For Those Who Want to be Inspirational

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing. I remember spending hours after school hiding away rocks from my backyard I deemed too fragile for violent hands in cracks of Earth no one dared explore.

Half burnt candles,

Unraveling shoe laces,

Old prescription glasses that hardly even fit at the time of being prescribed; soda stained movie stubs, nights my mom took her time raking out yesterdays and weaving tomorrows into my hair-

my God, I wish I remembered to collect those too. I’d have entire dresser fulls if I could.

They say after heartbreak, a haircut is like a clean slate for every mistake one’s ever made but I remember in the fifth grade caulking my trust into the cracks of a criminal who had no intentions of ever being mended and,

my God, I’ve cut my hair four times every year since then.

Thirty six damn times now and some days it seems as if  I have no more hair left for cutting and even less soul to be erased.

I guess I’ve kind of always been afraid; hesitant. Even in photos of me when I was small and unworldly, I could see the resistance; almost like I could call it by my own name.

Almost like I was more of a semicolon and less of an exclamation point.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

Sometimes, I am morning black coffee. A carpenter, a preacher- a halfway house savior; breaker of dollar menu buns and boxed red wine seals.

I am not always stable.

Sometimes I am caught white-knuckled between the hands of my angry god gasping for air.

I am red-light running meter, pawn shops and barred windows; second-rate security system and neon district lights. I am fleeing.

Fleeting.

Freeing.

I am underground.

I will draw you into my nine-to-five traffic; oncoming, you jump in front of slow-moving cars. You are convinced you can paint streets, burst veins. Bumpers paint you purple, paint you blue,

Paint you black.

I will knock you down like recession.

I am plywood anchored windows; two-tap needle sans dope.

Some mornings, I feel like a menagerie of outcries. The acts of defiance published on my flesh will outnumber the words in every failed actor’s this-will-be-my-big-break manuscript.

Take time to read me.

Decode me.

Run hands across the braille that brands the back of my palms.

I am fragile.

Sometimes I find myself trembling for no real reason.

This does not make me less than.

With all that I am, I want to be a hurricane of unmatched force. I want to be a tidal wave hammering at the very epicenter of the earth. I’ve never been okay with being mediocre; with being a small breeze that pulls at hats and scarves and is more of an annoyance than anything else. I want to be a tornado.

A typhoon.

An earthquake.

I am made of blood and ashes and passion and I am not a force to be reckoned with.

However, some days, I am hide and seek.

I want to be kind and gentle even when I lose things I wish would stay. I want to be strong and the right kind of violent even when I need help rebuilding. I want to be innocent and pure no matter whose dirty hands I’ve held.

However, some days, I am bulletins with tear-away numbers.

Dialed payphones and spare change.

Warped paper and hot glue.

Sometimes, I am afraid.

Sometimes, I am angry.

But I suppose that’s okay. Because we don’t make impacts based on how triumphant our lives are but,

rather,

how triumphant our journeys were.

The year I realized people could leave while you were sleeping was the year I started collecting things I was afraid of losing.

 

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Little Drums

It’s almost October and I’m still trying to learn how to empty myself of the icebergs last winter left behind. Every time I pass one of those ads stapled to a telephone pole with the rip-off tabs swinging from the bottom, I’m reminded of how difficult it is to keep holding on when the weather feels non permitting.

I can’t say I spent my entire childhood sticking my fingers into light sockets trying to figure out if grief had it’s own color but I can tell you I spent my entire childhood trying to figure out why it did;

Why long car rides shaded me in swatches of cerulean and sea foam not because I was ever car sick but because leaving home made me nervous and why funeral lighting always reminded me of the bottled hair dye my Great Aunt Sylvia used to use to cover up the strands of gray that showed how quickly she was dying.

Last night, I discovered a birthmark on the back of my neck in the shape of someone leaving.

Today, my eyes look more antique than ember- more ink than charcoal- and, unlike the people whose hair changes colors with the seasons, I think I’ll probably always wonder if my eyes change colors with my cycles of sadness.

Yesterday, I took this photo:

 with t1 preset

The toes belong to the feet belonging to legs belonging to Benjamin- a two year old who neglects to adequately pronounce his r’s and likes to poop on floors.

