Your sad streets and bitter faces were a gateway that I passed through momentarily. A brief drizzle, grey and spreading, soaked though the edges of my clothes – my thoughts – my dreams and nightmares of you. Your ghosts are less prevalant, less real than those of the eastern breed. Those have teeth and venom, and once they get into you — you hardly fight at all.

We had a touch of fight in us, a bit of resistance, an ounce of struggle.
It got us through.
I passed through those moments one last time and ended up in your arms. Your embrace was as cold, as distant, as full of distaste as I imagined it would be.

This new place has, since, taken me into its arms in a way you never did. With you, it was fight all the way. A resentful, compacted, pressed down violence that slowly filtered into my blood from your skies and your air and your passageways.

The one comfort in you is the bridge where I always could have jumped.
I stood there looking out at your darkening lights that single night I laid beside you. One of your less-than-bitter passers-by stopped and leaned out a car window.

“Are you alright?” they asked, with a sad knowing look.
“Yes,” I even smiled. “I’m just looking at the city.”
“Are you sure,” so unsure.
“Yes,” and confirming for the both of us that this moment was passing through our skin like a ghost with hardly any mass at all pushing through our completely corporeal bodies. We shared eyes for just a second, just a moment. And in that moment, I turned from you — Portland — to the North where my future was.

The dowsing rain up further the mountain drowned out the tears you used to push me to. Here, in between this bay and this moutnain top, I feel a sort of safety and acceptance I never did down below.

Today, I try my hand at being a part of the flow and ebb of this place. A bed is in the mail, soon, for the two of us to sleep upon. You, city of passivity and agression never coming to light, will no longer fit beside me.
Today, whether or not my impressions are real come to light.

I hope the summer is kinder than that winter was.
We’ll have to wait and see.

At any rate, my time of cut lines and disconnected wires is all done. I’m back to get trapped back up. Back to fight where, what, how I know how.

String me up nice and tight, or else I’ll come loose again.

Stretches On [Day11-15]

The moments, the highs, the lows, the instances, days and nights all stretch together into one. A dashed white line and black borders are my sight the entire way. A parking lot with lights blaring bright, all night. Two stores in different locations with different weather, but the accents are the same. Three of these corporate incarnations have zero variation, despite the subtle changes of the places outside them.

Grackles in a stretch of land that looks wild, but the air hums with the off echoes of the highway in minors that sing like yokai all around me. The breeze here is black in yellow or green air-quality. The neon highway sign alerts me it is moderately safe to breathe.

This existence is a hyper-real movie, a video game with life-stakes just passing before me. All of it takes place within that white, death-covered cab. All of it leads to only one possible end. All of it is a taut rubber band against my inner wrist, just waiting to be released.

In the thick mid-continent air, I feel the tension building like a vessel climbing a ramp running up a mountain, cut deep in a thick line of pines. There are electrical poles alongside these emotions as they run up along the sides to ram into my chest like a semi-truck that failed to check its brakes and stop in the long blinding curve down into the valley below.

A single lie lies in between us, and I know its real before I really know it.

The dreams and nightmares of another life are here before me with faces and voices, every one. I speak so eloquently on the whys and hows of how and why we left. I think so quick and smooth, so fast like a synapse that happens just before the thought can make itself known to the brain. My spinal cord jerks me in the right direction long before you ever get to me.

This steady violence hidden, tucked and holding tack underneath me is like a second skin I wear whenever you get around to coming down.

We want so desperately to deceive ourselves and say, in an exhaled breath, that it’s the devices that are wrong.
If you try that truth, I don’t think I can find my way behind it.
If we lie along the electrified lines, we may find that this skin of ours grows sparks.

I might be burning inside, but can you smell the flesh as it slips off – hot and raw?

One more stretch before the end and the beginning and the next revision of whatever nightmare inside of a dream we’re living.

I took that long and empty road all alone. I slept in between blankets, pillows I was barely allowed, and the one thing I had even the remotest desire to drag back. Eyes of strangers overlooked me, watched over me, guarded or judged or protected me. And, in that single moment of half-wake, half-dream — I realised that the one thing I’m missing is the one thing I won’t ever need.

A highway overpass of hikasa nests like hornets and wasps swarm the metal death craft I’m in. The rain and electrical storms pound against this outer shell. But inside, I feel and hear nothing of it at all.

