Air

Someday, there will be nothing left but air.

And really, maybe not even that.

… … …

Unnatural things sit on my chest. I’ve been feeling this ugly, saturated heaviness ever since I put a sudden stop to my solitude. With the past sitting in my house, sitting around my house, laughing too loud all the time, drinking itself into difficult stupors, I feel heavy and salted. When I say anything that sounds like a real conversation, he grimaces.

Literally. His face quickly contorts and then he stares.

When I speak, he makes annoyed faces. Unless we are talking about popular things. Celebrities cheating or how ‘the gram’ feels or anything like that. He’s invested, then.

When I say, slowly and carefully, ‘did you check on that job’? He sighs. Eyes roll too quickly for confirmation. He nods.

“Yeah.”

 

This isn’t before. I am too old. I became too set in my solitude. And I had time to realize what was ME and what was the gaslighting.

 

So I already told him this wasn’t working out, and I already told him this is done. One month. And only that first day, when Dude Ranch screeched and ran about with him, did it seem like a good idea.

Other than that it was just a huge, ugly ‘I KNEW IT’.

… … …

 

But some lessons we learn hard and vicious. I learned not to take on family projects. From the difficulty of handling something for my mother, of telling her she wasn’t being clear enough, only to have her find someone else and be ‘clear’ with them. And the final product was, as I figured, only slightly like what she’d asked for. But she will never admit that, and I am too old to keep asking people to do such things. So I’m just going to stop calling.

People will wrap themselves around you trying to tell you how life is short. Forgive and yadda yadda yadda. I’ve been forgiving for a long time, my friends. And it’s never done anything for me, not yet. It has never eased any anger, has never changed any behavior. I forgive and remember and it still all turns back like a vicious circle.

 

I am quitting people. At least, when my solitude filled this home, I felt like a great human being. In the month that I’ve been ‘trying’ to communicate, I’ve been told how terrible I am, how abrasive, how angry and loud. And I’m over it.

 

Just us.

Sudden Things

Solitude has afforded me some peace. I understand with vigor that this peace is flimsy – I earned it alone. I earned it without ever staring down my issues with other humans, without ever actually figuring out why I wanted the solitude in the first place. It’s not enough to say you’re sick of everyone – why is the real question. How do you fix it?

 

I continued to ignore this question and now, surrounded in my own house, it came back up. Why am I sick of everyone? How do I develop healthy relationships?

 

Do I even want any?

 

It’s apparent to me that I’ll have to answer these questions whether I want to or not. I’ll have to take a good look at myself. A good look at my actions and intentions. A good, deep breath. And I’ll need to truly figure out what I want out of other people, whether I even want other people, and how to navigate from this point. I didn’t think inviting two people, two people I’m thoroughly familiar with, into my home would cause so much chaos in my mind. I didn’t think it would render me unable to work and, even worse, unable to write.

I didn’t think it would push me so heavily and quickly back into a sour mood, one that evaded me when I was alone with The Young Sir. Into a state of confusion. Into an internal battle.

 

But it did. It has. And I’m right back to figuring out this thing called companionship.

 

And I’m going to fucking figure it out this time. I know myself, now. Let’s know what makes ‘self’ happy.

Warm

Regards.

… … …

 

No matter what happens, I seem to come back around to sitting in living rooms watching The I.T Crowd. Laughing loudly, sometimes with a bit of alcohol, most times with just myself. Usually, Urijah sleeps soundly in another room. This happens year after year, this same situation rounding me and keeping me from snapping in two.

Things have been interesting. Not good, not bad, but interesting. I had to let go of a couple more people – some I was fond of – and I feel a bit more narrow. It’s starting to look at bit like permanent isolation, me thinks.

I was moving back to ATL. Had everything planned, even let my rental office know I wouldn’t be renewing the lease on this lovely house. I packed my things, even. And then I got rejected for a house. And then another in the same day, for the same reason. Apparently, back when I was broke and had to fake my pay stubs, I was more attractive to home owners. With my successful business and my steady clients and all this honest good work, ┬ánope. I have ‘unstable income’. I’ve been told that it’s because people don’t know whether or not to trust someone who is self-employed. Which means that this move is going to be an uphill battle.

