Winter

A poem.

Winter is never really Winter at all
When it’s still seventy degrees outside
And a friend is never really a friend
If in them you are unable to confide
I’d embrace the cold
if it would ever rear its dark, wet, melancholic head
Instead I’m fighting with myself
to take a shower and get out of bed
I’d take the wind chill
if it only meant that I’d finally be rid of you
But in Texas we don’t get Winter
And I still don’t know what to do.

I Met You in a Dream

A poem.

I met you in a dream
I couldn’t see your face
Beneath your body glow
But I was sure it was something beautiful
Someone I’d love to know
And I met you in a dream
Yet you didn’t speak a word to me
While I ranted and spoke in some otherworldly cacophony
And I met you in a dream
You were close and I was so far away
I’m pretty sure I loved you
But you told me that it was meant for other days
And just like that –
I was awake
What was given to me was still yours to take
And in those waking moments I still had such love
That I didn’t quite know how to release
I met you in a dream
And though I remember such melancholy
You snored and rolled over
And that’s when it came to me
It wasn’t some lost soul taunting me
With love that would never be
It was always you
Sleeping in our bed
Snoring lightly next to me
I smiled and was content as I gently kissed your forehead
Last night, in a dream, I saw you –
And the very next day my dream came true!

Are you happy? – 2018

This is the third time I’ve tried writing this post.
I don’t know why I seem unable to come up with a coherent thought on this matter that I actually want to say and I don’t mind putting forth, but here it goes.

I don’t want to focus if I’m happy or not – it seems the more I think about the subject, the more unhappy I become. Call it blissful ignorance, for sure – but if I don’t seem to realize how unhappy I am with everything, I feel like I can go about my life in a bubble of sort of faux happiness.

But I’m not delusional – I take medication to make me feel okay. I start on another in a day or so to help with my anxiety. Actually, I’m taking all the same medications now except for a sleeping medication that I took back when I had my first battle with depression – with an additional medication to help with my cholesterol, because heart problems run in my family, but I digress.
I don’t have friends, except for my girlfriend. She has friends, and they associate with me through her, but ever since I graduated I don’t talk to anyone.
I don’t write anymore, as much as I’d like to. It seems like I can only write poetry when I’m going through something and I feel like all my fiction has been shit thus far.

Literally all I have the energy to do is watch YouTube, eat, and sleep. I can’t even bring myself to start a series or something because it’s too much work and commitment.

I try to talk to my girlfriend about it. I don’t like therapists and I don’t really trust in my family, so she’s the one I try to go to, but it feels like she can’t really understand it. And I find it hard to explain it. How do you explain that you feel one step out of sync with the rest of the world? That everything continues on and you’re just stuck, ski-skip-skipping.

I don’t have any suicidal thoughts – on the contrary, I am literally so afraid of dying it’s crazy. When I drive to work, or when I walk through the shady parking lot on the way back to my car, or when I go into a crowd, or when I read any news about the state of politics. Or when my grandmother tells me she’s having open heart surgery because bad hearts run in the family.
Or when I have a pain in my chest, or I can’t get enough air in my lungs, or my vision gets blurry because my headaches get worse and worse and I’m afraid of having a brain aneurysm, heart attack, and lung collapse all at once.

I’m afraid that I don’t believe in God and when I die it’ll just be another thing that I got wrong and I’ll spend eternity in pain.
I’m afraid that I’m right and when I die, that’s it, and I’ll never recall being who I am and everything I experienced and all the trouble I went through will mean nothing.
I’m afraid of pushing people away who needed to stay and keeping those who I needed to step away from.
I’m afraid of being so afraid that I don’t take any of the steps in the direction I want to take to better my life and do the things I want to achieve.

I’ll be twenty-one this year. If my girlfriend and her parents have their way, I’ll be engaged by the end of it. We’re looking at houses once our lease ends. I’m in a steady job that I hate but pays my bills and has cohesive benefits. We make enough money that I can mostly buy what I want without too much concern. My girlfriend loves me and I have no fear that it’s insincere.

On the outside things are okay. I’m doing better than I ever have been, and if seventeen year old me could look in on this and see what’s going on, he’d probably sock me in my mouth and berate me for complaining – after all, this is nearly everything I had hoped for.

But it’s never as good on the inside. I’m not the person I wanted to be. I’m scared I won’t be – scared I won’t ever have the chance to be.
The world moves on but I’m just ski-skip-skipping.

And that’s it. That’s it on one page. That’s the pain and struggles and worries I have – that I try to keep inside and not think about in the hopes that they won’t bleed through the cracks. And with everything out on one page maybe I can keep in contained – locked away in a webpage prison, separate from myself. Maybe I can will it out of my head and into the real world where I can keep it away from me.

