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.

 

Advertisements

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

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?

 

Little Universe

I cried when my first dog, Belle, died. Like me, she was a hand me down from people who had less time than love for her and I think that’s why our souls understood each other; why a part of me died when she stopped breathing. I spent hours trying to study her, unravel her; I spent years trying to reprieve her, to revive her and although, during those years, I had no storms chasing me, I found refuge in the way she curled herself around me during crisp summer nights. I guess, in a way, it makes me selfish for wanting her to live forever but she grew old quicker than she should have and before I had the chance to understand how sad loss could be- we ran out of time to say our goodbyes.

I cried the night I could feel my dad giving up on me. I grew up admiring the way the world spun in his eyes and the way the Grand Canyon weaved puzzles in his palms but that night- the night I got too drunk to remember my name yet hardly drunk enough to forget that he was an ex soldier- I saw no evidence of an Earth and all proof that he had waved a dozen white flags long before I even had the chance to sober.

Not even the strands of the leftover buzz could muffle the sound of you forgetting me; erasing me.

Have I ever told you that I once saw Jesus in a McDonald’s bathroom stall? His skin was made of porcelain and his sins, made of stainless steel manufactured in China. In bold purple Sharpie, the door read “Eat acid, see God” and, although I’ll never admit it, that night I realized the teen spirit bleeds out in more forms than one. Holy scriptures of adolescence, psalms of hormone-driven emotion etched in pencil and teen angst somehow understood that we were all sinners searching for a way out-

That we were all flawed in some sort of way and that we may possibly never know if all dogs really go to Heaven.

I cried for eternities the night I became painfully aware of my imposition on space; that I took up more of it than I probably ever deserved.

I had every intention of stripping that night of its darkness but after hours of desperately trying to scratch the stars away from the sky with my fingertips, I realized that I was incapable of stopping my world from dying so, from then on, I chose to move my body gently and eat slowly; to swallow Eucharist in the smallest of pieces and nibble timidly around the cores of apples in the case there were grenades hidden within their cores. I learned how to read labels, to walk on the edges of my toes; I learned how to control, calculate, and categorize-

Good foods.

Bad foods.

Fat,

fat,

fat-

buffering the awkward matter between reality and the world as I had wished it would be. Food kept me sane; kept my worlds from colliding.

“Lex, you’re so bony!”, my mom would tell me as she laid rubbing my back after long days of work. I swear, it seemed like she worked forever. Her hands, cold yet never harsh, made maps through my spine and pit stops at my hip bones, knocking hard on them to make sure they were real. Making sure I was real.

“Bony, bony, bony!”

My mom was right, though. I was never a particularly large kid- my knees jutted out farther than they probably should have and I often found myself wavering at the lower end of the BMI chart during my yearly physicals. However, her phrase- my hip bones- later became the gauge of my progress- my worth- as I shifted from preteen to teen.

And I hope she never knows that.

I’d never blame my parents for my insanity. After all, when one tells you to jump from a mountaintop, you don’t close your eyes and let the wind take you just because.

No.

But me? I was born with too much fire and a hopelessly desperate need for adrenaline so, truthfully, I think I’d always sort of wondered what it’d feel like to fall, to be wisped away in a cool breeze just like the ones you read about in romance novels.

On nights when I cursed gravity for concreting me and the gods for making my feet too heavy, I found myself grazing the planes of the body that laid beneath the heavy sheets and thick night air, searching for those

hip bones.

On mornings when the air smelled of dew and cheap coffee and I prayed to the skies that I would have the power to be less needy, I found myself studying the way the shower water trickled down my stomach and over those

hip bones.

Hip bones.

You could tear into these words, rip out their roots, and chop away their stringy structures; you could dislocate these words, feel your fingers through their rhythms and peel away the alliteration that binds these letters together.

You could consume these words, feel the predicates dribble from the corners of your mouth as you crunch them out of existence; analyze these words, call out their “important” images and themes and crush them into powdery debris as you ask yourself, “…and how does that make you feel?” but none of that could ever erase the fact that this world is a perplexing place. In one motion it creates the most beautiful, freeing moments and in the other, it kills your dogs and makes you hate yourself for not being invincible. I used to cry over real things, you know. I mean, real, “Holy fuck!”, life-changing kinds of things. Now, I cry when I get stuck behind sleepy trains or when my pants don’t fit or when my apples are bruised or when other things that will never matter happen and I hate the world for messing up when it

made me.

For Insomnia

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I would tell you what gray areas feel like but I don’t know how to make suddenly finding yourself at the edge of your bed in which you’ve neglected to adequately make for weeks praying to a god you’re not even sure you believe in poetic. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I would tell you what writer’s block feels like but I don’t know how to make coming to the harsh realization of the fact that you have been killing yourself for no real reason sound like a best-seller.

