Maybe we’re all fucked in the head? Alone and depressed, just looking for anything to help us forget, because we abuse substances like we abuse each other, we think the best way to get over a lover is to get under another, as quickly as possible, it’s funny how you’re life can do a complete one-eighty, make you call an audible, when you feel nothing you think pleasure will make you feel something, look how great my life is, is it genuine or are we just bluffing? Fill me up, become my new poison, get me high, and I’ll make your body touch the sky, say nothing, just seduce me with those eyes, if you don’t love me anymore then please just lie, because I cross my heart and hope to die, that you will never find a love like mine, so take it as a sign, that life is full of regrets, with each heart we break we acquire more debt, but I’ll never forget, the first time our lips met, after the first taste I was hooked, no longer in control, I never knew such a tortured soul, you gave me a chance so I attacked it, and now I’m a helpless drug addict, because euphoria is a story of, not calculated formulas, but uncontrollable desires and emotions, I don’t partake in the false notions, that the only way to forget is through magic potions, because these feelings I have run deeper than the world’s oceans, so now I’ll do anything to get it again, I’m tweaking without my drug, with each stroke of the pen, I’m ready for the fall, but who would ever want to halt these withdrawals, maybe I don’t want to stop hallucinating, maybe I don’t want to see that noose and stop feeling like I’m procrastinating, but I need that feeling of life back in my veins, something to heal my scars when my thoughts of you get lost amongst the stars, maybe these are my final notes, because all I want to do with your drug is overdose, and finally face that bitter end, maybe that’s the only way to make sure that I never get consumed by love again
It’s amazing how the self mutilation I engage in, is more engaging than this life that I’m pretending, to live in, given the fact that I’m living, in a living nightmare before Christmas, I talk out my ass so go ahead and kiss this, the clock is winding down so don’t miss this, I feel like the Virgin Mary, what the fuck is this?! In my stomach, too much pain in the world for me to stomach, each time I look at that little screen in my pocket my heart starts to plummet, into the downward spiral of emotions, it’s like I’m staring into an abyss, everything I want to know is none of my business…or is it? I feel imprisoned by this system, good luck to the next chick who thinks “maybe I can fix him”, because there’s nothing left worth fixing, and after years of mixing, I’ve finally found the perfect percentage, it takes 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% is just lists of people I want to kill, 5% pleasure, 50% pain, and 100% reason to just blow out my fucking brains, but I’m just playing, anybody who knows me knows how much I hate stains, messy situations arise from unrealistic expectations, and temptations to stray come from a life that is all work and no play, Jack is definitely becoming a dull boy, I’ll say, oh fack! No not fuck. I said fack! Man now he can’t even come up with words that are his own, he’s making shit up just to delay the gun-blast to his dome, he loads up the clip when he sits at home all alone, I think it’s because he’s fucking done, I don’t know why I, I mean “he”, doesn’t realize he don’t need, a full clip but just one, to get the job done, what was that? I’m sorry voices in my head, can you say that a little louder? Oh you want to get out? Not tomorrow, but today? Okay, I guess it’s time to finally let all the butterflies fly away…
I’m only twenty two years old and I’ve already lost six close friends. That is roughly a friend every three and a half years. Just enough time to start getting attached. None of these people are dead, they just might as well be. As to be expected each loss was more significant than the last. The first was just a casualty of growing up. It was nobody’s fault. I mean how many people are still best friends with someone from elementary school. We just went to different schools and started hanging out with different people. There’s no bad blood. I think we both understand thats just how things go sometimes.
The second was my first taste of how complex friendships can actually be. I still don’t know why you hate me. I don’t know what I did, and I don’t know why we were never able to fix things. You were my first best friend in middle school. You accepted me into your friend group when I was completely alone in a new school district. We played basketball until the sun went down, I had Thanksgiving at your house, and you came to San Diego for vacation with my family. Then when we were transitioning to high school all of a sudden something happened. You went to a private school and wanted nothing to do with me. I reached out to you again and again to no avail. I even ran into you at Morucci’s years later, we exchanged numbers and then you told me to fuck off over text. I swear I have no idea what I did or didn’t do to make you so upset, but I’m sorry. You were the only friend I’ve ever had the truly shared my passion for basketball, and you were one of the funniest people I ever knew.
