今朝、終わる (This morning, finished)

Thoughts continuously rise and pop, rise and pop. Bubbles in efforvescent water. Nothing comes of one, two, three of them. Only together, they create a mass effect on the tongue. Not a taste, but a sensation. A tingling on lips, fizzing against teeth.

You swallow and the feeling slides singing down your throat. In your stomach, the bubbles turn to gas, filling your belly up. Later all that excess air has to be burped back up. A second round, less pleasant than the first.

But at the vending machine, you still choose the fizzy drink over still. You ask yourself why each time. Only to have what is comfortable and safe? Because without those brief sensations, your days lack something? Because you, by now, are used to such low grade suffering? Because you can’t bring yourself to touch that deep anywhere else?

Funny how we learn to love the wrinkles around our eyes that years of frowning made permanent in us. Funny how difficult a new pattern is to set. Funny how we just go round and round.

Isn’t it?

Well, I’m laughing at any rate.

今朝、熱い水。(This morning, hot water)

I am a dangerous mess.

危ない!
Keep your distance. Stay back. Don’t feed the thing. All normal warnings apply.

So do the phrases: it doesn’t know better, it was only following instinct, there’s no such thing as a bad dog.

I make a mess, not because I want to, but because I don’t know how to do anything else. I fuck up people’s lives, not because I’m trying to, but because I can’t help it. I’m the oni the religious fear. The monster you don’t want under your bed. The yokai you need smoke and candlelight to drive out.

I’m only trying, like you, to be alive. But my living causes hurt. I don’t know why. I often think I shoud stop. But, I’m too afraid to try. And so?

I only try now to walk lightly through this world. To pass like a ghoat through the walls. To not touch too much.

How am I doing?

If this morning is any indication: continued failure.

I need to make penance now to be clean.
I need to wash my hands and feet.
I need to speak in honorifics.
To somehow attempt to show I am more than what I seem.

I am sorry for what I’m made of. The weight of a nation ever on my shoulders. Does this place know what my blood comes from? What monsters my parents have been? What treachery their power caused? Does the ground itself not want me here?

It is good, though, to have to bear up under it. To, like the cost of being alive, know tbe cost of one’s inheritance. To know that we are, regardless of present action, connectd by strings to both the ones before and after us. That we cannot exist as an isolated event. Our lives but bits of thread in the greater weave.

I pay the price for what the generations before me chose. And the same for my life goes. I choose better not because I love it now, but because I have a brain that can comprehend I need to love life at large.

Failures to process this is only failures to hit the mark. It happens to all of us. Forests burn and mountains fall. Death ever by the side of the living. We cannot help but partake. Our choice in the way we go about death drives the changes that create the face of the future we choose from those infinitely variable.

Everything is possible.

I will make my peace with myself by doing what small I can to make it, first, with you. We’ll see what comes of that.

What was that about a crash?

The power to what?

You are the one I want most of all, and the only one I barely touch. The one I want to hear pressed against my ear. You barely haunt rooms in silence which I sit. I want more than I have, and no way to get at it.

I don’t want to wait to live again. I wasted lifetimes down that narrow alleyway, thinking the things I needed would magically occur to me. I’ve done enough hoping, wishing, dreaming. Dreams now glance off me. Mystery is above and beyond me.

But. If I stay true to who and what I am, then I will only find someone fitting to that personality. And if I fake myself, then I’ll get the old situatuions all over again. Failure upon failure to be retold. And no chance, ever, to be truly bold.

I need to remember the ruins of the past. To recall the struggles I’ve manuevered through. Ten years of another life I can’t go back to relive. Ashes that can’t be reformed into a living, breathing anything.

Despite religious persistence, life that can’t be sparked from nothing.

I need to pass through this drab cloudy weather. Find the lightning and the thunder. To be ready and willing to be struck straight in the chest. I already believe for some reason you are made of the fire I crave. And I know. To touch it, I have to bump into you.

I want to, but is timing everything? And consent is a complicated thing too. So, in light of both… when is right for you?

Do I hold my breath and hope you want me too? Do I play majika-shi and look for subtle clues from you? Do I make the first move?

I have to hope. Cling to this invisbile string. Because if its another blind failure, and another burned in scar, and another “you were wrong” — I end up with nothing. And then? Consider the tracks of one of countless trains your only friend. There won’t even be time to watch life flash before my eyes. I’ll close them tight and slip weightless into the speding light. And crash, not into you, but the night.

