Five years — my brain hurts a lot…

I’m not dead.

That fact still frequently surprises me, although I suppose it shouldn’t be too shocking. I mean, surviving is what I do, right?

I had a birthday last month. Shortly after that marks the fifth year since I got back from the shitshow of a trip I took to see Lime and coming back to stay with The Rabbit for “three or four months.” Obviously it’s been more than that.

I feel lost. Stagnant but drifting. Often empty. Therapy has been helpful, and starting on the prescription antidepressant I’ve been taking for around 6 months now has been an improvement, too.

But… there have also been so many times when I’ve had the beginnings of a post for this blog tumbling around in my head, and I could swear I’ll actually get around to fleshing things out and onto the page… but then as I’m writing this now I can see it’s been nearly a year since I last published anything at all here.

This place is overwhelming. It’s hard to deal with, but I do.

I’ve had a fair number of “oh-you-thought-she-was-actually-into-you-haha-serves-you-right-for-hoping” experiences, all of them as disappointing as that sounds; being lonely is frustrating but I just try not to think about it much because it just hurts too much otherwise. And even if finding someone who likes me for me (not because she sees me as a bucket-list fetish item) ever even happens, there’s still the eventual dance of deciding whether to be open with her about everything to do with my sexuality… and I’ve seen that go down in flames worse than eating out with a mouthful of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos more times than I care to dwell on.

I dunno. This is just ramble-y bullshit. I guess that’s not necessarily a bad thing… I used to do that back when I was very first blogging, back on MySpace. Whatevs. Brief proofing for spelling, grammar, and punctuation, add links, then publish. Sigh.

Like drinking vodka and Red Bull, but better.

Like a single flash of lightning
Amid an endless expanse of darkness
You have illuminated me,
Even if only for a brief moment.
Again, as always, I am
Electrified and intoxicated by
The lingering traces of you:
A too-rare smile still teasing
At the corners of my mouth
Damp hair and towels
Beside my bed
A delightful pile of the day’s acquisitions
Surrounding, strewn about
And enough leftover food to last
A couple of days.
Thank you for existing and
For being a part of my life.

I feel fine enough, I guess (considering everything’s a mess…)

shout into the void
wish to be seen, be heard
only emptiness looks back
not even echoes
to keep me company

i looked up the song for the sake
of making a quick joke about the day
and my inadvertent lack of green
but found instead that the words
hit harder
fit better
than i had recalled
or anticipated.

try to scream, only yawn
get me out of here
tell me this is just a dream
colder than it looks
attempt to discern
any meaning
any purpose

and wish, again, still
that i had a few bare-naked ladies
to pinch me

Once he reached for something golden hanging from a tree, but his hand came down empty.

I found myself daydreaming about fruit again today. Biting into a nectarine, feeling the exact point where the skin breaks and bracing myself for the flood of juice down my chin, anticipating the pulpy flesh between my teeth. Pulling grapes off the stem, sorting through the bunch to find the particularly plump ones; the long green ones and the black ones with the same shape but a more flowery taste, the big red globes with seeds and the smaller purple spheres without. Scooping from a quarter of a watermelon with a spoon, all the way down until there’s no red left on the rind. Bananas, still slightly green and firm, plain or maybe with crushed Fritos on each bite, or sliced into a sandwich with peanut butter and honey. Prunes — I used to beg my mom to get me another package, that cardboard cylinder full of chewy, sweet delight didn’t ever last very long. Apples, cut in half, core and stem and that little bit on the bottom neatly carved out — Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, crisp and full of flavor. Cherries bought from the nearby orchard, dark and rich and sure to stain lips and fingertips. Strawberries from the same place, delightful when eaten fresh from their green baskets, and even better after being sliced up and left to soak in a bowl with brown sugar overnight in the fridge and served with heavy cream for a breakfast treat. Pears, Bosc with their rough thick brown skin and D’anjou with theirs in thin smooth green, both with juicy, bite-right-in goodness.

