1:37

It starts.

At 1:37 am it starts,

A tightness in my chest that starts like a bulb.

It spreads crawling, winding all over me until

Chest, shoulders, upper arms, neck.

I can’t draw breath.

But, I know what I must do!

I stagger bleary-eyed to my computer

Why didn’t I just go to bed!

My mind screams at me

Tight, Tighter, Tighten

It’s over my clothes now,

Into my seams

The only way to rid my self of this poison…

I bleed it out,

The cold knife slips into to a well-worn vein.

On the keyboard,

Splattered on the walls,

The light from the screen is tainted.

Showing lifeless blue through scarlet life

I am free.

Bloodlet from creativity

Maybe now I can turn over

Maybe now I can get some sleep.

Stand Tall

You’ve stood tall and I marvel in your shadow

I watch seige engines of hate, vitriol, abuse, and harrasment hammer at your defenses.

You aren’t strong because your perfect.

Crenellations designed by a genius hand.

And not because you’re always okay

But because you’re still here.

You’ve stood the test of time.

Maybe to you it’s not a real accomplishment,

And it’s not worth celebrating.

Others have crumbled under less

But you still stand tall

And I look up to you everyday,

seeing in you peerless strenght

Your Truth

They starved you at a feast.

Tied to a chair and watched those around you

Stuffing faces and

Having over full bellies,

Rubbed.

While you cried,

 

Died,

Wasting away until you couldn’t even be tied with ropes.

 

Hopes,

Put on someone who could save you died

On dried and cracked lips

 

Hips

Only thing you thought you were good for was cock rocking and moaning

And groaning you did away with their pain

 

Rain

Came down torrential

Unintentional but, it’s all your fault,

Right?

 

Plight

Goes on unanswered everyday,

everyway you asked and pleaded

They stood up and retreated,

defeated you cried,

died felt the pain,

the rain,

and like a current you were dragged again and again.

They weren’t enough, much too rough.

They got cut,

And you were the one to bleed.

Their need the same refrain.

 

Remains,

You gathered them up in fragile arms.

A magpie in the wild,

A raccoon in the woods,

Collecting and erecting the skeleton of a life you could love

 

Shoved

Down, drowned in rivers of your own fears

Gasping for air

 

Hair,

You cut just to divest from the stress of a world closing in,

Hoping that a change on the outside

Will rearrange you inside

 

Ride it out,

Breathe it in,

Quell the storm that rages within,

 

Kin

Never loved you,

When you needed them they abandoned you too.

Shamed and Blamed you too

 

Withdrew,

Into yourself,

Into your art,

Into your head,

To your core.

 

Ore.

You found a prize behind the pain.

Didn’t get better,

You got even!

Decided to soar higher than anyone’s expectations

You believed in you,

Got through.

Thrived.

Striving to be more,

And greater.

You smashed the ceiling

 

Unfeeling,

As the glass cut you

Because you learned long ago,

That success didn’t happen without a little discomfort.

Your life started out tough,

But you know that terrain.

Here’s your refrain.

It’s all uphill from here.

You’ve kissed the sky.

And Helios touched you!

 

Used to be a victim of your own mind,

Reflect, directed it back and

Now…

You know your own truth

 

Spark

I feel at times like a dark room

Full of possibility, promise, and a hint of threat

A match struck

and revealed in me something

I wasn’t aware I needed.

The red light seared my weakened eyes

And then I beheld it.

 

Dimension, volume, and purpose

And when it left

I’m left with more woe than was ever known before

As if light itself was always meant to be…

Fleeting.

 

With just one flash it solidified my walls

threw away nebulosity

and because of that,

I feel,

I can’t return to the void again.

 

Should I wait

Hold my breath and suffer

or am I subsisting on nothing more than a blank promise?

And if were to come another time

instead of merely beholding it’s quenching glow

I will find my own light switch

and shine the light that was always meant to be mine.

Permanence

I have a weird thing about writing in notebooks. It’s weird I can put pixel to pixel but, pen to paper seems too permanent. I have tens of unfinished notebooks and none of them are filled. I don’t know what about it screams like once you finish it you can’t get it back… I mean I can go out and buy a new notebook but, it always feels like my words aren’t good enough for the page. Like I’m taking this space up from someone else.

