SpongeBob Floaties (Pixie Girl)

Pixie Girl
With your stained glass cheeks
When we’re alone
My knees grow weak
I can hardly breathe
You’re in my dreams
I can be anyone you want me to be
You can share my cigarette
And we can dance with our silhouette
Oh Pixie Girl
You’re the only one I can’t forget

Pixie Girl
With your seashell smile
At the sound of your untamed laugh
I’m suddenly just a child
No clue where to go
No idea what to think
When I’m with you it’s only swim or sink
But i’m still stuck on shore
With my SpongeBob floaties
Drowning on land and collecting scraped knees
I just want you to pass the smoke from your cigarette
Make me do things my mouth will regret
Oh Pixie Girl
Why can’t i just forget

Pixie Girl
With your raindrop hair
You’re a cathedral of bad decisions
And I’m always on my knees in prayer
With you I’d go anywhere
Get tangled up in my fitted sheet
Get lost in your backseat
I want to sing songs on the sidewalk
Do drugs in the street
I want to taste the lipstick from the filter of your cigarette
Have us bleed through the lines of our personal vignette
Oh Pixie Girl
Please don’t make me forget

Tired.

I don’t think this year is shaping up to the be the way any of us wanted it to be. If you had told me that I’d be missing December 2019 six months ago, I’d laugh. If you told me that I’d be looking back on the last four years as ‘the good ‘ol days’, I’d be rolling on the floor. If you had told me that 2016 wasn’t going to be the worst year in recent memory, I’d tell you to leave the room because I was tired of the lies.
But please, give my apologies to the past four years. Comparatively, it did not deserve the vitriol I gave it.

There is little I can say that hasn’t been said. The past six months have felt like six years. This is a defining year in human history. This year will shape the world moving forward.
I’ve heard it. You’ve read it. We all see the news and go through the articles and see the never-ending stream of breaking news and new developments in this series of unfortunate events. Every day it’s something new, whether our dipshit-in-chief nearly starting another world war, or endless fires in Australia and the American West coast, to a once a century pandemic, to the 2nd Civil War beginning, to dipshit-in-chief calling for the murder of Americans…

Did you know that the “Storm Area 51” event was only like 9 months ago?

I am so exhausted. I feel like I’m pretending to live. I feel like everything is a sham. Like I’m living in the twilight zone and I’m just forcing myself to pretend that nothing is going on around me. I have to go to work everyday where everyone acts like we still aren’t in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, spend an hour in traffic back and forth with drivers who seem even more incompetent than usual, go home and try to maintain some semblance of routine while continuing to try and plan for the future and save money and pack for our upcoming move to a new house and talk about having children with my wife and trying to watch what I eat and just ultimately assuming that there will be a future to plan for to begin with when all signs are pointing elsewhere…
not to mention the upcoming election that will determine whether we’ll live another four years under an even stupider Hitler or revert back to living in complete mediocre complacency under the most Republican Democrat that we could’ve possibly nominated AND also the looming threat of climate change that everyone seems to have forgotten about for the time being despite signs of it getting much worse far quicker than we thought.

I feel aimless. I’m so tired. I want to just fall asleep for the next six months and skip over all this additional bullshit. Whether I wake up to a collapsed country or a repaired one, I just don’t want to deal with all the in-between.

I can’t believe that I miss only having to deal with crippling anxiety and intense depression.
At least I knew what to expect. At least I could still maneuver around it.

But as of right now I’m too tired to try and handle anything.

May 2021 come quick and with better things on its horizon.
And I hope anyone who’s reading this has better days ahead of them.

22 Year Old Male Seeking Ego Death at 2pm on a Tuesday

I have this feeling inside me as if I’m missing something key
Like I’m reaching out into openness for something
Yet it’s just too dark to see
I can’t put my tongue on the words I need
To say how I feel
And I’m just stuck here rambling, waiting for the big reveal

I know that there’s an undercurrent of desperation in the way I think and hope
I went to find life in my words but more often than not I choke
My mind still just wanders off into that forever never-ending
And I still can’t tell exactly to who’s will I am bending

This chaos is far too quiet for me
Silent screaming in the words
I won’t ever get to see
Some violent cacophony of anxiety
Still asking me what is it I am missing
Reaching out
Seeking out
Forgetting about
What it is I am thinking about