It’s almost 2 in the morning on a Sunday, and the only food I’ve had in over 24 hours is a couple handfuls of trail mix. After I finish writing this, I’ll probably pour a bowl of Cinnamon Life, and hope that The Rabbit has enough milk in the refrigerator to use on it. Most of the time, when I eat a meal, it’s because I ask her to drive me down the hill to the two fast-food choices that are nearby (and don’t close completely by 8 or 9 pm) so I have a whole lot of Jack In The Box and Taco Bell. Often when I go to either of those — which would be nearly a 25-minute walk without her car — I get much more than I can eat at once, and finish off the cold stuff by my bedside in the morning. Sometimes when I’m already out of this miserable gilded cage I spend too much money on sit-down dining because getting a chance to savor a hot meal seems worth it… especially if I end up with leftovers that don’t consist of another cold burger with a stale bun or burrito with a soggy tortilla.

I don’t eat enough. I don’t get out much, because I can’t get anywhere on my own unless I’m paying $15 to $20 or more for a Lyft, one-way, in order to go… where? Mostly that ends up being coffee shops and bars, where I spend even more money that I can’t really spare to sit someplace I’m not thrilled about being, just so that I can be anywhere but here.

In less than a month, I turn 37 years old. That makes 4 years I’ve been stuck in this place; it was never meant to be more than 4 months after leaving the apartment I’d shared with MFP… but since returning from my trip to visit Lime and losing her in the process, finding housing has only gotten more difficult in the Bay Area.

It’s now been a little over 2 years that I’ve been seeing my current therapist, though I’m not sure if that will last; she’s raised some valid concerns about her own limits, and as the two of us have been working toward getting me some other kinds of support, she’s expressed that without additional help from outside, she may be putting in too much of herself, trying to give me what I need when it’s beyond her capacity to do so. I hope I don’t lose her; the fear of that actually spurred me to do some work towards seeking additional help on my own, which I’d been neglecting. It needs to be done.

There’s a chance that, in just over 6 months, I may be going to my first-ever rock concert. Not positive yet, but if everything works as I’m hoping it will, I’ll be taking Again with me to see Erasure in August. It’ll be on my half-birthday if it goes as planned, too!

But for my birthday, if you’re someone who might consider giving me a gift… feed me. And be sure to include some fruit with the meal!

What is the music of life? Silence, my brother.

My maternal grandmother was moved early this week from the “independent living” place she’d been for the last several months into an assisted care facility.

She’s old. I think she’s in her 90s. Realistically, she probably doesn’t have a lot of time left. It’s already been years and years since I last saw her… and that was a literal lifetime ago. She’s never seen me, just the boy I used to be. And that may never happen now.

I’m trying not to think about that too much, because when I do, it hurts. And it leads to thinking about all of the extended family that I’ve never seen, may never see, nieces and nephews and cousins…

I hear a lot about the value of “chosen family,” and how it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to create your own association of people that you’re incredibly close to when your “family of origin” has failed you. That whole thing has always struck me as an attempt to find a pony in a heaping pile of manure — to find some way to spin a terrible situation as actually a really good thing to be grateful for. Maybe it’s just because I’ve never had much in the way of positive, close relationships, or because so-called “community” has frequently felt hostile and unwelcoming, but “chosen family” has never felt like a real thing, like a real possibility.

Growing up raised by Mormons, we called every other church member “brother” or “sister.” It was a title, a form of address, but I think it was supposed to evoke — and invoke — the same sense of “chosen family” that I’ve heard spoken of by so many queer people in the Bay Area. It never rang true, until…

Skyrim. It’s a testament to the quality writing and voice acting, I suppose, but honestly? Babette, Astrid, Festus, Arnbjorn, Nazir, Gabrielle, and Veezara… they all felt more like family as fictional characters than any real people I’ve dealt with. I think I could’ve been happy living with any or all of them.  It felt right, so perfectly right when they called me their Sister, and I cared for them as sisters and brothers. That’s the first — and only — time I’ve had a glimpse of what family might feel like. Of what home could feel like. And it’s just a fantasy.

Home and family are just fantasies.


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