I was cleaning up some of my old stuff and I found a few notebooks I hadn’t gotten to more than halfway with. Honestly, that’s a whole lot for me I mean halfway? Me?! but, it was a shock to me that none of my old childhood notebooks were even full. Did I even know back then that imposter syndrome would hit me so hard?

It’s crazy looking back on the things that I thought were important. The things that I wrote down. What girls I liked back then, my idea for Black Widowman, (This was of course before I: Knew that Black Widow existed and B. Before I knew what a widow was. So please don’t judge me too harshly.) scrawn ideas that flit through my ADHD mind while I was definitely thinking of other things except for school work.

I think besides just the imposter syndrome I have trouble taking up space. I have trouble just existing in my fullness. I have become unapologetic in the parts of my personality that’s not toxic but, I still feel like I don’t deserve the space I take up.

It’s a sobering kind of thought, really. I mean I don’t understand the people who can. Do they just decide one day that the space they take up is their own? Or is it a more gradual thing? Am I being polite or just subservient? I know it’s something I have to change about myself but, I don’t really know how so I’m just sitting here. Trying to fill this old notebook I got from an ex.

 

Father’s Day 2020

So Father’s Day was teed up to be pretty problematic. To set the stage, I had tried my hardest not to see my Father at least until it was absolutely necessary. It was made much easier due to COVID and his state being especially bad with it. So then I find out that during the week I had taken off, he was in the area and dropped in because of a wedding. My brother, who has always been the dadbuffer can’t come down to meet us halfway. I am really in it.

I dreaded the long march to Sunday. I had in my head all these stipulations like how I didn’t want to be there all day, especially if he was just going to drink. I had made up in my mind how much it would suck. I’d blown the whole thing up in my mind.

I used to say that I was a realist but, truthfully, once my wheels get going I tend to list towards the overdramatic. I just can’t help myself I get this feeling in my gut that I just seem to back my every fear and then I’m pretending that it’s prophetic. Like somehow my gut has never been wrong about anything ever especially my feelings towards women.

When I arrived at the place I was actually in a good mood. Considering that I had protested the week before and had that time off of work to just really enjoy my time recuperating from what has been a crazy season. COVID and Black Lives Matter are happening at the same time. It’s a tumultuous time for not just my people but, the whole of society. Things are changing and it feels good to be apart of that.

I will admit to having been turned around a few times because I’m literally no good with direction even with a GPS. (Yes, my people, I’m absolutely hopeless. I’m still hoping we’ll get built-in AR displays and I’ll get a minimap.) When I saw him a smile came to my face that I wasn’t expecting and most of my lunch went by without caution but, then he asked me.

“Is there anything I’d like to say to him I haven’t yet.” We’d had a nice lunch we talked about light things and serious stuff too. It was almost what I must assume other people’s relationship is like with their parents.  But, he just had to ask and it was like a lead ball in my stomach. I looked around for exits but, there was none and the waitress was talking animatedly with a young kid. There was no way out.

It took me a while to speak. There was a long time there when I anxiously bounced my foot and messed with my hands. I felt like it ruined a rare and perfectly good time. There was a lot that I hadn’t said. Stuff that I didn’t really even know I needed to say but, I think he needed to hear it. I think it was less about me and more about him.

I told him that what he did, created a lot of my nervous ticks like not quite being able to look people in the eye or my loathing for confrontation. I think he needed to hear that I’m not sure what will I would say that would pop him off next and that it made talking to him hard. That definitely seemed to open his eyes a bit. That I was suffering from severe depression and that just made doing what he asked of me even more difficult. I was afraid most of that time and my memories of that time are more than a bit hazy but, what I will never forget is the fear.

I used to try so hard to find what little happiness I could find on the edge of despair. I did often wish I was dead. I don’t know how close this was or is to be suicidal but, it was how I felt. I never attempted but, I did wish for it a few times. It’s not something I try to bring up too often but, I know what my rock bottom feels like I’m not ever letting my self get there again.

