#scintilla13: a closed meeting.

scintilla-twitter-badge I’m a cofounder of The Scintilla Project, along with the beautiful and talented Kim and Onyi. We believe that your stories make you who you are and we’re asking you to share yours. Interested? Learn more at scintillaproject.com and find us on twitter @ScintillaHQ.

prompt: write about a chance meeting that has stayed with you ever since.

i really had no business at a narcotics anonymous meeting.

by this point, “used up” was the only term that could be used to describe me. i was shaky and lost. i thought i’d abandoned my original ideas saving him (god, how trite) and yet, here i was, again.

it’s very hard to keep track of the twists and turns of the particulars. explaining how i got there is a longer, more private endeavor, and not all mine to tell. but i think, if my memory hasn’t fuzzed this one out, i think we were supposed to be separated. i think he called me and told me he needed help and i think by this point i knew there was only so much i could do, that help needed to be something far larger and more empathetic. i still thought it was my job to deliver it.

if you’re not familiar with twelve step program meetings, there are some that are open and some that are closed. this wasn’t the first i’d been to; we always searched for open meetings, meaning that non-addicts could sit in. the only one we could find this time was closed. i walked in anyway, he asked around a little, and a woman said she’d keep me company outside. that wasn’t the goal of the asking around, but it was what came of it.

she was older, somewhere in her fifties. long gray hair and a weathered face and most importantly, one of those glowy souls. you know the kind – the radiant people.

“what are you doing here?” she inquired, not unkindly.

“he called. he said he needed help. i’m the only one…”

“could he not get himself here?”

that, i had no answer for.

for the first time in three years it was ok to talk about how this affected me. for the first time, someone told me flat out that there was nothing i could do, and if i kept trying it would be me, in a meeting room someday. this fight would destroy me, if i let it.

someone finally told me i was worth more. that there was a lot of life left in front of me. i’d mostly forgotten that, at twenty years old.

i don’t have the right words to explain what it is to love an addict – there are years now between me and this, and that distance has dulled it all a little. thank god for that, really. so i can’t tell you how empty and hopeless it is, and how quickly you lose all sense of light. how the fight seems eternal and unscalable. but more than anything, how soon you completely forget that it’s not your fight. people told me, sometimes, but those people loved me and did not love him, and i loved him, so their opinions weren’t to be trusted. the word of a neutral party was far more powerful.

i never saw her again and i doubt she knows that she reset the course of my life a few degrees. which was just enough to change things, eventually.

#scintilla13: home training.

scintilla-twitter-badge I’m a cofounder of The Scintilla Project, along with the beautiful and talented Kim and Onyi. We believe that your stories make you who you are and we’re asking you to share yours. Interested? Learn more at scintillaproject.com and find us on twitter @ScintillaHQ.

prompt: write about a thing that happened to you while you were using public transportation.

the new york city subway is an absolute hellhole.

no, i’m not kidding. it’s really, truly awful. it’s not the dirt or the homeless people, though both exist in spades. it’s not the fact that it can take you an hour-ish to go ten miles, or that sometimes when it brakes you think your train is going to hop right off the tracks.

it is a hellhole for the sheer fact that so much humanity is packed into such a tiny space and my god, people have no home training.

i have a ton of peeves on the train, and i won’t even call them pet peeves because they’re NOT – that makes it sound like they’re quirky and individual to me and basically, i just want people to have manners and a middling standard of decorum. i don’t like people who play their music out loud. i don’t like people who use crappy iphone headphones meaning they’re essentially playing their music out loud. i don’t like dudes who spread their legs open as far as they can go. i don’t like people who jam their elbow into my waist. but i really do not like people who hug the pole, or use it as their own personal leaning support.

a couple of years ago i had to get rid of my car. it was in impound (again) and it was getting incredibly expensive to maintain it, plus it was probably falling apart because it had only cost me $900 from some guys i did not really know. i had decided to junk it; i did not have the wherewithal or knowledge or lack of conscience necessary to sell it, in the condition it was in. but first i had to get it out of impound. for the second time.