If I step out — all of life surrounds me. And the violence I fear is stronger on the inside than the out.
Inside these dead metal walls burning death away. I know the darkness builds greater behind my eyes than it ever does staring in the light.

And in two weeks, I realised I had never been alone.

Tomorrow takes the road back a way I have never gone before. To what, exactly, do I return?
Without an answer, the question just sits and, like a dull ember, burns into my empty belly.

It may have been my inheritance all along to burn down this way.
A slow glowing failure down a long tempered road.
And, nowhere on either side to go.

Curtains down [Day 10]

This comes to mind:

If something is impossibly difficult, perhaps there is a better way to go about things.

Everything along this thread, this farewell, this goodbye, this break and change has gone smoothly. Simple. Easy and done. Hardly a hitch that tried to break me.

And I can’t help but feeling — this is the right direction, finally, after years of uphill and backwards and three-forward, two-back — we arrive at something better.
A smoother surface to run our gears on.

A river meeting blockage will always find another route around.
I think, in my heart, I am finding these circumnavigational avenues to stones thrown in the way, blocking up peace and comprehension. I am, slowly, working a new way round.

This road is the beginning of something.
I have no doubt.

In 6 days, I return fully in a new shade and hue.
In 6 days, I return — physically — to you.

And this is how you were [Day 8/9]

Or rather, it’s how you are now. A slowly darkening landscape with the light carefully, beautifully going out. In my memory, you will stand some five/six months. A year or two might do you some good there. But, look over these emotions in a handful, a century and the images will be so blurred I’ll hardly recognize what made me once stir, come to life, and fall on hands and knees with tears in my eyes.

I sat in your back cuppboard crying like this one day while the sun was still high and we were still near it.
I sat on my hands and a stump, thinking somehow I could still grasp it.
Didn’t realize I had to let it loose, let it fall, give up and leave to really see it.

Now, I see stark white in the bright light all that I was missing from this place.
All this place was missing for me.
All I missed in its place.

Strange conclusions, all of these.
And yet, without those ropes and ties and lines and rings — I find I’m much more at peace.
And yet, so strange to be.

Return, Day 7

Onaji: same, similar
Vida: life
Yokai: anything super-natural, spiritual, other-worldly

I leave the small city where I have spent another night to avoid the yokai of that far-away house.

This time I take with me the onaji vida to keep me company. I think we will be good for one another.

There is a sbutle understanding between us that the city lends no access to. Along the streets the paved walkways, I have to make appearences. I carry plastic in my pocket so I can palm your shit. You want to engage in the world, but you have to be on this short rope tied to me. Lam’nasai. I am sorry.

But in the woods and a bit of space, we can be more free together. The relationship between my kind and yours comes out stronger, starker, bolder. I do not own you. I do not own the land or the water or the air.
Despite what my comrads have come to think.

We only use threats and violence to contain the world. But how much we would learn if we tried, just for a moment, to loose our grip and let it go. I think, probably, the yokai and vida would love us, move through us, pass into us moreso if we did.

But we, like the things we try so desperately to control, are all tied on ropes to ourselves. Pinned down by threats we issue to our own hearts and minds and spirits. Drowning in the systems we have established, that at some point some individuals thought were good.

It’s time to re-examine, my old friends.
It’s time to be friends with vida y yokai again.
If we can stand it.

For now, the onaji y mey go out into what is somewhat less rule-based than these narrow walks and confined lines. We spend the night there. We will see what comes to us.

This is how I remember you [Day 5/6]

Sleeping, driving, closing bank accounts, moving everything into the front center room where we used to do everything in another world.

Dancing last night to Neck of the Woods and remembering the dance parties Kadense and all their lovers had — the whole time Bel[taen] being the “neutral party”. And Kadense, so beauitful and full of dreams then, sexual and glowing in a pair of oversized mauve-colored sweats you now wear to bed.

Upstairs, the room is cold and empty and there’s a mark on the wall where I tried to get that mushroom hook off. I had better leave the other one, which feels like a very small kind of tragedy.

In the city/town on the riverfront, that room where Charcoal used to brood dark and drugged and impossible is now covered in flowers and whites with pale pinks and greens. There’s a table where the ropes and impliments of pain’s border used to be. There’s towels and washclothes where the single white thing — two bathrobes — used to be.