The third was my first taste of betrayal. We knew each other in high school but it wasn’t until senior year that we started becoming close. It had been awhile since I had a friend with whom I shared so many interests with outside of sports. I never felt like I had to put on a front in your presence, we simply got along. To this day I’ll never know if you were actually my friend and just developed into an asshole, or if you were always a snake in the grass. I should have paid closer attention to my other friend’s hesitations about you. I stood up for you, I helped you with new life experiences, and I believed you were a good friend. Regardless of my career, place I live, social/relationship status, we will never be friends. You’re a narcissistic, spoiled, piece of shit who thinks he can take whatever he wants. You hide behind your “love” for you friends and family, but do you even treat any of them with any kind of respect? I opened up my home and my life to you, and you spat in my face. You have no sense of direction, no loyalty, and no idea of how shitty of a person you actually are. The only silver lining is that your privileged upbringing has made you weak. Regardless of your economic advantages, you will never succeed the way that I will. You are the only person in this post that I hope never finds happiness. Suck my dick bitch.
The fourth, is one of the most frustrating. I use to wish we could fix things, but even if you ever apologized, I don’t think I can have a conditional friend. I still think your anger doesn’t truly come from my decision over who I love, but over something else. I have the most mixed feelings over loosing you as a friend. You were there for me when nobody else was, and you always made an effort to bring me out of my slumps. That being said, you haven’t lived the life that I have. You don’t know how to walk into somebody else’s shoes. You don’t understand why my experiences make me the way that I am. I think we’ve been on different paths since high school, but I still miss your friendship. I think we just wanted different things out of life, and maybe we’ll meet up again down the road as adults who have figured our shit out, but why should I give you another chance?
The fifth brings up an array of mixed emotions. I knew you the shortest amount of time out of all these people, but you entered in my life during a time when I really needed a friend. I had nobody, and I think you noticed that. I was struggling in school, I was heartbroken, I didn’t think I’d make it past my first semester at Cal, and if it weren’t for you I wouldn’t have. I’m grateful because you showed me how being kind to strangers can spark meaningful relationships. We shared our issues, our demons, and our hopes for the future. You brought me out of my loner shell and made me get out and explore my new environment. You gave up your own hard earned free time, in order to go out of your way to help me pass classes I barely understood. I looked forward to introducing you to my girlfriend, to walking together on graduation day, to looking back on our time in college and saying “yeah, we killed that shit”. What happened? I tried my hardest to be there for you, but you didn’t seem to want my help. I’m angry because of the way that you left my life. I’m angry because I opened my home to you, and you couldn’t even give me an explanation for your absence. You stopped coming to school, so I sent you the homework. You stopped answering my texts, so I sent one everyday to make sure you were alright. And then after months of not knowing whether you even came to school anymore, you called me in the middle of the night talking about how you didn’t want to live. We talked for over an hour about the depression you were battling and I offered any help that I could give you. Then just as suddenly as you entered my life, you left it for good. I’m happy to know that you’ve found peace and seem to be doing well, but I can’t help but feel hurt by your vanishing. I wish we were still friends, but I wish you the best.
The sixth…what can I say really? Your number is almost the same as the amount of years that I spent with you. I would trade numbers one through five in a heartbeat, just for one more day by your side. I guess that’s part of the problem though. Maybe I don’t deserve to have close friends anymore for that simple fact. I miss you more than you could possibly imagine, and I think I always will. You were the best friend I ever had. As cliche as it sounds, I’d take a bullet for you without even thinking twice. I don’t know why I need you in my life so much. Yes I said need…but I do. I think we might just both be flawed individuals, but we somehow saw the beauty in walking through life together. Or maybe we just met when we were both too young and didn’t have shit figured out. But regardless, I don’t know how to help you anymore, it’s clear that you don’t want me in your life, so I’ll leave you alone. I understand why you hate me, but my anger stems from my belief that actions cut a thousand times more deeply than words ever could. And now, it seems like my words are all that I have. Just know that I’m sorry. I’m sorry for words that I’ve said and for words that I’ve wrote. I don’t know how to cope with loosing you, so I’m going to make mistakes. I’m going to make a fool of myself, and I’m going to hurt other people who don’t deserve it along the way. You’ve become a part of me that I won’t ever be able to shed, and I don’t know if I ever truly want to. And as for our last time in each others presence, everything that was said was just for us. Nothing has left that room and nothing ever will. I love you.
