This is the Sound of Settling

“I’ve got a hunger twisting my stomach into knots
That my tongue has tied off
My brain’s repeating, “if you’ve got an impulse, let it out”
But they never make it past my mouth.”

Death Cab for Cutie is one of my favorite bands of all time – in fact, if you took Fall Out Boy out of the equation, they would be my favorite band. And despite how much I love Pete Wentz, the lyricism of Ben Gibbard is absolutely unmatched in my opinion – and it honestly sets the bar for the level of imagery and metaphor that I would someday love to reach. As I write, I’m listening to ‘I Will Possess Your Heart’, an excellent song off of an album of theirs that I once considered my least favorite, but love dearly now.

But I digress – for this isn’t about my love of Death Cab and the poetry of their lyrics.

I’m twenty years old. I have, with any luck, three times my life yet and if I really get what I want, more than four times. Yet for some reason, I constantly go through life with the fear that I’m running out of time – and I’m not doing anything with it. I currently work as a phlebotomist for a plasma donation center, and for people who know me they’d know that that is something entirely out of left field for me – and something I have no passion for. I can’t bring myself to devote any time to the novel that I’ve been writing since the eighth grade, I’m currently not doing anything to further or utilize my skills or hobbies, I have approximately zero friends, and sometimes I feel like my girlfriend and I are just sort of in auto-pilot without much emotion.

I’m not doing what I want to be doing, I don’t look the way I want to look, and I still have the terrible feeling that I need to do something soon or everything I do will be for naught.

But what’s even worse about it, is that I feel like I don’t know exactly what I want to do, either. Am I settling? IS this what I want? Is there something deep inside me that I haven’t tapped into and I won’t feel fulfilled until I experience it? I have no clue.

I’m lucky enough to have things that I’m passionate about – because some people don’t have that. My girlfriend frequently feels melancholic because she says there really isn’t anything she feels that way about. I have writing, and acting, and film, and politics, and… she just sort of, does.
I can understand the frustration that comes with that – but on my side, I worry that I’m interested in all of these things enough, but I don’t know what I would love to do, or love to be.

The point I’m trying to make is this – I know what I don’t want to do, and what I don’t want to be. I feel that I have the general jist of where I’m heading, and I’m unsure if that’s what I want to be.
All that I know for sure is that I want to be happy.

But I’m not quite sure how to accomplish that just yet. School? People? Activities, hobbies, places, things? It isn’t clear – and I think my main obstacle is my lack of direction. I have no clue which way I need to go and I feel like I’m flailing. I have no plans for school – I have no goal set for what I want to be, other than a writer – and I have no support system in place other than my girlfriend, and as dearly as I love her, you gotta have friends.

I’m standing in place – stationary – as the world goes by around me.
Like a moment trapped on the event horizon of a black hole.
And I’m gone in one instant – yet there as everything goes by.

I feel like I’m settling for settling. I feel like I have options and a way out but I’m settling for this.

I sit in front of my computer alone in my apartment typing and listening to music play while I debate if I want to cook dinner and wait for Cel to come home and rant to me about her day. I’ll take my medication at nine PM, go to bed around ten or eleven, then wake up tomorrow and drive half an hour to a job I hate and day dream about other places I could be and other things I could be doing.
Then I’ll drive home – hit some of the traffic at five – then come home to an empty house and sit in front of my computer and feel like I’m not doing anything.

And wait for the days to pass me by.

This is the sound of settling.

– Brandon, 6:46 PM

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Winter, the Lover

(Open to Close)

It’s been cold for days
But that’s fine by me
I’d be numb anyways
I yearn for the violent wind
the punishing slaps to my face
the feeling of a thousand needles
I never get sick of the taste
I don’t want to walk
I don’t want to find a flame
Because I’ll just grow hot
And miss Winter my lover again
Her chill is so sweet
shattered glass on a carpet floor
blood stains the fabric
until you can’t feel anymore
She has me run to her
to feel her embrace
the flurries of dark wind
highways of empty space
no light in the distance
cities miles from the rearview
The windows rolled down
so she can tell me what to do

Two hands turn to one
one foot turns to two
as I pass eighty miles
just like she asked me to
I’ll only stop running
when I have a place to go
Alone in an empty apartment
or face first in the snow

I was never meant to make it
She told me that from the start
Warm from some other man
Because she got tired of a cold heart
No more anxiety, or worry
No more wondering left
She was like Winter
and I was, at best, blue
As I slept alone she told me
I should look the same on the outside too

One hand turns to none
Dim headlights turn to empty night
She howls from the window
“I’ll be yours forever – you know that it’s right.
Let me hold you on these empty roads.”

Winter was always there – the only lover I had ever chose
From the beginning to the end
Open to close.

 

Tomorrow to Come

(summer soliloquy)

Who could tell
Who could wonder why
When summer passes through me
Like tears on hazy honey eyes
When it floats away, like those dreams on the big open sea
And life is simply another
Lonely menagerie
Things will never be the same
As they were before
Quiet songs on the record player
Spinning old songs of anti-war
Kissing in the driveway
Before you head back home
Silent cravings felt
Sitting in our separate rooms
But one of these days
Everything will finally stop moving slow
And finally it will feel like
Time has a flow
And tomorrow will come
‘At long last’ we’ll cry
And I’ll sleep next you
As the world goes by.