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. 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.

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)

Not Sorry

Today I woke up at Chase’s house and realized it’s 2017. How much has changed over the years. How many parts of me have come and gone and how many things are different.

It’s been 6 years since my exodus to the western seaboard. 6 years since I tried to leave a lot of hurt and pain and suffering behind. A lot of things have happened. A lot.

I woke up this morning with the words “I’m sorry” on the tip of my tongue and tears staining my face from dreams about shit that happened so long ago and about things that happened in the space between these last 6 years.

It’s been 6 years since I tried to leave an abuser and tried to remove a toxic community from my life, but the reminisce and reminders of abuse never really leave a person. They change us, somewhere down in our core, for ever.

I’m not sorry.

I didn’t do anything wrong.

I tried to believe in something and got sucked into more pain and hurt than I had bargained for.

I left to try and get better and it happened again, but in a different way. And that time too, it snuck up on me while I was trying to believe.

So yeah, I believe the sentiment “If you keep doing the same thing and it keeps going wrong, then you’re doing it wrong”, but not all the time. Because if I believed that as an absolute I’d have to stop trying to believe in people and things and I don’t think that’s right. I think that sounds like giving up.

Fuck giving up.

So fuck no, I’m not sorry. I’m not going to say those words. I’m going to try and stop feeling them and thinking them all the time too. I didn’t do anything wrong and the things I’m afraid of that make me feel this way aren’t even real most of the time. You just made me believe they were.
It’s 2017, you’re gone and might as well be dead. I won’t forgive you or believe you’ll ever change and I don’t have to. Knowing that is one of the most positive parts of my healing process.

Forgiving any of you is not my responsibility.

I am only responsible for myself.

H-NYE2U

December 31st, 2016
11:58 pm:
Peter farts.

 

January 1st, 2017
12:00am:
Peter says, in a false dismal sounding voice “happy new year” from the couch.
The stench of 2016 still lingers in the air.
I hope 2017 smells better soon.

Peter and I go for our last smokes of the 21st century.
Peter says “Tonight was perfect, exactly what I wanted for New Years Eve.”

I point out to him that he started 2017 by smelling a fart from last year.

 

January 1st, 2017
12:16am:
I’m sitting in my room laughing so hard I feel like I might have an asthma attack.
This year is gonna be hilarious.
It’s time for bed.

New Year//No Fear

I live in an interesting world.My car is broken and I feel so passive about it that I’m wondering if I should even bother to keep it. Maybe I’ll fix it and pass it on.

Yesterday, when walking to Jojo’s to get the house sitting, dog/cat/chicken run down, I ended up in a good old Canadian traffic stopper. Darcy, a local mechanical guru, saw me walking and stopped to offer a ride. We chatted on the roadside for a half hour about cars. He says to just call him when I’m free and we’ll see what’s wrong with my car.

When I got to Jojo’s, they handed me $120. It was confusing. I didn’t expect to get paid to watch Netflix, pet chickens and talk to a dog for 3 days.

Ally called me and needed help. Her and Rob are ill. Could I go to the cafe and finish refinishing the floors? She let me keep her car overnight.

I ended up working an hour shift at the pizza place. Another $15 and a free pizza.

When I brought the car back today, Ally demanded to pay me for my work. I tried to refuse, it was only 45 minutes. She gave me baby bell cheese, gluten free chocolate cake, $20 and a whole smoked salmon (it’s good until November 2022, no added preservatives. The amazing power of smoked meat!).

Tomorrow I’ll be 4 months sober.

I had a dream on Christmas night about getting totally boss hagged. I woke up the next day to find my room mate just shredded on the couch. When I returned home, 5 hours later, he hadn’t moved. I made him tea and Kraft Dinner. I gave him a gingerbread cookie I had made. I know all too well what a body destroying hang over feels like.

I never want to drink again.

Ever.

Even if I feel the draw towards it. The cold and clammy hand of a can of beer gripping for mine.
Fuck that shit.
It’s all a waste of time.
I need to remember that while I’m hanging out with PDad when he’s working at the liquor store. I need to remember my strength and resolve when I think about the dozen of failed quit smoking attempts I’ve crawled through the last few months (last year).

Soon, we’ll all be referring to 2016 as “last year”, as in “a time that’s passed”.

I’m going to think of it as “last year; as in the last year of my life that I did all this shit.”

The last year I ever drank. The last year I ever smoked. The last year of my life that I put up with abuse dynamics and bull shit. The last year that I ever let fear stop me from tearing down the cities in my mind.
2016, thank you for all the things you brought me. All the beauty and strength. All the love, compassion and kindness. For the gentle and soft souls who’ve touched me deeper than I yet understand.
Thank you for almost destroying me. Taking with you the lives of friends as your days passed. For stealing pieces of the ones I love and loved ones of those I care for. For taking parts of me with you and dragging them out over the rocks of your shorelines while I watch, injured and helpless trying to find strength.
Thank you for letting me dismantle my ideas of how things should be so I can move forward. Because there’s no where else to go but forward.
Thank you for almost being over.
2017, the best of both worlds. Let’s hold hands about it?

WatlerFest, 2016


Evan’s dad gets annoyed, in the least annoyed way, that no one wants food yet. It’s 8am and everyone is just waking up. I’ve been up since 6, ate my bananas, went for a hike in the dark.

“These people don’t eat much, do they?” He mumbles to himself while making a second pan of bacon to go with the yoghurt and fruit he’s already prepared. It all sits on the table, untouched, while the rest of his family, and the two weird kids his son brought, drink their morning coffee or tea.

Later in the afternoon Cam, Evan and I end up at the corner store. Cam is buying a bar of local made soap.

I say to myself “Now that Eric is dead, I don’t have anymore soap”

“What an asshole” Evan replies.

By late afternoon Cam is surfing. Evan and I are walking the beach and scaling a rockface ocean cliff to a view point. I watched Evan almost get swept out to sea by a tidal wave. Making risky choices so he could climb a rock formation.

He says the fear is part of what made it worth it. I think to myself that I’d be happier knowing that’s how he died as aposed to being another statistic to the fentanyl epidemic. A sad terror that’s hit the west coast and ripped through the hearts and homes of so many people.

A lot of people are dying right now.

Evan threw fire crackles at Cam (not crackers) while he was trying to change out of his wetsuit.

We talked of setting up a hot chocolate stand and selling it for $4 a cup to undercut the foreign traveller trying to raise money for a ticket to Maui who was parked next to us.

We left an anarchy symbol behind in the parking lot. It was drawn in siracha sauce.

We left unlit firecrackles for people to find, tucked away in a coffee shop.

I’m so tired and so physically exhausted from so many things and from working for 16 (? I don’t know) days straight that I don’t know how to interact. I’m happy to be with friends. Im afraid of dying boring. I’m not sure how to find new soap, it feels wrong to not have Eric’s.

There’s a lot more happening inside of me, but I don’t know the words. I’m afraid I’m refusing to feel things. I haven’t been talking so much lately, I’m in an introverted head space. Maybe I just don’t know who to share with. ¬†Maybe I just don’t need to. Or maybe I just worked too much for my little body and big mind. Maybe I just need to sleep it off.

I won’t die boring, Keith says that’s impossible for someone like me.

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.