in the city, your car gets impounded when you’ve amassed $350 or more in tickets and they’ve gone unpaid for a while. you need to go to an Office (which is not at all conveniently located) to pay your tickets, their late fees, the tow fee, and various other Fees. it ends up costing about $1,000. i swear to god, subway cars should be made of platinum for what the city collects in parking fines, but, anyway. so you go to the Office and you give them all your money and then you get some Paperwork and you can go to the impound lot and retrieve your car. the particular impound lot where my car was located was about a mile walk from any subway in an industrial section of brooklyn. the first time i went, the bouncer chastised me for not taking a cab from the subway station. this time, he just came with me.

i have extraordinary anxiety about money – and you’ll say, but dominique, if you have such anxiety about money, why did you let your parking tickets sit for so long? and i will tell you that sometimes i deal with this anxiety by shoving a problem in a corner, sticking my fingers in my ears, squinching my eyes shut and shouting lalalalala and hoping it goes away. i am slowly learning that it doesn’t. in any case, i was REALLY not happy to have just given the city all my money and i was even less happy because i had no idea how junking a car worked or how long i’d be sitting in front of the impound lot after rescuing my car or if anyone would even come and i’d have to drive it back (and i was convinced it was going to blow up or something). basically, a host of unknowns plus emptying my bank account equaled a very frazzled person.

the bouncer and i are finding our appropriate train and i am in tears walking down the train platform. i get into a yelling match with some teenagers who were horsing around (ohmygod i am ninety years old), but they nearly pushed me onto the tracks. we board the train we need to be on, and it is quite empty. there are lots of places to stand and hold on to a pole. there is one pole that has a man hugging it, with his hood up. you know, the casual lean, wrapping an arm around. and i am NOT HAVING IT. i march up and tap him on the shoulder, saying excuse me. no response. i tap again, harder, say excuse me again. no response. i tap again, even harder, and the tone of my excuse me has become maybe a little shrill. and it is just kind of registering that i am making relatively rough physical contact with a stranger who is larger than me. the man sloooooowly starts swinging around, and i see that he has headphones in, and he is really not appreciating my interruption to his day. i do not care. he removes one earbud and glares down at me.

“excuse me! i’d like to be able to hold on.”

and guys, i am not kidding when i say he took my wrist and placed my hand on the pole, said, “so hold on then,” and i almost 100% lost my shit. i think the bouncer did not see this happen because i’m fairly sure he would not let a stranger touch me, and if he did see it, well, brb, i’ve got to go have a fight now. i snap back, “I’D LIKE TO HOLD ON WITHOUT TOUCHING YOU.”

it was at this point that the bouncer stepped over and firmly said, “honey, you can hold on to this other pole right here,” and the pole he was referencing was empty, and he was right. there was no reason to start a fight with a large hooded stranger man over a pole that i did not need. so i moved, and then just started yelling at the bouncer for interrupting my perfectly justified argument.

it was the principle of the matter, you know?

and in case you are wondering, i successfully retrieved my car and gave it to a nice man with a tow truck, and he gave me $200 cash, and then i went to a really good italian restaurant.

(nb: someday i will also tell you the story of the time i called a lady on the bus a see you next tuesday.)

#scintilla13: pale compromises.

scintilla-twitter-badge I’m a cofounder of The Scintilla Project, along with the beautiful and talented Kim and Onyi. We believe that your stories make you who you are and we’re asking you to share yours. Interested? Learn more at scintillaproject.com and find us on twitter @ScintillaHQ.

prompt: sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. write about teaching someone a lesson you did not want to teach.

this is not a story where you’ll be able to clearly delineate the cruelties and the kindnesses. don’t expect that.

i’ve written about him before.

we lived a thousand miles apart and spent hours a day on the phone. we had a schedule – i knew exactly when his breaks were and he knew mine and we rang then. he considered moving here and i considered moving there, but despite fantasies, it never happened. i don’t use the term best friend anymore, because nothing comes close to the ways we chained ourselves together.