Okay.

 

It’s just fodder for nights like this. It’s just a reason for me to keep my large cash flow and steady growing savings to myself. It’s just an excuse to say fuck it and stay where I am. I’ll sit here and watch I.T Crowd. I’ll drink tea and watch Ouran, High School Host Club. I’ll daydream and drink coffee and sift into the night until I feel better.

I appreciate the sinking feeling. Falling back to Earth is a blessing.

 

I’ll live. But I’ll think twice about the whole honesty thing.

Vapor

This one time, I was in love.

But he drank until his mind turned into a vapor and his thoughts stained everything, vicious and putrid, until he was wondering one thing after the next out loud and inside and all I had to talk to were the memories of his feelings soaked into the walls.

 

But he smiled so big his face hardly held his lips, his teeth, his laugh. He sang songs to me, sometimes with those very vapors and sometimes drenched in THC and secrets and all the world constantly watching him, to him. He lived in his head and every now and then he placated me with a word or a sound or a caricature of affection that was so diluted I had to wonder if he learned it from a show.

 

But he kept wandering in his mind and with his feet and with his attitude and with his intentions and nothing was ever the same as it was the day before. And I always felt like I was standing on the edge of a cliff that would smash me into thin ice if I fell. And I always felt like some type of backup or a default just in case he never found anyone else to deal with all that vapor, just in case he was as odd as he thought.

 

This one time, I was in love and it felt like slipping constantly behind mirror after mirror after mirror and hearing him talk and laugh and scream to himself but losing sight of him more and more. By the end I was the only one left and I was the only one I could see and I still can’t really see around myself. Not really.

 

But I don’t leak vapor and I don’t find myself sinking into the floor and sometimes I’m okay with being the only one I can love as much as I love my sons. Sometimes I look down and I’m okay with my feet being bolted to the ground, with my heart staying intact in one place and not knowing how to dislodge it, how to give it, how to share it.

 

This one time, I was in love and I decided it was okay to let that die and let me live.

Atlanta pt. 0

So. We’re moving back to Atlanta.

 

I gave it some deep thought. I want the people who make my life miserable, consistently, to stay out of my life. But I can do that with less isolation.

 

It’s too early. My farmhouse in the woods on top of a mountain will be waiting for me someday. For now, I’ll exist. And I’ll find new people to talk to that don’t make my stomach churn. I’ll reconnect with friends I adored and permanently get rid of anyone else.

 

I’ve learned to keep people I once blocked on my block list. To not give boring men an audience. I may have lost some of my greater social skills but I’ve gained the motivation to write again, the ability to see where my problems are, and clarity. I gained a bit of peace here.

 

Alabama has done well for me. And now we make the plans to go back to the hell that is Atlanta. But maybe this time it won’t be a hell.

 

Maybe this time I will pay more attention to being well than I do to fitting into some puzzle I can’t figure out.

 

 

Small

I have a very small audience. Super small. Miniscule, even.

Part of me wants to grow this audience to benefit my future writing career. A bigger part of me, though, wants to just write what I feel and ignore the growth potential. This is a huge part of my life that seems to cover every area.

Wanting to just keep everything to myself.

I have a very small group of friends/people that I talk to, and that group gets smaller every day.

Part of me wants to grow it, to branch out, to talk to people. But a bigger part of me wants to stick to myself and these two Booger Butts and call it a day. I’ve been dealing with my want for social broadening lately and decided, eh, let’s try it? What a mistake.

… … …

This will jump around a bit but I’m only ever talking to myself, so who cares?

I had a daydream that I saved Urijah from someone trying to kill him and ended up in jail. In solitary confinement. Stuck to myself all day and night and only ever having communication when it comes to getting my food, if even then. And for some reason this was such a great daydream. I felt a calm about it. Sitting in some dirty room with nothing and no one until I just petered out of existence. With nothing but my brain and maybe, if I was lucky at all, paper and pen. Even if I wasn’t that lucky, the thought of being alone forever seemed grand.