To Benny, my sweet little wanderer, life will not always be kind. It will not always be gentle water wakes meeting shorelines but rather tsunamis made of rage. And stings. On days you bear your wounds, remember, one day, your bed will no longer feel like your only home. Remember, one day, you will love yourself completely, without restrictions or regrets- radically and with everything you have.

Do not apologize for this.

Remember, one day, you will stop wanting to crawl back into the womb and start willing to climb out into the belly of life, as new and as quiet as the day you entered it. Remember, one day, your spine will no longer be the only tool that provides you with posture. Remember, one day, your fingertips will know what it feels like to want to hold on instead of letting go, your rock bottom will eventually bottom out and give way to solid ground below; remember one day you will stop feeling like a coward for struggling while everyone else takes gulps of the shit you convinced yourself was corrupting your lungs.

Breathe.

One day, you will no longer feel like an echo but, instead, a siren that sings loud and clear.

One day, you will no longer feel like a gun is always pressed to your head but, instead, a bullet that knows exactly where to spit its fire.

Remember, one day, not every day will be the worst day.

Be present. Be light.

Should you ever find yourself bleeding, do not bandage it. Let it spill out, gradually, so you can know what it feels like to be drained, to be gutted and turned inside out.

Be heard. Be kind.

I hear that there are currently 88 recognizable constellations but there are many that have yet to be discovered.

Find them, Benny.

Explore the earth from end to end until you find the brothers and sisters of the Big Dipper and then, once that is through, explore yourself from end to end until you find the constellations of yourself you’ve never met before.

Be calm. Be resilient.

Always, sweet Ben.

A Letter to My Mom and Dad in Trigger Warnings

Trigger Warning: I don’t think I’d really ever consider myself a perfectionist however, even as I type this, I find myself clicking spell-check five

  1. t
  2. i
  3. m
  4. e
  5. s

Trigger Warning: Cliche people with cliche names and cliche motives don’t come with trigger warnings.

They don’t put trigger warnings on jaded men with receding hairlines just because they remind you of how light refuses to cease receding into nights, every night, or how we’re all thunderstorms and, eventually, there will come a time when we will have to part ways and recede back into the parts of sky from which we came.

They don’t put trigger warnings on the moments you realize you and the dirty laundry that has been laying on your floor for weeks now have both been wrinkled by the time spent, there,

on dirty floors.

They don’t put trigger warnings on middles.

There will always be befores. Before love. Before life. Before losing a hundred and two pounds. Before the material world invades your mind with rules about tampons and riot signs.

There will always be afters. After finding your other half. After death. Aftermath.

But there will never be trigger warnings on the gray matter; never any caution tape around the fleeting moments between the binge and the purge, the time you take hovering above the toilet seat wondering if your fingers will taste any different than the last time.

In moments of awkward silence, there will be no trigger warnings to help fillintheblanks.

There will never be construction cones surrounding the time you remember the instant you forgot pain could also be a verb.

For me, it was always a noun- always an object that burrowed between my bones like a lost little rabbit. But it had teeth and they always threatened to break my limbs. That, that was when I forgot pain was also a verb and instead remembered that I was a hyphen, a person in between feeling fine and feeling good and feeling great- a sort of

s      e     p    a   r  a tion-

and I wanted to learn to join the joy and the sad, but my mouth was always a comma in which mild catastrophes and dew kissed breakfasts were always pausing to spill out.

One day, when you wake up remembering how this time, last year, you began fading into a much quieter version of yourself  at the same time the leaves of early autumn did the exact opposite, remembering how your body, for a brief moment, felt like a foreign country without anyone willing to occupy it; one day when you wake up remembering how you used to let your dog off the leash so maybe it’d run into the street giving you a reason to run too, you’ll realize that there will never be an adequate amount of warnings to prepare you for this.

One day, when you wake up remembering the times you thought of windows like collections of tiny shards of glass finally understanding why pain and pane were homophones, you’ll wonder if a body unconscious is a body still. On the nights when the moon is more a word on the tip of your tongue than a saving grace positioned at such an angle in the sky that, for a little while, it almost seems believable that holy light is alive and well,  you’ll wonder if living and breathing are really as intertwined as we are lead to believe.