we weren’t in love. at least, we told ourselves we weren’t. after we crossed a line and crossed it again, this is when the house of cards began to fall, in slow motion.

he told me i was a tease, i didn’t care, i abandoned him. we told each other to grow up, in hateful tones. in one breath i would tease him about being secretly in love with me and in the next i would tell him about how i spent the night with someone. i would question his devotion to me, to our friendship, when he told me he didn’t want to hear these things.

for people who loved each other so much, we were horrific.

we said i love you all the time, but never in that way. we never sat down and said, this is what we’re doing, and this is why, or this is what we’re NOT doing, and why. we let silence speak and we made assumptions and we were so fucking wrong, all of the time. maybe if we had really communicated, instead of hurled accusations, maybe…but i don’t let myself really think of maybe. my heart will collapse on itself if i even consider that path. there is no maybe. what’s done is done. black and white is much, much easier.

the last thing he said to me was something about calling him when i could get my head out of a guy’s ass. it was when i first started dating the bouncer, and i was asked to lie every time i saw him. you would think i’d remember his final words to me, but i don’t, because it was routine at that point. and so, i let it sit. we needed a break, i reasoned with myself.

it sat for a few weeks before i reached out. he never answered. three quarters of a year later, i sent a handwritten letter for his birthday. i wished him well. i told him how much i missed his friendship and that i was here, but that i was also happy to see his life growing, getting better. he seemed to be emerging out into the world, something he’d never done when yoked to me. he was dating, and back in school. i was proud, really, truly. i was devastated that it took the loss of me, the absence of my presence, to set him free.

i say to myself that after the spectacular fire we made of ourselves, at least we have grown. i say, though i can’t know for sure, that he is better off without me, and i don’t say this for pity. he stayed withdrawn as long as i was there. i was a safety harness that maybe choked him sometimes. i never meant to sever us the way i did, but i also never imagined that this would be the requirement for his happiness.

i will never know if these are only the pale compromises we give ourselves to be free of the weight of loss, or if they are the truth.

#scintilla13: a taxi and a lie.

scintilla-twitter-badge I’m a cofounder of The Scintilla Project, along with the beautiful and talented Kim and Onyi. We believe that your stories make you who you are and we’re asking you to share yours. Interested? Learn more at scintillaproject.com and find us on twitter @ScintillaHQ.

prompt: what’s the biggest lie you’ve ever told? why? would you tell the truth now, if you could?

i gave him a kiss goodbye and walked the half a block to my driveway. it is all going to be fine and no one is going to know, i tell myself over and over. my mouth was already dry but this was going to be ok. I had to make sure it stayed ok.

i didn’t drive as a teenager. i’d taken the lessons but i wasn’t very good, my parents weren’t particularly interested in making me better, and i didn’t have the money for a car or insurance anyhow. i bought a ten dollar bicycle at a garage sale that got me around, and in my senior year of high school i had enough money to take local cabs sometimes. i started venturing out on my own frequently, and it wasn’t a big deal for me to spend a day or by myself.

but the summer before college, i also started dating a man who was twice my age. we worked together and he flirted with me always, and i thought it was a joke – we worked in a deli with a close knit group, we were busy and had to be in sync always, so you developed friendships. one weekend when my parents were going to be out of town, he proposed taking me out. i said yes. i never thought it would really happen. it happened. and it kept happening.

so this particular day, we went to the street fair a town over. i took a cab there and my parents thought i was going alone. as you may have already supposed, i was not, in fact, going alone. i met him and we spent the day browsing kitschy doodads and eating terrible food and going on rides and falling a little more in love, though i think i was still at the point where i believed this was a one month fling (it was not, in fact, a one month fling).

it was absolutely beyond imperative that my mother not discover this relationship. the one thing sustaining my will to live was going away to school, and i’d secured several scholarships to a decent private university two whole hours from home. if she caught me in this level of sneaking around, i would without question be forbidden from going to college. this was not an option.

i walked up the driveway and into the house, and nobody was inside. i heard music from deep in the backyard, and i found my parents floating around in the pool.