Let’s not lie.

友達 (Friend[s])

I’ve slowed my talking. Not in speed, ゆっくりとはいやい。Slow to fast. But in the sheer amount of words I am willing to use. It has nothing to do with the amount I like you. Both are applicable. It isn’t fear because there are things I could have said. Previously, would have.

Now, I feel no inclination toward the wordy. No enjoyment in the rowdy. No fun in the melodramatic. Is it age or am I just getting over it? Over what? Human communication?

No, the widening gap between words and communicating anything. The slog of nonstop sounds. The uneasy need to blurt something, anything out.

I am happy to have conversations in the subtle way we share the air. Comfortable to have you occupy my space. Glad to have my head uncluttered with worries about what could I possibly say?

I learn just as much by observing as by complicated explanations. Sometimes, more. I trust better in private actions in the unobserved corners of rooms than I do to fabricated language.

Call it a story-teller’s curse.

I wait for myths and truths to reveal themselves. Lights glinting off glass shards on the ground. I know my characters through colors of their coats and half-lidded glances of their eyes. Ironically enough, the melody of words is secondary. The rhythm of a life’s pattern is the heartbeat of the phrases our lips would make. Our breath courses like rivers in the riveted beds our habitual motions carve.

I can see through a glance, a glass, a turn of your head straight through to the core, the blood, the 血 of you. Give me time. I learn quick and permanent when the information is important.

And to see through you is imperative. I will not be satisfied with not knowing. Owl spirit and all. I have always been a seeker, safe in the dark. I am, for all it might appear, watching.

Wait for me.

これ、森 の木。(Here, a forest of trees)

It has been a long time. It feels longer than 月 tells you it is. Longer than a month? Ah, but you misread that because month is the same kanji for moon. So at once, I mean both.

W-w-wait. Am I speaking Hapapor?

It would seem so. I am at least beginning, not to speak 日本語 well (That will take a lifetime.), but to grow in knowledge. 少し解った。I understand some. Better than zero. 今これは零よりいいです。And what is happening with that knowledge is exactly what I hoped for. I am learning things I need to create the world I want. Here is an example:

私は色々なものを見ます。I am looking at many things.

But, what. What’s that kanji you used for looking?

見る is the kanji for Miru. Miru is the conjugated dictionary form of the verb to look. It is also the casual (impolite) present-tense form. (I believe it might also be the future tense?) 見て

見 can also mean an idea. Chances. To look at. Hopes. Opinions. And 見る見る = very fast, in a twinkle of the eye, before one’s eyes. How fitting to have named a hopeful character in a dystopic future that.

These types of revelations — small moments where big ideas crash together — happen all the time now. Life is a complex, interlacing mystery I must approach with open arms and bared chest. The confusion often goes right through me. A cold knife or a sharp wind. Every syllable off every lip is a new complicated depth I have to sound.

But then, every once in a while, a light shines and I catch a phrase. I think, “I could compliment those flowers…” And then I think, “Wait, I actually could.” And the truth itself is a vast accomplishment. Then, you come in the room and I offer you cake without looks of confusion. And we play games and I shamble through the space with what few expressions I have. But we smile and laugh together. I dance, intoxicated, in the gaps gaping between us. And I am not cast out.

Confusion and silence may be my constant companions, but understanding is a momentary mandatory mentor briefly by my side. A whisper here. A gesture there.

The world is, sliver by sliver, being revealed to me. Often, without any effort on my part, a glimmering glow will come up from below and in the darkness, there is a glint of bright colors. Elegant shapes of oral I had no idea was there at all. The darkness is gaining realness around me.

I feel as though a star is being born inside of me. I don’t know how hot it will glow or how long it will last before it goes super nova and becomes a black hole. I only know that it is forming, slowly gathering gravity, and that it’s existence will change the shape of things.

What a wonderful, confounding suspension to exist in.

Wrapped in Quiet. Parsing reality.

I remember the day I claimed my pronouns. It is a snapshot in my mind. Vivid and clear. I sit there in a metal folding chair thinking: this is it. The first day of a new life.

In some ways, it was. A wellspring of new growth. The emerging of fuzzy young buds. The first flush of green on a long, thin branch whipped endlessly by the wind. A new chance to live.

In others, it was just the start of the fall. The coloring of the leaves, crimson red, to match my wind burned cheeks. In alleyways, I hid from drum beats. Around corners, I ducked from police. There was コーヒー I drank and basement rooms of foreign buildings with stranger friends I sat in. There was rain, but no snow. It was not yet that cold.