So what’s the point of writing all this. Who the fuck knows, I think the idea came from hearing a lyric from one of my favorite Kid Cudi songs, “Fuck yes I’m so odd, thinking about all my old friends who weren’t my friends all along”. It just kind of hit me that people have never really been constants in my life. They really are only in your life for seasons. No matter how much I try, no matter how much I self disclose, or put myself before others, I somehow always ending being the one loosing everything and I don’t know how to deal with that anymore. I have such high standards for how people should behave that when someone actually meets them, they end up becoming very important to me very quickly. But it’s becoming clear that this is an increasingly lonely and frustrating way to live. I mean I have literally given away a physical piece of myself to another human being and I’ve yet to meet someone who would do anything close to the same for me. I mean three of these people who meant the world to me have blocked me from all forms of communication. So for whatever its worth, to numbers one through six, I’m sorry. Odds are we’ll never see each other again, but maybe one day if we ever catch each others eyes, we can at least smile and acknowledge the good times we use to have together when we were friends.
Once upon a time there was a boy. He wasn’t too big, he wasn’t too small. He wasn’t too loud, he wasn’t too quiet. He just sort of fit in with the rest of the crowd. He was good at sports so he made friends fairly easy in grade school, the other boys and girls seemed to like him enough to invite him to their birthday parties. He also grew up in a well structured home, surrounded by love and support. Although as the years went by and he grew older into adolescence he started seeing the world differently. Something started to change in him. In high school he had trouble making close friends. Things that use to make him happy like sports started to feel like an unpaid job. He began to get scared of these new feelings he never had encountered before. Then all of a sudden, like a moth drawn to the flame he saw her. There was something so familiar yet so different about this girl. She wasn’t wearing anything particularity fancy, her hair wasn’t done up, make-up was nowhere to be seen, and yet he couldn’t look away. At this point in his life, the boy lacked confidence, he lacked experience, he didn’t know how to tell her that he liked her. Fast forward a year later and he somehow did it. Like the story of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, he somehow defied the odds and won that golden ticket to her heart. He was overcome with new positive emotions that washed away all his fears, his worries, his insecurities. Life wasn’t so intimidating anymore.
Over the next four years they went on countless adventures together. They traveled to new locations, tried new experiences, and made incredible new memories. They grew to love each other as man and woman, through all of life’s trials and tribulations that would’ve destroyed weaker souls but no, the two of them pushed on. It did not matter that she had broken parts, because he knew he had plenty of spares. So they spent their days entangled in each others lives, fantasizing about the endless possibilities that the future could hold. But along the way something started to happen…something started to change. It was as if they came to a fork in the road and they both believed that the opposite path was the correct one. Things started to get hard for the man, the feelings that once troubled him had rested long enough and now they were coming back with a vengeance. The man and the woman began to fight and not see a future that was so intertwined. She became haunted by “what if’s”? And then, when hings were just on the verge of collapsing, just as suddenly as he had won that golden ticket years before he grabbed her by the hand and looked her in they eyes and said, “I love you, I always have, and I always will. As long as we are together, everything will be okay”. And just like that true love’s kiss set both the lovers free, and they conquered the demons in front of them.
A year goes by. They wave and smile at each other while receiving their hard earned diplomas from their respected colleges. They start looking for a place to live. At first they fight over where to live but eventually decide that they want to start their lives together in Los Angeles. They’re scared but excited. They spend a whole weekend furnishing their new place. Their apartment is small but with her designer’s eye and magic touch, they were able to build what felt like a mansion. They were finally living like kings. After a couple of months their family grew larger, in fact much much larger. They already had a crazy black cat named Bagheera, but now it was time for him to meet his big new brother Baloo…a purebred blue Great Dane. Although shaky at first, Bagheera and Baloo quickly became inseparable companions, and each night the man and the woman laughed at their goofy antics while watching the latest Netflix craze. Each morning on their way to their new exciting jobs, they’d kiss and say “I love you dear”, and come home to the same greeting. Another year goes by and he finally does it. He’s finally ready to ask her. He’s thought about it for years, he even already has the moonstone ring she wanted. “Diamonds are too boring and common” she would say, and he knew that she was anything but boring or common. He was terrified but he proposed at their favorite spot in their favorite place on Earth. She cries at first but then yells “yes!” as she jumps into his arms. And just how the ring he gave her wasn’t typical, neither was their wedding. They didn’t get married in a church or on a beach, surrounded by family and friends. Instead, they only needed each other in this moment. They found the perfect spot on a cliff in Big Sur where they exchanged rings and vows in front of a priest. The only family in attendance were those of the four legged kind. Although he insisted that they at least have a reception, so that people could come and admire her in all her beauty. Life was a drug they simply couldn’t get enough of. They spent the rest of their days laughing and adding incredible memories to their adventure book. Yes she was made from broken parts, but he had more than enough to spare. And everyday until their skin was wrinkled and hair was grey, they’d look each other in the eyes and say “I love you to infinity and beyond”. And they lived happily ever after. The end.
