Where’s your paddle?

Floating up Shits Creek with the rest of it all.

Run Like Hell. I ran, it doesn’t work and I know that.

I’m not running away and I know I’m not running towards anything. This time I’ll just run because I want to. I like the motion. 
The Lost Kids; taking the world by storm and making threats but not following through on the promises we make to ourselves.
Failed communication, lost dreams, faded and patched hope. Internal wars that never cease their battles. It’s never quiet or easy or calm.

Smoking cigarettes to cure idle hands that need to hold on to something, but nothing is permanent. Nothing is solid or substantial enough to help us touch down.

Whiskey nights in a northern place where the season makes it so the sun never goes down. Perpetual day light with no darkness to hide from ourselves.

Opioid overdoses in mini vans at camp grounds. The lost drive to thrive and just an instinct to survive. Lost drive, broken power steering. Find the light in a place so saturated with sun that all you can see is the darkness. 

I sit in the emergency intake and try to explain why the narcan kit needs a refil. Why no one called 911. Why it’s ok, we just need more narcan. 

Broken hearts, broken dreams, broken bones, broken minds. All I can do is sit and wait and hope and help. Fight for my own part in all of this, fight for tomorrow and hold hands.

Try to understand the stories, the heart ache and trauma. Why it’s ok to cry or shake or just feel nothing. 

I need more but I don’t know what it is or how to look for it. Aimless and lost in the chaos of things and feelings.

I wonder if I’m missing something that was just never there to begin with. I wonder if my feelings are a result of some ideal or a learned belief that there is something more out there for all of us. A deeper meaning, a meaningful end game. I wonder how heart ache might be telling me lies and if I’m even believing them. Does it fucking matter anyway? I’m sick of missing people. Sick of feeling so much and so stuck with the dialogue in my own mind. But there’s no giving up or giving in. There is no choice but to keep fighting. Keep living, loving, looking.

I took a step back and called my brother. He didn’t have much to say, but he’s living right and I love him.

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Dear (Friend),

We’re getting old and I miss you.
Sometimes I miss the days where we were curled up in the fetal position, orbiting each other and everyone else like wounded satellites. Too broken to fix anything, too beat to care.
We’d roll around on dirty floors, in dirty jam rooms. Nap on thread bare couches with tears resting in our eyes. We’d walk the cold streets of a city I can’t name in our shredded shoes, our big hearts resting in our throats and trying to strangle us. We’d search, aimlessly trying to figure out how to breath again. How to breath deeply and with meaning.
How to breath through the cigarette smoke and smell of dirty laundry. The dumpstered jokes and food bank treats rotting next to the compost bin. How to breath through the oppressive smell of our sweaty dreams shouted out like threats all over this city. Threats used to cover up the fact that we’re cowards as we roll another smoke, roll another bitter joke over our lips, roll another piece of paper into a ball. Another piece of paper containing a failed letter to another failed friend. Again and again, because practice makes perfect. Ball your fists, balls of paper. One better than the other to throw around, one better than the other to fail at I suppose…

Dear (Friend),
We’re getting old and I miss you.
Sometimes I miss the nights were we spread our arms wide and yelled out at the dark. Our thoughts falling all around us into ideas and dreams as we believed in anything we could wrap our minds around. Our hearts exploding with hopes and desires and caring.
Sometimes I miss the idea that things could be that way again, before you were broken, before you broke trust with me…

Dear (Friend),
We’re getting old and I miss you.
Nothing will ever be the same again, and for that I am grateful.

Dear (Friend),
We’re getting old and I miss you.
Please stay strong. (I’m trying to forgive you)

Emo night, no cover.

Sometimes I get hit by a wave of sadness so hard and fast that it feels like a sucker punch to the gut. Taking the wind right out of me and leaving me disoriented and in pain.

There’s so many people I’ve loved over the years, and now I’m sitting here in my room at 2:44 on a Friday morning wondering how so many friendships just faded or went on hiatus.
How so many people can fail each other. How much someone (me) can miss because shit went sour and then went even worse.
I’ve made mention to leaving, to change, to running away.
I was so fucking broken when I left that I didn’t know what else to do. I spent three years drunk as fuck and shit got bad. Sometimes it was better but worse than before. Other times it was just worse.

I came out of those years yet again wondering what the fuck happened. Again destroyed even further with hurt, pain, lies, abuse.
I came out of those years with a fucking drinking problem and a concussion.
Some more scars and chips to put of the list of shit I’ll never, ever fucking let happen again.

What ever friendships I had saved from before those years really struggled to survive them. I lost more friends because I was broken and becoming more broken. I was hurt and becoming more hurt. I was losing myself and for all I fucking cared I was about to drowned in the bottom of a 20 pack of Caribou green and set my self on fire with a pack of Canadian Classics. Preferably every night. Or die trying. Hopefully.

And now I’m sober. I’m trying to give up smoking.