The fact that this excites me is a problem, I think, but I wonder if I’m fighting the wrong way. Maybe I should just embrace that. Not let myself get pulled back in by artificial nice guys and lesbians who are already in love with someone else. Maybe I should keep moving forward and stop looking back, and maybe forward leads me and the young sir somewhere lonesome. Somewhere that is just us, except when it’s just us and The Boy Chin Wonder.

… … …

I won’t delete my social accounts again, even though I wanted to. I came close today. But I’ll try my best to stay off of them and in my own world. I’ll fight for my family, for us. I’m so sick of everyone – liberals and conservatives and everyone else. Adults and teens and anti-this and religion and just everything that exists outside of my home. I am sick of arguing and hearing arguments.

To be perfectly honest, I’d rather get a shotgun and a secluded house and argue with gunshots at this point. I’m tired of no one getting ANYTHING. And I think I’ll live in the philosophy that you don’t have to get anything. I can definitely GIVE you these hands/these bullets/this pain, though.

We can share.

Before I die I will figure out how to distance myself and still survive. I can’t imagine keeping in touch with people anymore. I’m done with it.

 

Let us depart.

 

Entitled to It

Is it my duty in life to feel something?

… … …

Nowadays, I’m often surprised when I get more than a little excited. It’s jarring. It feels like I’ve grown immune to these types of feelings, to truly experiencing anything other than survival emotions and extremes. You’re depressed. You’re euphoric. You’re engulfed in love.

You’re dying.

It was getting to the point where any feeling other than complete and utter panic was nonexistent. So it is really surprising when something like an episode of a show I like, a conversation, a thought, a game, a smile, when those things make me FEEL. They make me feel small snatches of something and I’m thrown off balance. Really, anything other than one terrible extreme after the other feels alien.

But I don’t mind being able to enjoy amazing stories again (hello Game of Thrones, Hi Man Seeking Woman, what’s good West World, nice hat you got there Stranger Things). I don’t mind reading great stories and loving characters (you’re awesome Saga, great reading The Good House, let’s chat again Youth in Revolt). Even rereading things I read while I was deep underwater is a treat.

There is so much that you lose in depression. In giving in to what other people think is right for everyone. I found myself in this big house in Alabama, in these rooms that I’m decorating slowly and awkwardly. I find myself in the clippings from extra books I have, from the second copies I purchased by accident. I live in dark, brooding paintings of squid or men with tentacles for faces.

These little things, they make up for so much lost time. Rajesh talks and I can truly laugh. I can stand with him in the kitchen and tell him stories about my childhood, show him a tour of bookshelves and explain why I like these books, encourage him to collect things. Urijah jumps in the bed with me in the morning and I tell him about the day we’ll have while we stare at the windows, at the ceiling, at the walls. We laugh and cuddle and then I carry him to the bathroom for his morning pee, and I open the door to his playroom so he can start his own adventures.

I can live like this. And I honestly didn’t expect this to turn out this way. I expected this war with my own self to be the great war of my life, the war I would agony over into old age. Maybe the war I would lose way before then.

I like these little feelings, these variations of feelings. This life.

 

Warp

Every now and then I get sucked down a false nostalgia hole. I start wishing for things I never really got to experience, a childhood I wasn’t afforded, a passion I never lived.

It’s hard to get out of my head when I get like this.

 

So. Silence for now.

Experience

The experience of life is not all about other humans.

They’re a big part of it. Most of your daydreams, and my daydreams, are going to be full of conversations. Sitting quietly with another human, all those long talks and robust hang out sessions catching up. There’s going to be a lot of discussion, a lot of just being, and a lot of failure and success in companionship.

But the other part of life is solitude. A garden early in the morning or too late at night, the sun fading away or brimming and spreading. It’s going to be about the violence in your head, the dreams of nothing but air and madness, the voices if you have them.

It’s going to be about the colors. The sounds of an animal panting to keep up with you (hopefully a pet). The thoughts that ruin your day or make your night.

Life is about those moments when there’s nothing around but you and the air you breathe. The plants that watch you. The chaos on the horizon.