Only there was one problem…fairy tales don’t exist. When they came to that fork in the road and he said “I love you, I always have and I always will. As long as we are together, everything will be okay”, it didn’t matter. It was too late. The clock had already struck midnight, and now all the magic was gone. Everything will not be okay my love. In every fairy tale the hero somehow manages to save the day and get the girl, whilst riding off victoriously into the sunset. But perhaps the boy wasn’t the hero in this story, and perhaps he wasn’t actually able to save her. Perhaps she didn’t even want to be saved. Just like Mia and Sebastian’s time in La La Land, this isn’t “happily ever after”, but rather a story of “what could’ve been”. As I sit here writing, I am not overcome with love and joy. I do not have the fantasy I’ve spent every day working so hard to achieve. I have nothing worth fighting for. There is a part of me missing. The best part of me has seemed to vanish in the wind and all that I am left with is this unbearable feeling. This clawing in my stomach, these hateful thoughts in my head, and this never ending pain in my heart. Fairy tales are told for one reason and one reason alone. To bring comfort to a world that isn’t fair. There is no order to the universe, there is no such thing as good or bad karma, we simply have a limited amount of time on this Earth and fairy tales give us some sort of promise of hope. That maybe, just maybe, there is something more. They give us the idea that somebody out there was made to save you from this nightmare, and everything will be okay in the end. But that is not how the world works, I understand that now. Sometimes pain and sacrifice outweigh the good times we’re given, and there is nothing you can do about it. Once upon a time there was a boy. He grew up, he loved, he lost, and he did it again and again and again until he finally settled for being just alright. He accepted that there are some things in this life that no matter how hard you try and no matter how hard you believe, you simply cannot change.
Something is hugging me too tightly…it’s squeezing, consuming, I can’t breathe, and I’m assuming, it’s just in my head, see through me and know that I’m fighting, clawing, scratching, grasping for air, trying to put a face to an enemy that might not even be there…I feel it, in the pit of my stomach it taunts me, it haunts me, and I have to take back the controls in hopes that it won’t become me…if I’m me then this battle should take place in the mirror, because I can only confront what I can see, and what I can’t see, can’t be, because if it is me, then victory of the mind is all I’m thinking…there I go again thinking, I exercise my mind but it hurts, thinking is my brain on a treadmill with no way of getting off, thinking is a marry-go-round that you hope changes each time it goes around, thinking doesn’t get me from point A to point B, but rather stuck somewhere in between. Am I neither here nor there? Has purgatory taken me prisoner? Or did I put on these shackles myself? What did I do with the key? Is it possible that I misplaced it? Or is it possible that it’s me?
It has been just over two years since I donated one of my kidneys to my father. The exact date of the procedure being December 18th, 2014. It is a unique life experience that has brought me both joy and sense of accomplishment, but it has not been without its fair share of pain. I still don’t know exactly how to react to people’s shocked expressions when they find out about my story. A part of me feels good and is thankful for their kind words, but another part of me dislikes the false halo they’ve cast upon a young man who doesn’t have the slightest clue what he’s doing with his life. I definitely hate/feel uncomfortable when people say the word “hero”. That’s definitely not me. I don’t even like typing it. What I did wasn’t incredible. What was incredible was the cutting edge laparoscopic technology that top notch doctors used to make the procedure as minimally invasive as possible. I’m not brave. I was scared out of my mind. I don’t think I could go through something like that again without my guardian angel by my side every step of the way. Other than getting my wisdom teeth removed, I hadn’t had any type of surgery before that day, and even though my amazing mother donated her kidney and my lovely grandma received one, everyone experiences things differently. In that long week I spent in the hospital, I think I aged by twenty years. I saw first hand what running out of hope looks like as I made my nightly walker-assisted strolls down the halls of UCSF’s 9-Long. Eyes that are too dry to cry. It was a sight that reinforced my beliefs on maintaining close family relationships. I by no means did this out of some profound need to help people. I love my family, and my family loves me. They were in a time of great need, and I just so happened to be able to help. They would’ve done the same for me. It’s really just that plain and simple.
