I don't know how to stop loving you" and for a minute I was hopeful, I thought that might be the spell. It wasn't, of course.

But now I do. I do know how to stop loving. And life stretches out in front of me, infinity.

10/8/12 09:36 am - Is my bright too slight to hold back all my dark?

My dog died. I wrote a lot about it elsewhere but I think now the words have dried up. I loved her. I wish she still existed somewhere. Who knows - maybe she does.

Jesus Christ, I'm not afraid to die, but I'm a little bit scared of what comes after. Do I get the gold chariot, do I float through the ceiling?

I have no idea who I'll be. I used to think I had a handle on who I was, what would happen, but lately I don't know anything. I consider religion. I consider magic. I consider bright cities of steel, brick, and history. I don't know what will happen. For once, it's okay with me.

My little family. My dog follows me from room to room, rests his head on my still hands. I wake to my cat watching me, still, waiting for the morning. I melt into my wife when she holds me. The air is turning to fall and we walk together through piles of leaves and drifting sunshine. This is enough.

I told my brothers that I chose to be happy, chose to push out everything that stood in the way of that, even things I once thought beautiful. I think they're disappointed in me. Maybe they don't understand, or maybe I don't. But I have to try.

9/15/12 08:32 pm - we were never here

This weekend we drove the seven hours from Atlanta to the triangle to see if it's somewhere we want to live. It isn't. Friday night we walked around Raleigh as the sun set. It smelled like urine, the windows were broken. One block we liked, red cobblestone, but it quickly gave way. Saturday we spent the morning in Durham, a whole day's planned activities condensed into a few hours. Disappointment quickly rose. It's not the place I wanted it to be, just some small squat city. Tie-dye. The Duke Gardens were nice, we went back there in the evening, flowers and the end of summer winds.

So many meaningful moments happen in cars. I don't have many memories, I think I'm too focused on the future. But there are some that stick with me. I remember one time riding in the back of Ben's mom's van, and I was pretending to sleep, or trying to, and I remember he cradled my head so gently so that I wouldn't feel the bumps. That was one of the moments I felt most loved in my whole life. And I remember a day riding around in David's bright yellow car, looking at trees sinking into a lake, like they were drowning, and pushing through underbrush on a path in some nameless Winston Salem park, and lying on the ground, deciding it was something, and just hours of driving around, listening to music, marveling at how much I could feel. Back then I felt that music was my religion and I considered experiencing an album together like some spiritual bonding. I wish I could feel like that again.

Then of course there were the multiple cross-country drives - when I cried all the way from Charlotte to Kansas City, the first time, because I didn't want to leave. Then, several years later, the drive from Kansas City to Atlanta, feeling triumphant, ready for a new life. Of course it wasn't what I expected but that emerald green sign proclaiming At-lan-ta was such a celebrated sight, at the time.

And now, this. Driving along dark roads, windows down, the air cold and hitting my face. A familiar smell. God, that smell, it makes my heart just break. I don't know where I am but I know all the road names, from studying it. So many people that were once something to me came from this state. So many memories. All the beauty I knew, at one time. I loved it here. I wanted to be able to stay. I don't think I can.

I grew up and it's not enough anymore. I know it was me who changed. I miss campfires, and towering pines, waterfalls, mix CDs, the brave exploration of worlds outer and inner. I miss being young and in love with so many people around me, and feeling loved back.

I don't think you can have that, once you grow up. If you're lucky you have your person, and don't get me wrong, I know I'm lucky. But I miss those feelings. Sometimes I think I miss the people. But mostly, I think, I miss the feelings, and I can't have those again.

She said we could always come back, visit, but I know we won't. North Carolina isn't enough to force the expense of airfare and rental cars and hotels, it doesn't outweigh family or exotic locations. It's just the simple southern state where half of me grew up. Where I fell in love.

8/26/12 08:50 pm - i do, i do, i do

How do I explain it? This: getting a call from my wife (who left for an overnight appointment) to look outside the door, seeing my favorite chocolate cake, a magazine, a sprig of lavendar, and a note - "I'd never let zombies eat your face off, never." (We spent the day watching zombie movies.)

In this moment I feel so lucky, so happy, so cared for. Over and over. How did I get to be so lucky?

7/13/12 08:26 pm

I got married. Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.

3/4/12 10:11 pm

I still think North Carolina is one of the most beautiful places.