“why didn’t you take a cab home?”


“i did,” i reply, using every single ounce of strength i have to keep my voice from quavering. that’s sort of a lie, because i reserved some strength for trying my hardest to stop the heat from rising in my face.

“we didn’t hear a door slam.”

so here’s the deal. they thought something was up because i’d confessed that a boy who worked at the roofing place across the street from the deli had asked me out. i also truthfully told them that i’d declined. i hadn’t quite gotten to my reason for saying no – the fact that i was dating my thirty something year old coworker. you see how it all gets a little twisty? because of a longstanding policy of a lack of trust on both sides, they thought that i was sneaking around with the roofer – and considering what i was actually doing, this wasn’t a terrible thing for them to believe.

“i don’t know how you want me to prove it to you.”

“go get me the phone.”

fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. shit is about to get real, and quick.

if you’ve never met a woman who will call the dispatcher at a taxi company and ask them if they’ve recently driven her daughter from sayville to bohemia, then you’ve obviously never met my mom, because this was her exact intention. my mother gives new meaning to the term “giving no fucks”, especially when it concerns me and lying. i walked back to the house, seeing my life’s purpose slipping away from me by the second.

there was the tiniest ray of hope and 80% it hinged on me developing a set of balls in twenty seconds flat. the other 20% depended on the kindness of a stranger.

i picked up the cordless house phone and quickly hit redial – if she suspected my plan, she might try this to catch what i’d be doing. but the last recorded call was my call to the cab company, for my pickup, so i was safe. i let it ring, the dispatcher answers, gruff and abrupt as always.

“hi. a woman is going to call you in a few minutes asking if you just did a pickup in sayville with a dropoff in bohemia. i need you to say that you did.” i’m not making a great case (or any case) for myself so far.

“what? did we?”

“no. she wants to make sure i was by myself and i wasn’t, i was with my boyfriend who she can’t know about. i ride with you guys all the time, and you’ll be saving my life if you do this.”

“so you want me to lie for you?”

“yes…” hold my breath.

“uh, ok.”

maybe there is a baby jesus in heaven.

i breathe my thanks to my new savior and click off. walking back outside i am practically defiant in my stride, but i remind myself to tone it down, that i’m not out of hot water yet. she makes the call and my new best friend comes through. she’s clearly still suspicious, but since a complete stranger just corroborated my story, there’s not much she can say. i went up to my room, sat quietly, breathed in and out deeply. and this was the one time i ever got away (at least for a little while) with lying to my mother.

i don’t know if this quite constitutes the biggest lie i have ever told – i turned this prompt over in my head for a while before answering. but it did set the path for what would be my biggest series of lies, which was absolutely this relationship. it was born in nights i snuck out, on beachy cliffs of the north shore where he shouted to the stars how much he loved me. on highways driving too fast in a teal sports car at 3 am. leaned against the car after a 10pm movie, parking lot floodlights on us. pulled over on the side of the road because we never wanted to say goodbye. all of it, at the time, secret. it got out, eventually, and that’s a story for another day…

#scintilla13: fifteen and drunk.

scintilla-twitter-badge I’m a cofounder of The Scintilla Project, along with the beautiful and talented Kim and Onyi. We believe that your stories make you who you are and we’re asking you to share yours. Interested? Learn more at scintillaproject.com and find us on twitter @ScintillaHQ.

prompt: tell a story about a time you got drunk before you were legally old enough to do so.

i am fifteen years old and i’ve probably never felt uglier. this is where we start. i am right in the middle of heartbreak, i am right on the far side of an eating disorder.

i go to florida for the winter holiday. i’m from here, sort of, or at least i spent several formative years here, and i am sent to visit family once or twice a year. i spend time writing, letters that i will never send, that still live in a gray box, a men’s cologne set box. i have no idea how to feel good about myself.