Last night I stumbled into my 10 p.m. car, this morning I slept past noon, last year I wished to breathe and now, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I still have no idea why my favorite pair of shoes always seem to wear out at the most unfortunate times or why life without food journals and scales seems terrifying.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and this is not a metaphor for life. It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m still afraid of turning off the TV and, no, I’m not tired because I counted to 100 a thousand times and counted sheep a thousand times plus one and even that has only left me with a sore throat and brain freeze.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I once heard somewhere that the practice of self love improves your hearing, your eyesight, lowers your blood pressure, increases pulmonary function, cardiac output, and helps wiring the musculature.

Imagine that.

Do you think if we lived in a world where everyone truly appreciated each and every piece of their being- “Baby, if ya got it, flaunt it“- instead of spending late nights in drive-thrus and liquor stores; shooting up in places of the earth that were not meant to be seen, then, could we know solace?

Then, could we live forever?

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I know it’s hard to love yourself even though “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” because sometimes what doesn’t kill you makes you wish it did but, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I hope you know that your lungs are made of trees.

Your limbs made of vines and your eyes- although science books will tell you that the stars we see are already dead and gone- are made up of tiny constellations that are very much so alive.

It’s 4 o’clock in the morning and I’m telling you all of this because I know, for me, sometimes at night when the air is dense and I’m missing home and I feel my soul bouncing off the ceiling and back into my throat like the lumps they warn you about when you lose something you love, I need to be reminded that

even at 4 o’clock in the morning

I deserve to live forever.

Friday Night Ramblings of a Teen Angst-y Teen

Do you ever just feel like you’re going crazy?

I’ll be the first to admit I am oblivious to the way humans work; the way we are born with constellations in our filaments yet neglect to see light, the way things as simple as a change of a letter can shake the earth-

morning

mourning;

I’ll probably never understand the way we, as humans, are drawn to destruction time and time again because our incredible urge to feel alive- to feel something– will forever seem stronger than our common sense.

I walked in on a male penis enhancement commercial today.

That was awkward.

It was eight in the morning and way too early to be in such a trying predicament however, thankfully, I’m a hardcore teen angst-y teen who likes to pretend like life doesn’t phase me so fortunately, the eye contact made between me and Natalie’s grandpa as the commercial explained erectile dysfunction and “better performance” was not the painful part.

Throwing up breakfast was.

Ugh. I know. It’s pretty much been going on all week. I’m an idiot.

The worst part about it wasn’t even that I got out of the shower, still dripping with water and diluted Pantene to do so. It wasn’t that I could taste the Dove bar soap on my fingers as I guided them towards the back of my throat or even that after toilet water splashed back up out of the bowl I spent 20 minutes desperately scrubbing the piss off my face because the worst part about it, about it all, was knowing that what I was doing was wrong in every way.

Sometimes I feel like I’m going absolutely insane.

Like…2007 Britney Spears meets everyday Naomi Campbell insane.

I wake up every morning uncomfortable and bloated and everything I’ve been trying to avoid feeling for these past three years and I tell myself that I’m okay and that my legs really aren’t that big and neither is my nose and that my shoulders are bearable both literally and metaphorically and so is my stomach but sometimes I really question who I’m trying to convince; who am I trying to recover for?

I feel massive and want need to lose weight.

And, I mean, truthfully, in my everyday life I’m surrounded by people who genuinely just don’t care. Not that they’re cold hearted or anything of that nature because they’re anything but that but, in all seriousness, they could probably care less about accountability or meal plans- what I eat or what I don’t eat.

And that’s hard for me to realize some days.

Although I know that treating my body kindly and feeding it properly is the right thing to do, sometimes I can’t help but feel like I’m betraying myself; like I’m going against everything I should be. Here I am, with no one “forcing” me to do anything recovery related yet still shoveling food into my mouth even when, sometimes, I’d just rather not because, why?

WHY?! What am I doing?

Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy…

Anyways, this is my first “ramblings” post partly because I feel bad for not posting in a while but mostly because I’m crazy. And tired.

And crazy tired.

Thanks for listening to my mush!

Morning Horoscopes

I find it kind of ironic that my sign is Libra.

Scales.

Real original.

With heavy feet and 6 a.m. under eye bags, I found myself standing on the bathroom scale this morning. Again. First with clothes then, none.

Risqué, I know.

As I stood there, bare, with dewy morning air brushing up against my goosebumped skin and sleep collecting in the corners of my eyes, all I could think about was how this time, last year, I wished to crumble. I felt the cold metal greet my feet and all I could remember was how this time, last year, I wished to empty.

I looked in the mirror beside me and watched my stomach swell and sink for longer than I wanted to. I don’t like that- watching what I could’ve been in my exhales fall to what I am in my inhales. Did you know that the average human spends up to five days out of the year looking in a mirror? I read that somewhere before. Before I liked reading. Before it mattered. Before it became relevant.

120 hours,

7,200 minutes,

and a gazillion seconds wasted on bullshit.

This is why I’m not a morning person.

But, then again, it’s easier to undo expectations when I’m half-awake.