To my mom and dad,

From now on, I will try to love the way the left brain loves the right brain if there even is such a thing. I will love like all my gray matter really does matter, like it’s more than just a scientific term, like my brain is capable of more than the grey it shades itself into every day.

I’m sorry you could never understand why I, like rainfall, wished to elope with the ground on days my brain felt like hurricanes but there are bees and yellow jackets that sting to know they’re alive and there are bees and yellow jackets that sting to inflict pain and I can’t promise you I won’t be both but I can tell you that even on days I can feel the storms rage inside me, I will wish to live twice as many times as I wish to die.

To my brothers and sisters,

I will not always be kind. I will not always be able to bite my tongue and hold back the fire living inside my mouth that threatens to turn every word into a burning building but every individual cell will still do its best to put out the flames until this body is not hot but warm.

Until this body understands that, sometimes, spitting fire is worse than swallowing flames.

Trigger Warning: May I always see my own beauty without having to break any bones.

Trigger Warning: May I always be a series of riptides that never learn how to flow in the same direction.

Trigger Warning: May I always be full of opposites; may I never be perfect.

Trigger Warning: May I be flawed and flowing in the wrong direction if it will only teach me which one is the right one. May I always be riptides and never tsunamis. I may be monstrous and aching but I never want to tear myself apart.

Sometimes I will be unforgivable. Sometimes I will be one stumbling, heaping spoonful of an apology that no one will know how to swallow and I can’t promise you there won’t be bruises. I will always be bruises. I will be full of holes that others will do their best to fill, but the truth is that maybe I can’t be saved.

But that doesn’t mean I ever have to stop trying.

Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.

I am worth stupid silly laughter, sunburns, embarrassing pictures. I am worth inner thighs. I am worth the pulp at the bottom of the orange juice carton although I was never pulp.

I will never be the last thing left at the bottom of anything. I don’t deserve rock bottom. I am not leftovers. I am not disposable.

Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.

Trigger Warning: I am worth trying.

I am worth trying.

For the people who have continued to support not only this blog but me, as a person, for the past few years or so, I’d like to take this time to sincerely thank you. When I first started this blog, I knew I’d be using it to serve more as a personal “diary”, if you will, and I was nervous. For many reasons I was afraid of publicly publishing it but perhaps the main reason was because I was afraid no one would understand. No one would get it.

For the people that understood, to the people that got it, I hope you’ll understand that now, it’s my time to bow down and take some time away from here for a while. I came to the conclusion that now, instead of serving as JUST a personal diary, a platform in which I could vent, this blog has unfortunately changed into nothing more than an excuse for me to stay in my disordered behaviors. With that being said, I will now tell you that it’s been my absolute pleasure getting to write this. To the endless amounts of support and love and words of true wisdom, I will forever and always be grateful.

“Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” For those of you struggling- yesterday, today, tomorrow- know that I will always be here still willing to help in any way that I can. I will continuously check and respond to my “Dear Lex”s and I will always continue to check up on my reader periodically. “Don’t live the same year 75 times and call it a life.” Live by this. Much love. ~Lex

Consequence of Sound

It was my mom’s birthday yesterday.

Not my white mom’s; my black mom’s.

Well, “African-American” if you want to get technical but who wants to get technical with someone who pronounces your name wrong every goddamn time she calls,

when she calls,

if she calls.

When she

never

fucking

calls.

I’m not bitter.

I guess the problem with us, as people, is that we think we are gifted with eternal time; that we can spend entire lifetimes fucking up without any repercussions. Without any consequences.

In second grade I got my first pair of glasses;

In fourth grade I got sent to the office.

In eighth grade I won my first spelling bee and, in tenth grade, I learned that words only help

when you speak them.

I spent my entire childhood wishing I could bottle thunderstorms. Heavy thunderclouds and lightning bolts fastened beneath glass, electric wind swirling like frenzied lightning bugs in mason jars – I wanted it all. I wished ink into words and words into mouths and mouths into outstretched arms and that mothers could not both arrive and depart in the same sentence.