I can see it in the distance
Amongst the dark and fog
The twisting web of gears
Pins
And
Cogs
It’s like an eyesight test I’m still just a bit too blind to see
And I know that I want to be better
But I’m just waiting for my head to finally agree

Commute, Compute

I dreamt of an endless ocean and a sea of stars
Yet I’m stuck breathing in the smog
left behind an endless sea of cars
I wake up in the shadow kissed morning to a stillness not yet disturbed
By people waiting for their turn to speak
Just to hear the sound of their own words
I go about my day as I’ve done time and time again
Yet I feel as if I’m still waiting for my life to begin
I dreamt of a purpose
A point
A reason why
Something other than an endless cycle to just
Live, work, then die
I crave the embrace
That comes with a world past midnight
When our worries are long asleep
And I am finally able to feel alright
I’m ever reaching, wanting, waiting –
for that silent moment
Stuck between never before and always to come
Nothing but myself and my breathing
The time alone always more by itself than its sum
I dreamt of an endless ocean and a sense of worth
I dreamt of a night so still
you could feel the turning of the earth
I dreamt that I understood what it all meant
and that I was finally able to honestly say
that I’m just waiting for the morning
that I’m at last happy to face another day

Nevada

I once imagined
That the blinking red lights of the radio towers
In the distance along the highways
Were aliens coming down to Earth to kidnap
Unsuspecting prey
And my parents would drive down the pitch black desert roads
When I was supposed to be asleep
But instead I kept my face as close to the window as I could
As if to pretend that I was outside, running at seventy miles an hour –
The outlines of shadowy mountains just barely able to be made out
And I’d see the red blinking from the night sky
Almost as if it were trying to say hello
The car was silent
Except for the gentle rumble
Of the old, worn, interstate
And though it made me a little nervous at the time As it seemed like the lights were following us home
Part of me – still young and unjaded – part of me wished that we would stop
And the lights would take me with them
A willing traveler
Ready to leave a world
I knew would never be good to me anyways

The Imperfect Side of Perfectionism

If you asked most people that know me – both casually and perhaps more intimately – if I were a perfectionist, I’m sure the answer would be a resounding ‘NO’, probably prefaced with a snort and followed by a laugh and a “Are you serious?”. My home is a mess, I don’t follow a steady routine, in school I was a staunch believer in the ‘C’s get degrees’ mantra so I rarely tried to do well because it was hard.
But, internally, I know that I am this way not because I don’t care, but because I care too much. I’m a perfectionist – and that, mixed with my intense anxiety, causes me to chose to simply not do things or not try to do things because I know that it’s not going to be the way I want it. It won’t sound the way I want it to, the words won’t flow like I want, I won’t feel the way I want to feel so I assume all the effort will be negated – but on the outside, I’m sure it just comes across like a lack of effort.

I don’t like failing. As an anxious person that has a fear of being perceived as anything less than a successful, talented, adult man that unfortunately has a side of internalized narcissism right beside him at all times, I ultimately chose to just not try. I feel, whether rightly or not, that if I just come across as someone that doesn’t try and does so knowingly, then people’s expectations of me won’t go below where I want them. If no one expects me to be a certain way, and they see me as someone who just doesn’t try because I’m just that cool and laid-back, then I won’t be expected to try to do things and therefore I won’t be able to try to do things and thus fail at those things.

Am I making sense yet?

But then comes the second factor – my gosh darn fucking anxiety.
My thesis is that if I come across as someone that doesn’t want to try, I won’t be able to come across as a failure because I’m too cool to even do things. If I don’t go above and beyond at work, I won’t have the opportunity to fail at going above and beyond. If I never try to learn to play the guitar, I’ll never suck at it. If I never complete my damn novel that I’ve been working on for almost ten years, then no one will be able to reject it and no one will be able to dislike it. I can’t tell you how many incomplete posts sit inside my drafts folder because the thought of the two people that might read it thinking it’s stupid was too overwhelming.
But when you’re anxious the way I am, it doesn’t matter whether or not people dislike it or not. It doesn’t matter if I put something out there and people don’t respond to it, or if it doesn’t click with people, or if the quality isn’t satisfactory. I will automatically think the worst. At the end of the day, regardless of what I do, I will always think that the baseline impression that people have of me or anything I do is a negative one. I constantly think my coworkers dislike me and think my work is unsatisfactory. I constantly think my boss is ready to fire me. I constantly think that people who read my work think it’s stupid or if they do say something positive, they’re only doing it to humor me. Any friends I do have or people that I associate with merely tolerate me, and I don’t try to make any new friends because the idea of being rejected is so fucking overwhelming that I pull myself down into a spiral of anxiety.