I don’t think about life with others as much as I think about life away. Burrowed in a home that is too disconnected to be feasibly safe. Too on the outskirts to be classified as part of this human thing we do.

I’ve lived the part of my life where companionship ruled. I’m ready to see the rest.

Someone

Remember when I was really, really into things that people hated? Types of people who were thrown away, types of subjects that were avoided, just the bottom of the barrel. I still am, to a certain degree, and I definitely still support the unsupported. But there was a point in time where I really stood behind those ideals.

When I had my mohawk with the tiny sides:

 

 

Or when I was really into showing my boobs, or just some skin in general, even if I didn’t think my body was the best body around.

 

Dark-skinned woman with no shirt, blue jeans, and arms crossed in front of legs.

 

Just a lot of rebellion a lot of the time. It was comfortable. I remember being obsessed with not having to apologize for being me, and being loud about it, and being loud about it for other people. Feeling like I was the savior of all the other weird boys and girls of the planet. Feeling like the worst mom on Earth, feeling like I didn’t fit into any corner or space, and absolutely rotting from the inside out.

All those things at once.

I’m not all that different now, just…evolved. I made it to where I figured I wanted to be – by myself. Just with the young sirs. Away from Atlanta. Away from disgusting older men, away from a childhood plagued with loss and change, away from teenage years full of sexual abuse, confused promiscuity, and aching loneliness. I made it around all of that, made it through a car wreck, made it to this house and these words. And I did it with a small amount of help, with a huge amount of determination, and a never ending sense of unease.

I’m not the girl with the hawk anymore, but I am. I’m not sporting a huge fro, but I could. I’m not standing around in my underwear, tits out, licking girl’s faces after they take my pictures, but I might. There’s a lot left in me and a lot of time (or maybe not – I wouldn’t know). I see these photos and I feel like the same person in them, just less sad. Less afraid. Less hopeless. Less crushed. Further away from my father’s death. Miles away from the place I hated, the people I hated. I see these pictures and I can finally soak them in, and feel great about them, without the guilt. Without the stories of the scents of those people in that apartment. I see these pics and I’m in awe of MYSELF.

There’s a lot of baggage in my memories but I’m truly learning to strip them and just see me in them. See Urijah, see Rajesh, see Mashu. I’ve learned to blur and spot those ugly things out of my mind and just leave us. Just leave midnight trips to CVS in Buckhead, of me looking at the sky. Just see me sitting outside at the bus stop, outside the Darlington at 10pm, going to work at Loveshack. See me watching busses go by, feeling sick of the city but so in love with the way the night looked. The way it smelled. The way the people jerked about.

I can look back and just see myself crying in front of that interior design store, the one on the bottom level of that skyscraper, where I stood waiting for my connecting bus (5) to work. See myself staring into that futuristic model kitchen they had there, tears of absolute want staining me. I remember feeling like, yeah, will I ever have something nice like this? Or will it always be starter stoves and roaches? Will it always be another suitcase in another hall?

Shit, do you know I didn’t listen to ONE showtune during those years? Or sing one? From 2007 to 2013 probably, I wasn’t even the same Shaquana that loved Evita, Guys and Dolls, West Side Story, Little Shop of Horrors, Chicago. I wasn’t even the same fucking person. I’d completely abandoned myself in hopes of survival and all I had left of me was a love for the weird and downtrodden. I’d adopted sexual deviants as my family and I sold toys to them and laughed with them and screamed at them and protected them.

 

And now, here I am. That model kitchen doesn’t seem like a far fetched idea – it almost seems silly, honestly. I miss that night sky but I’m happy to have the showtunes. I miss the freedom to walk to the CVS at night but I don’t miss the pain that soaked every step.

I don’t miss those days at that apartment that I took those pictures in, the one that was before Buckhead even. I hardly think about that unless I’m daydreaming about loving someone else in the apartment instead. What MISERY that was.

But I like being able to look at all these pictures, all these versions of Trey, all these Shaquanas, and only see myself for once.

 

I remember these things as they were, but I enjoy them as they should’ve been. And I’ll take more pictures, and more pictures, and they’ll be RIGHT THE FIRST TIME.