1/7/12 08:23 pm - i won't let you close enough to hurt me

There's this ball of rage just growing in me, pulsing ominously every now and then, that kind of sick sinking feeling, impotence. I feel it in the flushing of my cheeks, breath catching in my throat, and just this bile rising, rising, a flood of hatred and angry words, that desperate flailing. It's just the injustice, I guess, the same feeling of my childhood. Knowing that this is wrong, wrong, wrong, feverishly feeling it all the way down to my bones, this is wrong, but knowing you are powerless and they always get away with it. The grownups. They do what they want, and they don't listen, and young and helpless you can't find the words to explain, words powerful enough to break through the fog they've put you in. So instead you seek the words to wound them, knowing still that nothing is strong enough, poison enough, because all you have words and words are nothing.

I've been having these dreams about murder. And all I have is some flimsy object, a plastic bottle, a pillow, and yet I go about methodically killing. Just hitting and hitting and hitting as hard as I can - calm, not flustered or sweaty. But just knowing my best chance is to keep going and going and not stop. So I take my bottle and I slam it into her face again and again and I hold her down and I watch the blood and I hit her harder and my arm never gets tired and I just keep trying and trying, hoping that soon it will have been hard enough or long enough and I will win. I haven't won yet. She never dies.

Look, I never set out to be political, and this isn't. I've felt almost ashamed, like some cliche of a figure on the evening news, embarrassed to call attention to myself, and this difference I now find myself in. I never wanted this. I want to be left alone in my love. I pull her in to me and at the same time push away from the inside. It's too much, and I've always sensed it. I squeeze her tight, tighter, craving pressure, and always feel the distance. But it's slowly disappearing, and one day I know I'll succeed, be clean and naked and free, forgive myself for everything, forgive the world maybe, stop fearing pain. In any other story that would be the happily ever after and all we need. In every other story that could be the end, and as we embrace the world would slowly turn, and there we'd stay, safe in some secret place. But we don't get that. We get the constant prickling at the edges, like needles, slick and dripping black oil, methodically tearing holes in the membrane around us, letting the warm air out. I can feel their icy breath behind me. Just leave me alone, leave me alone, leave me alone.

I want to sweep my arms and draw wide swaths, separate out all the chaff. Maybe if I was just more organized, better at measuring who is and who isn't, if I could draw magic circles of protection wherever I needed them. But I don't know who the enemy is, and there's too many of them. When I think I understand who they are I am always surprised. Someone I thought was safe, isn't, and it's back to the drawing boards. But like words, what are my drawings? I used to think they had some power, that if I tried for long enough I could find a way to pull out that power inside me and someone would see. I don't think that even more. Like words, they are just cheap, and once again I am ashamed.

In just a few months we will stand in front of all the people we love, who we hope love us, and we'll say we're married. I love her. I love her so much. This should be the best time, this is the time I should get to float around, indulge myself in girlish fantasies, be swathed in pink and joy and light. And instead I just feel that thick blackness bubbling through my insides, crumbling away at all my careful edges. I see your faces and I turn away. I want to draw you in, be with you, have a family, a community, be protected and raised up, join hands. But I retreat further into the forest of briars, creating my own hell. Like a teenager again, I am alone and misunderstood, drowning in fury, aware of my own helplessness, the futility of my feelings and I spiral down, down, down.

10/1/11 08:31 pm

Ugh I've felt so fucking nostalgic lately. I keep waiting for the day when life feels that way again.

2/22/11 09:52 am

It's only February, but it feels like spring here. It's been in the sixties for the past week, and when I wake up in the morning I take the dogs out in my pajamas, barefoot, and smile at the sun. The dandelions are turning into yellow blossoms, and there are patches of little purple flowers - violets? Every saturday the park is crowded with young families and lots of dogs. Dads bring their sons to fish tiny perch from the lake. People spread out blankets on the lawn and kick soccer balls around. It's alive and wonderful.

We hung up sheer white curtains over the windows in our bedroom, and it makes a big difference. Now it feels like a quiet oasis. The windows stay open all day. Our night stands hold stacks of library books and ikea candles.

Now that it's warm I've woken up. I cut my hair and I feel good again.

1/29/11 09:01 am

My life has changed quite a bit in one year. Last January I was moping around my mother's house, completely miserable. I hated school, I hated my life, I was lonely and trying to date people I didn't like. Then I dropped out, took a job far away, made some money, met the most wonderful person, and life continued to improve from there. We took trips, adopted the cutest puppy, and I was adopted into a hilarious and loving second family. I got a full-ride to a school that I now love and wish I had more than two years to spend. I got to move back home to the south, and now we have two adorable puppies. We have plans for the near future that will make me happier than anything.

It is very comforting to have learned that no matter how bad things get, they can also vastly improve in a short period of time. My sister said something about how when life's bad, it's really the universe nudging you into your right position, and I think that's going into my religion.
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