I drove to town and remembered how far away that is. How did we ever get used to this? Think we could walk or bike this? Oh, that’s right. We never did. It was pure insanity.

The rain falls warm and sticky here like little yokai tapping you on the head, shoulders, nose — but hardly leaving any chill. These are still teasing spirits, but they don’t make you cold. They make you wide awake and stir in the light, wondering where exactly that fog and those glowing eyes originate from. The lights still dim when you are terrified from them. The tingling in your feet feels the same in the cold as it does this nearby heat.

There’s two bottles of alcohol on the counter there. I can only remember the invention of Charcoal, practically blind drunk after three beers each of us, and in the morning a drunken mess of popcorn and sloppy dishes all over the place. Do you remember that first time? Did you know it was trouble?

If I recall, Charcoal said: “Don’t spend too much time with me. You’ll turn into a drugie and an alocholic.”
That thought should probably surface at some significant point.
I’m debating drinking the rest of that whiskey before I get the chance to bring it back. Do I want to be drunk alone? Perhaps not in this space…

A single deer, two handfuls of crows, true blue jays and red cardinals. A single female; I know because they are distinguishable. A raccoon and a wild turkey with feathers all like the stars that did not come out last night through the mist and the fog that comes from nowhere at all.

A dream may or may not have happened upon me in the night.
Tomorrow morning’s sunrise, I might find stranger things yet to come.
For now, I am preparing to make this change subtly and with grace.

So far, the universe has agreed that I ought to be able to.
The wind, for now, is all for this.

On the other side, we’ll just have to see how all of these things fit.

Day Four.

An intense and stark contrast. It was impossible not to see, to feel, to walk through and wish — in some way — that I could mitigate.

War, we all realize, is fucked on all side.
You shoot a child because they may be one who was saddled with the task of blowing you up. Do they know? Do you? Does anyone?

We drop nuclear bombs on uninvolved people across the world from us to clear political and social lines we cannot find a peaceful way to get at.

But the ends is the means, every time.

A woman will not menstrate without the moon.
A human will not grow without this gravitational pull.
An Earthen needs to minerals that made the crust of edge we walk upon, the salt of water and rock that covers this spherical wonder.

It is unique and we are shitting on it.
Does a dog deserve to die for our heart corrections?
Laws we are trying to pass to make us less fucked up, more fucked up, unrecognizable.

In your generation, kodomo, it will be robotics and space that evolve together.
Do we think we can out-evolve that line?

I am beginning to doubt.
I hear it everywhere.

The lines fall apart when we look to deep and god was a social construct we used to hold the world aloft.
It, like plastic sand, is slipping through our greedy hands.
Midori Avore, you make me feel safe as you bloom in the Spring, regardless of our shit.
Madeiras Vida, do not leave us.

Some of us still seek with eyes like owls through this shitstorm of a night.
There will always be the remnant, the outlier, the resister, the one to stand against.
We are small, but the wind will not die out.

Or are we beginning to doubt?

Day Three/Four

Chicago gaslight
The sun set to find me wandering around gaslit streets in the heart of a massive beast. The stark canyons of this place remind me of all the strange and terrifying things we create. They will surely outlast us, but not the trees, the grass, the sun. Life as a force will continue as it goes. These strange monsters, in their time, will crumble and bow down to the ground from whence, in bits and pieces, they came.

For now, I walk and sleep among them. Tucked warm and safe between down and springs, I sleep sound.
A whistle from another life wakes me and I stir under all this comfort and warmth.
I should get up, get moving, make a day of it among metal creatures and their smaller counter-parts.

Outside, the sun is high in the sky, alerting me that this is the burning soul of it all. It warms and burns my skin as I remove the cotton in between us. A subtle and yet complete seduction, here. My skin tingles with things I cannot get anywhere else.

Like small leaves unfurling for the Spring, I bask in the light until a cloud momentarily blocks it from my sight.
My stomach growls and I must seek out other kinds of sustinance.
An egg and some vegetables do quite nicely. Drugs are a constant companion. These I indulge in for the day. Tomorrow, I will be several more thousands of miles away.
After that, all of this fun and fair is done. It’s back to work, but of a very different sort.
I will drive back to the life I am choosing from the life we have both left behind.
This disant living was not for us, barring intentional communities with intentions we never happened upon and communities we never found.