So where does that leave me?

I refuse to try because I don’t want to be seen as a failure in anything I do, yet I automatically think people see me as a failure to begin with. All the while, my perfectionist brain is itching to do things perfectly and to excel and to show people how great I think I am, and my anxiety forces me not to.
There is no easy answer. I am 22 years old – and while I think I’m too old to ever turn things around, I know deep down that I still have time. But there’s so much work to be done and I don’t have the time or mental health capacity to do anything right now.

I may not be able to make new friends, or get my writing out there, or push myself to audition for theater shows or learn to play the guitar or join a poetry slam or go to local band shows and mosh or anything that might put myself out there.
But – what I can do, as small as it might be – is personal improvements. Channel my perfectionism in things that may only affect me, so the only person I can disappoint is myself.
Write more – for myself. Be comfortable with writing terribly for the sake of actually writing. Clean my room. Perfect my routine. Be a perfect (or simply better) person for myself first, and once I’m able to do that, reach out and try to change the way I am on the outside. Perfect myself for other people. Get out there and be myself instead of a watered down demo version of myself that I feel is more tolerable.
There is a lot to be done and it is not easy in the slightest. Trying to juggle my internalized perfectionism with my constant anxiety and fear of failure. But – at the very least – I can see the road I need to take. It’s miles long but the road is clear. And I know I’m not alone – I know, as much as I might think otherwise, that there are other people that are suffering through the same things I am and are trudging along that same winding highway with the hopes of getting better and being a better person for themselves and those around them.

Perfectionism is imperfect. Being a human is imperfect. But at least I have time to get it right.

Much love.

Woman of Water

Speak to me,
O’ Woman of Water
Give me your rolling tides
I dream of your angry ocean
To wash away the blood of the vines
Not of earth
Not of life
Gaia herself could not match your light
Speak to me,
O’ Woman of Water
And breathe into me
Your drowning night

O’ Woman of Water
Heart cold but arms wide
An embrace so vengeful
There’s no place on earth one could hide
I can feel your tangling hair flow over me
And your voice of thunder
Pulls me down deep

Skin of silent skies
And your touch of gentle waves
I’m drunk in your embrace
Of that like the Queen Maeve
O’ Woman of Water
Salt water coughs and bloated lungs
Have never felt more sweet
And as I lie still in the rocking of your stormy arms
I’ve never felt more complete

To Gaslight What is Already Burning

There is an order to this chaos
The thorns that grow from the vine
There is a path laid from the rubble of destruction
And your breath tastes of cheap red wine
All I’d like is to guide you along
To the work that is both yours and mine
Yet there’s a gnawing sense that as I move ahead
All of you is left behind

I could wait until the very end
To see if you’d crawl back to me
Thinking about the pain we shared
All my words you didn’t believe
You wait content in anguish
With the target you placed upon your head
Pointing the finger of blame at anyone else for what you lack
Because they couldn’t guess what you left unsaid

There is a sense that comes from this disorder
A realization that I had come to know
An acknowledgement of my personal failures
Reaping the consequences of what would never grow
You sit alone in fear
Of moving forward
I refuse to admit
I was walking backwards

Yet there is an order to this chaos
And a lesson from the thorns that pricked our skin
You and I still won’t admit our failures
But we know that what we had 
is quickly wearing thin.

Are you happy? – 2020

I’ll be honest – I’ve been thinking about this post nearly since I wrote the last one a year ago. None of these had been particularly positive, but last year felt especially hopeless. I wasn’t doing very well and it showed – my depression and anxiety were kicking my ass and I wasn’t really fighting back. I had been dealing with a lot of stuff in my personal life, and it felt like it was all narrowing down to a ‘straw that breaks the camel’s back’ kinda scenario.
Last year was both exciting and terrible. My now wife and I were in the midst of planning our wedding which was stressful and time consuming and that I recommend no one go through with – (the actual wedding process, not getting married. Being married is pretty nice but weddings are almost a complete waste.) – and I was dealing with a job that wasn’t helping my mental health either. Mixed with health anxiety and weight issues and the feeling that I was wasting my life at the ripe old age of 21, going into 2019 was not a great time.

