Death at 22

I used to tell myself I’d kill myself at 30
But I think I killed myself at 22 because I couldn’t stop the hurting
The burning, the yearning
The twisting and turning, mind always whirring
In the same old dusty corners
In the same old clouds, darkened with doubt
In the same full rooms in which I wanted to but couldn’t shout
I just stood there, looking around
Wondering what the secret was that everyone else seemed to have found
Why do their smiles come so easy?
Why do their eyes alight?
Why does it seem that I’m the one who wakes up feeling like
He’s been in a nasty fight
And I know I’m not the only one
I know I’m not alone
I know I’m not the only person claustrophobic in their own home
But I sit here in my arm chair
Arms bare
Holding the world tight against my chest and
My silver flask and empty glass ask
“When will you pour the rest?”

“That’s the problem with drinking,” Hemingway thought, “as I poured myself another drink.”
Doesn’t that line alone give you enough pause to make you think
To put the bottle down
Or maybe don’t
Maybe continue the pour
It doesn’t change that what came before will always be “Before” and
To capture “After”, you can’t be afraid
To open some intimidating doors
But those doors seem too heavy
Too complicated
I can’t even handle them

I’m still working on walking
This one foot in front of the other rambling
Shambling from one stage to another
Dead for years without even knowing
Only drawn to the occasional candle in the window, glowing
A flicker of life offered
A reminder there’s an end to night
But then my excited breathing inevitably snuffs the light

I used to say I’d kill myself at 30
On my own terms, in my own name
But I killed myself at 22
I’m in Purgatory and everything’s the same

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Today Has Been A Day

When I went to lunch today, I considered catching the bus to the airport, buying the cheapest ticket that would still get me out of Alaska and just figuring things out somehow when I arrived wherever I was going.

I obviously did not do that. I thought it would be better if I saved a little more money first. Then, we’ll see.

Some days I feel confident and charismatic, creative and smart. Even a little funny. Then there are days like today that just *crush* me and I don’t know why. It’s like some days I’ve got nothing to talk about or the words just spring forth, a tree bursting through concrete. Then days like today, I’ve got SO MUCH to say, I think? probably? But fuck if I know what the words are. They’re wrapped up as a cannonball in my ribcage. It’s a pressure, like my heart and my lungs are going to tear out of me to make way for some book that has an answer or asks a question or is filled WITH A SCREAMING OBSCENITY OVER AND OVER. This is Jack’s bullshit angst. All work and no play makes Jack tear down a door with a hatchet.

I’m so angry and frustrated with myself, and I’m sad that I can’t articulate that I’m fucking feeling everything all the time. I’m in love with beautiful things and I lust for the world. I crave intimacy but value solitude and the introspection and observation that comes with it. I’m scared of hurting – myself and others – because when a good person comes into my life, I never feel good enough for the friendship and/or relationship.

I love my job, truly, but it’s not me. I want to be out. I want to explore. I want to travel and just make it by the skin of my teeth if I have to and meet new people and hear their stories and write about them, and I can’t…quite pull the trigger. I can’t scrape together the guts or brain out the math because I’m bad at these things.

I don’t know what my life is, but I don’t feel like I’m doing very good at it or what I’m supposed to be doing or the best way to do it, and it builds up in me. This restlessness and this desire to be free while I’m following the same goddamn routine, putting the same work clothes on to deal with other people complaining about the phones they don’t need five days out of every week just so I can have money that FUCKING I CAN’T EVEN FINISH THIS SENTENCE. I’m bored with my own paragraph, because the routine is drivel and writing it down is giving me a fucking aneurysm because it shows just how much it takes over my life.

I feel crazy. Standing in a food court, trying to decide which unhealthy concoction to poison my body with and being on the verge of tears because who the fuck knows why is not normal. I don’t want to end up as another one of those artists that gets to a point in their thirties or forties and just gives up on everything. I don’t like quitting.

It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted. I’m going to get a hot dog and a soda and watch Run All Night (you’re welcome for the plug, Liam. Have your people call my people) and go home at some point and work on this book and take a bath, maybe, and get some sleep, hopefully, and go back to work tomorrow and look at pictures of the Maldives or New York City or flowers or some shit while someone tries to come up with a good excuse to not have to pay their data overage fees.

This is been Positive Thinking and Life Assurance with K. Jered Mayer. Tune in next week when I’ll be discussing the Satanic qualities of single-ply toilet paper.