He looked like he finally got it. Like a whole lot of things were put into perspective and he finally understood the whole picture. I think for him this was a wakeup call and for me, it was a release of a lot of the weight I was carrying around. I’ve felt so much lighter since and it has done wonders for my mental health. The years of deep introspective thought seem like they were finally worth it. Just being able to say the things I wanted to.

I don’t know what my relationship with my father will be like from now on but, I do know that now I can let some of this go. I’m better for finally being able to say my piece and maybe I’ll get a little closer to moving on.

 

Happy Birthday Jacob!!!

Happy Birthday Brother. I know it’s probably late coming and I’m hoping this finds you well and happy. How have you been? What’s the weather like? I know I’ve never been good with small talk but, I’d I didn’t ask I’m sure Mother would get mad…

I miss you. There’s no easy way to say this cause you’re gone an I’m not. But I miss you. Just because it got easier to say your name and what happened without it sticking in my throat doesn’t mean I love you less.

It’s been eight long years and so much has changed. I don’t go to where we buried you often enough and I hope my silent eulogies are almost as good as vocal ones. I’m sorry if I don’t feel you there. It’s way too quiet for you. You were loud and vocal. In a place where vocal wasn’t always great. But you were great. You were visible when sometimes I wanted to hide away. And you loved like only children can unconditionally and radiant. Being loved by you was such a great feeling.

I’ve changed a lot and I hope that you’d have been proud of me. I learned to lean a little over into loving the way you do and it’s made all the difference. I’ve drawn people towards me that I’ll love for a lifetime. I’ve learned to be vocal. To stand up for the things I believed in and in a world on the cusp of changing, I wonder would you have been there with me? I stopped being nearly so lazy and I’m working and at a much better job than I’ve had before. I’m writing and maybe not the things I always should be but, I’ll work on procrastination later.

I’ve decided to visible to be heard and I hope you’d be proud of me. That you might again look up to me as your older brother. I’d be filled with the most sincere happiness I could imagine.

You were everything to me. It wasn’t easy picking up my pieces after you left but I hope the man I am now will be enough to for you to smile upon. And as I hastily write this before work, I hope you know aftershocks of your kindness are still felt all over. I’m thankful that you have never come to me in my dreams as anger or sorrow. It’s always been one more game, one more show, one more movie and one more hug. It wasn’t easy losing you and I wish I’d seen you in your final moments but, you have given me all that I could ever ask for.

Your Brother,

Warren

Essential

I’m going slowly insane. I mean I’m glad I’ve got my job but, the amount of people who don’t seem to care about the pandemic makes me want to pull my hair out. I just don’t know what needs to be done so that people won’t come into my store with their entire families… It all just makes me want to scream. Why don’t they care about being sick?

It’s not enough that they don’t care about themselves but when we walk away because they’re too close they follow us like it’s no big deal. They squeeze in behind us and reach over us like we’re mannequins. I’m so tired of it. If we get infected in a great enough number the store closes.

We had our first confirmed case at the store this week. There’s no telling who could have been infected it’s made a huge change at work. People who were unworried before are now wearing masks and gloves and actually staying away from each other. Things we were always supposed to be doing but, we foolishly thought we were safe.

My friends range from essential to laid off and they’re all worried about me. Somehow that’s not really the attention I like. I feel bad for those that lost their jobs and I feel lucky to have mine but, somehow the apocalypse isn’t great for my mental health. Who would have thought?

Sorry about being late on the book but, you already know the score. Things are looking a bit better for me right now and I think I need this way too much not put my all in. Thanks for being patient I won’t make you guys wait too much longer.

A Dragon’s Last Regret

I am currently finishing up the final touches on the sequel to Deathwish. It’s been a long road and I couldn’t have gotten this far without the help of a bunch of people keeping me sane and putting me back on the path when I strayed off of it.

Part of what took the longest is just deciding what I wanted the book to look like. How it was meant to continue Megumi’s story. And what the next step was. I’ve always known where I wanted her to end up but getting her to walk down the path I set has been a bit arduous. She’s almost as stubborn as I am.

I have already made a first draft of the next book so hopefully it won’t take me as long to produce it as the second but, if you guys cheer me on there’s no way I will lose sight of the path again.

Thank you and I hope you’ll read the next installment.

-Warren Dalton.