I left because I could see no other choice. I did only what I thought I should. In the air, I hit terminal velocity and stretched my arms into nothing. I reached, I guess, for the stars. They did not show through the haze.

Winter, then, blew in with a flurry of blows. Tear gas canisters thrown. I was far away in another world watching the happenstance occur on a screen too small. Sparrow, small and flightly, was one of the few names that stuck with me. I’ll never know where you flew away to. I hope it was a warmer place than where I went at the end of that night.

I packed my life and moved. Chased a dream that didn’t stand a chance. A plan without a shape or map. I wandered ever south to try and find the warmth. Instead, sadness and confusion settled in my bones, I lost track of plans I’d never drawn up. Letters where I bared my heart saved me from freezing through.

I moved north to get away. There, I buried my head in a different cold. A physical, exterior chill I could wrap my face against. I bent my back and bowed my head to the unforgiving, unbending, unyielding northern land. There, I tripped and stumbled in the dark. I misstepped and slipped on patches of black ice frozen in invisible rivulets. I split my lip and cracked my head, and finally told myself — that’s enough.

Then, I grew up.

In the quiet of last winter, I made myself a secret plan. I kept it quiet, close to my chest. I did not say a word. I withstood flurries and rainstorms and dry arid stretches where nothing seemed to grow. But in these things I did not hope. I was waiting for something else.

A new way to arrange myself. New words and new things to brace against. New tools to craft sentences I’d never spoken through. New sounds in my mouth. New shapes for my tongue to make. A new dance to feel the rhythm of.

I sit across the ocean from my old home and feel the hum of change vibrating the strings I’m made of. I am melding into another being. Bones are gathering from a stew of blank cells. Structures, piece by piece, are beginning to emerge. I am being born from a collection of activated imaginal buds. I have no consciousness of what I will become. Potentiality is a pathway my mind cannot run. I only wonder if I’ll remember, at the end, what I once was.

Either way. I trust whatever comes of this cocoon I’m in. And I trust the world to know exactly what to do with me. Eager, ready, waiting to emerge, to stretch new wings — and for the first time, realize my life was a journey toward the edge of the world where the sky meets the sea.

テスト。0%

I saw an ugly side of you tonight, 友達 (friend). A face I thought you’d keep a little more hidden. One I was shocked you put on so bold, out in the open. One that made me stop and realize why here — ravens, not crows. The careful, plotting methodical. Not the curious and mischievous. Not the jester of the North and West, but the rare spirit of the East. A disaster-tempered bird with black eyes who’ve seen so many murders, they have turned into stories told to one another silent in their tucked-wing sleep to the distant song of birds whose calls have come to sound like human screams.

My moment came in the shape of an overheard fight. It was one hundred percent unexpected and one hundred percent lost in translation. Enacted on a stage I could not see with players who I could not free-associate. Cultural regelia of the moment clamped my teeth, bit my tongue till it bled, and caged my heart against my chest. Both panic then and panic now, I cannot avoid. I shudder like a building quake to help. But help …what?

I have no clue what transpired. Only that words were exchanged without hardly a raise in tone. It was a scene of violence turned down and twisted under polyester covers. One brimming with expectation, roles and placement, shame and guilt. A hierarchy of meanings I have no means to read. I only saw the dominance-struggle of abuser to abused. But here, the whole space bent at the edges to accommodate it.

I felt a gaping lack of a conduit to the moment. I left knowing full well I could not defend what I do not understand. And to think otherwise would be painfully American of me.

Instead, I closed my door and closed my eyes. And in the darkness there, I saw the ghost of a samurai pass bloody before my eyes. I heard an echo like the decay of a call lost to mist and starlight:

“A hand is rarely raised not from lack of want, but lack of need. Fear already precedes me.”

This surprises me, for it is an ugliness my blood knows far too well. One generations before me spent enough time bowed down underneath. I think it is due time we come clean, look one another in the eye, and breathe. But first I need to find your eyes because they do not look like mine.

Hunting for the unknown in the dark just takes more time than I first thought. If you look at me first, I am sure to learn. My short term memory is a slough, but I remember what I want. A defence mechanism built up from my own childhood in a world made of violence-implied. I’ll find you eventually, if I try.

And I want you more than anything, 烏 (raven).
始めましょう. (Let’s begin.)