I wished to be reckless. I wished that even when I could talk about darkness no longer, even when there were no more instruments to adequately express my anguish; even when there was nothing left to tarnish, I wished to be fearless.

You see, there will come a day when there will be plenty of time to be cobwebs, plenty of time to be bronze medals, or snail shells, or lupine seeds, or fragments of exoskeletons examined and pinned, rustling at the past, but there will never be enough time to live if you spend it wishing fantasies into realities.

Did you know that a mother bird regurgitates her food into the mouths of her children to make sure they eat?

Sometimes I wish I knew who the fuck I’ve been trying to feed by emptying myself.

I spent every shitty high school lunch period wishing my cut apple could return to itself without help, without reassurance; that its sections might remember each other. I was devastated the day I discovered that

a shape

could not survive without

a shift.

I wish I had learned how to speak with words long before I learned how to speak with my body.

I wish my black mom would call me.

I wish I didn’t spend so many years trying to convince myself that fixing pain with more pain would, somehow, teach me how to survive; how to be okay.

 

 

 

 

Robbers

bloggie2It’s 1:24 in the morning and I realize now that the hours between 12 and 4 have a funny way of making one either feel on top of the world or beneath it.

A man with green woven eyes that each started out with a train of thought that went on and on and on ending in tangled messes pooled in his pupils took advantage of me last night. It was dark and our blood seemed to be mostly comprised of Pinnacle bullshit and chain-smoked memories; we cut off what we could but somewhere, along the line, I forgot things.

Little interwoven fibers.

One

by

One.

There was no needle to pull the thread along.
And I forgot a few more inches of his eye string until all I had was a tiny little piece and I couldn’t quite remember just where we had started off.

I suppose I’d never seen the end of the world before last night; where salty air grips your throat violently.

Where the sea meets the sky in a dull blue line before you.

It’s where the wind caresses the tiger lilies in big ceramic vases, where the street glimmers with diamonds and emeralds of broken glass; where children’s thundering, heartbeat ­footsteps pound as they race for the rides in bright and foamy sandals.

Where the garbage and mystery flirt lazily with murder, where the seagulls converge on plump, glossy trash bags; where the flies hum their own ode to the stench amplified in July’s humidity.

Where tiny diners stand as they implode from within; where nothing ever changes.
It’s the immortality that lurks in the peeling, stained wallpaper, and the sticky linoleum floors and the cigarette-tainted voices of the waitresses.

I saw that last night. I saw it in the way his bottom lip missed a step when I murmured something about trust; I saw it in the way he swallowed me whole.

And maybe I’m insane for making someone so violent sound like a masterpiece but

Maybe that’s how I allow myself to forgive.

And maybe I can’t quote biblical verses or remember the story of Adam and Eve but maybe we’re all just misguided sinners in the hands of angry gods and maybe this is why 1:24 in the morning feels so goddamn beautiful even after men with heavy eyes ruin your favorite pair of underwear and

Crush your universe.

A Letter To The Things in Which I Am Learning to Love

To my stomach, an anomaly of soft curves made from proudly eaten cupcakes and pizza,

To my feet, calloused with midnight adventures and every tree that I have ever climbed while trying to prove to my brothers that girls are strong too,

To my hair made of tangled forests and wild vines- the dominant trait from the blood of my ancestors comprised of beasts and lion-hearted girls- I hold my head high to balance this crown.

My hands can’t fix everything no matter how badly my soul wishes they would, my eyes are wide and naïve searching for a god- a beauty that scratches deeper and realer than any manicured hand ever could- and my skin is rough and weathered and tethered but it is made of earth and young civilizations so I will not apologize.

To my body, I will apologize for betraying you because American Apparel only makes size extra small and I thought that was better, I will apologize for making you believe that freedom comes only in the form of beauty that is silken and bears a straight nose, I will apologize for starving you and abusing you and shredding you into galaxies on nights it felt too dark and too lonely to be alive, however,

I will no longer apologize for

Owning you.

To my body, my body that no longer offers ribs in the sunlight but, instead, offers strength in all lights, you are not just my body;

You are potential.

Let’s grow old together,

My friend.

Selfies in a leather bodysuit after pizza. Yolo?