Maybe, someday, it’ll fade away and I’ll catch up with the rest of the world and finally feel in sync.

Maybe.

Here’s to 2018.

 

I Don’t Know Why I’m Sad

(NOT A POEM)

If has not been made obvious yet, either through the content and themes of my poetry or the few and scattered journal-like posts, I have depression.

I’ve dealt with serious depression since I was roughly fourteen years old. I remember vividly being younger than that – perhaps around ten – and writing in my journal something along the lines of :

“I feel sad a lot for some reason. I feel depressed – not the medical kind, but I don’t feel too happy.”

Little did young me know that it was, what I had called, the ‘medical kind’ of depression. Inherited through my mother’s side, it kicked in hard when I was in my early teens and I started taking medication. My depression was a very key factor in my growing up and a factor in my personality, for better or worse. I started writing poetry and short stories as catharsis for my many sad thoughts, my lack of a social or love life, and just the constant feeling of being alone. It helped me feel better. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, even though I was just reading my own writing.

When I reached seventeen or so, I stopped taking my medication. I had reached a point where my depression was no long a constant roommate – always looming and poking at me and being an active part of my life. It had been relegated to a recurring character in the story of my life, hitting me in small bouts every so often through out the year, and kicking in with my Seasonal Affective Disorder in the second half of the year. But it was no longer a big part of me – and being able to function and be me without the medication was a worthwhile trade.

I was okay. Maybe not happy, because I have only felt truly happy a few times in my life – but content. And okay.

And it stayed like that for a while. About two and a half, three years. I even stopped writing poetry, for the most part. I was a changed person, and I mostly embraced it – sometimes I would worry that my depression was too much a part of me, and that something was missing in my life without it.
But ultimately, I knew that that was a ridiculous notion and I continued moving forward – and mostly had a great deal of fond memories wrapped around it. I was in the first serious relationship of my life, I had entered theatre in my junior year of high school and after trying a handful of various activities I finally felt like I found the place I belonged – I had friends. I had people who liked me. I was as happy as I felt like I could’ve been, and I didn’t want to let it go.

That’s why I ended my first relationshjp – because I felt that as I was attempting to rise above the confines of my depression that I had let define me for so long and finally become someone new in of myself, the woman I was with refused to do the same. I felt that she wanted to stay depressed and I felt like she was pulling me down with me – so I ended it after nearly two years, and I went back into my life with confidence and by god… I was actually happy. For about three months, I felt truly and completely happy – I was popular and liked and I felt attractive and wanted and talented and I fell in love with someone new who didn’t compromise my emotional growth and I. Was. Happy.

It quickly faded. I jumped out of theatre to work more hours at my job to pay the medical bill I had been given after a car wreck, and that stands as the biggest regret I have so far. I faced a lot of those little bouts of depression off and on as the year went on, and I hated how things regressed so quickly.

A couple months later, something happened and then my depression showed up on my front door with its suitcases full of sad songs and tattered clothing and anxious thoughts and reminders of my mortality.

He lives with me now, full-time, a constant companion again for the first time in years – but in those years we weren’t together, he went to the gym and ate well and came back as some sort of jacked up mother fucker who not only made me sad, but gave me more anxiety than I have ever had before – done in such a way that I am never out of their grasps. I get anxious, and it makes me depressed, then I’ll get anxious about why I’m so depressed, and it’s a vicious cycle that shows no signs of relenting.

I have many of the things that I always thought would make me happy, back in the old days of being depressed. Not all, but many of them – and yet, none of it makes me any less depressed.

I don’t know why I’m sad. Sometimes I feel sad about things that I know I’m not sad about. Sometimes I just sit and soak in a pool of black – and nothing is real to me except for the fact that I feel terrible and it’s who I am right now.
For god’s sake, I wrote a whole new poetry book in just under a year dealing with a lot of it.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to say. Would theatre make me happy again? Would actually having some god damn friends make me happy again? I have no fucking clue. Things have passed that I thought would mark the end of my depression, but surprise! It’s still there. So for all I know, none of that would make it go away, and that’s the scary part – I just don’t know what to do.

I feel helpless. I even considered rethinking religion because I feel so damned lost, but I can’t bring myself to do it because it’s so damned ridiculous.

At the beginning of this year, I asked myself and whoever the hell reads this if I was, and if you were, happy. And here at almost the end of the year, I can say – I am not. I don’t know when I will be. I’ll ask the same question next year just to check in, but things don’t seem to hopeful.