When you’re incapacitated in a hospital bed, you get to see who the people who really care about you are. Which friends come to visit, which relatives who are too far away to see you at least make a phone call, and how the most important person in your life decides to act during your time of need. I never even had to ask that person to stay. She was the first thing I saw waking up, and the last thing I saw falling asleep. For almost over a month she was my arms, legs, and my only sense of positive spirit. You helped me get in and out of bed, walk, shower, and even get dressed, and for that I am forever grateful. I still have so many mixed emotions about the whole ordeal and I don’t really understand why. I don’t regret anything I did, in fact I would do it again if it were both possible and or needed of me. Donating my kidney has changed how certain people see me. It’s granted me love from strangers along with opportunities I might otherwise have never had, but nothing is all sunshine and rainbows. Being one of the youngest living donors isn’t necessarily a title you want to have at only nineteen years of age. I’m twenty one now, and I’ll forever have dietary restrictions in order to keep my one remaining kidney healthy. People I thought I’d always know, have become distant strangers in my life. I suspect that the university I got accepted to, is realizing that perhaps they made a mistake letting in a kid who never even took the SATs or ever received a 4.0 report card. And scars that I were told would heal and fade away, are clear as ever across my body. I sometimes wonder if these changes are something I should take back if I could. But then, in that moment of doubt, I think back to my dad. I think about the fear and pain he experienced having to go through dialysis. I think about the late nights hearing my mom cry, as she tried her best to keep him calm and let him know that whatever happens we’ll make it work. And then, just like that, everything becomes as clear as my decision two years ago. I regret nothing.
This brings me to one of my favorite classic children’s stories, and my newest/most painful tattoo yet. I wanted to get something that didn’t necessarily highlight my personal story, and yet somehow still captured the essence of the gift of giving. I understand that it’s a sad story and that some people find it frustrating that the tree so willingly gives everything she has to a seemingly unappreciative boy, but I find her total selflessness as a proper step towards happiness. Sometimes we give away too much of ourselves and end up loosing a piece of who we are as part of the process. Other times it’s so bad that we let the world kill our kindness and vow a life of solitude. Then again, sometimes we are lucky enough to come across a soul that matches our own. We find someone that we actually want to give every part of ourself to. I’ve grown up in a middle class household. I don’t come from money, and yet I’ve been raised to see the world as an opportunity to lend a helping hand. I am not this positive of a person. To this day I struggle with how much I want to give to people. Whether it’s those who are closest to me, or the same homeless people I see scattered across the city on a daily basis, we all only have so much we can give to this world. I am by no means a giving tree. In fact, I’m not always even simply a kind/good person, but I think there is a profoundness is finding those worth giving everything for. I think pure bliss comes in finding people we’re willing to give all our leaves and branches to without hesitation, so that when we all eventually become stumps and think we have nothing left to give to this world, we can at least be happy. We can at least be reminded, that no matter what, we can always give love.
The world does not care about your loneliness
Rain clouds dissipate only once you’ve shed your hate
Sore shoulders from all the baggage you carry,
Bring light to the emotions you want to keep buried
Potential love in every face you see,
But you’ve become the very thing that nobody needs.
The world does not care about your loneliness
Time can be the cruelest of natural laws,
While her soul remains, the most beautiful thing you ever saw
Breathe in every moment, because no matter how hard you try, you never truly own it
The most tangled webs are spun from the kindest lies,
So maybe this is how an angel dies.
The world does not care about your loneliness
A stone may skip across water,
And yet a child grows up never knowing their father
Ashes rain down pieces of your past
Sometimes finishing first, feels like coming in last
To face the world alone, that may very well be the human condition
But sorrow will always beat you down into submission
Everyday familiar lips are all I long to kiss,
But the world does not care about your loneliness.