one of my aunts is ten years older than me, so she is twenty five and i think she is the actual coolest person that has ever walked the planet. when i was five she gave me a pair of jean shorts, and i wore them until it actually hurt my seven or eight year old little organs to do so, because i could not bear to give up on the one cool clothing item i own. she is a mentor in a way and i am at a very sticky age and i don’t know what to tell anybody, really.

she asks me if i’d like to go to a party at her friend’s house. of course i want to go to a party at the house of a twenty five year old person – what fifteen year old wouldn’t want this? my grandmother, her mother, warned her extensively of drinking and driving, with me in the car and all, and after grandma left she turns to me and asks, “the real question is, are YOU going to drink tonight?” i mumbled something about thinking probably not, but the seed was planted. she asks me this as she does my hair and makeup, just like her own. styling and drying my curls into something big and face framing and making me up so much that i probably could get into a bar.

shortly after we arrive, i’m offered a screwdriver and although orange juice isn’t one of my favorite things, it is remarkably mild and tastes just like orange juice and where could the harm possibly be in that? i feel so fancy, so beautiful, and so remarkably adult in this place that i’m not really supposed to be, this place that is far away from home and in this magical situation that would never happen in my real life. people – people ten years older than me – are complimenting my maturity, humor, and the way i look. it’s a universe that i can’t quite process but am perfectly happy to enjoy. i’m sure my humility about it is charming.

we play games (this will be the night i learn to play kings, and it will remain my favorite drinking game). there is music and i dance, and there are a total of four big red solo cup drinks and some jello shots tossed into the mix. there’s a boy who is somehow unaware of my age, who flirts with me endlessly until someone clues him in. he’s shocked at himself and he’s shocked at me and i laugh and laugh and try to convince him it doesn’t matter (he remains convinced that it does indeed matter, for any concerned readers). i am, i guess, getting a taste of what life can look like outside of my tiny little bubble of a world where i am so unhappy. i’m starting to understand that one boy not loving me back doesn’t equate to being invisible and worthless to all boys. and to be incredibly plain about it, i’m having fun, which is something i don’t do often.

the next morning after sleeping on the couch, i wake up refreshed and full of energy and excited, and excited is not something i’ve been in a while. my aunt and her partner marvel at my hangover free youth, and she compliments me on handling myself so well. it is of course understood that this will be our secret. and it was, for a long time.

i drank screwdrivers pretty religiously until my mid twenties, when i just couldn’t take the sugar and acid anymore. my regular drinks are still vodka based. kings, as i mentioned, is still my favorite drinking game. i am still grateful that i had a chance to have this experience under the eye of someone who loved me and who would watch out for me, and that i could feel safe participating in something i thought was incredibly illicit – even i was naive, once upon a time.

maybe it’s been the heat holding me down.

this is a very old school style post for me – back in the day, i had xanga and a secret blogspot. i’m sorry if it’s not what you’ve come to expect, or enjoy. but it’s really all i’ve got at the moment. anything else feels way too false. also, it was written last week, and things are looking a bit up, so promise me you won’t worry. that’s not my goal.

i find myself staring at strangers, wanting to know all their secrets. it used to be a fetish of mine – i would play a tit for tat game of the exchange of information, i was desperate to understand how the pieces formed the whole. quid pro quo, doctor. i hardly thought of myself as a person so i gave up my facts readily but in a calculated sequence. i established trust, i targeted those who seemed neediest. i cared, but in a way i didn’t. it was a dark game. don’t worry, i haven’t done it in years. it was borne of an intellectual teenager’s angst, and if i’ve done nothing else, i’ve grown up.

and i think of how funny it is, that there are words that choke me when I’m talking to people who already love me, whom i already love (that’s a thing, i have no idea when to use who and whom. i apologize. i promise most of my grammar is very good). that i’ve never written the bouncer a love letter – it’s something i used to do but that part of me… i don’t know where it is or even if it still is. at all. i don’t, in many ways, recognize myself after the past seven years.