We were alone.
So we went where the people were.
Not surprisingly for our background, it was to a city.
Cafes again and the wide expanse of moutnains backed against water.
The hills and the sea.
Salt air and opportunities.
These are the things we are made of, evidently.

I will be happy to return to you.
This Eastern voyage is but a moment in the time I’m passing to become like the gods I’ve loved.
Mervyn: rejected and now remembered, well loved – you are one of these.
I look forward to an epic fall myself.
It becomes us all, at some point.

Morning Two

New faces and new places are around me every time I wake.

Yesterday, I passed a stop with a marine. Schrapnel through leg and 8 vertebrae broken. Basic infintry became sniping skills. Six years being shuffled around: Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq. Upon return to this beautiful land of freedom, all their possessions were stolen. The ride from here is toward home.

The night with lifelong friends who alternatively play hockey, drink, ride motorocycles, game, create havoc together. From the northern country, they were heckled and disliked collectively by the train staff. I wonder why this way.

This morning, a family who worked on their own strawbale house and consensus among intentional communities. Virginia was, apparently, full of these. Though how they hid from us is a charm we could not decipher.

I asked two people to watch my things as I went away for a moment. I have done this many times to many people. It’s a sort of introduction. You are my verification in case of some confusion with these posessions I am leaving in your charge. It’s establishing a sort of engagement, an interaction, a contract. Yes or no are acceptable answers. I have always gotten yes, sometimes more.
These two people, from a very secluded background as evidenced to me by their clothing — which I can only assume is intention — hardly touched me at all. Darting eyes and a muttered “oh sure” as if it were one word. And the hardest to find. Upon return, my thanks fell flatly to the ground underneath their table where a card or two may have fallen in their games of cards. I was not an acting player.
Strange. I wonder if you were merely afraid.

In Chicago, it’s either a free night up in the city or a late train out of it.
Only the desk personel will be able to tell.

For now, in Minnesota there is snow still on the ground in big dirty heaps and melting drifts. The water along the edges nearest the track is frozen in thick long veins that reach toward the birds. I’m sure if I look hard enough, I’d see many different forms of tracks. A tractor here, a small car there, a single set of prints I could not identify as we passed by.

The world is white and blue with the edges of green underneath here.
Just the edge of growth, once began, then covered over again.

Symbolism is all kinds of spoiled in me. For me. Through me.
I need some new perspective.
This solitary return journey into the state of being wholly unsolitary is good for me.
Is it good for you?

I hope for the best.
This has so much potential.

Closing, executing

2013-05-03 10.35.53
This journey is the true end of the experiment Ori and I began last October. I am returning to clean things up and return our possessions to our new home.
This is the last leg. I am doing it alone.
There is depth in this I am reaching for, stretching for, beginning to touch.
The following was a piece of that.

As I’m waking up today, I’m feeling really positive. More and more excited to be on this journey. It’s been mellow thus face, reminding me how much of the social awkwardness I’ve been exuding as of late is less about me and more about other issues and complications outside of me.

I realize that when I want to, I am natrually (said loosely here because this is actually an intentionally trained response) outgoing and explanatory. I generally pay attention to if I’m smiling or not. I care about positivity.

When I am outwrdly steeped in it, I become resentful.

The land here is hard to come by inspiration from. It feels hollow in its wide-openness. Emptied out. These, I believe, are the ghosts — yokai — of this place. Haunted by a dead lack of life.

As if you can just look out at the bubbling hills and white crested mountain, and you can hear the ghostly whispers of what life had once been here. The land here feels scattered now, broken apart, torn into small and insignificant bits. Loose pieces of a once-whole puzzle strewn across a blank sheet.

The image, though complete to my eye, is inconsistent and incomplete itself. My European-descended blood lacks an understanding of what may have been lost. My pale skin knows nothing of this, but it takes a passing and protected view. My post-industrial, convenience-born, assembly-line-bred, corporate-raised brain can envision nothing of the ways of life now wipes lovelessly from existence.

I can only look and feel this indescribable loss, this lack — for lack of a better word. And even with that, I gain little to no access to any of this.