I’m starting to see folks around that I haven’t seen in years. It looks like a lot of people are moving out this way. People I used to be closer to and miss dearly. I’m terrified to open back up again, I’m not sure if anything has actually changed. Some of them still hold parts of me. Some of them I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to forgive. Most of them probably don’t give a fuck about me anyway.

I miss so many people so fucking much, but maybe it’s better off like this?
Maybe some of the bridges need to stay burnt.

Tonight is a night of sadness and loneliness.
Of remembering the ones that are lost to me, but not gone.
Tonight is for missing you and wishing I could erase the hurt.
Wishing you would come and hold my hand like you used to.

Tonight is for mourning parts of myself that are better dead.
For believing in my ability to find strength even in my darkest times.
Tonight is for honouring the feelings I have and respecting that I can miss people who hurt me deeply in the past.
It doesn’t make me a contradiction to have feelings, It makes me human.

The Art Of Impermanence. 

I think I found the point between working too much and meditation. I found the zen. It involves eating a lot of bananas and making jokes, swear words, installing 1 inch square tiles by hand, sanding hard wood flooring. It’s taking two hour lunch breaks to buy local artwork with your boss. A boss who happens to be your friend, who happens to be rough as all hell, gentle as fuck and who cares a lot about the people he lets in.

Talking about hard times, heart ache, broken dreams. Talking about crazy memories, beautiful people and hopes for the future.

Bruised knees and raw finger tips. Measure once, cut twice and caulk everything. If these houses burn down, the people who own them will know that their floors looked beautiful in their deaths.

These floors will die knowing the secrets of a job well done. The secrets of swearing too much and trying to find the most ridiculous thing to say.

Now that I’ve settled into finding the meditative rhythm of working every day, I wonder how I’ll re-adjust to going back to working two days a week in a kitchen I can’t stand anymore.

And then, soon, I won’t be working at all. I’d quit the kitchen, but I don’t have to, I’m getting laid off. I’ll be free from it all and off to adventure into the cold of winter with big dreams filling my mind and my heart. A freedom I’ve more than earned with dreams I don’t want to see dissipate and a heart I’ve stitched back together so many times. Misfit freedom and the perpetual search for a horizon. The art of impermanence.

Seriously though, right now I’m terrified I’ll die boring. I can’t let that happen. Not this year. 

100 days sober, another night of pals drinking in the living room. I’ll feel stronger soon. I am stronger every day. 

Wake up if you want to

I’ve realized that I’m pretty afraid to go to my friend’s memorial on Sunday.
I’m afraid my ex partner will be there.
I’m afraid that I’ll feel too many feelings all at once and I won’t be able to keep myself together.
I haven’t been sleeping very well.
Parts of me aren’t doing so well.

I had a dream where you asked me to show you my life, who I am and from what I have become. My memories and what the places inside my mind look like.
That was the feeling of it anyway.

So I took your hand and started walking, leading you to where I begin.
Taking you through the edges of myself on the streets of a place with no name, the things that I share easily with people. It looked like the old archatecture of southern ontario. Century buildings mixed with more modern store fronts. Mixed residential. Weird side streets.

We climbed a retaining wall and the place turned into Owen Sound, Ontario. I know where we were. I knew exactly where we were.
We had slipped through and into the places inside me that aren’t so easy to get to. You held my hand tighter.
You wanted to hold me, I could tell, but I kept walking, determined and focused.

I’m not totally sure what happened next, but I became afraid and anxious. Some dream details can never be remembered.

I ended up in a confrontation with my ex partner. He was drunk and being dangerous, unpredictable and terrifying. (I wonder now, what depths of hurt is he capable of?)
In my dream he pulled a knife on me. He tried to stab me and was laughing about it. He was laughing at me for being there. He fumbled and dropped the knife. He laughed it off like he was just kidding. Laughing as though, even if he wasn’t kidding, i’d deserve it all anyway. Even if he hadn’t fumbled, he would of laughed the same.

You were angry and sad and hurting. You were worried and scared for me. I could feel what you were feeling. You didn’t want me to have to be inside this part of myself, but you can’t protect me from my past. You pulled me close to you and held me. You told me that I could wake up if I wanted to, that I didn’t need to be here. I could smell you and I could feel you.
I woke up.
You weren’t there any more but I could feel the memory of you next to me.
I was sad and angry and waking with those feelings helped me realized how some parts of me still feel that way. How some parts of me are just now learning how to be those things, how to be sad and angry, and that’s ok.
I woke up and I missed you and I hated my brain for crossing those two different parts of myself.
I’m healing.
I’m realizing that nothing is truly separate. If I’m processing my past and you are part of my present, these things are part of me right now and they have intersectionality.  I shouldn’t feel bad for that. It’s just a fact of how time works.
I wonder why I’ve had so many dreams with you in them. And I think about the different ways you’ve helped change me. When you were here, I got to a point where it felt like I was dreaming with you every night. Now you’re gone and I’m dreaming during the day.