in most ways i write off my crazy as sort of a joke, just a quirky thing. it’s not, really, and i know that, but how else do you deal? i laugh loudly at the things that irk me, at how i can be so obsessive, but really i’m dealing with inexplicable body aches several days a week. i don’t know what to think they’re from besides constant worry. i tell people playfully about issues between the bouncer and i. no one really knows when i’m sobbing until 3am because of any one of several things that happened three years ago, that he’s apologized for over and over, that i can’t let go of. i say, i couldn’t sleep last night, but no one knows that i was standing at my open window at 1am, arms up on the sill, leaning, eyes drooping, wondering how the fuck i was going to deal with another day, exhausted.

well, now you all know. i promise, this isn’t a cry for help – i know there is help out there, i know how to get it. i know how this all sounds, but it’s not quite like that. i tell myself its not that bad. i just haven’t decided if that’s true or not.

believe me, i feel guilty. that i am not a ray of sunshine, that i don’t participate in the joyful beams of friendship that float around twitter and the internet – it’s just not me, but i swear, i’m not a black cloud. that i am just not as bright and shiny as everyone else. that i don’t cook the bouncer dinner so often anymore, or bake treats for him or my coworkers. i live with a lot of fear that you don’t like me, even if it seems like you do. i’m afraid that my side eyes, my waist size, my lack of religion, my layers, that they’re a thing that makes me hated. i wonder sometimes if the great majority of my social interactions are simply patronizing bullshit. i feel so guilty that i am me, and not a model of someone you’d like more.

it makes me sad and nervous to put this on the internet. my boss will probably read it, acquaintances that only know one face of me, people that might be shocked or uncomfortable. but if there’s anything we should all get used to, it’s that there’s always more than what you think to see. people are whole, and i like to believe that’s ok. and when all of the parts of a person maybe aren’t working together quite how they should, and they want to talk about it, maybe there shouldn’t be punishment for it. there’s precious little honesty out there – shouldn’t we treasure it?

i know this is scattered, rambly, and i wish it weren’t. i’m hoping fall brings me a new charge, a wave of refreshment somehow. i hope it has all just been the heat holding me down.


i have memorialized it beyond any use it will ever have. don’t think i don’t realize that.

i speak in those extremes so frequently. i catch myself tip tapping out my familiar turns of phrase and i think, “again? we are not done with this?”

some days you are reminded of vile, vicious bits of your past, some days you are reminded of your capacity for hate, for rage, for an anger so pure you frighten yourself, the things you can imagine saying, doing. some days, sometimes the same ones, you’re reminded of how tender things could be. you cock your head as you gaze upon someone’s words and you say, “yes. you remind me of him. i know what you’re made of, because i knew him once.” you remember that these things, these times, they’re ghosts. ghosts.

some days you are reminded that you are loved. that people carry warm feelings for you. that you have friends. i was never one to go to the extremes of thinking no one would care if i died, but for a long time i did truly believe that no one would care if i left. if i packed everything and went far away, dropped off the face of new york and the internet and all of the places where i’m known. some days i’m reminded that that’s not really true.

i wince, when you all have noticed that things have not been easy for me this summer. i don’t have good reason. everything is chugging along as it should, there are no traumas, there are no catastrophes. there is a constant and unyielding pressure to be happy, upbeat, positive, smiley, in every moment, to be taking advantage of all this wide life has to offer. sometimes, the things this life has to offer are a tidal wave and you are left sputtering. sometimes, there are no reasons for why things feel hard. they just do. it’s a thing that varies.

i wished today to erase memories, bygone eras, people who left, people i expelled. i always say i am a girl who has no regrets, and i truly don’t because i know, in most times, i was doing the best i could. i know there is no utility to a regret. there are times where i can see there was a better decision, but very infrequently have i completely thrown caution to the wind and acted with no mindfulness of what was a good decision (though when i do, i do it spectacularly, i’ll tell you).

it’s all gone, it’s all wisps, and life is so very different now. the marks made though – as kim told me today, sometimes you can’t help but touch the scar.

come together.

now we know.