But, after it’s all said and done, I’m through the other side and into 2020. The holidays are through and for a short while the world slows down a little bit and I’m able to reflect on last year and how I relate to the version of me a year ago. I mean, really, how I relate to the person that’s been doing this for the past three years – I was nineteen when I first wrote one of these. I just graduated high school and moved out of my parent’s home. Life has been passing by and I don’t really get a chance to realize it.
And that’s the thing – as I enter 2020, I walk in unsure. And perhaps that’s a good thing? Every year I’ve known that I was depressed and exhausted and on the brink of giving up, but this year I find myself unable to tell how I feel for certain.

My anxiety is at an all time high. At this point, I’ve realized that I’m a hypochondriac – I have intense health anxiety that makes me able to take any bodily feeling I have and assume the worst. Every headache, every twitch, every shake – I find myself fearing the worst and preparing for my imminent death. But it comes in waves – I’ll have weeks where I’m able to keep it in check and then others I’m a mess and I have no clue how I’m supposed to function like this. I take one anxiety med but I know it’s not enough and I have no clue how to get the help I want, because the last time I went to a therapist they told me that they weren’t able to diagnose just anxiety, and it had to be in conjunction with something else.
And that’s the bright side, perhaps – is that my depression is almost nonexistent anymore. I will every so often get hit with a fast ball that has me down for the count for a day or so, but it’s no longer my lingering companion. It doesn’t hang over my head leaving me struggling to find the strength to keep myself up.

I’ve dealt with anxiety much of my life, but the vast majority of it was on a social level. I figured that it just went hand-in-hand with my depression and naturally introverted nature, so I never thought on it much. But now that my depression has taken a leave of absence and left anxiety as the main antagonist in my life, it feels like it’s always been there and I was a fool not to realize that it was always pulling my strings. Every time I thought people were talking about me behind my back even when they didn’t even know me – every time I refused to take an opportunity because I thought I’d be immediately rejected – every time I thought that people were out to get me, wanted to hurt me or poison me or get me fired… it was always anxiety playing the game. And now, when I do get depressed, I’m able to realize that it’s just because of my anxiety acting up.

I’m trying to make it work. Every time I get concerned on my future or health, I just realize that things are going in the right direction. I’m heading the way I wanted to be going a couple years back. I’m married and in a good job, and not taking outside factors into account, my future seems bright. At this rate it’s a matter of self development. Trying to fight back against what’s firing off in my head and just taking control of it myself, because I’m pointed the right way. It just all comes down to me.

I’ll be 23 this year. I’ve heard no one likes you when you’re 23, so I’m a little concerned about that, but still – my life is flashing back. Every year I write about the future and how old I’ll be and the person I might be and no matter how many times I write that sentence down it never feels real. I never thought I’d be 20, 21, 22 – but the old adage is true, I suppose – the years start coming and they don’t stop coming.

I’m entering 2020 with a new set of issues and some old ones that have strengthened, but I’m also entering with a new sense of hope. Something I certainly didn’t have last year. I don’t know if things are actually all that better than they were back then, but it sure seems like it.
I see a path, I see the arrows, I see where I need to go. I have what I need to move forward and get to where I need to go, and that’s what this year is going to be about. Hell, that’s what this decade is going to be about. If I wrote about the ’10s being the decade I grew up in, the ’20s is going to be where I get my chance to fully shape myself into the person I want to and need to be. I don’t know where I’m going to be this time next January, or in 2027 when I turn 30, or by this time 2030. I have no clue how I’m going to feel or the person I will be, but I know where I want to be and I have what I need to get there.

And this time, I feel like I have the strength to keep going.

Are you happy? Am I happy? Has the past year, the past ten years been good to you? I know time is a man-made illusion and doesn’t mean anything but the moving into a new decade feels like a new chance to do things right, it feels like a new slate.
Are you happy? I don’t know if I’m happy, but I feel content that I know how I might get there. I feel hopeful. I feel like I have a chance, and that’s really all I’ve wanted these past few years.

Are you happy?
I sure hope so. This world is too fucking cruel. It can be tough to find happiness. There are too many of us – people my age, people younger than me, people older than me – who aren’t able to find happiness and it doesn’t help when the world is run by people who could care less about the lives of the average. I want you to be happy. If only we could all come together to try and make it better for all of us, perhaps we’d find it.
But no matter the form it takes or how it shows up, I wish you happiness. Happiness today, tomorrow, the next year, and as your life continues.

We’ll get there someday.

Have a great year.

– Brandon, 10:17am.