Though I am always hoping things get better. Every day. Because no matter what I sometimes feel, I am not depression and depression doesn’t make me who I am.

Also – “The Rubble Before Us; Fleeing Dreams and Other Things” will be out sometime in the next six months, hopefully, maybe. You can read all of the poems in it on here, anyways.

Well… we’ll see.
See you next year.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 8:45 PM

Reception in the Middle of Nowhere

(watchtower)

Is she always there
Standing over me
Watching as the seasons change
Over some sleepy, wondering sea
Across her face and beneath her eyes
Is always the same wistful gaze
Reflections floating like young waves
Crashing just to show their size
The air gets dry
As the music grows dreamy
Synth sounds and electric emotions
As my head gets heavy beneath me
Roads pass by
And signs grow far out of distance
The radio changes with the reception –
Before we hit the chorus
And I sit looking out the rearview mirror
The radio tower lights blinking at me
Like a watch tower searching for a signal
And I wonder
If I might’ve left it on the interstate
And that’s why the music sounds so abysmal
And the static that crackles is its own accusatory finger
Blaming me for not trying harder
To get it back

What’s Left of What Was Said

I sit beside the crowds of people I see everyday
Yet cannot bring myself to recognize
I don’t understand a single word they say
But Lord, how I try
Perching in the rafters above the rumble of empty words
Faces that don’t mean a thing to me
I look over the scape and I don’t understand what I’ve heard
Stuck like a piece of twine between two adjacent trees
Across it all
What matters at all
Is the fading permanence of it all
Imprints in the sand just meant to fade
Collide and walk away
Fiercely in love
With the concept of numbered days
And trying to walk back down roads already once tread
Picking up the pieces of what’s left in the dust
Picking up what’s left of what was said

 

Sitting in the back seats as the cameras roll
And the seasons shift
Everyone knows how to brace for the cold
But I still can’t manage to patch this rift
Sitting between us from across the vine
I can’t tell what we’re trying to repair
Where I am, I can only try to find the time
To try to see where the next blow is going to hit
To stand alone and wait for the world to forget
A world full of cotton stuffed people
Around me sits a sea of ingenue
Perching in the shadow of some forgotten steeple
How can flesh and blood relate to felt and sinew?
They know better than I what they’re trying to get
Desperately in love with what they can introspect
And what they’ll be able to forget
They all think we’re all just left for dead
Left holding the broken strings of their marionette
Left with what’s left of what was said

You and I – there isn’t any time
Before the buttons get stitched over our eyes
And we sit up in the middle of the night, alone from our separate beds –
Dreaming about what’s left of what was said

Generic Pop-Punk Love Song

Oh, if only I could play the guitar
Strum a little tune for you
If only I could sing
This wouldn’t be a poem
You’d have to read
If only I could write
An angsty anthem of the night
That I knew that I loved you
This could be some heavy
Punk rock melody
And you could sing along
To your generic pop-punk love song…

If only this began with some bass
And a kick-ass drum solo
I’d be able to start crooning about a life without you
Is a life full of woe
I could tell you that I love you
With every raging word
And yell obvious metaphors to describe how much I miss you
Like I was Mark Hoppus
And this was Blink-182

I’d hide my desire to sing awkward, nervous lyrics
Behind those heavy pounding drums
In every catchy, stupid chorus
Every song would have some long, irrevelent title
That still turns out to be irrefutably clever
Like “Being in love with you is like having a cold, and baby, I’m under the weather”
And you’d hear the song, and think “Man, that title made no sense.”
But hey, honey –
I’m no Pete Wentz

But I don’t know how
To use a whammy bar
I can’t show you
The frets on a guitar
I’m no Billy Joe –
No punk rocker, I know –
I don’t know how to serve up a killer chorus
Or sing a song to you from the bleachers
Like an impromptu movie performance
I just know that I
Never want to say goodbye
And I just want to try
for you.

But who knows if I’d have any success?
Maybe it’s just a waste of time
Perhaps I’ll just end up on the floor
Chiming in, asking for someone to shut the damn door –
I don’t want there to be any misconceptions
You really are the only exception
One might even say you’re my paramore

But I can’t play the guitar
To make a melody for you
And I don’t know how to sing a song
That can stop you from feeling blue
I just know that I love you
And I don’t want to be without you

So I don’t care if it’s a generic pop-punk love song that does the trick
I really think you and I click
Or even a bit of quirky indie rock
I love you and I won’t stop
So words to a poem
Or lyrics to a song
I hope you can still sing along
To your generic pop-punk love song