Update!

I don’t know how many of you have tried to contact me over the past few months or so but it was just brought to my attention that I have not been answering any of my “Dear Lex” emails.

Unfortunately, in true Lex fashion, I forgot my password to my email account linked to that specific section of my blog and had no way of retrieving it SO, without further ado, for those of you who have contacted me or would like to contact me, please do so either through my very old, very temporary email account (redlipstick94@gmail.com) OR through my personal phone number (402.450.0023) and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thank you to each and every one of you for your kind words and continuous support- on good days and bad days- thank you thank you thank you. I think of you, all the time.
xo

Statistics

statistics

Today is a bad day and I think I write better when I’m drunk.

Last year was more like turning off my phone so I didn’t have to sit up waiting for the call that was probably never coming. Every morning was exhaustion and disappointment and heavy eyes until I turned it all off. I couldn’t feel sad about loneliness if loneliness was a choice.

And I chose it.

Everyday, I chose it – keeping my own hands empty so that no one could ever tell me how unholdable they were. Keeping my feet ungrounded so that no one could ever tell me how flighty I was.

This is not a triumph story.

This year, I hate that I have to write so much about violence.

My name is

Baby

as you lean out of your car and spit at my feet. It lands in a puddle in front of me and I am thirteen in a suburban neighborhood on the way home from school and I run with my backpack banging like the echo of your words against my back like you are chasing me all the way home.

My name is

Sweetie

and I am fifteen in the city with my friends for the first time and we get a little lost and you follow us for a full block.

You name us.

We are

Honey

and

Darling

and

Why the fuck won’t you talk to me.

My name is

Nice ass

and it’s two in the afternoon and I still feel my heart slam against my ribs because I am under the earth with weak lungs and even weaker fists and while you stumble down the steps with the crumbs of someone still in the corners of your mouth, swinging the beer bottle in your fist, my brother who is walking behind me shouts, “She’s seventeen, you dipshit!”.

I saw the error in humans that day.

My name is

Little lady.

My name is

Sugar baby.

My name is

Fuck you and fuck your friends.

My name is

Look me in the face!

My name is

Stop frowning.

My name is

Smile.

My name is

This is a compliment.

This is not a compliment.

It’s the beginning of November and I feel like I’ve been cold long before the leaves started falling.

My name takes nice words and turns them into bullet wounds.

My name is

Damn girl.

My name is

Drunk girl.

My name is

Just let me finish.

 

I did not give you permission to “fuck the shit outta me.”

 

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

My name is

I will not listen to your no’s.

 

My name is

I cannot breathe.

 

 

I am

Lock the door once,

Lock the door twice.

Leave the lights on.

 

Stop shaking.

 

I am

Is there someone downstairs?

There’s definitely someone downstairs.

Where the fuck did the phone go?!

 

There’s no one downstairs.

 

I am

tight-chested mornings.

I am

take a quick shower so that just in case someone breaks in, you have time to get prepared.

I am

don’t forget to look over your shoulder.

 

My name is

I still remember the way the carpet tasted pressed against the side of my face as you crushed me with your one hundred and ninety pounds of booze and daddy issues.

My name is

I can’t even get high anymore without thinking about the way you so easily emptied me without any intentions of ever filling me back up.

My name is

I scrubbed my hands twenty six times the next morning in an attempt you to rid you from beneath my fingernails but sometimes, I swear, I still taste shreds of you when I’m throwing up dinner.

 

Fuck you.

I did not ask for this.

 

Today is a bad day.

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.

 

 

 

 

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.