there was a time when we dove into friendship with such abandon, a time when it was irresponsible but it was ok because we were together. we forged bonds from steel and iron and i could have told you, those days, who my bridesmaids would be. i could have told you who i would marry. i was wrong on all counts.

i approach with trepidation. i let my heart jump but i stay quiet, on the outside, until i know. it used to be that i would throw my stories out there to anyone who would listen and some who didn’t, some who i just hoped would. and perhaps i don’t have the balance right still, i know i’ve revealed details too soon and i’ve scared people away with them but i like to think that i’ve learned, at least somewhat, the art of facade. and when the right time is to let it drop.

the thing about inexperience is that you never, you can’t, appreciate the process. when i was seventeen i made a friend over three nights in a hotel, where we talked on our little hotel phones and told our life stories. when i was thirteen i made a friend on a bus ride back from boston, where the windowshades and our shared love of chapstick served as our glue, for that day. but never through these could i step back and realize what i was doing. i could never appreciate the linking as it happened, i couldn’t see the bond as a third entity, like i do now.

and now, it grows and i can watch it, and it’s beautiful, the unfolding, and even moreso when it’s seen. we talk for a long long time and i am laughing, and it’s been a long long time since i’ve felt the newness of a connection. for the first time i have the sense to be grateful. i feel like i talk too much about gratitude, and it’s a word that’s bandied about the personal devleopment sector of the internet with reckless abandon, and there should be another way to say it. i have the sense to know that i am participating in something special, something rare. to know that i am lucky, so lucky for this.

the stories we bear.

how do we tell these stories.

i was born in chaos. borne into chaos. i had a dream that i was never sure was a dream of being held in my mother’s arms as a car spun out of control in las vegas.
tell me when the tales become yours.
the concept of history as we grow, the weight of it, what we let matter and what we don’t. what we tell people. there are these stories, you see, and these stories when they’re told properly, they make us. the draw the physical shape in the air of who we are, they show the core that cannot otherwise be seen.
does anything ever get erased.
we spend hours, days, years drilling down to the barest essence, that which is essential, what it means to be. a millenia of study on what might be contained within us, and this is the discipline i undertook, and i remember never feeling more full. everything i ever wanted to know, i thought i was the only one, and there were so many more who asked the same questions.
relief lies within solidarity and connection. or does it.


it’s a small reminder.

all it takes to make my eyes sting a bit, to grip my heart in a quicktight vise. a tiny mention of something we shared, something he introduced me to, and it’s impossible not to set off these little bells, impossible not to remember a different time.

i had a friend in the deepest sense i’d ever known that phrase, the deepest sense i ever may. we had a push pull tidal flow that was entirely too intermixed, probably codependent, maybe dangerous, but no one has ever been further under my skin. it was the only time i ever really thought about moving elsewhere, the only time i could see myself building a new life, because it was that important that we be close to each other, that torturous that 1200 miles separated us always. our bond was forged with the thickest links of iron you could ever picture and we swore it was for always.

i tell stories of how i have seen the first target store and how once i ate a whole chipotle burrito AND chips and guacamole because i was so hungry, about how once my plane had to circle and was going to get diverted and i was terrified because we had a concert to go to that night. i don’t tell stories of how i never felt more perfect or alive or right than when we were sitting in the grass outside of an amusement park waiting for the time of the afternoon when it would get cheaper to enter and watching the roller coaster go by above our heads. i don’t tell stories of how i know it was the moment my hand was taken while riding an escalator in an indian casino that changed things.

we broke each other’s hearts all of the time, in new and creative and different ways. the last time we spoke was almost three years ago. the last words we exchanged were screams. the weeks went by and i was bitter and by the time i wasn’t, it was too late. i put out my olive branch and all i heard back was silence. the line is dead, now.

bonds break and friendships die. some truths are hard, and ice cold. i don’t have to try not to speak of this, because i am always trying not to think of this. i know this is how you craft an identity, how you bury your raw bits beneath a layer so they are not exposed always.